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Florence Regional Arts Alliance invites submissions for Small Works Juried Competition

Entering its second year, the Florence Regional Arts Alliance's Small Works 2015 is a juried visual arts competition featuring a compilation of 40 small pieces selected from a wide range of media and artists. The show aims to provide a place for the emerging artist to place alongside the professional artist. In a small works competition, finished pieces may be no larger than 12" x 12” including the frame. The size constraints provide an exhibit that is more intimate in nature and also a venue for a young art collector to begin acquiring smaller, more affordable pieces. Submission deadline is Oct. 9. All artists 18 and older living in South Carolina or North Carolina may submit work for this show. Entries are submitted online at www.florenceartsalliance.org. Only original works not previously shown with the Florence Regional Arts Alliance or with the Greater Lake City Artist Guild within the last two years are eligible. These 2-D works may be in any medium including photography. Artists may submit up to four entries at $15 per entry. Three cash prizes will be awarded: First Place $500, Second Place $250, Third Pace $100 and Honorable Mention. The competition will be juried by Edward Puchner, curator of exhibitions for McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining the staff at USC, Puchner worked at a variety of museums, galleries and cultural nonprofits, including the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Indiana University Art Museum and the Clark Art Institute, earning a doctorate in Art History from Indiana University in 2012. He also served as gallery manager at Luise Ross Gallery, a significant New York gallery of modern and contemporary art. Last year, the competition was hosted in the Art Trail Gallery and winners included Paolo Gualdi (first), Allison Triplett (second), Doug Gary (third) and Colleen Critcher (honorable mention). This year the exhibition will be hosted by the Greater Lake City Artist Guild within the Art Fields® Office at 110 East Main Street in Lake City. The show and competition are underwritten by a generous gift from International Knife and Saw, Inc., a manufacturer of high quality industrial machine knives and accessories. Their continued investment in the arts encourages and supports the quality of life and economic growth within Florence County. Prizes will be awarded at a reception on Nov. 3 in Lake City, and the exhibition will run Nov. 3 - 28. For more information, or to enter, visit the Florence Regional Arts Alliance's website or call the Arts Alliance at (843) 407-3092. Via: Florence Regional Arts Alliance

Jeweler helping Johnsonville use art as economic development tool

From the Hemingway Observer Article and photo by Dianne Owens

JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – There’s rolling and patting and molding and texturing and firing. Somewhere in there is drying and polishing and adding findings. That’s all a part of making jewelry, wearable art pieces, that is, and Jackie Stasney of Johnsonville is working hard at getting it down to a fine science. As a child, Stasney picked up gemstones and rocks on family trips. Fast-forward 40 years, after marriage, raising of children, and the pursuing of other ventures, she and her husband, Tom, found themselves back in Johnsonville, helping to care for her aging parents, Norman and Jean Edgeworth.
Fast-forward 10 more years, and she has found out, finally, what she wants to be when she grows up: an artist who makes jewelry.
Her first foray into jewelry making was the wrapping of wire around her “rocks” and then adding the chains from which to wear them. And then creating the same for bracelets.
Stasney said those early pieces were crudely made, and she cringes to think about them. People would ask, however, where she got the jewelry she was wearing, and when they discovered she had made it, they were willing to pay her to make something unique for them.
After seeing she could make and sell those “wrapped rocks,” her most recent career was born.
“I love wearing signature pieces. Big items. And I love making them," she said recently, sitting at a table in the Artisan Outpost in Johnsonville.
Stasney credits Jane Madden with helping her have confidence in her work. Stasney says Madden dragged her “from under a tree,” where she sat at a table selling her wares.
“Working with Jackie has been interesting,” said Madden, a former director of the Art Trail Gallery. “Her passion about the beauty she sees in gemstones is what has driven her. ... In five to 10 years, her work will continue to evolve.”
Stasney wasn’t content with just making and selling her art. She looked around and saw other talented artists in the area, all of whom needed a venue. And there sat the empty former library building on a corner in Johnsonville. She contacted City Hall, and in 2013 the Artisan Outpost opened: a venue, one Saturday each month, that showcases local artists and their work, a place where painting classes are conducted and where this fall kindergarteners will come to explore their creativity.
“I think it’s been good,” Stasney said. “It brings folks into Johnsonville who wouldn’t otherwise come, and they buy other things while they are here.”
At first, she said, many locals came, and she said there are several repeat customers, but now, the majority of visitors to the Outpost are from Conway, Santee, the beach and beyond.
In 2014, Stasney opened her Etsy store, an online shop. From there, she sells her jewelry throughout the world.
“I am and always have been fascinated by the beauty of stones,” she said. “I love to find a vein of color and pick that color up in either my wire or crystals. I have recently discovered metal clay and enjoy making my own pieces. Love of nature and love of color are my passions.”
Since becoming an artist, Stasney has surrounded herself with other like-minded folks.
Her works are on display with the Art Trail in Florence, and she serves on that group’s board. Most recently she was juried as an emerging artist in mixed media with the South Carolina Cotton Trail, showing items in the Black Creek Arts Center in Hartsville.
She is a member of the Lake City Area Arts Guild and takes lessons to hone her skills. She is dabbling now in new media.
Stasney said if she has trouble, she turns to her husband, the engineer. With his ingenuity and help in getting her to think through steps, the designs she sees in her head come to life. She is amazed, really, she said.
A regular on Thursdays at the Lake City Farmers Market, she has been joined throughout this summer by granddaughter Madison, who might be a budding businesswoman.
Madison said she loves trying on the jewelry and setting up the tables for her grandmother. She likes the business side of the jewelry business.
“We (local artists) can’t compete with the mass-produced items,” Stasney said, “but we can offer something unique and wonderful. I’m amazed we (the artists at the Outpost) are still here.”
A piece of jewelry takes approximately three to four days to complete, she said, and she has many items going, all in various stages, all the time.
“I’m late to art,” she said, “But I finally found what I want to do when I grow up ... I’d tell people to find where their passion is and to follow it. Take a course, even if it’s online. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. Push.” Image: Jackie Stasney of Johnsonville laughs as granddaughter Madison points at her new favorite piece of jewelry. She likes this one, she said, because it is an eagle wing. The two were manning Stasney's booth at the Lake City Farmers Market.

Artists’ Guild and Florence Regional Arts Alliance team up for third exhibition

PassagesFrom February 7 to March 14, the Greater Lake City Artists' Guild and the Florence Regional Arts Alliance will present Passages, an exhibit of artwork by Adrian Rhodes, at the ArtFields Gallery in downtown Lake City. Featuring mixed media painting and collage rooted in printmaking, Passages opens with a reception Feb. 7 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. There is no fee and everyone is invited to attend. This exhibit is the third exhibit brought to the ArtFields Gallery through a partnership between the Greater Lake City Artists Guild and the Florence Regional Arts Alliance. Last year, Patz & Dogs (featuring artists Patz Fowle and Heidi Bond) and The Great Harvest (photography by Benton Henry) were shown in the gallery. Rhodes, who studied at the University of South Carolina and Winthrop University, has shown in various galleries throughout the Pee Dee and the Midlands, as well as at Spartanburg’s Carolina Gallery and Charlotte’s Rice Gallery. Her recent awards include Best in Show at the Arts Council of York County’s 2013 Annual Juried Show and second place at the 2013 S.C. Festival of Flowers Juried Exhibition in Greenwood. An excerpt from Rhodes’ artist statement: "I am interested in the act of making. Rather than expressing a preconceived idea or conveying a specific message, I find that meaning and purpose within the work comes from employing art making as a way to question. Through process the content is revealed to be dependent on the internal logic of the piece. The resulting composition bears many traces of how it was made. While you can see the effects of underlying colors and patterns showing through the topmost skin of paint, there are also the traces evident in the many layers, abrasions and seams within the composition. These tactile remnants of the piece’s foundation lie beneath the surface layer and bear witness to the history of the painting’s creation." Rhodes hails from Hartsville, S.C., where she lives with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Sophie. The ArtFields Gallery's operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays. The gallery is located at 110 East Main Street in downtown Lake City. For more information about the exhibit or the Greater Lake City Artists' Guild, contact Sandy Cook at greaterlakecityartistsguild@gmail.com. For more information about the Florence Regional Arts Alliance, contact Bruce Douglas at peedeearts@gmail.com. Established in 1984, the Florence Regional Arts Alliance is a community-based nonprofit organization that is committed to preserving, supporting, and promoting the Arts in Florence County. Additionally, FRAA strives to promote and strengthen the arts in the region through its online arts marketing initiative, Pee Dee Arts. (Image: Shatter) Via: Florence Regional Arts Alliance