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AccessAbility Announces ‘Art in the Dark’ – this Thursday

This Thursday will bring the second annual "Art in the Dark" event to North Charleston at the headquarters of AccessAbility. The for-purpose, not-for-profit organization invites aspiring artists and amateurs (of all ages) to bring themselves and their families to its community art exhibition and competition. This year guests will enjoy art that spans across all mediums. The event will feature live music, hands-on art projects, yard games, and refreshments for all ages and abilities. The creative staff at AccessAbility will adopt the world of Willy Wonka as design inspiration. Thematic surprises are in-store and will provide an all-encompassing sensory experience for the whole family. "Art in the Dark" is an inclusive event open to community members with or without disabilities. The idea of promoting fellowship in the growing community of creators and entrepreneurs was thought up by AccessAbility Executive Director Julia Martinelli. The creative spirit and visionary saw an opportunity to accentuate the abilities of individuals with disabilities through the arts, as well as showcase AccessAbility’s many resources which are often unknown to locals. “The idea to create an art competition and exhibition is centered in inclusiveness and serves to highlight disability as part of the human experience. We often incorporate artistic inspiration throughout the programs we deliver and many of our clients, employees, and friends are gifted in various creative outlets,” Martinelli said. "Art in the Dark" is scheduled for Thursday, May 24th from 5-9 p.m. Participants who submit artwork will receive free admission to the event. To purchase tickets, submit artwork, and find additional information visit

AccessAbility is located between Cross County Road and Lincoln Patriot Boulevard on Dorchester Road. AccessAbility is a non-profit organization and center for independent living representing Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Williamsburg, and Orangeburg counties. The organization promotes the full integration of people with disabilities in their communities and operates on a cross-disability basis.
Feature photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Fast-growing S.C. region adds professional orchestra

It is the hub of a region that has three of the top 20 fastest-growing communities in South Carolina (and two of the top three). It boasts the state's first officially-recognized cultural district. And now Rock Hill has a professional orchestra, joining several others across the state in Aiken, Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, and Spartanburg. Read more about the genesis of the new cultural offering from the Herald. The three-concert inaugural season begins in September and runs through next May, but a "sneak peek" offering is coming June 10. Congratulations to York County and everyone at the Rock Hill Symphony!

Image courtesy of the Rock Hill Herald.

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13th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition Winners Announced

Sculpture artists from across the nation applied to the 13th Annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, displayed at the North Charleston Riverfront Park and presented as a component of the 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest. Organized annually by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, this unique, eleven-month exhibition offers established and emerging artists the opportunity to display their thought provoking, extraordinary sculptures, as well as compete for up to $19,750 in honorariums and awards. Thirteen out of 94 submissions were pre-juried into the exhibition by the juror, Lilly Wei, New York-based independent curator, writer, journalist, lecturer, and critic. Once installed at the exhibition site, Wei then made her selections for Best in Show, Outstanding Merit, and Honorable Mentions. The sculptures selected for exhibition are by 13 artists from 10 states. Congratulations to the winners of the 2018/2019 National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition:

  • Best in Show: Vuida by Joni Youkins-Herzog (Athens, Ga.; shown at right)
  • Outstanding Merit: Yellowfish by John Ross (Long Branch, N.J.)
  • Honorable Mention: Hallelujah by Charlie Brouwer (Willis, Va.)
  • Honorable Mention: Battery No. 1 by Lena Daly (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Honorable Mention: Moonlight Sonata by Hanna Jubran (Grimesland, N.C.)
Also displayed were the following pre-juried works:
  • The Sound of Everything - Bassoon by Sean Cassidy (Rock Hill)
  • Wind by Bob Doster (Lancaster)
  • Electric Horse by Normon Greene (Brentwood, Md.)
  • Ollie's Buoy by Roger Halligan (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
  • Gothic Family by Beau Lyday (Valdese, N.C.)
  • Oculi Aqua by Carmen Rojas (Ocala, Fla.)
  • The Wealth of Fools by Gregory Smith (North Pownal, Vt.)
  • Core Oracle by Adam Walls (Hope Mills, N.C.)
Sculpture sites are located throughout North Charleston Riverfront Park (1001 Everglades Ave.) on the former Charleston Naval Base. The park is open daily during daylight hours. Admission and parking are free. The 2018/2019 National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition will be on display through March 24, 2019. For more information or to be added to the application mailing list for the 2019/2020 competition, please call the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854 or email For more information on the sculpture exhibition, visit
After determining the award winners, Lilly Wei offered the following juror’s statement: "I would like to begin by congratulating all the artists in this wonderful exhibition and wishing you much success. It is never easy to choose and even more difficult to select just one “best in show,” and one “outstanding merit” but it is good that a few others can be singled out also. I would further state the obvious, that these endeavors are inevitably subjective, influenced by the juror’s own inclinations and criteria, conscious and unconscious. I would add that these are my readings of the works, not necessarily those of the artists although that is what art should do—evoke myriad responses from its viewers. That said, Joni Younkins-Herzog’s Vuida earned Best inShow. I very much liked its playfulness and a subversive feminism that quickly shifted into the feminist, as the flower became a trumpet of sorts, a loudspeaker, perhaps, that says that flowers, (and women) should speak out, boldly broadcasting messages that need to be heard. She upends a traditional still life vanitas motif about ephemerality into something more political, activist, and of the moment."

Tuning Up: Eclipsing 50 at SCSM, Speaking Down Barriers in Spartanburg

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...

  • Eclipsing 50. Originally scheduled to come down in June, the State Art Collection will remain on display at the South Carolina State Museum into August, so consider this a periodic reminder to go check it out. With the wet weather this week and summer's heat looming, this is a way to escape both. It's rare to see so much of the collection displayed in one place... unless you visit the S.C. Arts Commission. Free with museum admission.
  • Speaking Down Barriers in Spartanburg. This Saturday, our friends at Chapman Cultural Center and South Carolina Humanities are planning to use music, poetry and art to help bring people together to build a better community in the Upstate. Speaking Down Barriers holds the first "Day of Transformation" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg (210 Henry Place, Spartanburg). $15. Read more about it here and here. (The SCAC provided support for this event.)
  • More Spoleto! On Monday, May 28, Palmetto State Arts Education will host the opening performance of the 2018 Rising Stars Piccolo Spoleto Series, showcasing young actors, dancers, musicians, writers and visual artists in the high profile venue of Spoleto Festival USA through its affiliation with Piccolo Spoleto. A series of six programs, each program will feature 5-7 young artists and/or ensembles in a conversation and performance format. All programs are presented at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church across from Marion Square on King Street in the heart of downtown Charleston at 4 p.m. $8.00.

Tuning Up: More Cane Bay arts excellence + free poetry series and museums

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...

  • What's in the water in Cane Bay? We recently shared a story about Cane Bay Elementary, and we return to talk about their high school. The Congressional Art Institute holds a national competition each year, and thousands of applicants take part for a chance to have their artwork displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol. Cane Bay high school senior Jorge De La Cruz was named this year's winner for the South Carolina district. He will be awarded with other national district winners in an award ceremony in Washington. Read (and watch) more from ABC News 4 here.
  • African-American poet series at McLeod Plantation: Poet Marilyn Nelson visits McLeod Plantation Historic Site in Charleston on Sunday, June 3 for a reading and reception (325 Country Club Dr., James Island). Free to the first 50 guests; additional guests will have to pay the historic site's admission fee to enter the property.
  • Free museum admission for active-duty military families: Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the U.S. Department of Defense, and museums across America. Each summer since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Go here to find participating museums nationwide! The list of museums participating in 2018 will be updated all summer long. Reading this from a museum? Museums interested in participating should email

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2018 S.C. Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition Winners

Fine craft artists and artisans from across South Carolina were invited to participate in the state’s only juried fine craft competition and exhibition: the 17th Annual South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition. Presented May 2-6 as a component of the 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest, the show is organized annually by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department. After an extensive pre-jury process, 42 applicants were asked to participate and 81 entries were submitted in the categories of clay, fiber, metal, glass, wood, and 3D mixed media. Cash awards totaling $6,500 were made at the sole discretion of the juror, Rachel Reese, associate curator of modern and contemporary art at Telfair Museums in Savannah, Ga. “The quality of artwork submitted is a testament to the ongoing value that visual artists contribute to material culture, and this presentation of artworks exemplifies the vibrancy, imagination, energy, and great talent of South Carolina artists working today,” Reese said. Reese also selected pieces from the show to assemble a South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Traveling Exhibition, which will tour the state through the South Carolina State Museum’s 2018/2019 Traveling Exhibitions Program. Galleries, museums, and art centers across the state can request the exhibit to visit their facilities on its tour. Four pieces were selected for City of North Charleston Purchase Awards. These selections will be added to the City of North Charleston’s Permanent Public Art Collection, which is on display within North Charleston City Hall throughout most of the year. Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition: "A Lively Live Oak"

Best of Show

“A Lively Live Oak” (fiber) by Peg Weschke (Hilton Head Island)

Outstanding Merit

  • “Sashay” (clay) by Gary Huntoon (Travelers Rest)
  • “Mosaic Cherry Bowl” (wood) by Dale Fort (Charleston)

City of North Charleston Purchase Awards

  • “Rising Waters” (encaustic) by Marty Biernbaum
  • “Spot On: Chartreuse Raku #1” (clay) by Nancy Waterhouse (Bluffton)
  • “Summertime Tea Time” (clay) by Marsha Nordyke (Summerville)
  • “A Small Disturbance in the House of Pluto” (mixed media) by Robin Howard (Mount Pleasant)

Honorable Mention

  • “Summertime Delight” (clay) by Marsha Nordyke (Summerville)
  • “Charleston Box #66” (mixed media) by Robin Howard (Mount Pleasant)
  • “Refraction” (fiber) by Connie Lippert (Seneca)
  • “Segmented Bowl” (wood) by Kenny Teague (Charleston)
  • “A Little Birdie Told Me…” (mixed media) by Bob Thames (North Charleston)
  • “A Farewell to Arms” (wood) by Robb Helm Kant (North Charleston)
  • “Featherweight” (stoneware) by Justin Guy (Trenton)
  • “Swirls III” (fiber) by Beth Andrews (Greer)
  • “Three Stone Necklace” (mixed media) by Rachel Weiss (Charleston)
  • “Melting Point” (porcelain) by Annie Rhodes Lee (Folly Beach)
  • “Lean on Me” (clay) by Sherrie Nesbitt (Summerville)
  • “Spot On: Chartreuse Raku #1” (clay) by Nancy Waterhouse (Bluffton)

South Carolina Palmetto Hands Traveling Exhibition Selections

  • “Summertime Delight” (clay) by Marsha Nordyke (Summerville)
  • “A Lively Live Oak” (fiber) by Peg Weschke (Hilton Head Island)
  • “Go Ask Alice” (embroidery on canvas) by Liz Holt (Conway)
  • “Green Vessel” (felted fiber vessel) by Pam Shanley- (Summerville)
  • “Ivy Relief” (wood) by Ben Pendarvis- (St. Helena Island)
  • “Old School” (mixed media) by Patz Fowle- (Hartsville)
  • “Charleston Box #66” (mixed media) by Robin Howard (Mount Pleasant)
  • “Segmented Bowl” (wood) by Kenny Teague (Charleston)
  • "Solution” (metal and wood) by Robb Helmkamp – (North Charleston)
  • “Dr. Seuss Teapot” (clay) by Mark Vail – (Charleston)
  • “Petting Zoo” (fiber) by Evelyn Beck- (Anderson)
  • “Shawl Spring Sunrise” (textiles) by Iryna Toney- (Summerville)
  • “Mosaic Cherry Bowl” (wood) by Dale Fort (Charleston)
  • “Three Stone Necklace” (mixed media) by Rachel Weiss (Charleston)
  • “Lean on Me” (clay) by Sherrie Nesbitt (Summerville)
  • “Spot On: Lapio Raku #2 and Denim #3” (clay) by Nancy Waterhouse (Bluffton)
  • “Sashay” (clay) by Gary Huntoon (Travelers Rest)
North Charleston Arts Fest also featured a judged fine art and photography competition. You can find out the winners of that here.

Artisphere continues arts festival season in S.C.

Artisphere Arts festival season has hit full-stride in South Carolina. This weekend, it's Greenville and Artisphere in the spotlight with the return of the signature Upstate event, which draws artists, art lovers, and tourists from all over the Southeast. The fun began about an hour ago and runs through Sunday:

  • ArtisphereFriday, May 11: 12-8 p.m.*
  • Saturday, May 12: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.*
  • Sunday, May 13: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
*ARTISPHERE AFTER HOURS CONCERTS: the WYFF-4 Main Stage features musical performances from 8-9:45 p.m. There are a host of exhibits, performances (dance and music), and vendors (craft, food, etc.) to take in as you wind your way through downtown Greenville. Artisphere is presented by TD Bank, and receives support from the South Carolina Arts Commission.

SCGSAH creative writing student gets prestigious honor

Aidan Forster was already having an amazing-beyond-belief senior year. Aidan Forster A National Merit Finalist, he received college acceptances from Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Penn, and Cal-Berkeley, among others. (He chose Brown University, and will enroll in the fall.) But then the U.S. Department of Education came calling and gave the creative writing senior from Taylors studying at the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) further plaudits to his credit by naming him a U.S Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of only 20 in the nation. Aidan was nominated by the National YoungArts Foundation and will represent our state as the only arts scholar selected from South Carolina. "Aidan is a rare combination of talent and fearlessness and intellect. With his writing, he is unafraid to push himself into unexplored areas, places that aren’t necessarily in his comfort zone. I’m not sure we’ve ever had a writer who worked as hard to get the most out of his talents ... I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the years ahead," Creative Writing Department Chair Scott Gould said. Aidan will be the 8th U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts from the Governor's School's Creative Writing Department. In addition, he:

  • was the inaugural recipient of the 2018 YoungArts Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Award, which provides a $50,000 scholarship,
  • is a 2018 YoungArts Finalist, one of 19 selected nationally for Creative Writing, and attended YoungArts Week in Miami in January,
  • received two Gold Medals, one silver medal, and a Silver Medal with Distinction for his writing portfolio in the 2018 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition,
  • was included in the 2017 Best New Poets annual anthology of 50 poems from emerging writerspublished by the University of Virginia,
  • and his poetry chapbook, Exit Pastoral, was selected to be published by YesYes Books as a winner in the Vinyl 45's Chapbook Contest. He is the youngest author to be chosen.

Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers names Screening Partners

South Arts has announced the 24 Screening Partners participating in the 2018-19 Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, and will host a convening in Atlanta May 18-19 to curate the upcoming season. Together, the Screening Partner venues will discuss which films and filmmakers to invite on tour to their communities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The Screening Partners include:

  • a/perture (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
  • Arts Council of Central Louisiana (Alexandria, La.)
  • Broward College (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
  • City of Hapeville (Hapeville, Ga.)
  • Clayton Center for the Arts/Maryville College (Maryville, Tenn.)
  • East Tennessee State University/Mary B. Martin School of the Arts (Johnson City, Tenn.)
  • Fuquay-Varina Arts Center (FuquayVarina, N.C.)
  • Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, Ga.)
  • Global Education Center (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, Ala.)
  • The Jessye Norman School of the Arts, Inc. (Augusta, Ga.)
  • North Central Louisiana Arts Council (Ruston, La.)
  • Ocala Film Foundation (Ocala, Fla.)
  • Oxford College of Emory University (Oxford, Ga.)
  • Presbyterian College (Clinton, S.C.)
  • South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (Cutler Bay, Fla.)
  • Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (Bowling Green, Ky.)
  • The Tennessee Valley Art Association (Tuscumbia, Ala.)
  • Tropic Cinema/Key West Film Society (Key West, Fla.)
  • Troy University (Troy, Ala.)
  • Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, GA-Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (Athens, Ga.)
  • Union College (Barbourville, Ky.)
  • Union County Community Arts Council/Wingate University (Wingate, N.C.)
  • University of Tampa (Tampa, Fla.)
From September through April, each Screening Partner presents six films and filmmakers. Along with a screening of the film, the filmmakers are made available to the local community for workshops and discussions. The filmmakers also conduct a Q&A with audiences following the film screening to discuss the film, their subject, and their work. “Southern Circuit is all about connections and conversations,” explained Teresa Hollingsworth, senior program director with South Arts. “Not only do we want to make sure audiences across the region have access to current and vital independent films, but we provide opportunities to dive into challenging and necessary conversations.” At the convening, the 24 Screening Partners will discuss the slate of films and filmmakers who applied for consideration. They will explore which films would resonate most within their respective communities, and determine the 24 films and filmmakers that will be selected to tour. “The selection process is almost like a fantasy football draft,” laughed Hollingsworth. Films under consideration include feature-length animation, documentary, experimental, and narrative works created by independent filmmakers. Recent tours have included Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, Quest by Jonathan Olshefski, 78/52 by Alexandre O. Philippe, and Donald Cried by Kris Avedisian. The selected films and screening dates for the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers will be announced later this summer, and can be found on each of the Screening Partner website and Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
About South Arts South Arts advances 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

Tuning Up: Google Doodle for S.C. student? + Awards Day gallery

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers 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...

  • Moncks Corner 6th-grader Olivia Lumsden is competing in the 2018 Doodle for Google contest. She could become one of five national finalists for the chance to have her art featured on, win scholarship money and more. To see her doodle, learn more, and vote for her, check out this story from
  • For those of you who don't follow SCAC on Facebook, late yesterday we shared an image gallery showing selected photos from South Carolina Arts Awards Day, which was one week ago.