JACKSON, MISS. – May 17, 2022 – Artist, writer and educator Gloria Gipson Suggs, of Holly Springs, Miss., has been named among nine visual artists as South Arts’ 2022 State Fellows, part of the organization’s Prize and State Fellowships program. The Southern Prize and State Fellowships are refereed awards recognizing artistic excellence that reflects and represents the diversity of the region.
Recognized as the 2022 Mississippi Fellow in painting, Suggs focuses on the preservation of heritage and cultural pride through visual art.
“My work depicts people, places, and things from the Civil War, Depression, and the Desegregation Eras as passed down through folklore, written and oral history, photographs, and my own experience,” Suggs said.
Suggs has been an educator for over three decades. She taught school in Tennessee in the public and private sectors for over 28 years. She taught the first two years of her teaching career in Clarksdale City Schools, Clarksdale, Miss. Suggs served as program director and coordinator for the alternative program for Marshall County and Holly Springs School Districts.
“We are thrilled that Gloria Gipson Suggs has received this well-deserved honor from South Arts,” said Sarah Story, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission. “She is truly among the best painters and educators in the state. We appreciate South Arts for recognizing Gloria’s remarkable talent.”
Throughout her career, Suggs has received multiple accolades as an educator as well as awards for her work in the literary, performing, and visual arts. She also penned several books including “Piece-A-Way Crossroads,” “Wind-Blown Memories,” and “Reflections in Black and White: With Shades of Red, Yellow, and Brown.” Suggs also produced contemporary gospel album “Such A Beautiful Day.”
“The 2022 State Fellows are a testament to the robust creativity across our region,” said Susie Surkamer, President and CEO of South Arts. “Each State Fellow speaks to what it means to be an artist who lives, works, and creates in the South. Through their work, we are exploring themes vital to our regional understanding, including climate change, cultural assimilation, self-identity, and police violence. South Arts is grateful to celebrate their vision with these awards.”
Launched in 2017, South Arts’ Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality art being created in the South. Each fellowship – one per state in the South Arts region – comes with a cash award of $5,000 and inclusion in an exhibition at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Georgia, from Sept. 2 – Dec. 10, 2022, before touring to additional locations across the region.
To view work by the 2022 State Fellowship recipients, please visit southarts.org/southernprize. To learn more about South Arts’ grants, programs, and conferences, visit www.southarts.org.