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Selection Panel | Lake City, SC & Lake City, CO
Artist, Psychotherapist, and Retreat Coordinator
Laurel Seibels Justice is an artist, psychotherapist, and retreat curator. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, with a BA in Art, she went on to earn an MA in Counseling from Webster University in Myrtle Beach. Laurel grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, and has lived in Colorado for the last 25 years. She divides her time now between Lake City, CO and Lake City, SC, where she hosts artist-in-residence programs.
A facilitator of workshops, retreats and group experiences using art, writing, dance and psychodrama, Laurel is passionate about creativity as a primary source of healing and self-care, for artists and non-artists alike. Her private therapy practice consists largely of creators, writers, musicians, actors, dancers, etc. Laurel's arts administration experience includes having served on the Public Art Commission of the Pikes Peak Region for 6 years, the Memorial Hospital Arts in Heathcare board (Colorado Springs), the Pikes Peak Arts Council, Ormao Dance Company, Spark & Echo Arts in NYC, and the Lake City Arts (CO) board. She curates and juries festivals, gallery shows, public art installations, performance art events, and digital art experiences based in London and New York. She has written arts and culture features for newspapers and magazines, and is the producer of a film project call Stranger Moments.
As for her own art practice, Laurel works in soft pastels and charcoal primarily, with subject matter varying from figure work to abstracts to landscapes. She has exhibited her work in numerous studio tours, galleries and public spaces in Colorado. Her art is found in private collections from coast to coast in the US, as well as in Canada, China, and Europe. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Chateau Orquevaux in France in the fall of 2018, and is the Artist-in-Residence at the Inn at the Lake in Lake City, CO. She has also been a lifetime dancer in various forms, performing in community theatre, ballroom dance competitions, and Latin dance events.
Her artwork can be found on her Instagram.
Selection Panel | Summerville, SC
Art Teacher, Rollings Middle School of the Arts
Meg Skow is an art teacher at Rollings Middle School of the Arts in Dorchester School District Two. She is certified k-12, has Gifted & Talented Endorsement, is National Board Certified, and has taught for more than 30 years. Awards and professional experiences include NAEA 2021 Middle Level Art Educator of the Year; Dorchester District 2 STARTS Co-administrator, NAEA Southeastern Region Vice President 2018 - 2020; South Carolina Art Educator of the Year 2019; SCAEA President 2012 - 2014; 2013 RMSA Teacher of the Year; National Art Education Association 2004 Southeastern Region Middle Level Art Educator of the Year; South Carolina Art Education Association 2003 Middle Level Art Educator of the Year.
The arts reflect the hearts and minds of individuals and is a common language that connects us. Arts provide unique opportunities to learn, explore, discover, and communicate ideas and perspectives. The arts are critical to the education of every student. All students should have access to the tools that empower their artistic voices. Through the arts, students can recognize what we have in common, understand how we're different, and learn to celebrate diversity in their communities and in the world. We should all support and promote young artists as they grow and prepare to be future leaders.
Selection Panel | Atlanta, GA
Brittany Williams is a project manager, designer, writer and poet from Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia's college of landscape architecture and environmental design with a career background in interior landscape design. As a designer she's had the opportunity to work for some of the top tech companies in Silicon Valley, and as a poet and a spoken word artist she has traveled the country to share her work and connect with other artists. Brittany's life as an artist began when she was a kid writing poetry in journals, drawing magical trees and sculpting jewelry out of playdoh. Because of this she believes that art is our greatest tool in educating, resourcing, and inspiring the next generation to be their best selves and share that with their communities - that's what changes the world, This is why Brittany is so excited to participate as a judge in this year's ArtFields Jr. competition.
Laura McRae Hitchcock is an award winning, internationally collected visual artist living and working in the lowcountry of South Carolina.
Before moving to Charleston, she lived in Charlotte, NC where she was a founding partner of Ciel Fine Art Gallery and Collective. While there, her painting was chosen for the internationally acclaimed ArtPOP billboard, she received several grants and she spearheaded a mural project for the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. Her work is featured in the book, #100 Love Notes.
After moving to Charleston, SC she became a founding partner for Wild Hair Adventures, a travel art workshop/retreat company. She has enjoyed artist residencies in Ireland and France and recently, she has become a member of the National Association of Women Artists as well as the South Carolina chapter of NAWA.
“I believe the arts are vital in the classroom. Because we use the right side of our brains for art and the left side for most other subjects, it is imperative that we encourage our children to create. Making art actually helps the brain work in a more balanced way, firing information back and forth. This builds the kind of creative thinking that will serve our children well for the rest of their lives. Even the child who excels in math and science benefits from art, just like the football athlete’s agility is enhanced with dance. Creativity will be one of the most needed skills going forward in our society, making the arts even more vital in the classroom today.”
Jury Panel | Orangeburg, SC
Assistant Professor of Art Education, Claflin University
Indira Bailey, Ph.D., is an extraordinary artist, illustrator and educator. She was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. Dr. Bailey attended Pratt Institute receiving a B.F.A. in Illustration and M.A. in Educational Leadership & Supervision from Kean University, and a dual Ph.D. in Art Education and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies from Penn State University.
Dr. Bailey received Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship to Morocco, South Africa, Memorial Fulbright Japan, and artist residency in Panama. She has received of a number of outstanding honors and awards as an educator and artist. Recently, Dr. Bailey was awarded the Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award from the National Art Education Association and her artwork was accepted in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago this April 2021.
Dr. Bailey is a licensed K-12 art educator and has taught high school art for 16 years, as well as community art programs for 20 years. She currently is the Assistant Professor of Art Education at Claflin University.
“I believe that it is very important for young people to participate in the arts. I started drawing as a child and I quickly understood how art helped me heal trauma and tragedy. Art is healing, it lets you communicate in ways words cannot. For young people, art is essential for them to have an outlet for expression. Art venues like ArtFields allows young people to take pride in themselves and demonstrate their creativity.”
Jury Panel | West Columbia, SC
Director of Curriculum, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Crescent Region
Originally from NYC, Aldamuy is the Director of Curriculum for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Crescent Region. Her duties there include developing programming for youth ages 4-18 in 13 counties across South Carolina. Under her leadership as Director of the Arts and now Director of Curriculum, BGCCR has had members place as finalists in the National Fine Arts Competition 7 years in a row.
She is a Mellon Fellow who has been writing, directing, choreographing and stage managing for 25 years with a focus on youth theatre and theatre for young audiences. She’s an award-winning playwright and poet whose essays have been featured in the New York Times. A 2002 Mellon Fellow, Crystal’s academic work focused on the connections between Medieval Art & Literature and contemporary Latin American culture.
“There is nothing more important than teaching a child that the skills they need for success are within them. Art allows youth to practice patience and focus, while coping with their emotions in a creative and constructive way. Providing opportunities for our youth to participate and engage in the arts will only benefit society by teaching them to be compassionate with themselves and each other.”