Thursday, April 10, 2014

2014 North Charleston Arts Festival Gala Set for May 2

The spring festival season is in full swing and the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival is just around the corner. In honor of the annual event, the City of North Charleston invites the public to don their Lowcountry best and head to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center Entrance Hall on Friday, May 2, from 7:00pm to 11:00pm for the Sweetgrass Soirée, a gala celebration. Tickets for the premier event are $50 and can be purchased by calling Sheri Pearson at 843-740-2538.

The soirée begins with a steel drum serenade compliments of Charleston’s most prominent steel drum band, The Island Trio. While enjoying a menu of Lowcountry favorites and the evening’s signature cocktail, the Sweetgrass Sipper, patrons will have an opportunity to meet this year’s Arts Festival design artist, Amiri Gueka Farris. Farris will be auctioning off an original piece and signing posters featuring his winning design, Gullah Islander Toss. Entertainment during dinner service includes a lively performance by Adande African Drum & Dance Company and a shoe tapping, hand clapping program full of traditional Gullah songs, spirituals, and gospel tunes by renowned a cappella singing group, The Plantation Singers. Following the performances, guests can dance the night away to music by Plane Jane. The band is built to keep the crowd on its feet with an extensive catalog of exciting hits from the sixties to the present. The evening’s line-up is sure to entertain and makes for an exciting kick off to the nine days of arts and cultural programs and activities offered during the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival, taking place May 2-10.

The North Charleston Performing Arts Center Entrance Hall is located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Ticket price includes parking. The Sweetgrass Soirée is co-sponsored by North Charleston Magazine. For more information about the event or the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival, including the full schedule of events, visit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Annual North Charleston Arts Festival Set for May 2-10

Nine-day celebration of the arts offers something for everyone

The annual North Charleston Arts Festival is just one month away, set to kick off on May 2 and conclude on May 10. Now in its 32nd year, the nine day event has matured into one of the most comprehensive arts festival in the state, drawing thousands of residents and visitors to experience the talents of national, regional, and local artists and performers in the areas of dance, music, theatre, and visual, media, and literary arts. Nearly 200 festival offerings are scheduled to take place in a variety of venues throughout North Charleston and the surrounding area, including libraries, community centers, schools, businesses, civic auditoriums, and parks.

Recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as a Top 20 Event, the North Charleston Arts Festival offers something for everyone – from classical to contemporary, funky to formal. The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department organizes and presents the event each year, striving to maintain the spirit of a public celebration with the mission of presenting a broad, multidiscipline event schedule that provides a wide range of performances, exhibitions, and activities for people of all ages and backgrounds. Many of the offerings are free, and those that are ticketed are moderately priced.

“The variety of Arts Festival offerings and the inclusiveness of the event have really become a point of pride for the City of North Charleston,” says North Charleston Mayor, Keith Summey. “We look forward to this time each year when we are joined by thousands from throughout the Southeast to celebrate the importance of art within our world.”

The Arts Festival Main Event, held on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center, offers free admission and parking to over forty performances on four themed stages: General Audience, Cultural Heritage, Youth Entertainment, and Bands. Other features include judged fine art and photography exhibits; the 13th annual South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Exhibit; youth art from Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester county students; the Lowcountry Gem & Mineral Society show and sale; the Village Antiques & Collectibles show; children's activities at Box City and Creation Stations; art & craft vendors, a food court, and much more.

Individual events take place throughout the nine days of the festival at various locations. An exciting array of free and ticketed offerings include concerts, theatre presentations, film screenings, workshops and demonstrations, poetry readings, exhibition receptions, children’s programs, and much more. This year’s festival Gala, the Sweetgrass Soiree, will take place on Friday, May 2, from 7:00-11:00pm at the Performing Arts Center Entrance Hall. Tickets for this premier event are $50. Other highly anticipated programs include an Art Walk on Wednesday, May 7, an interactive murder mystery dinner theatre on Thursday, May 8, and street dances featuring beach/variety music and reggae on Friday, May 9. Examples of visual art exhibitions on view during the festival include a series of cut paper collages and prints by Lillian Trettin (Becoming Southern Steampunk); mixed media works by Cuban born artist, Maribel Acosta (Pieces); paintings and found-object sculptures by Gingi Martin (Landscapes of Mozart and Beethoven); the 9th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition; a group exhibition featuring Charleston area female photographers (Through the Lens); an Art & Fine Craft CoOp Gallery & Sale; the 8th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition (JOY!); and the 2nd Annual Wearable Art Competition and Exhibition. This festival’s Grand Finale on May 10 features a Tri-County School Steel Drum Festival, dance demos and performances, a slam poetry show, children’s activities, food trucks, and an evening concert by The CoastRunner Band. The event concludes with a fantastic fireworks display over the Cooper River.

Visit for complete details for the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival or contact the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at (843) 740-5854. Applications are still being accepted for participation in the Festival’s Art Walk. Entry instructions for the Festival’s Judged Fine Art Exhibition, Judged Photography Exhibition, and Tri-County Youth Art Exhibition, as well as volunteer sign-up forms are also available. All forms and instructions can be downloaded at

Monday, March 31, 2014


Entries Sought for 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival Judged Fine Art & Photography Competitions & Exhibitions 

Fine artists and professional and amateur photographers ages 18 and up are invited to participate in the annual North Charleston Arts Festival Judged Fine Art and Judged Photography Competitions and Exhibitions. Entries will be on display throughout the festival, May 2-10, at the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Ribbons and cash prizes are awarded for winning entries. Complete entry instructions are available for download at Entries for photography will be accepted at the Convention Center on Wednesday and Thursday, April 30 and May 1, from noon to 7:00pm. Entries for fine art will be accepted on Wednesday and Thursday, April 30 and May 1, from noon to 7:00pm, as well as Friday, May 2, from 9:00am to noon. Entry fees are $5 and $10, respectively.

Fine artists may submit work in five categories: Acrylic, Oil, Drawing/Pastel, Watercolor, and Mixed Media. Entries will compete for cash prizes totaling up to $4425. Awards are at the sole discretion of the judge, Tiffany Reed Silverman, Director of the Fine Arts program at The Citadel, the Military College of SC. As the first full-time faculty member in the fine arts in the institution’s history, Silverman teaches courses and develops all art-related lectures, programs, exhibitions, and community partnerships on campus. She has added new courses in drawing, painting, drama, and film to create the Fine Arts Minor, now the third largest minor at the school. She has curated numerous exhibitions of artwork on campus, highlighting work by regional artists and cadets. Silverman is the former Director of Education & Outreach at the Gibbes Museum of Art and has also served as an Adjunct Professor in Arts Management at the College of Charleston. She holds a BA with Honors in Art History from the College of William & Mary, a master’s degree in Art History from Williams College, and is a candidate for an MFA in Photography from the Savannah College of Art & Design.

Photographers may submit work in the Professional/Advanced division or Amateur division under the categories of Color or Monochrome. Entries will compete for cash prizes totaling up to $1450 and are judged using the Photographic Society of America Print Guidelines. Scoring is done by three competent judges in the field of photography who will score entries using the 3-9 range of scores. Each judge will evaluate each entry as a whole, considering the areas of Impact, Composition, and Technique. However, there is no specific weighting or allotment of points for each category. This system is used efficiently and effectively by many councils, at international exhibitions, and by camera clubs. It allows an adequate qualitative separation of entries while lessening the potential for a large number of the higher scoring entries having identical scores. In the event of a tie-breaker, judges will choose the winning entry.

Awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each division and category, as well as Honorable Mentions for both competitions will be announced at an artist reception on Friday, May 2, from 6:00-7:00pm at the Charleston Area Convention Center. The reception is free and open to the public and will feature musical entertainment by the Hi Lo Duo and Douglas Parker. Exhibition viewing times are Saturday, May 3, 10:00am–4:00pm; Sunday, May 4, 2:00–5:00pm; Monday through Friday, May 5-9, 9:00am–5:00pm; and Saturday, May 10, 9:00am–Noon.

The North Charleston Arts Festival, scheduled May 2-10, is one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in the state, providing thousands of residents & visitors with a fabulous array of nearly 200 performances, exhibitions, and activities. The Main Event, held May 3 and 4 at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center, offers free admission and parking to over 40 performances on four stages, exhibitions, a gem and mineral show, an antique show, children’s activities, art and crafts booths, and a food courtyard. The Arts Festival continues with an array of free and moderately priced ticketed events throughout the week at various locations and concludes with fireworks over the Cooper River at the Grand Finale at North Charleston Riverfront Park.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Festival, or to download entry instructions for the Judged Fine Art and Photography Competitions and Exhibitions, visit For more information about other exhibition opportunities offered by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, visit or call 843-740-5854.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Annual Art & Fine Craft CoOp Gallery in North Charleston set to open April 4

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department will host its annual Art and Fine Craft CoOp Gallery and Sale at the Meeting Place each Friday and Saturday from April 4 through May 31, 2014. The temporary, artist-run gallery is presented as a component of the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival, taking place May 2-10.

The Art & Fine Craft CoOp Gallery is dedicated to presenting works by Lowcountry artists of varied backgrounds in a diverse array of media and styles, from representational to contemporary. All pieces on display will be available for sale. Artwork ranges from original oils, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, and pastel pieces, to photography, prints, jewelry, and more. Participating artists include Dina Barron, Donna Boerema, Laura Cody, Marcy Criner, Trish Emery, Muriel Lanciault, Susan Salvey, Karol Skelly, and Francina Smalls-Joyner.

Each featured artist takes part in the management and operation of the cooperative and the gallery. Visitors are likely to find the artists creating works on site during gallery hours, which are 11:00am to 7:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The artists will host a free public reception at The Meeting Place on Wednesday, May 7, from 5:00-8:00pm during the North Charleston Arts Festival Art Walk. Refreshments will be served.

The Meeting Place is located at 1077 East Montague Avenue in the revitalized Olde Village area of North Charleston. Parking is free. For more information about the CoOp or the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival, visit For information on other exhibits and programs presented by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, call 843-740-5854 or visit