The Artside

Keith Claussen is a guest arts columnist | Contact Keith

The Artside: Arts competitions offer career-changing recognition

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Artists in our area will want to take note of a couple of major competitions, both designed to offer career-changing awards and recognition.

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Esther Melton's oil-stick painting Spring Barn is on exhibit at the Aiken Center for the Arts. A reception with her and other artists will be Thursday, Dec. 13.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Esther Melton's oil-stick painting Spring Barn is on exhibit at the Aiken Center for the Arts. A reception with her and other artists will be Thursday, Dec. 13.

The Hudgens Prize Visual Arts Competition returns to the Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth, Ga., offering one talented (and very lucky) Georgia artist a cash award of $50,000 and a solo exhibition.

The competition is open to artists working in any medium, who are over 18 and are full-time Georgia residents.

Competition entries are to be submitted by digital upload before the deadline of Feb. 1, 2013.

Full details are available at www.thehudgens.org. A jury panel will review the entries and select four artists to display their work in the finalists’ exhibition, and the winner will be announced at a celebration in August.

Contemporary art curators from three important American art institutions will form the jury panel for the competition. Jurors are Doryun Chong, associate curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Toby Kamps, the chief curator of the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas; and Heather Pesanti, the curator of the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y.

Offering one of the largest art awards in the country, the Hudgens competition is funded by an anonymous donor and gives the winner national recognition and the opportunity to work without financial distraction.

The prize was last awarded in 2010 to Atlanta artist Gyun Hur, who then went on to receive an Artadia Award and exhibit in Chicago and Hong Kong.

A NEW EVENT billing itself as the Southeast’s most generous arts festival has been created to give the town of Lake City, S.C., a gold star on the cultural map. Three artists living in any of a dozen Southeastern states will share in $100,000 in prizes. As with the Hudgens competition, the top prize is $50,000, but there will also be a people’s choice award of $25,000 and a juried panel prize of $25,000.

Artfields is the name of Lake City’s new festival, scheduled for April 19-28, 2013, and organizers are billing it as an Epic Southern Artfest. In addition to more than 400 works of art on display, there will be an artist lecture series, a portrait competition, concerts and a farmers’ market.

The Artfields festival has been created by Lake City boosters, led by South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore, who recently came into the national and international spotlight as one of the first two women invited to membership in Augusta National Golf Club.

Registration for the competition opens Jan. 7 and closes Feb. 1 at www.artfieldssc.org.

ON A MUCH SMALLER scale, there are numerous ways those of us without large financial resources can support the arts in our area, from visiting museums and galleries to purchasing memberships in art organizations and patronizing museum shops and stores that offer local art.

Check out the fifth annual exhibit of works by area art educators going on display Dec. 18 in the first-floor education gallery at the Morris Museum of Art. Then head to the second floor for a view of the main galleries and see what’s on sale in the museum store.

THE GREATER AUGUSTA Arts Council has launched a Give $5 for Public Art campaign, seeking individual support for a program of high-quality public art in our area. There’s more information at augustaarts.com.

FOR THOSE in the Aiken area, there is a gallery reception Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Aiken Center for the Arts on Laurens Street. From 6 to 8 p.m., visitors can stroll through several art exhibits and chat with artists about their work. Exhibitors include Tom Supensky, Elizabeth Moretz-Britt, Judy Adamick, Doris Sofge, Anne Smith, Jill Stafford and Esther Melton. There is also an invitational holiday show and works by student artists.

FANS OF noted South Carolina artist Jim Harrison will want to pick up one of his signed and numbered 2013 Cocoa-Cola calendars, available at Security Federal Bank locations through January.

Harrison is selling the special-edition calendars for the benefit of a scholarship fund he established at the University of South Carolina Aiken in honor of his mother.

Harrison is a licensed artist for the Coca Cola Co. and is widely known for his depictions of 20th century rural structures. Visit www.jimharrison.com to see more about the artist and his work.

IF YOU WANT to show your support for the arts in Georgia, you can now purchase an arts specialty license plate. The plate was designed by Georgia artist Steve Penley, known for his depictions of historical icons. More information can be found on the Georgia Council for the Arts Web site at www.gaarts.org.


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