Enter your work in 18th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, February 25, 2024

Sculpture artists from across the nation are invited to participate in the seventeenth annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, which opens in conjunction with the 2024 North Charleston Arts Fest.

An outdoor sculpture displayed at North Charleston Riverfront Park. Decorative image.

‘Wall’ by Mark Chatterley at Riverfront Park.

Unfamiliar with the long-running competition?

  • It is part of the expansive, annual North Charleston Arts Fest. For more than 40 years, the annual (now) five-day celebration of arts and culture highlights regional and local artists and performers in the areas of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and literature. The goal of the festival is to make quality arts programming accessible to the widest spectrum of the public, attracting residents and visitors to free performances, workshops, exhibitions, and activities in a variety of venues: libraries, community centers, schools, businesses, and parks. The event is one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in South Carolina with a schedule that offers something for everyone, including concerts, theatre presentations, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, exhibitions, public art installations, and more.
  • It is organized and presented by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department and runs for 11 months, offering both established and emerging artists the opportunity to display their “thought-provoking, extraordinary sculptures” throughout North Charleston Riverfront Park on the banks of the Cooper River. Riverfront Park offers 10 acres of walking paths, a boardwalk and fountain, an expansive lawn with performance pavilion, children’s play areas, and picnic sites. It is estimated that 50,000 people visit the public park annually to enjoy the amenities located in the heart of the city’s arts community.

Up to 14 sculptures will be juried into the exhibit and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $19,750. A $1,250 honorarium is given to all artists accepted into the show to assist with transportation, installation, de-installation, and incidental expenses. Once all pieces are installed, the juror will award Best in Show ($1,000), Outstanding Merit ($500), and up to three Honorable Mentions ($250 each).

The application is strictly available online and may be accessed at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply. An application fee of $35 allows artists to submit up to four entries for consideration. Deadline for submissions is Sunday, February 25, 2024. Artists in need of assistance with any part of the application process may contact the Cultural Arts Department to schedule a one-on-one meeting, which can be conducted over the phone or in person.


The juror for the 2024/2025 competition and exhibition is Lauren Nye, associate curator at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga. Before moving to Tennessee in 2023, she served as the director of exhibitions at the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for 10 years. In her freelance work, Nye collaborates with collectors, artists, and corporations to bring creative projects to life. She has curated exhibitions at both commercial and non-profit venues since 2010 and has assisted in sculptural installations nationally and internationally. Nye has served as a juror and at arts organizations such as the Berks Art Council, Elizabethtown College, Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Adams County Arts Council, Creative York, and Millersville University, where she was honored to be the first alumni juror in exhibition history.

The 18th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition will be on display May 1, 2024, through March 16, 2025, at North Charleston Riverfront Park (1001 Everglades Ave., North Charleston). A free public reception and announcement of awards will be held at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, from 6-8 p.m.

For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, or other exhibition opportunities, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.