Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ArtFields Preview

ArtFields is a 10 day art festival in Lake City, SC, that runs from April 25th - May 4th. Patterned after the international ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI, ArtFields is the Southeastern regional variation of that experiment, in it's second year. They are both experiments in how throwing an art festival can revitalize a community though creativity and tourism. It is no secret that investment in the arts brings in significant revenue to the communities that support the arts, but it takes a combination of enlightened people and planning to allow it to happen. It happened in both locations because of the right planning people, and enthusiastic sponsors. The award money in ArtPrize tops half a million dollars. ArtFields awards $100,000. Pretty good for what seems at first to be a geographically remote tobacco farming town.  Actually, Lake City in person is a place you just itch to explore. It has intense cultural richness.
SO- last friday I headed to LaGrange, GA to pick up the piece I had in the National at the LaGrange Museum of Art. The wall part of that piece was going to ArtFields, to be placed with another life size plywood drawing. It was the last day of that biennial, so I got to see the show and found out I had gotten a juror's merit award!

My plywood people at the LaGrange National
The LaGrange Museum of Art even has work in the rest rooms!
We then took the five plus hour drive to Lake City, SC, through mostly farm land. We found a gas station that appeared unchanged, except for the pumps, since maybe 1970. I expected to get a key to a back of the station rest room, but not only was it inside, but it was fancy!
rural SC gas station rest room decor
ArtFields has placed work in 48 businesses and buildings in a few square blocks of downtown Lake City, all in walking distance. My piece, along with most of the larger work and installation pieces, was placed in the ROB, a huge old renovated tobacco warehouse, and the events headquarters. Here are just a few of the works that are being installed.
Social Situations 45, 46, 47 leans against the wall it will be installed on. A Clair Lewis Evans hangs in the foreground (I had only seen her metal sculpture before!), and in the back to the right of my piece is a Richard Currier, and Gary Chapman's Helmet Project
To the immediate left of my work is a James Riley Reynolds stick piece, and a hanging Kimberley Riner
Michaela Pilar Brown is up on the mobile cherry picker installing Familiar Temples. There is a huge Joshua Refearn mixed media/resin portrait piece in the background
I just exhibited with Gwen Bigham in From These Hills at the William King Museum, and here she is again with another glass chair piece. I love her work.
Field of Reeds by UTK professor John Powers in the background (sans video), and Robert Snead's Family Dollar Family Tree, all made of cardboard
Cat Taylor's The Genesis of Jihad
Jeffery Kennedy's Big Potty Mouth (still in plastic wrapping), and Meryl Truett's Madonna and Flamingo
Swell, by Leah Cabinum. 3D work with suspended objects by monofiliment are really strong now. I just imaging the untangling agony. I helped someone once where we stood untangling segments for what seemed like forever.
Roberto really likes Curtis Philips's A Panting We Will Go

Greg Shelnutt's You'll Never See
Nathalie Chikhi's Intrinsic
Virginia and Bri Scotchie and Kinnard's Landscapes Lost
Dan Smith's self portrait waits for the ladders to be put away.