Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist



James Arendt and John Cooper take prizes at ArtFields

Posted 4/28/2013 5:22:00 PM

ArtFields has been the talk of the Palmetto State for the past nine days, and everyone has been dying to know who would win the generous prizes offered by Lake City’s first “epic” art festival. Artists from 11 states participated, resulting in the small town being decorated with more than 400 pieces of art that ranged from colossal installation pieces to painted landscapes.

Last night the Top Prize was awarded to James Arendt, a Conway native who is director of the Rebecca Bryan Gallery at Coastal Carolina University. Arendt “is an artist whose work explores the shifting paradigms of labor and place through narrative figure painting, drawing, prints, fabric and sculpture. Influenced by the radical reshaping of the rural and industrial landscapes he grew up in, he investigates how individual lives are affected by transitions in economic structures.” As winner of the top prize, Arendt receives $50,000.

The $25,000 People’s Choice prize was awarded to John Cooper of Rutherfordton, N.C. The winner of this prize was chosen by ArtFields visitors who voted for their favorite work of art. Cooper is a pre-medical student at Wofford College in Spartanburg. His piece, “Warsaw Ghetto 1943,” is a powerful rendition of the conditions that Jewish residents in Poland suffered during the Holocaust.

Congratulations to the winners!