Friday, May 8, 2015

ArtFields 2015 and Dancing With Bill Murray

ArtFields is a major Southeastern Regional based on the Grand Rapids experiment, Art Prize.  The purpose of these non-profit experiments is for a community to hold a major fine art event with a massive amount of award money, and to see how this builds the city's relationship with the rest of the art world, and also how it enriches the host community in both fiscal and cultural ways. ArtPrize is international, and gives out over a half million dollars in awards to artists. They don't pre-jury the artists, so it is more of a free-for-all. ArtFields, held in Lake City, SC, pre-juries, leading to an overall higher quality result. They give out $110,000.00 in awards. The pure gallery venues are pop-up galleries located in empty store fronts, beautifully renovated tobacco warehouses, and the event's personal gallery. The integrated art venues are in the town's stores, restaurants, barber shops, salons, library and museum spaces. 
This is the 2nd Year I've been a part of it! I blogged last year, too.
Lake City Main Staging for performance. And dancing with Bill Murray
I was present for the last 2 days of the  total nine days of performance, community participation events, and artist events and parties. The town center is easily walkable, so it's an easy day to hit every venue.
Riding the Big Gun charcoal and pastel pencil on plywood, ceramic, paper  44' x 6' x 5"
My work, above, Riding the Big Gun, was once again in the ROB, a massive and beautifully renovated tobacco warehouse. It has the architecture to hang heavy suspended work from it's rafters, and some of the largest installations and individual pieces.
Mediate by Leah Cabinum  re-purposed magazines
 Occupation/Reconstruction  Power Company Collaboration  performance
The building was also ideal for performance. 
I like humor in work. Some people don't quite get how serious it is.
Lake Norman by Stacey Davidson   photograph
Some of the best venues were empty store fronts. I'm not sure if they had great lighting to begin with, or if it was added.
Bale by Susie Ganch  found trash, installation photography  $1,000 winner
The ArtFields official gallery space, below, that is used year round, the Carter Jones Gallery, was particularly impressive.
Jim Arendt installation, foreground, Aron Belca painting, center rear ( $,1,000 winner)
I think the best private building setup, 2nd year running, is Jarrito's Mexican restaurant. Yes, the "gallery" below is their banquet room. Venue owners get dibs on what work they want, and there is definate evidence of what type of work they relate to in various places.
Jarrito's had to go after the Catholic humor, below. I want that painting.
St. Francis Expelling the Demons From the San Francisco MOMA, Homage to Giotto, by Wilfred Spoon, painting on panel
How the various clothing stores worked art into their spaces could be very cool. Below, Mosaic clothing store.
Der Hund Frisst by Matt Horick, foreground, Sunrise, Sunset by Star Trauth, wall
The two pieces below were in Seven Boutique and Monogramming. I loved the ironing board mono prints. Such a cool idea. Roberto loved the truck.
Three Sisters, by Terri Dowell-Dennis   walnut ink prints
Rusty  by Judy Verhoeven  3D recycled paper collage
I really liked the old parking lot in front of the ROB building and played cell phone app with it.
The event had lots of great events scheduled. The champagne and dessert reception for artists was right before the award ceremony at the performance stage, but it was in the lobby of a new boutique hotel a few blocks away. At one point, people began to receive photo texts from friends taking selfies with Bill Murray near the stage. I never saw him, but my friend Kathy Holland of Oak Ridge, TN, who was also exhibiting managed to find him- AND dance with  him. Let me quote her "Nyeh nyeh!  I touched Bill Murray! Nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh!!  Then I danced with Bill Murray!"

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