← View All Articles

2020 S.C. Arts Commission fellowships announced

Four honored for achievement in visual art, craft, and music


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina artists in Darlington, Pickens, and Richland counties representing four arts disciplines received individual artist fellowships for fiscal year 2020 after approval by the S.C. Arts Commission board of directors. Individual artists residing in South Carolina full-time whose work covers visual arts, craft, music composition and music performance were invited to apply for fiscal year 2020 awards. Applications were up 25% over last year. Out-of-state panelists from each discipline review the applications and, based solely on their blind review of anonymous work samples, recommend recipients of each $5,000 fellowship. At its June meeting, the S.C. Arts Commission board of directors approved the following recommendations:
  • Adrian Rhodes of Darlington County for visual art,
  • Valerie Zimany of Pickens County for craft,
  • Fang Man of Richland County for music composition, and
  • Craig Butterfield of Richland County for music performance.
Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of exceptional South Carolina individual artists. Recognition from fellowship awards lends artistic prestige and often opens doors to other resources and employment opportunities. “These awards can be transformative; they lift artists’ spirits and self-perception while allowing them to focus on their art. Past fellows talk about how it can be a life-changing event,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. “South Carolina’s artists are at the core of our creative economy and serve as indispensable contributors to quality of life in our communities. Our agency is proud to deliver these tokens of gratitude on behalf of those most affected by the work being honored: the people of South Carolina.” The diverse panelists (above) who judged each discipline’s nominees work in those disciplines. Reviewing the visual art and craft applicants were Wendy Earle, curator of contemporary art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Bruce Pepich, executive director and curator of collections of the Racine Art Museum and Wustum Museum of Fine Arts in Racine, Michigan; and Marilyn Zapf, the assistant director and curator at the Center for Craft, a national arts nonprofit headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina. Brent Milam, instructor of music theory and composition at Georgia State University; and Dr. Robert Tanner, associate professor of music at Morehouse College, reviewed the music composition applicants. Verena Lucía Anders, a conductor, pianist, vocalist, composer, music educator, and winner of multiple Grammy Awards; and Tami Lee Hughes, a concert violinist, recording artist, and music educator reviewed applicants in music performance. Four fellowships per year are awarded to artists working in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: prose, poetry, dance choreography and dance performance, will be honored in fiscal year 2021. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the S.C. Arts Commission. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grant/fel/

About the FY20 S.C. Arts Commission Fellows

VISUAL ART | ADRIAN RHODES | Darlington County Adrian Rhodes, a Hartsville, South Carolina native, received her Master of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking from Winthrop University in 2011. Printmaking forms the core of her mixed media practice, resulting in installation, paintings, editioned prints, collage, and sculptural paper pieces. Her work has shown throughout the Carolinas, including select solo exhibitions at the UNC Charlotte, City Art in Columbia, the Dalton Gallery at the Center for the Arts in Rock Hill, and the Rebecca Randall Bryan gallery at Coastal Carolina University. Her work has frequently received awards in juried competitions, including taking the top prize at VAE Raleigh’s Contemporary South 2017 and Best of Show at the York County Juried Exhibition in 2013. Her work was recently featured in the Paper Worlds exhibition at the Spartanburg Art Museum. She currently teaches printmaking at the University of South Carolina. Her work can be seen at www.adrianrhodes.com, and you can follow her studio practice on Instagram: @adrian_rhodes. CRAFT | VALERIE ZIMANY | Pickens County Extensive time in Japan fostered Valerie Zimany’s examinations of complex relationships, to include East and West. She spent several years there after earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia—first as a Fulbright Fellow, then completing a Master of Fine Arts at Kanazawa College of Art as a Japanese Government Scholar, and three more years in residency at the Utatsuyama Craft Workshop in Kanazawa. Her work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions and competitions in Japan; Korea; Billings, Montana; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; Columbia; and more and it appears in multiple public and private collections. She was named an American Craft Council Searchlight Artist for 2007, a Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artist for 2008, and was a finalist for the Niche Award (2011) and the Society for Contemporary Craft’s Founder’s Prize 2013).  She is department chair and associate professor of art (ceramics) at Clemson University. MUSIC: COMPOSITION | FANG MAN | Richland County Hailed as “inventive and breathtaking” by the New York Times, Fang Man’s original concert music has been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra New Music Group under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, American Composers Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestre de Lorraine (France), Minnesota Orchestra, Music from China, and others. She is the recipient of Guggenheim and other fellowships and grants and the National Endowment for the Arts, Music from China, and Toru Takemitsu (Japan) awards. She has received commissions from around the world and has multiple recordings. Fang served as a resident composer in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. and has degrees from Cornell (MFA, DMA) and Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina. MUSIC: PERFORMANCE | CRAIG BUTTERFIELD | Richland County Craig Butterfield is professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University of South Carolina, where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the Southeast. He has composed, performed, and recorded in genres as diverse as classical, jazz, American folk, and World music. Notable collaborations include touring and recording with jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, three albums of original music with multi-instrumentalist Jesse Jones as the Jones/Butterfield duo, three albums with classical guitarist Matthew Slotkin as Dez Cordas, a collaboration with classical pianist Charles Fugo, and a current recording project of original folk-inspired music with Boomtown Trio. Butterfield’s YouTube channel featuring original performances in multiple genres has more than a quarter of a million views.

About the South Carolina 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.

S.C. Arts Awards: Andy Brooks

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year's recipients: nine receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at UofSC. In between the two groups, we'll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

John Andrew "Andy" Brooks

Old-Time Music Andy Brooks first plucked the strings of a banjo when he was four years old. He fondly remembers holding his great uncle Sammy Lee Stephens’ banjo at the home of his great grandmother, on the Alice Mill Hill in Easley. Stephens taught Brooks everything he knew on the banjo and lent him his fiddle to try. Stephens’ enthusiasm motivated Brooks to keep practicing. Brooks’ musical journey is inspired by multiple traditions, yielding a collection of hundreds of tunes that he knows and plays by heart. Early on, Stephens taught him tunes like “Under the Double Eagle,” from the textile mill brass band tradition. Brooks discovered the music of Pete and Mike Seeger, and by 17 was fascinated by the flashy performances of bluegrass pioneers Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt. Brooks’ love of the fiddle led him far and wide, seeking out albums, festivals and fiddlers to expand his repertoire and learn a variety of styles. When he heard Roger Howell play old-time fiddle at the 1991 Galax, Virginia Fiddler’s Convention, he felt he had found the real sound of Southern music. Other influences include Al Osteen of 5th String Bluegrass Band and Bill Lowe of Cripple Creek. Old-time music combines diverse cultural sources. The fiddle and the banjo—which is African in origin—were popular instruments among traveling musicians. Immigrants from the British Isles brought their musical traditions to the U.S. and melded them with those of enslaved Africans. Melodies of immigrant tunes fused with the driving rhythms of African music. Old-time music encompasses both secular and sacred songs. In South Carolina’s Upstate region, the sounds of textile mill weave rooms shared the rhythm of many old-time songs played on the mill hills. Brooks’ dedication and talent has earned him recognition, including winning the 2016 South Carolina State Fiddle Championship at Hagood Mill in Pickens, where he also placed second in banjo. He also accompanied fellow musician John Thomas Fowler at the SC State House when Fowler received the 2013 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award and played with The Carolina Relics at the Carolina Music Museum at the 2018 Heritage Green Music Festival in Greenville. A tireless old-time music ambassador, Brooks strives to keep old-time music dynamic and relevant. To him, old-time music is a community-based, rather than performance-based, tradition, in which everyone contributes to the music by dancing, playing or singing. Brooks plays for dances and hosts jams where musicians of different skill levels and repertoires share and learn from one another. In 2016, Brooks co-founded the Old Keowee Contra Dance to benefit the Oconee Heritage Center’s music program. An avid educator, Brooks has taught in the Young Appalachian Musicians After School Program and the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla. This summer, he will teach Appalachian banjo at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. When he plays for dances, he encourages students to join him onstage, and is always eager to talk about their musical ambitions. Brooks and his students often play at nursing homes, churches, and charity events. Passionate about sharing his knowledge of the history, songs, and spirit of old-time music, Brooks is keeping the tradition alive.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.

Unified auditions coming for Upstate actors

Registration deadline: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019


Be seen by casting directors for Upstate theatres

Brought to you by the South Carolina Theatre Association
  • Actors should prepare a 60 second monologue
    • Must be from a published play
    • Must be memorized
    • No costumes, please
  • Musical theatre actors should prepare 90 seconds of monologue and song
    • Must be from a published play or musical
    • Must be memorized
    • Must provide your own sheet music (we will provide the accompanist)
    • You can use the 90 seconds however you wish (all song, or song and monologue)
  • Technicians should prepare a presentation of their work.
    • Must bring your portfolio
    • May bring any examples.
    • You and your portfolio will be posted in a room for the casting directors to come visit and chat with you during their lunch break.
  • All auditionees including technicians will be included in the e-book that will be provided to participating theatres.  Upon registration you will receive and email requesting you to submit your resume and headshot.  If technicians have an on-line portfolio they can submit that link as well.  No paper copies will be accepted.
  • Please note: the Upstate Unified Auditions are opens to theatre artists age 8 and up. (18 and older on 2/16; ages 8-17 on 2/17)
  • If you have questions or issues registering, please contact Anita Sleeman: asleeman@southcarolinatheatre.org.
Go here to register now!

Submitted material

South Arts grants support “Southern Creative Places”

South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization serving nine Southern states, has announced $78,189 in grants to 18 communities in the region. South Arts LogoThese grants, made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Georgia Council for the Arts, support the planning and execution of creative placemaking projects predominantly in small and rural communities in the South. “Creative placemaking uses arts and culture to activate and animate communities,” said Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “Creative placemaking puts arts, culture and creativity at the center of planning and problem-solving. It brings people and partners together to design creative solutions to community challenges using arts and culture as catalysts. The results can be more connected communities, enhanced quality of life, more economic opportunities, and the showcasing of a community’s most unique characteristics.” The grants, which must be matched by the recipient organization, support organizations in South Arts’ region. Organizations applied this spring and were recently notified of their status. “In our new strategic plan, South Arts has made a commitment to address the evolving needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs,” continued Surkamer. “Supporting these creative placemaking efforts – from a small-business incubator for creative entrepreneurs to public art projects embracing civic pride and even a project using the arts to promote healthy eating and locally-grown produce – is an important step in serving the cross-sector needs of our region through the arts.” The Southern Creative Places grant program represents South Arts’ first programmatic offering in the arena of creative placemaking, following up on its successful co-sponsorship of the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in March 2018 in Chattanooga. For more information about opportunities from South Arts, visit www.southarts.org.


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 www.southarts.org.
S.C. Grant Recipients
  • The Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg received a $5,000 grant to establish a cultural center in the majority Hispanic community of Arcadia.
  • The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs received a $5,000 grant to implement the conNECKted Too project, pairing artists with tiny businesses in an isolated part of Charleston.
  • Fresh Future Farm, Inc. in Charleston received a $3,038 grant for a community mural project celebrating community history and promoting healthy, locally-grown foods.
  • The Holly Springs Center in Pickens received a $4,365 grant to present a festival of Appalachian arts on the grounds of a former school.
  • The Town of Estill received a $3,375 grant to create a mural celebrating diversity.

Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife hosts annual arts and craft fair

Birchwood Arts and Craft Fair

Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife will hold its 9th annual Arts and Craft Fair Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Table Rock Retreat and Conference Center, 600 West Gage Road, just off S.C. Highway 11 in Pickens, S.C. More than 50 regional exhibitors and artists will sell and demonstrate a variety of handcrafts and art. The event includes Southern mountain music and homemade foods. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife website or contact Linda Bowie, (864) 878-9269call (864) 878-9269. Via: Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife

Furman University seeks local artists for permanent collection

Deadline is Sept. 18. Furman University in Greenville is seeking local artists to be part of a permanent collection that will be housed in the school’s Herring Center for Continuing Education. Artists are invited to submit work for a juried exhibition that will be displayed in the Herring Center’s Baiden Gallery Nov. 4 – Dec. 16. Selected works will be purchased and form the core of the Herring Center Permanent Collection. The deadline for electronic submissions is Wednesday, Sept. 18 by 5 p.m. Artists will be notified of acceptance on Oct. 2. For The Herring Center Juried Exhibition: Transformation, Community and Self, up to 12 accepted works will be considered for purchase awards. The call is open to artists age 18 or older working in any two-dimensional media and who reside in the following North and South Carolina counties: Anderson, Laurens, Greenville, Henderson, Oconee, Pickens, Polk, Spartanburg and Transylvania. Each entry is $10 with a cap of three entries per artist. Jurors for the exhibition include longtime Furman art professor Bob Chance; studio ceramics artist Diana Farfan Valente; and Joe Thompson, chair of the visual arts department at The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. The Call to Artists document is available online here. For more entry requirements, specifications and forms, contact Michael Brodeur in Furman’s Department of Art, michael.brodeur@furman.edu, or Alison Search in Furman’s Center for Corporate and Professional Development, alison.search@furman.edu, 864-294-2154. Via: Furman University

ELEVATE UPSTATE grants available for community vibrancy projects

Application deadline is September 15. Ten at the Top, an organization created to foster collaboration and partnerships across the Upstate, is accepting applications for its ELEVATE UPSTATE grants program. The initiative will award two $5,000 grants annually from 2013-2017 for programs that promote community and economic vibrancy in local areas across the Upstate. Eligible applicants include neighborhood associations, civic or community-based organizations, non-profit organizations or local governments that are committed to developing and implementing programs designed to increase local vibrancy in Upstate communities. Applicants must be located in and do their work within communities in one of the 10 Upstate counties: Abbeville, Anderson, Gaffney, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg or Union. Proposals may seek to produce a physical result, such as a mural, sculpture or signage that will increase the vibrancy and sense of place within a community, or implement the first of a recurring or annual event or program that helps grow vibrancy within a community. Check out examples of community vibrancy projects -- some from South Carolina and some from other states -- on the Ten at the Top website in the Great Ideas for Community Vibrancy booklet. The application deadline is September 15, 2013, and the first grants will be announced in late 2013. Visit the Ten at the Top website for more information or to apply. Via: Ten at the Top

Clemson Festival of the Arts rescheduled for June 22

The Clemson Festival of the Arts originally scheduled for May 18 in downtown Clemson was cancelled due to inclement weather. The festival has been rescheduled for June 22 with a back-up weather plan for an indoor location. The festival will feature hands-on art projects, music, food, fun for kids and local artists selling their works. Admission and all activities are free. One highlight will be the creation of a large scale work of art by a “flash mob,” including attendees who want to participate. Both adults and children will have opportunities to create their own works of art or to work with others to create a group painting or sculpture. “Our theme this year is ‘Come Dabble in the Arts,' ” said Tommye Hurst, executive director of the ARTS Center in Clemson. “Everyone will have the chance to create and participate.” Members of the Artists Guild of Clemson will sell their works and give demonstrations. The festival will include many arts activities for children, and food and the work of local artists will be available for sale. A variety of local musicians will perform throughout the day. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 22 at Catherine Smith Plaza on College Avenue next to the old Astro Theater. The festival will move to The ARTS Center at 212 Butler St. if bad weather threatens. For more information, visit The ARTS Center's website. Via: The ARTS Center  

Pickens County Museum’s annual juried exhibition on view through June 13

The Pickens County Museum’s 34th Annual Juried South Carolina Artists Exhibition is on display until June 13, 2013. Visitors can view 112 works of art representing 100 artists currently creating visual art in South Carolina. The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, ceramics, fiber and other mediums.

Kristen Watts, director of collections and exhibitions for The Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., served as juror for this year’s competition. Watts has more than 15 years of museum experience in areas of exhibition development and management, donor cultivation, collections care and management, and public speaking. The competition was open to all artists working in any medium, 18 years of age or older and living in South Carolina. Nearly 400 works were submitted for consideration. Visit the museum's website to read about the awards presented and view some images from the exhibition. [caption id="attachment_5854" align="alignnone" width="600"]Larry Seymour, Chui Larry Seymour, Chui, gouache on paper. First Place Award & Susan B. Benjamin Memorial Purchase Award[/caption] Via: Pickens County Museum of Art & History

Sallie McKenzie

Nurturing new arts lovers: the Brooks Center’s Tri-ART Educational Series

By Sallie McKenzie For years, performing arts at Clemson University left footprints all over the community. From performances in the 1940s in Littlejohn Coliseum and Tillman Hall to the completion of the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts in 1994, cultural arts opportunities for adults were vast. However, offering performances only for adults did not fully satisfy Clemson University’s mission to provide education and public service to all. The reach needed to be greater and the audiences more diverse. What better audience to serve first than the children who would one day lead the community? This is where the Bill and Donna Eskridge Tri-ART Educational Series began. To determine what type of educational program was important to Clemson's surrounding community, the Brooks Center worked with educational leaders in Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties. Through discussion and planning, the Tri-ART program emerged – a series for children ages 3 to 18 who are brought to the Brooks Center from public, private and home schools throughout the Upstate to attend live morning performances in music, theatre and dance. As final details were fleshed out for the inaugural 1995-1996 season, program administrators made an important and benevolent decision about the admission price. Each Tri-ART performance would be available for either $2 or free of charge for every student who attended -- and that admission price has not changed in 16 years. The goal was never to make money, or even to cover costs, but rather to be inclusive by presenting quality performing arts programming for all students. However, artists’ fees, production costs and other expenses had to be covered. Brooks Center patrons Bill and Donna Eskridge of Seneca, South Carolina, responded generously by creating an endowment for the series, and so it was named in their honor. When asked why they chose this area of giving, their answer was passionate and purposeful. Bill quoted from the poem Priorities: "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." The Eskridges believe that the Tri-ART Series provides that difference and enlightenment. Their generosity will continue to bear fruit in the life of each child who passes through the doors of the Brooks Center. Nearly 200,000 students from 58 public and private schools, as well as 164 home schools, have taken part in the program. Annually, the series presents nearly 20 interactive performances by world-renowned musicians, singers, theater companies and Clemson student ensembles. From classical concerts to performances such as the African Children’s Choir and Golden Dragon Acrobats, and from productions dealing with current issues to puppetry and narration of beloved children’s stories, the series provides something entertaining and educational for students from pre-school to high school. Each show is selected based on artistic quality and for its ability to expand the minds of the students through diversity, creativity and awareness. Christine Custer, a long-time supporter and attendee of Tri-ART, has watched the program impact her family. “Tri-ART has given my family many opportunities to see some wonderful performers in music and drama,” she explains. “I think it has inspired some of my children to continue their music lessons.” “The wide-eyed faces of countless students as they enter the doors and the energetic conversations and smiles as they exit is worth more than any artist fee or ticket revenue,” says Brooks Center Director Lillian “Mickey” Harder. “Oftentimes, these performances are an escape for the children. The shows can transport them to a truly magical place where their imaginations and dreams can run wild." For more information about the Bill and Donna Eskridge Tri-ART Educational Series. visit the Brooks Center website. Sallie McKenzie is director of marketing and communications for the Brooks Center.