Columbia honors remarkable women with new statue
Unveiled today across from the State House
At a morning press conference at the northwest corner of Main and Gervais Streets today, Columbia thought leaders and Mayor Steve Benjamin spoke at the official “unveiling” of Architecture of Strength, a brand new monument celebrating the historical accomplishments of women in Columbia.
Designed to inspire inclusion and honor remarkable women, Architecture of Strength will be a permanent monument to celebrate and honor women in Columbia and is an initiative of Columbia City of Women. The position of the monument confronts the lack of women’s representation in the public sphere and speaks truth to power at the physical intersection of the major power in our community: commerce (Main Street) and government (Gervais Street), across from the State House. Architecture of Strength will inspire the community to learn more about and celebrate the historical contributions women have made to our city, to inspire a more hopeful and inclusive vision of our future.
“Women deserve to be seen and heard in this city,” said Ann Warner, executive director of WREN (Women’s Rights Empowerment Network), who spoke at the press conference. “This is a lasting monument to women from the past and present who pushed boundaries, stood up for others, and made Columbia a better place.”
Architecture of Strength, by Deedee Morrison, is made of 316 polished stainless steel pipes that are laser-cut and welded to create the sculpture. It is also illuminated for night-time viewing in its prominent location. The form begins with the foundation, a circular pillar of strength. The layering of the lives in meaning and the contributions of these women to Columbia, create the form. The sculpture is a form made up of many parts, the parts of the female that are invaluable in every community. Family, vision, courage, strength, integrity, honor, hope, resilience, intelligence, compassion, steadfastness, determination and drive hold our community together. The faceless, nameless nature of this art represents the idea that it takes all kinds of women, all shapes, all sizes, and beliefs, to build a community.
The monument’s front faces the South Carolina State House as a direct statement that though there are a wealth of monuments on the State House grounds, and many of them controversial, none of them celebrate women in any meaningful way.
“As one of the most traveled intersections in South Carolina’s capital city, this monument is a daily reminder of women’s strength, perseverance and power,” said Robin Waites, executive director of Historic Columbia, who also spoke at the press conference.
Historic Columbia, WREN, and Columbia City of Women steering committee thank former First Lady Rachel Hodges for her vision of Columbia City of Women, Central Carolina Community Foundation with support from the Knight Foundation, and Beth Richardson for fundraising support. Additionally, Dr. Mary Baskin-Waters and Mr. Samuel Waters, Jerry Davis in honor of Judy Davis, Sue Doran and Dr. Lilly and Mr. Bruce Filler invested in the creation of Architecture of Strength. One Columbia and the City of Columbia also provided support for this monument, as did Holder Properties and Hood Construction.
Architecture of Strength sets a new tone to spark curiosity and awareness of our collective history, simultaneously encouraging bold acts of belonging and inclusion of the underrepresented, marginalized and segregated members of our society. How we choose to honor and remember the past, will always direct the pathway into our future.
This is the moment of embarkation for Architecture of Strength She is to honor the original City of Women honorees, but she provides inclusion for all. From this fixed luminous point, we incorporate a broader, more encompassing view of our history and move into a new dimension of thought. One of wholeness and unity and fostering a broader expression of justice and equality. Architecture of Strength gracefully stands,17 feet tall on a circular foundation. What was once many pieces of stainless steel pipe in varying sizes, is now welded back together, her strength being created from the sum of parts. As I created her I reflected on the many and the nameless who have come before us and shown the way through strength and conviction.
I have deep gratitude to the City of Women and Columbia to have been a part of this public art journey with you.
Architecture of Strength
Fletcher Williams III named Southern Prize finalist
Big award, residency await
At the fifth annual Southern Prize and State Fellowships Award Ceremony last evening, a South Carolina artist figured prominently.
While Florida artist Marielle Plaisir was named 2021 Southern Prize winner and received an award of $25,000, Charleston artist Fletcher Williams III was named Southern Prize Finalist and received a $10,000 award! Both Southern Prize recipients also receive a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.
Both were chosen from among nine 2021 state fellows announced by South Arts in April.
The Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. Each state fellow will be included in an exhibition at the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia from Aug. 20 to Dec. 20, 2021, and touring to additional locations in the region (dates/locations TBD) in 2022.
More about Fletcher Williams III
Fletcher Williams III (b. 1987) is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and painting. Williams received his BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement in Science and Art (2010). He maintained a studio practice in Long Island City, Queens, and later Crowns Heights, Brooklyn before returning to his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, in 2013. Upon his return to Charleston, Williams remained an independent artist and began producing solo exhibitions throughout the City of Charleston and North Charleston, the latest being a site-wide solo exhibition, Promiseland (2020), at the Historic Aiken-Rhett House Museum.
My work engages the rituals and traditions of the American South. My interest in the way we seek to establish place and identity has prompted a working methodology that utilizes found and natural materials and an exhibition practice that incorporates public and historic sites. I often paint with Spanish moss, builds house-like structures with salvaged wood and tin roof, and fashion delicate sculptures out of handwoven palmetto roses. My approach is architectural and figural, tactile, and multi-sensory and unveils my curiosity for both people and place, material, and process.
To view selected artworks, visit his page on 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.
Western Arts Alliance calls for performing artists
2021 Performing Arts Discovery Program
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, June 25, 2021
The U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and Western Arts Alliance (WAA) are pleased to announce a virtual international showcase opportunity for performing artists.
This opportunity is part of the National Endowment for the Arts Performing Arts Discovery Program (PAD). The NEA launched the PAD program in 2015 to promote U.S. artists to international programmers, festival directors, and venue managers.
In this first round, PAD will select 10 artists to showcase virtually at this year’s Western Arts Alliance and Arts Midwest Conferences. Later this year a second round will seek an additional 20 artists and ensembles for additional showcase opportunities. All 30 groups will also be featured on a dedicated platform and included in selected international online showcases.
PAD encourages those who self-identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ+ to apply.
Grants Roundup: Deadlines for the Week of June 14
SCAC Deadlines and Coaching Opportunities
Though not the only way, grants are among the main ways the SCAC accomplishes its work.
Because of their importance to that, and what they mean to so many of you, The Hub wants to help keep Arts Commission grants top-of-mind and reduce the number of times we hear people say, “If only we’d known about (X or Y) grant!”
We can’t reach everybody, but we can try. On Mondays* with deadlines on the horizon, “Grants Roundup” highlights first what grants are due that week and then includes what’s coming later in increments.
*The Roundup might run on Tuesdays when state holidays occur on a Monday.
The state of South Carolina and South Carolina Arts Commission fiscal year runs July 1-June 30 each year. We are currently in FY21.
These are to serve mainly as final reminders to finish in-progress applications. Most grant applications simply cannot be undertaken well in this short a time frame. Consult an appropriate member of our team with questions.
NEXT 30(ish) DAYS
These grants offer convenient, rolling deadlines, but you are advised to apply at least six weeks before your project for some. Check guidelines for specific instructions.
- Accessibility Grants (apps open for FY22 funding July 1)
- Arts Project Support Grants (apps open for FY22 funding July 1)
- Arts Teacher Support Grants (formerly Teacher Standards Implementation Grants … apps open for FY22 funding July 1)
These S.C. Arts Commission rolling deadline grant programs are temporarily suspended to focus our efforts on supporting grantees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Presenting and Performing Arts Initiative Grants (suspended for FY21)
OPEN GRANT APPLICATIONS
- General Operating Support Grants* (apps open for FY23 funding)
- Operating Support for Small Organizations Grants* (apps open for FY23 funding)
- Subgranting Grants* (apps open for FY23 funding)
*Because of limited funding, applications are not being accepted in these three categories for FY22 grants (July 2021-June 2022).
- You are encouraged to also consult the SCAC grants page for up-to-date information on all grant deadlines (subject to change) and deadlines for non-grant programs.
- For next steps, grant guidance, and more information, consult the appropriate member of our team if you are an artist or represent local organizations, an educational institution, or a non-arts business or organization offering arts programming.
Learn the ins and outs of the South Carolina Arts Commission grant application process and how to manage one of our grants from the professionals on the Grants Team! Grants Coaching topical sessions are held the first Thursday of every month.
- Next session TBA
The free topical discussion is held via Zoom. Registration is required. Need to get some assistance with something else? Try a one-on-one call. The Grants Team is available to answer your questions about the grants process with 15- or 30-minute sessions, Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit the Grants Coaching page for further information and registration links.
OPEN COACHING CALLS FOR ARTIST DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
Artist Services Director Ce Scott-Fitts and the SCAC Grants Team are using Zoom to host open coaching calls on artist development grants to better enable artists to make competitive applications for our competitive grants. The sessions are free, but you must register in advance.
- Next call TBA
APPLICANT COACHING CALLS
SCAC program directors are hosts of periodic informational sessions using Zoom about currently-available grant opportunities. Each session reviews a grant’s guidelines and application and includes a Q&A session. Sessions are free, but you must register in advance by visiting the link below to a grant’s guidelines page.
- Next call TBA
North Charleston hiring visual arts coordinator
‘Hands-on job’ installing and curating exhibitions
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Until filled
The city of North Charleston is looking for someone to fill a pending vacancy as its visual arts coordinator.
In the general statement about the position, it’s noted that “under occasional supervision, assists in planning, coordinating, promoting, and supervising programs, activities, and events of the cultural arts department. Performs related administrative and supervisory work as required. Reports to the director of cultural arts.”
A bachelor’s degree in the cultural arts, arts administration, public or business administration, public relations, marketing or other relevant field is required, to be supplemented by 2-3 years of experience in arts programming and administration or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Deadline nears for SOBA 27th Annual Judged Show
Submission deadline: Friday, June 25, 2021, 11 a.m. ET
Lowcountry artists are invited to submit their works of art for The Society of Bluffton Artists’ (SOBA) 27th Annual Judged Show.
(Ed. note: This is an updated version of this previous post. New deadline; same call.)
Winners will be awarded first, second and third place cash awards in the following categories:
- mixed media,
- or 3D.
Registration is required by completing a registration form available at the gallery, located at 6 Church St. in Old Town Bluffton, or by registering online at http://bit.ly/27thjudgedshow.
The cost to register is $25 for SOBA members and $45 for non SOBA members. The deadline for dropping off your art is from 9-11 a.m. June 25 at the Center for Creative Arts, located next door to the SOBA gallery at 8 Church Street. No entries will be accepted after 11 a.m.
The Judged Show exhibit will be on display from July 5 to Aug. 1 at the SOBA gallery. An awards ceremony will take place from 5-7 p.m. July 7. These events are free to attend and open to the public.
The judge for the show is David Rankin. Rankin’s award-winning watercolors are in public and private art collections in the U.S., India, and China, have been featured in more than 150 museum exhibitions, and are included in the North Light’s series, Splash: The Best of Watercolor, and Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing, and in numerous art magazines.
Rankin is offering a “Watercolor Dazzle” demonstration at 2 p.m. July 3 at the Center for Creative Arts. The demo is free for SOBA members and $10 for non-members. Immediate and advanced painters also might like to take advantage of Rankin’s transparent watercolor workshop called “Painting Lowcountry” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 6-8 at the Center for Creative Arts. To register for the class, go to sobagallery.com.
About the Judge
David Rankin promotes conservation and appreciation of the natural world through his paintings and has worked with organizations such as the International Crane Foundation, the Wild Bird Society of Japan, the Corporate Conservation Council-Japan and the Smithsonian Institution. He is a Signature Member of the Ohio Watercolor Society, Artists for Conservation, and the Society of Animal Artists where he has served on the board since 1990. David is one of the true modern-day masters of transparent watercolors, exuding a dynamic passion for the medium in his lectures, demonstrations, and workshop instruction. His art reflects his profound passion for both watercolor and nature. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and lives in Cleveland with his wife, Deanna.
About The Society of Bluffton Artists
SoBA is the heart of the flourishing art hub in Old Town Bluffton’s historic district at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets. As a non-profit art organization, SoBA offers regular art classes, featured artist shows, exhibitions, scholarships, outreach programs and more. Please visit www.sobagallery.com for a complete calendar of events and other information or call 843.757.3776.