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Ceramics class leads Governor’s Cup organizers to commission handmade trophies from Redbird Studio

According to The State newspaper, the organizers of the Governor's Cup road race have commissioned one-of-a-kind ceramic trophies from Redbird Studio and Gallery in Columbia. (See photos of the trophies being made.)

Winners of the Governor’s Cup this fall won’t be handed the standard, commemorative coffee mug once they cross the finish line. Instead, they’ll be getting an original work of art by ceramic artist Virginia Scotchie. Event organizers commissioned the unique trophies to add more prestige to the half-marathon, a mainstay on the calendars of competitive runners since 1973 and now the premiere race in the Midlands. It will be held Nov. 9. Last week, Scotchie began making 200 trophies out of clay dug from a pit in Bethune, a raw and symbolic product. "We really wanted to work with a clay that was from South Carolina," said Scotchie, an art professor and head of the University of South Carolina ceramic studio area. The design is evocative of the state capitol, with a winner’s ribbon and medal draped below the dome. One detail — the color of the glaze — is still under discussion. The artist is leaning toward bronze or indigo blue. “People are going to be talking about this,” said Rick Noble, vice-chairman of the board of the Carolina Marathon Association, the sponsoring organization. “Frankly, most awards at races are pretty mundane.” The finished trophies will not be uniform, of course, since they’re handmade. This is the first time the Governor’s Cup has commissioned handmade trophies. They were the brainchild of Sarah Blackwell, a runner and member of the Governor’s Cup Committee who took a class at Redbird Studio over the summer. She got to looking at some of the work on display in the gallery and approached Scotchie and her partner at Redbird, Bri Kinard, about designing a trophy. “I wanted to have something people actually wanted to display on their mantle,” Blackwell said. The original trophies will go to first-, second- and third-place finishers in the various age groups participating in the half-marathon or the 8K. An 8K is basically five miles, a step up from the more traditional 5K for people who’ve been working on their endurance.
Via: The State

New studio and gallery a place to “see and make art”

Artists Virginia Scotchie and Bri Kinard envision their new venture, Redbird Studio and Gallery, as a place where experienced and budding artists can work in a supportive and accessible environment and where regional artists not yet represented in the community can show their art. “Redbird is a place both to see and make art,” says Scotchie, a University of South Carolina professor. “We will provide a unique and creative space for the community.” Redbird's grand opening on Dec. 7 will provide a look at artworks rarely shown in Columbia, a drawing for several free works of art and hands-on art activities. The event is free and open to the public and runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Redbird is located at 2757 Rosewood Drive. Classes in ceramics and printmaking will be taught in a fully equipped studio with 10 pottery wheels, kilns and a small press. Options include six-week classes, introductory one-night classes, a date-night class for couples and ceramics-making parties. Children’s classes will be held weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 3 p.m. The full schedule of classes starts in early January, and prices will include all materials and tools. Zak Helenske The gallery will feature ceramics, wood and metal sculpture, prints, drawings, wearable art and video. Among the artworks are tea pots and vases by Jim Connell; ceramic sculptures by Paula Smith; ceramics by Zak Helenske; wood sculptures and paper collages by Paul Martyka; drawings and performance videos by Jon Prichard; prints and drawings by Tom Nakashima; and wearable art by Courtney Starrett. Work by Scotchie and Kinard will also be shown at the gallery. Redbird will mount a new exhibition every six weeks. Redbird artistic director Virginia Scotchie's ceramic sculptures have been shown extensively throughout the United States and abroad including at the C-Ram-X @ Galerie Helenbeck in Paris and the Biennale Internationale de Vallauris International Ceramic Invitational in Vallauris, France. She is winner of the Sydney Meyer Fund International Ceramics Premiere Award from the Shepparton Museum in Victoria, Australia. Studio manager and instructor Bri Kinard earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of South Carolina and a master of fine art from Rochester Institute of Technology School for American Crafts in New York. Her work will be included in the upcoming 69th annual Scripps College Ceramics Annual in California. For more information, visit Redbird Studio and Gallery or call (803) 727-2955. Photo: work by Zak Helenske Via: Redbird Studio and Gallery