SIGD’s Kelly Bryant Named South Arts’ Alabama Fellow and Southern Prize Finalist
Professor Kelly Bryant of Auburn’s School of Industrial and Graphic Design (SIGD) has been named the 2023 Alabama State Fellow and a Southern Prize Finalist by South Arts.
A regional non-profit that supports artists and community arts organizations, South Arts hosts an annual juried competition in its nine member states across the South, and Bryant received an award of $5,000 as a State Fellow. The Southern Prize and State Fellowships were created to address the gap in regional arts funding opportunities for artists and to acknowledge their contributions to the well-being of Southern states’ cultures.
Bryant has been teaching in SIGD since 2000, specializing in the fields of typography, publication design and poster design. She has received several teaching awards, including Auburn’s Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2018. Her work has been exhibited nationally and featured in publications like Creative Quarterly, UPPERCASE Magazine and Fingerprint No. 2.
This year’s Southern Prize Winners and State Fellows will have their work displayed in an exhibition at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi, through December 13. The exhibition will then travel to several other states and finish at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art in Montgomery, Alabama, in 2024.
Bryant’s South Arts submission was a compilation of 2D collages and 3D collage artist books, which are essentially artwork in book form. As a designer, she has been working toward incorporating more analog methods into her work. “I began working in the medium of collage about 10 years ago,” she said. “Then about three years ago I began working in the format of artist books. As a graphic designer I work mostly in poster and book design so the transition to artist books was clear and natural.”
Bryant’s submission was the direct result of her recent semester of Professional Improvement Leave, which allows faculty to take time for self-improvement and growth. Bryant says the sabbatical gave her much longer periods of time to focus on creative work than she would normally have. “The sabbatical was so helpful in that it afforded me the time to actually work daily for several months,” she explained. “As a result, I was able to create an additional set of books to add to the body of work I already had, and I’m now in the process of submitting to competitions and shows.”
The work of all nine state fellows will be displayed in an exhibition at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, Mississippi, through December 13 of this year. After it closes in Biloxi, the exhibit will tour Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana through 2025.