Judged Fine Art & Photography Competitions & Exhibitions

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Entries for 2019 Competitions and Exhibitions will be accepted April 29 & 30. 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:
May 1, 2019, 6:00-8:00pm
May 2-4, 2019, 10:00am-6:00pm
May 5, 2019, Noon-6:00pm
Reception and award acknowledgements: Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 6:00-8:00pm

Fine Art (2018)

JudgedFineArtExFine artists are invited to participate in the annual North Charleston Arts Fest Judged Fine Art Competition & Exhibition and compete for cash awards in five categories totaling up to $6,350. Categories include acrylic, oil, drawing, pastel, watercolor, printmaking, and 2-D mixed media. Awards for the 2018 competition were at the sole discretion of the judge, Zinnia Willits. Ms. Willits is the Director of Collections and Operations at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC.  She received her M.A. in Public History from the University of South Carolina and has worked at the Gibbes since 2003, where she manages the museum’s permanent collection and oversees museum operations as well as logistics for its active exhibition and loan programs. Prior to working at the Gibbes, Ms. Willits served as Registrar for the Augusta Museum of History and Assistant Registrar for the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University. Ms. Willits is Immediate Past President of the South Carolina Federation of Museums, Vice President of the Southeastern Museums Conference, an appointed member of the 2018 National Program Committee of the American Alliance of Museums, and a Peer Reviewer for the Museum Assessment Program (in the area of Collections Stewardship.) Ms. Willits has been fortunate to work closely with local, regional, and nationally-known artists as well as with private & public collections over the course of her career at the Gibbes. Her experiences related to movement and installation of artwork are often directly connected to the nuances of a particular “process” an artist has employed giving her a unique perspective on the various qualities of all mediums of artwork.


Judge’s Statement
Thank you for the opportunity to spend an afternoon considering this wonderful exhibition of excellent, diverse, thought-provoking, quality artwork from talented artists throughout the low country. Each work was unique and skillfully executed – choosing one over another was truly a difficult task as the effort, execution, and heart put into each piece was palpable. Art can enrich our live in many ways and for me it was the instant, emotional connection I felt which drew me to certain works. Color, composition, subtle suggestions, and lights and dark all elicit a feeling for the viewer that is memorable. The calm of “Tranquilo,” my choice for Best in Show, brought me back to the piece again and again – and each time I considered the painting it revealed another hidden detail, in the waves and the figures, and the sky – and flooded my mind with memories of my own tranquil days at the ocean. Art and beauty are essential human needs. Embrace and support the arts. Always.
-Zinnia Willits, 5/2/18

Best in Show – “Tranquilo” (oil) by Gretchen Trees (Charleston, SC)

Outstanding Merit – “After A Long Day” (mixed media) by Susanne Frenzel (Mt. Pleasant, SC)

Mayor’s Choice – “Spring I” (acrylic) by Amanda Richards (Charleston, SC)

Best Oil – “Landscape Looking Glass” (oil) by Rick Austin (Folly Beach, SC)

Best Acrylic – “I Saw You in a Dream” (acrylic) by Christine Blythe (Charleston, SC)

Best Drawing –  “I’ve Heard A 1000 Stories” (drawing) by Bob Graham (Mt. Pleasant, SC)

Best Pastel – “Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice” (pastel) by Laura Cody (Summerville, SC)

Best Watercolor – “Main Street” (watercolor) by Victoria Ellis (Summerville, SC)

Best Mixed Media – “Gold Rush” (mixed media) by Deborah Kinnard Barrineau (Johns Island, SC)

Best Print Making – “Moon” (printmaking) by Katherine Martinez (Goose Creek, SC)

Best Portrait/Figure – “Smiling at Dede” (drawing) by Dorthea Gerber (Summerville, SC)

Best Landscape – “Spin Drift” (oil) by Faye Sullivan (Mt. Pleasant, SC)

Best Still Life/Interior – “Ceiling-East Bay St. III” (watercolor) by Lynn Mizell (Johns Island, SC)

Best Animal/Wildlife – “Elephant Charging” (oil) by Robert Maniscalco (North Charleston, SC)

Best Abstract/Experimental -“Rowan” (oil) by Caroline McLeod Self (Summerville, SC)

Honorable Mentions
“Praise Dance” (oil) by Marvin Youngblood (Charleston, SC)
“Designer Pets, Designer People” (acrylic) by Meyriel J. Edge (Summerville, SC)
“Flying Home” (acrylic) by Sally Accetta (Goose Creek, SC)
“Tempestuous” (acrylic) by Tracy Gransraw (Mt. Pleasant, SC)
“Porch Pup” (drawing) by Kirsten Kelly (North Charleston, SC)
“Model Figure” (pastel) by Peggy Howe (Mt. Pleasant, SC)
“Three’s Company” (watercolor) by Suzanna Wolfe (Mt. Pleasant, SC)
“Overflow” (mixed media) by Sage Jadrnick (Chester, SC)
“The Fleet” (acrylic) by Sean Patrick (North Charleston, SC)
“Fest” (acrylic) by Pedro Rodriguez (Goose Creek, SC)

City of North Charleston Purchase Awards
“After A Long Day” (mixed media) by Susanne Frenzel (Mt. Pleasant, SC)
“Ceiling-East Bay St. III” (watercolor) by Lynn Mizell (Johns Island, SC)
“The View” (acrylic) by Katherine Dunlap (Charleston, SC)
“Bottles Up” (acrylic) by Cherri Sterling (Mount Pleasant, SC)
“Top Soil” (oil) by Dorothy Allston Rogers (North Charleston, SC)

Photography (2018)

JudgedPhotogExProfessional 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 2018 were at the sole discretion of the judge, David “Sully” Sullivan. A native of Charleston, SC, Sullivan has lived and worked in New York and California, and currently resides in Charleston, where he maintains a studio when not on location. He regularly shoots on film and his work runs the gamut of fashion, portrait, lifestyle, travel, editorial, and product photography. Recent clients include Volvo, Oscar de la Renta, and The Wall Street Journal.

2018 Winners

Judge’s Statement
Such a great show! Love seeing how many talented artists are in the Charleston area. So may great photos from all areas of wildlife, landscape, and people. Keep up the great work, keep pushing yourselves to new heights, push your creative boundaries, and try something new every day!
-David “Sully” Sullivan, 5/2/18

Professional/Advanced Color
1st place – “The Look” by Jennifer Hunt (Andrews, SC)
2nd place – “Egret Eye” by Raymond C. Murray (Charleston, SC)
3rd place – “After the Rain” by Matthew Krausmann (Summerville, SC)
Honorable Mentions:
“Morning in the Marsh” by Kathy Hare (Charleston, SC)
“Early Morning Beach Walk” by Vanessa Kauffman (Charleston, SC)
“Below the Milky Way” by Robert Loe (North Charleston, SC)
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Pamela Oliveras (Hanahan, SC)
“Three Black Hats” by Sonny Dugal (Mount Pleasant, SC)
“Universal Love” by Jim Miller (Mount Pleasant, SC)

Professional/Advanced Monochrome
1st place – “The Boys Watching the Girls” by Jim Miller (Mount Pleasant, SC)
2nd place – “Washed Out” by Sean Hartman (Summerville, SC)
3rd place – “Distinguished” by Angie Bridges (Summerville, SC)

Amateur Color
1st place – “Naomi” by Olga Terechova (Charleston, SC)
2nd place – “A Maine Daybreak” by Rick Dandridge (Summerville, SC)
3rd place – “Flowers and Vegetable Garden” by V. Kirsten Colquitt (Charleston, SC)
Honorable Mentions:
“The Two of Us” by Phillip W. Ravenel (Goose Creek, SC)
“Believe” by Heike Helbig (Summerville, SC)

Amateur Monochrome
1st place – “Park Knight” by Paul Bryant (Summerville, SC)
2nd place – “Making Memories” by Scott Lynch (North Charleston, SC)
3rd place – “Feminine Youth” by Renee Porcu (Goose Creek, SC)
Honorable Mentions:
“Resurrection” by Paul Bryant (Summerville, SC)
“Sign of Experience” by Paul Bryant (Summerville, SC)
“Mere Appearance” by Francis McLeod (Charleston, SC)
“M- powered” by Christopher Cross (Moncks Corner, SC)