Arts Fest Frequently Asked Questions
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 application release schedule. 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 2019 are Thursday, May 2-Saturday, May 4, 10am-6pm, and Sunday, May 5, Noon-6pm.
Q: Will there be food/drinks available for purchase at events?
Q: Where can I purchase Arts Fest merchandise?
A: Arts Fest merchandise is available for purchase during the festival (May 1-5, 2019) at information booths at the Arts Fest’s flagship events, as well Exhibit Hall A of the Charleston Area Convention Center (5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418).
Q: How do I purchase a piece of art on display?
A: Staff is conducting art sales for pieces in the Judged Fine Art, Judged Photography, SC Palmetto Hands Fine Craft, and North Charleston City Gallery Exhibits 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 will move away from the traditional two-day showcase we have produced at the Charleston Area Convention Center known as the Arts Expo. For many years we have struggled with parking issues for our performers, vendors, and guests as a result of college graduations occurring at the same time as the Arts Fest Expo. Construction of a new parking deck at the Coliseum/Convention Center Complex in the Spring of 2019 will reduce the number of parking spaces even further, making it even more difficult for our guests to access the event. Additionally, it has been noted through patron surveys and market trends that people prefer to attend outdoor events and celebrations during this time of year as the weather is so pleasant. Taking these factors, among others, into account, we have decided to switch our focus in 2019 to a new event that highlights some of the more popular components of the Arts Expo. The Arts Fest is proud to host the inaugural World Arts Expo at North Charleston Riverfront Park on Saturday, May 4, 2019. This new flagship 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, May 1-5. Viewing hours are Wednesday, May 1, 6-8pm (opening reception); Thursday-Saturday, May 2-4, 10am-6pm; and Sunday, May 5, noon-6pm. Another new event called the Arts Fest Exhibition Encore will be 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 5, from noon-6pm, 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, hands-on activities, 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 2019! 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. 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. It would include alcohol ink.
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: 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, Palmetto Hands, and the National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibits will be acknowledged at our opening reception, Wednesday, May 1, 6:30pm (reception scheduled for 6-8pm). Join us for wine and refreshments 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. Youth Art & High School Sculpture awards will be in place by the reception on May 1, but winners will be formally acknowledged at noon on Sunday, May 5, at the Arts Fest Exhibition Encore.