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Solo Exhibition for Hudgens Prize Winner, Bethany Collins

The Hudgens Center for the Arts is pleased to present, with the exception of the sky, a solo exhibition of works by Bethany Collins, our 2015 Hudgens Prize recipient.

The $50,000 Hudgens Prize was first awarded in 2010.  The biennial prize is intended to elevate the importance of the arts in Georgia and to offer a transformational opportunity for one Georgia artist.  The fourth cycle of the prize will be launched this spring and awarded in 2017.

Bethany Collins, Untitled (Guilty Until Proven Innocent), 2016, 10 x 6 ¾ inches, Charcoal on found paper, image courtesy of the artist

Bethany Collins is an Atlanta based multidisciplinary artist whose conceptually driven work is fueled by a critical exploration of how race and language interact. In her Contronyms series, for instance, Collins transposes definitions from Webster’s New World Dictionary of American Language onto American Masters paper, then aggressively obscures much of the entries with an eraser. What remain are specific snippets of meaning that are poetically charged through their isolation, as well as the crumbled paper bits left behind by her erasing.

As Holland Cotter noted writing in The New York Times, “language itself, viewed as intrinsically racialized, is Bethany Collins’s primary material.”

Her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationwide, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the High Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, and the Flint Institute of Arts. Her works are currently on view at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama and at the Wallach Gallery at Columbia University in New York.  Collins is a former Hambidge Center Fellow and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Collins has been recognized as an Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and was awarded the Hudgens Prize in 2015.

Collins states, “As languages have developed over time, blue is often the last color to be named. For, with the exception of the sky, blue appears so rarely in the natural world. But some studies show that when we can name a thing, it becomes easier to visualize. It follows then that when we cannot name a thing, we cannot see it. So, perception affects language just as language alters perception itself. with the exception of the sky mines the visual and linguistic relationship between black and blue, while challenging the certainty and clarity of meaning.”

with the exception of the sky: Works by Bethany Collins will be on view through May 21st with a mid-show reception and artist’s talk on Satruday, April 30th from 1 to 3pm.

The Hudgens Center is a non-profit organization that has been focused on the arts since its establishment in 1981.  The Hudgens’ mission is to bring art lovers, leaders and learners together through quality programs and exhibits.  That mission is accomplished through visual arts initiatives, such as year round fine art exhibits and classes for all ages, and community arts initiatives, which reach out to underserved populations.

The Hudgens Center for the Arts is located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Bldg. 300, in Duluth, in the Infinite Energy complex (formerly Gwinnett Center).  For more information about art exhibits, events and classes at the Hudgens, please visit the website at or call 770-623-6002.

Info at a glance:

with the exception of the sky: Works by Bethany Collins

On view: April 12 – May 21, 2016


 Also on view:

Selected Works from the Permanent Collection: Ben Shahn

 Also On view April 30 – May 21, 2016

Thinking Through Art: Blurring the Boundaries Between the Arts & Science

Interdisciplinary Collaborations by Georgia Gwinnett College Students & Works by Erin McIntosh    


Individuality: smART Program Exhibit

 Reception & Artist’s Talk Saturday, April 30th 1-3pm

Toddler Friday April 29th 10:30am

Free Admission May 7 – 14 Duluth Arts Week

Family Day Saturday, May 14



For additional programming & more information please visit our website:

Hudgens Hours: Tues – Sat  10am – 5pm