National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition

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Sculptors from across the nation are welcome to submit an application for participation in the 13th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Up to 14 sculptures are juried into the exhibit and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $19,750. The application for 2018/19 is now available. The deadline to apply is February 25, 2018. Call the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854 for more information, or to be added to the application mailing list.
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2018/19 Competition & Exhibition
(Now accepting applications!)

Where & When

North Charleston Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405
Viewing times: May 1, 2018 – March 24, 2019, public park open daily
Free admission & parking
Award announcements: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 – 6:00-8:30pm (Charleston Area Convention Center Exhibit Hall A, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418)

About the Juror

We are pleased to announce the juror for this year’s exhibition is Lilly Wei, New York-based independent curator, writer, journalist, lecturer, and critic. Wei has written for dozens of publications here and abroad and is a longtime contributor to Art in America and a contributing editor at ARTnews. She is the author of numerous artists’ catalogues and monographs and has curated exhibitions in the US, Europe, and Asia. Wei lectures frequently on critical and curatorial practices and sits on the board of several non-profit art institutions and organizations including AICA/USA, Bowery Arts & Sciences, and Art Omi International. She was a former board member of Art in General, and is a fellow of the CUE Foundation. Wei was born in Chengdu, China and has an MA in art history from Columbia University, New York.


2017/18 Competition & Exhibition (currently on view)

Where & When

North Charleston Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405
Viewing times: May 1, 2017 – March 25, 2018, public park open daily
Free admission & parking


Sculpture artists from across the nation were invited to participate in the 12th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Twelve sculptures by artists from seven states were juried into the exhibit. Awards for Best in Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions were determined by the juror once all pieces were installed. Organized by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department and presented as a component of the annual North Charleston Arts Fest, this unique exhibition offers established and emerging artists the opportunity to display their inspiring and extraordinary sculptures throughout the picturesque North Charleston Riverfront Park, set along the banks of the Cooper River. An estimated 50,000 people visit this public park annually to enjoy the amenities located in the heart of the city’s arts community.

About the Juror

We are pleased to announce the juror for this year’s exhibition is Robin Salmon, Vice President of Art & Historical Collections and Curator of Sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. Robin is currently the chair of the National Sculpture Society Exhibitions Committee, which is the oldest organization of professional sculptors, and has more than thirty years of museum, curatorial, and programming experience.

Juror’s Statement

I never cease to be amazed by the creativity of sculptors.  Although my career has focused on figurative sculpture, my training embraces both objective and nonobjective art as well as folk art. As a result, my enjoyment and appreciation of sculpture is eclectic. I always look first at the sculpture’s silhouette — those interesting lines created by positive and negative space.  The overall mass of the sculpture is important, too.  Not just in terms of the space that it occupies, but the power or the delicacy that it imbues.  Texture and color draw me into the sculpture’s design.  Surfaces always beckon, whether silky smooth, softly draped, or roughly carved.  Color is achieved mechanically or through use of the material itself.  The sculptor transforms the sculpture by his creative choices to patinate, paint, stain, or do nothing at all.  Lastly, composition impresses and pleases me and can make or break a sculpture. In selecting these works for the exhibition, my goal was to achieve an overall balance in the choices of material, technique, and composition.  In the prize-winners, I look for high quality in all of these attributes. There were additional works that I thought worthy of a prize, but there was a limited number of prizes.

-Robin Salmon, 5/3/17


For those who want to learn more about the sculptures in the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition from the artists themselves, download a mobile audio guide on the free app, OtoCast. Users can select “North Charleston, SC” from the list of active tours to begin a self-guided audio tour through Riverfront Park. The app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.


Titles/Artists/Awards – 2017/18


Aurora by Paris Alexander (Raleigh, NC)
Italian Marble, Lithichome Pigments

Twisted Botanical Wave by Mary Angers (Long Branch, NJ)
Enameled and brushed aluminum

Red Guitar by Carl Billingsley (Greenville, NC)
Painted Steel

Sustain by Charlie Brouwer (Willis, VA)
Locust wood, preservative stain

Draped Fabrication by Jacob Burmood (Springfield, MO)

November Leaves by Bob Doster (Lancaster, SC)

Conductor by Jordan Fowler (Mt. Pleasant, SC)
Welded steel and paint

Gypsy Passion by Hanna Jubran (Grimesland, NC)
Steel and paint

Night in the Forest by Gregory Smith (North Pownal, VT)
Painted stainless steel

Windsong by Bob Turan (Earlton, NY)
Welded Stainless Steel and Polished Marble

Lightning Over the Mississippi by Ed Walker (Seagrove, NC)
Fabricated Aluminum

Community by Adam Walls (Hope Mills, NC)
Painted Steel