Hundreds fill downtown Lake City as ArtFields 2021 begins

Lake City ArtFields Begins

LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) - ArtFields 2021 made its long-awaited return to Lake City on Friday.

The annual art competition was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but once again hundreds of people filled the streets enjoying beautiful artwork from across the country.

“Every year after ArtFields is over we are always waiting for the next year, so we’ve been waiting for this day since ArtFields 2019,” marketing manager Roberta Burns said.

The ArtFields staff has been preparing for this year’s event for months, and Burns said safety is the number one priority.

Several health and safety measures include placing hand sanitizer and masks in all 40 venues.

“To be able to have this event for the Pee Dee, South Carolina, and beyond means so much to us. To be able to display southern art like this in a safe place like this is so exciting,” Burns said.

Artist Janet Swigler is participating in ArtFields for the sixth time and said it’s great to be back with so many excited people.

“Seeing creative work that’s been pent up in the artists for a long time, so being able to express those things and sharing with them all the possible forms of artwork,” she said.

Randy Mulkey and his wife traveled from Conway to support their neighbor, who’s one of this year’s artists.

For Mulkey, ArtFields is a chance to get out of the house for once.

“Breathing a lot easier these days with a lot more things loosening up, maybe it’s the advent of spring, our flowers at home are starting to bloom and South Carolina looks like it’s blooming along with them,” he said.

Mulkey moved from California a few years ago, and he’s always wanted to make a stop in Lake City.

He said ArtFields does a great job of showcasing this wonderful area.

“We’ve always been interested in finding the pockets of our culture not only in California, but everywhere and the longer we’ve been in South Carolina, we’re finding all sorts of great things to appreciate,” Mulkey said.

ArtFields 2021 runs through May 1.

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