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Stormwater launches BIPOC residency

Announces Columbia oil painter as first resident

BIPOC artists will benefit from a new residency program announced yesterday by Stormwater, a new nonprofit organization started to support "the thriving working artist community in Columbia’s Vista district."

An anonymous donor and matching funds from One Columbia for Arts and Culture will support the one-year residency program, created to reflect the greater art community at Stormwater by building a more inclusive culture that encourages, supports and celebrates diverse voices. Oil painter Malik Greene (right) of Columbia will join Stormwater Studios as the program's inaugural artist-in-residence. The program was developed when long-time resident artist Robert Kennedy moved to Charleston and vacated his studio. With an empty studio came an opportunity to embrace the vison of creating more diversity and inclusion at Stormwater. “We have always had a lot of diversity among artists who exhibit and attend the shows, but unfortunately, have not had an artist of color rent a studio at Stormwater. We launched this initiative as way better represent the Columbia art scene within our resident artist community,” Kirkland Smith, president of the Stormwater nonprofit, acknowledged. “I’ve been looking for a community that I can be a part of to expand creatively,” says Greene. “The process was open and welcoming, and I felt a good energy through it all. The work session, led by One Columbia, was a great meeting to establish the possibility of being the artist-in-residence, but beyond that, it felt really good knowing that everyone who attended wanted to see each other succeed.” The mission of the Stormwater BIPOC Residency Program is to provide a professional working environment that is open to all forms of visual creative expression. This year-long residency will offer artists the opportunity to work outside of their usual environment, provide time to reflect, research, perhaps experiment with different materials, and produce a body of work, which will culminate in a solo exhibition. As a resident, Greene will occupy one of the 10 working artist studios at Stormwater Studios, participate in the bi-annual group shows as well as the operational duties that keep the gallery open to the greater Columbia community. Greene will share his voice at the monthly artist meetings as the group works to expand programming and opportunities for others in the community. All the artists will benefit as mentoring among resident artists happens organically as they work together throughout the year.
To find the new artist, Stormwater reached out to well-respected leaders in the art community to bring their years of experience to the process by creating a committee to thoughtfully nominate, and then narrow the selection, to 10 finalists. The panelists included Midlands art consultant Harriett Green; Michaela Pilar-Brown, an award-winning visual artist and owner and director of Mike Brown Contemporary Art Gallery located in the Vista; and Lee Snelgrove, arts and culture manager for the Richland Library. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the nominating committee and One Columbia for helping the idea of the residency program become a reality,” says Smith. Before the artists submitted their applications and portfolios for review by the current Stormwater residents, the One Columbia staff team conducted a workshop for the finalists in March to discuss the opportunity for securing the one open studio space at Stormwater. “We were happy to respond to the call from Stormwater to help build a process for selecting an artist to fill a vacant studio space,” says Margie Reese, interim executive director of One Columbia for Arts and Culture. “Stormwater was interested in broadening their reach to include more artists of color in the application process.” Reese also explained that collaborations of this nature follow the goals of the Amplify Plan, adopted in 2018 by the city of Columbia and the One Columbia board of directors. “One of the primary goals of the Amplify Plan was to advocate for more opportunities for artists, and our partnership with Stormwater is allowing us to continue to focus on that goal,” says Reese.

Malik Greene is a self-taught oil painter.

“My work depicts my personal history through intimate portraits of family, moments, and memories conveying my experience as a black man and artist. I create as an act of searching, investigating my cognition and the societal implications affecting those who look and feel as I do. I intend to use this studio residency for diving deeper into creating works that expand and supplement representation for my community at large. A particular goal of mine is to begin developing original stories that further the various facets of black life, capturing nuances often ostracized from figurative paintings and literature respectively.”
Stormwater is a nonprofit created to keep a place of permanence for the visual arts and keep a thriving working artist community in Columbia’s Vista district. Stormwater’s mission is to establish a consistent and supportive environment to foster the growth of artists and demonstrate the value and importance of visual art to the community at large. The organization envisions a creative vibrant hub of diverse visual artists fostering creative expression and forming the nucleus of Columbia’s thriving arts district. Visit stormwaterstudios.org to learn more.

Jason Rapp

Enter the 2023 North Charleston Arts Fest fine art, photography judged competitions

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 7 p.m. ET

The 2023 North Charleston Arts Fest is just weeks away, taking place May 3-7.

The event offers some excellent exhibition opportunities for fine artists and photographers ages 16 and up, including the annual Judged Fine Art and Judged Photography Competitions & Exhibitions. Entries for these judged competitions are eligible for ribbons and cash prizes and will be on display throughout the festival at the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex (5001 Coliseum Dr., North Charleston). Fine art and photography entries will be accepted at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 2 and 3, from noon to 7 p.m. Entries should be delivered to the Exhibit Hall loading dock at the rear of the Convention Center, which can be accessed from Amsterdam Street via West Montague Avenue. Artists may enter any combination of categories with a maximum of four entries total. A non-refundable fee of $10 per fine art entry and $5 per photography entry is due at drop-off. Complete details and entry instructions for all exhibition opportunities are available for download at NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com/apply. There is no pre-jury process or application to complete.

Judged Fine Art Competition & Exhibition

Fine artists aged 18 and up are invited to enter original work into the annual North Charleston Arts Fest Judged Fine Art Competition & Exhibition and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $6,550. There are eight accepted media categories: acrylic, oil, drawing, pastel, watercolor, printmaking, printed new media, and 2-D mixed media. Awards will be at the sole discretion of the judge, independent curator and multidisciplinary artist Michaela Pilar Brown. Brown studied sculpture and art history at Howard University, though she has always been a maker of things. Her work can be found in private and public museum collections across the U.S. Brown is the 2018 grand prize winner of the Artfields juried art competition and has been selected for numerous artist residencies from Vermont to New Zealand. She serves as a facilitator with Artists U, a grass roots professional development non-profit using open-source materials to share professional development tools and strategic planning with artists, as well as on the board of directors for One Columbia and the Barabara Deming Memorial Fund, the oldest ongoing feminist granting agency. Formerly the executive director of 701 Center for Contemporary Art (2020-2022), she is now the owner/director of Mike Brown Contemporary Art Gallery (formerly known as If ART) in Columbia.

Judged Photography Competition & Exhibition

Professional and amateur photographers aged 16 and up are invited to enter original prints into the annual North Charleston Arts Fest Judged Photography Competition & Exhibition and compete for cash prizes totaling up to $1,450. Submissions will be accepted in the Professional/Advanced division or Amateur division under the categories of Color and Monochrome. This year, awards will be at the sole discretion of the judge, Elizabeth Bick, assistant professor of Photography at the College of Charleston. Bick is a photographer influenced by her training in classical and modern dance. She has exhibited at the Norton Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Art, Fraenkel Gallery, Houston Center for Photography, and the University of Texas Visual Arts Center. Grants and awards include Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Houston Center for Photography Fellowship, Joan Mitchell Foundation, and The Rudin Prize. She has participated in the summer residency at American Academy in Rome, Ingmar Bergman Estate Artist Residency, La Napoule Foundation residency, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council workspace, and Santa Fe Art Institute residency. Her work has been critically reviewed in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Photograph Magazine, Hyperallergic, and TIME, and she has been commissioned by Public Art Fund, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and NY Times Magazine. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in photography from Yale University.
The Judged Fine Art and Photography Exhibitions are free and open to the public throughout the entirety of the North Charleston Arts Fest. Viewing times are:
  • Wednesday, May 3, 6-8 p.m.,
  • Thursday through Saturday, May 4-6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.,
  • Sunday, May 7, Noon-5 p.m.
Award winners will be acknowledged at Arts Fest Opening Celebration in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday, May 3, 6-8 p.m. The free public celebration features food, music, a free raffle, live painting demonstration, and more, set among the hundreds of pieces of artwork on display. The Exhibition Encore will be held on Sunday, May 7, from 2-5 p.m. This free event serves as a closing reception for these exhibitions, allowing patrons to view the artwork in a festive atmosphere and make final decisions on purchases. In addition to the vast array of artwork on display, the event offers musical entertainment, a live painting demonstration, and complimentary “bubbles and bites.”
The 2023 North Charleston Arts Fest, set for May 3-7, will mark the event’s 40th year. The festival schedule offers something for all to enjoy, including concerts, dance performances, exhibitions, children’s programs, and more. All festival events and activities are FREE. For more information about the Arts Fest, to download the prospectus for the Judged Fine Art and Judged Photography Competitions & Exhibitions, or for details on vending opportunities, visit NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com. For more information about other exhibition opportunities offered by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, visit the Arts & Culture section of the city’s website, northcharleston.org, or call 843.740.5854.

Submitted material

701 CCA announces new staff leadership

701 Center for Contemporary Art announced late last week that Columbia arts scene veteran Caitlin Bright will be its new executive director.

[caption id="attachment_51503" align="alignright" width="200"] Caitlin Bright. Post & Courier image.[/caption] “We are pleased that Caitlin will be joining us as we enter into an exciting season of public programs. Her extensive background in arts management will be an asset as we move forward with an even higher profile for public engagement,” said Lynn Robertson, who heads the 701 CCA board of directors. Many in Columbia are familiar with Bright’s accomplishments in heading Columbia’s Tapp’s Art Center from 2014 to 2021. Before that she had an extensive career with community based arts spaces in New York. “I am thrilled to begin this new chapter in my administrative career with 701 Center for Contemporary Art. The two main tenets of this position are growing opportunities for artists and enriching the quality of life for my fellow community members. I am ready to build on the foundations of success constructed by my predecessors, and continue to provide the level of excellence expected,” Bright said.
701 Center for Contemporary Art was founded 15 years ago by a group of dedicated community volunteers interested in providing a space for the creation and presentation of the best arts of today. Their 701 Whaley St. space holds five or six exhibitions each year, an artist residency, and the annual Young Artists Festival for children. “There are a lot of new and exciting things happening at CCA,” said Ken May, who is chairman of the programming committee. “We just inaugurated the Mill District Public Art Trail through our surrounding neighborhood, and people should look for a new and invigorated Columbia Open Studios event this spring. There is a growing role for the arts in the Midlands and as CCA moves forward with renewed energy, we are definitely an organization to watch.” Caitlin Bright is following Michaela Pilar Brown, who headed the organization for the last two years. Brown was responsible for guiding the organization through the trying times of COVID and the requirement of switching to distanced programing. A well known South Carolina artist, Brown is leaving to focus on her own work and direct a commercial gallery in the Vista, at the former IFArt Gallery.

Jason Rapp

New ‘U’: Artists U offers new podcast series

Tools and tips for #SCartists keep coming

Headphones lying on laptop on armchair. Hygge minimalist home room indoor apartment interior decoration. Cozy room in natural tone

The same value-filled workshops #SCartists have grown accustomed to getting from Artists U are now available in a new medium anytime, anywhere.

To broaden reach, Artists U founder/director/guru Andrew Simonet is now offering a podcast series of conversations with artists across media. It's called Artlife on Blast, and it's the result of a partnership that includes 701 Center for Contemporary Art and the South Carolina Arts Commission. Michaela Pilar Brown, executive director of 701 CCA and a notable artist in her own right, joins Simonet to talk with featured artists.
Here's a little more from Artists U:
  • We talked with South Carolina artists about making art, making a life, and making a living.
  • How do we nourish our practice and feed ourselves?
  • And how much money could you make selling your CDs out of your trunk in the 1990s? (a lot, turns out)

We spoke with artists about things artists don’t always discuss publicly.

FatRat Da Czar has been building a life in hip hop and the artist community to nourish that work for three decades. Camela Guevara turns waste streams into art and her day job into her studio. Malik Greene is building a life as a self-taught artist and the first professional artist in his family. Cedric Umoja got honest with a community and told them the mural he was painting would probably be a gentrifying force (and the conversation that developed was profound). Ed Rice carefully managed his expenses to live off his painting for fifty years. Fifty. Years.

While editing, I got to listen to the conversations many times, and I gotta say: these artists are fascinating. In each episode, we also share some Artists U prompts and tools, ways artists are building sustainable lives.

Artists U made "Art Life on Blast"available on artistsu.org on these common platforms: The series was created and is produced by Michaela Pilar Brown and Simonet (who edits, as you read above). Production support comes from Omme-Salma Rahemtullah. Music is from Sheldon Wright and Jamil Byron. Funding support comes by way of a partnership grant from the SCAC (/mic drop). Go have a listen!

Jason Rapp

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.

Win $50,000: ArtFields 2019 now taking submissions

Up to 400 artists to be invited to exhibit during ArtFields 2019 in Lake City

Submission deadline: Nov. 5, 2018 In southern Florence County there sits a small town that's a big player in the southeastern U.S. arts scene, serving as host of one of a major regional arts festival every spring. And you, #SCartists, could be invited to exhibit in Lake City next year and compete for the $50,000 ArtFields 2019 grand prize.

What's New

If selected, you and your artwork will be in one of the Southeast’s major art events, a nine-day April-May, 2019, affair in Lake City, S.C. Your work will be among up to 400 exhibited throughout our downtown in galleries, warehouses, restaurants, shops and other venues. Thousands of people will see it, including art curators, critics and other art professionals and news media of all sorts from all over the place. And then there are the collectors, of course. (Please look at the rules and prize information before you submit.)

For ArtFields 2019, there are new state awards and they revamped existing prizes. And campaigning for the People’s Choice Awards is banned. Furthermore, there's a new submission platform, ArtBooth, that's made specifically for ArtFields. You can read all about that on the prizes and rules page of ArtFieldsSC.org.

Michaela Pilar BrownPrizes

  • Grand Prize: $50,000
  • Second Place Prize: $25,000
  • People's Choice (Two-Dimensional): $12,500
  • People's Chouce (Three-Dimensional): $12,500
  • Merit Prizes (10): $2,000 (now a "best-of-the-rest," 3-12 ranking)
  • Category Prizes (8): $1,500 (now including textile art)
  • State Awards (12): $1,000 (one state winner for each state included in ArtFields)
The 2018 winner of the grand prize, Michaela Pilar Brown, is a South Carolina artist who is no stranger to the S.C. Arts Commission: she received an Artists Ventures Initiative grant in 2014 to help her start an arts-based business.  

Tuning Up: Cheers to the ArtFields winners

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

  • Lake City's ArtFields wrapped this past weekend and announced its competition winners. Top prize winner Michaela Pilar Brown also happens to be the recipient of an Artist Ventures Initiative grant from SCAC. Colin Quashie and Julie Hanger picked up coveted People's Choice awards. Tom Stanley, who (you might have heard...) will be presented a Verner Award for the Arts tomorrow, was a merit award winner. The Arts Commission sends hearty and sincere congratulations to all winners.
  • SCAC Executive Director Ken May recently joined Mike Switzer on S.C. Public Radio to talk about the impact of the arts and creative industries on the state economy.

Artists U is coming to the Pee Dee!

Attention Pee Dee artists! The Artists U Intensive: Building a Sustainable Life as an Artist is coming to the Soulé Art Space in Florence May 26 and 27. Artists are talented, hard-working people, so why are so many exhausted, broke, and overwhelmed? Artists U will present tools and approaches for building a balanced, sustainable artist life. Based on 10 years of work with artists locally and nationally, artist leaders Andrew Simonet (Philadelphia), Michaela Pilar Brown (Columbia) and Rodney Lee Rogers (Charleston) will offer artists tools for reconnecting with deep values, building community, and managing time and money. Dates and location:

  • Friday, May 26, 7 – 8:30 pm
  • Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: Soulé Art Space, 130 S. Irby St., Florence, SC 29501
  • How much does it cost? It’s free (but the class size is limited).
  • Who is it for? South Carolina artists.
  • Do you have to attend both sessions? Yes.
  • Will there be beverages? Of course. And lunch on Saturday.
  • How do I apply to participate? Find out more about Artists U and register here.
Any professional South Carolina artist may apply to attend (you do not have to live in Florence.) You will be notified once you are enrolled.  

Three artists awarded Artists’ Ventures Initiative grants

The South Carolina Arts Commission's Artists' Ventures Initiatives grants are designed to encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for South Carolina artists. Three artists recently were awarded grants of $5,000 each:

  • Michaela Pilar Brown of Columbia for the Mike Brown Contemporary Gallery and Project Space
  • Eduardo Jose da Silva Lucena of Charleston for the Borboleta Audio Mastering Equipment purchase/ lease/ rent project
  • Barbara Streeter of Conway for Conway Open Studio Project - Glassblowing
Read more about Streeter's project in this article from The Digitel.com:
Barbara StreeterBarbara Streeter has been awarded a $5000 S.C. Artists’ Ventures Initiative Grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission for the 2014­-2015 fiscal year. The grant enables Ms. Streeter to promote and produce the Conway Open Studio Project. The Conway Open Studio Project is a six month arts initiative featuring area artists working in collaboration to invigorate the arts in downtown Conway, SC. The Project will include an Experimental Glass Theatre component to be held in the glass blowing studio of Conway Glass at 209 Laurel Street in downtown Conway. The goal of the Conway Open Studio Project is to raise the awareness of art­making as a career and to introduce visitors to entertaining, educational and fun art experiences in downtown Conway. “The S.C. Arts Commission grant makes it possible for me to add video equipment, lighting and other improvements to our glassblowing studio, and also provide the public with an enhanced visitor experience,” said Barbara Streeter, glass blower and Vice ­President of Conway Glass, Inc. “This funding will also help us achieve our mission of providing free narrated educational demonstrations of glass blowing to the public every First Saturday, October through May.” Conway Glass, Inc. is helping Barbara meet her obligation of matching the Arts Commission grant with local dollars. Other artists are also donating their time and talents to the project, they are: Ed Streeter, Michael Gann, Laurie Brown, J.B. Chisnell, and Kim Clayton. Local residents can see how the S.C. Arts Commission grant and local funds are benefiting the Conway Open Studio Project by visiting Conway Glass, Inc. at 209 Laurel Street in downtown Conway. The First Saturday Glass Blowing Demonstrations are free and will be held in 2014 on October 4, November 1 and December 6. In 2015 free demos are planned for January 3, February 7, March 7, April 4 and May 2. All First Saturday Glass Blowing Demos are held 10am – 4pm. In addition, The Experimental Glass Theatre will be held in November 2014 and January and March 2015 (TBA.) About the South Carolina Arts Commission The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission is working to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina and by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.SouthCarolinaArts.com or call (803) 734­8696. About Barbara Streeter Barbara Streeter is a visual artist and glass blower living and working in Conway, SC. She and her husband own and operate Conway Glass, Inc., a local glass company specializing in stained glass and blown glass. About Conway Glass At Conway Glass, Barbara and Ed Streeter have over 50 years of combined experience in the glass industry. Although they offer many glass products, they are quite different from most glass companies in that they design, manufacture, assemble and teach about this amazing material. "This project is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts."