Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and the Charleston Artist Guild have teamed up to create The Garden of Dreams, a nationwide art contest.

Artists wishing to enter the contest are asked to paint an original piece of a scene that is specifically from Magnolia Gardens and that “embodies the impressionistic style of painters during the Charleston Renaissance.”

Several prizes will be awarded, including a top prize of $3,000, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place and five honorable mentions that will receive $100 each.

The fee to enter the contest is $25 for the first entry and $15 for each additional painting. Artists can enter as many paintings as they would like. The deadline to enter the contest is Sept. 10.

All art selected for the judging will be on view Nov. 10-24 at the Charleston Visitor Center and The Carriage House at Magnolia.

Specific guidelines on the contest are available at www.charlestonartistguild.com and www.magnoliaplantation.com.

‘Beauty and the Beast’

This weekend, take yourself and your loved ones to the ballet. The Mount Pleasant School for the Performing Arts has been hard at working on “The Tale of Beauty and the Beast,” which will be performed this weekend only.

This classic tale of seeing beyond a rough exterior to the beauty inside someone is such an important lesson, and is told in such a beautiful way. Add the gorgeous movements of ballet dancers and it just becomes stunning all around.

Support local performing artists at the Mount Pleasant School of the Performing Arts as they showcase this wonderful production, created under the artistic direction and choreography of Larisa Dahabi.

There will only be two performances, 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, both at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Tickets can be purchased by calling 971-7880 and will be available at Will Call the day of your selected show. Find out more at www.mpspa.com.

Loft School is moving

The Artists’ Loft School is expanding. And with that expansion comes a Sept. 1 move to Mount Pleasant, though they’ll continue to have classes on James Island.

The new location will be at 1125 Bowman Road.

“This great space features one large open studio, one large closed studio and two semi-private artists studios. There will be access to an enclosed outdoor garden area, as well. There will also be lots of safe, well-lit parking,” says Joan Body of the school. “We’re excited about new opportunities but want to assure our loyal students from James and Johns islands and lands beyond that we plan to maintain classes on Folly Road, just to a lesser degree for now. Location to be determined soon.”

This weekend at the James Island location, they will be beginning two classes with painter Angela Cunningham: Still Life in Oils and The Portrait in Oils. Students can choose if they’d like to take the class for several days or a couple of weeks.

The school is also looking for more instructors, so if you have a special skill you’d like to share, they may be interested. Contact the Artists’ Loft School by calling 637-4229 or going to www.theartistsloftschool.com.