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The Hudgens Prize, intended to elevate the arts in Georgia, is one of the nation’s most coveted and lucrative awards. The Hudgens Prize, which began in 2010, offers a cash award of $50,000 and an opportunity for the winner to have their work displayed for three months in a solo exhibition at the Hudgens Center.

Finalists for the Hudgens Prize 2024 are Krista Clark, Victoria Dugger, Joni Mabe and Sergio Suarez. The 2024 jurors are Floyd Hall, Melissa Messina and Annette Cone-Skelton.

Sculptor Olu Amoda was the 2022 Hudgens Prize recipient. His solo exhibition was on view in the Fowler and Kistner galleries in summer of 2023.

Download the 2024 Hudgens Prize press release HERE.

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A resident of Atlanta, her work incorporates new and repurposed materials to construct familiar forms in new spatial arrangements displaced from their accustomed sites and settings.


Born in Columbus and a current resident of Athens, her practice spans painting, mixed media works and sculpture. Working across these forms, she produces objects that blur accepted categories, exploring novel modes of self-expression and embodiment.


Born in Cornelia and a current resident of Athens, she is a huge fan of Elvis Presley, who often ends up represented in her work. She is creator of the Everything Elvis Museum and owns a large personal collection of Elvis memorabilia, artifacts and curiosities – including a wart.


Born in Mexico City, he now lives and works in Atlanta. His practice, prompted by an interest in translation, uses different traditions of making to construct a visual language concerned with syncretism, temporality, and the porosity between objects, images, and structures.



Floyd Hall

Floyd Hall is a media strategist, engineer, cultural producer, writer, and documentarian from Atlanta, Georgia. Hall is the executive director of Atlanta Contemporary. Most recently, he was also interim director at Science Gallery Atlanta, where he orchestrated large-scale exhibits that merged art, science, design and technology with an emphasis on engaging with youth. In 2023, he curated “Justice,” the first exhibit fully produced by Science Gallery Atlanta, and, in 2022, he co-curated “Hooked” for the gallery. In 2021, he co-curated “The Future Happened” for Museum of Design Atlanta, produced the regional podcast “Bottom of the Map” with WABE and, in 2020, produced and hosted the podcast “Atlanta Legacy Makers” for the nonprofit Central Atlanta Progress and the city of Atlanta.

Melissa Messina

Melissa Messina is a nationally recognized arts professional who has developed thought provoking exhibitions, dynamic site-responsive projects, and engaging educational public programming both independently and in leadership positions at museums and non-profit arts organizations. For 20 years, her work with regional, national, and international artists has been presented in the U.S. in Atlanta, Kansas City, Miami, New York, New Orleans, Richmond, Savannah, and Washington, D.C., as well as in Bermuda, France, and Hong Kong. She has lectured extensively, published widely, and her research has been funded by Creative Time and The Andy Warhol Foundation, as well as by fellowships at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Library, Atlanta, GA, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR.

In addition to serving select public and private clients, she is the curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate. She has also recently served as guest curator at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and was the co-curator of the 2018 and 2020 Bermuda Biennials. In 2017, she co-created Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today, an intergenerational exhibition highlighting 21 Black female abstract practitioners that traveled from Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City to The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

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Annette Cone-Skelton

Annette Cone-Skelton is the President/CEO/Founding Director of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA). Cone-Skelton has over fifty years of experience as an exhibiting artist, arts educator, curator, editor, owner of a fine arts advisory firm, and currently a visual arts museum director. She is a graduate of the Atlanta College of Art, and is included in LaGrange College’s “2006-2007 Wall of Outstanding Alumni.” She has received many other honors and awards including the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center’s Nexus Award in 2019 in honor of her significant contributions to Atlanta’s contemporary arts landscape. In 2017 she was the first of twelve Atlantans showcased in ArtsARL’s Legacy Series: Portraits of 12 Extraordinary Atlantans in the Arts. She received a Home Depot Building Community Network Impact Award in 2013 in the category of Promoting Personal Leadership for Creating a One-of-a-Kind Museum. She was named “2012 Museum Educator of the Year,” by the Georgia Arts Education Association and Cone-Skelton was a recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Awards for the Arts & Humanities. As a visual artist, Annette Cone-Skelton’s artwork is held in prestigious museums; including, the National Women’s Museum of Art in Washington, D.C. the High Museum of Art and the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, both in Atlanta; the J.B. Speed Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland; the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University and MOCA GA. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum, Georgia and served as President from 2013-2014. She is a member of the Board of Visitors of Emory University. For the last six years, Cone-Skelton has been selected for the Atlanta Magazine 500 Most Powerful Leaders and in 2023 selected to Georgia Trend Magazine’s 500 Georgia’s Most Influential Leaders.

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2022 WINNER:

An exhibition, titled "Scavenging and Scanning: Sculptural Exploration of the Earth's Belly," by renowned sculptor Olu Amoda, winner of the 2022 Hudgens Prize, opened on August 19th 2023 and ran until October 28th, displayed in the Fowler Gallery of the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning.

“We were so pleased to introduce Olu and his work to our patrons at The Hudgens,” said Laura Ballance, executive director of the Hudgens Center. “He is an emerging artist with a unique style, and we believe our visitors are going to truly enjoy this exhibition.”

Amoda is a Nigerian-born sculptor, muralist, furniture designer and multimedia artist who is best known for using discarded consumer products such as rusty nails, metal plates, bolts, pipes and rods to create sculptural figures, flora and animals to highlight a variety of socio-political and cultural issues. 

“I am interested in the former lives of the objects I use and in the new meanings they take on when they are brought together,” Amoda said. 

Amoda graduated with a degree in Sculpture from Auchi Polytechnic, Nigeria, and received a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. He is currently based in Alpharetta. 

Amoda won the 2022 Hudgens prize, which carries a $50,000 cash award, one of the nation’s largest art awards, as well as an invitation for a solo exhibition. It is open only to Georgia residents.

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