ArtFields announces competition winners
ArtFields, a first-of-its-kind, Epic Southern artfest competition and celebration held April 19-28 in historic Lake City, has announced the winners of the art prize awards. James Arendt, of Conway and director of Rebecca Randall Bryan Gallery, won the $50,000 Top Prize for “Jamie,” his work of cut denim. Leanna Knapp, of Juliette, Ga., and a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, won the $25,000 Jury Prize for “Shell,” a dress sculpture made of clay and fabric.
Award of the Popular Choice prize, which represents the most votes cast by the public, has been suspended. According to Sue-Ann Gerald Shannon, legal counsel for Lake City Partnership Council, the competition’s sponsor, the initial awardee has been sent notification that his entry, “Warsaw Ghetto 1943,” is ineligible for the award because it did not meet the guidelines and rules of the competition.
Shannon stated: “The eligibility rules, which were clearly set out from the start, required that the submitted entry be wholly owned by the artist and does not infringe upon the rights of others. After conducting our due diligence investigation, and consulting with art experts, we determined that the ‘Warsaw Ghetto 1943’ entry was merely a re-colorized reproduction of the iconic photograph depicting German soldiers leading away captured Jews for deportation. Although some displeasure has been expressed for our not disqualifying this piece earlier, in fairness to all and to maintain the competition’s integrity, we first wanted to be absolutely sure we were on solid footing that the piece failed to comply with the rules. After careful review, we have disqualified the Warsaw Ghetto piece and we will soon announce the winner of the Popular Choice award.”
“We appreciate the hard work of talented, creative, original artists and while we do not want this competition to be a heavily-vetted, sanitized showcase, we must ensure that everyone follows the same rules,” stated Shannon. “In getting ready for next year’s event, we are already thinking about ways to improve greatly the competition.”
Shannon also noted, “What is important to us is that we accomplished what we set out to do with ArtFields. We are excited about the stunning artistic and cultural opportunities we have been able to offer, the significant economic impact to Lake City and the strengthened spirit of community among our residents. Also, we were delighted to afford an opportunity for increased exposure for some of our Southeastern artists. Artists, museum directors and art gallery curators from all over have expressed a desire to bring future exhibits to be showcased in Lake City.”
The prize winners can be seen in-person by visiting Lake City. Go to the ArtFields website,www.artfieldssc.org, for more information on the competition and to view the online competition artwork gallery.