Judged Fine Art & Photography Competitions & Exhibitions

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Entries for 2021 Competitions and Exhibitions will be accepted from noon-7pm on April 26 & 27 at the loading dock of the Charleston Area Convention Center. Check the prospectus for instructions (no pre-jury or application required). Call the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854 for more information or to be added to the prospectus email list.

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Where & When

Charleston Area Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A
5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418
Free admission & parking
Viewing times:
April 28, 2021, 6:00-8:00pm
April 29-May 1, 2021, 10:00am-6:00pm
May 2, 2021, Noon-5:00pm
Opening Celebration (includes award acknowledgements): Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 6:00-8:00pm

***Due to the ongoing vaccination clinic operating in the Coliseum/Convention Center Parking Garage, parking for all Arts Fest events on the campus will take place in Lot C of the Performing Arts Center. Patrons may access this lot easily from the West Montague Avenue side of the complex.  Follow posted signage to enter the Arts Fest events area inside Convention Center Exhibit Hall A.***

Fine Art

Fine artists are invited to participate in the annual North Charleston Arts Fest Judged Fine Art Competition & Exhibition and compete for cash awards in multiple categories totaling up to $6,350. Categories include acrylic, oil, drawing, pastel, watercolor, printmaking, 2-D mixed media, and printed new media (new in 2021!). Awards for the 2021 competition 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.

Best in Show: Bob Graham, Watercolor, “The Bunk House”
Outstanding Merit: Emil Hristov, Acrylic, “Bill Murray”
Mayor’s Choice:  Tracy C. Gansrow, Oil, “Yellow Rose of Charleston”
Best in Oil: Maura Condon, “Foliage”
Best in Acrylic: Kelly Kernich, “All Smiles”
Best in Drawing: Bob Graham, “Curtis Nemo Texas”
Best in Pastel: Trish Emery, ”Cluster’s Last Stand”
Best in Watercolor: Jazzy Jordan, “Marshall Mae”
Best in Mixed Media: Kate Ritchie, “Echoes From the Void”
Best Printmaking: Luke Walchuk, “Stele”
Best in Printed New Media: Carson Carroll, “Trash and Seek 1”
Best in Portrait/Figure: Dan Diehl, Drawing, “Raw”
Best Landscape: Brad Carroll, Oil, “Rua de Sant’Ana
Best Still life/Interior: Steven Jordan, Watercolor, “Bottoms Up”
Best Animal/Wildlife: Richard Rose, Acrylic, “Bad Hair Day”
Best Abstract/Experimental: Anne T. Nielsen, Oil, “Deciphering Humanity”
Honorable Mention: Karyn Healey, Oil, “Hello Beautiful”
Honorable Mention: Linda Wasielewski, Oil, “Legacy”
Honorable Mention: Austin Reynolds, Oil, “Saint of Nature’s Love”
Honorable Mention: Don Roberts, Waterolor, “No. 10 Meeting
Honorable Mention: Sean Patrick, Mixed Media, “Vandal”
Honorable Mention: Tasmeen Dugal, Mixed Media, “Black Lives Matter”
Honorable Mention: Catherine Townsend, Pastel, “The Best Medicine
Honorable Mention: Avin B. Glen, Pastel, “Boy With Fowl”
Honorable Mention: Matt Cook , Printmaking, “The Lookout”
Honorable Mention: Mary Brigman, Pastel, “Evening Glow”
City Purchase Awards:
Karyn Healey, Oil, “Hello, Beautiful”
Sean Patrick, Mixed Media, “Vandal”
Kate Martinez, Mixed Media, “Streams on Dry Land”
Christine Blyth, Acrylic, “Festivities”
Peggy Howe, Pastel, “Dramatic Light”

It was a pleasure serving as this year’s judge for the Judged Fine Art Competition for the North Charleston Arts Fest. Having served on many  jurying panels, this has been one of the most difficult selection processes. Every piece was unique, creative, and shows artistic merit. It was refreshing to see the bold statements, expression, and risks most of the artists took. From the subject matter, colors, composition, and experimental qualities, this collection of work embodies the ever-growing and ever-changing culture of our region. I look forward to seeing the progression of our art community.

-Greg Colleton, 28 April 2021


Professional and amateur photographers are invited to participate in the annual North Charleston Arts Fest Judged Photography Competition & Exhibition and compete for cash awards in two categories totaling $1,450. Categories include color and monochrome. Awards for 2021 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.


Professional – Color
1st place: Jim Miller – “I Think I’m Gonna Have a Headache”
2nd place: Kimberly Bryant – “Ruby Goddess”
3rd place: Joanna Biondolillo – “Impact”

Professional – Monochrome
1st place: Raymond Colin Murray – “Josie & Mrs. Shirley Mae”
2nd place: Paul Bryant – “The Emotional Toll”
3rd place: Peter Ingrasselino – “Time Together”

Amateur – Color
1st place: Joseph Medina Silva – “8532 Magnolia Springs”
2nd place: Olga Tenekhova – “Pops of War II”
3rd place: Medina Platt – “Kitty the Dog” 

Amateur – Monochrome
1st place: Jessica Greaux – “Death Valley Dunes”
2nd place: Rick Dandridge – “En Suite”
3rd place: Jessica Greaux – “Yosemite Wonders”

Honorable Mentions:
Paul Bryant – “Midnight Express” (Professional Color)
Raymond Colin Murray – “Light in the Darkness” (Professional Monochrome)
Medina Platt – “Lonely Flowers” (Amateur Color)
Diana Joan Vincent – “She Listen” (Amateur Color)
Jimmy Hartnett – “Reaching Out” (Amateur Color)
Jimmy Hartnett – “Light House” (Amateur Color)
Phillip W. Ravenel – “ME and I” (Amateur Color)
Raymond Colin Murray – “Breaking Through” (Professional Color)
Sonny Dugal – “Through the Looking Glass” (Professional Color)
Joanna Biondolillo – “The Wayward Inn” (Professional Color)
Jim Miller – “Comet Neowise Over Lake Moultrie” (Professional Color)
Kimberly Bryant – “The Entrance” (Professional Color)

As a local professional artist and educator, I am honored to judge this year’s North Charleston Arts Fest Photography exhibition. The medium of photography lends itself to various types of image making. I am impressed with the diverse and accomplished works. The entries represent a large spectrum of talent. The artistic merit and skill are commendable.

Judging works of art is completely subjective. Whether the works be figurative or representational, I choose them first based on the formal elements of art making: composition, line, color, value, etc. Some works transcend technique and inspire the viewer to ask questions. After careful observation, analysis, and interpretation of the submissions, I chose works that are imaginative, complex, original, and held my attention.

Thank you to the artists who contributed to this exhibition and congratulations for your courage to show your photographs. I appreciate you sharing your artwork and look forward to seeing more of it in the future.

-Leslie Burns, 28 April 2021