The 14 prize-winning artists at the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition were announced Friday night.
Rick Reinert, who co-owns Reinert LePrince Fine Art with fellow artist Kevin Le- Prince, won this year’s Mayor’s Choice for his oil paintings. “Dusk at King and Queen,” the painting selected by City officials to be displayed in City Hall, depicts lush palmettos and glowing street lamps encompassed by chalky buildings and slick streets on a 36” x 48” canvas.
The painting typifies his work, which is heavily inspired by Charleston streetscapes, including those near his shop. Reinert said he prefers painting large canvasses, which are in demand by patrons looking for decorative pieces.
“I just like big brush strokes,” he said.
First prize went to Daryl Knox, who has been participating in the exhibition for 23 years and has previously won the Mayor’s Choice twice. The Kentucky native said he fell in love with the Charleston area when he visited 29 years ago, and frequently uses his surroundings as inspiration for his impressionistic paintings.
“I set this tent up in my backyard and paint,” Knox said. “I just like the Lowcountry landscape.”
Knox’s art can be found at Studio 151 Gallery, 151 East Bay Street.
KC Collins won this year’s second prize with a collection of sea and streetscape paintings. Her paintings show roads through a moving car and the ocean from above.
“I think they’re really neat when you simplify them,” said Collins, explaining how she stretched a road visually to make it appear endless. She made white caps of breaking tides seem like clouds or lightning bolts for the seascapes.
“My work is all about light and atmosphere,” she said.
Collins’s work appears at Robert Lange Studios, 2 Queen St.
The Exhibition features 84 local artists with work for sale, and runs until June 9.
Sarah DeSantis is a Newhouse School graduate student.
Artists wonder about next year
Although the first weekend of the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition has not passed, many artists already are concerned about their abilities to appear in next year’s event.Due to space constraints, city officials are looking to downsize the Exhibition to include no more than 85 artists. Last year, 107 artists participated.Because the Exhibition has to share Marion Square with the Charleston Farmer’s Market, space is at a premium. Lesley Johnson, one of the Exhibition’s coordinators, said only 84 participants registered this year because the fee for a booth increased to $400.“People decided not to do it because they upped the price,” Johnson said.If more than 85 artists apply for space next year, all could undergo a re-jurying process, she said. This poses a problem as all but one artist this year are repeat participants.Daryl Knox, this year’s first prize winner, said the exposure he has gotten from the Exhibition has forced him to churn out more paintings, and he will start painting on sight in the next couple of days.“It’s a big 17-day show, so a lot of curators come through,” said Knox. “Even if you don’t sell, you might get picked up by a gallery.”Knox also expressed concern about his future participation.“Right now, if you win an award they invite you back next year, but that could change,” he said. IJohnson said nothing has been decided.Sarah Desantis