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Koger opens Laura Spong exhibition

Laura Spong: A Passionate Perspective runs through Dec. 18

[caption id="attachment_51085" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Big Red | Laura Spong | 2013 | 96" x 192" | Oil on canvas[/caption]  

An artist has serious influence when her voice remains loud and clear even after her passing.

Laura Spong has that influence. See for yourself now through Dec. 18 at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia), which opened a new exhibition of her works last week. Laura Spong: A Passionate Perspective covers works from her later years. Included are Big Red (pictured above) which has not been on exhibit since 2015, according to the Koger Center website. It continues:

Recognized as one of South Carolina’s leading abstract painters, Spong began painting in the 1950s, quickly receiving awards in local and state art exhibitions. Through the years Spong continually worked and exhibited while raising her family, but it was not until the late 1980s that she committed to being a full-time artist and embarked on a period of enormous productivity and growth. During these later years, Spong moved from her earlier more angular compositions to the organic, complex oil paintings that defined her mature style. In 2015, Spong commented on her work with these words, “First of all, I like to paint – it’s my passion. I move around shapes, forms, textures and colors until the components fall into place, like a child on the floor arranging and rearranging blocks.”  

Spong’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia with pieces acquired for the permanent collections of the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art as well as many private collections ... Spong continually painted, completing works until shortly before her death at 92 in 2018.  

The SCAC presented Spong the Governor's Award for the Arts for Lifetime Achievement in 2017. Two of her works are included in the State Art Collection, which the SCAC manages. Laura Spong: A Passionate Perspective can be viewed Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Koger Center's Upstairs Gallery. Free.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: High School Writing Contest + #SCartist philanthropy

Good morning! 

"Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, 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...
The UofSC Honors College is soliciting submissions for the 2022 High School Writing Contest. Up for grabs are cash prizes and a publishing opportunity. Honors students will select 20 finalists whose writings on the topic "How should we improve the state of South Carolina?" will be reviewed by Ron Rash, short story writer and novelist. The annual contest is open to juniors and seniors at all S.C. public, private, or home schools, and the deadline to submit is September 26, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Learn more and submit contest entries on this page. [caption id="attachment_51004" align="alignright" width="250"] A pencil drawing from Caroline 12 years ago, before she became a professional artist, of her son who was battling cancer at the time, and his puppy, Abby.[/caption] So you know how The Hub solicits reader news submissions? We, devoid of greed or the need for others' rightful attention, will publish those with "Submitted material" as the byline. Or sometimes here, as the case might be. Here's such a submission. Caroline, an animal and wildlife oil painter located in Beaufort, operates Alpha Mare Studio. Her son is a two-time cancer survivor, and each year she uses her art to raise money for awareness and related causes. Earlier this year she completed the S.C. Trailblaze Challenge, hiking 28.3 miles in one day to raise over $5,000 for Make-a-Wish Foundation. To bring attention to September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, she is giving a discount on any and all types of paintings and prints for anyone who donates to their favorite childhood cancer-related cause. Details on the Alpha Mare website Cheers, Caroline!

Jason Rapp

GCCA names recipients of Brandon Fellowship

Three Greenville-based #SCartists were revealed as Greenville Center for Creative Arts' incoming class of the Brandon Fellowship at its Annual Showcase on Aug. 5.

The fellowship is a 12-month program that aims to develop three emerging artists between the ages of 21 to 30 who represent the diversity of the Greenville visual arts community. Now in its eighth year, the program provides free studio space, a stipend for supplies, a supportive environment, mentorship, and art education, including professional development resources, to help these artists thrive in the next step of their education, career, or business. “We've had such strong candidates apply for the Brandon Fellowship this year, representing the breadth of talents and perspectives of young Greenville artists,” says Kevin Kao, the chair of the Brandon Fellowship selection committee. “We're so excited to present our new fellows and cannot wait to see the impact that they will have with GCCA as well as the greater Greenville community.”

The 2022/2023 Brandon Fellows

[caption id="attachment_50755" align="alignright" width="250"] (l-r) Orlando Corona, RaAmen Stallings, and Faith Hudgens. Click image to enlarge. GCCA photo by Antonio Modesto.[/caption] Orlando Corona is a Greenville-based oil painter and printmaker, born in Mexico. His artwork is based on his Mexican culture and as a first generation immigrant in the U.S. While only having 3 years of experience, he has been in several galleries since the age of 17, and has studied under several local artists. His favorite artists include Diego Rivera, a Mexican muralist; Posada, a printmaker; and Pablo Picasso. Orlando strives to create impactful art that can be shared with others. Art is his creative way of communicating his thoughts and speaking to the world. A self-taught painter and mixed-media artist, Faith Hudgens grew up in Greenville and has worked professionally as a highly regarded tattoo artist since establishing her practice in 2017. Her paintings are vibrant, emotional, and layered with spirituality. She has participated in exhibitions at Greenville Technical College and the Commerce Club. Faith is an uplifter in her community and volunteers regularly with Miracle Hill Ministries hosting art classes for young girls in foster care. Faith has also hosted PRIDE events with Upstate Pride SC and donates art to organizations that support women and the LGBTQ+ community. Faith’s overarching goal is to cultivate positive change through her art and specifically, to use art as a platform to propel Greenville forward in unity, cultural diversity, and minority inclusion. RaAmen (Rah-Mēn) Stallings Is an aspiring creative who is passionate about all forms of art. He is a graduate of both Greenville Senior High Academy and Greenville Technical College where he received an associate’s in Business Administration. Although he has worked professionally as a photographer since launching his business in 2020, RaAmen is now focused on developing his skills as a painter. He is committed to expanding his artistic practice and believes strongly in the power of art as a way to inspire and facilitate community and conversation. This year’s Brandon Fellowship selection committee included chair Kevin Kao, sculptor and Assistant Professor of Art at Furman University; Danielle Fontaine, encaustic artist and Brandon Fellowship Founder; Rhonda Rawlings, a GCCA board member and community director for Mill Village Ministries; Nick Burns, painter and mixed-media artist and alumnus of the Brandon Fellows class of 2020; Patricia DeLeon, painter and mixed-media artist; and Kara Bale, operations manager for GCCA who oversees the Fellowship program. “I couldn’t be more excited about our new fellows,” says Kara Bale, who oversees the program at GCCA. “It was a very challenging selection process as we had so many talented and deserving applicants, but I feel the committee did an excellent job and selected three individuals who strongly reflect GCCA’s mission to enrich the cultural fabric of our community. Each has already used their art to grow community and further important conversations so it will be amazing to see what they accomplish within the supportive structure of the fellowship.” Previous Brandon Fellows alumni have gone on to become full-time working artists, designers, participants in Artisphere and other festivals, graduate students, artists-in-residence, instructors, community muralists, published artists, grant recipients, and award winners.
An exhibition featuring the work of the 2021/2022 Brandon Fellows, Kim Le, Sienna Patterson, and Terrell Washington is on display through Sept. 28 in GCCA’s Main Gallery. Kim Le’s work comes from the ugly, wounded and abject parts of a young girl’s psyche, reappropriating the common language of cuteness that little girls use to cope with their pain to connect to the furious and wretched spirit of young girls and women everywhere who’ve been beaten down by the world around them. Through expressive imagery and journal entries, Sienna Patterson explores the concept of the fool's journey through the lens of her personal experiences. Depiction the trials of self and the price that we pay to develop the ego to surpass the ego and to transcend the ego. Terrell Washington’s “Genesis: Omens and Decisions of Existence,” features Abrahamic beliefs and highlights the realness of prayer, our blessings and curses, human nature, while putting people of melanin at the center of it all. This exhibition can be viewed during GCCA’s open hours Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. To learn more about the Brandon Fellowship, visit https://artcentergreenville.org/brandon-fellowship/.

About GCCA

Greenville Center for Creative Arts is a non-profit organization that aims to enrich the cultural fabric of the community through visual arts promotion, education, and inspiration. For more information, visit www.artcentergreenville.org, call 864-735-3948, or check out GCCA on Facebook (Greenville Center for Creative Arts) & Instagram (@artcentergvl).

Jason Rapp

Lowcountry writer wins S.C. Novel Series with debut work

A look at blue-collar Lowcountry life

Hub City Press announced today that Robert Maynor was selected as the winner of the 2022 South Carolina Novel Series for his debut novel, The Big Game is Every Night.

Hub City Press will publish the novel in the fall of 2023. The South Carolina Novel Series publishes a novel by a South Carolina writer biennially. Writers selected for publication in this series are awarded $1,500 and book publication, including marketing and tour support from Hub City Press and the series partners. The novel also receives placement in all South Carolina state libraries and readings/events with presenting sponsors. The Big Game is Every Night is told in the keen, honest voice of a young high school football player growing up in rural South Carolina Lowcountry and gives readers a glimpse into the cultural forces that shape contemporary blue-collar America. “The South Carolina Arts Commission is proud to provide South Carolina’s artists with career development opportunities like this one. We are excited to read a novel that is set in our state and is by a South Carolina author. Congratulations to Robert on this achievement, and we thank Hub City Press for being our partners,” South Carolina Arts Commission Executive Director David Platts said. “Hub City Press is thrilled to publish Robert's debut novel as the inaugural selection of the South Carolina Novel Series next year, and to continue the great work we have accomplished in our 15-year partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission,” said Meg Reid, director of Hub City Press.

About Robert Maynor

Robert Maynor is from the Lowcountry of South Carolina. He lives and writes in a patched-up fish camp on the bank of the Edisto River, the longest free-flowing blackwater river in North America. His fiction explores the spectrum of complexities and contradictions in the contemporary American South. His short stories have appeared in Blood Orange Review, BULL, the Carolina Quarterly, and CRAFT, among other outlets. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and he is the past recipient of the Larry Brown Short Story Award and the Coker Fellowship in Fiction from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. The Big Game Is Every Night is his first novel.

About the S.C. Novel Series

The South Carolina Novel Series is open to writers of all levels who have lived in South Carolina for at least one year prior to submission of their manuscript. Co-sponsors include the South Carolina Arts Commission, the South Carolina State Library and South Carolina Humanities. Submissions for the series will open on Jan. 1, 2024 and close April 15, 2024. No submission fee is required.

Series Partners

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 works 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, 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. Founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995, Hub City Press is the South’s premier independent literary press. Focused on finding and spotlighting extraordinary new and unsung writers from the American South, our curated list champions diverse authors and books that don’t fit into the commercial publishing landscape. The press has published over ninety high-caliber literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, memoir, and books emphasizing the region's culture and history. Hub City is interested in books with a strong sense of place and is committed to introducing a diverse roster of lesser-heard Southern voices. The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment. It is the primary administrator of federal and state support for the state’s libraries. In 1969, as the result of action by the General Assembly, the State Library Board was redesignated as the South Carolina State Library and assumed responsibility for public library development, library service for state institutions, service for the blind and physically handicapped, and library service to state government agencies. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the Library is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and other sources. For more information, please visit www.statelibrary.sc.gov or call 803.734.8666. South Carolina Humanities is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. South Carolina Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflect sensitivity to a diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations. For more information, visit www.schumanities.org or call 803.771.2477.

Jason Rapp

2022 S.C. Watermedia Society Annual Juried Exhibition announced

The South Carolina Watermedia Society announced that the S.C. State Museum in Columbia is to be host venue for the 2022 version of its Annual Juried Exhibition.

The exhibit will be on display from Aug. 27 through Jan. 8, 2023. SCWS President Renea Eshleman claims the show is set to be the best yet. "It features work from artists as far away as Wisconsin, although 45 of the 70 featured works are from South Carolina artists. This is a testament of the deeply talented artists who call South Carolina home. We are grateful to the State Museum for hosting the show in the Lipscomb Gallery, especially since Guy Lipscomb was a founding member of the society," Eshleman said. The opening reception and award ceremony is Saturday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m. The public is invited; light refreshments will be served. Juror Linda Daly Baker, a Charleston-based artists, choose 70 pieces from 157 entries by 95 artists located throughout the U.S. Awards for 30 of the 70 will be announced at the awards ceremony. The 30 awarded pieces will become part of a state-wide traveling show coordinated by the State Museum and displayed at locations in South Carolina. The exhibition is made possible by The Lipscomb Family Foundation, and the project is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to judging the show, Daly Baker will teach a three-day workshop at the museum from Aug. 25-27. More information is available at https://scwatermedia.com/workshop/. Recent top award winners of SCWS juried shows are Anne Hightower of Columbia (Best of Show, 2022 Digital Show); Dong Feng Li of San Francisco (Best of Show, 2021); Stacy Lund Levy of Owings Mill, Maryland (Best of Show, 2020); Ashley Arakas of Myrtle Beach  (Best of Show, 2019); and Lynda English of Florence (Best of Show, 2018). The South Carolina State Museum is located at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia.
Established in 1977, SCWS is an incorporated, non-profit organization. The mission of the SCWS is to promote the aesthetic and professional interests of its members, provide the public with artistic opportunities through watermedia painting, elevate the stature of watermedia, and educate the public to its significance as an important painting medium. More information on SCWS can be found at its website: www.scwatermedia.com.
Front page image by StockSnap from Pixabay.

Jason Rapp

SCAC names FY2023 fellowship recipients

Program changes reinforce the arts’ influence in the creative economy


COLUMBIA, S.C. –  A diverse group of four South Carolina artists working in different artistic disciplines are the latest recipients of new-look $10,000 fellowship awards from the South Carolina Arts Commission.

The SCAC Board of Directors approved four artists who exhibit hard work, exceptional ability, and dedication to their discipline for the agency’s first $10,000 fellowships. The artists receiving awards in FY23 are:
  • Eunjung Choi, DMA of Orangeburg County for performance in music,
  • Michael Smallwood of Charleston County for playwriting/screenwriting,
  • Rebecca T. Godwin of Georgetown County for prose, and
  • Marlanda Dekine of Georgetown County for spoken word/slam poetry.
Awards were $5,000 for most of the program’s history before increased funding for the SCAC allowed a jump to $8,500 in the previous fiscal year. The new $10,000 awards are a program high. “Artistic excellence of the caliber these artists demonstrate should be rewarded. Each of the four are deserving of the financial benefit and prestige that comes with a fellowship. The South Carolina Arts Commission is excited to support their creative pursuits, and we cannot wait to see what comes next from them,” SCAC Executive Director David Platts said. “The fellowship program is one of the arts commission’s signature programs. It directly impacts artist development, one of the agency’s three core functions,” SCAC Deputy Director Ce Scott-Fitts said. “Increasing the award makes the program more prestigious, but better serves the recipients. They receive financial resources so that they may focus on developing and creating art.” Last autumn, artists residing in South Carolina full-time were invited to apply for fellowships in the four disciplines represented in the current cycle. Out-of-state panelists who work in those disciplines were recruited to review applications and make recommendations to the SCAC board of directors. Applicants are not anonymous, and panelists consider work samples, artistic merit, achievements, and commitment to the discipline in which artists apply. Artists may apply in multiple categories with separate applications. The FY23 panelists were Andrew Lindsay Cohen (Pownal, Vermont), Dennis Rubin Green (New York, New York), and Antonio Douthit-Boyd (St. Louis, Missouri) for performance (dance, music, or theatre/film acting); Amy Palmo (Woodland Hills, California) for playwriting/screenwriting; Abigail DeWitt (Burnsville, North Carolina) for prose; and Brennan DeFrisco (Beaverton, Oregon) and Wendy Jones (Durham, North Carolina) for spoken word/slam poetry. Further changes to the program include the addition of more modern, inclusive categories that increase accessibility to the awards’ benefits. The categories, being phased in over the course of four years, include:
  • spoken word and slam poetry;
  • time-based art, which includes installation, sound, experimental film, video art, computer-generated art, technology, or performance art;
  • choreography and directing in film, theatre, and opera;
  • and the design arts, which include architecture, fashion, graphic, industrial, or interior.
“Adding disciplines allows for more inclusion while demonstrating how many aspects of the creative economy are touched by the arts,” Scott-Fitts said. The SCAC awards four fellowships per year to artists working in rotating disciplines. One artist from each of these fields: visual art, craft, time-based art (installation, sound, experimental film, video art, computer-generated art, technology, or performance art) and music composition will be honored in fiscal year 2024. To be eligible, artists must be at least 18 years old and a legal U.S. resident with permanent residence in the state for two years prior to the application date and throughout the fellowship period. Applications will be accepted later this summer following announcement by the SCAC. For more on discipline rotation, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/grant/fel/. Correction, 8 July 2022, 11:05 ET: A previous version of this release listed Rebecca T. Godwin as a Colleton County resident. The SCAC was unaware of a recent move to Georgetown County. The Hub apologizes for the error.

About the FY23 Individual Artist Fellowship Recipients

Eunjung Choi, DMA | Performance (Dance, Music, or Theatre/Film Acting) | Orangeburg County Dr. Eunjung Choi, a native of Seoul, South Korea, currently serves as associate professor of piano and coordinator of keyboard studies at Claflin University in Orangeburg, teaching applied piano, class piano, piano pedagogy and literature, and music appreciation. Dr. Choi has presented numerous performances, lectures, and workshops to international, national, and regional music audiences in the U.S. and South Korea. Her articles have been published in major national and international journals. Choi earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul, Master of Music from Ball State University, Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of South Carolina, and completed a management development program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Michael Smallwood | Playwriting/Screenwriting | Charleston County Michael Smallwood is an actor, writer, director, and teacher. He is originally from Baltimore, Maryland, but currently resides in Charleston. A College of Charleston alumnus, Smallwood has also studied theatre, acting, and writing at the Kennedy Center in Washington and Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta. He is a core ensemble member of PURE Theatre in Charleston, having joined in 2011. His theatre credits include The AgitatorsThe RoyaleMarie Antoinette, and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, among many others. He is a two-time KCACTF award-winning playwright. His screenplays and short films have won awards from GenreBlast Film Festival, Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival, and many others. His film/television credits include the Emmy-winning CBS series “The Inspectors,” the Netflix original movie Naked, HBO's The Righteous Gemstones and Halloween Kills (2021). He is also arts editor for the Charleston City Paper and host of the podcast “Welcome to Greendale.” Rebecca T. Godwin | Prose | Colleton County Native South Carolinian Rebecca T. Godwin has published two novels, Keeper of the House (St. Martin’s, 1994) and Private Parts (Longstreet, 1992). Her stories and essays have appeared in The Paris ReviewOxford American’s Best of the South issue, The SunEpochSouth Carolina Review, and elsewhere, and she has received MacDowell and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. One of Godwin's first stories won the South Carolina Fiction Project and was included in the anthology, Inheritance (Hub City Press, 2001). For 13 years she taught literature and writing at Bennington College, during which time she conceived and was faculty editor for plain china, an online journal showcasing undergraduate writing from around the country. She has served as judge for the S.C. Fiction Project and as screening judge for the Drue Heinz Prize and The Atlantic’s Student Writing prizes. Godwin earned a bachelor’s from Coastal Carolina University and a master’s from Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English. She is currently at work on two novels and a story collection. Marlanda Dekine | Spoken Word/Slam Poetry | Georgetown County Marlanda Dekine (they/she) is a poet, a voice, and a presence. Their collection of poems, Thresh & Hold, won the 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize at Hub City Press. Dekine is the creator of i am from a punch & a kiss, a multimedia book/mixtape project, and the founder of Speaking Down Barriers, a nonprofit working towards equity and justice. They are a Castle of Our Skins' Shirley Graham Du Bois Creative-in-Residence, a Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellow, Tin House Own Path Scholar, Emrys Keller Cushing Freeman Scholar, Watering Hole Fellow, and the recipient of many awards, including the SC Humanities Fresh Voice Award and Say What! Queen of the South. Their work has been published in Root Work Journal, Oxford American, POETRY Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Currently, Dekine serves as Healing Justice Fellow with Gender Benders, a transgender advocacy group in the South, and as a guest poet with the composer/performer collective, counter)induction.

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

Aiken Center for the Arts to showcase ‘Creative Connectors’

Young creative network resulted from SCAC programs

[caption id="attachment_50384" align="alignright" width="200"] Artwork by creative connector Terrance Washington.[/caption]

Thursday, Aiken Center for the Arts opens a new exhibition featuring artists from the South Carolina Arts Commission's Create: Rural S.C. program.

Create: Rural S.C. is a community arts program that was launched in summer 2018 with a newly formed team of creative professionals discovered through The Art of Community: Rural S.C. program's initial work in six South Carolina counties. To fuel local connection and discovery, the SCAC enlisted the help of 12 “creative connectors” who sought creative contacts across Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties. Together, they built a network of young creatives making names for themselves in their rural communities instead of leaving for larger, urban locales. From Thursday, June 23 to July 28, 2022, five creative connectors—Ernest Lee, Rajaskeher Y “Mr. Y,” James Wilson, Robert Matheson, and Terrance Washington—will be sharing their work in this exhibition. A reception will open Creative Connectors, Create: Rural S.C. this Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Aiken Center for the Arts is in downtown Aiken (122 Laurens St. SW, Aiken, 29801). Free. To learn more about the work of The Art of Community: Rural S.C. and Create: Rural S.C., use the tags associated with this post.  

Jason Rapp

Farris offers Juneteenth poster to all

Amiri Farris, a Lowcountry visual artist who's no stranger to The Hub, has a gift in honor of Juneteenth.

In honor of the annual celebration, which is also now a federal holiday, Farris created a vibrant poster. Here's the description:

This artwork pays homage to one of the oldest celebrations in existence Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States and celebrates American freedom and achievement. The artwork encouraging unity and movement to a bright future, self-development and respect for all people and cultures.

The events of 1865 are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is recognized.

As a gift to all, Farris is offering the poster because of his relationship with the SCAC. Click here to download the full-size version (9.8MB). Wanna get yours signed? Visit with Farris at an upcoming Juneteenth event on Hilton Head Island (Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Follow Farris on social media: @amirifarris.

Jason Rapp

The Met announces exhibition of Black S.C. potters this fall

Manhattan to get look at 19th-century Edgefield pottery

While we're talking Edgefield potters today, The Hub has learned exciting news: the exhibition Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sept. 9, 2022.

(Yes, that Met.) Focusing on the work of African American potters in the 19th-century American South, in dialogue with contemporary artistic responses, the exhibition presents approximately 50 ceramic objects from Old Edgefield District, South Carolina, a center of stoneware production in the decades before the Civil War. It will include monumental storage jars by enslaved and literate potter and poet David Drake alongside rare examples of the region’s utilitarian wares, as well as enigmatic face vessels whose makers were unrecorded. Considered through the lens of current scholarship in the fields of history, literature, anthropology, material culture, diaspora, and African American studies, these 19th-century vessels testify to the lived experiences, artistic agency, and material knowledge of enslaved peoples. The exhibition is made possible by Kathryn Ploss Salmanowitz, The Met’s Fund for Diverse Art Histories, the Terra Foundation for American Art, Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, and the Henry Luce Foundation. It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition is to run until Feb. 5, 2023. From personal experience, fall and the holidays are wonderful times to visit the Big Apple. For the record, you can get direct flights to New York from CAE (LGA), CHS (JFK, LGA), CLT (JFK, LGA), GSP (LGA), and MYR (LGA). (Yes, we know EWR is a thing. Don't @ us.)
Exhibition overview from The Met While predominant explorations of American enslavement focus on agricultural production, this project offers a novel view of slavery in the industrial context by highlighting and celebrating works by African American potters from the period. Featuring many objects never before seen outside of the South, Hear Me Now is the first exhibition of its kind to originate in the Northeast that focuses on the contributions of enslaved potters, shining a light on one of the most brutal periods in American history. Augmented by a scholarly publication, robust audio content, and new scientific research, Hear Me Now represents a critical contribution to the field of American art. It aspires to link past to present, in part by including the work of leading contemporary Black artists who have responded to or whose practice resonates with the Edgefield story, such as Simone Leigh, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Woody De Othello, Theaster Gates, and Robert Pruitt.
  • The catalogue is made possible by the William Cullen Bryant Fellows of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Additional support is provided by Bridget and Al Ritter.
  • The Audio Guide is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
  • Education programs are made possible by Thelma and AC Hudgins.
Following the exhibition’s debut at The Met, it will travel to:
  • the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (March 6-July 9, 2023),
  • the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (Aug. 26, 2023-Jan. 7, 2024),
  • and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta (Feb. 16-May 12, 2024).
The exhibition is co-curated by Adrienne Spinozzi, associate curator of American Decorative Arts at The Met; Ethan Lasser, John Moors Cabot chair of the Art of the Americas at the MFA; and Jason Young, associate professor of history at the University of Michigan. A group of artists and scholars were engaged in the planning of the exhibition. Learn more on The Met's website and it's social media channels: FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Jason Rapp

Local author brings historical exhibition to Aiken middle school

During March 2022 and beyond, Aiken Center for the Arts connects students at Schofield Middle School with local author Dr. Walter Curry through an author in residence program to enrich the study of South Carolina and African American history as it is depicted in his books.

Curry’s work brings Aiken County’s African American history to life through the narratives of his own family. Discussions of the narratives in his books initiate conversation about the past to help students shape the narratives of their future. Combining education, creativity, and passion into student engagements, Dr. Curry shares real life ancestral stories in his books, The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from The Past (1830-1960) and The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol. 1, A Narrative History, which connect to the 8th grade South Carolina Social Studies Standards. [caption id="attachment_50193" align="alignright" width="450"]Dr. Curry speaks to students from the floor of the school gymnasium as they look on from bleachers. Dr. Curry speaks to students from the floor of the school gymnasium as they look on from bleachers. Provided photo. Click to enlarge.[/caption] Schofield students are reading Curry's second book The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga, Vol. 1, A Narrative History, and discussions focus on the sharecropping experiences of Dr. Curry’s ancestors who lived in Barnwell and Aiken counties. Curry points out that “this book is pertinent to Schofield students as it also incorporates Schofield Normal and Industrial Institute history with the story of Schofield graduate Floster L. Ellison Jr. who was a World War II veteran and co-founded the Palmetto State Barbers Association during the Civil Rights Movement in 1960.” Dr. Curry talks about these narratives that are in the book and engages students by leading them through an exhibition of artifacts and images exploring sharecropping life of his ancestors in the book, showing that history is alive and an important source of connection to our communities. Mrs. Whetstone, who teaches South Carolina history and African American History to 8th graders at Schofield, speaks to the project's relevance. “When you teach history, you teach a lot of dates and sometimes we don’t make the connections. Dr. Curry’s work is the connection. It shows that this happened to Dr. Curry’s family it happened to your family. It happened to all of us. We study the diaspora of African American culture starting from slavery. When you get to reconstruction you understand that we already had those civil rights but had to work through it. Society is not going to be able to move ahead unless we can have these kinds of discussions,” she said. Aiken Center for the Arts believes in the importance of this Author in Residence program because it uniquely delivers our mission by sharing a local voice of untold stories from Aiken County’s African American history, by inspiring area youth through the personal story Curry shares of his journey to authorship alongside the educational enrichment Curry’s books provide as those narratives give real life examples of the concepts taught in the standards. Supporting local artists and authors through the Author in Residence program celebrates rich human resources that are among us while opening opportunities for deeper understanding of the human experience. This project is funded in part by SC Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The South Carolina Cotton Museum and Jerry Morris, author of the book Barnwell County, are also contributors to this engagement.
For more information contact Caroline Gwinn, executive director of Aiken Center for the Arts: execdir@aikencenterforthearts.org or call the Arts Center at 803.641.9094.

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