Tuning Up: SCAC Fellows exhibition news

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


The Hub generally doesn't delve into exhibitions because of volume and their (no offense) rather ubiquitous nature. (Plus, that's why we offer Arts Daily.) However there are exceptions, so let's briefly cover those.
  • Newsworthy exhibitions. This is a must because The Hub is a news website, and we have a journalism degree. Yesterday's post about West Main Artists Co-op? First juried exhibition = newsworthy.
  • The other exception? South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows. #SCartists who receive that particular recognition for artistic excellence get promoted as we can, and The Hub caught wind that two are or will be exhibiting. So let's get you information on those.
  CONTINUUM | Sept. 13-Oct. 18, 2019 | Greenville Metropolitan Arts Council members who are SCAC Visual Arts Fellows are exhibiting at the council's offices. Those artists are Patti Brady, Jamie Davis, Ben Gilliam, Diane Hopkins-Hughs, Elizabeth Keller, Linda McCune, and Mike Vatalaro. An opening reception is TONIGHT from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with a 6 p.m. pre-reception talk by select artists. The exhibition is sponsored by TD Bank. 16 Augusta Rd., Greenville; M-F, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. MICHELLE VAN PARYS: BEYOND THE PLANTATIONS | Oct. 4, 2019 | Boone, N.C. The mountains? In the fall? Check and check. You'll have to act quickly on this one, as it runs only Oct. 4 and only from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Turchin Center for the Performing Arts at Appalachian State University (in conjunction with Boone's Art Crawl). Van Parys will provide an overview of her work as a photographer working with a large-format film camera in the American landscape. The talk will be held in the lecture hall followed by a Q & A session in the Mezzanine Gallery. 423 W. King St., Boone. Free. The S.C. Arts Commission salutes its fellows past and present. Applications are now open for FY2021 fellowships:

West Main Artists Co-op’s first juried exhibition underway

WMAC 2019 open through Oct. 19

North Charleston Arts Fest 2018. File photo by Zan Maddox.
(Ed. note: Pardon The Hub for not posting last week; we were on vacation.) West Main Artists Co-op will host its first regional juried art exhibition -- WMAC 2019 -- open now though Saturday, Oct. 19, in Spartanburg. The show was open to all adult visual artists in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. The first-place winner will receive $2,500; second-place, $1,000; third-place, $500; and merit awards will total $500. Two-hundred-forty-one (241) artists from the four states applied, and 66 were admitted into the show based on the judgement of jurors Ann DerGara and Mike Vatalaro. These jurors will also work together to  pick the final winners, who will be announced on Saturday, Sept. 21 during a reception and awards ceremony. Seventy-four (74) works of art will be on display. “This exhibit has been a goal of West Main Artists Cooperative for several years,” Co-op Chair Beth Regula said. “We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and felt the time was right. What better way to celebrate our hard work than to open our doors to artists from four states and let them celebrate with us?" "Spartanburg is becoming a cultural destination, and this exhibit will only enhance that reputation. We are grateful for the support from this community. As Spartanburg grows and thrives, so do we. When artists and a community work together, we all benefit,” Regula said. Work accepted into the exhibition includes painting, pastel, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, glass, photography, fiber arts, original hand-pulled fine art prints, jewelry, weaving, basketry, and wood. Nearly all of the work will be for sale. “Coordinating WMAC 2019 has been in the making for more than a year,” Regula said. “Having a regional juried exhibition is something we believe is very important in the advancement of the Co-op and in the advancement of the arts in Spartanburg. Art has become a vital force to be reckoned with in Spartanburg, and West Main Artists Co-op is leading the way for regional artists. Our membership includes some of the region’s most noted artists. Our exhibits include artists from many different regions of the southeast. I invite everyone to see this very important exhibition, knowing it is the product of much work and high standards. It will have some of the best art to be found in the four states. As the name implies -- WMAC 2019 -- we plan to make this an annual event!” If You're Going... The artwork in WMAC 2019 will be open for free public viewing Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A public reception will be Saturday, Sept. 21 from 6-8 p.m. with an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Another reception will be held on Thursday, Sept. 19, 5-9 p.m., during the city’s monthly ArtWalk. Free. (578 West Main St., Spartanburg, 864.804.6501.)

The Jurors

Ann DerGara began her formal education at Georgia State University. In 1978, a printmaking course at Atlanta College of Art led her to Dick Williams and the innovative and contemporary Odyssey Studio. The artist first pursued etching, collagraphy, and serigraphy printmaking techniques. In 1990 she began her exploration of monoprinting. Roger Caplan of Soho Myriad Fine Art has written, “Looking back on a career that has seen her work exhibited in Europe, Japan and Australia as well as the United States, one is struck by the constant and apparently effortless development of imagery and technique which has left Ann DerGara three steps ahead of familiar imitators.” A practitioner of both abstract and realistic styles, DerGara is the owner of the Red Wolf Gallery in Brevard, NC. Mike Vatalaro has more than 40 years of experience as a professor and studio artist. His work, which includes wood-fired stoneware thrown vessels as well as large terra cotta sculptural forms, has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 1998, he participated in the IWCAT Workshop and Ceramics Exhibition at Cera Gallery in Tokoname, Japan, and was an Artist Resident at Tainan University of the Arts in Taiwan (2008). His work has been recognized with several grants and awards such as the South Carolina Arts Commission Fellowship for Crafts (1994-1995 and l983-l984), the Walter Gropius Visiting Artist Fellowship in Huntington, West Virginia, and the Watershed Center for Ceramic Art Residency at Newcastle, Maine (2004).

About West Main Artists Co-op

West Main Artists Co-opis a nonprofit and membership-based arts agency, housed on West Main Street in Spartanburg in a converted three-story church. It has more than 50 active members of which about 30 have studio space in the venue. Each month, it hosts three art exhibits and is one of the more-popular venues to visit during the city’s monthly ArtWalk. In addition, it has three galleries, two performance stages, a ceramics studio, a printery, and the most extensive collection of for-sale and locally made art in Spartanburg. For more information, please visit online: WestMainArtists.org.

Society of Bluffton Artists searching for local artists

The art district in Bluffton is growing, but where do local artists go to network, to exhibit or to sell their works? The founding members of The Society of Bluffton Artists (SoBA) had this in mind when they started the non-profit organization in 1991. Today, SoBA is a thriving community with an eclectic art gallery and Center for Creative Arts instructional studio in Old Town Bluffton. The group’s organizers are ramping up their membership drive in search of new local artists — from painting and collage to print making and sculpture. “Members are the lifeblood of SoBA,” said Bill Bogle, SoBA president and a local photographer. “Membership provides 11 display opportunities for the year, discounts on the annual Judged Show, consideration for our Featured Artist exhibition, workshops led by renowned art instructors and camaraderie with other artists.” There are three levels of membership:

  • Starting Membership is $75 and includes discounted rental fees of the Center for Creative Arts for private events, invitation to artist member networking events, discounted classes and workshops, as well as promotional opportunities on the SoBA website and newsletter.
  • Exhibiting Membership starts at $200 and includes the starting membership. This level of membership offers artists the opportunity to display and to sell their artwork at the SoBA gallery.
  • The Friends of SoBA donor membership offers three levels of giving that range from $125-$500 and includes all of the benefits of the starting membership. Contributions are 100% tax-deductible will help support SoBA.
Membership is open in all visual art categories: painting, collage, photography, print making, jewelry design, sculpture and more. The jewelry membership categories are filled, but those interested can be added to a wait list. “Running a Gallery is a business and our members help in this endeavor by taking advantage of the many volunteer opportunities, including staffing the gallery, where they greet visitors and promote member art,” said Bogle. For more information about SoBA membership, visit sobagallery.com/memberships/ or contact Mary Burrell, SoBA’s membership committee chairwoman, at maryellenburrell@aol.com.

About Society of Bluffton Artists

The Society of Bluffton Artists (SoBA) is a non-profit organization established to promote a stimulating community environment for the visual arts and assist area students and artists in enhancing their artistic abilities. SoBA is the flourishing art hub in Bluffton’s historic District at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets. SoBA offers regular art classes, featured artist shows and exhibitions. Please visit www.sobagallery.com for a complete calendar of events and other information or call 843-757-6586.

Cultural documentation workshop coming to Blackville

With Folklorist & Archivist Cathy Kerst

Registration deadline: Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Ethnographic Documentation Workshop: Cultural Rights, Interviewing Skills, and General Archival Principles
  • Tuesday, October 8, 2019
  • 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Blackville Senior Center
  • 59 Callahan Street
  • Blackville, SC 29817
  • FREE
Researchers and interviewers who gather and document cultural information are involved in a complex of exciting, but sometimes, confusing issues that come up in person-to-person interactions. This workshop will explore the combined practice of interviewing, basic intellectual property matters, and fundamental archival procedures, so that collected cultural materials can be made accessible to the communities who created them, as well as to researchers, in an ethical and organized manner. Drawing on her work as a Folklife Specialist and Archivist at the Library of Congress, Cathy Kerst will also provide an orientation to the American Folklife Center. The workshop will include opportunities for conversation and Q&A about participants’ specific interests and questions about becoming more involved in cultural documentation.

Who We Are 

Catherine Hiebert Kerst, a folklife specialist at the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center for 27 years, was trained as a folklorist and has significant experience in archival work and public sector cultural programming. Since leaving the American Folklife Center recently, she has done extensive research on the Sidney Robertson Cowell WPA Northern California Folk Music Collection,1938-1940. Her book focusing on the ethnomusicological fieldwork gathered by this intrepid woman collector is scheduled for publication by Dust-to-Digital in the near future. At the American Folklife Center, Kerst initiated the development of the American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus and served as coordinator of several symposia. In addition, she has worked extensively with New Deal ethnographic collections in the Center’s Archive, participated in educational folklife outreach activities, and contributed to scholarly publications, public presentations and reference services offered by the Center. Ethnographic Documentation Workshop coordinator Laura Marcus Green is Program Specialist for Community Arts & Folklife at the South Carolina Arts Commission. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in Folklore/Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director, McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife field-worker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for the Louisiana Division of the Arts Folklife Program, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the Iowa Arts Council, New Mexico Arts, and the Idaho Commission on the Arts, among others.

South Arts opens 2020 Southern Prize applications

$80,000 in cash prizes on the line

Application deadline: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 2019 Southern Prize banner
South Arts has opened applications for this year’s Southern Prize and State Fellowships. They are offering up to $30,000 in cash awards to visual artists in the nine-state South Arts region (AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TN); this includes nine State Fellowships worth $5,000 each as well as one Southern Prize winner receiving an additional $25,000 and one finalist receiving an additional $10,000. In addition, the Southern Prize winner receives a two-week residency at The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. The deadline to apply is December 3, 2019. Click here to learn more.
The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.

Submitted material

ArtFields 2020: call for submissions


ArtFields is now accepting applications for its 2020 competition. Now in its eighth year, the competition will offer selected artists exposure to the thousands of art lovers, collectors and curators who come to see Lake City transform into a town-wide gallery each spring and the opportunity to compete for over $145,000 in prizes. ArtFields started in 2013 with a simple goal: honor Southeastern artists with nearly two weeks worth of celebration and competition in the heart of Lake City—a small, once agrarian South Carolina town. To date, ArtFields has awarded nearly $800,000 in prize money, helped launch the careers of countless artists, and ultimately led to Lake City’s transformation into a burgeoning arts mecca. Adult artists of all media, who live in the competition's 12 participating Southern states are welcome to apply. Submissions will be accepted through November 1, 2019, accepted artists will be notified in December, and winners will be announced at the close of ArtFields, set for April 24 - May 2, 2020. More information on submission guidelines can be found on the ArtFields website.

Prizes and Quick Facts

Submissions Timeline: September 1st - November 1st Save the Date for ArtFields 2020: April 24 - May 2, 2020 Full event schedule forthcoming Prizes at stake:
  • Grand Prize: $50,000
  • Second Place: $25,000
  • People’s Choice 2D: $12,500
  • People’s Choice 3D: $12,500
  • Merit Awards: $2,000 (10 awards)
  • Category Awards: $1,500 (Digital/New Media & Film, Drawing, Installation & Performance, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture & Objects, Textile)
  • State Awards: $1,000 (12 awards, one per state)

Pew talks ‘Art of Community: Rural SC’

New story takes look at SCAC program


The S.C. Arts Commission pilot program "Art of Community: Rural SC" is turning heads across the U.S. for its success in bringing new voices to the table to address long-standing problems in rural communities through an arts lens. Hampton County (Estill) maven Audrey Hopkins Williams (left) and SCAC Community Arts Development Directory Susan DuPlessis (right). Hampton County (Estill) maven Audrey Hopkins Williams (left) and SCAC Community Arts Development Directory Susan DuPlessis (right). Community Arts Development Director Susan DuPlessis, who is also the program's director, regularly presents at national and regional conferences, and the program has key figures from around the country on its board (to include Pam Breaux, the executive director of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies). Pew Charitable Trusts released a story on their website today discussing the Smithsonian Institution's "Museum on Main Street" program, with which the SCAC and SC Humanities are partners to bring its traveling exhibition on rural American to small South Carolina towns. The story features DuPlessis and extensive discussion of "Art of Community: Rural SC." To wit:

With the support of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funding, the South Carolina Arts Commission identified six leaders, whom they call mavens, in each county to build local teams of residents who were passionate about the community, but weren’t always in positions of power.

“Some of the rural communities we work with are really tired of organizations coming in with solutions, dropping money on a place, nothing significant happening, and then that organization is gone,” DuPlessis said. “Part of what we’re doing is creating pride of place and creating opportunities for people to own their community and see themselves differently.”

Click here to read the full story.

SCAC statement on Hurricane Dorian

Storm to affect S.C.'s eastern half


Official Statement from S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts

Our state’s governor, Henry McMaster, has declared a state of emergency for South Carolina as Hurricane Dorian’s bands are spreading up our coast. Many of you might feel the effects of this storm. First and foremost, we care about your safety. Please heed warnings and act according to the response recommendations presented by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. Secondly, your artistic well-being also matters to us, and we stand ready to assist you should your livelihood become threatened by the effects of the storm. Our website has emergency preparedness resources for artists and arts organizations. We will continue to provide updated information as necessary. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you feel there are things with which we can be of assistance. Stay safe.

$5,000 grants to reward literary, dance excellence in S.C.

  • S.C. Arts Commission opens applications for FY21 Fellowships
  • Deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3 September 2019 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission is accepting applications for $5,000 FY21 individual artist fellowships for South Carolina resident artists working in prose, poetry, dance performance and dance choreography. Four awards of $5,000 each will be given to one artist working in those four different artistic disciplines. The deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina’s exceptional individual artists, according to Executive Director David Platts. Fellowship awards are made through a highly competitive, anonymous process and are based on artistic excellence only. The fellowship awards bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and employment opportunities. (There is a long list of accomplished fellowship recipients here.) Flyer for FY21 Individual Artist Fellowships Click to view the info flyer. “These are unrestricted awards the Arts Commission uses to recognize artistic achievement by South Carolina’s exceptional artists,” Platts said. “Artists can use the award to invest in their work with additional learning or supplies or they can pay bills or buy groceries.” The panel of judges comes from other states, but applicants must: be 18 years of age or older, be U.S. citizens and South Carolina residents with a full-time residence in state for two years before applying, and plan to remain in-state through the fellowship period (July 2020 through June 2021). Applications may only be submitted online by midnight Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. To learn more and apply, visit the fellowships grant page on SouthCarolinaArts.com. Further questions about applying can be answered by Senior Deputy Director Milly Hough (mhough@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8698).

About the S.C. Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key 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.

Tuning Up: A new day at SCAC + Florence 3 arts grant

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


You're forgiven if you thought this feature was lost to the sands of time. It doesn't look like we've had a "Tuning Up" since June. Time to fix that!
  • IT'S A NEW DAY. Last week brought the news that the S.C. Arts Commission wants to serve constituents now based on what you need rather than by where you're located. Today's the day the new system is in effect. Callers to the agency will get a new menu of options, and visitors to our website can solicit staff assistance in a new way too.
  • FLORENCE 3 GETS GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECT. "The Distinguished Art Program grant is for the project 'Innovate – Creative and Critical Thinking through the Arts.' More than 3,000 students and 238 teachers will benefit from this grant program." Go here for the full story on SCNow.com. The grant comes from the S.C. Dept. of Education.
  • KEEP TURNING, DORIAN. At this writing, Hurricane Dorian's track appears to be continuing its ever-so-gradual shift eastward and away from the S.C. coast. You don't need The Hub to tell you that's good news, but we can tell you word's come in that 2019 Verner Award recipients the Gibbes Museum of Art plus College of Charleston's Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art—among many others—are closed as the storm makes its way along the coast. The closings are in response to mandatory coastal evacuations. Be safe out there, and definitely be ArtsReady: visit SouthCarolinaArts.com for resources to help you do just that.