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Milly

2021 Biennale makes call for artists

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Friday, March 19, 2021


Art League of Hilton Head invites artists to enter the 2021 Biennale, its 27th National Juried Exhibition, held every other year across multiple media types.

Categories include:
  • Oil
  • Acrylic
  • Pastel
  • Watermedia
  • Photography
  • Mixed Media
  • Three-Dimensional
  • and All Other
Over $5000 in cash prizes will be awarded. The deadline to enter is March 19, 2021. For further information and to enter, go to http://bit.ly/Biennale2021 All accepted works of art selected by three jurors will be on display at Art League Gallery in the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina on Hilton Head Island. This state of the art gallery provides the finest exhibit space with high tourist and community visibility. Prize winners will be chosen by 2021 Biennale judge Marc Hanson. Nationally known, award-winning artist Marc Hanson is a Master Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America (O.P.A.M.), having won numerous awards of excellence throughout his career. He has been published and featured in national art publications including on the covers of Plein Air and Southwest Art Magazine, and in the book 'Oil Painting Secrets With The Masters,' by Cindy Salaski. His work has been shown in museums and galleries throughout the United States and abroad. The 2021 Biennale exhibition will be free and open to the public from May 4-26, 2021. An opening reception and awards ceremony will take place on Friday, May 7, from 5-7 p.m.

Correction

The initial version of this post listed an incorrect start date for the Biennale.

About Art League of Hilton Head

Art League of Hilton Head is the only 501 (c) (3) nonprofit visual arts organization on Hilton Head Island with a synergistic Art Gallery and teaching Academy. For almost 50 years, Art League has been the Lowcountry's creative core for the visual arts with traditional and cutting-edge exhibitions, classes, workshops, lectures and special community art events. To learn more and for a calendar of events, visit http://bit.ly/ArtLeagueHHI.

Jason Rapp

SCAC commitments to DEI, rural aided by grant from Coastal Community Foundation of S.C.

$14,339 grant expands agency work in Lowcountry


For Immediate Release

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A grant awarded to the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) by Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina (CCF) supported commitments to expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion and reaching rural communities.

Visit the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina's website at https://coastalcommunityfoundation.org/That perfectly complements the SCAC’s new strategic plan, released in late 2020, which calls for it to “promote equitable access to the arts” through a renewed focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additionally, the agency has a commitment to expanding arts opportunities in rural communities through such initiatives as its nationally recognized program The Art of Community: Rural SC. Extenuating circumstances in FY19 led to $500 from that year’s Expansion Arts Fund award being held over to FY20, bringing that year’s funding to $14,839. This is how the funds were distributed by the SCAC:
  • Aldwyth, an individual artist in Beaufort County, was granted $2,500 to support the creation of works for Pictures of Nothing or Mr. Varnedoe, Why Abstraction?, a multi-disciplinary exhibition focused on Kirk Varnedoe’s book, Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art Since Pollock. Pandemic restrictions continue to postpone the public display of the works created by Aldwyth and an assistant.
  • Fletcher Williams, an individual artist in Charleston County, was granted $2,500. He worked with a local fabricator and a team of assistants to create the mobile walls for his Picket Fence – Promiseland Consisting of sculpture and large-scale paper art, the installation encouraged visitors to imagine and observe the Aiken-Rhett House as possibly seen through different eyes, times, and sets of experiences. Though delayed, the project opened and was used as a tool to address current events, serving both artistic and social-awareness goals while engaging new patrons who may have previously been unaware of or disinterested in the arts.
  • Marlanda Dekine, an individual artist in Georgetown County, received $2,500 for research related to the experiences of the artist as a Gullah-Geechee descendant living in South Carolina “with a rootedness in Africana & Caribbean being and creolization.” Written and recorded interviews, community engagement, and tours of local museums and plantations assisted in the completion of written-word poetry. The culmination of this work is to be a serial poem offered through spoken word as a site-specific soundscape, or aural architecture, as well as in live performances for the community, with discourse and audience interaction as part of the final product. In this context, Dekine acts as a conduit and witness of present, past, and future.
  • Community arts organization Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen in Colleton County received $7,339 from the Expansion Arts Fund to support the development of WHAM!, Walterboro History, Art, & Music, a new public festival. They’ve used an indefinite delay to reexamine how they implement content for the rural community they serve. By reconceptualizing the initial project, they’ve seen increased interest from artists representing a broader segment of the community and now have a more flexible framework that can be used and reused at any time.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on social media.

Jason Rapp

SOBA issues judged show call for artists

Submission deadline: Monday, March 1, 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.

Winners will be awarded first, second and third place cash awards in the following categories:
  • acrylic,
  • mixed media,
  • oil,
  • pastel,
  • photography,
  • watercolor,
  • 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. March 1 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. Click here to read the registration and a full list of rules. The Judged Show exhibit will be on display from March 1-April 5 at the SOBA gallery. An awards ceremony will take place from 5-7 p.m. March 3. These events are free to attend and open to the public.  Artists can pick up unsold artwork at the end of the show from 9-11 a.m. April 5 at the SOBA gallery. 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.

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.

Jason Rapp

SOBA calls for Lowcountry artists

Submit now for 27th annual juried show

Submission deadline: Monday, March 1, 2021 at 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.

Winners will be awarded first, second and third place cash awards in the following categories:
  • acrylic,
  • mixed media,
  • oil,
  • pastel,
  • photography,
  • watercolor,
  • 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. March 1 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. Registration and a full list of rules are available online. The Judged Show exhibit will be on display from March 1-April 5, 2021 at the SOBA gallery. An awards ceremony will take place from 5-7 p.m. March 3. These events are free to attend and open to the public. Artists can pick up unsold artwork at the end of the show from 9-11 a.m. April 5 at the SOBA gallery. 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.
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, Ohio, 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.
 

Susan DuPlessis

Rural arts and culture initiative expands to 15 counties

Addressing local issues with S.C. Arts Commission program

[caption id="attachment_45057" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mavens join heads and hands to celebrate their local communities and discuss shared challenges in a January meeting in Eastover, South Carolina, hosted by Michael Dantzler. Shown l to r, mavens and their corresponding counties: Brooke Bauer, Catawba Indian Nation/York; Marquerite Palmer, Newberry; Lottie Lewis, Allendale; Betty McDaniel, Pickens; Victoria Smalls, Beaufort; Evelyn Coker, Barnwell; Audrey Hopkins-Williams, Hampton; Libby Sweatt-Lambert, Chester; Luis Rodriguez (seated), Marion; Johnny Davis, Jasper; Michael Dantzler, Richland; and Matt Mardell, Colleton. Photo credit: Sherard Duvall, OTR Media.[/caption]
For Immediate Release

Across South Carolina, an initiative called The Art of Community: Rural SC has taken root, creating new networks, community engagement, partnerships and energy to change minds and build communities together.

The initiative, a program of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC), poses a central question: “How can we use arts and culture as strategic tools to address local challenges we face?” “It’s growing, and it’s always a learning opportunity,” said Matt Mardell, executive director of the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen in Walterboro, South Carolina. Mardell is one of the ‘mavens’ for The Art of Community; Rural SC. He said that, as part of this network of rural leaders and their teams, he is “hearing others’ creative solutions to issues we all face.” He and his predecessor, Gary Brightwell, have participated in the initiative with five other mavens from throughout a six-county Lowcountry region since it was conceived in 2015 and launched in 2016. Mavens in other counties include: Lottie Lewis of Allendale; Dr. Yvette McDaniel representing Bamberg; Evelyn Coker of Barnwell; Audrey Hopkins-Williams of Hampton; and Johnny Davis representing Jasper County. The growth Mardell references is an expansion of the initiative in 2019 that includes a broader swath of rural South Carolina. Nine additional mavens represent their communities from the mountains to the sea and myriad cultures in between. They include the following community leaders and their corresponding counties: Kayla Hyatt-Hostetler of Aiken; Victoria Smalls of Beaufort; Lydia Cotton of Berkeley; Libby Sweatt-Lambert representing Chester; Luis Rodriguez representing Marion; Marquerite Palmer of Newberry; Betty McDaniel of Pickens; Michael Dantzler of Richland; and Dr. Brooke Bauer with co-maven Laney Buckley of The Catawba Indian Nation in York County. How does the initiative work? “It’s a framework built with four critical components:  mavens, local teams, partners and advisors coupled with a state arts agency willing to invest in rural and tribal communities in a new way,” said Community Arts Development Director Susan DuPlessis of the arts commission. All 15 teams, created and led by the mavens, gather locally and as a statewide network to get to know each other better, to listen, and to consider their local assets and challenges—ultimately, to learn together. "Mavens are 'the bridges' who make this initiative work," DuPlessis said. "Knowing that I have a community beyond my community has bolstered me in my local work," said maven Lottie Lewis of Allendale. As part of this initiative, Lewis led members of her local team on a fact-finding field trip to Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, in 2019. They went to explore how another small, rural town had spurred connection and growth using arts and culture. They then planned to integrate some of that learning into their local project. “We learned so much from our new friends in Tamaqua,” Lewis said. “We were inspired by how they engaged their local community to share their ideas about where they live.” Allendale’s local project plan, though, along with the plans of the other 14 sites in this initiative, took an unexpected turn beginning in the spring of 2020. “We all had to shift in how we were engaging with one another and ask what our roles are in this moment of quarantine and separation,” according to DuPlessis who said many of the participating teams shifted their focuses to react to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting social justice issues. Since March 20, the arts commission has convened mavens in weekly meetings to continue the practice of sharing, listening and learning together. "That's what's been so important to me and other mavens who I now count as dear friends," Lewis said. She also notes the spirit of the initiative which, built on trust and relationships, has allowed for flexibility with grant-funded local projects in this “uncertain time.” Each of The Art of Community: Rural SC teams received a $7,500 grant award in FY20 to engage and build community in ways that use arts and culture strategically. “Project plans in January 2020 didn’t look the same three months later in March,” DuPlessis said. Some communities planning festivals and other gatherings have had to postpone those for now. In a number of cases, mavens and their teams retrofitted their projects to respond to the current context and include the following examples:
  • In Aiken, in addition to getting helpful information out about the pandemic, the local project also incorporated the NextGen fight for equality, justice and respect for all people through the creation of a ‘peaceful protest’ linking them with other students around the country;
  • In Allendale, the local project’s focus became community engagement through a celebration of frontline pandemic workers as ‘hometown heroes;’
  • In Bamberg County, the local team developed a 'Little People's Learning Page' to accompany the local newspaper and address learning in a fun, creative way for students who are isolated from one another;
  • In Barnwell County, the Town of Blackville team developed a new dance called ‘The Wagon Wheel’ to engage its residents on social media in a healthy activity during a time of isolation;
  • In Beaufort County, a collective of Gullah Geechee artists used their voices and talents for public service announcements that address safety protocols for the pandemic;
  • In Berkeley County, a Spanish-language video was created to remind its community of best practices for reducing infection rates; and
  • In Chester County, the town of Fort Lawn team partnered with local businesses and state parks to showcase artists' and entrepreneurs' work to help generate income during this time of economic distress.
[caption id="attachment_45056" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Allendale Rural Arts Team, led by maven Lottie Lewis,  celebrated its Hometown Heroes June 19 with recognition of front line workers in the face of COVID 19; and the unveiling of a community mural by Hampton County artist Sophie Docalavich. Photo credit: Xavier Blake.[/caption] Other participating communities in the initiative bolstered their local project planning by addressing infrastructure and equipment needs as they anticipate future community gatherings, festivals and local engagement as part of their community building strategies. For instance, in Walterboro where the WHAM Festival, originally set for March 27-29, was cancelled, Matt Mardell re-examined the needs for this inaugural event by purchasing displays for exhibits and creating a website for the festival--WHAMfestival.org. The festival is now tentatively set for Oct. 23-25, 2020. Set within the framework of “arts plus economic development,” Mardell said, “I know when the festival does happen, we will be ready and even better prepared for it.” In addition to implementing local projects, all participants are invited to join additional activities and programs to build their own toolkits for considering the importance of ‘place’ in South Carolina and in their personal lives. They include a community writing workshop series; a field school offering instruction in documentary skills; and asset mapping workshops. These offerings are all coordinated by the arts commission’s Folklife & Traditional Arts Program. In addition to these activities, a rural networking program called CREATE: Rural SC engages rural creative professionals who serve as conduits between the mavens, the local creative economies and the arts commission. "These new networks and learning opportunities are bridging gaps and connecting us in ways we need to be connected in rural communities and across the state," Hampton County Maven Audrey Hopkins-Williams of Estill said. All 15 communities, along with the arts commission, partners and advisors constitute a ‘learning community’ that spans the state and the nation. Its story has been shared in national and state conferences from South Carolina to Iowa and Colorado; and from Detroit to Washington, D.C. using the voices and stories of mavens, advisors and emerging creative leaders. Also, with more than 25 partners in its national Advisory Council, this learning community has access to a wide range of sectors, insights, geographies and resources for community building using arts and culture. Co-chairs for the advisory council are Pam Breaux, president and CEO for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), headquartered in Washington; and Bob Reeder, program director for Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), headquartered in New York City. Looking at the value of community engagement in rural America, Co-Chair Pam Breaux cites The Art of Community: Rural SC as an exemplar for state arts agencies across the country. "This work has become a leading example of ingenuity in funding, partnership and framework creation for state arts agencies across the country," she said. Art of Community: Rural SC Director Susan DuPlessis was invited to share the initiative at a National Press Club briefing in Washington in January 2018; Mardell of Colleton County joined her as the local voice and example of growth and development through arts and culture as demonstrated through the Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen. More than 25,000 'views' resulted on social media from that presentation. The South Carolina initiative was also included within a rural action guide on developing prosperity, produced by the National Governors Association, the National Endowment for the Arts and NASAA. “This initiative is about re-imagining 'place' in terms of assets, not deficits,” said Co-Chair Bob Reeder whose professional work in the field of community development crosses the nation. “We're building on the strengths of local communities and the power of a network that connects to state and national resources,” he said. “Ultimately, this work is about changing minds.” Concurring with Reeder, Advisor Dixie Goswami of Clemson, South Carolina noted that the initiative makes visible local people, including young people, as "assets with wisdom and knowledge, not as deficient and needing outside help." Goswami is director of the Write to Change Foundation and director emerita of Middlebury Bread Loaf NextGen Network. "We're a state rich in creativity and ingenuity—and this initiative showcases some of that in our smallest communities" said SCAC Executive Director David Platts. "We are grateful to USDA-Rural Development for first believing in and funding this initiative in 2015. We've built a case for creative placemaking—the strategic use of arts and culture to address community issues—and this platform is being showcased nationally. The arts commission has also garnered more support for this approach from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation as well as funding from the South Carolina General Assembly. The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative is part of the Community Arts Development program of the arts commission and is one of three program areas that also include artist services and arts education. “Through this program, we continue to strive to meet our mission-‘to develop a thriving arts environment’ for the people and places in our South Carolina,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Dee Crawford of Aiken, South Carolina. “The arts are invaluable to our communities, both big and small. They are tools for growth, development and social cohesion in each and every county in our state.” Crawford also serves on the Advisory Council for Art of Community: Rural SC. The South Carolina Arts Commission is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and collaborates in its work with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and South Arts. It received funding from USDA-Rural Development to launch this program in 2015; and additional USDA-RD funding from 2017 to 2019. It also has received support from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation for this initiative since 2018. More information about The Art of Community: Rural SC can be found at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/community-development/programs/art-of-community-rural-sc/, including a recently produced film called Meet the Mavens and a brochure featuring all mavens representing 14 South Carolina counties and the Catawba Indian Nation in York County.
ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS COMMISSION With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
  • arts education,
  • community arts development,
  • and artist development.
Headquartered in Columbia, the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.

Jason Rapp

Race in America: How art, and a St. Helena champion, open world’s eyes to S.C.’s Gullah Culture

An interview with Mary Inabinett Mack


Mary Inabinett Mack is a newly-minted recipient of the Governor's Award for the Arts and a legend in her coastal community of St. Helena Island.

Late last week, she was the subject of a story chronicling her community impact through the arts (subscription may be required to read) by David Lauderdale of the Hilton Head Island Packet. Mack was, until recently, owner of Red Piano Too Art Gallery. Her influence in Lowcountry art, in particular Gullah-centric art, is what helped her to the state's highest award for the arts. From the story:

She would get a nursing degree in New York City, raise a family there, and move back home for good in 1977. She was deputy director of the Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services by day, and an art framer by night.

In New York, Mack’s husband took her to an outdoor art display in Greenwich Village, and her walls were never again bare.

“Art fulfills a need,” she said. “It’s like a passion. It lifts my spirit.”

As a student at Penn, Mack sat next to Sam Doyle Jr. They called him “Chubby.”The teacher asked them to bring in something from the community to reflect their lives. Chubby brought one of his daddy’s paintings.We can look back now and see how it changed the course of history.

Verner Award recipient Kathleen Bateson to retire

Lowcountry arts to lose decorated leader in 2020


After leading the organization since 1998, CEO/President Kathleen Bateson has announced her retirement from the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina effective June 30, 2020.  Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Reeves, who has worked with Bateson since 2001, will succeed as president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2020. Bateson will remain with Arts Center as executive artistic producer until June 30, 2020. Bateson’s executive arts consulting history and corporate management experience, particularly in financial and long-range planning strategies, corporate investor relations and international marketing/PR, preceded her current CEO leadership role. During her tenure, the Arts Center has become the state’s third largest arts organization as well as its largest professional producing theatre (110+ plays). Bateson also diversified the Presenting Artists series (270+performers) and expanded the education efforts into the four-county region (265,000+ services).  In 2019 Bateson received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts (seen above), the highest arts honor in the state, which was also awarded to the Arts Center in 2006. Bateson was also recently named to the S.C. Arts Foundation board of directors. Bob Lee, two-time Chairman of the Arts Center Board of Trustees stated, “I cannot express enough the privilege I have had working with Kathi on the Board of Trustees over the last 16 years. While her departure will certainly leave a hole in the hearts of those of us who recognize the many successes and accolades her leadership has brought to the Arts Center, we also recognize that she has assembled a skillful, capable team who will sustain the level of excellence she has created at this community jewel.”

Society of Bluffton Artists searching for local artists

The art district in Bluffton is growing, but where do local artists go to network, to exhibit or to sell their works? The founding members of The Society of Bluffton Artists (SoBA) had this in mind when they started the non-profit organization in 1991. Today, SoBA is a thriving community with an eclectic art gallery and Center for Creative Arts instructional studio in Old Town Bluffton. The group’s organizers are ramping up their membership drive in search of new local artists — from painting and collage to print making and sculpture. “Members are the lifeblood of SoBA,” said Bill Bogle, SoBA president and a local photographer. “Membership provides 11 display opportunities for the year, discounts on the annual Judged Show, consideration for our Featured Artist exhibition, workshops led by renowned art instructors and camaraderie with other artists.” There are three levels of membership:

  • Starting Membership is $75 and includes discounted rental fees of the Center for Creative Arts for private events, invitation to artist member networking events, discounted classes and workshops, as well as promotional opportunities on the SoBA website and newsletter.
  • Exhibiting Membership starts at $200 and includes the starting membership. This level of membership offers artists the opportunity to display and to sell their artwork at the SoBA gallery.
  • The Friends of SoBA donor membership offers three levels of giving that range from $125-$500 and includes all of the benefits of the starting membership. Contributions are 100% tax-deductible will help support SoBA.
Membership is open in all visual art categories: painting, collage, photography, print making, jewelry design, sculpture and more. The jewelry membership categories are filled, but those interested can be added to a wait list. “Running a Gallery is a business and our members help in this endeavor by taking advantage of the many volunteer opportunities, including staffing the gallery, where they greet visitors and promote member art,” said Bogle. For more information about SoBA membership, visit sobagallery.com/memberships/ or contact Mary Burrell, SoBA’s membership committee chairwoman, at maryellenburrell@aol.com.

About Society of Bluffton Artists

The Society of Bluffton Artists (SoBA) is a non-profit organization established to promote a stimulating community environment for the visual arts and assist area students and artists in enhancing their artistic abilities. SoBA is the flourishing art hub in Bluffton’s historic District at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets. SoBA offers regular art classes, featured artist shows and exhibitions. Please visit www.sobagallery.com for a complete calendar of events and other information or call 843-757-6586.

Non-traditional exhibit featured on Hilton Head Island

Eight artists featured through Aug. 24


A new exhibit from the Art League of Hilton Head is now open, featuring watercolors, pastels, ceramics, and oil paintings. Thanks to Transcendence, Lowcountry arts patrons are being introduced to eight artists from Advanced Artists from Allendale. Those artists? All eight are inmates at Allendale Correctional Institution. The works include subject matter such as wildlife, seascapes and landscapes, along with 3D ceramic pieces. Visitors will see oil paintings among the pastels and pen and ink drawings. Clay artists have created some of their best work for this show, according to the Art League of Hilton Head. WJCL 22 has a story on the exhibit, and you can read more from Art League of HIlton Head here.

S.C. Arts Awards: Voices of Gullah Singers

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.

The Voices of Gullah Singers

Gullah Singing The Voices of Gullah Singers—Gracie Gadson and Rosa and Joseph Murray—have performed as an ensemble for five years. Each of these singers has a long and distinguished performing career.
  • Gracie “Minnie” Gadson (right) first learned Gullah songs from her grandmother Queen Singleton, who was a member of the Hopes and John Fripp Praise Houses on St. Helena Island. These praise houses were maintained by Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Gracie has been a member since 1968. In the 1970s and 1980s, Gadson sang with local groups the Soul Survivors and the Praise House Shouters. Her early exposure to the old spirituals and experience singing in performing groups has resulted in a large repertoire of songs, including the shouting song “Adam in the Garden Pickun’ Up Leaves” and the mournful song “Remember Me, Lord,” which date back to the mid-19th century.
  • Rosa Mae Chisolm Murray (center) is one of the few living islanders who attended the famed Penn School. Murray gained early exposure to Gullah songs as a member of the Mary Jenkins Praise House, which still holds Sunday evening services on the island. She later joined the group Gospel Four and the Adam’s Street Gospel Singers in the 1980s. These groups sang gospel songs but also performed reenactments of the slave songs first recorded on St. Helena Island. Murray continues to sing songs such as “Till We Meet Again” and the haunting “Lord Do Something for Me” at festivals on the island. Murray first joined Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1952 and continues to serve as president of the Senior and Adult Choir, thus ensuring the survival of the Gullah spiritual tradition.
  • Joseph Murray’s (left) first experiences with Gullah songs came as he watched his mother Helen Murray dance the ring shout at the praise house in Big Estate, South Carolina. He later sang for many decades with choirs in Huspah Baptist Church in Beaufort. Murray currently serves as a deacon in Ebenezer Baptist Church, one of the few churches on St. Helena Island where the congregation still sings the old Gullah songs. Visitors to Penn Center’s annual Heritage Days Festival are often directed to Ebenezer during the prayer meeting services to hear the old slave songs. Murray’s extensive knowledge of Gullah songs and language has been a critical part of maintaining the tradition within the church.
As the Voices of Gullah Singers Gadson and the Murrays have performed at many events including Heritage Days, The Original Gullah Festival, and local praise house services. Voices of Gullah Singers also features 2018 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipient Deacon James Garfield Smalls. The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina has presented the trio to seven schools in Beaufort and Jasper Counties as part of their program, Reach: A Gullah Musical Journey. The singers truly enjoy singing for students and teaching the next generation their rich legacy of Gullah-Geechee spirituals.
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.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2019 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.