Celebrate Budding Artists During ArtFields Jr. Competition

Art is everywhere in Lake City these days, and it has come from amazing places.

That’s true for ArtFields Jr., certainly, which has enlisted the hearts and minds of young artists throughout the PeeDee region.

ArtFields Jr. is a year-round program designed for K-12 students. It offers creative outlets for local kids who may have been underserved by existing arts education. Live performances, visiting artists and interaction and more fill the calendar.

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We invited the kids to show off their own artistic abilities – and vie for their own cash prizes. Each area school is encouraged to select three winning artworks in various categories and send them up to the ArtFields Jr. Competition.

Visitors to ArtFields can stop by the iH3 Wellness Center at 148 Sauls St. to view dozens of pieces that capture the spirit of ArtFields Jr.

We take this competition as seriously as we do the big one. After all, these budding artists can win cash prizes of $200, and winners will be announced on Saturday, May 3 on The Green at 7 p.m.

And we’re so serious about it, we enlisted professional judges to help honor the best work. They’ll be looking for creativity and originality, quality of the composition and design, clarity and interpretation of the theme, and overall impression left by the work.

Helping us with ArtFields Jr. Competition is this amazing panel of judges:

  • James Arendt was the inaugural ArtFields Top Prize winner, and has earned the Best in Show award at numerous competitions. His work in figure painting, drawing, prints, fabric and sculpture has drawn international attention.
  • Tarleton Blackwell has been named an “Outstanding Young Man of America” and an “Outstanding Professional South Carolinian in the Field of Art.”  His work has been displayed in more than 350 exhibitions and is held in numerous collections, including the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte.
  • Jane Madden co-founded the Art Trail Gallery, now in its sixth year of operation in Florence, SC, along with fellow judge, Alex Palkovich. A full-time faculty member at Francis Marion University, her artistic efforts focus on complexity in color on silk resulting in unique, fiber pieces that cannot be duplicated.
  • Alex Palkovich is a well-traveled, highly celebrated sculptor whose work has been displayed in five countries. He’s a National Sculpture Society People’s Choice Winner and was the first South Carolinian elected to the National Sculpture Society.
  • Carmela Pirozzi Bryan was raised in Italy and moved to Sumter in 1987, where her passions took her into arts management and building relationships between cultural institutions and area schools. She’s an active volunteer for the Cultural Commission and Sumter Little Theater.