The winner of the 701 CCA Prize 2020 is Adrian Rhodes of Hartsville. The winner was announced this past Thursday, December 3, during a live Facebook broadcast from 701 Center for Contemporary Art. Because of Covid concerns, only a small, intimate event took place at the center with the artists and a few of their guests present in addition to 701 CCA personnel.
Rhodes is the fifth winner of the bi-annual competition and exhibition for South Carolina artists 40 years and younger. The 701 CCA Prize 2020 exhibition will remain on view through December 20.
Rhodes, 37, is the relative veteran of the 701 CCA Prize, having submitted to all four previous Prize competitions. Also in age and career, Rhodes was the veteran among the three finalists. The printmaker and mixed media installation artist holds both an BFA and MFA from Rock Hill’s Winthrop University and has exhibited widely and often throughout the Carolinas and beyond. She was selected for the 2019 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial and the recent region-wide exhibition Coined In The South at The Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C.
The winner was selected by an independent jury panel consisting of three curatorial professionals. Rhodes will receive a paid, six-week residency at 701 CCA as well as a solo exhibition and an ad in a national art publication.
“Thank you so much, 701 CCA,” Rhodes said. “I am absolutely thrilled to have won the 701 CCA Prize 2020. I look forward to my residency and solo exhibition. I can’t wait to take over the entire gallery. It was an honor to show with two wonderful artists with amazing work.”
“I was going to cry either way in the car on the way home,” Rhodes said, “but this is the better reason to cry.”
Regarding Rhodes, juror Tosha Grantham wrote in her catalogue essay that the artist’s “prints, mixed media sculptures and installations offer immersive experiences. Her spatial interventions are layered to a methodical theatricality.”
The other finalists were Morgan Kinne of North Charleston and Morgan McCarver of Moore, in the upstate. Sculptor and mixed media artist Kinne of North Charleston, 32, increasingly is making her mark in South Carolina and was included in the 701 CCA exhibition The Shape Of Things earlier this year. Kinne holds an BFA from Winthrop and an MFA from Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. McCarver, 24, of Moore in the Upstate, is the relative newcomer. The ceramicist and mixed media artist holds a BFA from Anderson University.
The independent jury panel selected the finalists and winner from 27 submissions, one less than in 2018, which had set a record for Prize submissions. The panel consisted of Grantham, an independent curator from Miami, Fla,; Pamela Saulsbury Wall, an independent curator from Charleston, S.C.; and Michael S. Williams, an independent curator in Raleigh, N.C., and founder of the Black on Black Project.
“The jurors’ choices clearly show that South Carolina artists are producing contemporary art in a range of media that contribute to national conversations,” 701 CCA interim director Michaela Pilar Brown said. “The finalists, each working in a range of mixed media in sculpture, installation and printmaking, offer thoughtful, critical examinations of time and place. They bring singular voices to the work. This exhibition is timely, prescient even.”
701 CCA will publish an exhibition catalogue. The 701 CCA Prize winner will receive a six-week, paid residency at 701 CCA; a solo exhibition at 701 CCA; and an ad in a national publication.
Juror Pamela Wall argued that Kinne’s work “offers a window into [Charleston’s] deep and complicated history, hinting at the narratives constructed by the buildings themselves and the people who inhabit them.” McCarver’s work, juror Michael Williams wrote, “takes the viewer back to an era that is both nostalgic and burdensome, one weighing heavier on the viewer than the other depending on their background. The work takes the viewer to a time that mirrors the complexities we face in 2020.”
This year’s Prize is the fifth since Columbia’s 701 Center for Contemporary Art launched the project in 2012. The 701 CCA Prize takes place every other year, alternating with the also-biennial 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial for state artists of all ages. The Prize’s purpose is to identify and recognize young South Carolina artists whose work is exemplary in its originality, shows awareness of artistic developments and is of high artistic merit.
“With the 701 CCA Prize, 701 Center for Contemporary Art has added a crucial component to the eco-system for artists and the visual arts in South Carolina,” 701 CCA board chair Wim Roefs said. “Prior to this 701 CCA initiative, the state did not have a prominent event to highlight the best young talent in South Carolina.”