← View All Articles

SCAC staffer named to role in Ga. + arts job opening

Change remains among life's constants*


Ask anybody who works in the arts and they'll tell you: the faces change a lot. That leads to a fair bit of upward mobility as the deck is reshuffled, and is definitely one of many benefits of working in the sector. For the second time in 2019, the South Carolina Arts Commission is losing a valued staff member to an arts leadership role in another state. Oconee (Ga.) Cultural Arts Foundation just named La Ruchala Murphy its new executive director. Murphy serves on the SCAC grants team and is a county coordinator for Abbeville, Calhoun, Cherokee, Greenwood, McCormick, and Newberry counties. She also stepped in to lead SCAC artist development initiatives earlier this year when Joy Young became executive director of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville (Fla.). The Winthrop alumna is also an artist and an absolute treat with whom to work. She is completely deserving of this promotion, will do an amazing job, and will be sorely missed. Your SCAC team is proud of and happy for you!
Application deadline: May 30, 2019 The Arts Center of Clemson (ed. note: the town, not school) is searching for its next clay technician coordinator—the person who will run its clay studio and clay programs. Please note it is a 10-hour/week position. Does this, ahem, fire you up? Read more and apply via this link.
* With full self-awareness we acknowledge this might be the SCAC's unofficial theme of 2019, but we're being up-front about it.

Submitted material

The Arts Center of Clemson is hiring

Application deadline: Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019


The Arts Center of Clemson is hiring a program administrator/volunteer coordinator. Participate in the conceptualization, development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies to further the achievement of The Arts Center’s culture, mission, and program goals. For more information and to apply, please visit our website. Deadline is January 10, 2019.
Looking for arts jobs? 

Oconee County quilter brings lifelong lessons to her art

CENTRAL, S.C.— Anna Willis' knuckles are swollen, and her fingers remain curved no matter how much she tries to straighten them. "I have had arthritis a long time," she said. "As long as I can remember."
Yet, she still works with those fingers. The artwork they produce still makes it into galleries and museums. Anna Willis is a quilter, and has been since she was a child. Her mother first taught her to sew when she was 5. Willis was a young lady, in the 1940s, when she completed her first quilt by herself. She still has it, all these years later. "It's a sunshine and shadow pattern," Willis said. "I have never been able to part with it." Two folding tables pushed together dominate her living room in her small brick home in Central. On it is a sewing machine. All around it, and underneath it, are sacks of material. Small drawers hold spools of thread of every color. One couch is stacked with folded quilts. Some of the quilts are large enough to cover a queen-size bed. Others are made for babies or for hanging on the wall. Some are decorated with beadwork and hand-sewn patchwork. All have been made by Willis. Quilting is her art. Her work is on display at The Arts Center of Clemson and is part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, a series of wooden, painted quilt squares that are mounted on public buildings, tourist sites and homes in the Upstate. The squares are a form of public art, meant to generate tourism. "This is what I do now, when I take a notion," Willis said. "As soon as I retired, I went right into quilting. I don't have anybody here. I had to find something to do." She has been a widow since the 1960s. Her only child, an adopted son, died last year. Her quilts keep her busy. She recently worked on a king-size Christmas quilt, one she meant to finish in time for the holidays, but the schedule was delayed when she came down with a cold. Some of her creations will take a couple of months to make. This king-size cover will take three months. She has taught others her art at local elementary schools, community centers and at Tri-County Technical College. Willis was raised in Seneca, near the Oconee County Training School. Then, flour sacks, salt sacks and feed sacks were used to put quilts together. Her mother had a large quilt frame that was held up with ropes at the ceiling. She would lower it in the morning and work on quilts until dinner time, Willis said. "We didn't have much," Willis said. "Mama made quilts, and I had to help her. Mama could make anything she wanted. Everything I knew about sewing, knitting and crocheting, I learned from her." That started a lifetime of working with fabric and sewing for Willis. She worked for 15 years at Gallant Belk on Seneca. But the longest span of her career was spent in a mill, sewing collars on blouses. About 23 years ago, she retired. "The doctor made me stop working because of my heart," she said. Her health is not what it once was. Those fingers will ache sometimes, and her arthritis will keep her awake all evening if her joints become too cold. But many days, Willis is still here, sitting at this table, working on her art.

The Arts Center of Clemson’s 20 x 20 Clay Invitational Exhibit and Sale

The third annual 20 x 20 Clay Invitational Exhibit and Sale will be held at The Arts Center of Clemson September 13-15. Twenty professional potters from South Carolina and North Carolina will display at least 20 pieces of pottery each. More than 400 pieces of contemporary and traditional works in clay make up this one-of-a-kind exhibit and sale. Clay Different Ways, a curated exhibit, will open at the same time. Work by Chris TroyThe idea for the 20x20 annual sale was sparked by Clemson professor Mike Vatalaro and Tommye Hurst, executive director of The Arts Center of Clemson. The concept was fueled by Vatalaro’s knowledge of a now-famous gathering of potters in the New England area. Potters who are considered professional and highly skilled invite potters whose work they admire. Each year different potters are invited to participate, along with a few who have participated before. The South Carolina potters for 2013 are Alice Ballard, Chris Troy (work pictured right), Justin Guy, Kathy Veverka, Mike Vatalaro, Andrew Coombs, John Turner, Marquerite Palmer, Rob Gentry, David Stuart, Winton and Rosa Eugene, and Carol Clarkson. The Collectors Choice Preview Gala on Friday, Sept. 13 is a ticketed event that begins at 6:30 p.m. Purchase tickets by contacting The Arts Center at (864) 633-5051 or by visiting the website. Tickets are $15  for members of The Arts Center and $20 for non-members. The public is invited to attend the exhibit and sale on Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sept. 15 from noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Via: The Arts Center of Clemson

Milly

Rare opportunity to view both parts of State Art Collection exhibition

[gallery link="file"]   For nearly three weeks, both installments of the largest traveling exhibition of State Art Collection work will be on display at the same time. Contemporary Conversations Part II is on view now through Jan. 31 at the Arts Center of Greenwood. Contemporary Conversations Part I runs Jan. 14 - Feb. 6 at three locations in Clemson: The Arts Center, and Clemson University's Lee Gallery and the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. This is the first time that both parts of Contemporary Conversations have been "on the road" simultaneously. Curated by Eleanor Heartney, author and contributing editor to Art in America and Artpress, Contemporary Conversations is composed of 118 works by 95 contemporary South Carolina artists. The exhibition is designed to suggest both the quality and diversity of the state's cultural heritage and includes everything from hard-edge geometric abstraction to surrealist-tinged dreamscapes. Works are inspired by social issues, memory, local and national history, imagination, art of the past and aesthetic theory. Together these works reflect the many voices and diverse concerns of South Carolina artists. Established in 1967 as one of the first programs of the South Carolina Arts Commission, the State Art Collection is composed of 448 works in a variety of media and styles produced by 277 artists. Visit the South Carolina Arts Commission's website to preview the Contemporary Conversations gallery of work and the list of artists, and read more about the State Art Collection. Want to bring the State Art Collection to your community? Contact Harriett Green at (803) 734-8696. In addition to Contemporary Conversations, two additional traveling exhibitions are available: The African American Voice and Points of Departure: Vessel Forms from the State Art Collection.