The Forward Arts Foundation bestows an annual award on an emerging artist who has yet no commercial gallery representation. The winner gets $10,000 and a solo show at the Swan Coach House Gallery, the foundation’s intimate Buckhead space, both of which are tremendously helpful to artists in the building stage of their careers. The group has an excellent track record; recipients generally go on to establish a fruitful practice.
After winnowing the field to five finalists and making studio visits, the award committee has selected S. Patricia Patterson as this year’s winner.
Patterson studied at the Atlanta College of Art and earned a BFA at Georgia State University in 2004 and an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009. She makes psychologically acute, large-scale watercolor paintings based on her family photographs, which, as she writes in her artist statement, “investigate how we construct memories over time.”
The four other finalists — Born, Jessica Blinkhorn, Margaret Fletcher and Seana Reilly — will each receive $2,000, and a work by each will be exhibited in the anteroom of the gallery during Patterson’s show in 2012.
Lucha Rodriguez, the 2010 Emerging Artist Award winner, will have her solo show this summer.