← View All Articles

Decorated #SCartists highlight new gallery exhibition

SCAC fellows, Governor's Award recipients featured

[caption id="attachment_45026" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Unnamed by Edward Rice Unnamed by Edward Rice. 2019-2020. Oil. 84x42.[/caption]

What's going on? What does it mean? What's next? What really matters?

These are questions asked by Hampton III Gallery at its new exhibition, In Times Like These, which runs July 9 through August 29, 2020. From the gallery:

As our world changes, artists continue to create and explore through visual language. In Times Like These is an exhibition that allows the viewer to enter into the personal space of 20 Hampton III Gallery artists.These artworks were created from March through June 2020. All are on display in the center gallery. Visitors are welcome to view the exhibition during regular hours. Social distancing will be observed and masks are required during this time. 

Featured among the 20 Southern artists in the exhibition are several from South Carolina represented by the gallery, including recipients of two of the South Carolina Arts Commission's highest honors: individual artist fellowships or the Governor's Arts Award.

SCAC Fellows

  • Alice Ballard
  • Dr. Philip Mullen
  • Edward Rice

Governor's Award recipients

  • Jeanet Dreskin
  • Dr. Philip Mullen
  • Edward Rice
  • Tom Stanley
  • Dr. Leo Twiggs
Hampton III Gallery is itself a 2019 recipient of the Governor's Arts Award.
Going? Hampton III Gallery is located outside Greenville in Taylors at 3110 Wade Hampton Blvd., Suite 10. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday from 1-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and other times by appointment. Free.   

Jason Rapp

Announcing the six recipients of the 2020 Verner Award

Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts to be presented in May

For Immediate Release COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s highest award for achievement in the arts is to be presented to six uniquely qualified arts practitioners and supporters announced today by the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC). The SCAC Board of Directors approved panel recommendations for the following recipients from their respective categories to be recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Dr. Philip Mullen, Columbia
  • ARTIST: Glenis Redmond, Mauldin
  • INDIVIDUAL: Mary Inabinett Mack, St. Helena Island
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Cindy Riddle, Campobello
  • BUSINESS: United Community Bank, Greenville
  • ORGANIZATION: Charleston Gaillard Center, Charleston
“This year’s recipients represent the best of South Carolina. They are talented, successful, dedicated to giving of themselves to ensure everyone who wants to can benefit from access to the arts,” S.C. Arts Commission Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. “By taking our arts community to new levels, they are elevating our state as well. With the Verner Award, we celebrate their achievements and thank them for enriching life and culture here in South Carolina.” A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members of the South Carolina community at large, reviews all nominations and, after a rigorous process, makes recommendations to the board for final approval after a series of panel meetings produces a recommendation from each category.

The South Carolina Arts Awards

The Verner Awards will be presented with the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards at the 2020 South Carolina Arts Awards on Wednesday, May 6 in a luncheon and ceremony at the USC Alumni Center (900 Senate St., Columbia). Luncheon tickets are $50 per person and are to be available for purchase by mid-March.

About the Verner Award Recipients

Philip Mullen (Lifetime Achievement) has been a mainstay in the South Carolina arts scene since coming to Columbia to join the University of South Carolina faculty in 1969. Five of his works are included in the State Art Collection and others adorn the collections of Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Brooklyn Museum, Columbia Museum of Art, Greenville County Museum of Art, and McKissick Museum among others. He has had solo exhibitions in at least eight states and Washington since 1972. He is the only living South Carolina artist to have been featured, in 1975, in the prestigious Whitney Biennial by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, regarded as one of the world’s leading art shows. Poet and teaching artist Glenis Redmond has a love of words that’s taken her across the country and Atlantic Ocean to performances at the White House, Library of Congress and London. She is currently poet-in-residence at the Peace Center in Greenville and The State Theatre in New Jersey as well as a teaching artist for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. She is the founder of the Greenville Poetry Slam and co-founder of a youth poetry slam in Asheville, North Carolina. Her work with the Peace Center led to her founding in of Peace Voices, a poetry program dedicated to poetic outreach and engagement in the community, in 2011. As an ex-patriate South Carolinian in New York City, Mary Inabinett Mack became a registered nurse and psychiatric/mental health nursing instructor. She earned a certificate for psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and two National Institute for Mental health fellowships. Mack fed on the New York arts scene and came home to “her Gullah folk and the sweet, salty air of the Lowcountry” in 1977. The art retail business she started became Red Piano Too Art Gallery, a leading folk art gallery that launched the careers of many artists. The first female chair of the Penn Center’s board, she is a lifetime member of its advisory board and was inducted into its 1862 Circle for embodying the spirit of the center and advocating for the enduring history of the Lowcountry, civil rights, and reconstruction it celebrates. Cindy Riddle began teaching art in the Upstate in 1999. She worked at two schools before joining Spartanburg District One as a fine arts instructional coach for a year, then becoming the district’s coordinator for visual and performing arts, gifted and talented services. She is now an assistant superintendent in the same focus area. Riddle has national board certification in early and middle childhood art and is the current president of the South Carolina Education Association. She holds degrees from Anderson and Lander universities and Converse College and has been recognized six times with various awards for teaching. An artist and entrepreneur, she operates and creates and gives lessons from her Chicken Coop Art Company. Headquartered in Greenville and in operation for almost 70 years, United Community Bank has $12.9 billion in assets and operates 149 offices in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. They abide by the Golden Rule, according to Chairman and CEO Lynn Harton, and are committed to maintaining extraordinary culture, creating meaningful relationships and earning the trust of customers, all with the goal of improving lives. Nominators and supporters of United Community Bank pointed to lengthy and generous support of South Carolina arts institutions like Artisphere and South Carolina Children’s Theatre in Greenville and Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg. The support comes from not just funding, but also the investment of time and service by its associates. One of the Holy City’s most notable spaces, Charleston Gaillard Center provides the Lowcountry with a world-class performance hall, elegant venue space, and vibrant educational opportunities. A massive renovation project made possible by a $142 million public/private partnership created an iconic performance and event space appropriate for one of the world’s leading cities. In the last four years, Charleston Gaillard Center’s education and community program has provided arts-enhanced education programs to 130+ schools, covered the cost of transportation for 757 buses, and impacted more than 67,000 students in the tri-county region, all while remaining a 66% barrier-free program.

About the South Carolina Arts Commission

With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key 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, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. For more information, visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696.


The initial version of this news release said Ms. Mack was first female member of the Penn Center board of directors. She was its first female board chair. The copy has been updated. (6 Feb. 2020, 10:44 a.m.)

Jason Rapp

Decorated #SCartists to present at State Fair

Philip Mullen, Tyrone Geter to hold court

Two of South Carolina’s most decorated and recognized visual artists will make presentations this week about their State Art Collection works now on exhibit at the South Carolina State Fair.

Philip Mullen | Wednesday, Oct. 16 | 1:30 p.m.

Philip Mullen belongs to the South Carolina Arts Commission’s first class of fellowship recipients in 1977. Represented in New York for 35 years by David Findlay Galleries, he’s had 15 solo exhibitions there. If you’ve ever been to the Koger Center, his large artwork adorns the lobby walls. As part of the Artist Talks Series at the South Carolina State Fair, he will discuss Wet Fog, on display at the State Fair exhibition; his painting technique; and making it in New York.

Tyrone Geter | Friday, Oct. 18 | 5 p.m.

Tyrone Geter is not a South Carolina native, but he’s made it home after teaching and curating the art gallery at Benedict College since 1999. The Elgin artist received the state’s highest arts award, the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, just this spring. His portrait of Gani Odutokun, a contemporary Nigerian painter and friend, will jump-start his discussion about his career as an artist in Nigeria and the U.S. Geter will also touch on how his work evolved from straight painting and drawings to mixed media techniques. Both presentations take place in the Rosewoods Building at the State Fairgrounds. Fair admission is required, but there is no additional fee for the talks.
Pig Tales, Blackberry Winter, & the Cabinet of Curiosities is an exhibition of the State Art Collection appearing at the South Carolina State Fair from Oct. 9 to 20, 2019.

Challenging, complex works featured in “Mullen: 2009-2012”

Philip Mullen's work could be described as a fusion of abstract and figurative styles with a touch of mystery. Created in multiple layers and filled with subtle hints of objects and figures not obvious at first glance, many of his paintings seem to play tricks on the viewers’ eyes, drawing them in for a closer look. The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach is exhibiting "Mullen: 2009-2012" through April 25. The artist’s early work, from the 1960s and early 1970s, was primarily figurative but later evolved into more abstract styles, as he explored the world of color field painting. By the end of the century, Mullen returned to his roots, incorporating figures into his art once again. This exhibition comprises 45 of these more recent works, all of which are acrylic on canvas except for three works on paper. (The South Carolina Arts Commission's State Art Collection includes five of Mullen's earlier works, including Herin Regal, which recently toured in Contemporary Conversations, Part II.) The following article, written by Kathryn Martin, originally appeared in Villa Voice, the newsletter of the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. Reprinted with permission. __________ Dr. Philip Mullen, whose exhibit Mullen: 2009-2012 opened January 13, recognizes that not everyone “gets” his paintings right away. Philip Mullen, Jane's TableIn a recent conversation, he told us, “I’m hoping what people will do when they come to see the exhibit is first think there might be enough here to interest them.  And when they leave be thinking these are the most complex paintings they have ever seen.” Mullen is used to controversy surrounding his art. His 1969 work Cola. Wall (which appeared in the Art Museum’s recent exhibit The Artist’s Eye: A Journey through Modern and Contemporary Art with Sigmund Abeles) won first prize in a Guild of S.C. Artists competition and was subsequently acquired by the Columbia Museum of Art. The response to the large, dramatic painting – which has a nearly life size image of an African American nude was immediate, and unmistakable. “Eighty-four people petitioned the Museum never to show my work again,” he recalls, though adding that in later years audiences have not only warmed to the piece, but express enthusiasm about it. Mullen, who claims not to hail from anywhere in particular went to nine schools before getting out of high school, admits to having no particular artistic calling until college, where he casually enrolled in some art classes. One of his teachers was Peter Busa, a groundbreaking abstract expressionist painter and an associate of Jackson Pollock who is now termed a ‘highly collected’ painter (the artist died in 1983). While joking that Busa once told Mullen he was his “worst student ever,” the professor nevertheless was a profound influence. “He gave me something to grab onto in my life,” Mullen says. “I realized that this could be something profound, and not just a hobby.”  He soon found himself spending far more time on art than on what was then his major. After acquiring a B.A. in Radio and Television Speech, an M.A. in Studio Art and a Ph.D. in Comparative Arts, he accepted what would become an ideal job, from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. As a member of the university’s Studio Art Department, he could devote a sizeable portion of his time to painting, and, during his 31-year tenure, would be allowed some 9 years’ leave time to create art. Philip Mullen, Blue CeramicsDuring one such leave, just after having one of his works accepted to the Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Whitney Museum, Mullen spent a year working in New York. There he reveled in being part of an international art scene, while still knowing that he would be returning to South Carolina at the end of the year. “New York is not someplace I wanted to raise kids,” he admits “and I liked teaching at the University.” Upon his retirement from the university in 2000, he was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art. Mullen describes his teaching years as a period when he was “incredibly driven to do artwork.” And during that period, his painting evolved from primarily figurative work to one that would be perceived as more abstract, but which he describes somewhat differently. “I would still be painting figures, but more and more air space developed between the figures,” he notes. In his painting Louvered Door, for example (which appears in the current exhibit), the air is “making its presence known, pushing itself forward more than the objects.” At one point, he says, he would “leave the figures out and just draw the air.” Over time, however, he started “sneaking objects back in, subtly at first,” he admits. Perhaps reflecting this revisiting of his earlier work, 41 of the 42 canvases in the current exhibit are re-workings of earlier pieces: paintings which had been finished but are now shown in a different form. Among the terms that have been used to describe Mullen is that of an “artist’s artist,” a title that pleases Mullen. “I take that to mean I’m an artist whose work other artists want to look at,” he says. “They’re finding something in there, some subtleties that maybe they can take away. Even though the work might be a little more challenging for the general public.” Mullen: 2009-2012 will be on display at the Art Museum through April 25. For more information, visit Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum. Images: Above, right: Jane's Table, 2011, acrylic on canvas; left: Blue Ceramics, 2011, acrylic on canvas Via: Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum