ArtFields honors local Southeastern artists, calls for Kentuckians

By Kristina Rosen, click here to read in Ace Weekly.

Calling all local Kentucky-based artists, ArtFields is now accepting applications for its 2020 Southeastern art competition through November 1.

For those who are unfamiliar, ArtFields is an annual art competition that began in 2013 with one simple goal: honor Southeastern artists.

For nine days each spring, Lake City, South Carolina transforms into a town-wide gallery giving 34 artists exposure to thousands of art lovers, collectors and curators, as well as the opportunity to compete for over $145,000 in prizes.

“ArtFields offers a stage that is often not available for Southeastern artists,” says Roberta Burns, Marketing Manager of ArtFields. “Accepted Kentucky artists will be able to network with hundreds of other artists, curators, and collectors that could help them land their next show or sell their next big piece.”

During the nine days of ArtFields, up to 400 works of art are put on display in locally-owned venues, from renovated 1920s warehouses and professional art spaces to the library, the history museum, restaurants, boutiques and more. Since each local business chooses the artwork to be placed in their space, these businesses develop a great pride in the pieces.

“What really sets ArtFields apart is the true joy and celebration that surrounds the event. The venues really take the time to get to know the artist and their story in order to share with the thousands of visitors who view the art,” says Burns. “Artists leave feeling the unprecedented love, support, and validation that what they create matters.”

How could one describe the nine days when Lake City transforms into a town-wide art exhibition?

“There is definitely magic in the air,” says Burns. “The town is bustling with excitement and the spirit of creativity is palpable at every corner. Attendees feel this electricity as they come in full contact with the living, breathing proof of the power of art.”

In the past eight years, ArtFields has awarded nearly $800,000 in prize money, helped launch the careers of countless artists, and ultimately led to Lake City’s transformation into a burgeoning arts mecca.

“ArtFields has also shown the incredible power of art as it has kick-started the revitalization of a small town that formerly was an agricultural hub,” says Burns.

Some of the most exciting changes of the art competition have occurred in Lake City itself as new businesses open each year and murals are added that transform bare walls into a creative landscape.

The most exciting change to the ArtFields competition itself is the Winners Gallery that will display the top winners from each year.

“We are so honored to have started this collection. To have these pieces displayed in a year-round space further elevates the profile of Southern art, as well as the winners themselves.”

As far as a timeline, artwork must be submitted by November 1. After the initial deadline, submitted artwork is reviewed by a selection panel of visual artist professionals and rated on a scale of 1-10. The 400 pieces of artwork to receive the top average scores are accepted to be part of the exhibition in Lake City.

During the exhibition, a separate panel of judges will determine 32 juried prizes while the two People’s Choice Awards are voted on by the people who attend. Both panels of judges change from year to year so artists are encouraged to continue to submit and participate each year.

Adult artists and collaborative groups of all media, who live in the competition’s 12 participating Southern states are welcome to apply. Submissions are accepted now through November 1. More information on submission guidelines can be found here.

ArtFields is set for April 24 through May 2, 2020.