Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Two Berkeley County artists are among the 400 from across 11 southeastern states selected to compete in ArtFields in Lake City beginning Friday.
Bonneau residents Horace Nobles and Elliott West join the other artists in vying for $100,000 in total cash prizes. ArtFields runs April 19-28.
Three awards, People’s Choice, Judges’ and Top Prize, will be given.
The People’s Choice award will be the piece that gets the most votes during the 10-day festival; the Judges award will be the piece deemed the best by the panel of judges. The Top Prize will factor in both the popular vote and the judges’ opinions.
ArtFields Executive Director Karen Fowler has been the self-described pied piper for ArtFields since businesswoman and Lake City native Darla Moore first came to her with the seed of an idea to help her hometown.
“Lake City is a small town that has been depressed, people leaving, those still there not engaged. One of the areas ArtFields is focusing on is fusing business with art – a daunting task.
“We knew on day one there would be resistance from the town; they wouldn’t like it. And they didn’t. Many said they didn’t like artists, that artists were freaks,” Fowler said.
But they knocked on doors and eventually the doors were opened wide.
“The venues – mostly local businesses – are excited. When people come this year, they will enjoy the community. When they come back in 2, 5 and 10 years they will experience the growth of ArtFields with us and will see how it has transformed Lake City.
At first the owners told the ArtFields staff to just put whatever they wanted to in their business, but the owners of the businesses were brought in to decide on which art would be shown in their business. It was obvious they knew what they liked and what they didn’t like.
“We wanted them to select what they wanted to have in their space,” Fowler said.
Voters must go to Lake City to register in order to vote for their favorite. Voters may register only one time and must be 16 years old with a valid drivers license or government issued photo ID. Once registered, voters may vote online with a unique elector ID and PIN.
In addition to the competition, ArtFields will feature workshops, lectures and entertainment. Most of the venues and events are free and open to the public. Some require a ticket with prices at $5 and $10 for most.
• A conversation with Lowcountry artists Jonathan Green and Mary Whyte moderated by Angela Mack.
• Public art includes a chalkboard in a public space in lake City where they public cam share their hopes and dreams and mini-cine, a mobile movie theater set inside a refurbished shipping container.
• ArtFields portrait contest with local farmers as they subjects in a high-speed, high-stakes paint-off. The best in show is $1,000.
• Art workshops (ticketed) in Plein air painting and screen printing
• Screen printing café where guests will be the curator of their own merchandise.
• Live painting on the green
• ArtFields After-Dark – Exquisite Corpse featuring DJ Rocky Horror (ticketed 21 and over) which invites attendees to take part in an interactive art project.
• Special ticket events, including a Farm to Fork Dinner and a Gospel Lunch at the Market.
In addition to the officially-sponsored events, ArtFields will also feature concerts and live music, with performances from New Orleans Rebirth Band and musicians from across the Southeast, a farmers’ and artisans’ market and al fresco food options from food trucks.
ArtFields grew from the town’s history of cultivating strawberries, beans and other staples of South Carolina agriculture.
“Now ArtFields is serving as a fertile field for the cultivation of art and culture in one of South Carolina’s oldest communities, thanks to the generosity of local sponors including the Patron of the Arts, IGA.
For more information on ArtFields go to: http://www.artfieldssc.org
The Green Barn
Artist: Horace Nobles
Location: Bonneau, South Carolina
Bonneau artist Horace Nobles believes an artist should paint the things they know and love.
“Having been raised in the rural Lowcountry of South Carolina, I find a wealth of subject matter in my natural surroundings of woods and fields, dirt roads and old farm buildings. Often I depict wildlife with weathered farm structures in the background. The history of this area also finds its way into many of my paintings,” he says.
His are based on character, color and shape.
“I find my subjects in an avenue of live oaks draped in spanish moss, the face of a mule or an old plantation home that has withstood the passing of time,” he says.
Nobles paints in both watercolor and oil, depending on what medium best suits the subject.
He is a member of the Berkeley Artist's Guild from which he won Best in Show in 2004.
Artist: Elliott West
Location: Bonneau, South Carolina
Elliott West was born in Charleston, grew up, and has lived most of her life in the Lowcountry. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Early Childhood Education and began her teaching career in Fort Worth, Texas. Upon returning to Moncks Corner in 1978, she continued her career in education in the Berkeley County School District. After teaching for 28 years, West decided to test the waters in the new career of fine art. She has taken workshops from many noted artists: Joyce Hall, Martin Ahrens, Chris Groves, James Pratt, and Luanna Luconi Winner, to mention a few. Elliott draws inspiration for her work from the southern charm of her native Lowcountry.
Elliot says she finds inspiration in the people, places, and things that have been such a positive influence in her life. Favorite subjects include local southern architecture, pets and people.
Elliott's favorite medium is oil, with pastel being a close second. Her work speaks to the connectedness one has to the people, places, and things one experiences in life on a day-to-day basis.