North Charleston Arts Fest in North Charleston, SC, Reveals 2018 Design Competition Winner – Hamed Mahmoodi

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce Hamed Mahmoodi of Greenville, SC, as the winner of the 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest Design Competition. As the winner of the statewide contest, Mahmoodi’s acrylic painting, titled “Atlantic Sun”, will be used to promote the 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 2-6, in North Charleston, SC. In addition, the artist received a $500 purchase award and the piece will become part of the City’s Public Art Collection.

“Atlantic Sun” by Hamed Mahmoodi

Mahmoodi’s design was selected from a total of 85 entries by artists from 11 cities across the state. The selection was made by a review panel appointed by the Cultural Arts Department who judged the entries based on quality, originality, appeal to festival patrons from a broad range of backgrounds, and ability to convey the spirit of the festival as a public celebration of arts and culture.

Mahmoodi, who has submitted work into the competition in years past, created a series of abstract paintings in the Art Nouveau manner for his entries in this year’s competition. “I focused on concentrated circles and curves and loaded the pieces with colors in a rainbow fashion that would be pleasing to the viewer’s eye,” he explains. “I believe the vibrancy created by the enticing color scheme and the energy generated by the movement in “Atlantic Sun” are very representative of the North Charleston Arts Fest. The diverse performances and artwork featured during the event, and the approach to connecting the arts and community members, bring vibrancy and energy to the City that I think is very special.”

Hamed Mahmoodi was born in Iran and moved to South Carolina in 1978. He attended Clemson University and received a BS in Design Architecture in 1986. After graduation, he worked as an associate architect at Fluor International, then as art director for Naegele Outdoor Advertising. He has been a freelance designer for various architectural firms throughout the Southeast and a full-time artist working in a variety of media since the late 80’s. Mahmoodi has had several one-man shows in museums, universities, galleries, and restaurants, and his design works and paintings can be found from Ground Zero Memorial Park in NYC to the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion. He has also earned numerous juried awards, best in show honors, merit awards, fellowships, and art grants and has been chosen as the poster/art design winner of other notable festivals, including Piccolo Spoleto (Charleston, SC) and the Coca-Cola RiverPlace Festival (Greenville, SC).

Oil, watercolor, acrylic, metals, wax, paper, furniture, and photography are just some of the media that Mahmoodi has used to create his diverse works of art. His philosophy for creating art is much like Robert Rauschenberg and Christo, whereas he believes that each idea and work deserves its own individual style and medium. Therefore, his approach varies from representational to abstract, with his most recent paintings primarily executed in an abstract style with an emphasis on color and movement.

A new series of Mahmoodi’s paintings will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout May 2018. The exhibit will also feature the winning piece, “Atlantic Sun”. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Admission and parking are free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery during the Arts Fest Expo from 11am-5pm on May 5 & 6, 2018. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for purchase.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, other competition and exhibition opportunities, or festival sponsorship and program booklet ad placement, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843/740-5854, e-mail to (, or visit (


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