Celebrating 50 years!

From April 2017 through June 2018, the South Carolina Arts Commission is celebrating 50 years of public support for the arts. The 50th anniversary celebration includes kick-off events in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, plus 15 months of exhibitions and performances showcasing the arts around the state.  Check out the calendar of events and stay tuned for updates! Gov. Robert E. McNair signs legislation creating the S.C. Arts Commission. Also shown, Nick Zeigler, left and Marvin Trapp. Gov. Robert E. McNair signs legislation creating the S.C. Arts Commission. Also shown, Nick Zeigler, left and Marvin Trapp. On June 7, 1967, Governor Robert E. McNair signed legislation creating the South Carolina Arts Commission, beginning a new era of public support for the arts in the Palmetto State. The legislation declared that the State of South Carolina would ensure that the arts “continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the welfare and educational experiences of our citizens." For 50 years, the Arts Commission has joined with individuals, institutions and professional organizations to advance the state’s commitment to create a thriving arts environment that benefits all citizens. “The Arts Commission’s longevity is due in part to years of bipartisan support in the General Assembly,” said Executive Director Ken May. “Our state legislature recognizes that the people and communities they serve benefit in many ways from their investment in the arts, and they understand that the return includes a creative industry with a core impact of $9.2 billion and 78,682 jobs. That represents approximately $400 million in tax revenue.” Artists and arts professionals are the workforce of the South Carolina’s creative industries.  “The artists and organizations providing arts experiences in cities, towns and rural communities enhance the quality of life and produce economic activity,” said May. “They also attract visitors and tourists who shop, eat and stay overnight.” State support for the arts has also paid off in the classroom. “Since 1987, the Arts Commission has strategically invested in arts education, providing grants and leadership through the Arts in Basic Curriculum Project, to enable schools to implement the arts as part of the core curriculum,” said May. “Research shows that the arts help young people learn critical thinking, communication, creativity and perseverance -- skills they need to be successful in work and life. The state’s commitment to arts education pays dividends in the form of our state’s future workforce.” The future of the arts will be a theme throughout the anniversary. “The anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on what has been accomplished with 50 years of uninterrupted state support for the arts, and we have a great deal to celebrate,” said May. “The anniversary year is also an opportunity to plan for the future. The Arts Commission’s ongoing work, along with upcoming new programs, will help connect artists to additional sources of small business capital, establish the arts as economic drivers in rural communities, and assist arts organizations with professional development needs as a wave of baby boomers retires. We are poised to make the most of the next 50 years of public support for the arts.” For more information about the 50th anniversary, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com/50.

Submitted material

The Footlight Players names long-time actor Brian Porter as new executive director

The Footlight Players has hired long-time thespian Brian Porter as executive director of Charleston’s longest-producing theatre company. Porter spent the last decade on staff at Charleston Stage, most recently as director of administration where he oversaw daily operations of the professional theatre company. Porter replaces Jane Broadwater, who retired in January after serving three years as executive director. She also was a member of Footlight’s board of directors before taking on the executive director title. Under Broadwater’s leadership, The Footlight Players expanded its theatrical season while providing opportunities for other theatres and performance groups to rent the Queen Street theatre during its off-weekends and summer season. Porter has been performing on stage since childhood, earning a bachelor’s degree in theatre in performance from Purdue University in Indiana. After graduation, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, as a member of Playhouse on the Square’s Resident Acting Company. He then co-founded a theatre company in Michigan before relocating to Atlanta to pursue a career in media advertising. Porter maintained ties to local theatre and served as interim executive director of OnStage Atlanta. After several years in Atlanta, Porter relocated to Charleston, working as media director of Davis Advertising before returning to his theatrical roots and joining Charleston Stage. Now, Porter will take on the role of leading one of Charleston’s most prestigious community theatres. He plans to build on Footlight’s mission to provide quality and affordable community theatre as well as continuing to promote the theatre as a unique space for Charleston special events and performances.

“I am delighted to be a part of such an historical and dynamic theatrical fixture in Charleston,” Porter said. “I look forward to working with this exceptional team of artists to create something truly unique and beautiful for Charleston. I am confident I can bring a lot to the company and infuse it with my passion and love of the performing arts.”

Porter is also the co-founder of the local theatre company What If? Productions, which is now in its eighth season in Charleston. A celebrated artist and vocalists in Charleston (and current Best Actor nominee for the Charleston City Paper Best Of award), Porter has appeared on stage in many memorable roles in Charleston, including “Peter & the Starcatcher,” “Cabaret,” “Hedwig & the Angry Inch,” “The 39 Steps,” “Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story,” “Shear Madness” and “Hairspray.” He recently headlined his own sold-out cabaret show, “An Evening With Brian Porter,” as part of What If?’s popular Piano Bar Series.
About The Footlight Players The Footlight Players launched in 1931 with a series of one-act plays directed by Lt. Commander Charles Russell Price at the Charleston Navy yard. The series was such a success and drew such a following that The Footlight Players formally organized and incorporated in the fall of 1932. To this day, The Footlight Players continues to provide professional quality, affordable community theater for the Lowcountry at the historic Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. in Charleston. For more information, visit footlightplayers.net or call 843-722-4487.

Submitted material

North Charleston Arts Fest Reveals 2018 Design Competition Winner

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce Hamed Mahmoodi of Greenville, S.C. as the winner of the 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest Design Competition. As the winner of the statewide contest, Mahmoodi’s acrylic painting, titled Atlantic Sun (right), will be used to promote the 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 2-6. In addition, the artist received a $500 purchase award and the piece will become part of the City’s Public Art Collection. Hamed’s design was selected from a total of 85 entries by artists from 11 cities across the state. The selection was made by a review panel appointed by the Cultural Arts Department who judged the entries based on quality, originality, appeal to festival patrons from a broad range of backgrounds, and ability to convey the spirit of the festival as a public celebration of arts and culture. Mahmoodi, who has submitted work into the competition in years past, created a series of abstract paintings in the Art Nouveau manner for his entries in this year’s competition. “I focused on concentrated circles and curves and loaded the pieces with colors in a rainbow fashion that would be pleasing to the viewer’s eye,” he explains. “I believe the vibrancy created by the enticing color scheme and the energy generated by the movement in Atlantic Sun are very representative of the North Charleston Arts Fest. The diverse performances and artwork featured during the event, and the approach to connecting the arts and community members, bring vibrancy and energy to the City that I think is very special.” Hamed Mahmoodi was born in Iran and moved to South Carolina in 1978. He attended Clemson University and received a B.S. in Design Architecture in 1986. After graduation, he worked as an associate architect at Fluor International, then as art director for Naegele Outdoor Advertising. He has been a freelance designer for various architectural firms throughout the Southeast and a full-time artist working in a variety of media since the late 80’s. Hamed has had several one-man shows in museums, universities, galleries, and restaurants, and his design works and paintings can be found from Ground Zero Memorial Park in NYC to the South Carolina Governor's Mansion. He has also earned numerous juried awards, best in show honors, merit awards, fellowships, and art grants and has been chosen as the poster/art design winner of other notable festivals, including Piccolo Spoleto (Charleston, SC) and the Coca-Cola RiverPlace Festival (Greenville, SC). Oil, watercolor, acrylic, metals, wax, paper, furniture, and photography are just some of the media that Mahmoodi has used to create his diverse works of art. His philosophy for creating art is much like Robert Rauschenberg and Christo, whereas he believes that each idea and work deserves its own individual style and medium. Therefore, his approach varies from representational to abstract, with his most recent paintings primarily executed in an abstract style with an emphasis on color and movement. A new series of Mahmoodi’s paintings will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout May 2018. The exhibit will also feature the winning piece, Atlantic Sun. 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 the Arts Fest Expo from 11:00am-5:00pm on May 5 & 6, 2018. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for purchase. 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 culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.

Submitted material

Public Art by Students, For Students

Atelier InSite is a public art program at Clemson University that allows students to be closely involved with the process of implementing and maintaining public art on campus. With three completed projects since its inception in 2012, and two more in the works, Atelier InSite has been challenging the way art gets put into the public view with its “by students, for students” mantra. The first installation of 2018 was finished in January. Foundation (above) is suspended from the ceiling of Lee III, the newest building for art, architecture and landscape architecture. Co-artists Volkan Alkanoglu and Mathew Au created this piece for “The Wedge”, a large space in Lee III which functions as a review space, public events venue, and common area for students and faculty. A public dedication for the piece will be held on March 28th at the site of the artwork, with a lecture by Alkanoglu and Au. For more information and updates, check out our website: https://www.clemson.edu/centers-institutes/cva/public-art/Lee%20III.html.

Apply now for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art

1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art Call for Entries | January 1 - May 31, 2018 The Gibbes Museum of Art is now accepting applications for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. Sponsored by our young patrons auxiliary group Society 1858, the prize is awarded annually to an artist whose work demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement in any media, while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South. Entries for the annual award and $10,000 cash prize can be made exclusively online at 1858prize.org through May 31, 2018. Artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are eligible to apply. Unlike any other award of its type, the 1858 Prize is designed to create an online archive of information about southern artists that is available to curators, collectors, academicians, and the public. The 2017 Prize was awarded to painter Bo Bartlett of Columbus, Georgia. Past winners include mixed-media artist Radcliffe Bailey who will be featured in the upcoming Gibbes exhibition Radcliffe Bailey: Pensive and sculptor Patrick Dougherty who is currently featured in a site-specific installation at the Gibbes entitled Betwixt and Between. For more information on the Prize, please visit 1858prize.org.

Charleston painter receives 2018 South Arts State Fellowship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14 February 2018   ATLANTA, Ga. – Kate Hooray Osmond of Charleston is the South Carolina recipient of one of nine South Arts State Fellowships for 2018, the consortium of southern state arts agencies announced yesterday. South Arts, the organization advancing Southern vitality through the arts, has named nine visual artists from the South to receive State Fellowship awards of $5,000 each. These nine artists are now in consideration for the Southern Prize, which includes an additional $25,000 cash award and a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. The winner of the Southern Prize and a $10,000 Finalist award will be announced at a ceremony celebrating the State Fellows on April 16 in New Orleans. The 2018 State Fellowship award recipients are:

  • Amy Pleasant, Birmingham, Alabama, Painting.
  • Anastasia Samoylova, Miami Beach, Florida, Photography.
  • Paul Stephen Benjamin, Scottdale, Georgia, Multidisciplinary.
  • Garrett Hansen, Lexington, Kentucky, Multidisciplinary.
  • Jeremiah Ariaz, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Photography.
  • Dominic Lippillo, Starkville, Mississippi, Photography.
  • Meg Stein, Durham, North Carolina, Sculpture.
  • Kate Hooray Osmond, Charleston, South Carolina, Painting (above)
  • Vesna Pavlović, Nashville, Tennessee, Photography.
South Arts Now in their second year, the South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships celebrate and support the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. Nearly 700 visual artists submitted work for consideration, and a panel of jurors reviewed each application with the sole criterion of artistic excellence to determine the nine State Fellows. A second panel of jurors is currently reviewing the State Fellows to determine the Southern Prize awardee and the Finalist. “We are very proud to support Southern artists,” said Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “These State Fellows reflect the richly diverse arts and culture of our region, and each offers a distinct viewpoint with their work and background. The Southern Prize and State Fellowships are an important vehicle for artistic and professional growth of artists in the South.” The State Fellowship juror panel included Ade Omotosho with the Pérez Art Museum Miami; Jan Davidson, former director of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina; Mark Scala, chief curator at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville; and Scott Stulen, director and president of Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region and producing crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary work were eligible to apply. The awards will be presented to the artists as unrestricted funds. To view the 2018 State Fellows’ submissions and learn more about the competition, visit www.southarts.org.
ABOUT SOUTH ARTS South Arts advance Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit www.southarts.org.
ABOUT KATE HOORAY OSMOND Kate Hooray Osmond is a painter and installation artist whose work expresses bold architectural lines and bright, shiny colors. She rides in a helicopter to capture much of her subject matter: highways, agricultural structures, industrial plats, container ships, etc. to offer a new perspective of our familiar everyday existence. Energy, optimism, and the use of gold leaf are the hallmarks of Kate’s work. She believes in the unlimited curiosity and creativity of the human race and is fascinated by our relationship with the land. Kate resides in Charleston, South Carolina and was recently awarded the Lowcountry Artist of the Year by the Coastal Community Foundation. Her work has shown in galleries and museums from the U.S. to South Korea. She is an MFA candidate at Maryland Institute College of Art and is probably chasing her kids around the front yard right now. Learn more at KateHoorayOsmond.com. Image credit Kate Hooray Osmond on Instagram.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Call for Art: S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon

South Carolina Arts Awards Luncheon guests browse the Art Sale in 2017. Deadline: March 12, 2018 The S.C. Arts Foundation (SCAF) seeks South Carolina artists to participate in the 2018 Art Sale.  The sale will be held in conjunction with the South Carolina Arts Awards, including the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards. The 2018 Art Sale is the centerpiece of the South Carolina Arts Awards Luncheon – a celebration of the South Carolina Arts Awards recipients – on Wednesday, May 2, 2018.  The luncheon will be held at the USC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The Art Sale was conceived as a sales opportunity for artists and as an opportunity to build and promote arts patronage. Artists included in the 2018 Art Sale will be selected by a panel composed of members of the South Carolina Arts Foundation board and other arts professionals. Works included in the sale must be original and of high artistic quality; have a broad appeal; be representative of the artist’s style and framed with appropriate hanging devices. In general, 2-D work should be in the size range of 24” height and 36” width (inclusive of frame) and 3-D work should be freestanding or should be able to fit on a pedestal that is 24” x 24.” The parameters for dimensions are provided as a guide and should not be interpreted as absolute dimensions. The price of works included in the Art Sale is provided by the artist.  If sold, the price will be split 75/25 (artist/SCAF). Artwork included in the sale should not exceed $500. Artists are requested to provide high-quality digital images of the work(s) selected to be included in print and online promotional materials. To be considered for the Art Sale, please submit the following materials by March 12th online through Submittable at https://scartscommission.submittable.com/submit/107753/2018-art-sale-call-to-artists.

2018 South Carolina Arts Awards Luncheon Art Sale: Guidelines and Conditions

  1. Works should be of high artistic quality.
  2. Works should have a broad appeal.
  3. Works must be original.
  4. Works must be framed with appropriate hanging devices (in the case of wall-hung pieces).
  5. Works should be representative of the artist’s style.
Size Restrictions
  1. 2-D work must not exceed 24” height and 36” width (inclusive of frame) to conform to the size of the freestanding wall system. We may be able to accommodate works that are larger.
  2. 3-D work should be freestanding or should be able to fit on a pedestal that is 24” x 24.” We may be able to accommodate works that are larger.
Prices Artworks included in the Awards Luncheon Art Sale should not exceed $500.00 to encourage and accommodate impulse purchases during a one-hour sale. Conditions of Sale
  1. The South Carolina Arts Foundation will handle the sale with a 75/25 split (artist/SCAF) of the artist’s stated price.
  2. Payment to the artist will be made within 2 - 3 weeks after the event.
Artists with Gallery Representation Artists who are represented by a gallery are encouraged to notify the gallery of his/her participation in this sale.
If you have any questions, please contact Nick Boismenu with the South Carolina Arts Commission:

Grants Roundup – Deadlines for the week of Feb. 12

Happy Monday! Though far from the only thing, grants are certainly among the main things we do here. And because of their importance in our work, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants on everyone's radars. Grants are merit and/or need based. They are not for a select few. Every last person at SCAC takes seriously the role of being a steward of public funding, which is appropriated to go right back out from where it came to make lives better. So to that end, The Hub wants to reduce the instances of people telling us, "If only we'd known about X grant!" We can't reach everybody, but we can try. Introducing another new regular post series, "Grants Roundup," which joins fellow newbie "Tuning Up" here. Start looking for it Mondays of weeks with deadlines (even state holiday Mondays). We'll highlight first what grants are due that week and then include what's on the horizon.

This week

These are to serve mainly as final reminders. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult your county coordinator with questions!

Next week

Next 30(ish)

Important Notes

  • You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC deadline page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
  • Next steps: your SCAC county coordinator should be your point of contact for advisement and guidance on all grants.

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith visits S.C. this month

Massachusetts native and Princeton faculty member Tracy K. Smith, named U.S. poet laureate in June 2017, will visit three locations in Rep. Jim Clyburn's district this month as part of a tour of rural America. She'll discuss poetry's connection to everyday life. The events are free, but you're asked to email ana.maxwell@house.gov to RSVP so they can plan adequately. Details for the three events: Lake City

  • Friday, Feb. 23, 2:30 p.m.
  • Lake City UMC
  • 229 W. Main St.
  • Friday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.
  • Old Summerton H.S.
  • 12 S. Church St.
Adams Run
  • Saturday, Feb. 24, 10:30 a.m.
  • Wiltown Community Center
  • 5779 Parkers Ferry Rd.

VIDEO: Woodward and May on economic impact study

Thursday afternoon,  MidlandsBiz.com released their coverage of the new economic impact study. It included publisher Alan Cooper's interviews with Dr. Doug Woodward, the researcher and economist who completed the new economic impact study, and Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May. Take a look!  

Call for Art: ecoFAB 2018