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State Art Collection sets attendance record at S.C. State Fair


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 12-day South Carolina State Fair exhibition of the State Art Collection, which is managed by the South Carolina Arts Commission, set an attendance record for the 50-year-old collection. Volunteers representing the arts commission and South Carolina Arts Foundation counted 20,679 visitors to of Pig Tales, Blackberry Winter, & the Cabinet of Curiosities during the 2019 South Carolina State Fair from Oct. 9-20, 2019. Visual Arts Director Harriett Green said that is, by far, the largest attendance ever for an exhibition of the collection. Green and the S.C. Arts Commission (SCAC) visual arts department curated the exhibition to feature artists who exhibited in the State Fair’s annual exhibition dating back to the early 1960’s, works that reflect aspects of fair culture, and other iconic pieces from the State Art Collection, which was established in 1967 and includes 466 works by 288 contemporary South Carolina artists. The exhibition was interactive thanks to a spinning wheel game that encouraged guests to find a work of art, take a selfie with it, and share it to social media. “We are excited that, thanks to this partnership with the State Fair, an exceptionally diverse cross-section of South Carolina citizens was able to enjoy their art collection in record numbers,” Green said. “There were around a third of those who are arts lovers and another third who browse everything because that’s just what they do, so they ducked in and ducked out. But there was also a third who were curious and became engaged and excited to learn of the collection and our artists.” Green said she and fair representatives are exploring future collaborative opportunities because they too were pleased with the exhibition and its attendance. The fair reported 416,320 guests for its 2019 run. “We were thrilled to partner with the South Carolina Arts Commission to showcase this collection during our 150th anniversary fair,” said State Fair General Manager Nancy Smith. “The arts are a big part what makes our state special, and it was great to see the talents of so many state residents on display this year. Our fair was an even richer experience because of this collection.”
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.

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.

State Art Collection gets 12-day run at S.C. State Fair

And FOLKfabulous is back for third year


Funnel cake? Check. Corn dog? Check. Cotton candy? Check. Tyrone Geter? Check.  Wait, what? To help celebrate its 150th anniversary, the South Carolina State Fair invited the State Art Collection to show off iconic contemporary works by #SCartists in the shadow of the famed rocket. Artists who have exhibited in the State Fair’s annual exhibition dating back to the early 1960s, works that reflect aspects of fair culture, and some iconic pieces from the State Art Collection are featured in the Rosewoods Building at Pig Tales, Blackberry Winter, & the Cabinet of Curiosities today through Oct. 20. In keeping with the fair theme, fair guests are invited to spin the new S.C. Arts Commission spinning wheel. When the wheel stops on a work of art in the exhibition, search that work out. Snap a selfie with it, and share it with your networks on social media! The artists and works, an event rundown, and more are available at SouthCarolinaArts.com.

McKissick Museum celebrates return of FOLKfabulous

Join the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum at the South Carolina State Fair for FOLKFabulous@theFair. This year, the museum's signature folklife festival celebrates South Carolina’s rich textile arts heritage, including Native American, African American and Mennonite quilting traditions in conjunction with the McKissick exhibition, Piece by Piece: Quilts from the Permanent Collection. You’re invited to participate and engage with artists and cultural traditions that make the Palmetto State home! Come to the Rosewoods Building to enjoy arts displays, demonstrations and hands-on craft activities, concerts and hands-on music workshops. You won’t want to miss the chance to try your hand at making a story quilt block or contribute to our yarn-bombing display. You’ll also find music to move your heart and dancing feet at a Harvest Dance featuring old-time music by Andy Brooks, a bluegrass concert by the Carolina Rebels, and Gullah music and storytelling by internationally renowned performers Ron and Natalie Daise. Click here for complete information on FOLKfabulous@theFair.

Folk traditions alive and featured at S.C. State Fair

Starting today, join the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum at the South Carolina State Fair for FOLKFabulous@theFair. This year, our signature folklife festival celebrates South Carolina’s vibrant pottery traditions, drawing on two McKissick exhibitions: Swag & Tassel: The Innovative Stoneware of Thomas Chandler and Place It/Face It: Pottery by Eugene. Also featured are Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipients and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative artists, highlighting the Folklife & Traditional Arts Program of McKissick Museum and the S.C. Arts Commission. FOLKFabulous@theFair brings together outstanding tradition bearers from around the state, so that we may better know and appreciate our region’s unique cultural heritage. FOLKFabulous@theFair is not an event to simply observe, but also an invitation to participate and engage with artists and cultural traditions that make the Palmetto State home. Come to the Rosewoods Building to enjoy arts displays, demonstrations and hands-on craft activities, an exhibit featuring South Carolina’s pottery heritage, concerts and hands-on music workshops, and our oral history station. New this year, Share Your Fair Story offers visitors an opportunity to record their South Carolina State Fair memories in preparation for the Fair’s 150th Anniversary in 2019. You won’t want to miss the chance to join in a community drum circle, try your hand at making a pot or a story quilt block, or contribute to our yarn-bombing display. You’ll also find music to move your heart and dancing feet: Piedmont Blues by Freddie Vanderford & Millbilly Three, bluegrass by Kristin Scott Benson & Friends, and a cappella spiritual and gospel singing by the Blackville Community Choir. Keith BrownFeatured ceramic artists and organizations include:

  • Rosa & Winton Eugene
  • Justin Guy of Old Edgefield Pottery
  • Catawba potter Keith Brown (right)
  • Columbia Art Center
  • South Carolina Clay Conference & Newberry Art Center
  • Southern Pottery
Find detailed program listings at: www.scstatefair.org. Don’t forget to plan a visit to McKissick Museum to view the exhibitions that inspired this year’s festival:
  • Swag & Tassel: The Innovative Stoneware of Thomas Chandler brings new archaeological and archival research to bear on our understanding of a 19th-century Edgefield potter (Aug. 2018-July 2019).
  • Place It/Face It: Pottery by Eugene is the first retrospective exhibition of ceramic art by self-taught, African-American potters Winton and Rosa Eugene of Cowpens. This husband-and-wife artistic team have produced a body of functional wares that speak to southerners’ shared experience of place, and sculptural works that address issues of particular concern to them (Aug. 18-Dec. 15).
McKissick Museum is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. FOLKFabulous@theFair is made possible with generous support from the South Carolina State Fair, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

FOLKFabulous@theFair 2018 Schedule

  • All activities in the Rosewoods Building, unless otherwise indicated with an *
  • See online or printed schedule for exact times and details. All events & activities are free with Fair admission.
Daily Events
  • McKissick Museum Exhibit: Pottery in South Carolina McKissick Museum introduces visitors to South Carolina’s pottery traditions. Learn about the building, glazing, and firing techniques used by historical and contemporary potters, and the minerals used to make clay bodies and glazes. Featured traditions include Southern alkaline pottery, Catawba pottery and more. Also, find out more about folklife and traditional arts.
  • Share Your Fair Story As we gear up for the South Carolina State Fair’s 150th Anniversary next year, McKissick Museum would like to gather your stories and memories of Fair traditions and experiences. Stop by and share your favorite memory of your family’s quilts, canned or baked goods, or other State Fair traditions.
  • Hands-on Experiences FOLKFabulous@theFair offers daily opportunities for hands-on experiences. No previous experience necessary to participate! Kindle your creativity.
  Wednesday, October | 12-6 p.m. Yarn Bombing ~ Yarn Bombers of Columbia Ever notice the yarn masterpieces adorning trees, parking meters and more on Columbia’s Main Street? The Yarn Bombers of Columbia decorate the Rosewoods Building, host an open stitching circle, and speak about their work.* *Yarn Bombers of Columbia onstage interview will be held in the Home Arts area, 2:30-3:30 p.m. Pottery Display and Hands-On Experience ~ Columbia Art Center The Columbia Art Center presents pottery displays and offers hands-on experiences in throwing and coiling clay pieces. Potters will have work for sale.   Thursday, October 11 | 12-6 p.m. Speaking with the Clay: A Tribute to David Drake ~ EboniRamm and Columbia Art Center Create your own story in clay! Poet EboniRamm and Columbia Art Center’s talented potters lead participants in tapping their creativity and experience to combine pottery and poetry. Pottery Display and Hands-On Experience ~ Columbia Art Center The Columbia Art Center presents pottery displays and offers hands-on experiences in throwing and coiling clay pieces. Potters will have work for sale.   Friday, October 12 | 12-8:30 p.m. Pottery Display and Hands-On Experience ~ Columbia Art Center The Columbia Art Center presents pottery displays and offers hands-on experiences in throwing and coiling clay pieces. Potters will have work for sale. Find Your Rhythm: Community Drum Circle ~ Columbia Community Drum Circle Join in a community drum circle! Drums provided. Since 2004, the Columbia Community Drum Circle has provided a safe, non-intimidating, family friendly space for anyone wanting to explore the joy of group drumming.   Saturday, October 13 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Pottery Display and Hands-On Experience: Rosa & Winton Eugene Rosa and Winton Eugene of Cowpens, SC demonstrate and talk about their work, highlighting techniques and forms that explore scenes of the rural south and the Eugenes’ experience as African Americans and concerned citizens of the world. They will offer a display, with pieces for sale, and a hands-on pottery activity.   Sunday, October 14 | 1-6 p.m. Hands-On Experience ~ Southern Pottery | 1-4 p.m. Participate in a clay experience: build your own mask or a face jug. South Carolina Treasures: Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative
  • Bluegrass Concert ~ Kristin Scott Benson & Friends | 3-4 p.m., WLTX Stage Join Kristin Scott Benson and an all-star cast of today's top bluegrass artists, including Shawn Lane, Marcus Smith, and Alan Bibey, for an impromptu set of top-notch music, also featuring Samantha Morgan, a recent apprentice in the SC Arts Commission’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative.
  • Bluegrass Banjo Workshop ~ Kristin Scott Benson & Samantha Morgan | 4:30-5:30 p.m. Come explore the roots and contemporary styles of bluegrass banjo, with Master Artist, Kristin Scott Benson, and Apprentice, Samantha Morgan. This will be an intimate, highly interactive workshop, with a Q and A session.
  Monday, October 15 | 12-6 p.m. South Carolina Treasures: Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative Catawba Pottery ~ Keith Little Bear Brown & Teresa Harris Master Catawba potter Keith Brown and apprentice Teresa Harris display and demonstrate their work, talk about their apprenticeship, and offer hands-on instruction in the pinch pot technique.   Tuesday, October 16 | 12-6 p.m. South Carolina Treasures: Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Gullah Sweetgrass Basketry ~ Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Association Learn about Gullah Geechee history and the sweetgrass basket tradition. Enjoy a display and demos featuring multiple basket weavers, and take part in a hands-on activity.   Wednesday, October 17 | 12-6 p.m. South Carolina Treasures: Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award
  • A Cappella Spiritual & Gospel Singing ~ Blackville Community Choir | 12-2 p.m. The Blackville Community Choir has been gracing church services, weddings and other community gatherings since 1965. Come hear them in concert and join in a community singing session.
  • Indian Clay Traditions ~ Folk Artist Jugnu Verma | 2:30-5:30 p.m. Explore the origin and evolution of Indian tribal and folk art forms and their influence on modern Indian art and life, with Indian folk artist Jugnu Verma. Try your hand at Lippan, a form of clay art traditionally used to adorn homes in the hot, arid region of Kutch, India. Or, decorate a Diya, the clay vessel used to hold candles during Divali, India’s annual festival of lights.
  Thursday, October 18 | 12-6 p.m.
  • Immortal images: Decorating Techniques of Old Edgefield Pottery Justin Guy creates and talks about Edgefield Pottery and its design elements. He will teach how to create elemental designs using pen and ink, drawing inspiration from what is around us in our daily lives and environment.
  • Yarn Bombing ~ Yarn Bombers of Columbia The Yarn Bombers of Columbia return to the State Fair to host an open stitching circle and speak about their work. Stitch your own creation and add it to the display! Yarn Bombers onstage interview will be held in the Home Arts area, 3:30-4:30
  Friday, October 19 | 12-6 p.m. Pottery Display and Hands-On Experience ~ Newberry Arts Center & South Carolina Clay Conference The Newberry Arts Center & South Carolina Clay Conference present pottery displays and offer hands-on experiences in creating clay pieces. Potters will have work for sale.    Saturday, October 20 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Pottery Display and Hands-On Experience ~ Newberry Arts Center & South Carolina Clay Conference | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The Newberry Arts Center & South Carolina Clay Conference present pottery displays and offer hands-on experiences in creating clay pieces. Potters will have work for sale. South Carolina Treasures: Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Initiative
  • Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award | 3-3:30 p.m., 5:30-6 p.m. Piedmont Blues Concert ~ Freddie Vanderford & Millbilly Three Come hear South Carolina Piedmont blues legends Freddie Vanderford and the Millbilly Three, carrying on a Palmetto State tradition from the Upstate. (Millbilly Three concerts on the WLTX Stage.)
  • Piedmont Blues Harmonica Workshop | 4-5 p.m. Join Master Piedmont Blues harmonica player Freddie Vanderford and Apprentices Mattie Phifer Suber and David “Shag” Stepp for a hands-on Piedmont Blues harmonica workshop. Harmonicas provided.
  Sunday, October 211-5 p.m. South Carolina Treasures: Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award Hands-on Family & Memory Quilt Workshop ~ Peggie Hartwell Create your own fabric story block, exploring the use of color and design to find your "voice on cloth." Materials provided. See a pop-up display of quilts by Peggie Hartwell, who depicts her family stories, African American culture and history, and current world issues in her detailed and colorful work.

Oct. 12 is Gullah Geechee Day at the South Carolina State Fair

On Saturday, Oct. 12, the South Carolina State Fair will feature Gullah Geechee singers, storytellers, basket makers and other artists as part of Gullah Geechee Day. Fair organizers partnered with the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission to sponsor this special event to help raise awareness, educate, and entertain the public about this significant aspect of our state’s history and heritage. Enjoy stage performances on the WIS-TV stage and craft displays and demonstrations in the Cantey Building throughout the day. Performance schedule (WIS-TV stage)

  • 1:45 p.m.  Ron Daise, chairman of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, "A Celebration of Gullah"
  • 2 p.m.  Oslami Lamoke - Gullah singer and songwriter
  • 4 p.m.  Dorothy Montgomery - the Gullah story through song and quilting
  • 6 p.m.  Sharon Murray - Gullah storytelling
  • 8 p.m.  Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers
Artists participating in craft displays and demonstrations (Cantey Building)
  • Jeannette Lee - sweetgrass basket making
  • Frank and Sharon Murray - rice demonstrations, storytelling, rag quilting
  • Dorothy Montgomery - quilting with a Gullah story
  • Lornabelle Gethers - author of "Honey Bea's Everlasting Gift"
  • Ade Ofunniyin, Ph.D. - metal works and sculpting
Read the artists' biographies and view a complete schedule on the South Carolina State Fair's website. “Gullah Geechee Day” is the first statewide observance during “Gullah Geechee Awareness Month." For more information about other activities, visit the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission's website. Via: South Carolina State Fair

DEADLINE EXTENDED – Gullah Geechee performers and crafts demonstrators sought for S.C. State Fair

Submission deadline extended to June 28, 2013. The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission has issued a call for performers and cultural crafts demonstrators to participate in “Gullah Geechee Day” at the South Carolina State Fair on Saturday, October 12, 2013, in Columbia. Performance times are 20-minute sets taking place at 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Cultural crafts displays and demonstrations will take place from 9 a.m. -- 7 p.m. Submit references and a DVD or CD to: Nancy L. Smith, CFE Assistant Manager South Carolina State Fair PO Box 393 Columbia, SC 29202 (803) 799-3387 Ext. 16 (803) 518-6703 Cell nancys@scstatefair.org Participants will be vetted by the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. Contractual agreements and payments will be issued by the S.C. State Fair. Related: Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor plan approved Via: Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor Commission

Gullah Geechee performers and crafts demonstrators sought for S.C. State Fair

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission has issued a call for performers and cultural crafts demonstrators to participate in “Gullah Geechee Day” at the South Carolina State Fair on Saturday, October 12, 2013, in Columbia. Submission deadline is June 17, 2013. Performance times are 20-minute sets taking place at 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Cultural crafts displays and demonstrations will take place from 9 a.m. -- 7 p.m. Submit references and a DVD or CD to: Nancy L. Smith, CFE Assistant Manager South Carolina State Fair PO Box 393 Columbia, SC 29202 (803) 799-3387 Ext. 16 (803) 518-6703 Cell nancys@scstatefair.org Participants will be vetted by the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. Contractual agreements and payments will be issued by the S.C. State Fair. Related: Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor plan approved Via: Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor Commission