National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition
Submit Your Work
Sculptors from across the nation were invited to submit an application for participation in the 14th 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 period for 2019/20 is now closed (deadline: February 25, 2019). Call the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854 for more information, or to be added to the application mailing list.
2019/20 Competition & Exhibition
Where & When
North Charleston Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405
Viewing times: May 1, 2019 – March 22, 2020, public park open daily
Free admission & parking
Award acknowledgements: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 – 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 14th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Twelve sculptures by artists from eight different states were juried into the exhibit. Awards for Best in Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions will be determined by the juror once all pieces are 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 Katelyn Kirnie. Kirnie has served as the Director of Public Art Chattanooga since 2016. She moved back to her hometown of Chattanooga, TN, after living and working in Portland, OR, and Boston, MA — where she managed the public art program for the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Katelyn was introduced to the public art world early in her career as Exhibition Manager for renowned sculptor, John Henry. She went on to establish an award winning and highly anticipated rotating mural program, dubbed The Greenway Wall, in Boston, MA. She holds a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Boston University and has an extensive background in fabrication project management and exhibition production for the public realm. Katelyn is inspired by the way art and artists enhance the urban environment — adding meaning, building community, and creating connection.
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.
In the digital age, so many of our experiences are based on the limited range of perspectives we choose for ourselves. Online media and advertising have customized content to the point that we only see what we ‘like’. We spend our days looking into screens that function as mirrors, reflecting only what we want to see and what we already believe. Without realizing it, our circles of interaction become increasingly homogenized and we are fooled, quite easily, into thinking there’s no better perspective than our own. With their artworks sited unexpectedly in the public realm, public artists have the rare opportunity to interrupt expectations and shift perspectives, allowing us to open our minds to new possibilities.
When selecting the pieces for this exhibition it was my intent to feature works that would challenge the viewer to consider a different point of view or perhaps to see North Charleston’s Riverfront in a different light. The exhibition features works by women and men, regional and remote artists as well as a variety of styles and techniques that prompt the viewer to think and see in different ways as they move from one sculpture to the next. My own physical experience of the artworks within the context of each site was extremely important to selecting the following awards:
Best in Show: The stark simplicity of, Just Around the Bend, set against the wide expanse of the surrounding landscape, surprises with its ability to spark curiosity. Compelled to seek out the meaning between the lines, you move around the piece and notice bends and views that take you to unexpected places. There is an airy, openness to the work that gives space to wrestle with your thoughts, while the wood platform suggests you sit and stay a while to consider all the different angles. You’re bound to walk away from Greg Smith’s stunning piece with a new outlook as you head into the horizon.
Outstanding Merit: While many pieces in the exhibition draw your attention to the water, Blooming Cube, has a stately presence inland and forces you to look up and within. Hannah Jubran’s mastery of composition, material and scale encourages further exploration and results in a dramatic sculpture that suggests a complex interplay of science and spirit.
Honorable Mention: The giant floral beauty by Joni Youkins-Herzog beacons you from its site along the shoreline and surprises you as you come in for a closer look. Fun, seductive and undeniably feminine, Laideedee offers a brave and uncomfortably intimate, female perspective. =
Honorable Mention: Nestled amongst the soft green and dark hues of the shade and spanish moss, the bright yellow sculpture by Adam Walls creates a joyful pop of color that frames various river views. As your eye takes in different perspectives presented by the geometric voids, Parade Elephants offers an unexpected element of surprise and delight with its three tiny elephants.
Honorable Mention: With its clear east asian influence, the red Green Space Bench by Matt Amante, subtly demands you to take a seat and to take in the view. The multi-functional sculpture, both planter and bench, encourages a much needed, grounded, introspective moment with nature.