The 2021 North Charleston Arts Fest is just one month away, taking place April 28-May 2. 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 $6,550. This year, categories have expanded from seven to eight accepted mediums to include new media. New media utilizes digital technology or graphic software, such as Procreate or Adobe Illustrator, to create original artwork. New media entries for this exhibition must be printed and ready for display. The full list of accepted media categories includes acrylic, oil, drawing, pastel, watercolor, printmaking, printed new media, and 2-D mixed media. Awards will be at the sole discretion of the judge, Greg Colleton, Executive Director of Yo Art! Inc. in Charleston, SC. A native of McClellanville, he developed a passion for art as a student while attending the Charleston Co. School of the Arts. He went on to receive his BA in Studio Art from Winston-Salem State University, where he curated exhibitions for the 4D Gallery, Dada Center of the Arts, and the University Gallery. After returning to the Charleston area to pursue a career in arts management, he opened a contemporary art space called Gris Galerie and later joined REDUX Contemporary Art Center as Director of Operations. Greg has curated several exhibitions around the state including the Piccolo Spoleto Juried Exhibition at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, the Charleston Parks Conservancy, and for Greenville’s Artisphere Festival. In 2019, he became the Director of Development of Yo Art!, a nonprofit that brings media arts and technology into public schools through coding, photography, filmmaking, and design projects. He began serving as Executive Director of Yo Art! Inc. in April 2020.
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, Leslie Burns. Burns received her BA with concentrations in Photography and Sculpture from the College of Charleston in 1999. In 2011, she earned her MFA in Photography from Lamar Dodd School of Art at University of Georgia. Mrs. Burns has been an Instructor of Photography at the University of Georgia, Trident Technical College, Redux Contemporary Art Center, and the College of Charleston. Her artwork has been exhibited internationally and has been featured on Fotosavant.com, Lenscratch.com, OneOneThousand.org and The Hand Magazine. In June 2012, Burns was named as one of the “100 Under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art” by Oxford American Magazine.
Fine art and photography entries will be accepted at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Monday and Tuesday, April 26 and 27, 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 fine art entry and $5 per photography 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, April 28, 6:00-8:00pm, Thursday through Saturday, April 29-May 1, 10:00am–6:00pm, and Sunday, May 2, Noon-5:00pm. Award winners will be acknowledged at Arts Fest Opening Celebration in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, April 28, 6:00-8:00pm. The free public celebration features food, music, a free raffle, live painting demonstrations, and more, set among the hundreds of pieces of artwork on display. The Exhibition Encore will be held on Sunday, May 2, from noon-5pm. 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, and complimentary “bubbles and bites” from 2-5pm.
The North Charleston Arts Fest, set for April 28-May 2, returns this year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival schedule that offers something for all to enjoy, including concerts, theatre presentations, dance performances, workshops & demonstrations, exhibitions, virtual programs, and 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, or call 843-740-5854.