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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fire Museum officially opens renovated theater exhibit.

The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center officially opened “Are You an Escape Artist?” theater exhibit, Thursday, March 13, 2014.

In spring 2013, the Fire Museum partnered with museum exhibit and theater designers, Boston Productions Inc. to create an engaging and interactive theater experience truly unique to the museum, Lowcountry and the state. “Are You an Escape Artist?” takes guests on a fast pace, immersive and exciting adventure through fire history, knowledge, science, safety and planning and all at level that is captivating for all age groups.

The presentation will be a permanent fixture in the museum and replaces the museum’s original theater show from 2007.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

North Charleston City Gallery to Exhibit Works by Susana Berdecio & Jazz Artists of Charleston Photographers

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to present concurrent exhibitions at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout the month of April featuring photographs by Susana Berdecio as well as Jazz Artists of Charleston’s resident photographers. The exhibitions will be on view from April 3-30, 2014. The artists will host a free public reception at the gallery from 5:00-7:00pm on Thursday, April 3.

Discovering a Sense of Place – Photography by Susana Berdecio 
Discovering a Sense of Place by Susana Berdecio
In Discovering a Sense of Place, Susana Berdecio presents a collection of photographs that capture the artist’s vision of the unique Lowcountry landscape. Spending her childhood in Mexico and living most of her adult life in the western part of the United States, Berdecio became accustomed to photographing the vast open landscapes, tall mountains, dense forests, and winding rivers that surrounded her. Since moving to South Carolina five years ago, she has learned to adapt and adjust her techniques and artistic approach to connect to her new landscape, which she describes as dense, lush, and full of seemingly chaotic forms. “The light is spectacular, sometimes so bright that color is muted,” she says. “The creeks, the marshes, the ocean, the clouds all offer an exquisite variety of light, tone, color and texture.”

Susana spends hours exploring with her camera. She then sits down with her photographs to recreate them into images that reveal the feel of the landscape, the mood of the light, and the intricacy and movement of its details. “Sometimes the images require few changes,” she explains. “Sometimes, the final result is just a small piece of the original capture where I have tried to recreate what I felt being there, adding all of the subjective elements from my past as I express how I have learned to see the Lowcountry.” For a look at Susana Berdecio’s photographs, visit

See Jazz - Jazz Artists of Charleston Visual Exhibition
Charlton Singleton by Ben Williams
See Jazz presents a stunning visual perspective of Jazz Artists of Charleston (JAC) and Charleston Jazz Orchestra (CJO) events from over the past six years. The carefully curated collection of images includes photographs from Jazz Artists of Charleston’s resident photographers Alice Keeney, Pricilla Thomas, Ben Williams, and Reese Moore. The photographs highlight the people, places, and moments that have shaped JAC and CJO, and capture the rhythm and swing of the jazz music that the groups perform, promote, and work to preserve. In the words of the late Jack McCray, one of JAC’s founding board members and an icon in the Charleston jazz scene, the exhibit invites viewers to “listen with their eyes” and “think and feel beyond the category.”

Jazz Artists of Charleston is a non-profit organization incorporated to work to foster a solid and professional environment for jazz musicians, artists, students and enthusiasts in the Charleston area. Its mission is to develop, promote, and support a vibrant and creative jazz culture through concerts, special outreach events, and educational programs. The Charleston Jazz Orchestra is produced, presented and managed by Jazz Artists of Charleston. The orchestra is a twenty-piece big band made up of many of the finest musicians in the Charleston area. CJO, now in its sixth season, has firmly established itself as the Lowcountry’s resident big band ensemble and continues to refine its sound. For more information about Jazz Artists of Charleston and the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, visit

The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in the common areas of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free during regular Convention Center operating hours, 9:00am – 5:00pm daily. The gallery is staffed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only. Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at

Friday, March 7, 2014

North Charleston Dinner Theatre Series Closes with Love Letters on March 21

The final North Charleston Dinner Theatre performance of the season is set to take place on Friday, March 21, 2014, with Love Letters presented by Threshold Repertory Theatre and starring real-life married couple, Ginger and Al Curl. Dinner for the evening is catered by Embassy Suites and features an entrée of pecan roasted salmon. Tickets are on sale until Tuesday, March 18.

A smash hit on and off-Broadway, The Wall Street Journal calls Love Letters "exhilarating, funny, and moving." Written in 1989 by critically acclaimed playwright A.R. Gurney, the drama traces the correspondence between staid, dutiful lawyer, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, and his lifelong 'friend,' the lively and unstable artist, Melissa Gardner. Their beautiful, poignant story of love and friendship unfolds through the pages of nearly 50 years of letters.

Happily married for 58 years, the two featured actors, Ginger and Al Curl, are thrilled to be performing opposite one another in this evocative, touching, often times funny theatre piece. These native New Yorkers have always shared a love of the arts, starting their acting careers in local and regional theatre companies in the Catskills. After an IBM relocation to the sunny south, the Curls were cast in many community theatre productions and it wasn’t long before they were “discovered” for films, commercials, and voice-overs. Al most recently portrayed Mr. Kowalski, the jeweler, in Hallmark Channel’s The Confessions and audiences will recognize Ginger as the “Woo Lady,” who appeared alongside Ric Flair in the South Carolina Lottery commercial.

Love Letters will be presented at the Charleston Area Convention Center Ballroom (adjacent to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center) at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. The ballroom doors open at 7:00pm for dinner. Tickets are $40 per person. Group discounts are offered. Ticket price includes dinner, play, and gratuity. Tickets for just the play are available for $15. Parking is free. A cash-only bar will be available. To purchase tickets, contact Pam Smith at 843-740-5847 by Tuesday, March 18. For information on additional programs and events, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854 or visit

Monday, March 3, 2014

North Charleston seeking sculptor for Performing Arts Center Monument Busts

Mayor Bourne & Mayor Summey
at the City's 40th Anniversary celebration

The City of North Charleston seeks to commission a sculptor to create depictions of the city’s two prominent mayors. The commissioned busts will be permanently featured on granite outdoor pedestals at the newly built outdoor monument at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston, SC. Each sculpture should be at least two feet tall and cast in bronze or another metal suitable for outdoor exhibition. Professional sculptors nationwide are invited to submit their qualifications and proposals for this unique public art opportunity via the online application. There is a $7 application fee and submissions are due by April 8, 2014.

A Selection Committee comprised of city officials and community leaders will choose one artist to create both sculptures. The committee is looking for design proposals that will generate excitement and interest for the community and compliment the outdoor monument where the busts will be installed. The total budget for this project is yet to be determined. Artists’ proposals should include all costs associated with the project including, but not limited to: artist's design fees, materials, production costs, travel, documentation, shipping, and any permits, license, or insurance. Artists will be notified of the commission award by April 15, 2014. The sculpture installation will be approximately 120 days from the April 8 submission deadline.

In order to be considered for the commission, sculptors must prepare and submit the following RFP materials using the online application:
A. Statement of Interest describing pecific interest in the project, potential approach, and any relevant past experience
B. Thorough proposal including costs, materials, process, and timeline for creating the busts.
C. Current resume/CV
D. A maximum of five quality digital photographs of artist’s previous work that accurately represent the artist’s aesthetics and style. All images must be accompanied by a brief description of the artwork, title, location, size, and completion date.
E. Optional: The artist’s web site may be listed. The artist may include up to three additional materials such as references, reviews, news articles, awards or other related information.
F. Application fee of $7.00, payable online

The City of North Charleston reserves the right to reject all applications and/or adjust the project time line. For more information about this public art project, contact Cultural Arts Director, Marty Besancon, at 843-740-5850 or For technical assistance, contact Arts Coordinator, AnneTrabue Nelson, at 843-740-5852 or To learn more about other programs and artist opportunities offered by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, visit