Sculpture artists from across the nation applied to the 11th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, displayed at the picturesque North Charleston Riverfront Park and presented as a component of the 2016 North Charleston Arts Fest. Organized annually 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 $16,250 in honorariums and awards.
Twelve out of 54 submissions were pre-juried into the exhibition by the juror, James Davis, ASLA, founder/president of Sculpture in the Landscape, a NC based firm. Once installed at the exhibition site, Davis then made his selections for Best of Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions. After determining the award winners, he offered the following juror’s statement:
“What’s it supposed to be?” the elderly couple inquired as I was pondering my decisions for the awards. There was no signage yet so not even a title for them to go with. I told them the name of the piece, shared what it meant to me and suggested maybe they decide what it means to them. After a short pause, “Hmmmmmm…” was the reply.
Hmmmmmm, indeed! That’s what is so wonderful about art. Even if you don’t understand it, it can still make you feel Hmmmmmm! I always think it’s better to know the message the artist is revealing, but missing that, if we just pause for a moment, we will know what it means to us! So the attraction might be the message or it could be the creativity or the craftsmanship or the design or the aesthetics or the complexity (or simplicity) or the attention to detail. Sometimes it’s all of these!!! As juror, that’s what I hope to find.
My choices of sculptures to take part in the exhibit were an effort to select pieces that presented a range of materials, colors, textures and emotions. My choices for the awards lean towards my personal notions of creativity, craftsmanship and attention to detail.
I hope all the visitors to this wonderful park will take some time to stop and reflect upon each sculpture. It may not be for the same reason but if they pause, I think they’ll find something to make them say Hmmmmmm!!
The twelve sculptures selected for exhibition are by twelve artists from three states. Congratulations to the winners of the 2016/17 National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition:
Truce by Adam Walls (Hope Mills, NC)
Outstanding Merit: Orpheus by Paris Alexander (Raleigh, NC)
Honorable Mention: Off by One by Casey Narron (Kenly, NC)
Honorable Mention: January Wind by Bob Doster (Lancaster, SC)
Honorable Mention: Cubes in Motion by Hanna Jubran (Grimesland, NC)
Red Balance by Carl Billingsley (Ayden, NC)
Mare and Foal by Edward Byrd (Mt. Pleasant, SC)
Undulation by Jordan Fowler (Mt. Pleasant, SC)
Creatures of the Sky II by Jim Gallucci (Greensboro, NC)
Voyageur Outdoor by Corrina Sephora (Atlanta, GA)
Swing Thing by Adam Walls (Hope Mills, NC)
Go Take a Hike by Davis Whitfield (Sylva, NC)
Sculpture sites are located throughout North Charleston Riverfront Park, located at 1001 Everglades Avenue on the former Charleston Naval Base. The park is set on the banks of the beautiful Cooper River. In addition to the sculptures, 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. Park is open daily during daylight hours. Admission and parking are free. The 2016/17 National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition will be on display through March 22, 2017. For more information or to be added to the application mailing list for the 2017/18 competition, please call the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the sculpture exhibition, visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.