New tricks for an old dog. The outdoor exhibit at Marion Square is an old favorite that occasionally gets overlooked because it doesn't change much from year to year. However, in 2012, changes abound. A large tent sponsored by the city will feature entertainment throughout the 16-day event. From sun-up to sundown, a group of 88 professional, juried South Carolina artists (Rick Reinert, Steve Jordan, Joyce Hall, Tate Nation, Hilarie Lambert, KC Collins, and so many more) will set up shop with fans, water, and hopefully enough shade to spend the day talking about and creating art. "There is a physical excitement and energy about setting up 'camp,'" says nine-time exhibitor Laurie Meyer. "I prepare my tent to be my home away from home with flowers, music, food, drink, and, of course, art."
Up close and personal. The best part about this format is that you get to chat it up with some of your favorite local artists. With little to distract them other than passers-by, the artists are available to give curious observers their undivided attention.
A little competition is a good thing. Checking out what the artists in the booth next to you are up to might be a good thing for business. Meyer, a consistent award-winner, has benefited from the competition. "You would be hard pressed to find an artist who isn't at times consumed with self-doubt during their careers," Meyer says. "An award is validation that the hard work and emotional toll has been recognized."