National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition

We are now accepting submissions for the 2024/25 National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition!
Deadline to apply is Sunday, February 25, 2024.

ENTER YOUR WORK NOW!

2024/25 Competition & Exhibition

sculptures in a park with trees and sidewalk

Location

North Charleston Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29405
Viewing times: May 1, 2024 – March 16, 2025, public park open daily
Get Directions ›

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
Get Directions ›

Overview

Sculpture artists from across the nation are invited to enter their work for the 18th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Up to fourteen sculptures by artists from across the United States will be juried into the 2024/25 exhibit. Once installed, awards for Best in Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions will be 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.

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 OPEN (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.

2023/24 Competition & Exhibition

Location

North Charleston Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29405
Viewing times: May 3, 2023 – March 17, 2024, public park open daily
Get Directions ›

Opening celebration and award acknowledgements:
Charleston Area Convention Center
Exhibit Hall C
5001 Coliseum Drive
North Charleston, SC 29418
Wednesday, May 3, 2023 – 6:00-8:00pm
Get Directions ›

Overview

Sculpture artists from across the nation were invited to participate in the 17th annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition. Thirteen sculptures by artists from seven states were selected for the 2023/24 exhibit. Once installed, awards for Best in Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions were selected by the juror, Vivianne Lee Carey. 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 2023/2024 competition and exhibition is Vivianne Lee Carey, sculptor and Instructor of Art at Converse University in Spartanburg, SC. Vivianne Lee Carey was born in Millville, NJ in 1959. Carl Sandburg wrote, ”Down in southern New Jersey they make glass. By day and by night, the fires burn on in Millville.” As a sculptor that forms metal and glass by fire, the poetic lines are an affirmation of the materials she utilizes in her work. Carey received her BFA from Converse in 1981, and an MFA from Winthrop University in 2016. She has been honored to have received several grants for regional public sculptures and her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Southeast.

Juror’s Statement

I am honored to jury this inspirational sculpture competition located in the beautiful North Charleston Riverfront Park. To all the artists who submitted, thank you for the privilege to view your distinguished sculpture, all of which was exceptional in form and execution. The artists who entered should be proud of the work they are creating and I encourage you to keep striving in your craft.

Congratulations to the selected artists. Many of the pieces were chosen to achieve a unified representation of a whimsical colorful nature. These sculptures remind viewers of colorful surfboards, forests of blue and orange trees, capricious park benches, guest aliens and their rocket ships, plastic children’s toys, rubber roosters, and sexy-leg-lampshades.

That said, ironically, my selection for Best in Show was Mark Chatterly’s Wall, which is neither colorful nor whimsical. These ceramic figures, exceptional in their execution (the patina is phenomenal), wrestle with themes about immigration and the walls and borders that we erect that marginalize other humans. For me, the work also represents women and the children for which they are responsible and the act of carrying each other’s burdens. Very powerful piece, and congratulations Mark!

-Vivanne Lee Carey, 5/3/23

2023/24 Competition & Exhibition Works