Press Releases

Nashville Artist Awarded State Fellowship, Competing for Southern Prize

Vesna Pavlović, Sites of Memory
Archival photograph is derived from a digital scan of the hand embroidered archival photograph from the Museum of Yugoslavia, Belgrade. In this new series, I use the often forgotten and unrecognized female techniques such as embroidery, and pleating, to discuss the use of female labor in the production of the socialist spectacle.
Nashville – South Arts, the organization advancing Southern vitality through the arts, has named nine visual artists from the South to receive State Fellowship awards of $5,000 each. The awarded artist from Tennessee is Vesna Pavlović.
Pavlović (Serbia/US) obtained her MFA degree in Visual Arts from Columbia University in 2007. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University where she teaches photography and digital media. Her projects examine the evolving relationship between memory in contemporary culture and the technologies of photographic image production. Expanding the photographic image beyond its frame, traditional format, and the narrative is central to her artistic strategies. She examines photographic representation of specific political and cultural histories. These representations include photographic archives and related artifacts, which she treats as material to produce new images and installations.
Pavlović has exhibited widely, including solo shows at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Museum of History of Yugoslavia in Belgrade, and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. She has been featured with a solo presentation at the Untitled, 12th Istanbul Biennial, 2011, and in group exhibitions at the Württembergischen Kunstverein, Düsseldorf, Germany; KUMU Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia; Zachęta, The National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland; City Art Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia; the New Art Gallery Walsall in Walsall, UK; the Bucharest Biennale 5 in Bucharest, Romania; Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; Le Quartier Center for Contemporary Art in Quimper, France; NGBK in Berlin, Germany; Photographers’ Gallery in London; Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, UK; and FRAC Center for Contemporary Art in Dunkuerqe, France.
In the nineties, in Belgrade, Pavlović worked closely with the feminist pacifist group Women in Black. Vesna Pavlović is the recipient of the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation grant in 2017, the City of Copenhagen Artist-in-Residence grant in 2011, and Contemporary Foundation for the Arts Emergency Grants in 2011 and 2014, and a 2012 Art Matters Foundation grant. Her work is included in major private and public art collections, the Phillips Collection, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Serbia, among others. Her work is represented by whitespace gallery in Atlanta, GA, G Fine Art in Washington DC, and Zeitgeist gallery in Nashville, TN.
The nine artists are now in consideration for the Southern Prize, which includes an additional $25,000 cash award and a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. The winner of the Southern Prize and a $10,000 Finalist award will be announced at a ceremony celebrating the State Fellows on April 16 in New Orleans.
The 2018 State Fellowship award recipients are:
  • Amy Pleasant, Birmingham, AL. Painting.
  • Anastasia Samoylova, Miami Beach, FL. Photography.
  • Paul Stephen Benjamin, Scottdale, GA. Multidisciplinary.
  • Garrett Hansen, Lexington, KY. Multidisciplinary.
  • Jeremiah Ariaz, Baton Rouge, LA. Photography.
  • Dominic Lippillo, Starkville, MS. Photography.
  • Meg Stein, Durham, NC. Sculpture.
  • Kate Hooray Osmond, Charleston, SC. Painting.
  • Vesna Pavlović, Nashville, TN. Photography.
“The Tennessee Arts Commission is proud to support and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director, Tennessee Arts Commission. “ We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Tennessee Fellow, Vesna Pavlović and to the other winners of the South Arts State Fellowship awards.”
Nearly 700 visual artists submitted work for consideration, and a panel of jurors reviewed each application with the sole criterion of artistic excellence to determine the nine State Fellows. A second panel of jurors is currently reviewing the State Fellows to determine the Southern Prize awardee and the Finalist.
“We are very proud to support Southern artists,” said Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “These State Fellows reflect the richly diverse arts and culture of our region, and each offers a distinct viewpoint with their work and background. The Southern Prize and State Fellowships are an important vehicle for artistic and professional growth of artists in the South.”
The State Fellowship juror panel included Ade Omotosho with the Pérez Art Museum Miami; Jan Davidson, former director of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC; Mark Scala, chief curator at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville; and Scott Stulen, director and president of Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK.
Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region and producing crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary work were eligible to apply. The awards will be presented to the artists as unrestricted funds.
To view the 2018 State Fellows’ submissions and learn more about the competition, visit