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S.C. Arts Awards Spotlight Series: Ed Madden

Governor's Award: Individual 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.

Ed Madden is a poet, activist, and a professor of English, with a focus on Irish literature, at the University of South Carolina.

[caption id="attachment_50362" align="alignright" width="265"] Ed Madden (left) received his Governor's Award from SCAC Executive Director David Platts on May 19, 2022. Click image to enlarge. SCAC photo by Jason Rapp.[/caption] There, he is also director of the women’s and gender studies program. His academic areas of specialization include Irish culture; British and Irish poetry; LGBTQ literature, sexuality studies, and history of sexuality; and creative writing and poetry. In 2015, Madden was named Columbia’s first poet laureate, a post he maintains today. His poetry collection Prodigal: Variations was published in 2011. His chapbook, My Father’s House, was runner-up for the 2011 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. His latest books of poetry are Nest (2014) and Ark (2016). Madden is author of several critical articles on modern British and Irish poetry including Tiresian Poetics: Modernism, Sexuality, Voice, 1888-2001, a book on representations of Tiresian liminality in modernist poetry. He co-edited two texts, Irish Studies: Geographies and Genders, and The Emergence of Man into the 21st Century – an anthology of essays and poems on male experience. Finally, he penned “An Open Letter to My Christian Friends,” which makes appearances in various textbooks, including Everything’s an Argument. In addition to his literary criticism, he also publishes on issues involving sexuality and spirituality. He has published “Gospels of Inversion: Literature, Scripture, Sexology” in a collection of essays entitled Divine Aporia: Postmodern Conversation About the Other (edited by John C. Hawley). Another foray into the intersection of religion, literature, and sex came in the essay “The Well of Loneliness, or the Gospel According to Radclyffe Hall,” published in Reclaiming the Sacred: The Bible in Gay and Lesbian Culture. Madden has been a South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellow in poetry twice and was South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow in 2011. In 2019 he was named a Poet Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and a visiting artist fellow at the Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil. He has been writer-in-residence at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden and at Fort Moultrie in Charleston as part of the state’s African American Heritage Corridor project. He also works with the South Carolina Poetry Initiative and was 2006 artist-in-residence for South Carolina State Parks. Madden won the single-poem contest co-sponsored by The State newspaper and the South Carolina Poetry Initiative (with “Prodigal: Variations”) and won the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, with Signals, published by the UofSC Press. He was selected as one of the top 50 New Poets by Meridian Magazine (which is published by the University of Virginia Press) for his poem, “Sacrifice,” which was included in the Best New Poets of 2007 anthology.
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

Gibbes Museum awarded grants to increase diversity

The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston’s premier art museum, has been awarded three grants that aim to showcase more diverse voices and expand the canon of art history.

One comes courtesy of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and two from the Art Bridges Foundation. These grants have awarded funds to the Gibbes to support two exhibitions – the Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice exhibition currently on display and another exhibition slated for fall of 2023 that will draw parallels between the British Aestheticism movement of the late 19th century and the Charleston Renaissance, highlighting LGBTQIA+ influences on both movements.

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supports land conservation, artistic vitality and regional collections for the people of the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Chicago. The Gibbes was named one of 11 recipients of the foundation’s groundbreaking Broadening Narratives initiative, which aims to fund specific collections or projects that shed light on underrepresented stories. This grant, totaling $60,000, will aid the Gibbes in a special exhibition that will draw unprecedented parallels between two dynamic artists – 20th century Charleston Renaissance artist Edward “Ned” I.R. Jennings and author and illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, an icon of the British Aestheticism movement. In particular, the exhibit will consider the role of queer artists in the Charleston arts community at the time by exploring Jennings’ life and works. “At the Gibbes, we are committed to sharing artists from diverse backgrounds and experiences,” says Angela Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art. “We are grateful and excited to put this grant toward continuing that mission with a special exhibition highlighting LGBTQIA+ artists with a focus on our Charleston arts community.”

Art Bridges Foundation

The Art Bridges Foundation grants, totaling $76,015, were awarded to the Gibbes to support exhibition costs, marketing and related programming associated with the Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice exhibition, now on view at the Gibbes until Aug. 7, 2022. This exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with support from the Art Bridges Foundation. William H. Johnson, a South Carolina native, painted his “Fighters for Freedom” series in the 1940s as a tribute to African American activists, scientists, teachers and performers who fought to bring peace to the world. Through their stories, he suggests that the pursuit of freedom is an ongoing interconnected struggle with moments of both triumph and tragedy. “The presentation of Johnson’s Fighters for Freedom not only reintroduces a major South Carolina-born artist to contemporary audiences, but also further strengthens a program of exhibitions addressing complex and lesser or unfamiliar narratives in visual art,” Mack said. “We are truly grateful for the partnership with Art Bridges to bring this exhibition, the first-ever presentation of this series, back to Johnson’s home state and to foster a more diverse and expanded canon of art history.”

About the Gibbes Museum of Art

Home to the Carolina Art Association, established in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art is recognized among the oldest arts organizations in the United States. Housing one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present, the museum’s mission is to enhance lives through art by engaging people of every background and experience with art and artists of enduring quality and by providing opportunities to learn, to discover, to enjoy and to be inspired by the creative process. For more information, visit www.gibbesmuseum.org.

Jason Rapp

Donnelley Foundation grants to help tell underrepresented stories

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation (the Foundation)—which supports land conservation, artistic vitality, and regional collections for the people of the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Chicago—announced the 11 recipients of the its groundbreaking “Broadening Narratives” initiative, which aims to fund specific collections projects that bring forward underrepresented stories.

This announcement represents the second round of organizations to receive the Broadening Narratives grant. The projects collectively illustrate BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+ perspectives, working-class narratives, small community experiences, as well as other underrepresented groups and viewpoints.  The three Lowcountry-based projects or organizations are Clemson University, the Gibbes Museum of Art, and The Educational Foundation of the University of South Carolina Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center. The eight Chicago-based organizations are the Bronzeville Black Chicagoan Historical Society, Chicago History Museum, Chicago Public Art Group, Lewis University, Muslim American Leadership Alliance, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, South Side Community Art Center, and Trickster Cultural Center. Additionally, the foundation renewed its $25,000 grant to each of the five Broadening Narratives advisory groups that assisted with the formation of that funding initiative: the College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library, Southeastern Museums Conference, Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago Collections Consortium, and the Chicago Cultural Alliance. “While the purpose of collections is to ensure that stories are preserved, many narratives are often overlooked because of decisions based on race, gender, sexual identity, educational background, economic or social status, or because they are perceived to be outside the conventional thinking of the day,” said David Farren, foundation executive director. “We are thrilled to announce these grant recipients and want to thank these organizations for being part of this new way forward in collections thinking that shifts focus from the processing of material objects to the telling of broader and more inclusive narratives.” The Lowcountry-based organizations and projects to be funded by Broadening Narratives:
  • Clemson University will partner with the nationally registered Seashore Farmers’ Lodge and the Sol Legare community to provide collections management training; conduct conservation assessment, treatment, and interpretation for objects in the collection; and develop manuals for ongoing care and management. The project will shed light on the site, which was once the heart and backbone of the early African-American community providing farmers aid and insurance in a time of need in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
“The historic African American community of Sol Legare in the Lowcountry of South Carolina is unique in the measures that community members have taken to interpret and preserve their history in the built environment and cultural objects,” says Dr. Jon Marcoux, director of Clemson's Historic Preservation program.  “The community’s historical importance has gone unrecognized in broader narratives of the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights eras. The project has the authenticity of fourth-generation residents playing an intricate role in protecting hundreds of donated objects that represent the full 150-year-old history of Sol Legare. We are honored to partner with the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to preserve and share this significant collection.”
  • The Gibbes Museum of Art will create an exhibition drawing parallels between noted Charleston Renaissance artist Ned Jennings and British Aesthete and artist Aubrey Beardsley, re-contextualizing the Renaissance by examining the historically taboo topic of LGBTQIA+ contributions to the art world, still largely untold in the South. In particular, the exhibit will consider the role of queer artists in the Charleston arts community and the influence of queer aesthetics on the Charleston Renaissance via an exploration of Jennings’ works and life.
“By considering the impact of the British Aestheticism movement of the late 19th century on one of Charleston’s most original artistic minds, Edward “Ned” I.R. Jennings, we’re able to engage in a long overdue conversation about the LGBTQIA+ influences, histories, and kinship networks that existed between World Wars I and II when the visual arts flourished; a period that would become known as the Charleston Renaissance,” Gibbes Museum of Art Executive Director Angela Mack said. “Thanks to the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation’s commitment to telling this story, we are able to reengage with the work of an artist whose life was tragically cut short and whose originality and impact for too long has been marginalized.”
  • The Educational Foundation of the University of South Carolina Lancaster’s Native American Studies Center (NASC) will continue its study of South Carolina’s Native American peoples, their histories, and their cultures by gathering oral histories, artifacts, and conducting research related to Lowcountry tribes. The Lowcountry was a significant site for Native American tribes across the region for trade and was a nexus for interaction with European settlers and enslaved Africans.
“Very little scholarly work has been done to document and preserve the living traditions of South Carolina Native Americans, particularly in the Lowcountry. The small, often isolated but vibrant Native communities have existed largely under the radar of outside scholars. Some members of these communities were enslaved by European colonists; others found their tribal communities driven to near extinction. Some identified, at times, as white; others were labeled as African American. With the generous support of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the NASC will help document, preserve, and share these rich cultural traditions maintained by the life experiences and in the memories of the elders and leaders of these communities,” said Dr. Stephen Criswell, NASC Director. Criswell, Hub readers might remember, is a 2018 recipient of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. The Gibbes Museum is a 2019 recipient of the South Carolina Governor's Award for the Arts. Readers curious about the Chicago-based grant recipients can read more about them here.
About Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supports land conservation, artistic vitality, and regional collections for the people of the Chicago region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina. For over five years, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation has convened five advisory groups to assist with the formation and execution of the Broadening Narratives funding initiative by providing important feedback, keeping the Foundation apprised of trends in the field, and serving as valuable connectors and conveners. The groups include Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago Collections Consortium, Chicago Cultural Alliance, College of Charleston’s Lowcountry Digital Library, and the Southeastern Museums Conference. For more information on the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, visit www.gddf.org.

Jason Rapp