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African American fiber artists sought for annual exhibition

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Wednesday, March 1, 2023


The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is seeking entries from African American textile artists from across the nation for a special exhibition presented as a component of the 2023 North Charleston Arts Fest, set to take place May 3-7.

[caption id="attachment_51687" align="alignright" width="300"] Together As One | L. Brown | submitted image | Click to enlarge.[/caption] African American artists, ages 18 and up, living in the U.S. and working in the medium of fiber are invited to participate in the 16th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition, titled "Sister Girl Friends (and Brothers, too)." The exhibition will be on display at North Charleston City Hall, opening on the first day of the Arts Fest, May 3, 2023, and remaining on view until June 18, 2023. A $30 entry fee allows artists to submit a maximum of four entries for consideration. Up to two entries per artist may be selected by the curator of the exhibition. Artwork submitted for consideration does not have to be complete at time of entry. Artists may enter works in progress. The application can be accessed online at https://NorthCharlestonCulturalArtsDepartment.SlideRoom.com. Read the exhibition parameters carefully. Terms and regulations must be followed exactly or entries will not be accepted. Deadline for entries is Wednesday, March 1, 2023.
Curated by award winning master art quilter and curator, Torreah “Cookie” Washington, this unique exhibition offers African American fiber artists a showcase to display their original and innovative designs. Isadora James once said, “A sister friend is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning a life.” This year’s theme looks to celebrate friendships between sisters (and brothers, too), both familial and those chosen along the way. The challenge for this year’s exhibit is for artists to create a fiber art piece that explores the special bond between sister girlfriends and the strength that can be drawn from these cherished relationships. Sister girlfriends support, defend, encourage, trust, and advocate for one another. They show up in every way. Following the close of the exhibition, up to 20 works will be selected to tour the state through the South Carolina State Museum’s 2023/2024 Traveling Exhibitions program. Sites across South Carolina may request the exhibit to tour in their facilities, thus providing additional exposure for the selected artists. The 16th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition: "Sister Girl Friends (and Brothers, too)" will be on display 8 a.m.-8p.m. daily from May 3-June 18, 2023, on the 1st and 2nd floors of North Charleston City Hall (2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston). Admission is free. A free public reception in honor of the participating artists will be held at North Charleston City Hall on Thursday, May 4, 2023, from 6-8 p.m. For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, the annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition, or other exhibition opportunities, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843.740.5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.

Submitted material

Hub Quick Hits: Curry receives second prestigious book award

Dr. Walter B. Curry Jr., a founder of Renaissance Publications LLC and Columbia resident, received the 2022 International African American Historical and Genealogy Society Book Award in the Regional Genealogy category.

Curry was honored for his publication titled, The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol. 1, A Narrative History. The award was presented during the a virtual awards ceremony during the African American Historical & Genealogical Society Conference from Oct. 12-15. The session covering the winning authors was on October 15, 2022, to honor the winners for their outstanding publications that accurately examine and portray African American history and genealogy in a wide variety of genres both fiction and non-fiction, for adults and young readers.

Submitted material

Farris offers Juneteenth poster to all

Amiri Farris, a Lowcountry visual artist who's no stranger to The Hub, has a gift in honor of Juneteenth.

In honor of the annual celebration, which is also now a federal holiday, Farris created a vibrant poster. Here's the description:

This artwork pays homage to one of the oldest celebrations in existence Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States and celebrates American freedom and achievement. The artwork encouraging unity and movement to a bright future, self-development and respect for all people and cultures.

The events of 1865 are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is recognized.

As a gift to all, Farris is offering the poster because of his relationship with the SCAC. Click here to download the full-size version (9.8MB). Wanna get yours signed? Visit with Farris at an upcoming Juneteenth event on Hilton Head Island (Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Follow Farris on social media: @amirifarris.

Jason Rapp

The Met announces exhibition of Black S.C. potters this fall

Manhattan to get look at 19th-century Edgefield pottery

While we're talking Edgefield potters today, The Hub has learned exciting news: the exhibition Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sept. 9, 2022.

(Yes, that Met.) Focusing on the work of African American potters in the 19th-century American South, in dialogue with contemporary artistic responses, the exhibition presents approximately 50 ceramic objects from Old Edgefield District, South Carolina, a center of stoneware production in the decades before the Civil War. It will include monumental storage jars by enslaved and literate potter and poet David Drake alongside rare examples of the region’s utilitarian wares, as well as enigmatic face vessels whose makers were unrecorded. Considered through the lens of current scholarship in the fields of history, literature, anthropology, material culture, diaspora, and African American studies, these 19th-century vessels testify to the lived experiences, artistic agency, and material knowledge of enslaved peoples. The exhibition is made possible by Kathryn Ploss Salmanowitz, The Met’s Fund for Diverse Art Histories, the Terra Foundation for American Art, Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, and the Henry Luce Foundation. It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition is to run until Feb. 5, 2023. From personal experience, fall and the holidays are wonderful times to visit the Big Apple. For the record, you can get direct flights to New York from CAE (LGA), CHS (JFK, LGA), CLT (JFK, LGA), GSP (LGA), and MYR (LGA). (Yes, we know EWR is a thing. Don't @ us.)
Exhibition overview from The Met While predominant explorations of American enslavement focus on agricultural production, this project offers a novel view of slavery in the industrial context by highlighting and celebrating works by African American potters from the period. Featuring many objects never before seen outside of the South, Hear Me Now is the first exhibition of its kind to originate in the Northeast that focuses on the contributions of enslaved potters, shining a light on one of the most brutal periods in American history. Augmented by a scholarly publication, robust audio content, and new scientific research, Hear Me Now represents a critical contribution to the field of American art. It aspires to link past to present, in part by including the work of leading contemporary Black artists who have responded to or whose practice resonates with the Edgefield story, such as Simone Leigh, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Woody De Othello, Theaster Gates, and Robert Pruitt.
  • The catalogue is made possible by the William Cullen Bryant Fellows of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Additional support is provided by Bridget and Al Ritter.
  • The Audio Guide is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
  • Education programs are made possible by Thelma and AC Hudgins.
Following the exhibition’s debut at The Met, it will travel to:
  • the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (March 6-July 9, 2023),
  • the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (Aug. 26, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024),
  • and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (Feb. 16-May 12, 2024).
The exhibition is co-curated by Adrienne Spinozzi, associate curator of American Decorative Arts at The Met; Ethan Lasser, John Moors Cabot chair of the Art of the Americas at the MFA; and Jason Young, associate professor of history at the University of Michigan. A group of artists and scholars were engaged in the planning of the exhibition. Learn more on The Met's website and it's social media channels: FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Jason Rapp

International Association of Blacks in Dance seeks CEO

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, March 31, 2022

IABD's next President and CEO will be the 4th leader in the organization's 30-year history.

They will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of activating change that sustains the future of Black dance.  This leader will build consensus informed by new and varied perspectives. They will partner with all staff to oversee the implementation of our leadership development programs, funding opportunities, and annual conferences. As the most public-facing ambassador of the organization, the right candidate will have the opportunity to represent IABD in the dance community and the broader performing arts and philanthropic communities nationally and internationally.

The president and CEO will report to and be championed by a 21-person Board of Directors representing an intergenerational mix of artistic voices and leaders in the dance world. In this partnership, the President and CEO will strategize and collaborate to establish vivid goals to advance the organization's mission. They will work with and oversee a full-time staff of 7 employees. As President and CEO, they will have operational responsibility and oversight of IABD's programs, membership, fundraising, events, finances, and staff. IABD projects revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, at $3 million. The association's diverse revenue platform includes programming, membership dues, sponsorships, grants, and a fiscal sponsorship program.

Key roles and responsibilities

The president and CEO will focus their efforts on four primary areas: strategic leadership and advocacy, fiscal management, capacity building and sustainability, and staff engagement. In this capacity, this leader will establish internal and operational priorities, cultivate meaningful and impactful relationships, and advance strategic partnerships to elevate IABD's impact and initiatives. This person will develop new and unique opportunities to serve the mission and bring innovation to spark organizational growth. They will be an assertive advocate for Black dance and effectively represent all dance professionals irrespective of the size, tenure and genre of the organization. The next president and CEO will understand the importance, potential, and plurality of ways that art and dance can connect, engage, and transform individuals and communities alike. The new president and CEO will understand and advocate for the organization's vision, history, and philosophy supporting its mission.

Learn more an apply by clicking here.

Submitted material

Tuning Up: Senate confirms new NEA chair + Black music

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...
Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson to head NEA. On Saturday, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Joe Biden's nominee to chair the National Endowment for the Arts. Jackson is a 2013 appointee to the National Council on the Arts and is a tenured Institute Professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA) at Arizona State University where she also holds an appointment in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. A full bio is here. S.C. art museums take up Black music:
  • In conjunction with its Romare Bearden: Abstraction exhibition, Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston is set to present Improvised: A Hip Hop Experience. "Many artists are influenced by the music of their time. In the case of the abstract expressionists of the mid 20th century that music was Jazz. Improvisational and expressive, it inspired Jackson Pollack and Romare Bearden alike. At the Gibbes, we see Hip Hop as an extension of that improvisational tradition and are excited to partner with on air personality Kris Kalyn to host Improvised: A Hip Hop Experience that will have local and emerging Hip Hop artists responding to works in Romare Bearden: Abstraction." Tickets are available now. $35. Student pricing available.
  • Later in the month, Columbia Museum of Art will launch of More Than Rhythm: A Black Music Series, hosted by ethnomusicologist Dr. Birgitta Johnson on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, during the closing weekend of the 30 Americans exhibition. The series premieres (two additional dates are scheduled) with a sampling of diverse sacred choral textures that exist in the Black sacred music tradition. "Black music represents one of the oldest and broadest rivers that pours into America’s sonic ocean. Whether it be in pop or rock, classical or hip-hop, the history that the music of Black Americans affirms is key to its enduring popularity and influence across lines of race, gender, age, class, and even language," per a release.
The Hub is pleased to see leading arts institutions offering inclusive programming that further validates why they are both recipients of the Governor's Award for the Arts.

Jason Rapp

Launch party announced for new Jonathan Green book

Party with the artist Dec. 16


The Koger Center in Columbia announced plans to celebrate the launch of Jonathan Green's new book with a party on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Jonathan Green Spoleto 2016Green's depictions of the Gullah life and culture, established by descendants of enslaved Africans who settled between northern Florida and North Carolina during the nineteenth century have earned him considerable notoriety. The vividly colored paintings and prints have captured and preserved the daily rituals and Gullah traditions of his childhood in the Lowcountry marshes of South Carolina. In 2010, the South Carolina Arts Commission presented Green the Governor's Award for the Arts in lifetime achievement. From press materials about Gullah Spirit:

While his art continues to express the same energy, color, and deep respect for his ancestors, Green's techniques have evolved to feature bolder brush strokes and a use of depth and texture, all guided by his maturing artistic vision that is now more often about experiencing freedom and contentment through his art. This vision is reflected in the 179 new paintings featured in Gullah Spirit. His open and inviting images beckon the world to not only see this vanishing culture but also to embrace its truth and enduring spirit.

Using both the aesthetics of his heritage and the abstraction of the human figure, Green creates an almost mythological narrative from his everyday observations of rural and urban environments. Expressed through his mastery of color, Green illuminates the challenges and beauty of work, love, belonging, and the richness of community.

Angela D. Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, provides a foreword. The book also includes short essays by historian Walter B. Edgar, educator Kim Cliett Long, and curator Kevin Grogan.

Tickets for the event are $65 and available now by clicking here.

Jason Rapp

Deadlines nears for SCAiA survey

DEADLINE: Friday, December 10, 2020


The Hub would like its readers to know that the deadline for Black #SCartists to complete the survey from South Carolina Artists in Action is looming.

The South Carolina Arts Commission dropped the news on SCAiA recently (read the announcement here). The needs of the state's entrepreneurial Black artists are the focus of the new program. SCAiA released a survey to gather critical input. The observations, thoughts, and feedback will help SCAiA’s committee set program goals. The survey can be accessed from the program’s SCAC webpage: https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/artist-development/programs/south-carolina-artists-in-action/

Jason Rapp

Black artists focus of new SCAC program

for immediate release


COLUMBIA, S.C. – The needs of South Carolina’s entrepreneurial Black artists are the focus of a new program announced by the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC).

[caption id="attachment_48308" align="alignright" width="225"] The SCAiA logo, by Amiri Geuka Farris.[/caption] Together, the SCAC and South Carolina Artists in Action (SCAiA) envision a South Carolina where Black artists have essential support for sustainable careers. The mission of SCAiA is to identify and implement best practices enabling Black artist to artist and Black artist to institutions to advance, support and sustain equitable, inclusive working relationships. “The needs of Black artists are different in that they often require a targeted level of support to get started. SCAiA wants to help navigate access and other systemic challenges. It will also provide a network of peers with similar backgrounds and experiences who either overcame those challenges or are working through them,” SCAC Director of Artist Services Ce Scott-Fitts said. Scott-Fitts is chairperson of the SCAiA committee, serving with Triza Cox, Michael Murray, and Kathryn Van Aernum. SCAiA released a survey this week to gather critical input from Black South Carolina artists (#SCartists). The observations, thoughts, and feedback will help SCAiA’s committee set program goals. The survey can be accessed from the program’s SCAC webpage: https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/artist-development/programs/south-carolina-artists-in-action/

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 Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.

Jason Rapp

South Arts names 2021 State Fellows

[caption id="attachment_46889" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Fletcher Williams III stands in his art studio among works in progress. Fletcher Williams III (Photo by Andrew Cebulka)[/caption]

South Arts has named the ten visual artists (eight individual artists and one team) receiving the 2021 State Fellowship awards.

Each fellowship—one per state in the South Arts region—comes with a cash award of $5,000 and inclusion in an exhibition opening this fall at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Georgia. The State Fellows are also now in consideration for the two larger Southern Prize awards. One fellowship recipient will be named the Southern Prize winner receiving an additional $25,000 cash award, and another fellow will be named the Southern Prize Finalist receiving an additional $10,000; both Southern Prize recipients will also receive a two-week residency at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences. The two winners will be named at a virtual ceremony on June 17 celebrating the work of all ten State Fellows. The 2021 State Fellowship recipients are:
  • Tameca Cole. Mixed Media. Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Marielle Plaisir. Mixed Media. Hollywood, Florida.
  • Myra Greene. Craft. Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Joyce Garner. Painting. Prospect, Kentucky.
  • Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun. Photography. New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Ming Ying Hong. Drawing. Starkville, Mississippi.
  • Jewel Ham. Painting. Huntersville, North Carolina.
  • Fletcher Williams III. Mixed Media. North Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Raheleh Filsoofi. Multidisciplinary. Nashville, Tennessee.
“The 2021 Southern Prize and State Fellowship recipients represent the amazing creativity of our region,” explained Susie Surkamer, President and CEO of South Arts. “Although they each speak with a unique voice through their work, their combined diversity is a great showcase of what it means to be an artist living, working, creating, and thriving in the South.” Launched in 2017, the Southern Prize and State Fellowships acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality art being created in the South. More than 850 artists applied for consideration this past fall and winter, and jurors reviewed each application to recommend the State Fellowship recipients. Another national panel of jurors will review the State Fellows to determine the Southern Prize winner and finalist, both of whom will be named at a virtual ceremony in June 2021. Visual artists living in South Arts’ nine-state region and producing crafts, drawing, experimental, painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and multidisciplinary work were eligible to apply. To view work by the 2021 State Fellowship recipients and register to attend the June 17, 2021 Southern Prize ceremony, visit www.southarts.org. An exhibition featuring the 2021 Southern Prize and State Fellowship recipients will be open at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Georgia, from Aug. 20-Dec. 20, 2021.

More about Fletcher Williams III

Bio

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.

Artist statement

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.

Jason Rapp