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Marion Co. issues RFP for art at planned memorial park

Visual artist sought for Sen. Clementa Pinckney Memorial Park

Submission deadline:
  • Postmark by Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
  • OR Hand deliver by Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, 5:30 p.m.


Clementa Carlos “Clem” Pinckney (July 30, 1973 – June 17, 2015) was a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate, representing the 45th District from 2000 until his death in 2015. He was previously a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1997 through 2000. Pinckney was a senior pastor at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. On June 17, 2015, Pinckney was murdered in a racially motivated mass shooting at an evening Bible study at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston. This act of terrorism became the catalyst for South Carolina Legislature to enact legislation to remove the Confederate flag from flying in front of the South Carolina State House. Today the Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation and The Reverend Pinckney Scholarship Fund continue the works of “Clem” by supporting the spiritual, educational and emotional health of those in need. The Senator Clementa Pinckney Memorial Park shall serve as a memorial to the late Senator as a place of reflection, remembrance and a place of acceptance to all members of our shared society.

Design Elements

The Marion County Administration seeks to commission a free-standing outdoor work of art or installation to add to the beautification, redevelopment, and regeneration of downtown Marion. The work selected must be completed and fully installed by mid-2020. The selected work must be site-specific and constructed of weather-resistant materials.


This opportunity is open to visual artists, ages 18 and older.

The Site

In mid-2020, the planned location for the park will be constructed between the Marion County Museum and the Marion County Council on Aging. The project will be a Marion County Park with a design that calls for a ¼-mile meandering walking path/trail, an open-air picnic structure, shade trees surrounding the large open lawn space, and ample parking. This projected site is in the heart of downtown Marion SC. The residents, business owners, and customers, and tourists can use the park for community events, walking, and jogging. The Senator Clementa Pinckney Memorial Park will create opportunities to encourage new and existing small business owners and entrepreneurs to invest in the Historic Downtown Marion Area. This space will be a venue for festivals, outdoor concerts, weddings, and local activities which will create new jobs. The project will offer opportunities built on new alliances, new partnerships, and a new understanding of the intersection of culture, community, equity, and economic development. Collaborate with HMRA to bring new businesses downtown, filling empty properties and to help existing businesses grow.

The Artist Selection Process

Semi-finalists will be selected by a panel consisting of representatives from The Arts Council of Marion County, Marion Museum, Historic Marion Revitalization Association, SC and private businesses. Semifinalists will be invited to submit more detailed applications, including scale drawings for review by the aforementioned panel. The panel will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors as to which proposal should be selected. Final Selection Criteria will be based on:
  • Artistic merit
  • Appropriateness to the site
  • Feasibility
  • Durability (appropriate for heavily used, outdoor site)
Required Application Materials In response to this RFP, applicants must submit the following:
  • Completed and signed cover sheet/certification form
  • Digital portfolio:
    • A link to a professional website or a jump drive with 10 digital images and title lists.
    • Artwork must be clearly labeled with the artist’s name, date of completion, materials and dimensions.
  • A written description of the proposed work (no more than one page)
  • Preliminary drawing of the proposed work (dimensions not to exceed 18” x 24”)
  • Proposed budget
  • Timeline for the project
  • Current biography and curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Names and contact information of two references (email and phone)
    • listing of commissioned and installed work in public or private collections completed within the last 10 years.
    • provide proof of insurance.
    • after ten years we are not obligated to keep the artwork.
    • the total cost of the project must not exceed $50,000


$50,000 for the total project including the artist’s commission, design, materials, fabrication, transportation, and installation.

Deadline for Submission

[caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignright" width="150"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] All submissions must be postmarked on 12/20/2019 or hand-delivered by 5:30 p.m. Mail to:

Marion County Administration 2523 East Hwy 76 Marion, SC 29571

Please note that applications will not be accepted by fax or email. All artists will be notified of the selection results by 1/31/2020. Installation to be completed by August 2020. Submissions can be hand-delivered to:

Marion County Administration 2523 East Hwy 76, Room 114D Marion, SC 29571 Link to image or image attached.

For more information

Willena Rembert Project Manager 2523 East Hwy 76 Marion, SC 29571 843.275.6072 wrembert@marionsc.org

Submitted material

Artist chosen to paint portrait of slain SC Sen. Pinckney

From The State Article by Cassie Cope, photo by Matt Walsh

Columbia-area artist Larry Lebby will spend the next nine months painting slain state Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s portrait to return his smile to the S.C. Senate. Lebby, 64, was selected this week by a special Senate committee to paint Pinckney’s portrait that will hang in the Senate chamber. “I want to make sure that when I do a portrait that it has more to offer than just a likeness of the person – that it is a visual piece of fine artwork, which will stand upon the test of time,” Lebby told The State newspaper. Pinckney died June 17 when he was shot along with eight other African-Americans at Emanuel AME in Charleston, where he was the pastor. Police have charged Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man who friends say wanted to start a race war. He is facing the death penalty. The day after the shooting, senators unanimously approved displaying a portrait of Pinckney in the Senate chamber. State Sen. Gerald Malloy, a Darlington Democrat who chairs the special committee to oversee the portrait, said Pinckney’s widow, Jennifer, was overjoyed when she learned about the portrait. The portrait of Pinckney – a 41-year-old father of two who spent much of his adult life at the Statehouse as a page, representative and senator – will be paid for with private funds. The cost was not disclosed. State Sen. Gerald Malloy, who chaired a special Senate committee that chose the artist Lebby has painted four portraits that hang in the Statehouse, including paintings of of Benjamin E. Mays, mentor to Martin Luthur King Jr., and Modjeska Simkins, a civil rights leader. Lebby also created a ballpoint pen portrait of Jimmy Carter that hung in the White House during Carter’s presidency. Lebby’s artwork is displayed around the world, including the Vatican in Rome. Lebby asked Jennifer Pinckney for pieces of the senator’s wardrobe to potentially include in the portrait – his lapel pin or a favorite tie. Lebby plans to use photographs and possibly have a relative of Pinckney who looks like the senator model for the painting. Lebby is waiting for a Belgian linen canvas to be shipped so he can begin work on the oil painting. Lebby said he has somewhat of a heavy heart as he undertakes the portrait. He was home when he heard news of the Charleston shooting. “It’s very difficult to explain racism,” Lebby said. “We know it exists. We know it’s prominent in our society, and it’s sad that it does exist because all humanity is a part of each other.” Lebby recalled when he integrated Airport High School in the mid-1960s. He once walked to lunch with other black students past the stadium as white students lined up under the press box and threw ice at the black students. But he found kindness and an outlet through art classes, where teachers were supportive of his talent, he said. “There were people who had very good intentions and didn’t necessarily look at the skin color of a person to measure what their brain power was or who they were,” he said. Lebby’s work is known for its details. "When Larry first came on the art scene, he was very much known for his highly technical skills as a draftsman," said Harriett Green, director of visual arts for the S.C. Arts Commission. Green said Lebby was able to use ballpoint pen and graphite to show the minutest of details. Simkins looks like she’s about to say something in her portrait, which hangs in the Statehouse by the stairs that lead to the House of Representatives chamber, Green said. “That’s the essence of her because she was known to be a voice that people listened to,” Green said. Lebby will paint Pinckney’s portrait in his studio, where his largest watercolor, more than 5 feet wide and nearly 4 feet tall, leans against a wall. The painting shows his youngest son sitting on a rock on a Columbia river. A magnifying glass unearths secrets, such as details in the leaves or writing on a shirt. He stores his paintbrushes in a Planters peanuts can and will bring an easel into his studio to paint Pinckney’s portrait. Malloy said the portrait will remind senators of the love and grace that Pinckney offered. “We knew that this was a part of history and that (Pinckney’s) picture belonged on those walls so that we can look into that history and have history look back at us,” Malloy said. Image: Columbia-area artist Larry Lebby will paint the Senate portrait of slain state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.
Larry Lebby will paint the late Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s portrait to hang in the Senate chamber. He has four portraits in the S.C State House:
Robert Brown Elliott, U.S. House of Representatives, 1871-1874. Speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives 1874-1876. Portrait hangs in the S.C. House chamber. Benjamin E. Mays, mentor to Martin Luthur King Jr. and a president of Morehouse College. Portrait hangs in the S.C. House chamber. Samuel Jones Lee, Speaker of the S.C. House from 1872-1874. Portrait hangs in the S.C. House chamber. Modjeska Simkins, prominent S.C. civil rights leader. Portrait hangs on the stairway leading to the S.C. House chamber.
Age: 64 Hometown: Dixiana, S.C.; now lives in Forest Acres Education: Airport High School; University of South Carolina, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts Family: His wife of nearly 30 years and five children