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Examining the life and artistry of enslaved S.C. potter David Drake

On Sunday, Feb. 19, the Peace Center will host what may be the year’s best opportunity to celebrate the art and lives of South Carolina’s most distinguished Black artists, both living and deceased.

S.C. Governor’s Award recipient and poet Glenis Redmond, joined by MacArthur Fellow and literary historian P. Gabrielle Foreman, will lead a discussion of the collaborative book, Praise Songs for Dave the Potter. Featuring the art of internationally acclaimed Gullah painter Jonathan Green and Redmond’s poetry, Praise Songs for Dave the Potter examines how South Carolina slave David Drake has inspired visual artists and poets who claim him as an artistic ancestor. One of the country’s most accomplished 19th century potters, David Drake was a South Carolina slave in the Edgefield District. His pots—many inscribed with song and verse—are treasured artifacts by collectors and museum curators across the U.S. Redmond and Foreman will lead a discussion of Praise Songs, and books will be available for purchase and signing afterward. Tickets are $15 and all are welcome. Click here for more information.

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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

S.C. Arts Awards Spotlight Series: Justin Guy

Folk Heritage Award: Artist Category

As the day nears for the 2022 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: four receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and three receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

From his roots in the Trenton area of Edgefield County, Justin Guy has achieved acclaim as a potter after working in the craft more than 30 years.

Fascinated by the pottery from a young age, he graduated from the University of South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a focus on ceramics. After school he was artist-in-residence at Taiwan’s Tainan National University for the Fine Arts, where he learned Taiwanese and other Asian ceramic processes, specifically as they relate to the tea cultures in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Additional travels across the U.S. and Europe yielded further revelations a professional ceramicist should know. Guy returned to South Carolina and began a teaching career in higher education institutions, serving multiple times at UofSC Aiken with stops at Columbia College, and Piedmont Technical College in between. Additional artist residencies during his career include the McKissick and South Carolina State museums, the Columbia Museum of Art, and area schools. His works have received honors in multiple instances of the Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition and Exhibition and the South Carolina State Fair. Guy is currently the master potter of the Phoenix Factory’s Old Edgefield Pottery, which has produced pottery in South Carolina for more than 200 years. [caption id="attachment_50262" align="aligncenter" width="849"] Justin Guy, center, receives the Folk Heritage Award May 18, 2022 from David Platts of the SCAC and Jane Przybysz of McKissick Museum at UofSC. Click image to enlarge. SCAC photo.[/caption]
The South Carolina Arts Awards are coming live to SCETV on Monday, June 13, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET. South Carolina ETV, the state’s public educational broadcasting network, will broadcast the awards ceremony through its 11-station TV network that spans the state. Viewers can access the broadcast via livestream on the homepage of SCETV.org; by using a digital antenna; or through cable, satellite, and streaming live TV providers. Further information about accessing SCETV is available here.

Jason Rapp

Historic Columbia Foundation debuts exhibit on ceramics in 19th-century Columbia

On July 26, Historic Columbia Foundation will debut From Landrum to Leeds: Common Ceramics in 19th-Century Columbia, a new exhibit highlighting examples of the Foundation’s collection of locally made and used ceramics. The exhibit will be on display at the Robert Mills House through January 31. The exhibit draws on HCF's growing collection of locally made and imported ceramics, including various dining, cooking and storage wares common in 19th-century Columbia, S.C. In addition to Edgefield pottery and a variety of imported English ceramics, exhibit highlights include examples from the Landrum-Stork pottery, which was located in what is today Forest Acres. From Landrum to Leeds is shown as part of the regularly scheduled guided tours of the Robert Mills House. Ceramics are highlighted in a focus gallery and displayed in period-appropriate settings throughout the house. Tours run at the top of the hour Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (last tour starts at 3 p.m.) and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. (last tour starts at 4 p.m.). Free for HCF members, tours are $6 for non-member adults and $3 for non-member youth. Tickets can be purchased at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills, 1616 Blanding Street. HCF’s Second Sunday Roll in August will focus on ceramics as well. John Sherrer, Historic Columbia Foundation’s director of cultural resources, will lead this tour exploring the ceramics interests of 19th-century Columbians. Starting with a guided tour of From Landrum to Leeds, participants will then travel by bus to Forest Acres to see the former location of the Landrum-Stork pottery. Other stops include Main Street, where locals purchased a variety of domestically produced and imported wares for their homes and businesses during the 1800s. The Sunday Roll takes place Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. For more information about the exhibit and the tour, visit Historic Columbia Foundation's website. Images Above: blue shell platter. Made in Leeds and other English manufacturing centers, shell-edge style dishes, serving platters and other forms were popular among residents of Columbia and Richland County. Right: alkaline-glazed stoneware storage jug. Landrum-Stork pottery is a local expression of the alkaline-glazed tradition made famous in Edgefield, S.C. About Historic Columbia Foundation In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. Via: Historic Columbia Foundatin