Alex Torres, Artfields 2017 winner

In the 2017 competition, Alexi Torres of Atlanta won Artfields' $50,000 Top Prize for his piece titled "Spiritual Security — Safe in Prayer."


Summerville Orchestra
announces May events

The Summerville Orchestra and its music director, Wojciech Milewski, are holding open auditions for all instruments, including nontraditional instruments such as saxophone and euphonium, 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at St. Paul's Church, 316 W. Carolina Ave. Specific openings are for principal flute, oboe/English horn, bassoon and French horn. Audition details can be found at

The orchestra's free Music at the Library Series with Wojciech Milewski continues 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, at the Dorchester County Library, 76 Old Trolley Road, Summerville. The topic is "Orchestras vs. Voices."

The free Encore Series continues 7-9 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Coastal Coffee Roasters, 108 E. 3rd N. St., Summerville. This program, called "Sam Enchanted Evening, features the Summerville Orchestra Jazz Sextet with baritone Sam Schultz.

The finale of the WestRock Subscription Series is "Anything Goes," sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Summerville. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13, at Summerville Baptist Church, 417 Central Ave. Pre-concert talks are at 6:30 p.m. The program includes music from Broadway musicals and Saint-Saens Cello Concerto featuring Damian Kremer.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and free for those under 18, available at, by calling 843-873-5339 or at the door beginning at 6 p.m. the nights of the performances. For more information, call the orchestra office at 843-873-5339.

Artfields names 2017
competition winners

Last weekend, Artfields named its 2017 winners, who received a total of $120,000 in prize money. Winners were selected by a panel of jurors and through a voting system involving patrons of the sprawling Lake City art event.

Alexi Torres of Atlanta won the $50,000 Top Prize for his piece titled "Spiritual Security — Safe in Prayer." Brittany Watkins of Tallahassee, Florida, won the $25,000 Juried Panel Prize titled "<Accept_[Self]+ Elsewhere]." Michael Geddings of Lexington won the $12,500 People's Choice (2D) Prize for his piece "Hopeful Soul." And Haley Ard of Pamplico won the $12,500 People's Choice (3D) Prize for her piece "Made-Up."

Also recognized with a Category Prize of $1,500 each:

  • Mixed Media: Connie Lippert, Seneca, “Achadh”
  • Painting: Maggie Evans, Savannah, “Plateau”
  • Installation: Gardner Cole Miller, Palm Beach Garden, Florida, “Archipelago”
  • Sculpture: Heather Mae Erickson, Sylva, North Carolina, “Perfect Imperfection Collection”
  • Drawing: Jessica Burke, Statesboro, Georgia, “San Antonio Rose (The Bandit Queen)”
  • Photography: Brant Barrett, Surfside Beach, “Rooster Time”
  • Digital Media: Matt Bryant, Vance, Alabama, “Shift.smear”

Merit Prizes of $1,000 went to Deighton Abrams of Seneca; Natalie Daise of Georgetown; Kendell Garner of Anderson; Lisa Humphreys of Atlanta; Dapper Bruce Lafitte of New Orleans; Kelly Oakes of Charlottesville, Virginia; Kate Osmond of Murrells Inlet; Bow Smith of Charleston; Janet Swigler of Columbia; and Joseph Walton of New Orleans.

ArtFields 2017 drew top talent from the 12 eligible Southeastern states with the largest total cash prizes in the competition’s five-year history. Announced during the ArtFields finale, the prizes were just one of the measures of the festival’s success. The winning pieces will become part of a permanent collection in Lake City.

“At this point, ArtFields has delivered more than half a million dollars in prizes and thousands of dollars in sales for local merchants,” said Artfields Program Director Taronda Barnes in a statement.

For information on sponsorship, participation and event activities, call 843-374-0180 or email

Parks Conservancy
awards Artfields prize

The Charleston Parks Conservancy has awarded its first Artfields exhibition prize to Joseph Dreher of Decatur, Georgia.

Dreher’s submission for Artfields was a 144-by-288-foot piece titled "Not a Mural Mural" portrait with stencils carved out of veneer plywood. He will receive a $5,000 cash prize from the conservancy and will be invited to create a work of art to be displayed at a City of Charleston park later this year.

An architect, photographer and poet, Dreher describes himself as a “social artist.”

“My work is about celebrating people and community," he said in a statement. "I use a number of tools and media to create my work, including photography, murals, street art, wheat paste, painting, sculpture, architecture and poetry, to name a few. People are my primary interest and it is my appreciation for people that informs so much of my creative work.”

The award is part of the conservancy’s new Art in the Parks initiative, an effort to install temporary public art displays in Charleston city parks through collaborations with other arts organizations, including Artfields, the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the nonprofit Redux Contemporary Art Center. The Art in the Parks program also will offer educational opportunities and artist-led workshops for adults and children.

High school improv
scheduled for May 13

The 2017 South Carolina High School Improv Theater Tournament is 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 13 in the Charleston County School of the Arts Black Box Theatre, 5109 W. Enterprise St., North Charleston. The free event, now in its seventh year, is a collaboration among the School of the Arts' Fighting Gnomes, Theatre 99 and the South Carolina Theatre Association.

About 50 high school students from around the state will participate. Each of them will mix with students from other schools and be assigned to small performance groups of three or four.

A Theatre 99 company member will coach students during the morning.

For details, contact George Younts at or 843-529-4990, ext. 26210.

—Adam Parker