ECU art and design alumnus recognized by South Arts
An East Carolina University alumnus has been named a state fellow and finalist for the prestigious 2023 South Arts Southern Prize for Visual Arts.
Michael Webster of Spartanburg, South Carolina, graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the ECU School of Art and Design in 2009. Webster is an assistant professor of studio art at Wofford College, where he teaches beginning and advanced courses in sculpture, installation art and 3D digital fabrication. He received $5,000 as South Carolina’s state fellow and an additional $10,000 as the finalist for the South Arts prize. The winner was multi-disciplinary artist Victoria Dugger of Athens, Georgia.
“These two artists and their work reflect the mission and heart of this program,” Susie Surkamer, president and CEO of South Arts, said in a story on the nonprofit’s website. “Alongside the 2023 class of fellows, we’re also thrilled to showcase their creativity and talent across the region, representing the cultural pulse of the South and demonstrating the fundamental need for arts and culture across our state lines.”
The Southern Prize for Visual Arts was created seven years ago to recognize the role that artists play in the well-being of Southern culture and to provide arts funding opportunities for artists.
Each year, South Arts awards a total of $80,000 to nine visual artists in the following categories:
- State fellows receive $5,000 fellowships awarded to one artist in each state in the South Arts region of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
- Two artists receive the Southern Prize awards of an additional $25,000 for the winner and $10,000 for the finalist.
The winner and finalist were selected from the nine state fellows by a national jury based on artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of artistic expression of the region. In addition to the cash prizes, each will receive a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Rabun Gap, Georgia.
Visitors will be able to see the fellows’ artwork in a touring exhibition through Dec. 13 at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi. In 2024, the art will be displayed at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Georgia; Florida Department of State in Tallahassee, Florida; and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Southern Prize and state fellowship program is supported by Southern First Bank, the Warner Fund and individual donors. For more information, visit southarts.org.