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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.)

South Carolina’s largest private art collection

The Hub will pardon you if you get a little disoriented here, but bear with us. [caption id="attachment_36014" align="alignright" width="600"] The Battle of Gettysburg: Repulse of Longstreet's Assault, July 3, 1863 - James Walker[/caption] What happens when Charleston's daily newspaper writes a feature on the state's largest private art collection, which happens to be in Spartanburg? You get a story that's worth every moment it takes to read. Seriously. Hats off to Adam Parker of the Post & Courier for this feature piece on the ultra-significant Johnson Collection. (Ed. note: The Hub checked in on The Johnson Collection a couple weeks ago when it gifted the above work to the Spartanburg County Public Library.)

But don’t think all this art is sequestered away in a private residence somewhere for the sole enjoyment of the Johnson family. What began as a simple interest in collecting fine art of the Carolinas has become a public enterprise. The inventory has grown so much that it requires a small staff to manage it.

The enterprise is unusual. It’s not a nonprofit. It has no board of directors. It can’t accept donations. It provides no tax benefit to its operators. It generates no revenue. Rather, it is a philanthropic venture with millions of dollars in annual expenditures.

To borrow a line from our friends at the S.C. Arts Alliance, make this today's lunchtime reading.  

Massive ‘Gettysburg’ painting finds new home in Spartanburg

It began as a temporary visit. [caption id="attachment_36014" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Battle of Gettysburg: Repulse of Longstreet's Assault, July 3, 1863 - James Walker[/caption] On loan for a time from the Johnson Collection, The Battle of Gettysburg: Repulse of Longstreet’s Assault, July 3, 1863 will now not be checking out of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries’ permanent collection. On display since May 2016 in the Moseley Gallery at the Headquarters Library, the panoramic painting records the dramatic sweep, as well as particular details, of the longest—and bloodiest—engagement of the American Civil War. The defeat of Confederate forces in the Pennsylvania countryside marked a critical turning point in the conflict’s outcome. A gift from Susu and George Dean Johnson, Jr., it measures 20 feet in length and over seven feet in height. The monumental canvas was acquired by the Johnson Collection in 2004. In an effort to increase its visibility and maximize its teaching potential, the library leadership and Johnson family initiated a public-private partnership in 2016 which resulted in the work’s relocation from a corporate headquarters to the Moseley Gallery. At its new—and now permanent—home, the painting is available to the Headquarters Library’s nearly 500,000 annual visitors. “Understanding our nation’s complex past is perhaps the best way to prepare for its future,” George Johnson noted. “America’s history belongs to its people, and by placing this remarkable document in public hands, we hope to ensure that the moments it records and the lessons it imparts are accessible to everyone.” “The Libraries’ Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Spartanburg County Libraries are grateful and honored that the Johnson family, who have been long-time patrons of the Library, are entrusting us with The Battle of Gettysburg,” says Mary Speed Lynch, Chair of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries' Trustees. “This widely renowned and much celebrated work of art is an invaluable resource for scholars, art lovers, students and historians.” Read more about how the library is displaying the work from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.


The Battle of Gettysburg was executed by James Walker (1819-1889), an English immigrant who earned accolades as a painter of battle scenes during the Mexican War, skills he later put to use making sketches of key Civil War conflicts. After the war, Walker began to collaborate with John Badger Bachelder (1825-1894), a photographer and topographic artist who had been attached to the Union army as an illustrator. In the immediate aftermath of the 1863 conflict, Bachelder began an on-site study of the scene and the principals involved. The resulting isometric map led to Walker’s commission to create a massive painting that details the battle’s particulars. Completed in 1870, Walker’s grand canvas captures the dramatic conclusion of the three-day battle, which marked a turning point in the war’s tide. Bachelder’s meticulous research and Walker’s precise technical skill combined to produce an epic visual record of the event, including regimental positions, combat vignettes, Union and Confederate soldiers, noble steeds, victory, and defeat.
Established in 2002, the Johnson Collection includes more than 1,200 works of fine art relating to the American South. Those works are made available to the public at numerous locations throughout Spartanburg, including TJC Gallery, located at 154 West Main St. This exhibition space hosts rotating exhibitions drawn from the collection’s holdings and is open to the public at no charge on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., as well as during the city’s monthly Art Walk. In addition, large-scale exhibitions travel to museums across the Southeast. The collection’s newest book, Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection was released in June by the University of South Carolina Press. That publication’s companion exhibition is presently on view at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, and will travel to six additional venues in six different states through 2021. The mission of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries is to create, connect, change.

Submitted material

South Arts grants support “Southern Creative Places”

South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization serving nine Southern states, has announced $78,189 in grants to 18 communities in the region. South Arts LogoThese grants, made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Georgia Council for the Arts, support the planning and execution of creative placemaking projects predominantly in small and rural communities in the South. “Creative placemaking uses arts and culture to activate and animate communities,” said Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “Creative placemaking puts arts, culture and creativity at the center of planning and problem-solving. It brings people and partners together to design creative solutions to community challenges using arts and culture as catalysts. The results can be more connected communities, enhanced quality of life, more economic opportunities, and the showcasing of a community’s most unique characteristics.” The grants, which must be matched by the recipient organization, support organizations in South Arts’ region. Organizations applied this spring and were recently notified of their status. “In our new strategic plan, South Arts has made a commitment to address the evolving needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs,” continued Surkamer. “Supporting these creative placemaking efforts – from a small-business incubator for creative entrepreneurs to public art projects embracing civic pride and even a project using the arts to promote healthy eating and locally-grown produce – is an important step in serving the cross-sector needs of our region through the arts.” The Southern Creative Places grant program represents South Arts’ first programmatic offering in the arena of creative placemaking, following up on its successful co-sponsorship of the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in March 2018 in Chattanooga. For more information about opportunities from South Arts, visit 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.
S.C. Grant Recipients
  • The Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg received a $5,000 grant to establish a cultural center in the majority Hispanic community of Arcadia.
  • The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs received a $5,000 grant to implement the conNECKted Too project, pairing artists with tiny businesses in an isolated part of Charleston.
  • Fresh Future Farm, Inc. in Charleston received a $3,038 grant for a community mural project celebrating community history and promoting healthy, locally-grown foods.
  • The Holly Springs Center in Pickens received a $4,365 grant to present a festival of Appalachian arts on the grounds of a former school.
  • The Town of Estill received a $3,375 grant to create a mural celebrating diversity.

Four artists honored with S.C. Arts Commission fellowships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 25 June 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina artists in Charleston, Horry, Richland and Spartanburg counties representing four arts disciplines received individual artist fellowships after approval by the S.C. Arts Commission board in Columbia. All individual artists working in prose, poetry, and theatre acting and playwriting were invited to apply for awards for fiscal year 2019. The S.C. Arts Commission board approved $5,000 fellowships based on recommendations made by out-of-state review panelists, who select these fellows after  reviewing anonymous work samples:

  • Rutledge Hammes of Charleston County for prose,
  • Stephen Tulloh of Spartanburg County for poetry,
  • Paul Kaufmann of Richland County for theatre acting,
  • and Kevin Ferguson of Horry County for theatre playwriting.
Fellowships recognize and reward the artistic achievements of South Carolina's exceptional individual artists. They are awarded through a competitive, anonymous process and based solely on artistic excellence. Recognition from fellowship awards often lends artistic prestige and opens doors to other resources and employment opportunities. “Past fellows are quick to share stories about the transformative difference award dollars make and the positive effect on their spirits and their self-perception,” S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Ken May said. “It can truly be a life-changing experience. South Carolina’s artists are indispensable contributors to quality of life in our communities and make up the core of our creative economy. A fellowship is one of the best ways the people of South Carolina thank them, and our agency is proud to deliver these tokens of gratitude on their behalf.” The panelists who judged each discipline’s nominees work in those disciplines elsewhere. This year’s prose judge was Jamey Hatley of Memphis, Tenn., an author who received a prose fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2016. The poetry judge was poet Shane McCrae of New York City, an NEA poetry fellow and writing professor at Columbia University. Nancy Rominger of Montgomery, Ala., director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, served as the theatre acting judge. The theatre playwriting judge was Betty Peterson, an English professor at Somerset (Ky.) Community College. Four fellowships per year are awarded to artists who work in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: visual arts, craft, and music performance or composition, will be honored in fiscal year 2020. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the S.C. Arts Commission. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit http://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grants/artists/fellowships.shtml.

About the FY2019 South Carolina Arts Commission Fellowship Recipients

PROSE F. RUTLEDGE HAMMES | Charleston County “What I write, at its very best, is some illegitimate hybrid of South American magical realism and Southern Gothic I like to think of as Southern Fabulism,” Rutledge Hammes says of the sum of his prose. Hammes, who lives in Charleston, is the writer-in-residence and creative writing teacher for the Charleston County School of the Arts. His students, throughout a 10-year tenure, have accounted for more than 3,500 regional and national writing awards. The city’s 2011 “Best Up-and-Coming Writer” is co-author of two published novels. His first solo novel, A Curious Matter of Men with Wings, is to be published under his name this September. He is the winner of six ADDY Awards for copywriting and winner of the Cypress Dome Fiction Awards. His talent extends to poetry, where he was a finalist for both the Montage Poetry Award and the Paul Laurence Dunbar Award for Poetry. POETRY STEPHEN TULLOH | Spartanburg County Stephen Tulloh received his MFA in creative writing from the University of South Carolina. The Spartanburg resident has spent time as a tutor and instructor on the collegiate level, where he develops and implements subject- and student-centered courses which nurture creativity, empowerment, self-actualization. As a writer, though, Tulloh considers himself versatile and meticulous as he creates essays, books, and articles for traditional or digital publication. He blogs and has three credits to his name: two out-of-print collections of essays, activities, and lectures on communication and writing; and 2009’s Symmetry, described as “retrospective, introspective, emotive, and somewhat innovative, the poems and drawings in Symmetry focus on two siblings' relationships – with nature; with one another; with family, friends and foes.” THEATRE: ACTING PAUL KAUFMANN | Richland County Though an actor for most of his life, Paul Kaufmann is a multi-faceted artist: playwright, songwriter, fiction and copy writer, and a visual artist. A resident of Columbia with a bachelor’s in communications from Florida State University, he is a veteran of the city’s theatre scene, serving as a cast member in stage productions at Trustus Theatre and at USC. His resume includes appearances in productions in New York City, Wales and on screen in Third Reel, a Jason Stokes film. He has been the principal at Kaufmann Forensic Actors for 12 years. His company contracts 20 actors from across the U.S. to provide actors to the FBI, ICE and other federal and state agencies for use in scenario-based training, where they portray victims of myriad crimes. THEATRE: PLAYWRIGHTING KEVIN FERGUSON | Horry County He describes himself as a son, friend, actor, counselor, teacher, mentor, playwright, dramaturg, and a literary manager, but “not always in that order,” says Kevin Ferguson of Little River on his website. He is credited with writing six plays: five original, and an adaptation of Dickens’ famed A Christmas Carol. His work was included in a short play anthology in 2015 and he contributed to a nine-vignette collection of works with other playwrights. Ferguson teaches playwriting and dramaturgy at Coastal Carolina University. He earned an MFA in playwriting with a concentration in dramaturgy from Hollins University. He is playwright-in-residence, literary manager, and resident dramaturg at Atlantic Stage in Myrtle Beach. He is also the resident Dramaturg at the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins.

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.

Former SCAC grantee exhibits in Spartanburg

A new exhibition at Wofford College is dedicated to lithographer Jim Creal - one of the first recipients of an Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. AVI grantsJim Creal 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. From GoUpstate.com:

Another grant, one from the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Artist [sic] Venture Initiative program, allowed him to set up to produce lithographs in his Spartanburg studio and to study under artist and lithographer Lynn Froelich of Charlotte, N.C.

"Lithography is a very twitchy print process, and many of these lithographs would not exist but for the collaborative help of Lynn to print them,” he said in a statement.

Lithographs are “stone prints” created using a large limestone slab on which to draw the desired image with “greasy tools” such as lithographic crayons and utilizes the fact that oil and water do not mix.

Creal created a 25-lithograph collection titled "The South Carolina Coastal Lithographic Project." The new exhibition shows 20 of the lithographs at the Richardson Family Art Museum in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College. This Thursday at 7 p.m., Creal will give a talk at the museum, and admission is free. The exhibition runs through Saturday, Aug. 4.

Tuning Up: Spartanburg grants + veterans ‘Paint & Jazz’ in Columbia

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...


Grants ceremony in Spartanburg. Chapman Cultural Center, the leading arts agency in Spartanburg County, will award 20 arts and cultural organizations and 7 artists a total of $621,200 during a public ceremony on June 12. The ceremony will take place inside the theater at the Chapman Cultural Center at 3:30 p.m. and will acknowledge grantees and the impact they make in the Upstate community. Free. RSVP and get more details here. A little Saturday morning "Paint & Jazz." Our partner Arts Access South Carolina and the Richland County Recreation Commission are presenting an art event tailored for veterans and their adult family members to become actively engaged through the arts and jazz! Enjoy a Saturday morning of painting and jazz with Columbia area artist Keith Tolen in this "Year of the Veteran" on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to noon. Free. Register (required) here before it fills up! (We'll remind you again closer to the event.) ICYMI... The SCAC exhibition SC.FELLOWS Part II is offering three, free lunchtime talks starting next week at the Ponder Gallery at Benedict College in Columbia.  

Time to make hay

The first weekend in June is just days away, and that means it’s time for another arts festival in South Carolina. More low-key than its larger brethren, the Ag + Art Tour (Ag and Art Tour) continues to grow and in 2018 is spread throughout 12 counties. Ag + Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of designated farms in South Carolina featuring local artisans and farmer's markets.  During this tour you will have the opportunity to see first-hand where your food comes from, watch artists in action and purchase their works, dance to the melodies of bluegrass and folksongs, and learn more about rural life. It’s the largest free farm and art tour in the nation with more 30,000 visitors participating since it began in 2012. And it’s ready to, ahem, make hay for the next four weekends in the counties of:

  1. Chesterfield County (June 2-3)
  2. Darlington County
  3. Florence County
  4. Horry County
  5. Kershaw County
  6. Chester County (June 9-10)
  7. Lancaster County
  8. York County
  9. Fairfield County (June 16-17)
  10. Newberry County (June 23-24)
  11. Union County
  12. Spartanburg County
2018 Tour Times
  • Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sundays 1-5 p.m.
Once again, yes, admission is free, but there will likely be a charge to purchase food, beverages and a farmer’s and/or artisan’s products. Some activities may also have a cost. Head to the Ag + Art Tour website to begin plotting the course that works for you. (And do them a solid: don’t forget to use the hashtag #agandarttour in your social media posts.)

S.C. Arts Awards: Ballet Spartanburg

2018 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2018 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 10 days to focus on this year's 10 recipients: five receiving the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts and five receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at USC. This week, the Verner Awards recipients are featured.
[caption id="attachment_34827" align="alignright" width="205"] Dancer Charlotte Lanning[/caption]

Ballet Spartanburg

Organization Category Ballet Spartanburg’s mission is to promote dance and dance appreciation in Spartanburg County and surrounding areas by providing the highest quality dance training, education, performance and outreach. In 1966, a group of 85 ballet enthusiasts and visionaries under the leadership of the late Majorie Riggs, met at Converse College and decided that Spartanburg needed to have the opportunity to enjoy live classical ballet. They began working as a group to create a charter named The Ballet Guild of Spartanburg. Memberships were $5 for an Active Member, $15 for a Patron, and $25 for a Sponsor membership. Today, Ballet Spartanburg is recognized as a regional dance company with an exceptional commitment to education and outreach activities in the Upstate. Ballet Spartanburg has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, the Koger Center in Columbia, at the Peace Center in Greenville, TEDxTryon and in Houston and Forest City. For the past five years, Ballet Spartanburg has retained the only resident professional company in the Upstate, one of only four in the state of South Carolina. The Company has performed in Houston, Texas, and North and South Carolina. The Center for Dance Education began in 1967 under the direction of the late Barbara Ferguson. The Center now instructs 350 students from over 30 ZIP codes, all under the direction on Ballet Mistress Lona Gomez. With an ever-growing outreach program, Ballet Spartanburg offers lecture/ demonstrations in partnership with Spartanburg school districts with after school programs, in-school performances, artists in residence, and free performances of Peter & the Wolf. Ballet Spartanburg also partners with the City of Spartanburg to offer summer programs for at-risk youth and the Boys and Girls Club of the Upstate and offers performances at nursing homes, hospitals, and community events. Celebrating 51 years embedded in the Spartanburg community, Ballet Spartanburg’s programming continues to evolve with the dance needs of the community and its students, adding new variations of dance classes with opportunities to extend dance knowledge, technique and new performances to new audiences. For more, visit BalletSpartanburg.org.
South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Gov. Henry McMaster will present each recipient's award beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the State House. The event is open to the public. Following the ceremony, the South Carolina Arts Foundation honors the recipients and the arts community at the S.C. Arts Awards Luncheon and Art Sale. Tickets are $50. Please go here for more information and reservations.

Tuning Up: ‘Pure magic’ at DOHS, extension for coastal artisans 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...


  • You might remember us mentioning that musicians from chamber ensemble Decoda, including S.C. native and cellist Claire Bryant, did a week-long residency with students at Denmark-Olar High School at the end of March. Read here about how it went!
  • Now go fly a kite. No, really! Spartanburg Soaring is back on Saturday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. And you can even volunteer.
  • Extension for coastal artisans: today is now the last chance to register for the free workshop in Georgetown.