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Governor’s Award lifetime achievement recipient on exhibit in Columbia

Richland Library exhibition includes public artist talks

Select works completed by the decorated artist Philip Mullen from 1996 to 2022 are now on exhibit in the Richland Library through May 7, 2023.

Of the 15 works selected, 14 have never been shown in Columbia, which is Mullen's home. Many come from his private collection. Mullen is scheduled to give two public gallery talks: In 2020, the SCAC honored Mullen's significant body of work with the Governor's Award for the Arts in the lifetime achievement category.

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Commission to present four Governor’s Awards for the Arts in 2022

for immediate release COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is happy to announce four recipients who are to be honored in 2022 with South Carolina’s highest award for exceptional achievement in practicing or supporting the arts. The SCAC presents the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts annually each spring. The appointed members of the agency’s board of directors vote on panel recommendations for the award. In 2022, the SCAC board approved the recommendations of the following honorees from their respective categories to be recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:

  • ARTIST: Darion McCloud, Columbia
  • INDIVIDUAL: Ed Madden, Columbia
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Carrie Ann Power, Aiken
  • ORGANIZATION: One Columbia for Arts and History, Columbia

BONUS CONTENT: 2022 Governor's Awards for the Arts recipient reveal video

"Recipients always represent the best of South Carolina. They are talented, successful, and dedicated. They give of themselves to ensure access to the arts for all,” SCAC Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. “By presenting them the Governor’s Award, we celebrate their achievements and thank these accomplished recipients for enriching life and culture throughout South Carolina.” “This class of Governor’s Award recipients is notable for the ways it improves access to the arts across the spectrum,” elaborates SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts. “Making the arts more representative is central to the South Carolina Arts Commission’s mission. All four of these recipients demonstrate tireless efforts to help the arts be more inclusive and accessible.” A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members community statewide, reviews all nominations. After a rigorous process and multiple meetings, the panel produces a recommendation from each category with a nomination that is sent to the board for final approval. Serving on the panel for the 2022 awards were Shani Blann (Lexington), Dr. Philip Mullen (Columbia), Glenis Redmond (Mauldin), Bhavna Vasudeva (Columbia), and Bradley Wingate (Greenville). Recipients of the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are honored during a video presentation of the South Carolina Arts Awards. The SCAC and its partner for the Folk Heritage Awards, McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, are working to finalize plans for the 2022 awards and announce details on a later date.
About the 2022 South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients DARION MCCLOUD (Artist Category) is an actor, director, storyteller, educator, arts activist, and children’s literature advocate from Columbia. He is also the founder and creative director both of NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad. McCloud is a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow and the 2019 recipient of the Theatre Artist of the Year Award from The Jasper Project. A formally trained visual artist with a bachelor’s in art studio from the University of South Carolina, he found his way to the stage via telling stories and stayed, acting and teaching there for more than 20 years. He enjoys crafting theatre, storytelling, and art experiences for old and young and the initiated and the un-initiated in environments as varied as classrooms, corporate settings, libraries, campfires and, of course, theatres; he is a company member for Columbia-based Trustus Theatre and the South Carolina Shakespeare Company. McCloud has numerous statewide partnerships to his credit in higher education, the humanities, and the arts. He considers himself as having committed his life to the transforming power of art. ED MADDEN (Individual Category) is a poet, activist, and a professor of English, with a focus on Irish literature, at the University of South Carolina. 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 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. In 2015, Madden was named Columbia’s first poet laureate, a post he maintains today. Madden has been a South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellow in poetry twice and was South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow in 2011. 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 was 2006 artist-in-residence for South Carolina State Parks. His numerous publishing and editing credits include four of his own: NestArk, Prodigal: Variations, and Signals, and his chapbook So They Can Sing won the 2016 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. Photo by Forrest Clonts. CARRIE ANN POWER (Arts in Education Category) has been an arts educator and advocate in South Carolina for more 30 years. Beginning in 2004 she was the fine arts department chair, grant manager, and visual arts teacher at East Aiken School of the Arts (EASOA) until 2015. During that time, she transformed EASOA by adding full-time dance and theatre programs, developed and implemented all aspects of the EASOA after-school arts program, and secured donations to fund scholarships providing low-income families access to programs. During that tenure she coordinated the Curriculum Leadership Institute in the Arts, which improves and enhances arts lesson plans based on the 2010 S.C. Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards. She then served as the education associate for visual and performing arts at the South Carolina Department of Education from 2015 until 2019, where she oversaw the development of K-12 Design Standards for visual and performing arts and later coordinated their revisions. Power served an active role on notable state arts or arts education boards and, in her community, supports educational outreach programs that bring professional artists into schools. Founded as a non-profit in January 2012, ONE COLUMBIA FOR ARTS AND CULTURE (OC) (Organization Category) served as de facto office of cultural affairs for Columbia until being officially named as such earlier this year. Its mission is to “advise, amplify and advocate for strengthening and unifying the cultural community of Columbia” and does so by promoting cultural activities taking place in the city through various means. In 2014, OC facilitated the formalization of Columbia’s public art program, which has resulted in the creation of more than 60 public artworks and an online directory of public art throughout the city of Columbia. The organization facilitates other projects related to tactical urbanism, creative placemaking and enhancing public space. When Columbia established the honorary position of city poet laureate in 2015, it tasked OC with creating the selection committee that resulted in Dr. Ed Madden being awarded the title. OC is responsible for Amplify, a comprehensive cultural plan approved by city council in 2020. In recent years, it undertook the lengthy process of developing of a modern flag for the city adopted by city council in 2020.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

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