The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce Joseph (Joe) Kameen of Graniteville, SC, as the winner of the 2019 North Charleston Arts Fest Poster Design Competition. As the winner of the statewide contest, Kameen’s oil painting, titled Shadow Boxer, will be used to promote the 2019 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 1-5. In addition, the artist received a $500 purchase award and the piece is now part of the City of North Charleston’s Public Art Collection.
Joe submitted three of his paintings for consideration for the Arts Fest Poster Design Competition. “I believe that these paintings are a good representation of the North Charleston Arts Fest not only because of their broad visual appeal, but also because of the widely relevant nature of the content of the images,” he explains. “My paintings deal with universal, human questions about our experiences. We all ask questions that cannot be answered definitively; as abstract as wondering about our purpose in life, or as personal as asking why we act the way we do. I take these complicated, and often challenging, ideas and use them as inspiration to craft more approachable, metaphorical images. My use of bright colors and active compositions attract the viewer, while the imagery forces the viewer to ask more complicated questions of and for themselves. I feel that this breadth of possibilities and openness to a variety of artistic experiences reflects the diversity of an event like the North Charleston Arts Fest.” It was, in fact, Joe’s use of bright colors, active composition, and the open and intriguing narrative of Shadow Boxer that most appealed to the review panel, who selected the painting among a total of 57 entries by artists from six cities across the state.
Joseph Kameen is an artist and educator. He received his BFAs in Sculpture and Painting at Boston University in 2013, and his MFA in Painting from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015. His work has been featured in publications such as the Boston Voyager, Emboss Magazine, and the Pinch Literary Journal, and is in both national and international private collections. He has curated and exhibited at venues in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Indiana, South Carolina, and New York, including The Painting Center and Janet Kurnatowski Gallery. Joe has instructed courses in drawing, painting, color theory, sculpture, digital design, and 3D printing at Boston University, Butler University, Indiana University Bloomington, and Indiana University East. He currently teaches painting and drawing at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Joe’s paintings use narrative imagery and invented spaces to explore the innately human activity of asking “why,” and to analyze the relationship we form with these questions. Because his paintings are about human experience, the body is featured heavily in his work. Joe uses his own body as a recurring character so that he always keeps a personal connection to these ideas. Memory also plays heavily into his process, with rooms, objects, and people from his life filtering in and out of paintings. His colors are a combination of memory and imagination and often begin with observations made about colors found during certain times of day or under specific weather conditions. He then shifts and exaggerates these found colors to fit his invented worlds. Exaggerated perspectives and compositions reference the hyperbolic expression of Mannerist and Romantic paintings, while bright colors and references to the picture plane point to modern pulp approaches to these same idealized forms. By combining these elements of traditional and popular art, Joe hopes to create work that is both engaged in a conversation with the history of painting, and is accessible and approachable for the average viewer.
A collection of Kameen’s paintings will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout May 2019. The exhibit will also feature the winning piece, Shadow Boxer. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Admission and parking are free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery during a special reception on Wednesday, May 1, from 6:00-8:00pm. Kameen will also offer a painting demo during the Arts Fest Exhibition Encore at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Sunday, May 5. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for purchase during the festival.
For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, other competition and exhibition opportunities, or festival sponsorship and program booklet ad placement, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.