Lake City's Artfields names contest winners

This winning piece of art belongs to Jim Arendt of Conway (Source: Artfields)
This winning piece of art belongs to Jim Arendt of Conway (Source: Artfields)

LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) - A two-week arts festival that stretched across Lake City has drawn to a close and the winners have been announced.

This arts festival - ARTSFIELDS - was the first of its kind and drew unique attention to Lake City.

By tallying votes by thousands of visitors and a panel of esteemed jurors, winners were chosen from the young artists that enter this contest from all across the region. The winners are:

  1. Jim Arendt of Conway, SC won the $50,000 Top Prize for his piece titled "Jamie"
  2. Leanna Knapp of Juliette, GA won the $25,000 Juried Panel Prize for her work, "Shell"
  3. John Cooper of Rutherfordton, NC won the $25,000 People's Choice Prize for his piece, Warsaw Ghetto 1945

Lake City underwent construction in preparation to host this new tourism event that leaders hope to host annually, called ARTFIELDS.

It is a city wide art show. Art work from more than 400 artists was housed throughout the city in 40 different buildings, and the event was expected to draw over 30,000 people to the small city.

Lake City has a population of 7,000. Mayor Lovith Anderson said Lake City may be small, but has a lot to offer.

"We have the museums, the bean market - we've been doing some facelifts with our downtown area," said Mayor Anderson. "Those are the kinds of things that people don't realize that we're doing in this small town."

Mayor Anderson said city administration recognized a need to showcase the city's assets, and bring revenue to the town. He added everyone loved the idea of hosting a city-wide art show, and a year later the city was preparing its biggest event to date.

Roads were being paved, trees planted, and construction crews were working in several locations in the city. Director of ARTFIELDS Karen Fowler said the event created a new buzz in the city.

"Our Community probably went through a period where we far less engaged, and now we're engaged again, along with all the electricity and construction and various artists," Fowler continued.

Mayor Anderson said a study will be conducted now that the event has been completed which will show the amount of revenue that was brought into the city.

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