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S.C. Arts Awards: Tyrone Geter

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.

Tyrone Geter

Artist Category [caption id="attachment_39226" align="alignright" width="200"] Photo by Drew Baron[/caption] In a career that spreads across two continents, Tyrone Geter has built an international reputation as a world-class artist, painter, sculptor, illustrator, and teacher. Recently retired associate professor of art at Benedict College in Columbia, Geter grew up in Anniston, Ala., during a time defined by strict segregation laws and social injustice. Anniston was a site of numerous acts of racial violence during the Civil Rights Era. The immediacy of these events and an inherited legacy of spiritual strength and fortitude against all the odds inform and shape Geter’s work. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Ohio University in 1978 with an emphasis on painting and drawing. An exceptional draftsman, his portraits are sensitive, timeless, and masterfully executed. Their power, displayed through their expression, gesture and adornments, seem often suspended in an otherworldly environment. Equal to the history his figures embody, they also speak of a spiritual world overflowing with compassions and empathy. In this regard his work is uniquely distinctive. In 1979, Geter relocated to Zaria, Nigeria.  For seven years he lived, drew and painted among the Fulani and other local peoples of Northern Nigeria. During this period, he created numerous paintings that captured the richness and depth of the cultures of the region. He describes the experience as an experience that taught him “to understand the nature of life in a society where life was nature and sometimes both hard and cruel.” Further, he experienced “a lesson in the creative process that no art school would ever teach me.” Those years in Nigeria proved to be a turning point in his development and the most important influence in his life and art. In 1987 he returned to the U.S. and a teaching position at the University of Akron, where he transformed his experience in Nigeria into the most powerful work of his career. His work has been exhibited at the Columbia Museum of Art, Florence County Museum, and WaterFront Gallery (Charleston) in South Carolina, and Center for Afro-American Artists (Boston), Butler Institute for American Art (Youngstown, Ohio), Hampton Institute College Museum (Hampton, Va.), and Museum of Fine Art (Boston) to name a few. His honors include placing first at Moja Arts Festival and in the Robert Duncanson Award from Taft Museum (Cincinnati), and he received an artist fellowship grant from Foundation for the Arts and Humanities (Boston) and a grant from Columbus (Ohio) Arts Council. For more, visit TyroneGeter.com.
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.

Tuning Up: In the 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...


A handful of S.C. Arts Awards recipients have made it into various publications recently, so we thought we'd share:
PS: We're hiring ICYMI! SCAC recently posted a new job opening. You have through April 19 to apply to be the artist services program director.

S.C. students snag national awards

17 schools win 35 golds, 32 silvers


The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12.

This year, students submitted nearly 340,000 works of visual art and writing to the Scholastic Awards; nearly 90,000 works were recognized at the regional level and celebrated in local exhibitions and ceremonies. The top art and writing at the regional level were moved onto the national stage, where more than 2,700 students earned National Medals. National Medalists and their educators were celebrated at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

South Carolina was well-represented among the national medalists, with 17 schools earning at least one medal:

  • Total # of Awards: 69
  • Total Golds: 35
  • Total Silvers: 32
  • 1 One Earth Award (Dutch Fork Middle School)
  • 1 Best-in-Grade (Charleston County School of the Arts)
  • 17 Schools

Christina Vandiver/S.C. Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities for assisted with this story. Their students won seven golds and seven silvers. Read more about Governor's School's winners here.

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Dorothy Allison to address Deckle Edge festival this weekend

Author will also receive festival's Southern Truth Award


In its 4th year as the grassroots answer to the S.C. Book Festival, Deckle Edge Literary Festival announces South Carolina author Dorothy Allison as the keynote speaker for the 2019 festival and the recipient of the second annual Deckle Edge Literary Festival Southern Truth Award. [caption id="attachment_39421" align="alignright" width="226"]Author Dorothy Alliison Author Dorothy Alliison[/caption] Allison will speak at the Booker T. Washington auditorium at the University of South Carolina on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. in an engagement sponsored by the USC Women’s and Gender Studies Program. On Saturday, March 23rd at 10 a.m., Allison will address the Deckle Edge Literary Festival in a conversation with Bren McClain, author of One Good Momma Bone (2017, USC Press) at the Richland Library on Assembly Street in downtown Columbia. (McClain is also a 2005 prose fellowship recipient from the S.C. Arts Commission). Allison is the author of Trash (1988), a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories, the multi-award winning Bastard Out of Carolina (1992), Cavedweller (1998), which became a New York Times bestseller, and more. She has written for the Village Voice, Conditions, and New York Native and won several Lambda Awards. Bastard Out of Carolina was a finalist for the National Book Award, the winner of the Ferro Grumley Prize, was translated into more than a dozen languages and became a bestseller and award winning film directed by Anjelica Huston. Allison is a recent inductee into the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Read more about her here. A native of Greenville, Allison’s writings frequently reference the class struggles and social alienation she experienced as a child growing up gay, impoverished, and the first child of a 15-year-old unwed mother in the conservative South Carolina upstate. Bastard Out of Carolina also details the sexual abuse she endured throughout childhood at the hands of her step-father. The New York Times Book Review calls the book, “As close to flawless as a reader could ask for.” Allison will be awarded the Deckle Edge Literary Festival Southern Truth Award on Friday evening, March 22nd. The Southern Truth award, whose first recipient in 2018 was Nikky Finney, is awarded to a Southern author whose body of work exemplifies the complexity of the South’s history, celebrates the gifts of the South’s diverse peoples, and enhances the narrative of the South by focusing on the progress we make and the continued work before us. The 2019 Deckle Edge Literary Festival includes an exciting roster of authors, panels, and interviews including, among others, printmaker Boyd Saunders (2002 recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts); Chieftess Queen Quet who is an elder of the Gullah/Geechee Nation; Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Kathleen Parker and more. For more information please visit www.DeckleEdgeSC.org.
Deckle Edge Literary Festival receives funding support from the S.C. Arts Commission.

Jonathan Green to receive Order of the Palmetto

Governor to present award tomorrow

Jonathan Green will be awarded the prestigious Order of the Palmetto on Wednesday, March 20 at noon in the Governor’s office. The event will take place at 1100 Gervais Street, Columbia. Because of space constraints, the event is limited to media only. The Order of the Palmetto Award is given to recognize lifetime achievement and service. It is the highest civilian honor awarded by the state of South Carolina. Jonathan Green is a world renowned artist and 2010 recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts for lifetime achievement. Green has participated in traveling exhibitions throughout the U.S. and 48 solo exhibitions. His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Smithsonian, Morris Museum in Augusta, Ga., the Afro-American Museum in Philadelphia, Naples (Fla.) Museum of Art, and the IFCC Cultural Center in Portland, Ore. Columbia City Ballet used his art as inspiration for a critically-acclaimed ballet that world premiered in Columbia in 2005.

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U of SC Press celebrates the life and work of Boyd Saunders

The University of South Carolina Press has recently published A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH: THE NARRATIVE ART OF BOYD SAUNDERS, by Thomas Dewey II with a Foreword by Charles R. Mack.

Event TODAY at U of S.C. Thomas Cooper Library, 4:30 p.m., Columbia


A VIEW FROM THE SOUTH is a celebration of the prolific artist's heartfelt devotion to the people and places of the American South. It is the first comprehensive examination of the life and art of Boyd Saunders, one of America’s premier printmakers. In this celebration of an enduring and widely acclaimed career as an artist, Thomas Dewey II chronicles Saunders’s work not only as a printmaker, but also as a painter, sculptor, illustrator, author, educator, amateur musician, and sometimes horseman. With great care Dewey exposes the common thread that runs through Saunders’s visual expressions: his intriguing tales that reveal his heartfelt devotion to the people and places of the American South. Dewey has captured Saunders’s life story through intensive research as well as via a series of interviews with the artist over several years. Details of Saunders’s early life on a West Tennessee farm and his family’s long attachment to the land document a profound influence on his life, outlook, and art. But Saunders was also moved by literature—namely that of William Faulkner, whom he met while earning a master’s of fine art at the University of Mississippi. Saunders credits Faulkner with inspiring much of his work, demonstrated in his Spotted Horses, a limited volume of lithographs illustrating Faulkner’s short story of the same name, which was published by the University of South Carolina Press in 1989. Now a distinguished professor emeritus of the University of South Carolina, Saunders founded its Art Department’s printmaking program as well as a southern printmaker’s organization called the Southern Graphics Council. In the more than forty years since its founding the organization, now called SGC International, it has grown well beyond its southern borders and now serves twenty-five hundred members worldwide. A View from the South features more than 120 color images showcasing the themes, ideas, and techniques Saunders has used in his paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts. His art is exhibited throughout the world and is included in many private and public collections, including the Boston Public Library, the U.S. Wildlife Collection in Washington, D.C., and Shanxi University collection in China. A foreword is provided by Charles R. Mack, professor emeritus of art history at the University of South Carolina. Thomas Dewey II is a faculty emeritus associate professor of art history at the University of Mississippi. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dewey has published widely in professional journals and penned an entry, “Audubon in Mississippi,” in The Mississippi Encyclopedia. On March 14 Boyd Saunders will be celebrated by the University Libraries and the University South Carolinians Society in a 4:30 p.m. event at the Thomas Cooper Library, where Boyd Saunders will show a "mini-retrospective" and discuss "The Storyteller's Art."

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Twiggs receives honor from Georgia Museum of Art

Prolific #SCartist adds to his accomplishments with Thompson Award

[caption id="attachment_39247" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image of Leo Twiggs with award namesake Larry Thompson Dr. Leo Twiggs, left, recipient of the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award, and Larry Thompson.[/caption]
On Feb. 22, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia held its annual Black History Month Dinner and Awards Celebration in Athens, Ga. Leo Twiggs received the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Award for his efforts as an artist. This award is given annually to honor an African American artist who has made significant but often lesser-known contributions to the visual arts tradition in Georgia. It is named for the couple who donated 100 works by African American artists from their collection to the museum and endowed a curatorial position there (held by Shawnya L. Harris) to focus on art by African American and African diasporic artists. Twiggs studied art at Claflin College, the Art Institute of Chicago and New York University. In 1970, he became the first African American student to receive a doctorate of arts in art education from the University of Georgia. Twiggs went on to create the first fine arts degree program at South Carolina State University. In many of his works, he uses the wax-resist process of dyeing textiles called batik. His use of the Confederate flag serves as an evocative symbol of systemic racism in the South, and he continues to address social issues in his art, as with a recent series focusing on the murders at Mother Emanuel Church, in Charleston. A prolific artist, he has had work featured in 75 solo shows, one of which was held at the museum in 2004. Twiggs received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts in the individual category from the S.C. Arts Commission in 1980 and was a recipient for lifetime achievement in 2017. Accepting the Thompson Award, Twiggs spoke about the event as a homecoming of sorts for him. “When I came here [to the University of Georgia] at the height of the civil rights movement, Lamar Dodd, chair of the art department, told me, ‘We don’t think of you as a student. We think of you as a colleague.' Art is a journey, but ours is a unique journey because: ‘We have come over a way that with tears has been watered. We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered," he continued, quoting “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the “Negro national anthem." "James Baldwin said that ‘the purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.’ To that end, I have never looked away,” Twiggs said.

Tuning Up: HBCU artists + Florence arts grants + go for Baroque

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...


Twiggs curates TJC Gallery exhibition on HBCU artists. The recipient of virtually every major arts award South Carolina offers is back in the spotlight with a new exhibition in Spartanburg that coincides quite nicely with Black History Month. “Elevation from Within: The Study of Art at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” opens tomorrow and runs through May 10. Admission varies; More info here. Grant opportunity for Florence County artists and arts organizations. From the Florence Regional Arts Alliance: apply now for grants from the FRAA's Quarterly Grants Program for Organizations & Individual Artists. It's designed to provide support for a wide variety of quality arts projects, as well as for professional development opportunities for artists and arts administrators. Organizations must be based in Florence County with a Florence County mailing address and be registered charitable organizations with federal non-profit status. Individual artists must be practicing artists in dance, literature, music, theatre or the visual arts and have a Florence County mailing address. Individual artists must be over the age of 18 at the time of application. Application deadline is May 15. Go for Baroque. (It's obligatory, and we're not sorry. - Ed.) And we're back in Spartanburg as Wofford College celebrates the visual art and music of the European Baroque period of the 17th and 18th centuries with a special exhibition, a concert of music from the period and presentations about the exhibit. (Story from GoUpstate.com) And finally... Columbia TV station WLTX looked at the arts in South Carolina with three #SCArtists during a Facebook Live event last night.

2019 South Arts state fellowships for visual arts awarded

Nine recipients vie for Southern Prize

[caption id="attachment_38996" align="alignright" width="250"] Virginia Scotchie - Photo by Chris Horn[/caption] South Arts, the nonprofit arts service organization advancing Southern vitality through the arts, has named nine visual artists to receive State Fellowship awards of $5,000 each. These nine artists are now in consideration for the Southern Prize, which includes an additional $25,000 cash award and a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. All nine state fellows will be featured in an exhibit at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia from March 21 – May 5, 2019. The winner of the Southern Prize and a $10,000 Finalist award will be announced at a ceremony celebrating the State Fellows on April 15 at 701 CCA. The 2019 State Fellowship award recipients are:
  • Jamey Grimes. Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Sculpture.
  • Amy Gross. Delray Beach, Florida. Sculpture.
  • Bo Bartlett. Columbus, Georgia. Painting.
  • Lori Larusso. Lexington, Kentucky. Painting.
  • Stephanie Patton. Lafayette, Louisiana. Multidisciplinary.
  • Rory Doyle. Cleveland, Mississippi. Photography.
  • Andrew Hayes. Asheville, North Carolina. Sculpture.
  • Virginia Scotchie. Columbia, South Carolina. Crafts.
  • Andrew Scott Ross. Johnson City, Tennessee. Multidisciplinary.
Launched in 2017, the South Arts Southern Prize and State Fellowships celebrate and support the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. Over 800 visual artists submitted work for consideration, and a panel of jurors reviewed each anonymous application using the sole criterion of artistic excellence to recommend the nine State Fellows. A second panel of jurors is currently reviewing the State Fellows to select the Southern Prize awardee and the Finalist. “Creativity is thriving throughout the South,” said Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “The 2019 State Fellows’ work has such varied subject matter as the African-American cowboy culture in the Mississippi Delta, the forms and forces of nature, and the impact of ‘perfect’ images of life and home inundating us through digital media. They each come from different backgrounds, viewpoints, and styles, yet each are masterful representations of their respective artform. We are very proud to support them as we work toward our mission of advancing Southern vitality through the arts, and helping working artists more able to survive and succeed while living in the South.” This is the first year when the Fellows will be featured in a group exhibit. “One of our goals is to celebrate the excellence, innovation, value and power of the arts of the South,” continued Surkamer. “By curating a public exhibit of the State Fellows, we are able to share their dynamic work and highlight the breadth of style cultivated throughout our region.” The State Fellowship juror panel included:
  • Mora J. Beauchamp-Byrd, visiting assistant professor with Oklahoma State University;
  • Katherine Jentleson, the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art with the High Museum of Art;
  • Radhika Subramaniam, associate professor with the Parsons School of Design;
  • Ben Thompson, deputy director with the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville;
  • and Joey Yates, curator with the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.
Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region and producing crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary work were eligible to apply. The awards will be presented to the artists as unrestricted funds. To view the 2019 State Fellows’ submissions and learn more about the competition, visit www.southarts.org.

About Virginia Scotchie

“I am a ceramic artist and Area Head of Ceramics at the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. I received my Bachelor of Art in Sociology and Religion from UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina and in 1985 completed my Master of Fine Arts at Alfred University in New York. “My ceramic sculpture has been extensively exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, and has received numerous awards including the Sydney Meyer Fund International Ceramics Premiere Award from the Shepparton Museum in Victoria, Australia. I have lectured internationally on my creative research and have worked as an Artist in Residence in Tainan, Taiwan, Rome and Florence Italy, Sydney and Canberra Australia, Kecskemet Hungary, Fuping China, Vallauris France and Hertogenbosch Netherlands.  My ceramic work resides in numerous public and private collections and reviews about my work appear in many prestigious ceramic publications.”

About South Arts

South Arts South Arts advance 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.

Tuning Up: Unique youth art contest + new exhibitions

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 U.S. Golf Association and MUSC Children’s Health are conducting an art contest for Charleston (and South Carolina) youth to design the junior tickets for the U.S. Women’s Open that will be played May 27-June 2 in Charleston. Three winners will be chosen. Their designs will be featured on tickets for all juniors who attend the U.S. Women’s Open and will be displayed on site at the Country Club of Charleston during the event. The entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. Feb. 15. (USGA.org)
  • Some new exhibitions that caught The Hub's eyes:
    • A reception to unveil the annual Bailey Gallery Art Exhibition at Presbyterian College will be 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Mary Bailey Vance Suitt Rotunda of the school's Neville Hall. It includes eight artists and a variety of media. (Greenwood Index-Journal)
    • South Carolina's reigning South Arts fellow, Kate Hooray Osmond of Charleston, opened Light Shine Down, an exhibition on display through April 28, 2019 at the Franklin G. Burroughs - Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach. (Link)