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Leo Twiggs wins prestigious 1858 Prize

Orangeburg artist Leo Twiggs – 2017 recipient of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts for lifetime achievement and "elder statesman of contemporary art in South Carolina" – is the first S.C. artist to win the Society 1858 Prize for Contemporary Art. A native of St. Stephen, Twiggs works in batik, a wax-resist method of dying textiles. Much of his work explores family history, cultural heritage, and how the past is manifest in contemporary life. His series titled Requiem for Mother Emanuel recently traveled throughout the southeast, earning acclaim as a powerful tribute to the nine church members slain during the horrific shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

The 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art awards $10,000 to an artist whose work contributes to a new understanding of art in the South. Presented annually, the prize recognizes the highest level of artistic achievement in any media. Artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted exclusively from August through September each year.
The prize is presented by Society 1858, a member auxiliary group of the Gibbes Museum of Art where young professionals support the Gibbes Museum with social and educational programs tailored for up-and-coming art patrons. Further reading See the exclusive by Adam Parker in the Post & Courier.

Tuning Up: SCAC fellow’s new play to debut + Camden gallery’s season opens

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...


SCAC fellowship recipient to debut new play. “Boy About Ten” will debut Aug. 17 and run until Aug. 25 on the Thigpen Main Stage at Columbia’s Trustus Theatre. It is playwright Dr. Jon Tuttle's sixth world premier at Trustus, where he is resident playwright. Tuttle received the SCAC's fellowship for playwriting in 2000. Read more on "Boy About Ten" and Tuttle from the Morning News/SC Now. Bassett Gallery opens new season. "Tuning Up" is happy for a quick check-in just up U.S. 1 in Camden, where grantee the Fine Arts Center is set to open the 2018/2019 Bassett Gallery season on Thursday night. Camden artist Dot Goodwin's exhibition "Life with HeART" is first up. Spartanburg 1 touts ABC Project grants. Spartanburg School District 1 scored the largest percentage of ABC — Arts in Basic Curriculum — grant funding of any district in the state, according to the Herald-Journal. The total amount headed to the district is $67,000 distributed among seven district schools. Thanks for promoting your grant!
[caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignright" width="251"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] ICYMI: Calling all potters! The Macon (Ga.) Arts Alliance would like to share with you Fired Works 2019 Regional Ceramics Exhibition and Sale featuring 60 potters from Georgia and the Southeast to be held April 5-14, 2019 in ... Macon, Georgia. The entry fee and exhibition are free to the exhibitors. Get, ahem, fired up! Hard details here. Let's show them what #SCArtists can do! (The deadline is Dec. 1, so we'll remind you once or twice between now and then.)

2005 Fellowship recipient Bren McClain a fiction award finalist

Bren McClain, who was the S.C. Arts Commission's prose fellow in 2005, is a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. From Authorlink Writers & Readers Magazine:

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction announced its shortlist today.  The annual award is given to a writer whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters—and reflects, in the words of its namesake, Willie Morris, “hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.”

The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip for the winner to New York City for the reception and ceremony, which will be held on Monday, October 22nd, 2018. The award is sponsored by Reba and Dave Williams.

Congratulations, Bren! Read more about Bren in her excellent website bio.

Homeless artists’ exhibition takes off at CAE

From ColaDaily.com:

Representatives from Transitions Homeless Center brought about 40 pieces of original art to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport Wednesday afternoon to showcase beside the food court. This is the second year Transitions has been able to display current and past residents’ artwork in the airport.  The exhibit not only features the artists’ pieces, but also provides a welcoming visual to travelers entering the Columbia area.

Read the full story, and see pictures, here.
Featured image from Burst by Matthew Henry.

35-woman abstract art exhibition coming to North Charleston

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department will exhibit works by the Women of Expressive Abstracts at the North Charleston City Gallery from Aug. 2-31, 2018. [caption id="attachment_35891" align="alignright" width="300"] "Threads of Life" by Peggy Vineyard[/caption] A free reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 5-7 p.m. Some of the exhibiting artists will be present, and refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend. The Women of Expressive Abstracts group consists of 35 female abstract expressionist painters that share a common interest and passion for abstract art. They come from across the U.S., California to New Jersey, and Maryland to Florida. Twenty-six of the group’s members will present new mixed media work in their group exhibition titled "Inside Out: Expressing Our Inner Voices." "Inside Out" is an exuberant celebration of the language of nonobjective abstraction. The participating artists draw from their personal experiences and interpret them with their own unique voice. At the core, they share an intuitive process using mark making, form, and color to tell their stories that collectively come together in perfect harmony. The common denominator bringing these artists together is their mentor - master artist, educator, and author Steven Aimone. Though some of the women in the group have never met in person, they have all studied with Aimone. The experience engendered a shared language and support system that has kept them connected online over the years.


Participating artists

#SCartists
  • Penny Beesley
  • Melinda Hoffman
  • Terry Jarrard-Dimond
  • Nancy Perry
Artists from Elsewhere
  • Andrea Baetti (GA)
  • Juanita Bellavance (GA)
  • Billie Bourgeois (LA)
  • Carolyn Busenlener (MS)
  • Annette Cargill (OH)
  • Mary Beth Cornelius (GA)
  • Annette Crosby (GA)
  • Bre Barnett Crowell (NC)
  • Debbie Ezell (GA)
  • Marcia Holmes (LA)
  • Gayle Hurley (AL)
  • Suzanne Jacquot (CA)
  • Annette Margulies (FL)
  • Thyra Moore (MD)
  • Wendy Nicholas (FL)
  • Vicki Overstreet (MS)
  • Kate Pendleton (GA)
  • Betty Perry (GA)
  • Garnet Reardon (GA)
  • Kathy Blankley Roman (IL)
  • Nell Tilton (LA)
  • Peggy Vineyard (NC)

The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in two corridors of the northwest corner of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Dr., North Charleston. Parking and admission are free. Gallery hours are Tuesdays 12-5 p.m., Wednesdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m, and Fridays 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the city’s website, NorthCharleston.org.

‘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.  

Three artists to develop businesses with new SCAC grants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12 July 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission continues its commitment to helping the state’s artists build or bolster sustainable arts careers by awarding three Artists’ Ventures Initiative (AVI) grants for FY2019. AVI grants 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. A total of $15,000 will be distributed evenly to three artists who were among 21 who applied for the grants:

  • Serwah Armah-Koranteng, Richland County;
  • Shauna Cooper, Orangeburg County;
  • Darin Gehrke, Greenville County.
Armah-Koranteng, a fashion designer, plans to use her grant to purchase a truck that will be turned into a sewing training center and mobile boutique – “the first authentic African clothing boutique on wheels in the Carolinas,” she said. “This has been my dream for the past four years of being in business, and I am just steps away from achieving it. Africstyle mobile boutique will be able to continue with its event planning activities, increase its pop-up store opportunities in major cities, and help teach basic sewing skills to customers who visit our boutique.” Cooper, who specializes in hand-molded, artisan-style candles, is owner and creative director of home fragrance and body care products company Wicks + Scents. She plans to use her award to build brand awareness with a mobile-responsive and navigation-friendly website with SEO optimization and purchase of commercial-grade equipment to increase the business’ scalability. Gehrke, a potter, will use grant funds to purchase a pug mill, a piece of equipment that will increase studio efficiency by recycling clay more quickly and thoroughly. It will also improve his studio environment by reducing dust and minimizing the physical stress of preparing clay. “The South Carolina Arts Commission commends these artist entrepreneurs on excellent pitches to our panel that sold their ideas. They contribute to an arts-related economic cluster which adds $9.7 billion to our state economy annually, and these transformative grants are to promote sustainability of these businesses,” said Executive Director Ken May of the arts commission. Beginning this fall, the S.C. Arts Commission will make a call for applicants for the next year’s grant awards. More information is available at SouthCarolinaArts.com or by calling 803.734.8696.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three 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.

Submitted material

South Arts awards $27,000 among seven S.C. arts groups

South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, has awarded 68 grants totaling $276,949 to arts organization throughout the South. South ArtsThese funds, made possible through partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, support the presentation of touring performing and literary artists in public performances and readings along with educational activities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

“These funds represent a major step for our organization in pursuit of our newly revised mission statement and strategic plan,” said executive director Susie Surkamer (former executive director of the S.C. Arts Commission. - Ed.) “We have refocused our grantmaking guidelines to primarily support Southern artists on tour throughout our communities. The talent and artistry created within our nine states is immense, and deserves to be shared.”

Organizations applied for consideration, making cases for the artistic merit of the proposed artists and the ability to develop audiences. An external panel of arts professionals reviewed each application for funding consideration. The grants must be matched at least dollar for dollar by the recipient organization. These grants represent multiple initiatives by South Arts. Performing Arts Touring grants support engagements of guest Southern artists (theatre, music, opera, musical theatre, and dance) from outside of the presenter’s state. Literary Arts Touring grants support engagements of guest Southern writers (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry) from outside the presenter’s state. Launchpad grants are part of a year-long professional development program for presenters new to the field, and include the opportunity to present artists from an adjudicated roster. Dance Touring Initiative funds are part of an ongoing capacity-building program developing audiences for modern dance and contemporary ballet throughout the region. “We are so proud to support tours of diverse, talented artists representing the breadth of our region,” continued Surkamer. “Some of the highlights this year include Ranky Tanky, based in coastal South Carolina, blending their Gullah heritage with influences of jazz and funk. Rosie Herrera Dance Theater of Miami is one of the nation’s leading contemporary ballet companies, effortlessly working across genres including hip hop, dance theater, and cabaret. Poet Jericho Brown, an associate professor Emory University in Atlanta, is a leading voice with verses exploring race, masculinity, and community.” Applications for South Arts touring grants for nonprofit and governmental organizations in the nine-state region open in the fall each year with deadlines in March and May. Additional information and a full listing of grant recipients is available at 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.

South Carolina's recipients

  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (Charleston) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (Charleston) received a $2,354 Literary Arts Touring grant to present P. Scott Cunningham in October 2018.
  • Midlands Technical College (Columbia) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • Southern Guitar Festival and Competition (Columbia) received a $878 Performing Arts Touring grant to present Jay Kacherski in June 2019.
  • Coker College (Hartsville) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
  • Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (Hilton Head) received a $5,569 Performing Arts Touring grant to present Ballet Memphis in January 2019.
  • Wits End Poetry (Greenville) received a $890 Literary Arts Touring grant to present Asia Samson & Daryl Funn in September 2018.

Submitted material

Verner Award recipient Leo Twiggs a finalist for 1858 Prize

The Gibbes Museum of Art and Society 1858 have announced the 2018 short list of finalists for the 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art. The five artists selected for the short list are:

  • María Magdalena Campos-Pons,
  • Stephen Hayes,
  • Birney Imes,
  • Leo Twiggs,
  • and Susan Worsham.
The 1858 Prize, awarded annually with a cash prize of $10,000, acknowledges an artist whose work demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement in any media, while contributing to a new understanding of art in the South. Nearly 250 artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia submitted applications to the 2018 competition. The finalists were selected by a distinguished panel of judges including:
  • Bo Bartlett, artist, 2017 winner of the 1858 Prize;
  • Liza Cleveland, Society 1858 board member;
  • Adam Justice, Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, The Mint Museum;
  • Anja Kelley, Society 1858 board member;
  • Marshall Price, Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art;
  • Pam Wall, Curator of Exhibitions, Gibbes Museum of Art;
  • and Caroline Wright, Independent Curator and Co-founder of look-see.co.
The 1858 Prize winner will be announced by the Gibbes Museum in August.

Tuning Up: Spoleto attendance + grantee bookkeeping workshop

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...


ICMYI: Near-record attendance reported at Spoleto. "Highlighted by four U.S. premiere productions, four world premieres, and several new musical arrangements, the 42nd season of Spoleto Festival USA proved to be another landmark 17-day celebration of the performing arts ... In summary, the 2018 Festival welcomed more than 65,000 ticket holders to 158 performances and events, achieving ticket sales of more than $3.3 million—the second highest in Festival history." Get all the details here. A Stronger Bottom Line. The S.C. Arts Alliance – with funding help provided by the SCAC and the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation – is announcing a new training program to help organizations and their leadership teams become even stronger in financial management. It is open to all SCAC organizational grantees with budgets between $200,000-$750,000. This program will provide participating organizations with tailored assistance to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of financial operations. And while it's valued at $3,500 per organization, thanks to the funding assistance mentioned above it is available for just $200. (Not a typo; we checked. - Ed.) All training takes place in Charleston. It is an exceptional resource for those who need it, and many do. Find out more now! Artist talk at 701 CCA. SCAC fellowship recipient Jane Allen Nodine is giving an artist talk Sunday at 3 p.m. in Columbia at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art to close out the SC.FELLOWS Part II exhibition at the gallery. Reservations required. Get more information here.