2018 ArtFields Winners Collectively Take Home $120K in Prizes

Installation art by Michaela Pilar Brown at ArtFields.
Michaela Pilar Brown won the $50,000 prize at ArtFields for her installation She’s Almost Ready.

ArtFields, the sprawling Southeastern art competition that takes place in venues throughout Lake City, South Carolina, drawing 20,000 visitors to the remote town, concluded its weeklong run on Saturday, April 29, with an awards ceremony for artists who received over $120,000 in cash prizes.

The top two winners selected by a jury of curators and critics are Michaela Pilar Brown of Columbia, SC, who won the $50,000 Grand Prize for her mixed-media installation She’s Almost Ready. According to the artist, “”This is a current exploration of personal and familial histories through an archiving of objects and the personal mythologies associated with these objects. This work examines the collecting of heirloom objects as a means of identity construction and the building of personal, familial and community history as counter-narrative to American history, re-centering black female subjectivity.” Kristi Ryba of Charleston, SC, who  won the $25,000 Second Place Prize for her installation The Chapel of Perpetual Adoration.

Religious-themed installation art by Kristi Ryba at ArtFields.
Kristi Ryba took second place at ArtFields for Chapel of Perpetual Adoration.

The jury comprised Marilyn Zapf, assistant director and curator at the Center for Craft in Asheville; artist Frank Poor, a Georgia native who lives in Rhode Island; New York-based critic Eleanor Heartney; Edmund Gaither, director and curator of the Museum of the National Center of Afro-Am erican Artists; and Jessica Gaynelle Moss, founder of The Roll Up Artist Residency in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Drawing of an elderly African-American couple holding a tobacco leaf by Colin Quashie.
People’s Choice winner Plantation Tree of Life by Colin Quashie.

People’s choice prizes were given to Colin Quashie of Charleston, SC, for his painting Plantation Tree of Life and Victoria Hagner of Sumter, SC, for her mixed media mosaic Mr. Brooks. Each People’s Choice winner took home a prize of $12,500.

The top four pieces become part of Lake City’s permanent collection.

Victoria Hagner three-dimensional mosaic resembling an embroidered shirt.
Victoria Hagner’s mosaic Mr. Brooks.

Artists receiving category prizes of $1,500 each:

  • Drawing: Janet Kozachek, Orangeburg, SC, “Journey to the Underworld”
  • Installation: Maggie Evans, Savannah, GA, “Collective Belief”
  • Painting: Kevin Spaulding, Effingham, SC, “The Sacrifice
  • Printmaking: Jim Creal, Spartanburg, SC, “Hunting Island: Eroding Shoreline”
  • Digital Media: Chalet Comellas, Tallahassee, FL., “Movement in Place”
  • Mixed Media: Tyrone Geter, Elgin, SC, “Blackball, Blackmail, Blackcat, Black Man”
  • Photography: Brant Barrett, Surfside Beach, SC, “Riding with Chubby Checker”
  • Sculpture: Bryan Rapp, Myrtle Beach, SC, “A Parade of Horribles”

Merit Prizes of $1,000 each went to:

  • Katie Beall, Smyrna, GA, “Meeting”
  • Allen Coles, Columbia, SC, “State Fair”
  • Peter Lenzo, Columbia, SC, “In Memory of My Memory – Kris’ Leg”
  • Colin Quashie, Charleston, SC, Plantation Tree of Life”
  • Thomas Schmidt, Jefferson Ellinger, Paul Stockhoff, Charlotte, NC, ”LED Kintsugi”
  • Judy Shreve, Ellijay, GA., “What’s in Your Backyard?”
  • SmithTownsend Collaborative, Lexington, KY, “View of the big nothing from an abandoned perch atop pink meat pod island (with godbird watching)”
  • Tom Stanley, Rock Hill, SC, “12 Panel Drawing”
  • Laura Spong, Columbia, SC, “The Reaction Was Stormy”
  • Ross Turner, New Orleans, La., “Uncle Bluegill”

The competition is the brainchild of Darla Moore, who was recently featured in the New York Times. A native of Lake City, she had a lucrative career in finance in New York and was the first woman featured on the cover of Fortune magazine, in 1997.

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