Sculpture artists from across the nation applied to the 13th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, displayed at the picturesque North Charleston Riverfront Park and presented as a component of the 2018 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 $19,750 in honorariums and awards.
Thirteen out of 94 submissions were pre-juried into the exhibition by the juror, Lilly Wei, New York-based independent curator, writer, journalist, lecturer, and critic. Once installed at the exhibition site, Wei then made her selections for Best in Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions. After determining the award winners, she offered the following juror’s statement:
I would like to begin by congratulating all the artists in this wonderful exhibition and wishing you much success. It is never easy to choose and even more difficult to select just one “best in show,” and one “outstanding merit” but it is good that a few others can be singled out also. I would further state the obvious, that these endeavors are inevitably subjective, influenced by the juror’s own inclinations and criteria, conscious and unconscious. I would add that these are my readings of the works, not necessarily those of the artists although that is what art should do—evoke myriad responses from its viewers.
That said, Joni Younkins-Herzog’s Vuida earned Best inShow. I very much liked its playfulness and a subversive feminism that quickly shifted into the feminist, as the flower became a trumpet of sorts, a loudspeaker, perhaps, that says that flowers, (and women) should speak out, boldly broadcasting messages that need to be heard. She upends a traditional still life vanitas motif about ephemerality into something more political, activist, and of the moment.
The sculptures selected for exhibition are by thirteen artists from ten states. Congratulations to the winners of the 2018/19 National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition:
Vuida by Joni Youkins-Herzog (Athens, GA)
Outstanding Merit: Yellowfish by John Ross (Long Branch, NJ)
Honorable Mention: Hallelujah by Charlie Brouwer (Willis, VA)
Honorable Mention: Battery No. 1 by Lena Daly (Los Angeles, CA)
Honorable Mention: Moonlight Sonata by Hanna Jubran (Grimesland, NC)
The Sound of Everything – Bassoon by Shaun Cassidy (Rock Hill, SC)
Wind by Bob Doster (Lancaster, SC)
Electric Horse by Normon Greene (Brentwood, MD)
Ollie’s Buoy Roger Halligan (Chattanooga, TN)
Gothic Family by Beau Lyday (Valdese, NC)
Oculi Aqua by Carmen Rojas (Ocala, FL)
The Wealth of Fools by Gregory Smith (North Pownal, VT)
Core Oracle by Adam Walls (Hope Mills, 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 2018/19 National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition will be on display through March 24, 2019. For more information or to be added to the application mailing list for the 2019/20 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 https://northcharlestonartsfest.com/national-outdoor-sculpture-competition-exhibition/.