Press Releases

TN Artist Andrew Scott Ross Awarded South Arts Fellowship

Nashville — Andrew Scott Ross from Johnson City, TN has been awarded a State Fellowship from South Arts, the nonprofit arts service organization advancing Southern vitality through the arts. Only nine artists from the southeast were selected to receive this prestigious award of $5,000. The 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. All nine State Fellows will be featured in an exhibit at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, South Carolina, from March 21 – May 5, 2019. The winner of the Southern Prize and a $10,000 finalist award will be announced at a ceremony celebrating the State Fellows on April 15, 2019.

“We are thrilled that Andrew Scott Ross, visual artist and drawing professor at East Tennessee State University was selected from a highly competitive field of professional artists to be awarded the 2019 Tennessee State Fellowship award from South Arts,” said Steve Bailey, TN Arts Commission Chair.

Ross is interested in how history is interpreted, recorded and visualized. In efforts to act out his research, he has spent the past fourteen years creating a fictional encyclopedic museum. Ross received his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He subsequently studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

“I am so happy to be recognized within the Southern arts community. This award is a chance for me to continue making meaningful connections and develop conversations among the South’s creative voices. I am honored and I can’t wait to meet the other 2019 fellows in Columbia, SC, this April,” said Ross.

Ross has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad including; The Museum of Arts and Design in New York, The Building for Contemporary Art in Geneva, Switzerland, The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta, The Guggenheim Museum’s Peter Lewis Theater in New York, The Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, the Knoxville Museum of Art, The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. His work has been reviewed in publications such as Artforum MagazineArt in AmericaThe New York TimesThe New YorkerSculpture Magazine and theVillage Voice. His work will be included in the upcoming exhibition Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in the newly renovated Asheville Museum of Art. Ross is an Associate Professor at East Tennessee State University where he teaches drawing and foundations studies.

“Tennessee is well-known for its creative talent. We congratulate Andrew on this significant accomplishment and wish him luck for the Southern Prize,” said Anne Pope, TN Arts Commission Executive Director. “We are proud to be a partner with South Arts in this initiative to recognize artists living and working in the South, especially those in Tennessee.”  

Launched in 2017, the South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships celebrate and support the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. Over 800 visual artists submitted work for consideration, and a panel of jurors reviewed each anonymous application using the sole criterion of artistic excellence to recommend the nine State Fellows. A second panel of jurors is currently reviewing the State Fellows to select the Southern Prize awardee and the finalist.

The State Fellowship juror panel included Mora J. Beauchamp-Byrd, visiting assistant professor with Oklahoma State University; Katherine Jentleson, the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art with the High Museum of Art; Radhika Subramaniam, associate professor with the Parsons School of Design; Ben Thompson, deputy director with the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville; and Joey Yates, curator with the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region who create 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 2019 State Fellows’ submissions and learn more about the competition, visit