Thursday evening, Jan. 26, 2017, marked the formal opening of the “2017 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” at the Florence County Museum’s Waters Gallery in downtown Florence, SC. The competition is one of the longest-running competitive art exhibitions in the state, and has been presented by the Trustees of the Florence Museum annually since 1954.
Attendees were welcomed at 8pm by Rebecca Crawford, chairperson of the Florence County Museum Board, followed by remarks from corporate sponsor Chick-fil-A. Representing Chick-fil-A this year was Blake Pate, assisted by Sara Black, who announced the juror’s winning selections, congratulating the artists with a presentation of the cash awards. The reception was organized by The Florence County Museum Hospitality Committee. Flower arrangements were provided by Consider the Lilies of Florence.
This year’s $1000 First Place cash prize was awarded to Yvette L. Cummings, of Conway, SC, for her acrylic on canvas double portrait, “When the Magpie Came”. The painting is one of two works by Cummings in the exhibit. Both were recently shown at 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, where she received the 701 CCA Prize 2016, for emerging artists under 40 years of age. Since earning her MFA from the University of Cincinnati in 2003, Cummings has received honors in numerous statewide competitions. She is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Coastal Carolina University, and is preparing new work for three solo exhibitions scheduled for 2018.
Watercolor on paper was the medium of choice for the remaining award recipients, presented to the following works: Second Place ($600), “And So it Was”, by Debbie Broadway of Florence.
Third Place ($250) went to competition newcomer Ashley Arakas of Conway, SC, for her impressive photorealist portrait, “Apprehensive Love”. Arakas was recognized by the South Carolina Watermedia Society in their annual traveling awards exhibition. The Honorable Mention ($100) this year went to Lynda English of Florence for her sympathetic documentary work, “Through the Eyes of a Child”.
As in previous years, the “2017 Pee Dee Regional” was opened to submissions of contemporary art created within the last two years by all artists native to the state’s northeastern Pee Dee region. The exhibition is comprised of 34 works selected from 119 submissions in multiple media by this year’s competition juror, Sanford Greene.
Greene’s twenty-year career as professional comic book artist has recently received critical success in multiple markets. He is currently the primary production artist for Marvel Entertainment’s popular contemporary restyling of the progressive 1970s interracial superhero comic book, Power Man and Iron Fist. The series follows main character, Luke Cage who forms an unlikely bond with the young, but powerful, Danny Rand (also known as Iron Fist). The Iron Fist character is set to debut in a Netflix original series this year, and will join Luke Cage for Marvel’s new Netflix superhero line-up.
The exhibit is now open to the public and will remain on display through March 18, 2017, in the FCM Waters Gallery. Visitors are invited to selection and cast their vote for the Jo Ann Fender Scarborough People’s Choice Award. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will be open through Friday, March 10 with the winner being announced on Monday, March 13.
The exhibit can be viewed at the Florence County Museum Waters Gallery, 135 South Dargan Street, Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm, now through March 24, 2017.
For more information about the “Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” and other upcoming exhibits and events, please contact the Florence County Museum at 843/676-1200 or visit the website at (www.flocomuseum.org).