High Museum announces Driskell Prize winner: Ebony G. Patterson

Multi-media artist Ebony G. Patterson is the winner of the David C. Driskell Prize, the High Museum of Art announced MondayThe $50,000 prize goes to early or mid-career artists and scholars who have made a significant contribution to African American art or art history.


Patterson creates installations and large, colorful tapestries out of fabric, glitter, sequins, toys, beads, faux flowers, jewelry, and other items. The colorful, celebratory surface of her work can, on closer inspection, reveal a darker message.


Her art has been featured in dozens of solo and group exhibitions during the past 10 years, including last year’s show at the High, “What Is Left Unspoken, Love,” a 30-year survey of contemporary artists’ views of love. She was represented in that show by a piece the High acquired in 2018, “. . . they stood in a time of unknowing . . . for those who bear/bare witness.”


Contacted at her home in Chicago, Patterson said her first response when she was told she had won was “Me?"


She said she felt privileged to join the other Driskell artists and scholars, “some of whom informed the way I thought about things as a younger artist,” including 2009 winner, scholar Krista A. Thompson.


“To be in the ranks of these people that I have such admiration for, I am deeply honored and very humbled,” she said.


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January 31, 2023