Two Oxford residents awarded prestigious regional fellowship

Published 12:00 pm Monday, May 13, 2024

South Arts announced the inaugural class of State Fellows for Literary Arts alongside the 2024 State Fellows for Visual Arts in its flagship Southern Prize and State Fellowships program.

Among the distinguished 18 recipients, Oxford-based painter Brooke Alexander and writer Melissa Ginsberg will be recognized and awarded an unrestricted grant of $5,000 each, alongside an opportunity to compete for the Southern Prize award of an additional $25,000. 

Established in 2017, the Southern Prize and State Fellowships program was created in acknowledgment of a discrepancy in regional funding for artists across all disciplines, annually awarding a total of $80,000 to nine visual artists from each state in South Arts’ region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

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Each selected artist receives a $5,000 State Fellowship award, with two of the artists receiving the Southern Prize awards with an additional $25,000 for the winner and $10,000 for the finalist, as well as a residency at an artist retreat space. Now, with the expansion to include literary arts, those numbers will double.

In addition to the cash awards, the artists will also be featured in upcoming public events. The nine State Fellows for Literary Arts will participate in a panel discussion in September at the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson, and the State Fellows for Visual Arts display their work in a touring exhibition that will open in October at the Art and Culture Center in Hollywood, Florida, before moving to additional venues across South Arts’ nine state region.

Recipients for both programs were selected from an open call for applications in which writers and visual artists from across the region were encouraged to apply. Review panels adjudicated submissions and made recommendations based on artistic excellence that reflects the region’s rich diversity of artistic expression. Applications for the 2025 Southern Prize and State Fellowship program (both Literary and Visual Arts) will open October 2024.

The Southern Prize and State Fellowship program is supported by Southern First Bank, the Warner Fund, the Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation, and other donors. For more information about the Southern Prize and State Fellowship programs, application eligibility, and additional opportunities from South Arts, visit