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UofSC SVAD offering artist residency in Columbia

Application deadline: Jan. 5, 2020

The School of Visual Art and Design (SVAD) at the University of South Carolina is accepting applications for its 2020 Artist Residency Program at Stormwater Studios in Columbia. SVAD hosts an Artist Residency Program through its studio space inside of Stormwater Studios, providing essential studio space for students, faculty members, and visiting artists and community members to develop new work, lead workshops, give educational talks, and host exhibitions. We’ve designed our studio to be an ideal working environment for visual artists to test new ideas and experiment with materials. The program is designed to provide a local or regional artist with the time and space to create new works within an established artist community, and the opportunity to engage with SVAD students, faculty, and staff, as well as the greater Columbia community. The participating artist-in-residence will be provided an honorarium of $1,000 to support their work and activity, but housing and transportation are not provided. Participation in Third Thursday Open Studios (March 19, 2020) and with the SVAD and Columbia communities is strongly encouraged. Dates of residency: March 2, 2020 – April 3, 2020

How to apply

Please send the following by email, as one PDF, to svadstrm@mailbox.sc.edu:
  • Digital portfolio (10 – 20 images)
  • Resume
  • Artist Statement describing the following:
    •  current work
    • proposed project while in residence
    •  how you will engage with SVAD’s students and the local community (workshop, presentation, etc.), a requirement of the residency
SVAD is accepting applications through Jan. 5, 2020. (Look, it's a cliché, but it really will be here before you know it.) Semi-finalists will be interviewed and the final artist chosen by Jan. 31, 2020. The full details can be found on their website. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Community Programs Coordinator Anna Toptchi, at toptchi@mailbox.sc.edu or 803.777.4184.

Glenn Hare

Artist Boyd Saunders: a man of many talents

Editor's note: Boyd Saunders received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award for Arts in Education in 2002. He has two works in the State Art Collection, including "Blackberry Winter: A Suite of Six Intaglio Prints," which will be exhibited at the Burroughs Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach Sept. 20 - Dec. 27, 2015, as part of "Selections from Contemporary Conversations Part II." by Glenn Hare [caption id="attachment_22091" align="alignright" width="267"]Boyd Saunders McMaster Gallery features the art of Boyd Saunders in its newest exhibition, "Return of the Wanderer." Among the works on display are lithographs, paintings, etchings, sculptures and drawings[/caption] Boyd Saunders’ studio and storage room are filled with objects that chronicle more than 50 years of art-making. A highly accomplished printmaker, sculptor, illustrator, painter and teacher, his work spaces are filled with bronze statues, framed lithographs and etchings, in addition to paints and drawings paper and canvas. Against one wall is an old wooden desk and leather chair where Saunders reflects on his long artistic journey. More than 30 pieces of work from his career are on display in McMaster Gallery beginning Aug. 27. “Return of the Wanderer,” a solo exhibition, includes lithography, painting, etching, sculpture and drawings developed over the last three decades. The oldest piece was finished 30 years ago, and the newest work was completed barely three months ago. The art demonstrates a long and storied career, but Saunders says this show isn’t a retrospective. “True, the show covers a lot of my work, but it’s focused on the theme of a returning wanderer,” he says. For instance, the etching “Southern Serves the South,” shows a man walking toward a train station with a hat on his head and coat thrown over his shoulder. The foreground includes a railroad-crossing signal with a blackbird resting below the lights. In the background, just beyond the station, is a weathered red Chessie train and a handful of people waiting outside of the station. “The landscape is not a depiction of one particular Southern town, but captures the essence and character of all Southern towns,” says Shannon Lindsey, the director of the gallery. Saunders trained at the University of Memphis, the University of Mississippi as well as the Bottega d’ Arte Grafica in Florence, Italy. He came to the University of South Carolina’s art department in 1965 to teach and with a mandate to establish a printmaking program. He soon became a fixture in the regional art scene. He co-authored two books about South Carolina printmakers and organized printmakers from across the South into the Southern Graphics Council, serving as its first president. In 1989, he published, in collaboration with USC Press, a deluxe limited edition of William Faulkner’s short story “Spotted Horses.” The book featured the complete text illustrated with 34 original hand-drawn and hand-painted lithographs. The project was an homage to Faulkner and horses, two of his favorite subjects. Saunders, who was raised on a west Tennessee farm, has been around horses since childhood. “On Sunday afternoons, my Papaw would hitch up his horse, put me on it and guide me around the front yard. When I was older, I had my own horse. It was a great childhood, straight out of Norman Rockwell,” he says. His desire to be an artist started in early childhood also. His idols were not “big New York artists,” Saunders recalls. “Fred Harman was one of my heroes. He was a westerner who lived on a ranch in Pagosa Springs, Colo. He drew the ‘Red Ryder’ comic strip. That’s what I aspired to do.” Saunders’ talents, however, went far beyond comic drawings. A highly acclaimed printmaker, his works have been exhibited throughout the globe and included in numerous private and public collections, such as the Boston Public Library, the U.S. Wildlife Collection in Washington D.C., and Shanxi University collection in China. Saunders retired from full-time teaching in 2001. But, he continues to produce art, just not every day. “When I retired, I thought every day would be like Saturday and I’d get in the studio and work all day,” he says. “It didn’t happen.” Medical issues, house renovations and family concerns interrupted his Saturday dream. “Life got in the way,” he adds. However, his secret to staying productive is to always have something to complete. “A painting that’s half finished or an etching that needs attention or an plate that needs preparing keeps me motivated,” Saunders says. And he admits that his life as an artist wasn’t well planned. He only had a drive to make art. “When I got into this racket, I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I only knew I wanted a way to make beautiful things,” he says. “Teaching was a way to do that and sustain myself.” As it turns out, he was a very good teacher and he enjoyed it, immensely. “One of the greatest treasures to come out of my entire life and career has been the long line of wonderful students who’ve come through my studio,” Saunders says. “We got to know each other and become part of each other’s lives. Hundreds of them keep in touch with me.” Above image: Southern Serves the South is one of 30 pieces by Boyd Saunders featured in the current McMaster exhibition, Return of the Wanderer. The exhibition runs through Oct. 9.

If you are going As part of the "Return of the Wanderer" exhibition, McMaster Gallery will host an opening reception 5-7 p.m., Aug. 27, and a gallery talk with Saunders beginning at 6 p.m. McMaster Gallery is located in the University of South Carolina's of School of Visual Art and Design at 1615 Senate St. with parking on Pickens, Senate and Pendleton streets. The gallery is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Glenn Hare is a marketing and public relations writer with the University of South Carolina. 

University of South Carolina professor films the “Cotton Road”

Filmmaker Laura Kissel received a South Carolina Arts Commission Media Fellowship in 2007/2008.  Her documentary, "Cotton Road," has been screened at festivals and on college campuses across the country, including the Santa Monica Independent Film Festival, where it was awarded best documentary feature. From the University of South Carolina Story by Glenn Hare

At one point in Laura Kissel’s newest film a shopping cart rolls through aisles of low-priced blouses, slacks, jackets and sweaters. It’s a critical scene in “Cotton Road,” an award-winning documentary, that follows the journey of American-grown cotton across the Pacific Ocean to textile and clothing manufacturers in China, and the return trip of dresses, pants, socks and underwear that end up in retail outlets across the U.S. Laura Kissel“It’s a global phenomenon that I feel hadn’t been fully explored in film,” explains Kissel (pictured right), a filmmaker and media arts professor in the School of Visual Art and Design at Carolina. “The idea started in a small town in rural Georgia where I was working on another film about a cotton farmer.” Fascinated by the process, she learned that the majority — 75 percent, in fact — of all the cotton grown in America is shipped to China to be manufactured into clothing and other products and then shipped back. For a year, Kissel filmed more than 150 hours of footage. Starting in Aiken County, she documented the planting and harvesting, and then followed the cotton to the port of Savannah, Ga. During the first leg of this international odyssey, farmers, gin operators, truck drivers and commodities brokers explain their role in getting the fluffy plant from the fields to southeast China. “It’s a worrisome crop,” South Carolina grower Carl Brown tells the camera. “You worry about it from the time you plant it. You worry about it when you’re getting ready to pick it. You worry about it when you get it picked. The blasted thing will teach you something every year. And most of the time it teaches you something you didn’t want to know.” Once in China, “Cotton Road” focuses on lives of warehouse employees, factory workers, plant managers and even a factory cook, each explaining their role in transforming raw cotton into thread, thread into bolts of cloth and finally cloth into garments. The film records their lives in Hangzhou, Changzhou and Shanghai, where Kissel lived for seven months. “The first time, I think the smell (of cotton) is terrible,” Cathie Xu says in the film. Xu is a logistics and warehouse employee working near Shanghai. “But my boss tells me it’s the smell of money. Now, I like the smell.” Liu Chengfeng, a 19-year-old textile worker, is in the factory to help her family. “My mother said we must repair the roof right away, otherwise the house will flood when it rains,” Chengfeng says while facing the camera. “When I saw they repaired our house, I realized my schooling was over.” [caption id="attachment_17076" align="alignright" width="235"]Textile worker Textile worker in Changzhou, China[/caption] Chengfeng’s story isn’t unusual. Many young women leave China’s rural provinces in search of better lives in factory cities. Chengfeng is part of the largest migration of people in human history. The number of people living and working away from their homes in China is estimated to be 160 million to 230 million people. The impact of Western production standards is also made clear. “Some of my customers would like to give me orders, but the problem is that some American orders require factory inspection,” complains Jiang Guifang while walking through her factory. Guifang is the general manager of the Shanghai Sky-High Fashion Co., a small garment company. “The factory inspection standards are very, very high. For example, no working overtime. If they work overtime, you need to pay them several times their salary. How can we afford those salaries on the prices offered by American companies? I can tell you the truth: All companies that have ‘passed’ inspection have actually done something underhandedly.” In addition to a China-based producer, Kissel was helped by several UofSC faculty members in the making of “Cotton Road.” Music professor Fang Man composed the score, while language and literature professors Michael Hill and Jie Guo helped translate the Chinese to English. Since its completion earlier this year, the documentary has been screened at festivals and on college campuses across the country, including the Santa Monica Independent Film Festival where it was awarded best documentary feature. “Cotton Road” goes on to illustrate how the combination of low-cost labor and the appetite for cheap consumer goods is the force pushing this global transaction. “Clothing production travels to places where labor costs less and ‘human resources’ are plentiful. Most clothing is made by hand and not mechanized,” Kissel says. The industry needs people to sew on sleeves and buttons. Combine that with Western society’s rapacious consumption for cheap goods. “We consume and consume and consume. Somebody is going to have to supply that demand. China has become the manufacturer for the world. “I wanted to implicate the consumer in some way, to bring the consumer into the story,” Kissel says. “The best way to really do that was to think of the life cycle of the  clothing we buy, which we are so quick to discard. It’s the consumer’s responsibility to be aware that our consumption habits have negative impacts on the environment and human condition.”