Monday, April 30, 2018

art in Lake City


You never know who you'll meet at an art show.
Last week my sister Nila and I were dashing around shops and restaurants in Lake City, South Carolina looking at paintings and other art. It’s misleading to say ArtFields is just an art show. It’s an adventure. Downtown Main Street becomes a vibrant showplace for a week. You’ll find paintings hanging above racks of blouses or tee shirts or baby clothes. Mixed media in a mattress showroom. Installation art at the barber shop.
Nila with dress made of nitrile gloves, by artist Rebecca Whitson.
It rained for a couple of days, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the townspeople and shopkeepers. Their spirit was infectious and we hardly felt our feet get wet.

A number of the buildings recall the town’s rural past and have been restored, such as the Bean Market, the Jones-CarterGallery (which used to be a feed-and-seed store), and the McClam Livery Stables. About 400 works of art were professionally displayed at over 40 different locations. It took us more than a morning to see the art at the ROB (Ragsdale Old Building). This building was erected in the 1920s and was used as a charcoal briquette warehouse.
I gave this sculpture by Bryan Rapp of Myrtle Beach a score of 10.
Nila also liked Rapp's sculpture.
You can vote for your favorites, so Nila and I gave each work a score from 1-10 (10 the best). A comparison of our scores proved the adage that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” According to the program, winning artists will take home $12,500. 

As a general rule I give low scores to politically explicit art, in part because a judgment on the merit of the art apart from the politics isn't easy to make. However, I was stopped by this text from a mixed media piece: "there are as many kindergartners as there are prisoners in the United States" and "1 in 3 white males in America has a college degree. 1 in 3 black males expected to experience incarceration in their lifetime."

Saturday concluded ArtFields for 2018. The event is a winner, and I look forward to returning next year.
A teapot sculpture by Logan Woodle of Conway. I love the whimsical steam.
Nila at the orange sign that marked the location of art exhibits.

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