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Jason Rapp

‘Springing into the Arts’ in Lancaster

With mural debut, fun events


Lancaster County Council of the Arts is partnering with Lindsay Pettus Greenway and the City of Lancaster for "Spring into the Arts" celebrating public art with the reveal of the greenway's first mural as the event centerpiece.

The Saturday, April 24th event will feature art by children from each of the Lancaster County schools in a Youth Art Month outdoor exhibition on the greenway, an inclusive participatory project titled "Be the Art" for everyone who wishes to participate, a drone video project, live music and a poetry reading, a morning run, a rain barrel workshop, a bird count, arts and crafts for kids, food trucks, and the mural unveiling with an artist talk—all designed to bring attention to and support for Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway's commitment to public art in the environment. [caption id="attachment_43762" align="alignright" width="150"] Amiri Farris[/caption] Artist Amiri Farris designed the Woodland Drive underpass mural, and it will be painted under his direction by teams composed mostly of UofSC Lancaster students and other interested participants. The mural will reflect the environmental mission and beauty of the Greenway. Teams will paint throughout the week beginning on April 19 and ending with an unveiling and artist’s talk by Farris on Saturday, April 24 at noon. Anyone interested in viewing the work in progress is welcome to visit the Woodland Drive underpass during Greenway open hours from dawn to dusk and at the unveiling on Saturday April 24 at noon. "Be the Art" is an interactive “Spring into the Arts” exhibition in which anyone can participate. At 11 a.m., beginning at the Founders Federal access at Barr Street School, participants will carry umbrellas on the short, 7/10 of a mile walk from Barr Street to the Woodland Drive underpass. Anyone who wishes to "Be the Art" will walk single file, wearing masks and socially distanced, along the greenway with umbrellas open while a drone films the moving line of umbrellas. Borrowing from the New Orleans umbrella tradition, this is an interactive and visually bold art piece that highlights inclusivity, movement, color, and the beautiful setting of the greenway. The drone video of this project will be used to highlight the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway in various media and on the LCCA’s YouTube channel. Umbrellas will be given away to the first 250 people who wish to participate. “Youth Art Month,” normally displayed at the Historic Springs House Galleries, features art by Lancaster County School District K-12 students. This year the exhibit will be a one-day event on the greenway. The exhibit will open at 10 a.m. and remain on view until 2 p.m. and take place in various greenway locations between Founders Federal access at Barr Street and Constitution Park (at the intersection of Woodland Drive and Main Street). Spring into the Arts events to celebrate the mural unveiling are as follows:
  • Katawba Valley Land Trust bird count and walk (8 a.m., Nature Pavilion, Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Lancaster Runs (9 a.m., Nature Pavilion, Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Keep Lancaster Beautiful litter pick up (9:30 a.m., Founders Federal access at Barr Street)
  • Nature Crafts for Kids (1-3 p.m., Pier Overlook near Comporium access on Colonial Drive)
  • Catawba Riverkeepers Foundation Rain Barrel Workshop (1-3 p.m., Nature Pavilion at the Comporium access on Colonial Drive. Please sign up at https://catawbariverkeeper.dm.networkforgood.com/forms/april-24-lpg-rain-barrel-workshop)
  • Lancaster County Council of the Arts Lemonade Stand (12-1 p.m., Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Poetry Reading by Lisa Hammond, USC Lancaster faculty and guest poet (Noon, Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Artist Talk by Amiri Farris, guest muralist (Noon, Woodland Drive Underpass)
  • Music on the Greenway with guest musician Bo Beaumont (11 a.m. until noon at the Almetta Street access; 1-2 pm. at Constitution Park)
Parking for “Spring into the Arts” April 24 events is available at the Founders Federal access at Barr Street, Lancaster High School Stadium, Parking Lot at 800 North White St. (former Arras Foundation building), and First Presbyterian Church at 700 North Main St. All events are free and open to the public. Donations to the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lindsay Pettus Greenway are encouraged and welcome by both organizations. Food Trucks Kona Ice and Wilber’s Last Ride will have food available for purchase from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Lancaster High School Stadium lot.

Jason Rapp

New poster series promotes vaccine effort

Creativity + Public Health from the SCAC


Plan your vaccine—that’s the latest message on a series of public health posters created over the last 12 months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the cross-sector initiative of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) called The Art of Community: Rural SC, a community of artists, makers, organizations and local voices have helped support and advance what it means to be healthy and safe through quarantine, closing and opening schools, restaurants, offices and more.
  • BONUS CONTENT: Lea esta historia en español a continuación.
Working with artist Amiri Farris of Bluffton, the SCAC team has used artful and timely messaging to remind people to social distance, wash hands, cover sneezes and coughs, make self-care a priority, uplift and thank essential workers, and love community. “These posters use the full spectrum of ‘rainbow colors’ that get people’s attention,” Farris said. Having empathy for one another is something Farris stresses. “I really want to hug people but we can’t do that, so these posters are a way to reach out to people; to thank workers who are all keeping us all safe and healthy; and to remind us to maintain healthy protocols during times of crisis.” With the expansion of the vaccine eligibility to include a wider array of individuals, this latest poster is just in time. “Special thanks to our internal team who has worked behind the scenes to get these posters created and out—Laura Marcus Green, Abigail Rawl and Jason Rapp,” said Community Arts Program Director Susan DuPlessis. “And to our public health partners who value the role of arts and culture in our state—including the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the South Carolina Office of Rural Health, UofSC schools of public health and medicine.” “And an extra thanks to Maribel Acosta of Art Pot in Berkeley County who helped us create Spanish-language versions of these posters so they have an impact with even more people in our state,” Green said. “We know there is an intersection with the arts and everything in our lives, but it’s especially gratifying in times like these to see how arts and creativity can help our public health experts promote important messages so many people need to hear,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “Partnerships like these further the public value of arts and creativity to all South Carolinians.” The Art of Community: Rural SC is a place-based initiative working in 14 rural communities and the Catawba Indian Nation. “Using arts and culture strategically to advance local places is the essence of our approach. These posters are a great example of what it means to lift local voices and amplify creative spirits for the good of everyone,” DuPlessis said. “We are truly in this moment together.”

The latest statistics on COVID-19 in South Carolina

  • 455,495 total cases
  • 7,851 confirmed deaths
  • as of March 16, 2021
Source: South Carolina Dept. of Health & Environmental Control

Creatividad + Salud Pública del SCAC

Planifique su vacuna- Este es el mensaje más reciente de una serie de carteles de salud pública creados durante los últimos 12 meses en respuesta a la pandemia de COVID-19.

Como parte de la iniciativa intersectorial de la Comisión de Artes de Carolina del Sur llamada The Art of Community: Rural SC (El arte de la comunidad: Rural SC), una comunidad de artistas, creadores, organizaciones y voces locales han ayudado a apoyar y promover lo que significa estar sano y seguro a través de la cuarentena, con el cierre y apertura de escuelas, restaurantes, oficinas y más. En colaboración con la artista Amiri Farris de Bluffton, Carolina del Sur, el equipo de la Comisión de las Artes ha utilizado mensajes ingeniosos y oportunos para recordar a las personas la distancia social, lavarse las manos, cubrirse los estornudos y la tos, hacer del cuidado personal una prioridad, animar y agradecer a los trabajadores esenciales y el amor a la comunidad. “Estos carteles utilizan el espectro completo de los colores del arco iris que llaman la atención de la gente,” dijo Farris. Tener empatía el uno por el otro es algo que Farris enfatiza. “Tengo muchas ganas de abrazar a la gente, pero no podemos hacer eso, así que estos carteles son una forma de llegar a las personas; agradecer a los trabajadores que nos mantienen a todos seguros y saludables; y recordarnos que debemos mantener protocolos saludables en tiempos de crisis.” Con la expansión de la elegibilidad de la vacuna para incluir una gama más amplia de personas, este último cartel llega justo a tiempo. “Un agradecimiento especial a nuestro equipo interno que ha trabajado entre bastidores para crear y publicar estos carteles: Laura Marcus Green, Abigail Rawl y Jason Rapp,” dijo la directora del programa de artes comunitarias, Susan DuPlessis. “Y a nuestros socios de salud pública que valoran el papel de las artes y la cultura en nuestro estado, incluido el Departamento de Salud y Control Ambiental, la Oficina de Salud Rural de Carolina del Sur, la Escuela de Salud Pública de la Universidad de Carolina del Sur y la Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Carolina del Sur.” “Y un agradecimiento adicional a Maribel Acosta de Art Pot, en el condado de Berkeley, que nos ayudó a crear una versión en español de estos carteles para que tengan un impacto a más personas en nuestro estado,” dijo Green. "Sabemos que hay una intersección con las artes y todo en nuestras vidas, pero es especialmente gratificante en tiempos como estos ver cómo las artes y la creatividad pueden ayudar a nuestros expertos en salud pública a promover mensajes importantes que muchas personas necesitan escuchar", dijo el Director Ejecutivo de SCAC, David Platts. "Asociaciones como estas mejoran aún más el valor público de las artes y la creatividad para todos los carolinos del sur." El arte de la comunidad: Rural SC es una iniciativa de educación basada en la región, que trabaja en 14 comunidades rurales y la nación indígena Catawba. “Usar el arte y la cultura de manera estratégica para promover los lugares locales es la esencia de nuestro enfoque.  Estos carteles son un gran ejemplo de lo que significa levantar las voces locales y amplificar las mentes creativas por el bien de todos,” dijo DuPlessis. "Realmente estamos juntos en este momento."
  • 455,495 casos totales
  • 7,851 muertes
  • 16 de marzo de 2021
Fuente: South Carolina Dept. of Health & Environmental Control

Submitted material

SLAY, Lowcountry artists, slay

"Support Lowcountry Artists Y'all" debuts Wednesday


Local artists have joined together to respond to the havoc that SARS-COV-2 and Covid-19 have caused for the world and the arts community. SLAY is an acronym for "Support Lowcountry Artists Y'all." This is a relief effort for the arts community led by noted Bluffton based artist Amiri Farris. Farris wanted to do something about the many Lowcountry artists who experienced a significant loss of income when the COVID-19 virus caused the cancellation or rescheduling of many local art shows, festivals, and galas. Knowing that many in the art community are facing similar difficulties, he assembled SLAY as a collaborative of artists to create content to inspire and engage the community, recover some of that income, and raise funds at this critical time. [caption id="attachment_44582" align="alignright" width="175"]Amiri Geuka Farris' handwashing artwork Handwashing artwork by Amiri Geuka Farris[/caption] SLAY’s founding roster includes:
  • Amiri Farris
  • Natalie Daise
  • Michael Dantzler
  • Sophie Docalavich
  • Dr. Thaddeus Jones
  • Ment Nelson
  • Victoria A. Smalls
  • Calvin Woodum
Heather Bruemmer, executive director of SLAY, knows well the challenges SLAY wants to address. "Many artists, musicians, and other creatives will be left behind by The CARES Act," Bruemmer said. "If you are selling your artwork here and there at shows, or are a recent graduate just getting started, you are going to be left out. The relief only covers people who had an established LLC filed prior to January 31st or were getting paid as independent contractors via IRS Form 1099. Many small independent artists won't qualify." Bruemmer continued, "Worse, recent art school grads who were claimed by their parents last year won't receive the $1,200 per person assistance either. We could lose a generation of young artists who have to set aside their craft. These are the types of artists who are often also without health care. The need is urgent and legitimate." The group is moving quickly to respond to these challenges. SLAY has incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and is expected to launch the website www.SLAYart.org April 1. The initial site will accept donations and requests for relief. As it grows, plans call for the site to be monetized through a membership model. Through this virtual co-op, donor members will receive unique content created solely for this platform from SLAY's roster of established and emerging Lowcountry artists, all of whom have experienced cancellations in recent weeks. A mix of online content, downloads, and mailed deliverables is planned. Farris states that the group will welcome new artists who are passionate about this work and have a connection to the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia to join the effort. At this time the group is focused on serving the coastal counties of South Carolina and Georgia, along with the rural areas that comprise the South Carolina Promise Zone.

BONUS CONTENT: Does his name sound familiar? Learn more about Amiri Farris at the South Carolina Arts Commission COVID-19 response page.

SLAY’s goal is to be able to offer financial support to all kinds of artists and creatives who experience financial hardship during this difficult time. They will be able to apply for relief through a simple application on our web portal and can receive up to $500 in assistance rapidly via the Zelle app. This work will benefit the general public as well as the art world. SLAY will create high quality, contemporary art that comforts, inspires, and educates about practices which will need to be a long term "new normal" in our world long after the immediate threat from COVID-19 has diminished. To this end, public health experts have been engaged to advise on messaging and content that will be beneficial to the overall fight against the virus.

North Charleston Arts Festival design competition winner announced

amirifarrisThe City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce Bluffton, S.C, artist Amiri Geuka Farris as the winner of the 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival Design Competition. Farris’ mixed media piece, "Gullah Islander Toss," will be used to promote the Arts Festival, taking place May 2-10. In addition, the piece will become part of the City’s Public Art Collection. [caption id="attachment_11410" align="alignright" width="302"]Gullah Islander Toss Gullah Islander Toss[/caption] Farris’ design was selected from 53 entries by artists from across the state. The review panel judged the entries based on quality, originality, appeal to festival patrons from a broad range of backgrounds, and ability to convey the spirit of the festival as a public celebration of arts and culture. According to Farris, "Gullah Islander Toss" honors the traditions of the Gullah-Geechee culture and is also an attempt to draw a greater focus to what he calls “a celebration of history.” “You will see elements like dance and rejoicing with references to important cultural elements like the land, cast net making, and artistic traditions,” he explains. The piece is composed of a number of layers that involve design elements such as Adinkra symbols, paint drips, and paint embellishments. The dynamism of these elements represents the passing of time and movement into the future. As with many of Farris’ works, the piece makes reference to specific Gullah traditions and historic elements while blurring the boundaries between traditional and contemporary modes of representation. In addition to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Farris' work has been exhibited and displayed in permanent collections nationally and internationally. He was named the 2008 "Artist of the Year" by the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island and is the current artist-in-residence at the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island. His client list includes numerous cultural, educational, and commercial organizations including the Telfair Museum of Art, The Savannah Children's Museum, Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, Youth Opera International, the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island, Historic Penn Center Landmark, Savannah Jazz Festival, Heritage Jazz Festival, The Boys & Girls Club, The Coastal Discovery Museum, and many others. His work is currently featured locally in an exhibition curated by Jonathan Green titled "Spirit & Memory: Contemporary Expressions of Cultural Heritage," on view at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Downtown Charleston. Farris' art studio, located at the Sea Island Art Center at the University of South Carolina's Beaufort campus, is open by appointment. Farris’ work, including the winning piece, will be on display at the North Charleston City Gallery throughout the month of May 2014. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily and admission and parking are free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery on May 3 and 4 during the Main Event of the North Charleston Arts Festival. T-shirts and posters featuring the winning design will be available for sale. For more information about the North Charleston Arts Festival, call (843)740-5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. Via: North Charleston Cultural Arts Department