‘Chicken Man’ loves what he does

“You gotta love it, you gotta love what you do.” That from renowned Columbia artist Ernest Lee, known to most as the "Chicken Man" for his iconic artwork featuring ... well, you know. He's going strong 51 years into his art career. “When I was five, I started drawing. And I told my mom if there was anything in the world I wanted to be, I wanted to be an artist,” he said. “I just picked up the pencil and kept playing with it.” When he got older, Lee began painting the interior and exterior of houses, until someone suggested he start doing “something he could call his own.” We posit that he did. Read more on Lee's story on ColaDaily.com.  

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Wheel Sessions: Greenville’s Underground Jazz Series

“Wheel Sessions” is a jazz performance series in Greenville with performances for an intimate listening audience on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. The first 41 Wheel Sessions were held at their namesake venue, the Wheel, a shared arts space in West Greenville’s Arts District. Wheel Sessions host and resident drummer Kevin Korschgen transformed that location, filled with funky comfortable furniture, into a “groovy” underground jazz club not unlike one you might find in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Set as theater in the round, that intimate space played an important role in establishing a unique Wheel Session brand. However, the true success of the sessions is in the music! Sadly, the Wheel no longer exists – but the sessions continue to thrive. The Wheel Sessions enjoy an enthusiastic and supportive fan base. Whether billed as a House Party, held in a local club, or in its soon to be home, the Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (GUUF), the Wheel Sessions are a must see and hear event. Mr. Korschgen consistently books many of the Carolina’s finest jazz musicians for the sessions, extending them complete artistic license to perform as if they where in Village. Until you have attended a Wheel Session it is hard to imagine such creative jazz brewing in the Upstate. For information on upcoming shows, visit wheelsessions.com.


Next event

Wheel Session 48 Thursday, July 26, 2018 Justin Ray Quartet 7:30-9:30 p.m. … doors open at 7 p.m. Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship 1135 State Park Rd., Greenville, SC 29609 Admission $15 (Cash only) To reserve a seat, phone or text 312.520.2760 or email Kevin at kmkorschgen@gmail.com.
Header photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

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Furman tenors shine at national competition in Las Vegas

After impressive performances at both state and regional National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competitions held earlier this year, two Furman University vocalists made the best of opportunities to compete on the national stage. Tyrese Byrd, a junior vocal performance major from Williamston and Bergsvein Toverud, a senior music education major from Lenoir, N.C., competed in the semifinals and finals of the National Student Auditions, part of the 55th NATS competition held June 22-26 in Las Vegas. The tenors won third place in their divisions at the event where they competed among 200 vocalists. Before getting a chance to compete in the semis, the two were required to submit YouTube videos for the preliminary round. (View them here: Toverud | Byrd)  Having made the cut, which included the top 14 in their respective divisions, the tenors matriculated to the live semifinal round where they continued to shine. Only the top three or four singers in each category from the semifinals advanced to the live, national final. “Tyrese and Bergsvein were the only two tenors competing in the college classical competition at this level. This is remarkable considering the size of our music program. It says a lot about the type of student and level of talent we have here, ” Furman Professor of Voice Grant Knox said. Knox believes no other school came away with two finalists at the competition. And besides acknowledging the raw talent students brought to the event, Knox gives a nod to Furman. “These types of successes would not be possible without Furman’s support and encouragement. These students come to Furman because they feel the university values music and the arts. I look forward to celebrating more achievements like these in the years to come,” he said.


For more information, contact Grant Knox at 864.294.3034 and grant.knox@furman.edu.

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Can arts therapies improve health for military PTSD patients?

A new study funded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) reveals that art work created by military service members as part of their medical treatment for psychological health conditions conveys valuable information for doctors. NEAThis benefit is especially important for patients who struggle to express their thoughts and feelings. In another research development, the NEA is posting a framework document that maps new research priorities for the agency’s Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Both the new study and the research agenda aim to extend knowledge about how, when, and why creative arts therapies improve health for patients coping with the effects of their wartime experiences. The NEA is announcing these two resources as the nation recognizes PTSD Awareness Day on June 27. "The newly published study exemplifies the type of practical research that the Creative Forces network will pursue over the next five years," said Sunil Iyengar, director of Research & Analysis at the NEA. "The researchers will continue to examine how creative arts therapies can inform diagnoses and treatment options for the range of patients experiencing these complex psychological illnesses." One of the masks included in the study that demonstrates dentification with military unit (depiction of sense of belonging to a military unit, for example, explosive ordnance disposal badge, also known as the ‘crab’). The study, Observational study of associations between visual imagery and measures of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress among active-duty military service members with traumatic brain injury at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, examined masks created by 370 service members in creative arts therapy sessions that were part of their integrative care. Researchers identified and correlated themes observed in those masks with psychological diagnoses. The observational study was led by Girija Kaimal, EdD, of Drexel University, and Melissa Walker, of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence and is being published by the British Medical Journal, an international peer reviewed medical journal. Dr. Kaimal noted, “Few studies in art therapy have linked visual symbols with existing standardized clinical measures. This helps us see if there are patterns of visual representations that relate to psychological states.” During the creative art therapy sessions, service members are asked to embellish a blank mask of a human face using a variety of art supplies in a way that reflects how they feel. The researchers then created an inventory of themes represented in the masks and matched those themes with data collected previously in questionnaires from those patients. The questionnaires measured levels of depression, anxiety, stress, and PTSD. The study found that masks that included symbols of the patient’s identify in relation to a military unit or other social group correlated with lower levels of psychological distress. This indicates that the capacity to imagine oneself as part of something larger than one’s individual experiences is associated with lower PTSD, depression, and anxiety scores. Conversely, masks that included fragmented objects, like broken gear or faded camouflage, were tied to higher levels of anxiety, while masks that showed psychological pain matched with patients dealing with more acute PTSD. To enable more research such as this, the National Endowment for the Arts developed the Creative Forces Clinical Research: A Strategic Framework and Five Year Agenda. The research completed as a result of this framework will strengthen the Creative Forces network as well as the military medical and creative arts therapy fields, enhancing the quality of care for military patients. Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the state arts agencies that places creative arts therapies at the core of patient-centered care at 11 military medical clinics across the country. Visit the NEA’s website for more information on Creative Forces and information on additional published research and clinical practice papers associated with Creative Forces.


About the National Endowment for the Arts Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more about NEA.

Arts boost quality of life, economy in Fort Lawn

Feel free to share your stories on social media, and tag the S.C. Arts Commission.

Image captured on Facebook by Laurel Posey of SCAC grants office (during non-business hours).

Former SCAC grantee exhibits in Spartanburg

A new exhibition at Wofford College is dedicated to lithographer Jim Creal - one of the first recipients of an Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. AVI grantsJim Creal encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Grants can be used to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. From GoUpstate.com:

Another grant, one from the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Artist Venture Initiative program, allowed him to set up to produce lithographs in his Spartanburg studio and to study under artist and lithographer Lynn Froelich of Charlotte, N.C.

"Lithography is a very twitchy print process, and many of these lithographs would not exist but for the collaborative help of Lynn to print them,” he said in a statement.

Lithographs are “stone prints” created using a large limestone slab on which to draw the desired image with “greasy tools” such as lithographic crayons and utilizes the fact that oil and water do not mix.

Creal created a 25-lithograph collection titled "The South Carolina Coastal Lithographic Project." The new exhibition shows 20 of the lithographs at the Richardson Family Art Museum in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College. This Thursday at 7 p.m., Creal will give a talk at the museum, and admission is free. The exhibition runs through Saturday, Aug. 4.

So, what would you say you do here?

"The Bobs" from Office Space, 1999 by Twentieth Century Fox and Cubicle, Inc. There's not a quick answer to that question, but let's start with this: The South Carolina Arts Commission does three things:

  • artist development,
  • community arts development,
  • and arts education
through four means:
  • direct programs,
  • staff assistance,
  • partnerships,
  • and grants.

The Hub serves as… a hub for the promotion of news items related to all those things. (The “Arts Daily” section serves as a centralized - what’s the word? - hub for promoting statewide arts events.) On a given week, you can see posts that serve to promote any number of those things. It’s critical for this outlet to do that because if you’re a tax-paying South Carolinian, your income comes to Columbia through the Department of Revenue and can return to your community from our agency by those four means. For the current fiscal year that ends in two weeks, we’ve helped provide one, some, or all the three things we do to all 46 counties. Barbara Streeter In short, we use The Hub to tell you how we’re attempting to be good stewards for your money. It’s not an election-year gimmick, but it’s here every year, on as many days as workload allows. The programs, artists, and ventures are not just lofty ones perched on the peak of Mount Olympus. No, we’re also using arts and culture to make Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties feel like they have a slice of the peak as new perspectives converge to address old problems. We help schools integrate the arts (top, right) into their curricula to foster creativity and critical thinking in new generations. We also enable artists to contribute to a $9.7 billion sector of the state economy by helping them not only further, but monetize their skills (bottom, right) to provide themselves sustainable income. That’s where your money goes, and it’s important for you to know that all the time, not just when differing opinions on funding collide - because it’s your money, entrusted to our professionals to impact all South Carolinians.
Two things you might have noticed here and/or our social media outlets lately are renewed emphasis on a) promoting what “SC Artists” are doing (spoiler alert: they are a wildly successful lot) and b) how “SCAC Grants At Work” are being put to work. Here is today’s example, which happens to encompass both. The grantee artists used an S.C. Arts Commission grant to take an art form often assumed to be reserved for Olympus right to Main Street: Here’s to seeing plenty more of this, all the time.

SCAC grant supports Claflin campers’ ‘Aladdin Jr.’ performance

Here's a brief grantee spotlight from The Times & Democrat:

Claflin University is hosting an intensive residential camp designed to provide high-level artistic instruction to youth entering grades six through 10 in a college environment. It is funded through a S.C. Arts Commission arts education grant.

The camp will conclude on Saturday, June 16 with a musical theater production of Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.”

Claflin University Intensive (CUSAI) Residential Camp participants are taking classes led by college professors in acting, art (graphic design and jewelry making), dance, music and video production while preparing for the culminating musical theatre production featuring music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin, and book by Chad Beguelin.

Participants are also mentored by college students majoring in one of the artistic disciplines.

Go here to read the full story!

Tuning Up: Vintage Mary Edna, SEPF + more

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...


Vintage Mary Edna. South Carolina artist Mary Edna Fraser was a 1998/1999 S.C. Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow and is a recent (2016) winner of the Verner Award in the artist category. As you can probably tell by her website, she's also an entrepreneur (and received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant from SCAC to that end). She's further proof that South Carolina artists and creatives are out there killing it every day. But here's something really cool: Tres Acres Vineyards of Argentina commissioned Mary Edna to make a batik for their label design. The wine is not yet available in the U.S. (sorry). How many people can lay claim to such an honor? Congrats (again), Mary Edna. Check out Family Ties, her new exhibition in Charleston "co-starring" her artist daughters Reba West Fraser and Labanna Babalon, starting Friday and running through July 29. Keys to Happiness. The piano event of the summer returns to Columbia June 17-23. Tickets are on sale now for all events at the 2018 Southeastern Piano Festival, led by Artistic Directors Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers. Pianist Simone Dinnerstein is the headlining guest artist. Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery: Call for Art! The 3rd annual M&G Makers Market opened its application process yesterday to BJU grads, current or former students, or current or former faculty/staff members. M&G has 30 positions available for makers in the following categories: 2D Fine Art, 3D Fine Art, To Wear, Paper Goods, Fiber Art, and Everything Else. Submit your application through midnight on June 10. Learn more here. And, if you’re not a grad or an artist, the university invites everyone to consider attending M&G’s 3rd annual Makers Market on Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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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 culturalarts@northcharleston.org. For more information on the sculpture exhibition, visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.
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."