← View All Articles

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)

Atlantic Stage premieres SCAC playwriting fellow’s production

Maggie has a big decision to make

World Premiere Jan. 31 through Feb. 17 in Myrtle Beach
Last June, the S.C. Arts Commission awarded Kevin D. Ferguson an individual artist fellowship for theatre (playwriting). Fellowships are unrestricted awards that reward artistic merit and provide a financial boost that helps free up creators to create. Ferguson did just that. Early next week, Atlantic Stage in Horry County is giving the world premiere of his The Other Side of The Sky. It features Maggie, a protagonist with some decisions to make, and we're not talking about the yogurt or oatmeal debate at breakfast:

Maggie struggles to deal with love and loss while she searches for her purpose in life. She’s graduating from college and figuring out what comes next. Will she stick with her boyfriend Troy? Will she go to grad school? Will she join the Peace Corps? Or does she hear a higher call? With boyfriend Troy, best friend Adam, and perhaps a heavenly advisor all weighing in, Maggie has a big decision to make.

How do you know what you’re supposed to do?

"The Other Side of the Sky explores faith, friendship, and relationships in the modern world with four young people  asking themselves 'what comes next?'" Ferguson said. That's certainly a relatable theme to many.

Augusta literary competition open to S.C. writers

Porter Fleming Literary Competition awards $7,000 in cash prizes

Submission deadline: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

Porter Fleming Literary CompetitionThe Porter Fleming Literary Competition honors the memory of Porter Fleming, one of Augusta, Georgia’s leading citizens and foremost philanthropists. The competition is administered, with the support of the Porter Fleming Foundation, by the Morris Museum of Art, the first museum in the country to focus on the art and artists of the American South.

The Porter Fleming Literary Competition consists of four categories—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and one-act play—and awards $7,000 in cash awards.

Writers ages 18 and older who reside in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee are eligible to enter. There is a $15 entry fee. Get all the details and entry form here. Perusing the list of winners from 2017, you'll find several #SCartists. Let's do that again. [caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignnone" width="300"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption]

Submitted material

Mauldin unveils latest public art installation embracing industry

The City of Mauldin unveiled The Groundbreaking – the fourth installation along its Public Art Trail – on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Artist Arrington Matthews’ sculpture exemplifies the theme “Industry of the Upstate” by portraying the ever-changing face of industry – from where we began to where we are heading. Matthews has been a metalsmith with John Boyd Smith Metal Studios since 2012, where he designs, creates, and finishes architectural commissions. Skilled in design, welding, forging, and metal fabrication, his work is represented in Florida, Maryland, California, Hilton Head, Savannah, and now Mauldin. Matthews is also a firefighter with the Mauldin Fire Department. Being an employee of the city, he is intimately aware of the growth Mauldin has seen recently and chose to focus his piece on the city’s industry. The focal point of The Groundbreaking is a six-foot-tall shovel rooted in a chunk of actual railroad track and painted with a skyline graphic. The overall effect is a representation of the changing face of Mauldin from a railroad-rooted city to one that has expanded to include a variety of industries. Large metal gears round out the piece, indicating the combination of Mauldin’s current businesses and tourism efforts working to create a forward-moving city. The Mauldin Public Art Trail was established in December 2014 as a way to beautify the community with artworks created by South Carolina artists. This year’s sculpture will join three others outside of the Mauldin Cultural Center — 2015’s The Depot, 2016’s Palmetto with Flowers, and 2017’s We Are All One. To learn more about the installations along the Public Art Trail or how you can submit an application, please visit MauldinCulturalCenter.org/public-art-trail.


About the City of Mauldin

The city of Mauldin is located in the Upstate of South Carolina and in the heart of Greenville County. It is the 17th largest city in South Carolina out of 270 municipalities and one of the fastest growing cities in the state. Mauldin was first charted in 1820 and has grown to a population of more than 25,000. More information about the city of Mauldin can be found online at CityOfMauldin.org.

Tuning Up: Family sues Dutch in S.C. to get back art + SCSM exhibition review

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...


Dutch won't return art Nazis forced S.C. man's grandfather to sell. The Hub is not really the place for news with geopolitical implications... until it is. "Two Jewish brothers in the Netherlands sold works of art at steep discounts to Nazi officials, some in exchange for helping relatives escape the occupation. But now, a lawsuit filed in South Carolina says, the Dutch government refuses to return the paintings to the family." (Charlotte Observer) S.C. State Museum celebrates 30 years with help of #SCartists. "Perusing all 70 works in the juried exhibition, any visitor to the Lipscomb Gallery should be impressed by the overall variety of subject matter and range of media ... In all, the juried anniversary exhibition effectively takes the pulse of South Carolina’s contemporary arts scene. And the heartbeat is strong." (Free Times) The exhibit is ongoing, so consider a visit during your holiday break.

Tuning Up: Grantee’s dream becomes reality + writing workshop

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...


Today we have a couple updates from the land of Facebook:
  • Yesterday our page updated followers that 18/19 Artists' Ventures Initiatives grantee Serwah Armah-Koranteng took delivery of a dream. During the Thanksgiving holiday, her mobile boutique arrived. AfricStyle Initiative will take to the road with a sewing training center and pop-up mobile boutique just in time for the holidays.
  • ICYMI, the second "Communal Pen" writing workshop takes place this Saturday at Voorhees College in Denmark (South Carolina). Go here now for details and a link to register.

Submitted material

Wando band marches in national competition today

Sculpture and music combine for an award-winning marching band show

By Karen McDonough While most high school students probably have never heard of Alexander Calder, a group of South Carolina teen musicians have become quite familiar with the 20th century American sculptor’s work. Calder’s art work is the central theme of this year’s show by the nationally-ranked Wando High School marching band in Mt. Pleasant. The band performance – which features Calder-inspired sculptures as set props and other nods to his creative force – is a moving collaboration and celebration of sound, movement, and art. And it has catapulted the school to winning back-to-back, first-place wins this fall in regional Bands of America (BOA) competitions for the first time ever. The band performs in the BOA Grand National competition Nov. 8-10 in Indianapolis.

UPDATE, 13 Nov. 2018, 12:25: Go here for an update on how they did!

In the Calder-inspired show, some 260 students –playing everything from the piccolo to the sousaphone with a highly impressive drumline – move, dance and march across a football field, along with 38 color guard wearing bold-hued costumes during the 12-minute theatrical presentation. [caption id="attachment_37721" align="alignright" width="301"] The Wando High School color guard performs on the swing prop. (Stacey Mercorelli)[/caption] “Our show is an attempt to use the abstract use of form, color, balance and motion seen in Calder’s sculptures, to create an environment on the football field that is not unlike a modern sculpture garden,” Wando Band’s program coordinator Michael Gray told MoultrieNews.com. “Each of the Calder inspired props in our show contain elements that move throughout the show, all dependent upon the environment in which they are placed.” The students play musical selections from the classic film "To Kill A Mockingbird” by Elmer Bernstein, an original score by South Carolina composer Jay Bocook and “The Big Apple” by Johan de Meij – against a backdrop of colorful, movable props – all handmade by band parents – reminiscent of the shapes in Calder’s work. The show features recorded narration which tells Calder’s story from the words of art historians, collectors and others who best knew his work. One of the props is inspired by Calder’s famous red outdoor “Flamingo” steel and glass sculpture in downtown Chicago, which the band affectionately refers to as just “Chicago.” Other bright colored props carry the childlike and innocent feel of Calder’s work. [caption id="attachment_37720" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Band parents adjust the "Chicago" prop. (Mike Terry)[/caption] The show was titled “By a Thread” because Calder’s art seemingly hangs by a thread, Gray said, as viewers must look up to see his mobiles and large-scale sculptures. [caption id="attachment_37722" align="alignright" width="250"] Michael Gray (Margie Jackson)[/caption] Gray is a Charleston-based impressionist painter whose artwork is in several galleries around the country. He’s been a part of the Wando band creative team for 18 years and came up with the idea for a Calder-inspired show eight years ago. While it took that many years for the school to get permission to use the likeness of Calder images as set props and on the color guard flags, something else had to be present. The students had to be advanced musically enough as well to tackle a show like this, Gray said. And this season everything came together. Gray designed the color guard costumes, which were inspired by circus costumes Calder had designed for the dance company of Josephine Baker, who dominated the Parisian entertainment scene of that era. Gray also designed the band’s new uniforms this year, an upgrade from the same uniform they wore for 13 previous years. Gray’s artistic vision for the program, along with the hard work and long hours of a sizable team of pros lead by Wando Band Director Bobby Lambert and Assistant Directors Lanie Radecke and Jeff Handel, has helped raise the school’s national profile. “I love focusing our attention on a specific person because it allows us to bring that person and his art to life in a way that can only be done through music,” Lambert said. “In no other activity is a young person asked to be brilliant, athletic, sensitive, and artistic all at the same time. Bringing all of those mediums together alone is a triumph but to do it at a level commensurate with some of the best in the country is extraordinary.” Wando won two first-place titles in regional BOA competitions in October, earning Outstanding Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance and Outstanding General Effect in each. The marching band has been a Grand National Finalist four times and the South Carolina 5-A state champions 11 times since 2005. It’s Gray’s hope to educate and entertain audiences watching this year’s show. “If one person [seeing the performance] gets on their phone and Googles ‘Alexander Calder,’ I’m at peace,” he said.
Karen McDonough is a freelance writer based in Mt. Pleasant.

Tuning Up: Tom Stanley exhibition + repurposed harbor trash

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...


Looking for a little structure? Hampton III Gallery delivers. Tom Stanley: Structures begins a week from tonight with a reception from 7-9 p.m. The Winthrop/Rock Hill artist received a Verner Award this past spring for his body of work. He'll also be present for "coffee and conversation" Saturday, Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to noon. 3110 Wade Hampton Blvd., Taylors. Free. Many people's trash is a few people's art. Plastic scraps from Charleston Harbor made for trashy art in a Lowcountry contest (Post & Courier).