National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition

white abstract sculpture on concrete pedestal
metal sculpture imitating falling leaves

2024/25 Competition & Exhibition

abstract sculptures at a park

Location

North Charleston Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29405
Viewing times: May 1, 2024 – March 16, 2025, public park open daily
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Opening celebration and award acknowledgements:
Charleston Area Convention Center
Exhibit Hall C
5001 Coliseum Drive
North Charleston, SC 29418
Wednesday, May 1, 2024 – 6:00-8:00pm
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Overview

Sculpture artists from across the nation were invited to enter their work for the 18th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Eleven sculptures by artists from five different states were juried into the 2024/25 exhibit. Once installed, awards for Best in Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions were selected by the juror, Lauren Nye. Organized by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department and presented as a component of the annual North Charleston Arts Fest, this unique exhibition offers established and emerging artists the opportunity to display their inspiring and extraordinary sculptures throughout the picturesque North Charleston Riverfront Park, set along the banks of the Cooper River. An estimated 50,000 people visit this public park annually to enjoy the amenities located in the heart of the city’s arts community.

Otocast - See. Here. Explore.

For those who want to learn more about the sculptures in the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition from the artists themselves, download a mobile audio guide on the free app, OtoCast. Users can select “North Charleston, SC” from the list of active tours to begin a self-guided audio tour through Riverfront Park. The app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

About the Juror

The juror for the 2024/2025 competition and exhibition is Lauren Nye, Associate Curator at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN. Before moving to Tennessee in 2023, she served as the Director of Exhibitions at the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, PA, for ten years. In her freelance work, Nye collaborates with collectors, artists, and corporations to bring creative projects to life. She has curated exhibitions at both commercial and non-profit venues since 2010 and has assisted in sculptural installations nationally and internationally. Nye has served as a juror and at arts organizations such as the Berks Art Council, Elizabethtown College, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Adams County Arts Council, Creative York, and Millersville University, where she was honored to be the first alumni juror in exhibition history.

Her interest in public art sparked the beginning of the Susquehanna Art Museum mural project, and she successfully coordinated the installation of an ambitious 1,400 sq. ft. outdoor mural in the Midtown district of Harrisburg. Nye’s speaking engagements include the PA Museums Conference at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Impact Arts Conference at the Cultural Alliance of York County, and the Business of Art Conference at the Foundry Art Market. She is passionate about young artist development and has been a featured speaker for groups of emerging artists and art professionals at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Bridgette Mayer Gallery Empowered Artist program, Capital Area School for the Arts, Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Arts, Millersville University, Harrisburg Area Community College, the Perry County Council of the Arts, and the Penn State Harrisburg Museum Studies program.

Submit Your Work

Sculptors from across the nation are invited to submit an application for participation in the Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Up to 14 sculptures are selected for the exhibit and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $19,750. The application period for 2024/25 is NOW CLOSED (deadline: February 25, 2024). Call the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854 for more information, or to be added to the application mailing list for 2025/26.

2024/5 Winners

Best in Show: “Light Cone” (steel & paint) by Hanna Jubran (Grimesland, NC)
Outstanding Merit: “Human Collective” (clay w/crater glaze) by Mark Chatterly (Williamston, MI)
Honorable Mentions:
“Phoebe” (powder coated steel) by Doub McAbee (Lancaster, SC)
“Cathedral’ (steel) by Ann Melanie (Anderson, SC)
“Daisy” (steel & aluminum) by Joni Younkins-Herzog (Athens, GA)

Juror’s Statement

This year’s North Charleston Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition elections reflect strong sculptural techniques and whimsical compositions that will engage visitors of all ages and sensibilities. As the juror, I considered how visitors experience art in public places, especially parks such as Riverfront. We come to parks for recreation, exercise, community events, and respite amidst the bustle of modern life. Some parkgoers may not expect to encounter sculpture during their visit, and I imagined what combination of works would surprise and delight them unexpectedly.

The works selected offer a wide range of techniques, from classical forms created using high-level technical skills to imaginative organic pieces that inspire laughter. I encourage visitors to look closely at the differences in material, finish, and form and consider how the grouping represents a diversity of shapes, sizes, and colors. These pieces were created by artists who were unafraid to work on a large scale with unforgiving materials. Despite their rigid metal bodies, the works become one with the natural environment and withstand the elements, a factor that sets sculptors of public art apart from other artists. They must consider the effects of nature on their work in addition to their technical concerns. These
works interact harmoniously with the surrounding landscape, enhancing the beauty of nature while offering new perspectives on our relationship with the world around us. I hope visitors spend time with each piece, viewing it from near and far, and appreciate the immense amount of craftsmanship each artist devotes to their work. In this way, the artist converses with each of the viewers and shares a part of themselves with the world.

-Lauren C. Nye, 1 May 2024

2024/25 Competition & Exhibition Works