National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition

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Sculptors from across the nation were invited to submit an application for participation in the 15th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Up to 14 sculptures are selected for the exhibit and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $19,750. The application period for 2021/22 is now closed (deadline: February 25, 2021). 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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2021/22 Competition & Exhibition

Where & When

North Charleston Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405
Viewing times: April 28, 2021 – March 20, 2022, public park open daily
Free admission & parking
Award acknowledgements: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 – 6:00-8:00pm
Charleston Area Convention Center Exhibit Hall A
5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418


Sculpture artists from across the nation were invited to participate in the 15th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Thirteen sculptures by artists from nine different states were selected for the 2021/22 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

Due to the cancellation of the 2020/2021 competition and exhibition as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel T. Beck has been invited back to serve as the juror for 2021/2022. Beck was first exposed to public sculpture as a child through his family’s business, Tatti Conservation. He has worked with his family since 1990 on conservation projects such as the collection at Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY. In 2018, Daniel was a juror for the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture competition in Boone, NC. Daniel is currently the Iron Studio Coordinator at the Penland School of Craft near Asheville, NC, where he has worked since 2011, facilitating blacksmithing, fabrication, foundry, and sculpture workshops. He maintains a studio practice at his shop in Spruce Pine, NC, and is about to start his third year teaching incarcerated artists through the AMCI/Penland Prison Arts Partnership.


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.

Juror’s Statement:

Thank you to all the amazing sculptors in this exhibition.  It has been a pleasure to see this work and spend some time admiring the conversations that happen when outdoor sculpture interacts with the environment of this exhibition.

In Beau Lyday’s piece Give Me Shelter, the reference to gothic architecture conjures thoughts of the southern gothic aesthetic.  It is a piece that is sculptural and functional.  It evokes complicated feelings that are interwoven in the fabric of the life and history of the low country. It is a place to rest and contemplate.  It points to ideas of shelter: physical protection from the elements and spiritual protection as it relates to faith.  The gothic arch has a historical relationship to the church. I grew up in the south and studied medieval Christian architecture in art school.  Give Me Shelter makes me reflect on how the church can be a source of stability and strength when reflecting on the violent and complicated history of coastal South Carolina.

Corrina Sephora’s piece Wave is perfectly situated along the waterfront.  The color palette she chose directly relates to the ground and horizon of the site and by spending some time with it, starts to infer a circular or cyclical movement.  This piece gets me thinking about sea level rise, coastline erosion, the climate crisis, and the feelings that bubble up during and after violent storms of the coast.  What do we do when a ladder is not enough to offer escape from the flood?  When no matter how high one may climb, it might not be enough to escape the crashing waves.

I was initially drawn to Nathan Pierce’s Long Shot for it’s formal qualities and clean fabrication.  It struck me as a very successful execution of a sculpture that calls out to be seen in the round.  Moving in a circle around his piece, there is no front, back nor sides.  It beckons you to take the time to walk all the way around it, taking in how the silhouette changes with each step.  Upon seeing it installed at the North Charleston Riverfront Park, Long Shot formed a different sort of relationship to space.  In its place along the river, I started to see a conversation between the sculpture, the water, and the bridge, and industry in the distance.  I think the way it conjures tall masts, ropes, rigging, navigation, and direction goes to show how much the setting can change the context of sculpture.

All the pieces in this exhibition interact with the setting in complex and interesting ways.  In this year of forced interaction through a computer screen, we may find ourselves settling into the convenience of clicking our way through art exhibitions.  Or, we may swing the other direction and leap at the opportunities to get out, take a walk, and interact with our environment.  I encourage everyone to visit the North Charleston Riverfront Park to see these amazing sculptures up close and in person.  Pay attention to what memories come up for you.  What are you reminded of? What do the colors, silhouettes, materials, and environment mean to you?  Experience this work in person, and you will be rewarded with seeing the talent and thoughtfulness each of these artists put into each of their pieces.

Thank you for this opportunity, it has been an honor.  I hope you enjoy the show!

-Daniel T. Beck, 28 April 2021

Titles/Artists/Awards – 2021/22

Hot Rod (painted steel) by Matt Amante (Winterville, NC)

Sound of Everything – Sway (powder coated steel) by Shaun Cassidy (Rock Hill, SC)

Spirited (welded aluminum) by Robert Cordisco (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)

Vessel II (stainless steel) by Bob Doster (Lancaster, SC)

Shark (steel) by James Futral (Fort Myers, FL)

Terminus V (steel) by Roger Halligan (Lake City, SC)

Give Me Shelter (tin and mahogany) by Beau Lyday (Valdes, NC)

Black Snail (polyethylene) by Matthew Newman (Damascus, VA)

Stinger II (steel) by John Parker (Glenside, PA)

Long Shot (weathered steel) by Nathan Pierce (Cape Girardeau, MO)

Wave (forged steel) by Corrina Sephora (Atlanta, GA)

A Checkered Past (welded steel) by Gregory Smith (North Pownal, VT)

Feather Ball (brushed aluminum) by Bob Turan (Earlton, NY)