Arts Fest Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When is the next North Charleston Arts Fest?
A: Wednesday, April 28- Sunday, May 2, 2021
Q: Where does the Arts Fest take place?
A: The Arts Fest takes place in a variety of venues throughout North Charleston, SC, including libraries, community centers, businesses, schools, parks, and more. Check out the event calendar for location details on each festival program.
Q: How can I participate in the Arts Fest as an artist, performer, or vendor?
A: Artists, performers, and vendors for the Arts Fest are selected through an open application process. Visit the APPLY page for a look at the available applications. Many of the applications are free.
Q: Where is my child’s artwork being displayed?
A: The Tri-County Youth Art and Tri-County High School Sculpture Exhibitions are on display in Exhibit Hall A of the Charleston Area Convention Center (5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418). Viewing hours for 2021 are Thursday, April 29-Saturday, May 1, 10am-6pm, and Sunday, May 2, Noon-5pm.
Q: Will there be food/drinks available for purchase at events?
A: Select Arts Fest events will have food available for purchase. Check event listings for details.
Q: Where can I purchase Arts Fest merchandise?
A: Arts Fest merchandise is available for purchase during the festival (April 28-May 2, 2021) at Exhibit Hall A of the Charleston Area Convention Center (5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418) and Park Circle Gallery (4820 Jenkins Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405).
Q: How do I purchase a piece of art on display?
A: Staff is conducting sales of artwork in the Judged Fine Art, Judged Photography, SC Palmetto Hands Fine Craft, and North Charleston City Gallery Exhibit inside of Exhibit Hall A of the Charleston Area Convention Center (5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418). Sales for exhibits on display at North Charleston City Hall, such as the African American Fiber Art Exhibition, are managed in the Cultural Arts Dept. office located on the 2nd floor of City Hall (2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC 29406).
Q: Where is the Gem & Mineral Show?
A: The Lowcountry Gem & Mineral Society is no longer producing the annual Gem & Mineral Show that was previously a component of the North Charleston Arts Fest.
Q: What happened to the two-day Arts Expo at the Convention Center?
A: In 2019, the North Charleston Arts Fest moved away from the traditional two-day showcase we produced at the Charleston Area Convention Center known as the Arts Expo. Instead, we have switched our focus to a new event that highlights some of the more popular components of the Arts Expo. The Arts Fest is proud to host the 2nd annual World Arts Expo at North Charleston Riverfront Park on Saturday, May 2, 2020. This principal event is a celebration of visual and performing arts from cultures around the world! Enjoy the spring weather while experiencing a diverse line-up of music and dance performances, live art demonstrations, multi-cultural food offerings, art & craft vendors, hands-on activities, roving entertainment, and a kid’s zone.
Q: If you are no longer producing the Arts Expo, what will happen to all of the visual art exhibits at the Convention Center?
A: Exhibit Hall A at the Charleston Area Convention Center will continue to host the Art’s Fest’s Judged Art & Photography, SC Palmetto Hands Fine Craft, and Tri-County Youth Art Exhibitions during the entire run of the Arts Fest, April 28-May 2, 2021. Viewing hours are Wednesday, April 28, 6-8pm (Opening Celebration); Thursday-Saturday, April 29-May 1, 10am-6pm; and Sunday, May 2, Noon-5pm. Another new event called the Arts Fest Exhibition Encore was introduced in 2019 as a means to encourage patrons to view these exhibits, much as they have in the past at the Arts Expo. The Exhibition Encore on Sunday, May 2, from Noon-5pm, serves as a closing reception/celebration highlighting the exhibitions hosted at the Convention Center. In addition to the vast array of artwork on display, the event offers musical entertainment, live art demonstrations, and more.
JUDGED FINE ART, PHOTOGRAPHY & YOUTH ART COMPETITIONS/EXHIBITIONS
Q: Do I need to complete an application to enter my work in the Judged Fine Art or Photography Competition/Exhibitions?
A: No, there is no pre-registration or application required for these opportunities. Artists and photographers must simply drop-off their work during the designated times outlined in the prospectus. The prospectus contains all terms/regulations/entry instructions and can be accessed here.
Q: Where do I drop off my entries?
A: There is a NEW designated artwork drop-off area at the Convention Center Complex in 2021! Entries should be delivered to the Exhibit Hall loading dock. Access the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex from West Montague Avenue. Turn onto Amsterdam Street, then turn left into the loading dock area. Park your vehicle and walk entries into the Exhibit Hall A loading door. Directional signs will be posted. View the map!
Q: How many entries can I submit?
A: There is a maximum of 4 entries total per artist in Judged Fine Art ($10 per art entry) and 4 entries total per photographer in Judged Photography ($5 per photo entry).
Q: What is the difference between 2-D and 3-D art?
A: 2-D is artwork that exists in two dimensions (length and width), and is flat like a painting on canvas. 3-D art has three dimensions (height, length, and depth) and is an object in space, like a sculpture or a piece of pottery.
Q: What are the rules regarding relief or 3-D elements in the Judged Art Exhibition?
A: As per prospectus, no 3-D objects or elements accepted.
Q: What are the rules regarding Mixed Media in the Judged Art Exhibition?
A: As per prospectus, only 2-D mixed media pieces are accepted in the Judged Fine Art Competition & Exhibition. Submissions may not contain 3-D objects or elements. Mixed media can be described as a mix of acceptable mediums previously outlined and would not include photography or digital art. Artists submitting 2-D mixed media works must list mediums on title card at drop-off.
Q: Why are Drawing and Pastel different categories ?
A: Pastels can historically be considered both drawing and painting, depending on the amount of pastel covering the surface of the paper or canvas. In order to avoid any confusion, Pastel is its own category.
Q: What is New Media?
A: 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.
Q: Why does my piece have to be ready to hang? Do you have supplies for me to wire my piece?
A: As per prospectus, works must be “ready to hang securely with wire.” No supplies will be made available. There is a Walmart near Tanger Outlets across from the Convention Center that may have supplies available.
Q: What are the rules regarding relief or 3-D elements on Youth Artwork?
A: As noted in prospectus, “no 3D objects/elements that measure more than 1/8” from surface” are allowed. Pieces incorporating objects like sequins, googly eyes, and tissue paper will be accepted.
Q: When will awards be announced?
A: Winners for Judged Fine Art and Photography, South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft, and the National Outdoor Sculpture Competitions will be acknowledged at our Opening Celebration on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 6:30pm (full event scheduled for 6-8pm). Join us for free food/bevs, live music, painting demos, and get a first look at the art on display in Exhibit Hall A. Winners will also be notified by mail with a letter and w-9 form to complete.