Conway artist wins top ArtFields prize

cclick@thestate.comApril 28, 2013 

— James Arendt, director of the Rebecca Randall Bryan Gallery in Conway, claimed the $50,000 grand prize at ArtFields, the 10-day juried art show in Lake City that ends Sunday.

Arendt’s large cut-denim piece, “Jamie,” dominated the more than 400 other paintings, sculptures, photography and art installations scattered around the Pee Dee town.

Arendt, formerly of Columbia, said in his biography that his work explores the “shifting paradigms of labor and place through narrative figure painting, drawing, prints, fabric and sculpture.”

John Cooper of Rutherfordton, N.C., won the $25,000 “People’s Choice” award for his evocative painting, “Warsaw Ghetto, 1943.” The award went to the artist who claimed the most votes from visitors to the exhibition envisioned by Lake City native Darla Moore, one of the state’s wealthiest philanthropists.

Leanna Knapp of Juliette, Ga., won a $25,000 juried panel prize for her clay and fabric sculpture called “Shell.”

The winners were announced Saturday evening.

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