Celebration of arts returns for 39th year with full line-up of FREE events
The 39th annual North Charleston Arts Fest is just one month away, set to take place May 4-8. The celebration of arts and culture highlights the talents of regional and local artists and performers in the areas of music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and literature. Performances, activities, and exhibits take place in a variety of venues throughout the city of North Charleston with free admission for all. Residents and visitors can enjoy concerts, dance performances, comedy, art demos, kid’s programs, a variety of exhibitions, an Arty Block Party, and more. Complete details about the five-day event are available at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.
Exhibit Hall A at the Charleston Area Convention Center will host the Arts Fest’s Judged Art & Photography, South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft, and Tri-County Youth Art & High School Sculpture Competitions & Exhibitions during the entire run of the festival, May 4-8. Viewing hours are Wednesday, May 4, 6-8pm; Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7, 10am-6pm; and Sunday, May 8, noon-5pm. Award winners of the competitions will be acknowledged at 6:30pm during the Arts Fest Opening Celebration on Wednesday, May 4. The event, which takes place from 6-8pm, features food, music, and more, set among the hundreds of pieces of artwork on display. The Exhibition Encore on Sunday, May 8, from 2-5pm, serves as a closing reception, allowing patrons to view the artwork in a festive atmosphere and make final decisions on purchases. In addition to a final look at the exhibits, the event offers musical entertainment, a live painting demo, and complimentary “bites and bubbles.”
Other visual art highlights include a solo exhibit at Park Circle Gallery featuring mixed media works by the Arts Fest’s poster design competition winner Deborah Kinard and the 16th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition installed at North Charleston Riverfront Park. North Charleston City Hall will display the 15th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition – From Chaos to Beloved Community: Envisioning Social Justice, as well as a wearable art exhibition by California-based contemporary folk artist, Rachel D.K. Clark. Clark will present a fashion show as a supplement to her exhibition on Thursday, May 5, from 6-7:30pm, which takes place concurrently with the free public reception for the African American Fiber Art Exhibition.
Theatre, music, and dance offerings during this year’s Arts Fest run the gamut. Concerts range from bossa nova and bluegrass to folk and funk to rock and reggae, and take place in a variety of venues, including restaurants, distilleries, libraries, chapels, and parks. A World Dance Showcase at the new performance pavilion in Oak Terrace Preserve will be held from 12-4pm on Saturday, May 7. The event showcases traditional, folk, and modern dances of cultures from around the world by local performers in vibrant costumes. This new venue will also host a jazz fusion concert by Momentum, a newly formed music group presented by Charleston Jazz, on Thursday, May 5, at 6:30pm, as well as a magic show by North Carolina-based performer Professor Whizzpop at 3:30pm on Friday, May 6. Comedy returns to the festival on Thursday, May 5. Dashi will transform into the hottest comedy club in the region as it welcomes local comedic host Bill Davis, along with regional talents Cam Bertrand (Tampa, FL), Jeremy McLellan (N. Charleston, SC), and Dedrick Flynn (Atlanta, GA). And, of course, the performing and visual arts come together at the Arts Fest Arty Block Party on Friday, May 6, from 5-8:30pm on East Montague Avenue. The street art market features vendor booths with local artists, makers, and arts-related businesses and organizations, live music by The Yacht Club (5-6;30pm) and Ras B & ReggaeInfinity (7-8:30pm), along with a variety of roving entertainers.
Complete information on all 2022 North Charleston Arts Fest offerings and participation opportunities is available at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. Applications are currently being accepted for vendor space at the Arty Block Party. Entry instructions for the Festival’s Judged Fine Art Exhibition, Judged Photography Exhibition, Tri-County Youth Art Exhibition, and Tri-County High School Sculpture Exhibition, as well as volunteer sign-up forms are also available. Forms can be downloaded at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply.