Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Charleston Currents- April 2014

ArtFields in Lake City offers something for the whole family
By LEIGH SABINE, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

APRIL 21, 2014 -- Last year, Pluff Mud Kids trekked to Lake City on a day trip to investigate a brand new twist on art and design. For the grand opening of this new and unusual art festival, the creative team behind ArtFields pulled out all the stops to reimagine Lake City as a giant museum, spreading art across every surface, wall and nook and cranny in everyday spaces such as shops and restaurants.
That out-of-the-box thinking encouraged children and families to walk right up and be involved and immersed in the art, which was one of the aspects that most appealed to my children.
Leaving their thoughts written on a wall at the "Before I Die" installation was empowering and helping spray paint a massive wall mural alongside real artists was a thrill for 9 year olds. My kids were able to see and understand sculpture, photography, the texture of oil paint, the art of graffiti and the idea that anything and everything can be created from basic materials and creative brain power.
Another key point to engage your children throughout the day is through participation in the voting process for their favorite works of art. Your votes count toward big cash prizes awarded to winning participating artists. With the addition of food and music and beautifully-designed gallery spaces, your family can spend an entire day peacefully wandering the small campus of Lake City. (There is also a free shuttle service this year which is helpful for families with small children).
You will come away deeply inspired and perhaps find new ways to tempt the creativity in your child. 
The following are highlights to look forward to for this year's festival which commences April 25 and runs through May 4:
  • Community Mandala: Beyond the Crossroads will pair 2013 People's Choice Winner, Kirkland Smith, with attendees as they create a sacred mandala from disposable materials.
  • 2013 Winners' Gallery will feature artwork on display from the inaugural ArtFields Art Competition winners-Top Prize Winner Jim Arendt, Juried Prize Winner Leanna Knapp and People's Choice Winner Kirkland Smith, at the Jones-Carter Gallery.

  • INSIDE OUT Project is part of a worldwide photography exhibit that seeks to express the scope of humanity through portrait photography, and will feature portraits of 55 Lake City venue owners/operators as they prepare for ArtFields.
  • Plein Air workshops will show artists how to create artwork on-location at two Lake City outdoor locales: the Imperial Tobacco Building led by William McCullough and Moore Farms Botanical Gardens led by Karen Weihs ($45 advance; April 30 and May 2, limited space available).

  • "Before I Die" Wall allows the public to share their hopes and dreams on a chalkboard in a public space in downtown Lake City.
  • ArtFields Portrait Contest with local farmers as the subjects is a high-speed, high-stakes paint-off. The best in show will receive $1,000 (May 3).
  • Chalk-n-Talk invites kids of all ages to create masterpieces with chalk on the sidewalks of Lake City with help from local art teachers (May 4).
  • Making it Grow, an Emmy-winning ETV show, invites attendees to be part of an audience when it tapes live at ArtFields. Host Amanda McNulty will discuss agricultural and gardening topics (April 26).
  • Farmers andArtisans Market allows visitors to experience sustainable agriculture and curated crafts from South Carolina vendors each weekend of ArtFields.

  • Color Me ArtFields 5K -- "Be the Canvas" is a 5K run and walk for all ages that ends with a splash of color for participants (April 26, registration required).
  • Live music with The Black and Blue Experience (April 26) and Touch Band and Show (May 3).
  • Fields to Fork Dinner celebrates Lake City's agricultural roots with a three-course dinner featuring food from local farms and entertainment from Mac Arnold and Plate Full O' Blues ($125, May 1).

  • ArtFields After-Dark 'Arty will entertain partygoers with a laser light show, glow-in-the-dark wearables and techno tunes from DJ B Mack at the historic
  • Bean Market ($15 in advance/$20 at door, ages 21 and over, May 2). 
To read more about our experience last year at ArtFields, click here. For tickets, directions and other general information, visit the ArtFields website here. Lake City is located in Florence county, 89 miles from Charleston.

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