Explorin’ With Loren: Lake City ‘like Disneyland for artists’

It’s like Disneyland for artists

Explorin’ With Loren: Lake City ‘like Disneyland for artists’

LAKE CITY, S.C. (WMBF) -This week’s destination was Lake City and it came just in time for ArtFields, where dozens of artist showed off their artwork throughout the city.

The community was excited to see it.

Visitors can let their creative mind wander through the streets of downtown Lake City. ArtFields 2021 is filled with folks armed with maps looking at competition artwork. There’s everything from paintings and sculptures to textile work, created by the region’s most talented artists.

Broderick Flannigan is the founder of a mural arts program for students. He came from Georgia to participate in this year’s event and called upon student volunteers from J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School.

“They can learn what public art is, give input to the process and to the design,” Flannigan said.

Fourteen-year-old Jalayh Speights is one of the student volunteers.

“When I was younger, I’ve always used to paint but I haven’t been doing it because of school and I’m just trying to get back into it,” Speights said.

ArtFields is for everyone, including young aspiring artists to more experienced ones, like fiber artist Kathleen Stuart of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.

Stuart took her quilting talents to the next level.

“I’m always amazed when I see it, especially when you see it, it’s usually in the studio and you really don’t get to. But when it’s hanging on wall, it’s kind of cool,” Stuart said. “It’s like Disneyland for artists.”

Stuart’s artwork hangs in a crowded Baker’s Sweets Bistro and Bakery, where guests can stop by for some southern cooking.

“We have a full breakfast and lunch. We also have pastries and cakes and all that as well,” owner Jennifer Baker said.

Baker said diners can’t go wrong with the praline cake, their signature dessert. It’s a butter pecan cake with praline frosting. This is Baker’s seventh ArtFields and she said it’s something everyone, especially local shops, look forward to every year.

“It brings in lots of people year-round because they come here to see the art but then they also come back to visit when they’re headed to the beach or going to Pawleys,” Baker said. “Just come out and join us.”

After breakfast or lunch, cross the charming Main Street to Seven Boutique, where owner Anna Burrows is stocked with unique items.

“We sell women’s clothes, home décor, kids items,” Burrows said.

Burrows said people really love to buy the Sweet Grace Fragrance line made from Spartanburg, S.C.

“We have the candles, the laundry detergent, vent clips, sachets,” Burrows said.

ArtFields artwork also hangs inside her boutique and her business next door that’s geared towards men. Burrow said she too appreciates this annual event as it brings the community closer together.

“It’s like Christmas to us all over again,” Burrows said. “I love the community. I love being here, don’t really want to leave.”

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