S.C. Arts Awards: Simeon A. Warren

2019 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is taking 15 days to focus on this year’s recipients: nine 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 UofSC. In between the two groups, we’ll run a special feature on S.C. Arts Awards sponsor Colonial Life.

Simeon A. Warren

Arts in Education Category | Individual

Simeon A. Warren is a cathedral-trained stone carver, sculptor, and conservator. By working, teaching, and promoting stones, he hopes to enhance historical understanding of the craft and to create a sustainable, contemporary practice in built environment and heritage.

He advanced through the architectural stone carving program at Weymouth College (England), receiving distinctions for his City and Guilds and college classes work. After, he apprenticed as an architectural stone carver at Lincoln Cathedral (England), where he learned traditional methods of carving stone, installation and quarrying. He received his apprenticeship papers and went on to earn a first-class honors degree from the world-renowned Glasgow School of Art (Scotland) Environmental Arts program.

Warren became an architectural stone carver, and eventually deputy yard foreman, at Wells Cathedral (Somerset, England), working mainly in the banker shop producing stone for both the cathedral and private entities, including Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster.

Charleston came calling, and in 2001 he emigrated to South Carolina. His next stop was as a founding faculty member at the School of Building Arts, hired to work on the Old City Jail and create community workshops. When the school became the American College of Building Arts in 2004, Simeon developed college-level courses for professors, delivered the college’s license to recruit and license to teach, hired the college’s faculty, became dean in 2006, and oversaw the academics of the college through 2013. It received accreditation in 2018 based on the foundation Warren laid and is now considered the U.S.’ leading academic institution focused on training the next generation of master craftspeople.

He stepped down in 2013 with the honorary title of dean emeritus to devote more time to family; teaching; his private architectural stone practice, S.A. Warren & Daughters; and developing The Stone People Project (among other public art projects). As its artistic director, he hopes its long-term research will uncover the names of the master masons who built English medieval cathedrals and hopes to transition it to a multi-site collaborative public art project utilizing English historic sites, events and sculpture practice.

Warren is a professional member of the Stone Carvers Guild and serves as committee chair for the Askins Achievement Award (which he won in 2012) presented by the Preservation Trade Network, where he formerly served on the board, including a term as vice president. In spring 2019, he will begin to teach with the International Masonry Institute.

South Carolina Arts Awards Day is Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with a reception that leads up to the awards ceremony at the UofSC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). The event is free and 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.