Well, it’s here, 2013. Make it the best year yet. This is the perfect time to reinvent yourself, make new, more solid plans and do some things you’ve never done before


What better way to ring in 2013 than to become a better business person and take your creative career to the next level.

Lowcountry Local First, the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department and Clemson University have created a 10-week course designed to teach creatives the business side of the industry.

“Creative production and service requires a great deal of flexibility in pricing, marketing and product development,” explains LLF executive director Jamee Haley. “While appropriate for traditional business development, this class is designed to provide those in nontraditional businesses with the ability to develop sustainable enterprises, improving our economic community here in the Lowcountry.”

Students will have the opportunity to meet and be instructed by successful local creative entrepreneurs in different fields.

Classes start Jan. 10 at the Old Village Community Building, 4820 Jenkins Ave., North Charleston. Registration is $195.

Call LLF at 740-5444 or go to www.lowcountrylocalfirst.org for details.

Art fest seeks artists

ArtFieldsSM, dubbed as the “Southeast’s Most Generous Art Festival,” will take over the streets and fields of the small town of Lake City on April 19-28.

In addition to being a fascinating 10-day festival, it’s an amazing, potentially life-changing experience for several artists who will win $100,000 in prizes.

This is the year for aiming big, artists. Now is your time because this is your chance to try and have the money you’re looking for.

The festival is looking for new works (two- and three-dimensional) from emerging and established artists residing in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

All will vie to be one of the three winners: Top Prize ($50,000), People’s Choice ($25,000) and Juried Panel Winner ($25,000).

“Lake City boosters, led by the highly successful businesswoman Darla Moore, have created ArtFields to celebrate the town’s rich history as a farming community. For generations, the fields yielded robust crops of strawberries and beans. Today, they are growing the largest art competition in the Southeast,” explains publicist Colleen Troy.

“Artists will submit work digitally for consideration by an independent panel of visual arts professionals, who will determine selection,” Troy said.

“Registration requires a $25 fee, and artists are limited to one submission. Full residency requirements and other rules are available on the festival website. Ultimately, more than 400 pieces will be selected and showcased throughout Lake City.”

Registration opens Monday at www.artfieldssc.org and will close Feb. 1. Contact ArtFields at 374-0180 or info@artfieldssc.org.

‘Wash Over You’

It’s been fun to watch local artist Kristy Bishop find her voice and medium over the past couple of years. She first hit the art scene as a painter and then progressed to working with textiles, which is where she really shines.

Her pieces are fresh, original and full of emotion.

She is North Charleston’s artist-in-residence and has had a busy year, from teaching young ones to preparing for her own exhibit, “Wash Over You,” which will open today at the North Charleston City Gallery.

Many of the pieces in the collection are composed of hand-dyed silks in gradients of colors.

“The subtle changes in color gradation within each work represent the fluidity of emotion. Simple shapes such as circles, ovals and rectangles are used to reflect the growth and expansion of a feeling,” said arts coordinator Ann Simmons.

Simmons explains that Bishop purposefully didn’t title the pieces so that the viewer could make their own interpretations. It is interesting to understand, however, that there are strong emotions, both positive and negative, behind each piece.

For example, in the untitled blue oval piece, Bishop said: “During the creation of this work, these emotions were stemming from environmental and social issues that the world was/is facing at the time. This led me to use the dark blues, purples and grays that change to muted yellows, blues and greens because I felt that they represented my own feelings of dread and uneasiness.”

There will be an opening reception 5-7 p.m. today at the North Charleston City Gallery inside the Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive. If you can’t make it tonight, the gallery is staffed 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Inquiries regarding the artist or purchase information should be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 740-5854 or www.northcharleston.org.