ArtFields announces Columbia artist Kirkland Smith as new People’s Choice winner
Columbia artist Kirkland Smith’s assemblage piece titled “Steve Jobs” is the new ArtFields, $25,000 People’s Choice award winner.
Last week, the Lake City Partnership Council suspended the original prize, awarded to the oil on canvas piece titled “Warsaw Ghetto 1943” by John Cooper, of Rutherfordton, N.C., on April 27, saying it did not meet eligibility requirements.
Organizers worked to remedy the situation that has caused confusion and threatens to muddy the otherwise shining image of the first-time event, which went off with few hitches and brought thousands to the small, southern Florence County town. That was the main purpose of the festival.
“The eligibility rules, which were clearly set out from the start, required that the submitted entry be wholly owned by the artist and does not infringe upon the rights of others,” LCPC legal counsel Sue-Ann Gerald Shannon said in a statement last Wednesday.
In order to vote for the People’s Choice award, visitors had to register to vote, qualifying them to vote for as many of the 394 pieces as they wished, but only once. Of the 5,965 people that registered, 2,443 votes were cast. It’s not known if the LCPC retained an independent auditing firm to count the votes.