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Arts contest catches eye of Hudgens Center

DULUTH -- One of the largest art awards in the nation will be presented by a Gwinnett organization this November.

The Hudgens Center for the Arts announced Wednesday a visual arts competition in which the winning artist will receive a $50,000 cash award and the opportunity to present a solo exhibition at the Duluth arts venue.

The competition is a first for The Hudgens Center and the sizable prize is sponsored by a private foundation.

"They were strongly interested in supporting the arts on a statewide basis and also wanted to help increase the visibility and prestige of The Hudgens in the state," Stan Hall, chairman of the Board of Directors for the arts center, said of the foundation, which wished to remain anonymous.

The Hudgens Prize competition is open to Georgia artists 18 and older, and visual artwork of any medium completed within the past two years meeting specific size and weight criteria will be considered. An entry fee of $30 for members of The Hudgens Center and $50 for nonmembers will allow each artist to submit up to five entries.

The juror panel that will determine the top finalists and eventual winner includes individuals known nationally and internationally in the field of arts. David Kiehl is curator of prints for The Whitney Museum of American Art, Sylvie Fortin is editor-in-chief of ART PAPERS magazine and Eungie Joo is director and curator of education and public programs at the New Museum in New York.

The jury will select five to 10 artists to participate in a finalists exhibition that will run from Nov. 30 to Feb. 19, 2011. The $50,000 prize winner will be announced during an award celebration the day the exhibition opens.

"We are extremely excited to be able to offer such an important award competition to the artists of Georgia," said Teresa Osborn, interim executive director for The Hudgens Center. "Particularly in times of economic challenge, it is vital that we support the arts and artists, or we lose something that is literally irreplaceable in our culture and our state."

The deadline for submissions for The Hudgens Prize is June 4. A prospectus with details about the competition and information on entering is available online at www.thehudgens.org.