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Who’s-who of female #SCartists headline new project

Home-grown historic women to be honored by home-grown talent

[caption id="attachment_40815" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Eartha Kitt placesetting by Mana Hewitt Eartha Kitt placesetting by Mana Hewitt for The Supper Table.[/caption]
The Jasper Project announced its most ambitious multidisciplinary arts project to date – The Supper Table – enlisting the talents of more than 50 of South Carolina’s most outstanding women artists from the fields of visual, literary, theatrical arts, and film. An homage to Judy Chicago’s iconic feminist art installation, The Dinner Party, and using Chicago’s project as a loose model, Jasper Project Executive Director Cindi Boiter conceived of The Supper Table as an innovative way of honoring some of South Carolina's largely un-celebrated, yet groundbreaking women in history. After consulting with experts like Marjorie Spruill, professor emeritus in women’s history at the University of South Carolina, Boiter selected 12 historic South Carolina women who, via their work in the arts, medicine, law, business, athletics, entertainment, and more, changed the course of human history. Using the model created by Chicago, Boiter commissioned Richland Library Maker Coordinator Jordan Morris to create a 12’ x 12’ x 12’ wooden table at which visual artists would create place-settings inspired by and honoring the historic women. In addition to the 12 visual artists, a dozen artists each from the literary, theatrical arts, and film were also invited to participate. The result is a multidisciplinary arts installation and performance which will premiere in September along with the release of:
  • a book Setting The Supper Table,
  • the premiere of a series of 12 looped 90-second films,
  • a staged oration by 12 women actors based on essays written by 12 literary artists,
  • and, of course, the installation of the table itself, complete with 12 place-settings.
Funded in part by a Connected Communities grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation, The Supper Table premiere begins Friday, Sept. 6 at Trustus Theatre with a celebration, performance, and panel presentation before moving Sunday, Sept. 8 to Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College for another premiere celebration and the installation of The Supper Table, complete with films and a collection of 12 original portraits of the honored women created by Artfields People’s Choice winner Kirkland Smith. After, it will travel to other venues in the state throughout 2020. In addition to the hand-crafted table with artisanal place-settings, the books, looped films, and portraits, the installation will also include three walls comprised of 120 hand-embossed tiles, each celebrating an additional history-making woman from South Carolina, some living and some deceased, called an "Array of Remarkable SC Women." These tiles were hand-painted this past spring by women and girls from the state's Midlands region. The women honored at The Supper Table range from indigo entrepreneur Eliza Lucas Pinckney to college founders Mary McLeod Bethune and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright to ground-breaking law professor Sarah Leverette, who died last August. The honored subjects also include Alice Childress, Septima Clark, Matilda Evans, Althea Gibson, Angeline and Sarah Grimke, Eartha Kitt, Julia Peterkin, and Modjeska Monteith Simkins. Eight of the 12 place-settings are devoted to women of color. Visual artists involved include Michaela Pilar Brown, Mana Hewitt, Eileen Blyth, Laurie Brownell McIntosh, Olga Yukhno, Flavia Lovatelli, Bohumila Augustinova, Lori Isom, Renee Roullier, Tonya Gregg, B. A. Hohman, and Heidi Darr-Hope. Jordan Morris created the actual table and Kathryn Van Aernum is the official photographer. The city of Columbia’s Brenda Oliver assisted with tiles along with Diane Hare. Literary artists include South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, Eva Moore, Claudia Smith Brinson, Carla Damron, Candace Wiley, Christina Xan, Qiana Whitted, Meeghan Kane, Kristine Hartvigsen, and Jennifer Bartell. Boiter is also writing an introductory essay for the book. Film artists include Emmy award-winning filmmaker Betsy Newman, Laura Kissel, Roni Nicole, Faye Riley, Katly Hong, Ebony Wilson, Jordan Mullen, Steffi Brink, Carleen Maur, Lee Ann Kornegay, Lillian Burke, and Tamara Finkbeiner with Josetra Robinson. Kornegay is also creating The Making of the Supper Table, a full-length film that will premiere in spring 2020. Indie Grits Lab’s Mahkia Greene is overseeing the filmmakers. Vicky Saye Henderson is overseeing the casting and directing of the theatrical artists.
For more information about The Supper Table,visit its Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thejasperproject/the-supper-table.

Free ‘SC.FELLOWS Part II” lunch and learn sessions resume Wednesday

[caption id="attachment_35465" align="alignright" width="235"] Heidi Darr-Hope, Goddess Series-Pathway[/caption] Last week's premiere lunch and learn session for the SC.FELLOWS Part II exhibition saw good turnout, and more is expected Wednesday for round two. Fellowship recipient Paula Smith (2004) gave a talk to around 20 eager arts lovers. Nick Boismenu from the S.C. Arts Commission facilitated. This Wednesday is the second of the three-talk series. Make plans to visit the Ponder Gallery at Benedict College (1600 Harden St., Columbia) to hear more from 1982 fellow Heidi Darr-Hope and facilitator Wendell Brown, who is the gallery director. The talk starts at 12:30 p.m., is free, and you're encouraged to bring lunch. Reservations are required. UPDATE 19 June, 13:45: We're disappointed to announce that this event is canceled and will not be rescheduled. Please plan to join fellow Bob Lyon and Harriett Green from SCAC for the final session June 26th from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Get more information from this Hub post announcing the series.

SC.FELLOWS Part II is a joint project of the Ponder Gallery, 701 Center for Contemporary Art and the South Carolina Arts Commission. For hours and more information about Part II at 701 CCA, please visit www.701cca.org.

SC.FELLOWS Part II lunchtime talk series to debut at Benedict College

The S.C. Arts Commission and the Ponder Gallery at Benedict College will host a series of lunch time talks on SC.FELLOWS Part II at the Ponder Gallery.  SC.FELLOWS Part II is the second installment of a two-part exhibition featuring the work of 78 artists who received S.C. Arts Commission Visual Arts & Craft Fellowships since the inception of the program in 1976. Featured during the talks are three artists who received fellowships. The artists will provide insight about their work during their fellowships, how their work has evolved, and share how their fellowships impacted their careers. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.  Please call 803.734.8696 or email hgreen@arts.sc.gov.  Space is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

[gallery size="medium" ids="35464,35465,35467"]

Lunchtime Talks Schedule

  • 12:30 -1:30 p.m.
  • Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Thursday, June 14

  • Paula Smith, 2004 Fellow
  • Nick Boismenu, visual arts assistant, S.C. Arts Commission and facilitator

Wednesday, June 20

  • Heidi Darr-Hope, 1982 Fellow
  • Wendell Brown, director of the Ponder Gallery and facilitator

Tuesday, June 26

  • Bob Lyon, 2014 Fellow
  • Harriett Green, visual arts director, S.C. Arts Commission and facilitator

Henry Ponder Gallery at Benedict College

  • 1600 Harden St.
  • Columbia, SC  29204
  • Gallery hours: Tuesday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Parking available in the campus garage

The fellowship awards are made through a highly competitive, anonymous process and are based on artistic merit only. Throughout its history, recipients of the visual arts and craft awards have been selected by a panel of out-of-state jurors including: art curators, art critics, artists, arts educators, and arts administrators with expertise in contemporary art. SC.FELLOWS Part II is a joint project of the Ponder Gallery, 701 Center for Contemporary Art and the South Carolina Arts Commission. For hours and more information about Part II at 701 CCA, please visit www.701cca.org.      

Cancer patients chronicle journeys through 20 years of Healing Icons

From ColaDaily.com:

Article by Rachel Ham Physicians around the globe are researching drugs to fight cancer and beat the disease that’s claimed so many lives. A local artist is using simpler tools like paper and pastels to bring healing, hope and renewal. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"]Healing Icons Participants use word association to express feelings of anxiety and joy. (photo by Rachel Ham)[/caption] Heidi Darr-Hope held her first art class for cancer patients 20 years ago. As the sole instructor and executive director of Healing Icons, she’s impacted hundreds of survivors one session at time. “We are all artists, I like to say,” she said. About 20 participants gather at a meeting room at Lexington Medical Center for the monthly Lunch & Learn. Some are in remission, others come straight from a doctor’s appointment in another area of the hospital. Some have received their frightening diagnosis just days before joining the group. Healing Icons uses creativity to confront fears, reduce stress and form a community of cancer survivors. Darr-Hope teaches participants during those monthly Lunch & Learn sessions to put away their reservations, to not be afraid to make mistakes and to express their feelings through various mediums. “(Healing Icons classes) got me on a path to doing better,” said Linda DeLeonardis, a breast cancer survivor. Research has shown patients who attend support groups like Healing Icons have reduced “tension, anxiety and tiredness … (and a) lower … risk of depression,” according to the American Cancer Society. DeLeonardis said past projects like collages gave her an avenue to share her story with others. Many of her finished works now hang in her home. “They were that important to me,” she said. “It’s beautiful what comes out of the group,” Darr-Hope said. Darr-Hope said the classes aren’t meant to be a distraction from treatment but instead a place to identify and address things that are causing anxiety. When instructing on mandalas, a “sacred circle” used to unearth wisdom, she asked last week’s group to write down words they “see.” Words like “hope,” “peace,” “road” and even “stress” were revealed in the curves and colors of the mandalas they drew. “Don’t judge the words that come,” Darr-Hope said. “Let go and see what comes … There’s no right or wrong way to do this.” Darr-Hope also challenged artists to let happy memories surface as they created new shapes inside their mandalas. Past participants have published compilations of their “icons,” or self-portraits of their survival stories using numerous materials. They say Healing Icons gave them a respite from thinking about their illness that but classes are far from a “no cancer talk” zone. People are encouraged to share their fears and breakthroughs by talking with fellow classmates about what they’ve created. DeLeonardis said the open-armed community helped her process not only her own diagnosis but also the death of her husband, who also had cancer. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"]Healing Icons Heidi Darr-Hope gives patients the tools and techniques to get started on a journey of expression. (photo by Rachel Ham)[/caption] “It’s easy to talk to people with the same experience,” she said. “It’s good to see people open up.” Caregivers often are sitting around the table with their paintbrushes and pencils, too. Evelyn Anderson first came with her daughter Jill, who was diagnosed with colon cancer. “It helped both of us and was a real inspiration,” Anderson said. Leaning on the Healing Icons community and having a creative outlet at her fingertips allowed Anderson to work through her grief when Jill passed away. “It gets to be like a real family,” she said. Darr-Hope said she thinks her brother’s death at a young age from brain cancer propelled her towards the arts and to one day found a nonprofit to help others through art. She has been recognized for her work with Healing Icons with the 2011 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award from South Carolina Arts Commission and the 2011 Twin (Tribute to Women in Industry) Award in Health and Wellness from the Palmetto Center for Women. Joining Darr-Hope in keeping Healing Icons’ mission going is a board of directors and volunteer ambassadors. Darr-Hope asks those who’ve been through the process and are several years into remission to serve as ambassadors and be the welcoming committee for visitors. “It’s good to have them around for the newly diagnosed … They provide a comforting presence,” she said. Healing Icons is developing an e-course for cancer patients who aren’t able to come in person. The e-course will allow them to work through projects with family and friends. A series of quarterly retreats is another new addition to Healing Icons. Darr-Hope has organized a spring, summer, autumn and winter retreat lasting from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each Saturday. All supplies are provided, but registration is required. Healing Icons is supported by the Lexington Medical Center Foundation and the Center for Colon Cancer Research at USC but relies heavily on private donors. The nonprofit is one of the 252 organizations participating in 2015 Midlands Gives on May 5. More information about Healing Icons is available here. The next Lunch & Learn is scheduled for noon May 6.