Jason Rapp

‘A Fine Hand’ exhibition features accomplished #SCartists

SCAC Fellows, State Art Collection artists included


This is not to be missed.

As it continues to celebrate reopening, Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center opens A Fine Hand this week:

“Dexterous skill, creative imagination and focused intellect pursuing the mystical aura of unique; gifts to the world that cultivate and revere beauty,” is how we envision the purpose and pleasure of this show.

Featured among the 16, #SCartists all, are names familiar to those who follow S.C. Arts Commission goings on. Jeri Burdick, Jocelyn Châteauvert, and Lee Malerich are all former SCAC fellowship recipients and all have works featured in the State Art Collection. Orangeburg's own Dr. Leo Twiggs (modeling his hands above) also appears in the State Art Collection and is a two-time recipient of the Governor's Award for the Arts. A Fine Hand opens this Wednesday evening with a reception from 6-8 p.m. It runs through Wednesday, Aug. 18 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Lusty Gallery (649 Riverside Dr., Orangeburg). Free.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Federal ARP funding webinar + Dreskin, Flowers news

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...

Who's tuning up on a Friday? We are!

Don't miss...

The NEA and South Arts are joining forces to present a webinar on two NEA programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds (more info on those here). Join the webinar TUESDAY, JULY 13 FROM 3-4:30 P.M. to explore these new programs, learn how to register your organization to be eligible for federal funding, gain other resources, and participate in a Q&A session. First-time applicants are encouraged to apply, and this workshop will provide content for first-timers as well as previous NEA applicants.

News from State Art Collection artists!

  • Head to Hampton III Gallery for a new exhibition: Jeanet S Dreskin: 100 Years. Four of Dreskin's works are included in the State Art Collection. The exhibition began yesterday and runs through Aug. 21. Preview online here, or visit in person Tuesday-Friday from 1-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery received the S.C. Governor's Award for the Arts in 2019 in the organization category. 3110 Wade Hampton Blvd., Suite 10 in Taylors. Free.
  • Speaking of Governor's Award recipients, Tom Flowers, a recent, posthumous lifetime achievement recipient, left behind a vast collection of artwork. Beginning tomorrow, some of it could be yours. His family is auctioning off much of it to, in part, fund the scholarship fund in his name at Furman University. Flowers taught there for three decades and was head of the art department as well, and the State Art Collection includes two of his works. The auction runs Saturday, July 10 at noon to Saturday, July 24 at noon.
 

Submitted material

Columbia-area artist directory opens

If you're interested in learning more about or connecting with other creatives in the Midlands region, there's a new resource.

Thanks to a partnership with former Richland Library artist-in-residence (AiR) Crush Rush and One Columbia for Arts & Culture, Richland Library is excited to announce the launch of the Local Artist Directory. It provides an online platform for local artists to share a brief biography, indicate their art medium or area of focus, and exhibit some of their work. They can also add ways to communicate by listing a personal or business website, social media channels, and contact information. You can view the Local Artist Directory through our website at richlandlibrary.com/art and One Columbia for Arts & Culture's website at https://www.onecolumbiasc.com/artist. The Local Artist Directory was part of Rush's final project as the library's artist-in-residence at the end of 2020. He proposed working with One Columbia for Arts & Culture to offer a free online resource that features working artists and allows local residents to engage with or hire artists in our community. If you're interested in becoming part of the Local Artist Directory, you can create an artist profile by visiting https://www.onecolumbiasc.com/artist/. For questions, please contact Emily Stoll at 803.587.3637 or estoll@richlandlibrary.com.

About Richland Library

Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

Jason Rapp

Spartanburg artist explores mental illness, including his own

‘It’s okay to say mental illness.’


Spartanburg artist Bailie will debut his latest body of work—In The Midst of a Trauma, an extensive collection that probes the minds of people with mental illnesses—May 4-29 at Artists Collective | Spartanburg.

Bailie | Bipolar disorder. Click image to enlarge. “After suffering through a mental block and finding help through therapy, I’ve spent the past two years working on this exhibit,” the one-name artist said. “I’m telling everyone that ‘It’s okay to say mental illness.’ That phrase or slogan is my mantra, and I want to bring mental illness out of the dark and explore it in a way that people can come to understand that we all have problems, that we all need a little help from time to time, that we can do better and even thrive.” This multifaceted exhibition includes photography, paintings, multimedia sculptures, video, and creations that defy definition. To create much of this exhibition, Bailie worked with his therapist to interview five people diagnosed with various mental health problems, such as split personalities and manic depression. From those interviews he created six encaustic wax photographs (including one of himself) that depict the person’s mental health. Also, he asked each person to describe his or her worst state of mental health, and from those descriptions, he made six sculptures, including one about his own state of mind. When the photography and sculptures are exhibited, they will be accompanied by the actual questions and answers. All but one person will use his or her real name. “It takes true bravery to put your mental health problems on display for the world to see,” Bailie said. “However, speaking from experience, it is also freeing. It’s like telling the world you are not ashamed. In most cases, people with cancer are not ashamed. Or people with diabetes. Or people with COVID-19. Mental health problems are really no different than physical health problems. If you have a problem, get help, and live your life!” In addition, Bailie will display Scribble Man, a sculpture of a man’s upper body made of wire; a video of an animated white figure crab-walking backward as the body is torn apart and blown away; and a plexiglass box full of pill bottles that represent the many type of mental illnesses and the drugs used to treat them. Bailie | Encaustic portrait | 10x10. Click image to enlarge. To give people insight into his own state of mental health, Bailie has painted several large canvases that depict times in his life that he either struggled with mental illness, looked for answers, and accepted the cards that life had dealt him. In what is probably the most telling creation, Bailie has painted a profile self-portrait that shows him in deep contemplation, emerging from darkness into light. “That painting has more story behind it than what the average patron might get to know,” Bailie said. “Originally, the painting was done about 10 years ago, right after my parents died within two weeks of each other. To say the least, that was a hard time for me. I painted a dark picture with an anguished and agonized face in the center. It was pretty disturbing. To make it even more personal, I had mixed some of my parents’ cremation ashes into the paints that I used. “After going through therapy and discovering some repressed memories about my family, I had to express myself in the most profound way I could,” Bailie continued. “So, I painted over that picture with my self-portrait, a picture that shows me finally coming to grips with why I felt so angry, so hurt, so damaged. Behind my exterior, there are some dark things. But I recognize them. I deal with them. I am passed them. I’m okay.” Establishing professional credibility for this exhibit, Bailie has received both moral and financial support, including that of Mental Health America of Spartanburg, The Carolina Center for Behavioral Health, the Phifer-Johnson Foundation (a family foundation based in Spartanburg that gives primarily to the arts, education, health and human services), and various unnamed individuals.
In the Midst of a Trauma will open for public viewing Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning May 4. Free. A free and public reception will be held Thursday, May 20, 6-9 p.m., during Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk, now returning to its regular third Thursday schedule.

Jason Rapp

Art exhibit spreads wings in the Upstate

'Wings of the City' on display in Greenville

A man in a red shirt poses with giant bronze wings displayed in an outdoor art exhibition 'Wings of the City' on display in San Antonio, Texas.

It's no secret that Greenville has really taken off...

As further evidence, the city is first East Coast landing spot of a famed art exhibit called Wings of the City. The traveling exhibition of Mexican sculptor Jorge Marin's work has giant bronze wings outdoors in Falls Park and on the Peace Center campus. His "Alas de Mexico" sculpture, shown above, is part of the fun and obviously 'gram-worthy if you're so inclined. The Hispanic Alliance of Greenville, a partner of the S.C. Arts Commission, helped make the exhibition a reality. Bank of America, a Governor's Award recipient in 2018, is sponsor. Read more about this from Fox Carolina.

Jason Rapp

Governor’s Award recipient lands new radio gig

ColaJazz to entertain on S.C. Public Radio


South Carolina Public Radio (SC Public Radio) announced a collaboration with The ColaJazz Foundation to produce and broadcast a new, weekly limited series focused on South Carolina’s jazz community.

Titled "ColaJazz Presents," the series will air Sundays at 8 p.m. on all eight SC Public Radio stations, with the first episode slated to debut on April 4 – a fitting premiere date as April is recognized as National Jazz Appreciation Month. The first episode will spotlight the Columbia-based ensemble Les Flat Out Strangers. Host Mark Rapp (right), executive director of The ColaJazz Foundation, will feature performances from a diverse group of South Carolina’s top jazz musicians, as well as interviews with those musicians offering an intimate glimpse into their lives, communities and passion for music. Consisting of 13 episodes, with the last one slated for broadcast on June 27, the series will utilize The ColaJazz Foundation’s ever-growing library of concerts, many of which were recorded over the last year in socially distanced recording sessions where COVID-19 safety precautions were followed. Ed. note: Rapp is no relation to the author of this article. “South Carolina is home to a growing jazz community consisting of some incredibly talented musicians and charming venues that provide a home to their performances. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with The ColaJazz Foundation to launch this new series and shine a spotlight on this burgeoning community,” said SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett.
This project is the result of SC Public Radio’s ongoing strategy to ramp up local programming. Now in its 48th year of broadcasting, the SC Public Radio network covers not only most of the Palmetto State, but also communities that border South Carolina, including Charlotte, Augusta and Savannah. This broad coverage area allows the network to reach an average weekly listenership of approximately 300,000 individuals. “It is with great honor and excitement for The ColaJazz Foundation to partner with and to be supported by SC Public Radio. The weekly Sunday night ‘ColaJazz Presents’ radio show expands our ongoing mission in style, and we can’t wait to share the incredible jazz music being made in South Carolina by South Carolina jazz artists,” Rapp said. Established in 2014, The ColaJazz Foundation is a community-minded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization focused on growing, supporting and promoting jazz in the Midlands through events, education, recordings, resources and advocacy. The ColaJazz Foundation is a recipient of the 2021 South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts, the state’s highest award for achievements in practicing or supporting the arts. For more information on ColaJazz Presents, click here.

Jason Rapp

Artisphere, Ag + Art Tour announce spring plans

In-person opportunities continue to increase


That bright thing is back in the sky today.

One's thoughts inevitably turn to spring on days like today. The days are zipping toward March and there's a warmer weather pattern to enliven the spirit and enhance mood. With so many people yearning for some semblance of routine to return, and time drawing nearer to outdoor events being more palatable, two South Carolina (outdoor) arts festivals announced plans to come back after joining so many on an unfortunate (but understandable) one-year hiatus.

South Carolina Ag + Art Tour (weekends May 29-June 27)

This is an annual crawl across several South Carolina counties that showcases things South Carolina does well. (You probably guessed what from the event's name.) Starting the final weekend in May, and every weekend in June, explore the agriculture and artistic heritage of South Carolina through the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour.  This experience is a free, self-guided tour of designated farms in South Carolina, featuring local artisans and farmer's markets. This year you can plan to make visits in these counties: Charleston, Chester, Chesterfield, Colleton, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, Newberry and Richland + York. The festival is organized by Clemson University Cooperative Extension.

Artisphere (May 7-9)

Hailed as one of the country's top arts festivals, Artisphere announced yesterday that it's returning to Greenville's Main Street for its usual Mother's Day Weekend run. Like so many things, it won't quite be the same—at least not yet. Masks will be mandatory, attendance will be limited and everyone will be funneled through one of three entry points. And, just for this year they say, it will be confined to the West End Historic District on South Main. Reservations for 2.5-hour time slots will be available to the general public starting March 15 for a $5 fee that will be returned upon admission as a credit to buy art. Sign up for notification and learn more about Artisphere 2021 here. (Disclaimer: the S.C. Arts Commission provides operating support to Artisphere that is tangential to this newsworthy item.) The Hub will try to keep readers updated on additional festival announcements as they occur.
Image by kie-ker from Pixabay

Jason Rapp

McKissick Museum announces reopening date

Museum resumes telling story of Southern life next week


The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum is excited to announce that it will reopen to the public on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

The museum is set to debut two new exhibits, Child’s Play, and the final iteration of the popular exhibit, Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection. Visitors will be able to enjoy the entire museum—including A Laughing Matter? Political Humor Through the Years and the Museum’s permanent exhibition, Natural Curiosity with new safety measures in place. Protective measures will include timed admission tickets, limited gallery capacity, an increased cleaning schedule, and the required use of face coverings and physical distancing. McKissick will continue to be free and offer a robust digital events calendar for 2021. Timed admission tickets will be available by the hour and up to two months in advance via Eventbrite or by calling 803.777.7251. Guided tours are available by request and are capped at 8 participants.

Reopening event

Guests are invited to celebrate McKissick’s reopening on February 11th for an evening of curator-led tours of our newest exhibitions. Guests will take a trip down memory lane with Curator of Exhibitions Giordano Angeletti and explore the messages we send and receive from toys in Child’s Play, and explore the final iteration of the ever-popular exhibition, Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection, with Chief Curator of Folklife and Fieldwork Saddler Taylor. Free timed tickets are available on the half-hour from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with quantities limited. Guests can reserve reopening reception tickets online or by calling 803.777.7251. Use of face coverings and physical distancing will be enforced.

Jason Rapp

State Art Collection returns to Greenville this evening

‘Contemporary Conversations’ at Greenville Center for Creative Arts


Selections from the 466-piece State Art Collection go on exhibition at Greenville Center for Creative Arts (GCCA) in “Contemporary Conversations” starting Thursday, Dec. 4 and running through Jan. 27, 2021.

  • WHO:           Greenville Center for Creative Arts + South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC)
  • WHAT:         The State Art Collection: Contemporary Conversations
  • WHEN:        Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 through Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 Wednesdays through Fridays from 1-5 p.m.
  • WHERE:      Greenville Center for Creative Arts (101 Abney St., Greenville)
Contemporary Conversations begins with an opening reception Friday, Dec. 4 from 5-8 p.m. The reception is free, but registration is required. Following the reception, the public can view the exhibition in person Wednesdays through Fridays from 1-5 p.m. until it closes Jan. 27. An online gallery is to go live once the exhibition begins for those who prefer a virtual experience. (Ed. note: the virtual gallery is live as of Dec. 17.) Eleanor Heartney, New York-based contemporary art critic and author, is the curator for Contemporary Conversations. She will give an artist talk Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 6-7 p.m. at the gallery and via Zoom. Registration is live for the free talk.
Established in 1967 as one of the first programs of the SCAC, the State Art Collection has grown to include 466 works in a variety of media and styles by 288 South Carolina contemporary artists. It serves to encourage, support, and promote South Carolina’s creative visual artists (#SCartists) and is of historic and cultural importance to the people of the state. Small exhibitions featuring work from the collection are organized on a regular basis for rural and isolated areas inside and outside of the state. The collection is supported in part by the South Carolina Arts Foundation.

Jason Rapp

‘Communal Pen’ virtual writing workshop is back in October

Two-part writing workshop continues S.C. tour

Medlock Bridge Park
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Communal Pen, a creative writing workshop presented by the S.C. Arts Commission and South Carolina Humanities, is back for more on Saturday, Oct. 24 to help you write to celebrate memories, stories, and traditions of place... continuing its reimagined virtual format with a brand-new theme! SC HumanitiesWhat are the memories, stories and traditions that make your community home? What landmarks, customs, sights and sounds connect us with family, friends and neighbors, while highlighting our unique experience and identity? Sometimes, you’ve just got to write it down!
Facilitator EBONI RAMM will lead the virtual workshop as you write to celebrate and explore connections to place and community. Often, it is in our written words that memory lives. The writing process can itself help us to awaken and preserve thoughts and traditions, offering insight, understanding and respect to present and future generations. In conjunction with the traveling exhibit, Water/Ways, the South Carolina Maritime Museum in Georgetown is hosting this two-part writing workshop, which will be conducted over two Saturday mornings next month:
  • 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24
  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31
Space is limited; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis online or call 803.734.8680. The new format does not support walk-ins as previous workshops have. Share it with your friends on Facebook! NOTE: marking yourself as "Going" on Facebook DOES NOT register you for Communal Pen. No previous experience necessary! Although Communal Pen is a virtual program, the Water/Ways exhibit will be on display at the South Carolina Maritime Museum from September 28 through November 8.
The Communal Pen writing workshop draws inspiration from the new Smithsonian exhibit, Water/Ways, which is touring South Carolina with the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) Traveling Exhibition Service from June 2020-April 2021. MoMS provides access to the Smithsonian for small-town America through museum exhibitions, research, educational resources, and programming. Exhibit themes and images are a springboard for igniting our own stories, giving voice to our shared and individual experience of place. Communal Pen is developed through the S.C. Arts Commission’s place-based initiative, "Art of Community: Rural SC," a new framework for engagement, learning, and action in rural communities. The writing workshops are coordinated through the SCAC’s Folklife & Traditional Arts and Community Arts Development programs, with generous support from South Carolina Humanities.
Deeply rooted in South Carolina, "Communal Pen" writing workshop creator and facilitator Eboni Ramm fell in love with the arts at a very young age and was encouraged throughout her youth to express herself. Today, an accomplished poet and jazz singer, she invites audiences of all ages to share her passion for combining these art forms, highlighting her belief in the powerful influence of jazz on the American literary experience and aesthetic. She has taught her unique Jazz Poetry Salon at residencies with the Richland County Public Library, Arts Access South Carolina, Youth Corps, Fairfield Middle School, McKissick Museum, and ColaJazz’s partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, among others. Other selected accomplishments include her publication, Within His Star: The Story of Levi Pearson, celebrating Eboni’s ancestor who added strength to the unprecedented Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the release of her poetry CD, Passion, and her jazz CD, The Look of Love. Learn more about Eboni at www.EboniRamm.com. "Communal Pen: Water/Ways" coordinator Laura Marcus Green is program specialist for community arts & folklife at the S.C. Arts Commission, where she provides statewide outreach and project coordination through the Art of Community: Rural SC initiative and other projects, while managing folklife grant and award programs. She holds a Ph.D. in folklore from Indiana University and an M.A. in folklore/anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Selected prior positions include folklife & traditional arts program director at McKissick Museum, community engagement coordinator for the Museum of International Folk Art’s Gallery of Conscience, and work as a folklife fieldworker and researcher, writer, curator and consultant for various arts and culture agencies nationwide. Having attended, coordinated, and facilitated diverse workshops, she is a devoted believer in the power of community writing.