The 2019 North Charleston Arts Fest is just a three weeks way, taking place May 1-5. The event offers some excellent exhibition opportunities for fine artists and photographers ages 16 and up, including the annual Judged Fine Art and Judged Photography Competitions & Exhibitions. Entries for these judged competitions are eligible for ribbons and cash prizes and will be on display throughout the festival in Exhibit Hall A at the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Complete details and entry instructions for all exhibition opportunities are available for download at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply. There is no pre-jury process or application to complete.
Judged Fine Art Competition & Exhibition
Fine artists age 18 and up are invited to enter original work into the annual North Charleston Arts Fest Judged Fine Art Competition & Exhibition and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $6,350. Judged Art entries will be accepted in seven media categories: acrylic, oil, drawing, pastel, watercolor, printmaking, and 2-D mixed media. Awards will be at the sole discretion of the judge, Hannah Shepard. Shepard is a visual artist and Executive Director of the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design in 2017. Awarded magna cum laude from College of Charleston, her undergraduate degree was a double major in Arts Administration and Studio Art with a minor in Art History. She has exhibited her work throughout Charleston and Atlanta, while also working as an assistant gallery director and interning for museums and non-profit spaces. In 2017, she became the Executive Director at 701 Center for Contemporary Art, a non-profit arts organization with year-round museum quality contemporary art exhibitions, a rotating artist residency program, as well as additional educational programming and events
Fine art entries will be accepted at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Monday and Tuesday, April 29 and 30, from noon to 7:00pm. Artists should note there is a new drop-off location for entries. Entries should be delivered to the Exhibit Hall loading dock at the rear of the Convention Center, which can be accessed from Amsterdam Street via West Montague Avenue. A map and directions are included in the prospectus. Artists may enter any combination of categories with a maximum of four entries total. A non-refundable fee of $10 per entry is due at drop-off.
Judged Photography Competition & Exhibition
Professional and amateur photographers age 16 and up are invited to enter original prints into the annual North Charleston Arts Fest Judged Photography Competition & Exhibition and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $1,450. Submissions will be accepted in the Professional/Advanced division or Amateur division under the categories of Color and Monochrome. This year, awards will be at the sole discretion of the judge, Jeffery Rich. Rich’s work focuses on water issues ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse. He explores these subjects by using long-term photographic documentations of very specific regions of the United States. Jeff received his MFA in Photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. His project Watershed: A Survey of The French Broad River was awarded the 2010 Critical Mass Book Award and was published as a monograph in 2012. His work has been exhibited across the US and internationally and is held in several public and private collections. In 2017, Watershed: The Tennessee River was published with Fall Line Press. Jeff also curates the weekly series Eyes on the South for Oxford American Magazine.
Photography entries will be accepted at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Monday and Tuesday, April 29 and 30, from noon to 7:00pm. Artists should note there is a new drop-off location for entries. Entries should be delivered to the Exhibit Hall loading dock at the rear of the Convention Center, which can be accessed from Amsterdam Street via West Montague Avenue. A map and directions are included in the prospectus. Artists may enter any combination of categories with a maximum of four entries total. A non-refundable fee of $5 per entry is due at drop-off.
The Judged Fine Art and Photography Exhibitions are free and open to the public throughout the entirety of the North Charleston Arts Fest. Viewing times are Wednesday, May 1, 6:00-8:00pm, Thursday through Saturday, May 2-4, 10:00am–6:00pm, and Sunday, May 5, Noon-6:00pm. Award winners will be acknowledged at a free public reception in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, May 1, 6:00-8:00pm. Musical entertainment will be provided by Coastal Chamber Musicians and wine and refreshments will be served. The public is welcome to attend. A new Arts Fest event called the Exhibition Encore will be held on Sunday, May 5, from noon-6pm. This free event serves as a closing reception and celebration of these exhibitions, allowing patrons to view the artwork in a festive atmosphere and make final decisions on purchases. In addition to the vast array of artwork on display, the event offers musical entertainment, live art demonstrations, hands-on activities, and more.
The North Charleston Arts Fest, set for May 1-5, has matured into one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in the state of South Carolina with a schedule that offers something for everyone, including concerts, theatre presentations, children’s programs, dance performances, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, public art installations, and much more. For more information about the Arts Fest, to download the prospectus for the Judged Fine Art and Judged Photography Competitions & Exhibitions, or for details on vending opportunities, visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. For more information about other exhibition opportunities offered by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website, northcharleston.org, or call 843-740-5854.