Five finalists have been named by the Gibbes Museum of Art for the 2018 Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, including a veteran batik maker in South Carolina.

Leo Twiggs, an Orangeburg resident whose batik paintings include the celebrated nine-piece series "Requiem for Mother Emanuel," is among those eligible for the $10,000 cash prize.

The contest highlights artists who work in a variety of media and who contribute to a new understanding of the South. More than 250 artists from across the region applied this year.

The other artists who made the shortlist of finalists are Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons of Nashville, Tenn.; Stephen Hayes of Atlanta; Birney Imes of Columbus, Miss.; and Susan Worsham of Richmond, Va.

Campos-Pons, a native of Cuba, produces autobiographical work using photography, video, painting, sculpture and performance art. She is a professor of studio art at Vanderbilt University.

Hayes explores the history of race relations in America in works of sculpture, fiber, video, blacksmithing and installation art. He is a native of Durham, N.C.

Imes is a photographer interested in the people and places of his native Mississippi. His images are included in several important public and private collections.

Worsham is a photographer whose work lately has focused on themes of family and death.

The Society 1858 Prize was launched in 2008 and has since become a significant contest open to artists from 12 Southern states from West Virginia to Louisiana. The 2018 winner will be announced in August. A celebration event is planned for Sept. 19 at the Gibbes Museum.

To learn more about the Society 1858 Prize, the 2018 finalists and past winners, and to view the work of this year's select group, go to

Contact Adam Parker at or 843-937-5902.