Artfields Jr. Jury Panel by Alexander Thierry

As I write this, I am scrolling through almost 800 entries to the Artfields Jr. competition.  Looking at all of the images of student work is incredible.  There is such a wide variety of skill levels, media used, and imagery, along with some really promising work from multiple age groups.  I am so happy that I was asked to be on the jury panel right after I moved to South Carolina and was pleasantly surprised that such an organization and competition existed.

Artfields is a wonderful program in Lake City, South Carolina, that provides opportunities for students to learn about art, take classes, and provides support for the arts in Lake City.  However, Artfields is most known for the Artfields art competition and festival that takes place annually. This year the competition and festival runs April 20th - 28th, 2018.  During this competition, $120,000 is awarded to artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.  The grand prize is $50,000.

 Artfields Jr. is the student part of the competition and is open to students from 1st grade - 12th grade.  Prizes for this portion of the competition range from honorable mentions to $500, juried in categories determined by grade level.  Along with the prize money, a large selection of the student work is displayed during the festival in proximity to the previously mentioned Artfields competition.  Again, the work for the Artfields Jr. show is top notch and is worth checking out if you are in the area of Lake City, South Carolina.

I would like to thank Jim Arendt for passing my name along to the people over at Artfields.  Jim is a fantastic artist that teaches at Coastal Carolina University, in Conway, South Carolina, as well as the Gallery Director at the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery.  Jim was also the first winner of Artfields grand prize. He is fantastic artist, teacher, and friend.

If you are an artist in the states mentioned above, or an educator in South Carolina, keep an eye out for the call for entry for the annual Artfields and Artfields Jr. art competitions.  They are both wonderful opportunities to show work, and compete for large amount of prizes.

Responding to The Orangeburg Massacre by Alexander Thierry

I always jump at the opportunity to work in new ways and I have been struggling to work in ways that encourage thinking about my place in this world.  I recognize the privilege I have while trying my best to comment on situations, politics, events, and the many things that I find morally and ethically wrong.  By making work in response and being asked to make work in response to the Orangeburg Massacre, I was finally able to find how my voice could be used.

The Orangeburg Massacre occurred on February 8, 1968, after multiple days of unrest in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  Home of two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), now South Carolina State University and Claflin University, the town of Orangeburg saw tensions rise over the "members only" bowling alley in town.  Students protested at the bowling alley over two days, with local law enforcement attacking protesters on the second day.  Eventually, the scene was cleared, the day was over, but the segregation and the rightful passion of protest were still there.

On February 8th, students and protesters were gathered at the front of the South Carolina State University campus.   The protestors lit a bonfire and remained peaceful.  The police and fire department put the fire out and South Carolina Highway Patrol was called to reinforce the police presence.  As law enforcement was lined up at the front of campus, they claimed they heard shots and began to fire into the crowd of around 200 protestors.  At least 28 protestors were injured and an additional 3 were murdered, Samuel Hammond, Henry Smith (both SCSU students), and Delano Middleton.  

There were some officers that were charged but they were swiftly acquitted.  There has been no official investigation and although time has past, there has been no closure for people affected by this event. Although sometimes masked, the racial tensions in Orangeburg, South Carolina are still rumbling.

The following pieces are my responses to the events of February 8, 1968, but the message has a similar feeling to many events of racial discrimination and events that are rightfully getting more time in our current main stream information channels.  This is still a huge problem.  We must keep the discussion going.


"Equal" Justice, Arrested. unfired clay, underglaze, wood, water. 18" x 5.5" x 20". 2018

"Protected" Protest, Murdered. unfired clay, underglaze, wood, water. 18" x 5.5" x 20". 2018

More Cups by Alexander Thierry

I am starting the new year, with a bunch of prep work for the Spring semester, with the hope that I will have more time in the studio.  I will be having a solo show in February at South Carolina State University that will have some brand new work... that is not made yet.  

However, some work that is made, was accepted into a couple of shows.  There are some galleries below with photos and information.

These two cups will be traveling to Pittsburg, PA for the Palliative Pour Exhibition juried by Chris Gustin.  This exhibition is part of the NCECA 2018 Venue Generated Exhibitions and will be on display from March 2 - 30, 2018, at Threadbare Cider & Mead.

These two cups will be making a voyage to the Big Easy.  Andrew Gilliatt chose these cups to be included in the Geaux Cups Exhibition at Clay Center of New Orleans from February 2 - 24, 2018

As these cups make their way to these shows, I am excited to get back in the studio and make more sculpture and pots in 2018.  I spent a lot of time and effort, in 2017, adjusting to teaching full-time at the university level and now have a good plan in place to stay balanced between students, administrative work, and studio time.