← View All Articles

Submitted material

African-American fiber artists sought for North Charleston Arts Fest

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 2019 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 1-5 in North Charleston. [caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignright" width="251"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] African-American artists, ages 18 and up, living in the United States and working in the medium of fiber are invited to participate in the 13th Annual African-American Fiber Art Exhibition, titled "BLACK GOLD." The exhibition will be on display at North Charleston City Hall from May 1-June 21, 2019. A $30 entry fee applies and allows artists to submit a maximum of four entries for consideration. Up to two entries per artist may be selected by the curator for the exhibition. The application is available online. Deadline for entries is Friday, March 1, 2019. 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. This year's theme is directly inspired by the song "Black Gold" by Esperanza Spalding from her 2012 album "Radio Music Society." Washington was particularly moved by the lyrics, "Think of all the strength you have in you / From the blood you carry within you / Ancient ones, powerful ones / Built us a civilization..." The challenge for this year's exhibit is for artists to review the full lyrics of Spalding's song, as well as the official music video, then create a fiber art piece that will inspire the next generation. Following the close of the show, up to twenty works will be selected to tour the state through the South Carolina State Museum’s 2019/2020 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 13th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition: "BLACK GOLD" will be on display 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from May 1-June 21, 2019, 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 City Hall on Thursday, May 2, 2019, from 6-8 p.m. For more information about the North Charleston Arts Fest, the 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.

Mary Jackson honored by American Craft Council

Mary Jackson is among the foremost of #SCartists, and late last week in Minneapolis the American Craft Council added to her impressive resume by inducting her to its College of Fellows – placing her firmly at the top of her field. [caption id="attachment_16665" align="alignright" width="230"]Mary Jackson, Two Lips Mary Jackson, Two Lips[/caption] Candidates for this prestigious honor are nominated and elected by their peers. To be eligible, individuals must demonstrate extraordinary ability and must have worked for 25 years or more in the discipline or career in which they are recognized. The Charleston-based basketmaker uses sweetgrass in the West African (and later, Gullah) tradition for her art, which had already garnered her exclusive recognition. In 2008 she received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant," and in 2011 the S.C. Arts Commission presented her with the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts for Lifetime Achievement. In 2016, the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston named a gallery for her. Jackson began making baskets under her grandmother’s tutelage at age 4, working alongside other members of her family to uphold a multi-generational tradition that extends back to their ancestral heritage in West Africa. “The results of a basket are the thing that keeps you coming back again,” she said. “You’ve created something so beautiful, then the whole world loves what you’re doing … that’s the inspiration.” Read more here and here from American Craft Council, whose work contributed to this post.

African American fiber artists sought for 12th annual exhibition in North Charleston

Image: Fruits of Her Labor by Jan Hollins 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 2018 North Charleston Arts Fest, taking place May 2-6 in North Charleston, S.C. African American artists, ages 18 and up, living in the United States and working in the medium of fiber are invited to participate in the 12th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition, titled I’m NOT Every Woman, I’m a PHENOMENAL Woman! The exhibition will be on display at North Charleston City Hall from May 1-June 22, 2018. A $30 entry fee applies and allows artists to submit up to four entries. A maximum of two entries per artist may be selected. The application is available on the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department's website.  Deadline for entries is March 1. Curated by award winning and nationally exhibiting textile artist, Torreah “Cookie” Washington, this unique exhibition offers African American fiber artists a showcase to display their original and innovative designs. The challenge for this year’s special exhibit is for artists to create a fiber work, such as an art quilt, doll, wearable art piece, etc., that pays tribute to an extraordinary African American woman - past or present, real or fictional, a public figure or an unsung heroine. Artists should note that the curator will not select pieces relating to Maya Angelou as this theme was explored in the 2015 exhibition. Following the close of the show, up to 20 works will be selected to tour the state through the South Carolina State Museum’s 2018/2019 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 12th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition: I’m NOT Every Woman, I’m a PHENOMENAL Woman! will be on display 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. daily from May 1-June 22 on the 1st and 2nd floors of North Charleston City Hall, located at 2500 City Hall Lane in North Charleston. Admission is free. A free public reception in honor of the artists will be held at City Hall on Thursday, May 3 from 6 - 8 p.m. For more information, contact the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.

Fiber arts program launched to train Upstate designers

From The Greenville News Article by Nathaniel Cary, photo by Bart Boatwright

Textile executives from multiple Upstate companies banded together to fund a new program they hope will train a new generation of homegrown textile designers to carry on the textile heritage of the Carolinas. Many of those designers may come right from Greenville, trained at a new first-in-the-nation program run by the Greenville Fine Arts Center. Greenville County Schools officially launched the program Wednesday. The inaugural group of 24 students, who each auditioned for entrance into the program, will take a course-load built around design and use of fibers in the textile industry. Roy Fluhrer, Fine Arts Center director, conceived of the program years ago and approached business leaders three years ago with a plan for a program similar to an architectural design program that the center had started. Fluhrer called it a way to give the county’s bright artistic students creative futures built in South Carolina. The program drew interest from local companies who wanted to train and retain talented designers in the Upstate. Five companies each contributed $25,000 while Greenville County Schools agreed to fund the salary for a teacher and paid for renovations for two portable buildings that now sit adjacent to the Fine Arts Center on Pine Knoll Drive in Greenville. Sage Automotive Interiors in Greenville, Glen Raven Custom Fabrics in Anderson, Springs Creative in Rock Hill, Alice Manufacturing in Easley and Inman Mills helped purchase equipment for the program, Fluhrer said. A fiber arts program in Greenville made sense for local businesses to support, Randy Blackston, vice president of operations at Glen Raven, said. “There are billions of dollars of capital investment in the textile industry within 30 minutes of this school,” Blackston said. "More importantly, there are thousands and thousands of workers who work in the textile industry within 30 minutes of this school." The textile industry is beset by the preconceived notion that it’s a “dirty industry” whose reputation has been tainted by the number of jobs that have disappeared overseas, Dirk Pieper, president and CEO of Sage Automotive Interiors, said. “The arts and design are a very important part of our business so the opportunity to connect with students of the high school age and get them involved early in our industry of textiles and automotive textiles is a fantastic opportunity to develop homegrown talent here to support our business,” Pieper said. They’re working to change the perception of textiles, which is now high-tech, use new fabrics and design methods and are going to be a $56 billion industry employing more than 500,000 people in the United States, Pieper said. “It’s thriving and of course it’s significant in South Carolina and in particular, the Upstate,” he said. The industry in the Upstate is facing what leaders are calling a “silver tsunami” of retiring baby boomers and will need a new generation of skilled employees to fill their jobs. “Workforce development is the single most important issue in terms of supporting the manufacturing industry,” he said. As the manufacturing industry rebounded post-recession and the state’s leadership attracted new jobs, “It’s our role now to create the associates that are going to be able to work in these operations,” Pieper said. Fiber arts students will learn to weave, knit and construct cloth. They will dye fabric, shape fabric, cut fabric into conceptual art forms or works of art, April Dauscha, fiber arts instructor, said. Inside the remodeled portables, an open concept design splits the rooms into learning zones. A small classroom space with mannequins sits near the entrance with four computers connected to a photo printer. Tables with scraps of fabric, yarn and other materials and a large design table as well as a small kitchenette and laundry area complete the space. Students will spend two hours each day in the studio learning from a curriculum designed with help from professors at N.C. State University, one of the nation’s leading textile programs. The curriculum was built so students who complete the fiber arts program will have college credit that will either offset the amount of time it will take to complete the N.C. State bachelor of science degree or will allow students to study abroad or accept internships to gain added experience during their college years, Nancy Powell, professor in the College of Textiles, said. The fiber arts program moves the school district closer to its goal of graduating students who are college or career ready, Superintendent Burke Royster said. Companies involved in the program will interact with the students regularly, will facilitate visits to textile manufacturers and will offer internships, Pieper said. Image: Greenville Fine Arts Center fiber art student Eileen Selby, left, talks with Greenville School Board member Kenneth Baxter Sr. during a tour of the school's new one-of-a-kind industry-sponsored fiber arts program.

Artist Susan Lenz takes her “Wall of Keys” to England

[caption id="attachment_22021" align="alignright" width="200"]Lenz installing Wall of Keys Lenz installing Wall of Keys[/caption] Columbia artist Susan Lenz received a South Carolina Arts Commission Quarterly Project grant to help support installation of her work, The Wall of Keys, at the Festival of Quilts held Aug. 6-9 in Birmingham, England. Lenz was invited to show her work and present two lectures during the exhibition Maker, Making, Made, curated by Through Our Hands, an international invitational group of leading textile artists. The Festival of Quilts is Europe’s leading patchwork and quilt show and includes more than 25 curated exhibition areas, 300 vendors, 1,000 competition quilts and 180 workshops and lectures. The Wall of Keys is a site-specific installation of 1,800-plus keys with handmade paper tags attached using a unique zigzag-stitched piece of cording. The tags include individual letters clipped from new and vintage magazines, sheet music and other print materials. The Wall of Keys confronts viewers with countless human desires for real and imagined locations in life, such as “The Key to Happiness,” “The Key to Fame and Fortune,” “The Key to a Fast Internet Connection,” and "The Key to Failure." Since returning from England, Lenz has installed The Wall of Keys at her business, The Mouse House, 2123 Park Street, Columbia. Visitors may drop by without an appointment Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. [caption id="attachment_22024" align="alignleft" width="225"]Susan Lenz, Wall of Keys Wall of Keys at The Mouse House. (click for larger image.)[/caption] Visit Lenz's blog, Art in Stitches, to read more about her experience (Part 1) and view photos of works (Part 2) exhibited at the festival. The Quarterly Project grant program is designed to support specific arts activities that promote an individual artist's professional development or career advancement. Projects that promote excellence in an arts discipline and make such excellence accessible for general community-wide audiences are also encouraged. The program is funded in part by a generous award from the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. The next Quarterly Project grant application deadline is Nov. 15, 2015. Top image: An exhibition visitor snaps a photo of The Wall of Keys. All photos courtesy of Susan Lenz.

African American fiber artists sought for special exhibition in North Charleston

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is seeking entries from African American textile artists from across the continent for a special exhibition presented as a component of the 2015 North Charleston Arts Festival, taking place May 1-9 in North Charleston, South Carolina. African American artists, ages 18 and up, working in fiber and living in the United States, Mexico, or Canada, are invited to participate in the 9th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition, titled Maya Angelou. The exhibition will be on display at North Charleston City Hall from April 30 - June 19, 2015. A $30 entry fee applies and allows artists to submit up to four entries. The application is strictly available online and may be accessed at www.NorthCharlestonCulturalArtsDepartment.SlideRoom.com. Deadline for entries is March 2, 2015. [caption id="attachment_17431" align="alignright" width="276"]Pauline Barrett, Reflecting On The Past Pauline Barrett, Reflecting on the Past[/caption] Curated by award-winning and nationally exhibiting textile artist, Torreah “Cookie” Washington, this unique exhibition offers African American fiber artists a showcase to display their original and innovative designs. This year’s installment calls for fiber pieces inspired by the life of Dr. Maya Angelou, a phenomenal woman, daughter of the South, mother of the civil rights movement, speaker of truth to power, and inspiration to so many women from all walks of life. The challenge for this tribute exhibit is for artists to create a fiber work, such as an art quilt, doll, wearable art piece, etc., that expresses their personal relationship to Angelou, her work, and her life. Artists may address how Angelou has made their artistic journey more meaningful, which of her words inspires them to keep keeping on, and/or how she has helped him/her to RISE. Following the close of the show, up to 30 works will be selected to tour the state through the South Carolina State Museum’s 2015/2016 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 9th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition: Maya Angelou will be on display 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily from April 30 - June 19, 2015, on the 1st and 2nd floors of North Charleston City Hall, located at 2500 City Hall Lane in North Charleston. Admission is free. A free public reception in honor of the artists will be held at City Hall on May 7, 2015, from 6 - 8 p.m. For more information about the North Charleston Arts Festival, the 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. Via: North Charleston Cultural Arts Department

Visual artists and fine craft artisans invited to apply for annual Co-Op Gallery

Applications are now being accepted from visual artists and fine craft artisans for participation in The Meeting Place Art and Fine Craft Co-Op, an annual, temporary artist-run gallery coordinated by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department and presented as a component of the North Charleston Arts Festival. The Co-Op is dedicated to presenting many artists of varied backgrounds working in a diverse array of media and representing a full range of styles. Eligible applicants include South Carolina artists, ages 18 and up, creating original fine art, fine crafts, photography, pottery, jewelry, fiber art, glass, sculpture and more. There is no fee to apply. Applications can be found online at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply. Deadline for applications is Monday, March 3, 2014. The Meeting Place Art and Fine Craft Co-Op Gallery is located at 1077 East Montague Avenue in the Olde Village area of North Charleston. Operating hours are Fridays and Saturdays, April 4 through May 31, 2014, and are overseen by participating artists. A free, public reception will be held at the gallery during the North Charleston Arts Festival Art Walk on Wednesday, May 7, from 5-8 p.m. The 2014 North Charleston Arts Festival is scheduled for May 2-10. The nine-day celebration of arts and culture provides more than 30,000 residents and visitors with an array of performances, exhibitions and activities. The Main Event, held the first weekend in May, offers free admission and parking to over 40 performances on four themed stage stages: General Audience, Cultural Heritage, Youth Entertainment, and Bands. Other Main Event activities include judged art and photography shows, the S.C. Palmetto Hands Juried Fine Craft Exhibit, a gem & mineral show, an antique show, children's activities, art and craft booths, and a food courtyard. The Arts Festival continues with more than 60 events and exhibitions throughout the week at various locations. An array of free and ticketed offerings include street dances, concerts, theater presentations, film screenings, an art walk, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, a National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, and much more. The festival concludes with the Grand Finale at North Charleston Riverfront Park featuring performances by professional groups and Tri-county schools, children's activities, and fireworks over the Cooper River. For more information, contact the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843) 740-5854, email culturalarts@northcharleston.org, or visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. Via: North Charleston Cultural Arts Department

New fiber art exhibition at Pickens County Museum

[gallery link="file"] The Pickens County Cultural Commission is pleased to present Connecting Concept & Medium: Fiber Art in South Carolina at the Pickens County Museum of Art & History. This exhibition, featuring works by 27 of South Carolina’s finest fiber artisans, runs Sept. 7 - November 14. The opening reception is Sept. 7 from 5 - 8 p.m. Connecting Concept & Medium is an invitational exhibition that, in some sense of the word, will survey the wide ranges of fiber art being currently created in our state by established, as well as, up-and-coming artists. While there are hints to the history and evolution of fiber art and prevailing ideologies, this exhibit is less a history show and more about the artists working in all fiber categories, including weaving, needlework, quilting, wearables, paper & felting, mixed fiber, surface design, sculpture and installation. Exhibition artists: Paige Alexander, Beth Andrews, Jim Arendt*, Lois Bro, Jocelyn Châteauvert*^, Robin Ann Cooper, Cathy Coster, Mary Edna Fraser*~, Fran Gardner, Terry Jarrard-Dimond*^, Patricia Kerko, Christina Laurel, Susan Lenz, Connie Lippert, Lee Malerich*^, Beth Melton*~, Jeanette Moody, Dottie Moore, Marlene O’Bryant-Seabrook, Bonnie B. Ouellette, Beth Robertson, Alice Schlein, Gail Sexton, Susan Sorrell, Chris Tedesco, Marilyn Wall, and Michael Wiernicki. Connecting Concept & Medium is sponsored in part by Cornell-Dubilier, Earth Design, Pickens Savings & Loan and South Carolina Bank & Trust. The Pickens County Museum of Art & History is funded in part by Pickens County, members and friends of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Located at the corner of Hwy. 178 at 307 Johnson Street in Pickens, S.C., the museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. * S.C. Arts Commission Fellow ^ work included in the S.C. State Art CollectionArtists’ Ventures Initiative grantee Via: Pickens County Museum of Art & History

Historic Belton Train Depot site of new Upstate Heritage Quilt

Thanks to the skill of upstate quilters, volunteers, and a local manufacturing company, a painted copy of a century-plus-old heirloom quilt now graces the side of the historic Belton Train Depot. The quilt block was erected in May by employees of Darby Metalworks, Inc., of Anderson and Belton Area Museum Association board member Walter Smith. The “Carolina Lily” quilt joins 113 other examples located in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties as part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The blocks can usually be found on historic buildings, fusing an interest in quilts with heritage tourism. “The board of the Belton Area Museum Association chose the ‘Carolina Lily’ quilt because it is among the oldest in the local area and is owned by board member LuAnne Childress Foster,” said BAMA President Tim Drake. The pattern, which has numerous pseudonyms, dates back to the 19th century. “It took almost a year to complete the work on the block because it is such an intricate pattern,” said Foster, who coordinated the quilt block project. [caption id="attachment_7031" align="alignright" width="600"]Historic Belton Train Depot Left to right: Shirah Smith, Tim Drake, LuAnne Foster, Shirley Smith (descendant of quilt maker Elizabeth Worsham) and her husband, Mike Smith.[/caption] Members of the Prickly Fingers Quilters Guild of Anderson again transformed their skills as quilters into one-dimensional artwork, having produced several blocks for display since their first effort in 2011. Quilters who completed this block include Diane Schonauer, Stamie Cline, Marcia Whaley, Debby Stone, Joan Korth, Lou Russell, Robin Kaja, Wendy Wolff and Teri Walker. The original quilt was started in 1851 and finished in 1854. It was made by Elizabeth B. Worsham to prove her worthiness to become the second wife of John H. Worsham of Jackson County, Georgia. His children’s initials and hand prints are located in each corner and throughout the squares on the quilt. The quilt was passed down from mother to daughter for three generations until it was sold at auction. “The quilt block can be viewed at any time since it is located on the outside of the building," said BAMA Executive Director Shirah Smith. "We’re so pleased to preserve this important art form for the public to see.” The painted quilt block is on display at the North entrance (Breazeale Street) of the historic Belton Train Depot, located at 100 N. Main Street in Belton, S.C.  The quilt block is sponsored by the Belton Area Museum Association. (Related: Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Celebrates 100th Quilt - Nov. 2012) About the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT) was begun in 2009 when Oconee County became the first to embrace the quilt trail concept. Since then, Oconee has been joined by Pickens and Anderson counties along with four other quilt trails in South Carolina: York County Quilt Trail, Foothills Quilt Trail-Landrum, McCormick County Quilt Trail and Ridge Heritage Quilt Trail. Information and interactive maps of all the S.C. trails can be found at www.uhqt.org. About the Belton Area Museum Association The Belton Area Museum Association oversees the Ruth Drake Museum, the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, the Center Section, the North End Gallery, and Whistle Stop Gifts, all located in the historic Belton Train Depot. For more information, call (864) 338-7400, or visit www.beltonsc.com or Facebook. Via: Belton Area Museum Association

Indie Craft Parade looking for handmade, quality crafts

Regional crafters and independent artists are invited to apply for the fourth annual Indie Craft Parade, a juried art market scheduled for September 6 -8 in downtown Greenville, S.C. Application deadline is June 23. Indie Craft ParadeIndie Craft Parade features handmade goods in these categories:

  • 2D Fine Art - prints and originals
  • 3D Fine Art - ceramic, glass, wood, metal
  • Fiber Art - felted, knitted, crocheted, woven, stitched
  • To Wear - jewelry, clothing, purses, hair accessories
  • Paper Goods - stationery, handmade books, paper crafts
  • Everything Else - toys, home and garden, artisan foods, supplies
Find out more and apply. Finkelstein's Center About Indie Craft Parade In a public market that promotes quality crafts, Indie Craft Parade brings together the best artists in the Southeast and encourages interaction between the community and local independent artists. Each year talented musicians and local food vendors are also invited to contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of the festivities. Indie Craft Parade seeks to enrich every day life by spreading good art and design throughout the community, promoting the belief that art is both personal and powerful. Indie Craft Parade is held indoors at the historic Huguenot Mill at the Peace Center. Via: Indie Craft Parade