Mushrooms to take over Charleston’s Hampton Park
Illuminated site-based installation coming in November
You've been warned: More than 100 (illuminated) mushrooms will take over an area of Hampton Park in Charleston from Nov. 5 through Dec. 11.
This art display relaunches Art in the Park, a public art initiative organized by the nonprofit Charleston Parks Conservancy.
North Carolina artist Meredith Connelly
, who encases lighting in industrial materials to reveal their organic qualities, has created more than 100 hand-sculpted illuminated mushrooms using a heavy-duty thermoplastic. The installation components range in height from 8 to 12 inches and will be integrated into the natural setting of the popular Charleston park resulting in an immersive and interactive experience for all ages.
Several of Connelly’s past installations have welcomed more than 250,000 visitors, and her work has been shown at various museums and venues throughout the Southeast. Connelly is excited to bring her work to the Charleston community, she said.
Connelly has been conceptually exploring fungal formations for the past three years and has used light as a material for over a decade. As part of her creative process, she hikes and “photographically forages” for inspiration, she explained. She then examines the diverse blooms, colors, and spaces that fungal specimens inhabit.
“Neither plant nor animal, fungus has incredible and dynamic characteristics. The function and role of mushrooms across the globe are incomparable,” Connelly said. “They are an interconnected network, and research shows they communicate using electrical impulses through their mycelium, much like neurotransmitters within the human mind. They have the capability to heal the environment, the body, and activate dormant areas of the brain.”
“We’re thrilled to relaunch our Art in the Parks program with this incredible piece by Meredith Connelly,” said Natalie Jones
, director of programs for the Charleston Parks Conservancy. “Meredith’s nature-inspired art ties so well into our organization’s dedication to building stunning public spaces and encouraging people to connect to their parks.”
The Conservancy has organized other public art installations in city parks, but the Art in the Park program has been on hiatus since the pandemic. For more than 15 years, the Conservancy -- through public-private partnerships -- has had a hand in renovating and beautifying more than 20 parks in the City of Charleston.
“Mushrooms is a temporary installation that will be configured and installed directly on the grounds of the park. Through this process, I fall into collaboration with nature, light, and the environment, and a visual conversation is formed,” Connelly said. “I use placement and cast light from the installation components to create focal points or highlight the architectural elements in the natural setting, and those elements then relate back to the work and the viewer.
“I love bringing the forms back to the spaces that inspired them, and to me, it then feels complete; similar to a life cycle,” she added. “At the core, my work is about connectivity. The light connects the viewers, the natural environment, and the installation components in a way that molds and drives an authentic and approachable experience.”
When Connelly is not installing glowing forms outdoors, she also creates hand-cut paper works reflective of the microscopic world and presses them in transparent materials that parallel microscope slides.
The artwork will be installed in Hampton Park, 30 May Murray Drive, near the Rose Pavilion and on display through Dec. 11.
As part of the Art in the Park program, the Conservancy is hosting a hands-on art workshop on lantern making at 4 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Rose Pavilion in Hampton Park. For registration details, visit charlestonparksconservancy.org
This project was funded in part by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Program through their joint administration of the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program and the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Art and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.
Learn more about the Conservancy and other upcoming programs at charlestonparksconservancy.org.
South Arts Awards $323,000 among three grant categories
Four S.C. arts organizations to get funding
South Arts is awarding $323,000 in Performing Arts Touring, Literary Arts Touring, and Cross-Sector Impact grants in its nine-state service region.
Four arts organizations in South Carolina are among those receiving awards.
Performing Arts and Literary Arts Touring grants support the presentation of out-of-state Southern artists for public engagements and residences, and Cross-Sector Impact Grants support collaborative, community-building projects spanning arts, culture, and other sectors of society.
These three granting programs, supported by a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, connect arts organizations and communities with artists across South Arts' primary nine-state region of AL, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TN. Applicants submitted proposals for each program throughout the spring, which were then reviewed by panels of peers and respected leaders in the field. While each grant has its own criteria and purpose, they collectively build towards South Arts' mission: advancing Southern vitality through the arts. These grants are part of South Arts' annual cycle of programming, and organizations are encouraged to review the current guidelines as they plan current and upcoming work.
Performing Arts Touring Grants
support the presentation of Southern performing artists with up to $7,500. Applications for this program were due March 2, 2020. Review the guidelines
and meet the Performing Arts Touring Grant recipients
. Organizations in South Carolina receiving FY21 awards are:
Literary Arts Touring Grants
- Arts Center of Coastal Carolina ($7,000)
- Newberry Opera House Foundation ($5,100)
- Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Arts ($2,750)
support the presentation of Southern writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and/or poetry with up to $2,500. Applications for this program were due May 1, 2020. Review the guidelines
and meet the Literary Arts Touring Grant recipients
. One organization in South Carolina is receiving an FY21 award:
Cross-Sector Impact Grants
- City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs ($1,750)
harness the power of collaborative, community-building "arts and..." projects spanning arts, culture, and other sectors of society with awards up to $15,000. Letters of Interest for this program were due March 30, 2020. Review the guidelines
and meet the Cross-Sector Impact Grant recipients
. No South Carolina arts organization is receiving one of these grants in FY21.
These grant programs are supported through a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.
SCAC Fellow searches for light
Linda Fantuzzo opens new exhibition
Painter Linda Fantuzzo debuts a new body of work in the solo exhibition, Linda Fantuzzo: Penumbra, opening at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston.
The landscape and interior paintings in this exhibition are rendered with a quiet, abstracted simplicity, while the inclusion of stairs, ladders, windows and doors suggest an unseen yet palpable human presence. The title Penumbra
is a term referencing light’s transitions – it is the partially shaded area of the shadow cast by an object. In these works Fantuzzo connects the literal transitions of light, always changing, to the metaphorical transitions and impermanence of the human experience.
Hosted by: City of Charleston, Office of Cultural Affairs
Location: City of Charleston, Office of Cultural Affairs, 34 Prioleau St., Charleston
Linda Fantuzzo received the South Carolina Arts Commission's visual arts fellowship in 2017
Exhibition Dates: Jan. 17-March 1, 2020
- Tuesday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday-Sunday: 12-5 p.m.
- Closed Mondays
An opening reception is Jan. 17 from 5 -7 p.m. It is free and open to all.
Temporary sculpture installed in Charleston
'Under Glass' conjoins natural sciences, spirituality
The Charleston Parks Conservancy is bringing public sculpture to the West Ashley Greenway with a temporary art installation by Georgia artist Mike Wsol. The piece was installed May 8 near the St. Andrew's School of Math and Science between Campbell Drive and the West Ashley Greenway.
The Conservancy awarded Wsol with an exhibition prize at ArtFields in May 2018. ArtFields is an annual art exhibit and competition in Lake City showcasing the work of artists around the Southeast. Over the last year, Wsol has been planning and designing his sculpture for the West Ashley Greenway.
Titled “Under Glass,” Wsol said the sculpture was “designed with the natural sciences and spirituality in mind. Its form divided in two chambers separates the viewer below from the natural light entering and reflecting within the upper chamber. Experiencing ‘Under Glass’ highlights the separation of the viewer’s physical body from the passing light nature provides.”
The sculpture is made from two 325-gallon scrap propane tanks bolted to an X-shaped foundation that will be buried underground and covered with sod and soil. After the installation is complete, the sculpture will appear to balance atop the earth. It will be on display until October.
In the coming months, the Conservancy will host educational events and opportunities for the public and schoolchildren to view the sculpture and interact with the artist.
Wsol's recent creative work has taken the form of large experiential, interactive public sculpture, prints, and drawings. His work has been exhibited in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami, among other cities. Wsol has also been the recipient of grants and awards from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Indiana University, and the Georgia State University Center for Collaborative and International Arts to name a few. He earned a master of architecture from the University of Virginia, a master of fine art in sculpture from the University of Georgia, a master of arts in sculpture and a bachelor of arts in sculpture from Eastern Illinois University.
The Charleston Parks Conservancy launched its Art in the Parks program in 2017, an effort to encourage temporary public art displays in Charleston city parks through collaborations with artists and arts organizations, including Redux Contemporary Art Center
, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs
. The first art installation was in Hampton Park last year.
In 2017, the Conservancy received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a planning and public engagement process to encourage creative placemaking along the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway. The site of Wsol’s installation was identified in the plan as location for public art that engages the community and encourages social interaction.
“This installation is the first of many public art projects we’ll bring to West Ashley,” said Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy. “As we work on the overall master plan for revitalizing the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway, pubic art and arts programming will play an important role in how we reshape this public space and encourage resident use and engagement.”
The ArtFields exhibition prize is part of the Art in the Parks program created by the Charleston Parks Conservancy in collaboration with Redux Contemporary Art Center and the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.
About the Charleston Parks Conservancy
The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org
South Arts awards $27,000 among seven S.C. arts groups
South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, has awarded 68 grants totaling $276,949 to arts organization throughout the South.
These funds, made possible through partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, support the presentation of touring performing and literary artists in public performances and readings along with educational activities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
“These funds represent a major step for our organization in pursuit of our newly revised mission statement and strategic plan,” said executive director Susie Surkamer (former executive director of the S.C. Arts Commission. - Ed.) “We have refocused our grantmaking guidelines to primarily support Southern artists on tour throughout our communities. The talent and artistry created within our nine states is immense, and deserves to be shared.”
Organizations applied for consideration, making cases for the artistic merit of the proposed artists and the ability to develop audiences. An external panel of arts professionals reviewed each application for funding consideration. The grants must be matched at least dollar for dollar by the recipient organization.
These grants represent multiple initiatives by South Arts. Performing Arts Touring grants support engagements of guest Southern artists (theatre, music, opera, musical theatre, and dance) from outside of the presenter’s state. Literary Arts Touring grants support engagements of guest Southern writers (fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry) from outside the presenter’s state. Launchpad grants are part of a year-long professional development program for presenters new to the field, and include the opportunity to present artists from an adjudicated roster. Dance Touring Initiative funds are part of an ongoing capacity-building program developing audiences for modern dance and contemporary ballet throughout the region.
“We are so proud to support tours of diverse, talented artists representing the breadth of our region,” continued Surkamer. “Some of the highlights this year include Ranky Tanky
, based in coastal South Carolina, blending their Gullah heritage with influences of jazz and funk. Rosie Herrera Dance Theater of Miami is one of the nation’s leading contemporary ballet companies, effortlessly working across genres including hip hop, dance theater, and cabaret. Poet Jericho Brown, an associate professor Emory University in Atlanta, is a leading voice with verses exploring race, masculinity, and community.”
Applications for South Arts touring grants for nonprofit and governmental organizations in the nine-state region open in the fall each year with deadlines in March and May. Additional information and a full listing of grant recipients is available at www.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
South Carolina's recipients
- City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (Charleston) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
- City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (Charleston) received a $2,354 Literary Arts Touring grant to present P. Scott Cunningham in October 2018.
- Midlands Technical College (Columbia) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
- Southern Guitar Festival and Competition (Columbia) received a $878 Performing Arts Touring grant to present Jay Kacherski in June 2019.
- Coker College (Hartsville) received a $5,800 grant as part of the Dance Touring Initiative.
- Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (Hilton Head) received a $5,569 Performing Arts Touring grant to present Ballet Memphis in January 2019.
- Wits End Poetry (Greenville) received a $890 Literary Arts Touring grant to present Asia Samson & Daryl Funn in September 2018.
Charleston Rhizome Collective first SC recipient of national ArtPlace America grant
[caption id="attachment_33275" align="alignright" width="270"] Charleston Rhizome Collective leaders with City of Charleston Cultural Affairs Director Scott Watson and Mayor John Tecklenburg[/caption]
A Charleston grassroots organization is the first South Carolina recipient of a highly competitive national grant from ArtPlace America. The Charleston Rhizome Collective will receive $300,000 for the conNECKtedTOO project to help address the needs of small and tiny businesses using installations, visuals, forums, a tour, an app-based interactive map and a youth entrepreneurship program. conNECKtedTOO will create a solidarity hub and network linking tiny neighborhood businesses to consolidate buying and selling power and engage residents in decisions over business ownership, loans, job training, hiring practices, wholesale prices, schooling and housing.
ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund invests money in community development projects where artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity work to strengthen communities across 10 sectors of community planning and development. ArtPlace received 987 applications this year, and after narrowing the field to 70 finalists, selected conNECKtedTOO as one of only 23 projects that will receive a total of $8.7 million in funding. The 23 projects represent communities of all sizes across 18 states and one U.S. territory, with almost 52 percent of this year’s funded projects taking place in rural communities.
The South Carolina Arts Commission has been actively promoting this opportunity for the past five years and working with organizations interested in applying, according to Executive Director Ken May. “The ArtPlace application is a rigorous and competitive process; many South Carolina organizations have applied and only a few have made it to the finalist level. Clearly, conNECKtedTOO had the right ingredients—authenticity, local engagement, artistic sensibility and a compelling need—to bring home this prestigious award. Congratulations to the Collective for being the first South Carolina organization to join the cadre of creative place making efforts funded by ArtPlace America.”
ArtPlace Director of National Grantmaking F. Javier Torres visited South Carolina to present workshops about the grant opportunity and conduct site visits. “This year’s investments highlight critical dimensions of creative placemaking strategy that can provide great inspiration to communities across the country," said Torres. "We are deeply excited to announce these 23 new investments as our seventh cohort of funded projects through the National Creative Placemaking Fund.”
For conNECKtedTOO, the Charleston Rhizome Collective will work with partners such as Jason Gourdine of the Black Collective, the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development, the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and several tiny businesses. “All of Charleston commends the conNECKted team on their ArtPlace America award,” said Charleston Mayor John J. Tecklenburg. “Their past projects and recent efforts build confidence that the arts can be effectively put to work in new and creative ways to sustain and strengthen our local communities.”
Find out more about the 2017 funded projects here.
About The Charleston Rhizome Collective
Based in Charleston, South Carolina, the Charleston Rhizome Collective is an art-in/with community group, where education, art and activism intersect. By design, it is grassroots, inter-racial and inter-generational. Through the arts, the Collective aims to amplify the voices of neighborhoods absent from public and private plans: social, cultural and economic.
About ArtPlace America
ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.
ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic. For more information visit www.ArtPlaceAmerica.org
City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs seeks interns
The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs is seeking internship applicants for spring, summer and fall semesters and for the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. The Cultural Affairs Office recruits and trains more than 50 college and master’s degree candidates to serve as interns leading up to and working during the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, MOJA Arts Festival and other special events. These students go on to careers in the nonprofit sector, business, law, medicine and other areas after learning skills in marketing, logistics, communications, production and management.
Students work 120 hours and are generally eligible for three hours of college credit. All internships are unpaid unless a stipend is available. Internship start and end dates are flexible.
Application deadlines for internships are ongoing.
Find out more and apply online.
Via: City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs
Marcus Amaker named Charleston’s first poet laureate
From the Charleston Post and Courier
Marcus Amaker, a local poet, musician and graphic designer, was named Charleston’s first poet laureate Tuesday evening, a month after the position was established by City Council.
“We established the position of Poet Laureate to encourage the appreciation of poetry throughout Charleston,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said in a statement. “Marcus is a well-known artist in our community who has the drive, passion and talent to make poetry accessible to everyone.”
Amaker, who once edited Charleston Scene for The Post and Courier, is an active collaborator and a tireless performer, often organizing and participating in spoken word events. He is the author of seven books of poetry, and he has contributed poems to a variety of volumes.
“This honor is not just for me, it’s for every poet in Charleston,” Amaker said. “Poetry is such an important and vital art form. I’m looking forward to working with nonprofits, businesses and schools to give literacy a bigger platform. It’s going to be fun to come up with creative ways for poetry to be spread throughout Charleston. I’m also excited to be an advocate for the City through my words. Charleston has inspired me since the minute I decided to move here in 2003.”
Cities are increasingly embracing poetry. Across the U.S., cities large and small have named an official bard. Doing so clearly is a win-win: it gives poetry (and, by extension, poets) a boost, and it adds an artistic sheen to municipalities otherwise preoccupied with budgets, infrastructure, public services, construction and other matters of urban life.
As poet laureate of Charleston, Amaker will do much more than write and recite. He will work in conjunction with the Office of Cultural Affairs implementing a community outreach and education program to encourage the writing, reading and performance of poetry within the city. He will also participate in civic events, promote literacy through poetry in schools and foster the development of a youth poetry initiative.
And Amaker will commemorate the city by composing poetry that speaks to, for and of the region, to be presented at an annual city-sponsored event.
The ordinance establishing the post authorizes a small honorarium funded by private sources, according to city spokesman Jack O’Toole. That honorarium likely would amount to a few thousand dollars.
A poetry reading and reception featuring Amaker is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 29 at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park. Armed with an old-fashioned typewriter, Amaker will be at the Charleston Farmers Market on June 25 with other local poets. He will also be presenting the inaugural Charleston Poetry Festival, in late October.
Three S.C. organizations selected for South Arts Dance Touring Initiative
[caption id="attachment_19163" align="alignright" width="300"] RIOULT Dance NY is one of the companies providing residencies for the Dance Touring Initiative[/caption]
The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Hilton Head, the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, and Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College in Columbia have been selected for the third cohort of 10 arts presenters participating in South Arts' Dance Touring Initiative (DTI), a competitive and intensive three-year program supporting performing arts presenters throughout the South. With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, venues across the South will develop a rich selection of performances, workshops, and audience engagement activities to connect local audiences with touring modern dance and contemporary ballet companies.
“We are excited to begin our third DTI cycle,” said Nikki Estes, program director with South Arts. “The first two cycles have connected over 30,000 audience members throughout the South with modern dance and contemporary ballet, and we look forward to broadening that impact over the coming years. After the start of this third cycle, we will have 26 active arts presenters in the initiative as a network and learning community among dance presenters.”
The third cohort of presenter participants:
- Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Hilton Head Island, SC
- Arts Council of Central Louisiana, Alexandria, LA
- Bologna Performing Arts Center, Cleveland, MS
- City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, Charleston, SC
- Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA
- Duke Performances/Duke University, Durham, NC
- Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, Columbia, SC
- Kentucky Center for the Arts, Louisville, KY
- Memphis Development Foundation/The Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, TN
- Paramount Theatre/City of Goldsboro, Goldsboro, NC
The 26 arts presenters come from eight Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) and will receive professional development, take part in residency planning visits with artistic directors from major national dance companies, and receive financial support to provide both educational programming and public performances for their audiences.
“DTI enables these organizations to expand their already solid community partnerships,” said Suzette M. Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “This training provides presenters with additional platforms to garner a larger and stronger audience base, especially around modern dance and contemporary ballet.”
About South Arts
South Arts, a 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 address the role of the arts in impacting the issues important to our region, and to link the South with the nation and the world through the arts. For more information, visit www.southarts.org
Piccolo Spoleto seeking artists for annual outdoor art exhibition
Submission deadline: March 14
South Carolina 2D artists are invited to submit artwork for consideration to Piccolo Spoleto's Juried Outdoor Art Exhibit, which runs May 23 - June 8 during Spoleto Festival USA. All 2D media is eligible and must be the original work of the artist. As this is an outdoor art exhibition, all artists are required to have a professional display tent and display walls and are required to be onsite daily to represent their work for the full 17 days of the exhibit.
The application is available online. Submissions deadline is March 14, 2014.
Please send all applications to:
City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs
180 Meeting Street, Suite 200
Charleston, SC 29401
About Piccolo Spoleto
Since it began in 1979, Piccolo Spoleto has firmly established itself as an essential ingredient of Spoleto Festival USA's special and unique magic. Piccolo Spoleto, the official outreach companion festival to Spoleto Festival USA, showcases more than 4,000 local and regional artists by presenting a series of mostly admission-free events in the downtown area of Charleston each day during Spoleto. In addition to visual arts exhibits, Piccolo Spoleto offers classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film. Piccolo Spoleto is produced by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.