Local artists have joined together to respond to the havoc that SARS-COV-2 and Covid-19 have caused for the world and the arts community.
SLAY is an acronym for "Support Lowcountry Artists Y'all." This is a relief effort for the arts community led by noted Bluffton based artist Amiri Farris. Farris wanted to do something about the many Lowcountry artists who experienced a significant loss of income when the COVID-19 virus caused the cancellation or rescheduling of many local art shows, festivals, and galas. Knowing that many in the art community are facing similar difficulties, he assembled SLAY as a collaborative of artists to create content to inspire and engage the community, recover some of that income, and raise funds at this critical time.
[caption id="attachment_44582" align="alignright" width="175"] Handwashing artwork by Amiri Geuka Farris[/caption]
SLAY’s founding roster includes:
Dr. Thaddeus Jones
Victoria A. Smalls
Heather Bruemmer, executive director of SLAY, knows well the challenges SLAY wants to address.
"Many artists, musicians, and other creatives will be left behind by The CARES Act," Bruemmer said. "If you are selling your artwork here and there at shows, or are a recent graduate just getting started, you are going to be left out. The relief only covers people who had an established LLC filed prior to January 31st or were getting paid as independent contractors via IRS Form 1099. Many small independent artists won't qualify."
Bruemmer continued, "Worse, recent art school grads who were claimed by their parents last year won't receive the $1,200 per person assistance either. We could lose a generation of young artists who have to set aside their craft. These are the types of artists who are often also without health care. The need is urgent and legitimate."
The group is moving quickly to respond to these challenges. SLAY has incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and is expected to launch the website www.SLAYart.org April 1. The initial site will accept donations and requests for relief. As it grows, plans call for the site to be monetized through a membership model. Through this virtual co-op, donor members will receive unique content created solely for this platform from SLAY's roster of established and emerging Lowcountry artists, all of whom have experienced cancellations in recent weeks. A mix of online content, downloads, and mailed deliverables is planned.
Farris states that the group will welcome new artists who are passionate about this work and have a connection to the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia to join the effort. At this time the group is focused on serving the coastal counties of South Carolina and Georgia, along with the rural areas that comprise the South Carolina Promise Zone.
SLAY’s goal is to be able to offer financial support to all kinds of artists and creatives who experience financial hardship during this difficult time. They will be able to apply for relief through a simple application on our web portal and can receive up to $500 in assistance rapidly via the Zelle app.
This work will benefit the general public as well as the art world. SLAY will create high quality, contemporary art that comforts, inspires, and educates about practices which will need to be a long term "new normal" in our world long after the immediate threat from COVID-19 has diminished. To this end, public health experts have been engaged to advise on messaging and content that will be beneficial to the overall fight against the virus.
Kristi Ryba named S.C.’s South Arts State Fellow
South Arts awarding more than $160,000 to 18 artists
South Arts, the nonprofit regional arts service organization advancing Southern vitality through the arts, announces the recipients of two fellowship programs.
Nine visual artists (one per state from its nine-state service area) will each receive a $5,000 State Fellowship; additionally, they are now in competition for the $25,000 Southern Prize with a residency at The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences as well as the $10,000 Southern Prize Finalist awards.
Sherrill Roland. Multidisciplinary. Morrisville, North Carolina.
Bill Steber. Photography. Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Additionally, another nine traditional artists and culture-bearers from Central Appalachian counties in KY, NC, and TN will each receive $9,000 Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowships to continue their lifelong learning and practice. The 2020 Folk & Traditional Arts Master Artist Fellowship recipients are:
Jordan Hughett. Ballad singing. Winfield, Tennessee.
Mark Newberry. Chair-making. Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee.
“South Arts is immensely proud to support every one of these artists, craftspeople, and tradition-bearers,” says Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts and a former executive director of the South Carolina Arts Commission. “Especially as our country enters the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, artists are among those most vulnerable to losing income. Yet their creativity, work, and stories are what carry us forward and will be integral to rebuilding our communities.”
Applications were open for both fellowship programs in the fall of 2019. The State Fellowships application pool was reviewed by a panel of experts including Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba of the New Orleans Museum of Art, Edward Hayes, Jr. of The McNay Art Museum, independent art historian and consultant David Houston, and Marilyn Zapf of the Center for Craft. The panel made their recommendations based on the artistic excellence of their work and inclusiveness of the diversity of the Southern region. The Folk & Traditional Art Master Artist Fellowship applications were reviewed by a panel including Native American potter and storyteller Beckee Garris, Zoe van Buren of the North Carolina Arts Council, Mark Brown of the Kentucky Arts Council, and Evangeline Mee of the Tennessee Arts Commission. The panel made their recommendations based on the artists’ history and mastery of their respective tradition as well as the proposed lifelong learning opportunity.
The nine State Fellowship recipients will be featured in an exhibition that is scheduled to open at the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia in May 2020; due to the current closures of facilities, this date may be postponed. The announcement of which State Fellowship recipients will also be named as the Southern Prize winner and finalist will be announced at a ceremony surrounding the opening of this exhibition.
“I would like to thank each and every one of our donors and sponsors,” continues Surkamer. “Their support and investment in the arts, culture, and tradition of our region is vital even in the best of times, and their ongoing generosity is more important than ever before.”
To view the work by each of these fellowship recipients and read more about the artists and tradition-bearers, visit www.southarts.org.
About Kristi Ryba
[caption id="attachment_44630" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Chapel Of Perpetual Adoration II ; 2018 ; Egg Tempera & 22k Gold leaf on panel ; 3 panels each 18.75 x 15.25[/caption]
Kristi Ryba enchants viewers with her narrative works as she combines the elaborate skill of handmade egg tempera painting with subjects that explore contemporary events and messages of morality. Museum visitors will experience the different stages of a painting; how the artist lays out the composition, prepares the painting supports, grinds the pigment, and applies gold leaf to envelop the final piece in regalia.
Kristi Ryba holds an MFA from Vermont College, Montpelier, Vermont and most recently won 2nd place in the esteemed annual visual art competition ArtFields (2018). The artist is represented by Corrigan Gallery in Charleston and is in numerous private collections including the Medical University of South Carolina.
Over the last several years, my interest in the study of Medieval and Renaissance art has informed my work. This series of paintings is taken from images from centuries ago and serve as a vehicle to simplify an urgent message by providing the symbolic and instructional imagery to illustrate and illuminate the leadership crisis we are in. All the gold, elaborate surroundings and messages of morality and ethics corresponded with what is happening in our government; the gutting of our social safety net and health care, eliminating environmental protections, the lack of restraint in spending money on personal enrichment and pleasure and the build-up of military spending and deficit in international diplomacy to name a few.
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.
COVID-19 and the arts in South Carolina
A response resource for S.C.'s creative communities
[caption id="attachment_1692" align="alignright" width="224"] An image of COVID-19, courtesy of CDC[/caption]
Artists and arts organizations in South Carolina will be affected by the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.Beyond reminding you to wash your hands (see more about that flier by an #SCartists below), the S.C. Arts Commission is going to leave the science to scientists and public health practitioners, but we can be a resource for the creative communities we serve. Our goal is to provide information that can enable our constituents to be ready for “What if…?” And let’s face it—there’s a lot of that right now.
Ed. note; 13 March 2020, 16:00 ET
The SCAC apologizes for the extra click, but because of the significant need for this content to be "living," we are now directing you to the COVID-19 resources page on SouthCarolinaArts.com which we are updating frequently.
SCAC, McKissick Museum announce 2020 Folk Heritage Award recipients
Four artists & one advocate receive awards May 6
For Immediate Release
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The General Assembly is to honor five recipients with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, presented annually to recognize work that keeps the state’s traditional art forms alive.
Four artists and one advocate are to be recognized as practitioners and advocates of traditional arts significant to communities throughout the state. Their traditions embody folklife’s dynamic, multi-generational nature and its fusion of artistic and utilitarian ideals. The 2020 recipients are:
Kristin Scott Benson (Boiling Springs): Bluegrass Banjo
David Galloway (Seneca): Spiritual Gospel Singing
Voices of El Shaddai (Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area): Lowcountry Gospel Music
Judy Twitty (Gilbert): Quilting
Vennie Deas Moore (Georgetown): Folklore and Cultural Preservation
The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award is named for the late State Rep. Jean Laney Harris of Cheraw, respected as an outspoken advocate and ardent supporter of the arts and cultural resources of the state. Up to four artists or organizations and one advocate may receive awards each year. The program is managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum. Community members make nominations to recognize exemplary artistic achievement/advocacy. An independent advisory panel appointed by the lieutenant governor and president of the Senate select the recipients, who must be living and practicing in the state.
“In the face of nonstop change, these recipients are to be commended for keeping South Carolina’s traditional art forms alive and thriving,” South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts said. “The value of these art forms is that they tell who we are as South Carolinians. They do exceptional work on our behalf, and we all are grateful for what these award recipients do.”
The Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award will be presented along with the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts at the South Carolina Arts Awards on Wednesday, May 6 at the Pastides Alumni Center at UofSC (900 Senate St., Columbia). A ticketed celebratory luncheon will begin the festivities at 11:30 a.m. before the free, public ceremony at 1 p.m. Luncheon tickets are $50 per person and available for purchase through SouthCarolinaArts.com or by calling 803.734.8696.
The UofSC McKissick Museum will host a mixer to celebrate this year’s Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, from 6-8 p.m., at the Blue Moon Ballroom in West Columbia (554 Meeting St.). Admission is free with a McKissick membership, or $5 for non-members. Please RSVP or purchase your ticket via Eventbrite here or by phone at 803.777.2876. Guests are encouraged to buy/reserve their tickets by Friday, May 1. Only a limited number of tickets will be available at the door on the evening of the event, and admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis.For more information about the Folk Heritage Awards, visit the S.C. Arts Commission website, SouthCarolinaArts.com.
ABOUT THE FOLK HERITAGE AWARDS RECIPIENTSKristin Scott Benson (Artist Category, Bluegrass Banjo) was first nourished in her music tradition by her musician father and her grandfather, Orval Hogan, who played mandolin with the WBT Briarhoppers. Growing up in South Carolina’s Upstate region, where bluegrass was part of the local culture, she started on the mandolin at five years old, and by age ten was drawn to the banjo. Her mentor, Al Osteen, a revered banjo picker and teacher, taught Benson to not only play, but how to “think and listen.” She passes this solid foundation, along with her extensive experience, on to her own students. Benson first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry at age 19 and has since played there over 100 times. She has been recognized as the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Banjo Player of the Year four times, and in 2018 received the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. She has played with the Grammy-nominated bluegrass band, The Grascals, since 2008.
David Galloway (Artist Category, Spiritual Gospel Singing) has spent his life in the Pendleton and Sandy Springs communities. His musical influence rests largely with his mother, who was a pastor, and her siblings, who used to sing “shape notes.” Galloway’s elders also instilled a passion for the negro spiritual. As teenagers, he and his brothers sang gospel at revivals and church services throughout the Upstate. Galloway served as Superintendent of the Sunday School at the King’s Chapel AME Church in Pendleton, where he was also an inspiration for the Junior Choir, the Young Adult Choir, the Senior Choir, the Gospel Choir, and the Male Chorus. Galloway and the KCs—a group upholding the roots of traditional spirituals, shape-note music and contemporary gospel—have sung at local churches, revivals, AME Conventions, and hosted gospel programs. Galloway remains a member of the Kings Chapel AME church choirs and as a soloist, participates in special programs, revivals, and anniversaries.
For over 27 years, Voices of El Shaddai (Artist Organization Category, Lowcountry Gospel Music) choir have come together to sing. Most Voices members are native South Carolina Sea Islanders from a variety of local church choirs. Transcending geographic and musical boundaries, their music stems from oral traditions within the Lowcountry African-American religious experience. Repetition, a call-and-response pattern, and strong vocals are musical elements historically based in 19th-century African American spirituals, with melodic connections to West Africa. The Voices’ unique repertoire includes both traditional spirituals and contemporary gospel. The group’s knowledge of indigenous Gullah-Geechee musical traditions is passed down through generations of family and community members. Committed to raising the visibility of and appreciation for Lowcountry Gospel and Gullah music and culture, the Voices perform regularly at programs presented by such organizations as the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, the Gullah Museum, and the Coastal Discovery Museum, as well as at community celebrations and various churches and congregations.
Judy Twitty (Artist Category, Quilting) has spent a lifetime immersed in the art of patchwork quilting. As a girl in New Brunswick, Canada, she spent time with her grandmother, enjoying the camaraderie of quilting circles. After marrying and moving to South Carolina, Twitty took a patchwork quilting class in 1972 at the Columbia YWCA, where she soon began teaching. Over the years, Twitty has made quilts for friends, family, and as donations to community members. She has taught classes and workshops throughout the state, written articles for diverse publications, and helped found the statewide guild, Quilters of South Carolina (QSC). Twitty’s love of innovation has inspired her and others to explore the limits of their imagination, from a revival of the 19th-century Victorian crazy quilt technique, to creating embroidered, eco-dyed fabric books. Twitty’s quilting has garnered awards at local quilt shows, the South Carolina State Fair, the QSC Quilters’ Expo, and the prestigious American Quilters Society annual show.
Vennie Deas Moore (Advocacy Category, Folklore & Cultural Preservation) is a folklorist and cultural preservationist. Born and raised in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, she has witnessed firsthand the community’s ever-changing cultural landscape. Her thirty-year career is informed and inspired by her ancestors, particularly her mother, Eugenia Deas, a 2005 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipient. Deas Moore’s extensive freelance career encompasses oral history, folklore research, documentary photography, and medical history. Through her research, writing, documentary photography, and public lectures, she has created a body of impactful and powerful stories as a vehicle for education and cultural preservation. Her work focuses on Lowcountry people, places, work, traditions, and foodways, with an enduring specialty in the heritage of coastal fisherman. Her research has led to collaborations with diverse state and national historical sites and institutions, including the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum, the South Carolina State Museum, Historic Columbia, and Richland County Library, among many others. Deas Moore is currently a cultural historian and curator at the Rice Museum in Georgetown.
ABOUT THE FOLKLIFE AND TRADITIONAL ARTS PROGRAM
The Folklife and Traditional Arts Program is designed to encourage, promote, conserve and honor the diverse community-based art forms that make South Carolina distinct. The major initiatives of the program serve both established and emerging cultural groups that call South Carolina home.
ABOUT MCKISSICK MUSEUM
The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum is located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe with available parking in the garage at the corner of Pendleton and Bull streets. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The Museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The Museum is closed Sundays and University holidays. For more information, please call at 803.777.7251 or visit sc.edu/mckissickmuseum.
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:
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.
These suds are no duds
It's mid-day on a Friday. What's on your mind?
[caption id="attachment_44373" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Click image to enlarge. Art by Brelyn LeCheminant.[/caption]
The weekend. The weekend is on your mind.
We at The Hub are but humble state employees and, as such, are given to bourgeois proclivities as, well, "taking it easy" on a Friday here and there. Thoughts of the weekend can (sometimes) creep in while doing our best to maintain our professional composure—and your trust—on the work week's ultimate day.
But still. Weekend. It's, like, here. Or at least tantalizingly close. Weeeeekend. Feel it swirl around in your brain silkily, just so.
At some point during yours, if—and only if—you're 21 or older, consider checking out a new offering on South Carolina's craft beer scene. Creative Impact is the result of a collaboration between the South Carolina Arts Alliance, our near and dear drinking buddies friends (to the extent a state agency has them), and Frothy Beard Brewing Company in Charleston. (With additional contribution from #SCartists Brelyn LeCheminant who designed the label art.)
The new pale ale made its debut last week with Arts Advocacy Week in South Carolina and pays tribute to the 115,000 creative professionals in our state. That describes us and, well, we say cheers to that. You can learn more about Creative Impact here from the alliance's GP McLeer, LeCheminant, and representatives from Frothy Beard in the latest episode of the alliance's podcast, "The Dive."
S.C. Phil to party like it’s 2009
Saturday concert to feature pair of 2009 SCAC fellows
A pair of 2009 South Carolina Arts Commission music fellows will have prominent roles in the South Carolina Philharmonic's next concert this Saturday night in Columbia.
The orchestra is continuing its year-long celebration of 250 years of Beethoven with his first piano concerto. Out front on the Steinway will be Phillip Bush: music professor at the University of South Carolina, frequent presenter at the Southeastern Piano Festival, well-traveled and highly regarded concert pianist, recording artist and—oh by the way—the S.C. Arts Commission's 2009 music performance fellowship recipient. The Peabody alum has taken the stage across the U.S. and Japan, where he performed some 25 concerts over a 10-year period. His repertoire includes works from the 16th century to the 21st, as he is a devoted advocate for contemporary music.
And that is where John Fitz Rogers comes in. He also received an S.C. Arts Commission fellowship in 2009, his for music composition. To start the concert, the orchestra will reprise his The Passing Sun, a work commissioned by the Phil to celebrate its 50th season in 2014/2015. It is an orchestral piece, but Fitz Rogers has composed for works featuring bassoon, guitar, piano, saxophone, and vocal soloists (with orchestras, including chamber ensembles). He holds degrees from Cornell, Yale, and Oberlin and is currently professor of composition at the UofSC, where he founded and, for a time, directed the widely acclaimed Southern Exposure New Music Series. His works have been recorded and released by multiple labels.
The concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia). $16-$50. Click here to learn more.
Learn more about South Carolina Arts Commission fellowship recipients here.
William Henry Johnson works on display … on Long Island
Islip stakes claim to artist native to Florence
If by chance you find yourself in Islip, New York this month, they are celebrating Black History Month by featuring the art of Florence native William Henry Johnson at the town hall.
Newsday tells the Johnson story while giving only the slightest nod to his roots, calling him a South Carolina native:
"Prints of more than a dozen of the South Carolina native's oil paintings are on display, including portraits of black heroes such as Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, street scenes of Harlem, chronicles of life in America during World War II and 'Flowers' — which appeared on a U.S. postage stamp in 2012."
South Carolina Arts Commission is announcing a pop-up exhibition to take place at the American Craft Council Show Atlanta 2020 at the Cobb Galleria March 13-15. It's organized by South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Arts in partnership with the American Craft Council. This pop up debuts the council’s new initiative to highlight southern states’ craft communities. The South Carolina Arts Commission is the first state arts agency to participate in this initiative.
The South Carolina Arts Commission Pop-Up showcases six artists from the Palmetto State whose work honors the old while embracing the new in unexpected and imaginative ways. For over 50 years, the South Carolina Arts Commission has worked to ensure a climate in which artists are valued and remain at the core of South Carolina’s creative economy. The six makers included in the pop-up are some of the best South Carolina artists working in their respective craft medium. Their work highlights some of the predominant trends taking place in South Carolina: tradition, innovation, social justice, technology, entrepreneurship, and upcycling.
Tradition: Chief Bill Harris of Rock Hill, Catawba pottery (above)
Innovation: Mana Hewitt of Columbia, medals featuring women of historic importance
Technology: Valerie Zimany of Central, porcelain and clay using 3D printing
Entrepreneurship: Quintin Middleton of St. Stephen, Middleton Made Knives
Upcycling: Flavia Lovatelli of Columbia, mixed media trashion wearable art
Social Justice: Jean Grosser of Hartsville, assemblage
Three of the six artists will attend ACC for one day each. Grosser (1993), Hewitt (2006), and Zimany (2020) are South Carolina Arts Commission Fellows.
[gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="44245,44246,44243,44244"]
Jean GrosserSchool Days 1949 (Briggs v. Elliott)
Wood & paper
22” x 22” x 2 ½”
Chief Bill HarrisHeron Bowl
7” x 12” x 6”
Courtesy of McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina
Valerie ZimanyHanazume (Two-Ears)
Ceramic, wheel-thrown and hand built porcelain with press-molded sprigs from three-dimensional model prints and hand-modelled florals
21" x 11" x 11"
North Charleston Arts Fest reveals 2020 design competition winner
The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce Christine Bush Roman of Johns Island as the winner of the 2020 North Charleston Arts Fest Poster Design Competition.
[caption id="attachment_44150" align="alignright" width="150"] "Oak Circus" by Christine Bush Roman. Click image to enlarge.[/caption]
As the winner of the statewide contest, Bush Roman’s mixed media painting, titled "Oak Circus," will be used to promote the 2020 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place April 29-May 3. In addition, the artist was awarded a $500 cash prize and the piece has become part of the City of North Charleston’s Public Art Collection.
"Oak Circus" was one of 75 entries by artists from 17 cities across South Carolina that were submitted for consideration for the 2020 North Charleston Arts Fest Poster Design Competition. Christine created the painting specifically for the Arts Fest using acrylic, ink, pastel, and fabric.
“When beginning this piece, I knew I wanted to illustrate the vibrancy and emotion of all kinds of creators coming together to share their work,” Roman said. “I began the painting with the simplified image of an oak tree spreading its branches because the oak is such a well-known visual for the Lowcountry. The tree is also an iconic symbol across many cultures of growth, transformation, unity, and enlightenment. I wanted all the other elements of the painting to react to the tree. Setting the tone of celebration, the colors and rhythm hint at all of the different art forms highlighted during the North Charleston Arts Fest.”
Most often inspired by ideas of our perception of self, her colorful and busy paintings reflect a compressed narrative of an ever-changing personality; acting as illustrations of an inner story full of ups and downs, constant change, and growth. Her works are about how we are constantly being shaped by where we live, people we know, and major life events. Christine currently creates in her home studio in Johns Island, SC, and instructs art classes for One HEART Connection and Art in the Park Art Lab, both in Charleston. To learn more about the artist, visit ChristineBushRoman.com.
A collection of Bush Roman’s mixed media paintings, including her winning piece, "Oak Circus," will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout May 2020. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Dr. in North Charleston. Admission and parking are free.
The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery during the North Charleston Arts Fest Opening Celebration & Artist Reception on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, from 6-8 p.m. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for purchase during the festival.
For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, other competition and exhibition opportunities, or festival sponsorship, on-site marketing opportunities, and program booklet ad placement, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854, email email@example.com, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.
Furman English Professor Joni Tevis awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
Joni Tevis, the Bennette E. Geer Associate Professor of English at Furman University, has been awarded a 2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The NEA selected only 36 Fellows from a pool of nearly 1,700 applicants – just over 2 percent. The individual fellowships are valued at $25,000 and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel and general career advancement.
Fellows are selected through an anonymous process and are judged on the artistic excellence of the work sample provided.
Tevis earned the honor for her work of prose, “What the Body Knows,” found in the book, The World Is On Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse, a collection of her writings published in 2015 by Milkweed Editions.
“What the Body Knows” draws from Tevis’ journey with her spouse and a guide up the Canning River in the northeast reaches of Alaska, where, she says in her essay, there’s “no road but the river, and two weeks to reach the edge of the world.” The Canning flows 125 miles through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and spills into Camden Bay, which is fed by the Arctic Ocean.
Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the NEA, said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support our nation’s writers, including Joni Tevis, and the artistry, creativity and dedication that go into their work.”
Tevis says she is grateful to Furman for supporting her work and trips into the wild, and she says the fellowship did not come easily. For writers who have met rigorous publishing requirements in prose, the fellowship is offered every other year from the NEA. Tevis has applied seven times since 2007.
“I’m so honored and humbled by this fellowship,” Tevis said. “I ask my students, as I ask myself: ‘What would you write if you knew you could not fail?’ I treasure this ‘yes’ after the six rounds of ‘no,’ but the ‘noes’ were useful too, because they spurred me on. We must never give up.”
Tevis will apply the fellowship funds toward her next sabbatical, where she’ll finish her current book manuscript –“a book of nonfiction about creation, destruction and the music that sees us through,” she said.
A winner of multiple awards, Tevis has been published in Oxford American, the Bellingham Review, Shenandoah, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and Orion, a literary journal focused on environmental themes, and where “What the Body Knows” also appeared.
Formerly a park ranger, factory worker and purveyor of cemetery plots, Tevis teaches literature and creative writing at Furman and is the author of another acclaimed book of essays, The Wet Collection: A Field Guide to Iridescence and Memory (2012, Milkweed Editions), her first book of nonfiction.
She came to Furman in 2008 after serving as the Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She helped create the English department’s new writing track, which offers courses in nonfiction, fiction and poetry writing.
Tevis holds a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and advanced degrees from the University of Houston.