SC Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition

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Submit Your Work

Fine craft artists and artisans from across South Carolina are welcome to submit an application for participation in 18th Annual South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition. As the state’s longest-running fine craft competition and exhibition, objects juried into the exhibit may compete for cash prizes totaling up to $6,500. Artists also have the option of offering their work for consideration to tour the state through the South Carolina State Museum’s Traveling Exhibitions Program following close of the exhibition. South Carolina artists working in clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood, and 3-D mixed media are eligible to submit entries. The application period for 2019 is now closed (deadline was March 15, 2019). 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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2019 Competition & Exhibition

Where & When

Charleston Area Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A
5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418
Free admission and parking
Viewing times:
May 1, 2019 – 6:00pm-8:00pm
May 2-4, 2019 – 11:00am-5:00pm
May 5, 2019 – Noon-6:00pm
Opening reception and award acknowledgements: Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 6:00-8:00pm

About the Juror

We are pleased to announce the juror for this exhibition is Jim Arendt, Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Gallery Director at Coastal Carolina University. He received his BFA from Kendall College of Art & Design and his MFA from the University of South Carolina. He has participated in residency programs including The Fields Project in Illinois, Arrowmont’s Tactility Forum, and From Waste to Art VI in Baku, Azerbaijan. He’s been invited to teach at Penland School of Craft and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. His work is exhibited internationally in numerous group and solo shows. Recently, Arendt was short-listed for The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art and a 2018 finalist for the Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize, Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA. In 2014, he received the South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Artist Fellowship and his work received the top prize at ArtFields 2013. He has exhibited in Fiberarts International 2013 & 2016 & 2019, and the 2013 Museum Rijswijk Textile Biennial, Netherlands and has work included in the Arkansas Art Center’s permanent collection of contemporary craft. He has juried numerous local, regional, and national exhibitions in support of the arts across the country.

2018 Competition & Exhibition

About the Juror

The juror for the 2018 exhibition was Rachel Reese, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Telfair Museums in Savannah, GA. She is a curator, arts writer, and independent publisher. Reese holds an MFA from City College New York and a BFA from the University of Georgia. She has held positions at Atlanta Contemporary, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia; and Deitch Projects, Petzel Gallery, and Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York. As an arts writer, Reese was the former editor of BURNAWAY Magazine in Atlanta, and her writing and artist interviews appear in BOMB Daily, Temporary Art Review, TWELV Magazine, and ART PAPERS, among others. She has taught Critical Issues art courses at PAFA in Philadelphia and Georgia State University in Atlanta. At Telfair Museums since 2015, she has curated exhibitions with Nick Cave, William Wegman, Triple Candie, and a group exhibition titled Generation with Iraqi-Canadian artists Sawsan AlSaraf, Sundus Abdul Hadi, and Tamara Abdul Hadi. Reese is opening 2018 exhibitions with Carrie Mae Weems, and Atlanta-based Paul Stephen Benjamin in January.

2018 Juror’s Statement

It’s an honor to judge this year’s Fine Craft Exhibition. The quality of artwork submitted is a testament to the ongoing value that visual artists contribute to material culture, and this presentation of artworks exemplifies the vibrancy, imagination, energy, and great talent of South Carolina artists working today. I am excited to select Pam Weschke’s textile, “A Lively Live Oak,” as this year’s Best in Show Award. This fabric collage marries traditional craft with contemporary process and subject matter in a manner that feels fresh and relevant, and also still celebrates the evidence of the artist’s hand. The push and pull between the image of the three girls and the live oak tree gazing back at you is equally matched by Weschke’s great attention to rich and painstaking details – a true visual delight.
-Rachel Reese, 5/2/18

2018 Winners

A Lively Live Oak by Peg Weschke

Best of Show
“A Lively Live Oak” (fiber) by Peg Weschke (Hilton Head Island, SC)

Outstanding Merit
“Sashay” (clay) by Gary Huntoon (Travelers Rest, SC)
“Mosaic Cherry Bowl” (wood) by Dale Fort (Charleston, SC)

Honorable Mention
“Summertime Delight” (clay) by Marsha Nordyke (Summerville, SC)
“Charleston Box #66” (mixed media) by Robin Howard (Mount Pleasant, SC)
“Refraction” (fiber) by Connie Lippert (Seneca, SC)
“Segmented Bowl” (wood) by Kenny Teague (Charleston, SC)
“A Little Birdie Told Me…” (mixed media) by Bob Thames (North Charleston, SC)
“A Farewell to Arms” (wood) by Robb Helm Kant (North Charleston, SC)
“Featherweight” (stoneware) by Justin Guy (Trenton, SC)
“Swirls III” (fiber) by Beth Andrews (Greer, SC)
“Three Stone Necklace” (mixed media) by Rachel Weiss (Charleston, SC)
“Melting Point” (porcelain) by Annie Rhodes Lee (Folly Beach, SC)
“Lean on Me” (clay) by Sherrie Nesbitt (Summerville, SC)
“Spot On: Chartreuse Raku #1” (clay) by Nancy Waterhouse (Bluffton, SC)

City of North Charleston Purchase Awards
“Rising Waters” (encaustic) by Marty Biernbaum (Charleston, SC)
“Spot On: Chartreuse Raku #1” (clay) by Nancy Waterhouse (Bluffton, SC)
“Summertime Tea Time” (clay) by Marsha Nordyke (Summerville, SC)
“A Small Disturbance in the House of Pluto” (mixed media) by Robin Howard (Mount Pleasant, SC)

SC Palmetto Hands Traveling Exhibition Selections
“Summertime Delight” (clay) by Marsha Nordyke (Summerville, SC)
“A Lively Live Oak” (fiber) by Peg Weschke (Hilton Head Island, SC)
“Go Ask Alice” (embroidery on canvas) by Liz Holt (Conway, SC)
“Green Vessel” (felted fiber vessel) by Pam Shanley (Summerville, SC)
“Ivy Relief” (wood) by Ben Pendarvis (St. Helena Island, SC)
“Old School” (mixed media) by Patz Fowle (Hartsville, SC)
“Charleston Box #66” (mixed media) by Robin Howard (Mount Pleasant, SC)
“Segmented Bowl” (wood) by Kenny Teague (Charleston, SC)
“Solution” (metal and wood) by Robb Helmkamp (North Charleston, SC)
“Dr. Seuss Teapot” (clay) by Mark Vail (Charleston, SC)
“Petting Zoo” (fiber) by Evelyn Beck (Anderson, SC)
“Jazoja” (mixed media) by Caseline Jenkins (Summerville, SC)
“Shawl Spring Sunrise” (textiles) by Iryna Toney (Summerville, SC)
“Mosaic Cherry Bowl” (wood) by Dale Fort (Charleston, SC)
“Three Stone Necklace” (mixed media) by Rachel Weiss (Charleston, SC)
“Lean on Me” (clay) by Sherrie Nesbitt (Summerville, SC)
“Spot On: Lapio Raku #2 and Denim #3” (clay) by Nancy Waterhouse (Bluffton, SC)
“Sashay” (clay) by Gary Huntoon (Travelers Rest, SC)

Sites across South Carolina may request the exhibit to tour in their facilities, thus providing additional exposure for the selected artists. To bring Palmetto Hands to your venue, contact the South Carolina State Museum Traveling Exhibits Program (TEP) at (803)898-4959 or