Submit your work now for the 2012 North Charleston Arts Festival Judged Fine Art & Photography Competitions & Exhibitions

Fine artists and professional and amateur photographers ages 18 and up are invited to participate in the annual North Charleston Arts Festival Judged Fine Art and Judged Photography Competitions and Exhibitions.

The show will be on display throughout the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex from May 4-12 and cash prizes are awarded for winning entries.

The deadline for submissions is 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, for photography, and noon on Friday, May 3, for fine art. Entry fees are $5 and $10, respectively.

You can download application forms here.

Fine artists may submit work in 5 categories: Acrylic, Oil, Drawing/Pastel, Watercolor, and Mixed Media. Entries will compete for cash prizes totaling up to $4425. Awards are at the sole discretion of the juror, Kimberly H. Spears.  As the Executive Director of the Anderson County Arts Council, Ms. Spears oversees the rotating gallery exhibitions in the Anderson County Arts Center. She has served as juror for art exhibitions around the state.

Photographers may submit work in the Professional/Advanced division or Amateur division under the categories of Color or Monochrome. Entries will compete for cash prizes totally up to $1450 and are judged using the Photographic Society of America Print Guidelines.  Scoring is done by three competent judges in the field of photography who will score entries using the 3-9 range of scores.  Each judge will evaluate each entry as a whole, considering the areas of Impact, Composition, and Technique.  However, there is no specific weighting or allotment of points for each category.  This system is used efficiently and effectively by many councils, at international exhibitions, and by camera clubs. It allows an adequate qualitative separation of entries while lessening the potential for a large number of the higher scoring entries having identical scores. In the event of a tie-breaker, judges will choose the winning entry.

Awards for both competitions will be announced at an artist reception on Friday, May 4, from 6:00-7:00pm at the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Exhibition viewing times are Saturday, May 5, 10:00am – 4:00pm; Sunday, May 6, 2:00pm – 5:00pm; Monday through Friday, May 7-11, 9:00am – 5:00pm; and Saturday, May 12, 9:00am – 12:00pm.

The North Charleston Arts Festival, scheduled May 4-12, is one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in the Lowcountry, providing thousands of residents & visitors with a fabulous array of performances, exhibitions, and activities. The Main Event, held the first weekend in May, offers free admission and parking to over 40 performances on four stages.  Other Main Event activities include exhibitions, a gem and mineral show, an antique show, children’s activities, art and crafts booth, and food court.  The Arts Festival continues with over 50 free or moderately priced ticketed events throughout the week at various locations and concludes with fireworks over the Cooper River at the Grand Finale at Riverfront Park.    

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Festival, or to download applications for the Judged Fine Art and Photography Competitions and Exhibitions, visit For more information about other exhibition opportunities, visit or call the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office at 843-740-5854. 

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