April 21, 2022
ArtFields: Taking Root
A Plan for the Arts in Lake City
Ten years ago, art changed Lake City. In turn, Lake City made its own mark on the art world. ArtFields, simply by existing, challenged many notions of how contemporary art has traditionally been displayed and appreciated. Through its success, it rewrote the rules by breaking down barriers between the people of a small Southern town and artists from the South. Today, many know what we’ve always believed to be true: Art can, and should, be experienced by everyone. And Southern art, and Southern artists, are something special.
Looking back at a decade, it’s humbling, inspiring, and exciting to be where we are. This year, the work of 369 artists from 12 different states will be on display during ArtFields. Over 250 South Carolina students will be part of the ArtFields Jr. Competition and thousands of students will attend field trips during the event. Hundreds of volunteers will come together to welcome thousands of visitors, and our millionth dollar in artist prize money will be awarded at the close of the competition.
Today, the ArtFields Collective manages not only the April festival but three year-round galleries, the statewide ArtFields Jr. competition, a public art program, and a host of other educational programs. Everyone from the artists to our supporters to every person who has rallied around art in Lake City has helped put Southern art on the map, has made art more accessible, and has given ArtFields and Lake City an impact far beyond its small-town roots. At this milestone moment, we are celebrating how far we have come and, more importantly, looking forward to what’s next.
Here’s how we plan to build on this foundation, starting with three ongoing commitments:
LIFT UP LAKE CITY
ArtFields will continue to support and enrich the lives of the people who first rallied around art and made ArtFields possible: the people who call Lake City home.
CELEBRATE SOUTHERN ART
ArtFields will continue to elevate and celebrate Southern art with an emphasis on increasing artist opportunities and improving the competition experience for artists and visitors.
GROW OUR YEAR-ROUND ART TOWN
ArtFields will continue to foster a local environment conducive to artistic expression and growth, making Lake City a place where artists will want to live and work.
WHAT WE’LL DO
THE PLANNING PROCESS
We would like to thank those who participated in the process so far. We look forward to working with you to see the plan through. And even as that process begins, we will seek guidance from others, so our list of participants will grow.
Special thanks also to our planning consultants Ken May and Harriett Green.