Fellowships awarded in nine states
FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 12, 2017) — Becky Alley of Lexington has received a $5,000 State Fellowship from South Arts, making her one of nine artists to receive recognition from the regional arts organization of which the Kentucky Arts Council is a member.
South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, was founded in 1975 to build on the south’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. The State Fellowship recipients were recognized at a South Arts awards ceremony April 24 in Atlanta. One fellowship was awarded to an artist from each of the nine South Arts member states.
The South Arts State Fellowships acknowledge, support and celebrate the highest quality artistic work created in the American South. From January through March 2017, more than 850 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.
Alley, director of the University of Kentucky’s Bolivar Gallery, has been an artist for about 20 years. She said her role as an arts administrator has made it a challenge to maintain the level of production necessary for a studio artist, but for the past year-and-a-half she made a concerted effort to focus on her own work.
The work Alley submitted to South Arts for consideration was a series of works that are memorials to people who have died or suffered because of war. One of her pieces, a 2016 work titled “Epitaph for Edwards,” incorporates 220 books made by the artist, one for each year since America’s founding in 1776. It provides a historic tally of all conflicts in which American soldiers were killed. Each book contains a hand sewn needlepoint page with the name of a single soldier whose name was Edward, which is also the name of Alley’s 2-year-old son.
Alley had about 40 volunteers help with the stitching, mostly women, and many who were also mothers.