Artists Invited to Submit Work for the 36th Annual Juried South Carolina Artists Competition at the Pickens County Museum in Pickens, SC – Deadline Apr. 8, 2015

Editor’s Note: I love this competition’s selection of jurors – an accomplished artists, a museum curator and a commercial gallery director. Winners of this competition should feel that their selection is more – much more than one person’s whim of the day.

The “Pickens County Museum of Art & History’s Thirty-Sixth Annual Juried South Carolina Artists Competition” will take place beginning April 1, 2015. This competition is open to all artists working in any medium, 18 years of age or older and living in South Carolina.

The panel of jurors for this year’s competition represents the best and brightest in South Carolina. Associate Professor and Gallery Director at Coastal Carolina University, Jim Arendt is an artist whose work explores the shifting paradigms of labor and place through narrative figure painting, drawing, prints, fabric and sculpture. Recently, Arendt was short-listed for The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. His work was awarded the top prize at ArtFields©, Best in Show at Hub-Bub Gallery’s “Emerging Carolina” and was included in the 701 Contemporary Center for the Arts 701 CCA Prize 2012. He was awarded Best in Show during “Fantastic Fibers” at Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY. His work has been included in “Fiberarts International 2013” in Pittsburgh and the 2013 Museum Rijswijk “Textile Biennial”, Netherlands. Arendt received his BFA from Kendall College of Art & Design and his MFA with a concentration in painting from the University of South Carolina. He has studied art in England and Spain and participated in residency programs including The Fields Project in Illinois, Arrowmont’s Tactility Forum, and has been an instructor at Penland School of Craft.

Victoria Cooke joined the curatorial staff at the Columbia Museum of Art in January 2013. She holds an MA in art    history, specializing in 18th and 19th century French painting from Tulane University and became a doctoral candidate in Art History at the University of Delaware before deciding to devote her career to museum work. She became an associate curator of painting at the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1997 and was named the senior curator of painting at in 2002. In New Orleans she was the curator of “Degas and New Orleans: A French Impressionist in America” and “Jefferson’s America and Napoleon’s France: An Exhibition for the Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial”. She left there in 2007 to become the Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Louisiana State University Museum of Art where she stayed for 3 years. After a year as a museum director in Florida, Cooke decided to return to curatorial work exhibitions and in 2013 she joined the staff of the Columbia Museum of Art.

Director of Hampton III Gallery for over 25 years, Sandra Rupp works with numerous living artists, as well as the several artists’ estates, focusing mostly on Southern artists, particularly those with a SC connection. In addition to her gallery work, she assists museums in their programming. In recent years she has worked with the University of Georgia Museum in Athens, GA, in organizing the Leo Twiggs’  retrospective; curated the Sigmund Abeles’ retrospective at the Burroughs-Chapin Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC; worked on the Carl Blair retrospective and the “Merton Simpson Confrontations” exhibition at the Greenville County Museum in Greenville, SC. Serving on Greenville’s committee of Art in  Public Places, Rupp has consulted with the Falls Park leadership in helping to secure a Joel Shapiro sculpture among other public art placements throughout the city. In 2009 she organized the “Chairman’s Exhibition” for Artisphere in Greenville, SC, and has served on the board of Artisphere since that time

Cash and purchase awards exceeding $ 5,000 will be presented in this year’s competition. Entries may be shipped or delivered to the museum beginning Wednesday, April 1 and continuing April 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 & 8 during the hours of 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. (Till 7:00 on Thurs 4/3).

The exhibition resulting from this competition will open with a gala reception and awards ceremony on Apr. 25 and the exhibit will continue through June 11, 2015.

The “Pickens County Museum’s Thirty-Sixth Annual Competition” is sponsored by Pickens County and the Pickens County Cultural Commission. Individuals or businesses interested in general or purchase award sponsorships should contact the museum before April 1. The “Annual Juried Competition” and resulting exhibition is an excellent means for starting, or adding to, your private and corporate art collections while also supporting the programs at the Pickens County Museum.

The Pickens County Museum of Art & History is funded in part by Pickens County, members and friends of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Artists requesting information or an entry prospectus may contact the museum at 307 Johnson Street, Pickens, SC 29671; or call 864/898-5963. An E-Prospectus is also available by e-mail at ( or by visiting ( and clicking the prospectus link or ( clicking the prospectus link at the event description.


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