LAKE CITY, S.C. (WBTW) — ArtFields 2021 kicked off Friday in Lake City to a lot of fanfare from attendees, business owners and artists.
The nine-day art competition and festival was called off last year because of the pandemic, but has arrived in full force in 2021.
“We have lots of new businesses that are participating and we’re always thrilled to invite new people to be a part of it,” Director of Lake City ArtFields Collective Jamison Kerr said. “We also have five public art projects this year. Many of them will stay through early March of next year so that even after ArtFields is over people will be able to come back and walk around Lake City.”
There are about 40 venues participating to turn downtown Lake City into a giant at gallery. Art has been placed in stores, restaurants, galleries and everything else in between. There’s over 300 pieces of art on display.
The annual festival began in 2013 in part to help revitalize downtown.
“We have already had some people come in this morning that say, ‘how long have you been here? We didn’t know you were here,'” Owner of a’bloom florals and events Merry Floyd said. “So people find out what Lake City has to offer.”
Attendees can vote for their favorites pieces as they enjoy the festival, which will decide two $12,500 prizes. There’s over $100,000 in awards up for grabs.
Some artists aren’t competing, though, and are working on public art displays.
“I’m going to be inside a vacant storefront here on Main Street,” artist Joe Dreher said. “And as people walk by they can stop and I will draw them on the window of the storefront and then make a print from that. And I’ll collect prints over the next 10 days. And what ends up happening is more than just the individual portraits; it starts to grow a portrait of the community.”
ArtFields runs through next Saturday in Lake City.