Because the schedule for attending ArtFields© 2015 (Apr. 24 – May 2) and the schedule for producing our May 2015 issue of Carolina Arts is not too compatible – I begged for a sneak peek – which was granted. So I’m offering a little taste of what you will see in Lake City, SC, and a little advice on how to make the most of your visit to ArtFields©.
First the advice. My suggestion to save time is to go to ArtFields© website (www.artfieldssc.org) and browse through the artist’s gallery found under the Artists category (2015 Artists). There you will find images of all 400 + works and info about the artists by clicking on the small image. This will show you a larger image, info about the artist, an artist’s statement, and where the work is located in the downtown area. Doing this before you arrive in Lake City will save you lots of time. Unless you’re going to stay several days in Lake City there’s no way you’re going to see all 400 + works. So going through the artist’s gallery online might help you find what you really want to see and save you time.
When you arrive in Lake City follow the signs to ArtFields© and then when you get in the heart of the downtown area follow the signs to The ROB where there is plenty of free parking. At The ROB you can catch a bus, also free, to Main Street. You’ll be looking for the ArtFields© Registration & Voting Center at 108 Main Street. This is where you will register to vote or activate your pre-registration, which you did on the ArtFields© website at (www.artfieldssc.org). Upon registration you’ll receive your guild booklet which tells you where all the exhibits are and gives you other important info on how to enjoy ArtFields© 2015. No registration – no booklet. Remember a major part of ArtFields© is viewer participation. Except for one of the major prizes that the jury panel will select the public’s voting helps determine the other major awards.
Now that you have your guide booklet – what you do next is up to you.
You’ll get your biggest bang for your buck (time wise) by visiting The Rob and the Jones-Carter Gallery – they present nothing but art with no distractions. If you like shopping (looking) the retail stores and restaurants around Main Street will offer you lots of distractions and art. In some of the venues you’ll also be offered a bit of conversation too. It’s different strokes for different folks and ArtFields© 2015 does have something for everyone. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that all the good work will be in the gallery-like setting – you’d be missing some of the best works in the competition if you don’t check out the stores and shops.
Don’t forget that most of the works are for sale. From what I’ve heard, several “pending” sales have already been made. They’re “pending” in that the jury panel might select them for one of the major awards that are also purchase awards and will become part of the ArtFields© collection. But you can put in a claim on a work and cross your fingers. There are only two purchase awards so the odds are on your side.
If you’ve visited Lake City for the first two events you’ll notice on your return visit that some venues have gone out of business while other new ones have opened. Lake City is like every other town or city – big or small – some people just don’t make it through a year. But some of the new venues might be better and longer lasting.
And, hey – don’t leave home without your wallet or purse. The good folks in Lake City are hoping you’re going to leave some of your money with them. You can’t look at art on an empty stomach? You can’t walk around this town seeing all the improvements they have made, just for you, without taking home something for the kids or the grand kids? And, don’t deny yourself something special you found in one of the shops. Looking at art is hard work – believe me I know. It can give you a headache, but it’s a good kind of headache – one I’d like having more often. Seeing so much fantastic work in one small town is a great thing and an opportunity no one should miss.
When you visit the ArtFields© website (www.artfieldssc.org) or when you have your guide booklet in hand you’ll see there are many other events being offered during the festival – than include running, beer, BBQ, listening to artists talk, and even a symphony concert at Moore Farms Botanical Gardens.
OK – a Taste of ArtFields© 2015
I’m not going to identify any of these artworks, I don’t want to give any artists a leg up on any of the 400 + in this competition, but I had to show something to give you a taste of what you’ll find there. And, I’m not saying I even like everything I’m showing here, and after all it’s only about 4% of what’s on view and I had limited time on this sneak preview.
Here are a few works you’ll find in the gallery-like settings:
Here are a few sculptures found outside:
Here are a few works found in public spaces:
Here are a few works found in some of the retail spaces:
And, here’s work you won’t find in Greenville SC:
OK – ArtFields© 2015 starts Friday, April 24 – make sure you get up off the couch and go to Lake City, SC, to see a Small Town with Big Money and World Class Southern Art.