National Outdoor Sculpture
Competition & Exhibition
2013/14 Exhibition (Upcoming)
The 8th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition will be on display at North Charleston Riverfront Park (1001 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405) from May 2013 – March 2014. Visitors can enjoy the sculpture displays among ten acres of walking paths, a fishing pier, boardwalk, a fountain, an oversized sandbox, and children’s play area. The park is open daily and admission and parking are free.
Winners of the competition will be announced at the North Charleston Arts Festival Artist Reception on Friday, May 3, 2013, at 6:30pm. Information about the winning entries, including photos and artist statements, will be posted here in June.
About the Juror:
We are pleased to announce the Juror for the 2013/14 exhibition will be Janet Kagan, a Founding Principal of the Public Art Collaborative, an interdisciplinary consulting group that brings together artists, government representatives, arts administrators, urban planners, landscape designers, architects, and historians to initiate and refine cultural arts policies, projects, and programs. Kagan has more than three decades of experience in strategic planning with established and emergent art programs, and management of projects representing both artists and agencies. She has held positions in city government; local and statewide non-profit organizations; international architectural and interpretive design firms; and, on boards and committees of national and regional arts organizations. She leads and directs design teams, and serves as liaison among artists, clients, public agencies, and elected officials. Since 2010, Kagan and her colleagues have also been creating and directing innovative alliances between nationally recognized artists and small manufacturers in rural counties to foster economic revitalization. She is currently Associate Editor of the International Journal of the Arts In Society, participates on artist selection panels and juries, and teaches about public art to artists and communities. She holds an MA in Philosophy of Art and an MBA.
How to Submit Your Work:
Sculptors from across the nation are welcome to submit an application for participation in the 2013/14 annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Up to 15 sculptures will be juried into the exhibit and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $14,750. Deadline for submissions for the 2013/14 competition and exhibition is Friday, March 1, 2013. Applications are available for download from the “Applications & Registration Forms” page on the Cultural Arts Department section of the City’s website.
Call the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854 for more information, or to be added to the application mailing list.
2012/13 Exhibition (Currently Installed)
Sculpture artists from across the nation applied to the seventh annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, a component of the 2012 North Charleston Arts Festival. Presented by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, this unique, eleven month exhibition offers established and emerging artists the opportunity to display their thought provoking, extraordinary sculptures, as well as compete for up to $17,250 in Exhibition Honorariums and Awards. Twelve sculptures were selected by the juror, Steven Matjicio. Once installed at the exhibition site, the juror then selected pieces to receive awards for Best in Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions.
The twelve sculptures selected for exhibition are by twelve artists from seven states. Division I includes ten sculptures that are anchored to a concrete pad or in the grass. Division II includes two sculptures secured to a concrete pedestal.
Sculpture sites are located throughout the picturesque Riverfront Park, 1001 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston, SC. The park is set on the banks of the beautiful Cooper River. Visitors may enjoy ten acres of walking paths, a performance pavilion, picnic shelter, a fishing pier and boardwalk, an oversized sandbox, and children’s play fountain. The historic site is centered in the Noisette District, the largest urban redevelopment project ever undertaken in the US. North Charleston Riverfront Park is open daily and admission and parking are free.
My overall notes for the show begin with a sincere congratulations to the artists involved. They have managed to animate heavy, monumental materials with an intriguing air of animation, fluidity and the in-between. There are hard-line geometries; anthropomorphic curves; haunting memento mori; and playful industrial follies. I was impressed with the variety, as well as the consistency - public art can so quickly fade into the surroundings if it fails to resonate, and change. The work in this show hums with a sense of life that reveals more, every time the work is re-engaged.
-Steven Matjicio, May 2012
Memento Mori - Carved Limestone
I carved this piece from limestone. I started by drawing a few lines on the stone and then started carving. The line like marks are made with a claw chisel, which is essentially a multi-pronged chisel that's used to shape the stone. Typically the next chisel would be a flat or "finishing " chisel that clears away those lines, but I like at times to leave them flowing across the surface. I had no set plan, just lots of music and time.
Dream of Africa - Oiled Steel
I abide in the belief that Sculpture requires the making of something tangible as an expression of the impulse to create. Thought alone will not suffice. I make objects. Currently, when I am not teaching Sculpture at ECU, I am traveling internationally to create sculptures for “The Lodestone Project”. Details about this project can be found on my website: billingsleyatelier.com
Flutter Gate II - Galvanized Steel
I use the format of gates and doors in my sculpture in order to give the public access to my art. This interaction is an "entry" for the public to embrace art. Art is the physical manifestation of an idea or event that calls forth an emotional response from the viewer. It speaks to us and evokes a chord deep within us. Good art challenges us, makes us feel righteous, moves us, soothes us, heals us and brings us peace.
Black & White #5 - Steel, Enamel
My work has always departed from my interests. Signage, sculpture (Smith, Di Suvero, Rauschenberg), and antique transportation technology influence my forms and shapes, which support a surface finish inspired by my exploration of automotive painting techniques. Despite the specificity of my own influences, a universal visual language of patterning and shapes emerges. This language forces people to associate meaning with the work, whether they want to or not. With this tactic, I wish to slow the speed of modern life and (re)explore our connection to the past.
Spring Azure - Stone, Steel
Best in Show
The initial inspiration for this piece came from the distinctive shapes that are formed by the art of origami. It is also very important to me to use only shapes that can be found in nature. As stone is my preferred media, I began putting together different shapes of stones and the result is the piece you see before you today. We all know that butterflies are delicate and fragile and stone would seem to be an inappropriate material to use. What if, as the process of evolution began, when things were so much larger in scale than what we have become, this is the way a butterfly might have looked? That became the route that lead to the vision of the texture, shape and scale of this piece. It was a reversal of time. It seemed to me, that seeing this piece on the edge of a large building or skyscraper would be very thought provoking. It basically has to do with the play of proportion and scale.
Transcendence - Forged, Fabricated & Recycled Steel
"Transcendence: From the Surface of the Waters, To the Air" consists of a series of sculptures made from recycled steel that depict the mythological transformation of a boat with oars into a bird in flight, hence, ascending from the surface of the waters into the skies and heavens beyond. The surface of water is a sacred space, touchable yet elusive. The boat form, sometimes in the context of transformation from inanimate to animate, has served as a central metaphor in my artistic meditations for nearly a decade. It is often a symbolic representation for self, as well as a vehicle for storytelling.
The transformation of the boat into a bird is a form of ascension, furthering the mystery and otherworldliness of personal and primal existence. Many Shamans believe that the placement of birds on poles represents transcendence of the soul, or "The Flight of the Spirit." By reusing and repurposing existing materials from art and industry to create this body of work, I had the opportunity to collaborate with various individuals and businesses not normally involved with the artist community.
Leo E. Osborne
Guemes Island, WA
Coming Home - Bronze
turning, turning, turning
in the centrifugal spin
we emerge from grounded roots
to the spiraling transformation of a soaring creature
moving from darkness into the light
we are Coming Home
Scheme - Concrete
Utilizing standardized 6ft long concrete parking bumpers, Scheme, 2012, is a pyramid-like construction that economically quantifies the designated individual artist honorarium in relation to the material cost of the parking curbs employed in the sculpture itself - at the current market price of $20 per parking bumper, the given $1000 project stipend has enabled the arrangement of a 50 concrete ingot stack.
Pileated Woodpecker Totem
- Welded Steel, Natural Wood, Epoxy Resin
The sculpture was started by carpenter ants, and was continued by a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers. De-construction was by the local highway department who cut the tree into stove-length pieces, and re-construction was by the artist. The pieces were strung back together with long, threaded rods, being careful not to disturb the carving done by the woodpeckers. Once holes were drilled, the wood was treated with clear penetrating epoxy resin to “petrify” it. Painting was done to highlight the areas carved by the ants and birds. The final approach included welded steel spacers, base, buttresses and a crown, all designed to frame the work and to provide stability.
Rings - Steel
My sculpture is often a response to my reaction to some new material, or found object. I bring my own aesthetic to all of my work, but lately I feel that one of my biggest challenges is to decide whether I want my work to be about formal design or personal inspiration. I don't always succeed with either, but for now they are both goals I have set for myself.
Davis Whitfield, IV
Mountain City, TN
Mixed Emotions - Corten/Weathering Steel
Nature is a huge source of inspiration in my work. I try to incorporate gentle curves and lines seen in the natural environment around me while using aspects and ideas formed from science and technology. Merging science and nature, the forms I create sometimes take on personalities or often a memory captured in time. One specific moment in time relates to Mixed Emotions. Inspired from a conversation I had a while back with my wife. Arms crossed yet ready to forgive, the sculpture embraces that moment as you can see in the two shapes in the middle which represent two crossed arms, while the outward reaching appendage suggests an offering of the hand gesturing forgiveness.
Ambit - Stone
All I ever wanted to do was make work that reflected my love of the shapes, colors & textures of this world & to tell stories visually. Whether the sculpture subject is about music, emotional bonds, the act of being busy or constant motion, I translate fleeting, ephemeral concepts through the universal language of abstract sculpture into tangible realities. The sculpture Ambit is about claiming suzerainty over your space. In this case Ambit is claiming his right to be joyful, fold back on himself & then reappear. His joy of being alive and swaying to his own music that he hears. Constantly rolling along changing, evolving – but always joyful always moving. Ambit is one of the Exuberant Series of Sculptures.
About the Juror:
The Juror for the 2012/13 National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition is Steven Matijcio, curator of Contemporary Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA). He is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, NY, and has held positions in many important galleries and museums including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada. Matijcio’s curatorial practice is consistently cross-disciplinary, extends from the historical to the contemporary, and was honored with a 2010 Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. He has lectured on theory and criticism at the University of Manitoba, written for numerous catalogues and journals (including the Guide to the 27th Sao Paulo Biennial), and was commissioned by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to curate one of their first online exhibitions. This past summer he was chosen from an international field of candidates to take part in curatorial residencies in Gwangju, South Korea and Berlin, Germany.