Lake City Comes Alive with Artfields

By:Shani Gilchrist

Date:9/16/2014

The world might realize that the South is a rich stew of culture and storytelling, but extent of the artistic side of that culture is a story in itself whose legacy is constantly reinventing itself. It seems that everywhere you go in the Southeast someone is gushing about the latest new and innovative arts event they’ve attended. As much as we all revere and respect the cultural communities of New England and the West Coast, there is a special magnetism felt in the arts of the South that is felt all over the world.

There is little doubt that South Carolina has fertile ground for creativity to grow. Recognizing this, Lak​​e City boosters, a group led by world-class businesswoman Darla M​oore, have created an event that draws attention to the consistent bumper crop of visual arts talent in the South.

Artfie​lds, a large-scale art competition featuring the work of over 400 works selected from artists in 11 Southeastern states, takes place April 19–28. The event will take place in various parts of Lake City, a town in Florence ​County that predates the Revolutionary War. I spoke with Colu​mbia artist La​urie McIntosh. She told me how excited she is about the event and for the town that is playing host. “This is really going to wake people up to the realization that the revitalization of any town is based on the arts,” she said. “I can’t wait to get down there. There are so many artists that I can’t wait to see and meet. I think it’s going to be a really good event.”

Darla Moore’s vision for ArtFields includes showcasing the creative talent that is bred in South Carolina’s cultural communities much the way cities like Austin have. Inspiration isn’t just “everywhere” in such places, it is marketed and catered to in order to draw people to quaint, beautiful backdrops much like the ones present in Lake City.

Art will be everywhere. From the event’s hub at Ragsdale Old Building to Ronald E. McNair History Center to Joe’s Barber Shop, buildings will be bursting with artwork. Why everywhere? How often have you driven through a beautiful and small southern town and looked wistfully at the buildings representing past ages of common architectural excellence and imagined yourself wandering in? How often do you get to really explore those buildings and the surrounding outdoor spaces that have seen so much of the region’s agricultural and social history? This is the perfect opportunity to explore a small Southern town’s past, future, and extended potential.

Regional artists jumped at the chance to be selected for the Artfields competition. The top prize offers an award of $50,000 and is partially factored by the votes in the People’s Choice Award, which awards $25,000 to the winner. Overall, $100,000 will be awarded to some of the South’s best artists, and the best part is that visitors get to take part in bestowing those awards. Artists are so wrapped up in the excitement surrounding the event that it is pouring out of Lake City.

In addition to touring Lake City’s best spaces while surveying the art, visitors will have the chance to attend lectures, workshops, parties, and more throughout the multi-day festival. 

Dubbed the “epic Southern artfest,” Artfields won’t only be concentrating on visual art. Throughout the event there will be free concerts, dinners, and more.

If you want to experience the brilliance of Southern art culture in its true form, Lake City is the place to go for Artfields. The festival is bound to become a shining example of the New South.

Related Content

Art Trail Gallery
Art Trail Gallery, the home studio of sculptor Alex Palkovich, features the work of many artists from the Pee Dee region.
Greenwood Offers Art and Charm
One of my favorite less-traveled places is the town of Greenwood. The town has held onto much of its early 20th century charm even though the mills don’t hum like they used to.
Darla Moore Uses Gardening and Art to Bring Artfields to Lake City
Darla Moore's talent for making things happen has led her to the top of the finance world, being the first woman on the cover of Fortune magazine and a spot on the same publication’s “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business" listing.

Featured Products

ArtFields
Midlands

Lake City

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
rtFields® started in 2013 with a simple goal: honor the artists of the Southeast with a week’s worth of celebration and competition in the heart of a traditional Southern ...

Featured products and attractions in "Lake City Comes Alive with Artfields"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

Anderson Arts Center
Mountains

Anderson

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Features an art gallery and exhibits, the Arts Center Permanent Collection, classes and community programs throughout the year. ...
Pickens County Museum of Art & History
Mountains

Pickens

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
The Pickens County Museum of Art and History is housed in the old Pickens County "Gaol" (jail). This wonderful example of turn-of-the-century architecture, constructed o ...
Abbeville Spring Festival
Midlands

Abbeville

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
An award-winning event featuring live entertainment all day, art and flower shows, antique car and collector show, craft vendors, amusement rides, evening street dances, ...
Williamsburg County Art Gallery
Midlands

Kingstree

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Victorian-era buildings feature revolving art exhibits in downtown Kingstree. ...
Colleton Museum and Farmers Market
Coast

Walterboro

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Located in the Historic District of Downtown Walterboro; a tangible piece of Colleton County's history, the museum features a permanent collection that explores the count ...
McCormick Arts Council at the Keturah (MACK)
Midlands

McCormick

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
Revolving art exhibits now draw crowds to the old Keturah Hotel, where vacationers used to stay in the early decades of the 20th century. The adjoining city park and amph ...