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Find arts experiences, wearable art and more at the South Carolina Arts Gala!

Tickets are $75 and available at the door This year's South Carolina Arts Gala, taking place May 11 at 7:15 p.m. at 701 Whaley in Columbia, will feature a bluegrass and gospel concert, the Lee Central High School drumline and a dance party by the Root Doctors. In between the music, an art sale will feature unique works by South Carolina artists and arts experiences showcasing cultural and culinary arts. One of the arts experiences available for purchase takes place May 14 during Artisphere, Greenville's signature cultural event. A Goat, a Waterfall & Artisphere - Yeah THAT Greenville will accommodate 24 guests for an art-filled day trip that ends with dinner and wine pairings at The Lazy Goat restaurant. Another arts experience is a popular encore from last year's sale - Desi Delights at the Taj Palace will feature Indian cuisine, a henna artist, a dhoul drummer and spirits. In addition to glass, pottery, paintings, and sculpture, the sale includes wearable art by Beth Melton, a fiber artist from Rock Hill, and jewelry in a range of styles by four artists. Returning favorite Cindy Saad of Columbia will be joined by Jane Pope of Spartanburg, Danny and Sherry Hansen of Batesburg-Leesville, and Jo Ann Graham of St. Helena Island. Pope's work has been featured in numerous national publications, including Vogue and Southern Living, and the Hansens design and craft pieces for the History Channel's popular drama, Vikings. Graham’s jewelry has been featured regionally in galleries and festivals in Charleston, St. Helena, Savannah and Atlanta. Prior to the gala, a concert will honor recipients of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards and feature a poetry reading by Verner Award recipient Nikky Finney. The concert takes place at 6:15 p.m. in the Granby Room at 701 Whaley. (Note venue change -- the concert was previously scheduled for Southside Baptist Church.) The South Carolina Arts Gala is presented by the South Carolina Arts Foundation. Gala proceeds benefit schools and communities around the state through the South Carolina Arts Commission’s arts education and arts development programs. Last year, the S.C. Arts Foundation contributed more than $55,000 to programs such as artist fellowships, arts education and artist training. Tickets are $75 and available at the door! Find out more here.  

Congratulations to our awards recipients!

[caption id="attachment_26450" align="alignright" width="350"]Hootie and the Blowfish with Gov.Haley Hootie and the Blowfish members Mark Bryan, Darius Rucker, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld and Dean Felber with Governor Nikky Haley[/caption] Congratulations to recipients of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards, who were recognized May 11 during South Carolina Arts Awards Day. Family members, friends, and colleagues of award recipients joined the arts community and the general public for a day and an evening of celebration. Lt. Governor Henry McMaster and S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz presented the awards during a State House ceremony. After official photographs with Governor Nikki Haley, recipients were honored at a luncheon sponsored by USC's McKissick Museum. The evening began with additional accolades during a concert featuring bluegrass and gospel music (honoring Folk Heritage Award recipient Harold Clayton) and a poetry reading by Verner Award recipient Nikky Finney.  The festivities were capped by an art sale and gala dance party presented by the South Carolina Arts Foundation. Many thanks to everyone who participated! Image above: Front row, left to right: Verner Award recipients Mayor Knox White, City of Greenville; Janice Jennings, Joye in Aiken; artist Mary Edna Fraser; Betty J. Plumb; Gov. Nikki Haley; Karen Brosius, Columbia Museum of Art; Dotsy Clayton, representing Folk Heritage Award recipient Harold Clayton (posthumous award); Susu Johnson, the Phifer-Johnson Foundation/The Johnson Collection. Second row, left to right: Poet Nikky Finney; Dr. Sandra Field, Joye in Aiken; Claude Walker, Columbia Museum of Art; Folk Heritage Award recipient Bill Harris; Ed Zeigler, City of Greenville, George Johnson, the Phifer-Johnson Foundation/The Johnson Collection.

Countdown to SC Arts Awards Day – highlighting awards recipients

SC Arts AwardsWednesday, May 11 is a big day for the arts in South Carolina! The day begins at 11 a.m. in the lower lobby of the State House with awards presentations to recipients of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Art and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards. The awards presentation is free and open to the public. Other events include a ticketed luncheon and the South Carolina Arts Gala, which features an art sale of original works by some of the state's finest contemporary artists AND a dance party with The Root Doctors! Overview of events (find more at www.SouthCarolinaArts.com):

  • 11 a.m. - State House awards presentation to recipients of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Folk Heritage Awards; free and open to the public.
  • 12:30 p.m. - luncheon hosted by McKissick Museum at Michael's Cafe, 1620 Main St., Columbia. Tickets $20; reservations required by May 4. Email or call Jane Przybysz, (803) 777-3712 or jprzybys@mailbox.sc.edu.
  • 6:15 p.m. - concert featuring bluegrass and gospel; recognition of award recipients, in the Granby Room, 701 Whaley Street (in the same building as the gala). Free and open to the public.
  • 7:15 p.m. - South Carolina Arts Gala, presented by the South Carolina Arts Foundation as a fundraiser to support S.C. Arts Commission programs, including arts education and artist development. The gala features an art sale and dance party with The Root Doctors, 701 Whaley St., Tickets $75; purchase online at www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.
Meet two of this year's Verner Award recipients (and check back each day for additional spotlights): Mary Edna Fraser, Artist
Mary Edna FraserThe pioneering work of Charleston artist Mary Edna Fraser has been collected and exhibited worldwide. Captivated by the complex patterns of land and water when viewed from high above, she has been exploring aerial landscapes for more than a quarter century. Using her own aerial photography along with satellite photography, maps, and charts, Fraser composes pieces in the ancient textile medium of batik using modern dye technology. Her stunning works on silk have incredible visual impact by virtue of their scale and compelling designs. Fraser's interest in the environment enables her to bridge two areas often seen as opposites: art and science. Her art not only offers a creative depiction of watersheds and landscapes but communicates a broader message of conservation and stewardship. Her working relationship with Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey of Duke University resulted in two widely acclaimed publications illustrated with Fraser's batiks: A Celebration of the World's Barrier Islands, and Global Climate Change: A Primer. Fraser is a widely recognized master artist with numerous awards and a growing international reputation, having lectured abroad in countries including Australia, Indonesia and Taiwan. She has had more than 100 one-woman exhibitions of batiks and monotypes, including venues such as the National Academy of Sciences and Duke University Museum of Art. She was the first woman to have a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Her work is in a number of important private and public collections, most notably the Elliot School of International Affairs  and  George  Washington  University,  the  Heinz  Center  for  Science,  Economics  and  the Environment in Washington, D.C., the New England Aquarium in Boston, the American Embassy in Thailand, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Through her work, Fraser has presented the natural beauty of South Carolina's coastline to the world.
Betty Plumb, Individual
Betty PlumbFor the past 27 years, Betty Plumb has been the principal voice for public support for the arts in South Carolina. As the executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, she transformed the grass-roots advocacy organization into the most influential and effective champion of the arts in the public arena in South Carolina. In S.C. and across the country, her name is synonymous with exemplary arts leadership and effective arts advocacy. While much of her effort has been directed to maintaining sustainable funding for national and state arts agencies, she has been remarkably successful in advocating for funding and public policies that support quality arts education, strong local arts organizations, issues important to artists’ careers, and developing networks of arts advocates. These networks are continually strengthened by Plumb’s willingness to share resources, conduct workshops and serve on panels to educate nonprofit leaders on best advocacy practices. She is also active in recruiting younger advocates and has lectured in arts management programs at the College of Charleston, USC, and Winthrop University. Plumb has twice been listed among the 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders in the Nonprofit Arts in America by Barry’s Blog, a website published by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). She received the Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award from Americans for the Arts and the Medal of Honor in the Arts from Winthrop University. Thanks to Betty Plumb’s dedication and hard work, the arts are thriving in South Carolina.
The 2016 Verner Awards are sponsored by Colonial Life.  

Jewelry created for History Channel’s ‘Vikings’ to be featured at S.C. Arts Gala

[gallery columns="4" ids="26244,26243,26242,26245"] Fans of the History Channel's Vikings take note: you can go home from the South Carolina Arts Gala wearing Lagertha's barrettes or Ragnar's bracelet. [caption id="attachment_26241" align="alignright" width="275"]Viking actress Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha looking fierce in her Danny Hansen-designed hair pieces.[/caption] Batesburg-Leesville craftsman Danny Hansen, who has designed and created much of the distinctive jewelry worn by the popular drama's actors, will take part in the South Carolina Arts Gala art sale on May 11. In addition to bronze hair adornments and a silver dragon bracelet, Hansen will offer a silver Triskele (an ancient Celtic symbol) pendant and a bronze dragon belt buckle set -- pieces similar to items Hansen created for Vikings.

Hansen shipped off his bronze dragon-head bracelets to Vikings creators on a whim. The bracelets quickly became a featured object worn by main characters Ragnar and Aethelstan. The show's fans took notice and bracelet sales soared on Hansen's Crafty Celts website.

According to Hansen, the handmade barrettes "came out of a collaboration with the costuming department for Vikings. They needed hair pieces for a costume concept they had using our Hound and Doe cloak clasps. We developed these designs, as well as our Stag cloak clasp, into hair barrettes." Hansen has first-hand knowledge of how those costume concepts are realized -- he and his son, Kelley, traveled to Ireland to work as extras on the show. Presented by the South Carolina Arts Foundation, the art sale will also offer paintings, glass, pottery, sculpture, fiber arts and other original works of art, plus arts "experiences" created to showcase cultural and culinary arts.The sale is the perfect time to meet and mingle with artists as you ponder which piece to add to your art collection. All proceeds benefit the arts in schools and communities around the state through the South Carolina Arts Commission’s arts education and arts development programs. Last year, the S.C. Arts Foundation contributed more than $55,000 to bolster programs such as artist fellowships, arts education and artist training. The South Carolina Arts Gala, the celebration of the South Carolina Arts Awards, takes place May 11 at 7:15 p.m. at 701 Whaley St. in Columbia. Prior to the gala, enjoy a concert featuring bluegrass and gospel, plus recognition of Verner and Folk Heritage Award recipients. The concert and awards recognition take place at 6:15 p.m. in the Granby Room, 701 Whaley Street (in the same building as the gala). Tickets are $75 per person and may be purchased online with a credit card or check, or by calling (803) 734.8696. Reserve your tickets today!

S.C. Arts Gala set for May 11!

[gallery ids="25766,25757,25753,25759,25761,25765,25755,25760,25758,25762,25764,25773"] Time to buy your tickets! Mark May 11 on your calendar and reserve your tickets for the annual  South Carolina Arts Gala! The South Carolina Arts Foundation invites you to celebrate the South Carolina Arts Awards at the pre-gala recognition ceremony, which kicks off the evening at 6:15 p.m. in the Granby Room, 701 Whaley Street (in the same building as the gala) in Columbia. The gala and an art sale — featuring  fabulous art and food — begin at 7:15 p.m. in the Grand Hall of 701 Whaley (701 Whaley St.). The awards ceremony honors the recipients of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards (2016 recipients to be announced soon). The art sale features original one-of-a-kind artworks by some of South Carolina’s finest contemporary artists, including functional and non-functional craft, paintings and sculpture. Seasoned and beginning collectors alike will find “must have” works and enjoy meeting artists. The South Carolina Arts Foundation designates gala proceeds to help support arts education, artist development and other programs of the South Carolina Arts Commission. Don’t miss the arts party of the year! Tickets are $75 each. Reserve your ticket(s) today!

2016 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award recipients announced

vernerstatuescolorCongratulations to the recipients of the 2016 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts! The S.C. Arts Commission annually presents the awards, the highest honor the state gives in the arts, to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina. Awards will be presented May 11 at 11 a.m. during a ceremony at the Statehouse. This year’s recipients:

"Each of these Verner Award recipients has attracted positive national attention for the Palmetto State," said S.C. Arts Commission Chairman Henry Horowitz. "Their dedication to the arts greatly benefits South Carolinians and materially enhances our state’s economic vitality. Their contributions regionally and nationally are a source of pride for South Carolinians living anywhere. The Verner Awards recognize service, commitment and passion, and we are honored to have these individuals and organizations working to enhance our state's reputation as a leader in the arts." Also on May 11, the S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients and the arts community at the South Carolina Arts Gala, a fundraiser supporting the programs of the S.C. Arts Commission. The gala begins at 7:15 p.m. in the Grand Hall, 701 Whaley St. in Columbia. Gala tickets are $75 per person and may be purchased online. The 2016 Verner Awards are sponsored by Colonial Life. For more about the Verner Awards or the S.C. Arts Gala, call (803) 734-8696 or visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com. 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 www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734-8696.

Call to artists: South Carolina Arts Foundation 2016 Art Sale

Submission deadline: December 31, 2015 The South Carolina Arts Foundation seeks South Carolina artists to participate in the 2016 Art Sale. The sale will be held in conjunction with the South Carolina Arts Awards, including the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards. The 2016 Art Sale is the centerpiece of the South Carolina Arts Gala, an evening celebration of the South Carolina Arts Awards, on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. The gala will be held in the Grand Hall at 701 Whaley in the historic Olympia Mills neighborhood. The project was originally conceived as a sales opportunity for artists and as an opportunity to build and promote arts patronage. Artists included in the 2016 Art Sale will be selected by a panel composed of members of the South Carolina Arts Foundation. Works included in the sale must be original and of high artistic quality; have a broad appeal; be representative of the artist's style and framed with appropriate hanging devices. In general, 2-D work should be in the size range of 24" height and 36" width (inclusive of frame), and 3-D work should be freestanding or should fit on a pedestal that is 24" x 24." The parameters for dimensions are provided as a guide and should not be interpreted as absolute dimensions. The price of works included in the sale is provided by the artist. If sold, the price will be split 75/25 (artist/SCAF). Artists are requested to provide high-quality digital images of the work(s) selected to be included in print and online promotional materials. To be considered for the art sale, please submit the following materials by December 31, 2015 to: 2016 Art Sale, South Carolina Arts Foundation, 1026 Sumter Street, Suite 200, Columbia, SC, 29201:

  • DVD, CD or thumb drive containing up to 10 images in a jpeg format with a maximum resolution at or less than 1024 x 768 pixels of representative or available works. Please indicate if the work is available (A) or representative (R).
  • Checklist including title (to correspond with file title on submitted DVD, CD or thumb drive), date, medium, size (h x w x d), price;
  • Resume or bio;
  • Artist statement (not to exceed 250 words);
  • Self-addressed stamped envelope for return of materials.
For more information, contact Harriett Green, S.C. Arts Commission,1026 Sumter St., Suite 200, Columbia, SC 29201; phone 803.734.8762; fax: 803.734.8526; or e-mail hgreen@arts.sc.gov. Images: Left to right - works by Cindy Saad, Steve Hazard and Alicia Leeke.

Live auction of arts experiences added to South Carolina Arts Gala

Kent Ambler, Southern SummerPaintings, glass, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, fiber arts and more -- nearly 100 works by South Carolina artists will be available for purchase at the South Carolina Arts Gala art sale May 13. This year, a new live auction includes arts experiences created to showcase cultural and culinary arts: Desi Delights at the Taj Palace 

  • Indian cuisine
  • Henna artist and dhoul drummer
  • Spirits from Dr. Raj Vasudeva's private collection
Pitas Presents an Evening in Paris on the Mediterranean
  • Mezze table
  • Jazz music
  • Wines from Chateau Ksara
Terra Presents the Artistry of the Chef's Palate
  • Scripting the meal and designing the plate
  • Unveiling the courses
  • Wine pairings
Presented by the South Carolina Arts Foundation, the gala is a perfect time to meet and mingle with artists as you ponder which piece to add to your art collection. All proceeds benefit the arts in schools and communities around the state through the South Carolina Arts Commission’s arts education and arts development programs. Last year, the S.C. Arts Foundation contributed more than $55,000 to bolster programs such as artist fellowships, arts education and artist training. The South Carolina Arts Gala, the celebration of the South Carolina Arts Awards, takes place May 13 at 7:15 p.m. at 701 Whaley St. in Columbia. Prior to the gala, enjoy a concert featuring Folk Heritage Award recipients, recognition of Verner and Folk Heritage Award recipients, and presentation of the McNair Award to Senator Robert Wesley Hayes, Jr. The concert and awards recognition take place at 6:15 p.m. at Southside Baptist Church, 702 Whaley St. Tickets are $75 per person and may be purchased online with a credit card or check, or by calling (803) 734.8696. Reserve yours today! Images: Top photo, left to right: works by Cindy Saad, John Acorn, and Alicia Leeke. Inset photo: Work by Kent Ambler.

Reserve your tickets for the arts party of the year!

Reserve your tickets today for the annual  South Carolina Arts Gala, taking place May 13! The South Carolina Arts Foundation invites you to celebrate the South Carolina Arts Awards beginning with a special pre-gala concert that kicks off May 13 at 6:15 p.m. at Southside Baptist Church, 702 Whaley St. in Columbia. The concert recognizes recipients of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards and features performances by Folk Heritage Award recipients. The concert also includes the presentation of the McNair Award to Senator Robert "Wes" Hayes of Rock Hill. The gala and an art sale — featuring  fabulous art and food — begin at 7:15 p.m. in the Grand Hall of 701 Whaley (701 Whaley St.). The art sale features original one-of-a-kind artworks by some of South Carolina’s finest contemporary artists, including functional and non-functional craft, paintings and sculpture. Seasoned and beginning collectors alike will find “must have” works and enjoy meeting artists. The South Carolina Arts Foundation designates gala proceeds to help support arts education, artist development and other programs of the South Carolina Arts Commission. Don’t miss the arts party of the year! Tickets are $75 each. Reserve your ticket(s) today!

Senator Robert “Wes” Hayes to receive McNair Award

Senator Wes HayesThe South Carolina Arts Foundation is honoring Senator Robert Wesley "Wes" Hayes of Rock Hill with the McNair Award for his dedication to the arts. The award will be presented at a special pre-gala concert showcasing the South Carolina Arts Awards, which honor recipients of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards. The concert takes place in Columbia May 13, beginning at 6:15 p.m. at Southside Baptist Church, 702 Whaley St., with the South Carolina Arts Gala following at 7:15 p.m. in the Grand Hall at 701 Whaley. Tickets are available online or by calling (803) 734-8696.

As founder and co-chair of South Carolina's Senate Arts Caucus, Sen. Hayes confers annually with arts leadership in the state to develop a legislative agenda for the arts, providing key insights and counsel about issues and opportunities. As a pro-arts legislator, he speaks regularly at Arts Advocacy Day events and statewide meetings and consistently advocates among his colleagues to support the South Carolina Arts Commission and statewide arts initiatives.

“For 30 years, Senator Hayes has been one of the most dedicated and effective advocates for the arts serving in South Carolina's General Assembly,” says Childs Cantey Thrasher, president of the S.C. Arts Foundation. “He understands the role of public support for the arts in improving the quality of life for all South Carolinians and in enhancing the economic well-being of the state. The members of the S.C. Arts Foundation join me in honoring Senator Hayes for his consistent leadership in ensuring that the arts continue to play a vital role in our state’s schools and communities." “Senator Hayes is one of the great champions for public support of the arts in South Carolina,” said Betty Plumb, executive director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance. “Whether the issue is education policy or the state budget, he is always there to stand up and speak out to make sure that all citizens have a chance to benefit from the arts. He is one of the most respected members of the Senate, and we are very lucky that he is willing, time and again, to use his influence to support and defend the arts for the people of our state.” Sen. Hayes is also a 2015 recipient of Winthrop University’s Medal of Honor in the Arts, and in 2013, he received the national Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership from Americans for the Arts and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Established in 2007, the McNair Award is named for the late Governor Robert E. McNair, who signed legislation to create the Arts Commission in 1967 to “ensure that the arts continue to grow and play an ever more significant part in the welfare and educational experiences of our citizens." The South Carolina Arts Gala includes an art sale of original artworks by some of the state’s most recognized artists. Reserve tickets to the gala online or by calling (803) 734-8696. About the South Carolina Arts Foundation Established in 1972, the S.C. Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and supporting the art and artists of South Carolina. Throughout its history, the SCAF has pursued creative ways to help the business community and private citizens contribute to a thriving arts community across the state. The organization is led by a diverse board of directors comprised of statewide business and civic leaders, artists, educators and others interested in supporting the rich variety of artistic expression found in the Palmetto State.