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Spartanburg Art Museum calls for 2021-2022 artists

Submission deadline; Friday, October 30, 2020


Spartanburg Art Museum is seeking proposals for solo and group exhibitions for 2021/2022.

[caption id="attachment_34666" align="alignright" width="225"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption] We're interested in all types of work that address contemporary issues and concerns, use traditional materials in unusual ways, and elevate our visitors' experiences to new levels of participation and engagement. Any individual, collective, or group of artists (age 18+) who reside in the United States or Canada may apply. All media and themes will be considered for exhibition. Artists may submit a full exhibition concept, a cohesive body of work, or a general sampling from their portfolio. Our exhibition history illustrates that SAM has exhibited more white artists than any other ethnic group. In an effort to be a more responsible institution moving forward in regard to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, we are especially interested in emerging and mid-career artists who identify as Black, POC, LGBTQ, and those with physical disabilities.

Applications MUST include the following materials to be considered:

  • 8-10 examples of artwork (please send any multimedia as a link)
  • artist statement
  • short biography
  • résumé and/or CV
  • $35 application fee
  • completed official application form

Visit this page to learn more.

For more information, please contact our Associate Curator Ashleigh Shuler at apayne@spartanarts.org or call 864.582.7616 x 254.


Jason Rapp

‘Black Artists of Spartanburg’ exhibition goes live

Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce the Black Artists of Spartanburg exhibition.

After conversations with our community, the Black Artists of Spartanburg Exhibition was formed to amplify the voices of Spartanburg’s Black artists in response to the racial injustices that are taking place across the nation. The multi-media exhibition features 17 artists from across Spartanburg County and will be on display through Sept. 30. The event will feature a virtual panel discussion with select artists on Sept. 17 from 6-7 p.m. during Spartanburg Artwalk. The artwork will be on display inside the Carlos Dupre Moseley Building on the Chapman Cultural Center Campus, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p..m and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who are unable to attend the exhibit in person can view the exhibition virtually on the Chapman Cultural Center website. The artists featured in the exhibition include:
  • Kayla Cromer
  • Mylows Customs
  • James Goff
  • Spark Howard
  • Josh Jackson
  • Moses "Galaxy" Jenkins
  • Patricia Kabore
  • Chris Kelly
  • Smitha Lee
  • Quinn Long
  • Antonio Modesto Milian
  • Ariel Moore
  • Rosetta Nesbitt
  • Lady Pluuto
  • Arialle Kennedy Smith
  • THEMADDDARTIST
  • Frankie Zombie
The exhibition was juried by 2020 HUB-BUB Artists-in-Residence Masimba Hwati and Shuk Han Lui. More information about the jurors can be found here. “As a Black artist, but especially as a Black female artist, it's challenging to gain exposure and make connections in the art community. Therefore, the opportunity to be a part of this exhibition is an amazing experience and I definitely think it's a step in the right direction to raise awareness of the fact that there's a need for a larger community that supports artists of African diaspora,” Kayla Cromer said of her inclusion in the exhibition. Local artist Josh Jackson said, “I am blessed and honored to be chosen as one of the artists represented in the Black Artists of Spartanburg Exhibition. To me, this exhibition means that my community understands what’s going on, and cares enough to support Black artists through trying times. I appreciate the opportunity and I’m inspired by how the arts are being used for positivity in our community.”
The virtual panel discussion will be moderated by Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Spartanburg School District Seven, and Chapman Cultural Center Trustee, Dr. Carlotta Redish. The panel will discuss their experiences as Black artists, their work, and the overall importance the arts play in regards to social justice issues. Participating artists include: TheMadddArtist, Lady Pluuto, Patricia Kabore, Ariel Moore, Smitha Lee, Spark Howard, Antonio Modesto Milian, James “Edras” Goff, and Arialle Kennedy Smith. The panel will be streamed live on the Chapman Cultural Center Facebook page from 6-7 p.m. “This exhibition comes in response from the recent publicity of injustices done to the Black community across the nation. Although I know that one exhibition will not solve all issues, I hope that this can help spark conversations that will create change in the community,” said Jennifer Barskdale, Outreach Coordinator for Chapman Cultural Center. Through this exhibition, Chapman Cultural Center hopes that Spartanburg County will use it as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the perspectives of our Black community while building bridges toward understanding. “Our mission is to provide cultural leadership and we have many people of color working in our organization and serving on our Board who help us make important decisions to advance equity and inclusion in the arts locally. It is during difficult times that it is most important for the arts to provide hope and healing. This can be done in so many ways and lifting up our local professional Black artists through this public exhibit is hopefully a positive step,” said Jennifer Evins, president & CEO of Chapman Cultural Center.

About Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural Center provides cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Chapman Cultural Center is located on East Saint John St in downtown Spartanburg. Please visit www.ChapmanCulturalCenter.org for more information.

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Spartanburg streets to come alive with music again

Downtown programming returns for new season


Chapman Cultural Center is excited to announce that the street music series will be returning to the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District this week starting tonight.

Spartanburg Cultural DistrictSince its launch in August 2017, Downtown Programming has provided over 800 entertainment experiences through weekly live music and performance “buskers." Downtown Programming is 100% funded by the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce through the One Spartanburg initiative. The City of Spartanburg is also a valued supporter of the program. The goals for downtown programming include increasing, pedestrian traffic, retail sales for local businesses, use of downtown parking garages, awareness of the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District, and diversity of both performing artists and audience. We encourage the public to safely interact with musicians while out in public by observing social distancing and through the use of face coverings when possible. Please also consider directly supporting musicians through mobile payments and tips when possible. The S.C. Arts Commission awarded cultural district status in 2015 to the City of Spartanburg for downtown Spartanburg. The district is about four square blocks from Barnet Park to Spartanburg Community College’s downtown campus on Kennedy Street, west on Kennedy to the Grain District, and bordered on its northern edge by the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.
About Chapman Cultural Center Our mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

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Landmark exhibition of Southern women artists coming to the Upstate

[caption id="attachment_45117" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Soft color oil painting of women packing peaches in 1938. Wenonah Bell. Peach Packing, Spartanburg County. 1938. 38 1/8 x 48 1/8 inches. Oil on canvas.[/caption]

The critically acclaimed, nationally touring exhibition Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection will be on view at The Johnson Collection in Spartanburg starting next month.

The exhibition will run from Sept. 7, 2020 to Dec. 18 at Wofford College. Spanning the decades between the late 1890s and early 1960s, Central to Their Lives examines the particularly complex challenges Southern women artists confronted in a traditionally conservative region during a period in which women’s social, cultural, and political roles were being redefined and reinterpreted. After opening at the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, the exhibition traveled to the Mississippi Museum of Art (Jackson), the Huntington Museum of Art (West Virginia), the Dixon Gallery and Gardens (Memphis), and the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. The Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College in Spartanburg—the Johnson Collection’s hometown—is the fifth stop on the exhibition’s six-state, three-year tour. Among the works on view, several are of local interest. Wenonah Bell’s Peach Packing, Spartanburg County captures the importance of women to South Carolina’s thriving peach industry during the 1930s and 1940s, and works by Spartanburg natives Margaret Law, Josephine Couper, and Blondelle Malone speak to the artists’ indelible legacy in their hometown and beyond.
Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday from 1-5 p.m. Please check the museum and gallery’s web page prior to your visit to review the latest campus health protocols. Free.

Jason Rapp

On the passing of Heather Hulsey

Arts teacher perishes in aviation tragedy


Official Statement from the S.C. Arts Commission

The South Carolina Arts Commission notes with sadness the tragic passing last week of Heather Hulsey, a middle school arts teacher in Spartanburg County School District Six. According to media reports, the airplane carrying Hulsey, her husband, and her brother and his girlfriend was involved in a midair collision with another aircraft in Alaska. Seven people died, and there were no survivors. In noting her passing, the South Carolina Art Education Association called her a "great art educator, member, and friend." District Six Superintendent Dr. Darryl Owings, in a statement, called the tragedy "beyond words" and that Hulsey was an inspiring teacher, well-loved by the Dawkins Middle School community. The commission board of directors and staff offer our most sincere condolences to Hulsey's family, students, colleagues, and the community of arts educators throughout the state during this time. An obituary is not available at the time of publication.

Jason Rapp

Public art promotes mask usage in Spartanburg

Public call for art also issued


In response to increased COVID-19 cases and as part of the Bringing Back the ‘Burg initiative, Chapman Cultural Center is partnering with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce on a county-wide public art campaign that promotes the use of face masks by encouraging residents and businesses to place temporary face masks on public art.

The public is encouraged to participate by placing temporary face masks on pre-identified pieces of public art. Eligible pieces of art can be found here. Businesses may also participate by placing temporary masks on privately-owned visible works of art. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, “There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present. We must all commit to wearing face masks in public spaces — if we all wear them, we’ll all be protected.” Masks are available for purchase at many local pharmacy retailers, grocery stores, box stores and boutiques.

Public call for art

In addition to placing masks on existing public art, the campaign includes a call for proposals for a new public art project that promotes the importance of wearing face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Local artists should submit inquiries and proposals by June 26. The selected proposal will receive an award of $1,000 in addition to funding the cost of materials for the project. Artists interested in submitting a proposal, or who would like more information, should contact Chapman Cultural Center’s Community Impact and Outreach Director Melissa Earley at mEarley@spartanarts.org or 864.278.9685.
Chapman Cultural Center realizes that the arts can be a powerful vehicle for change as evidence from previous public art campaigns addressing serious issues in the community such as the Bloomberg Philanthropies project, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light. As an extension of National Night Out, an annual event that promotes crime prevention efforts, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light sought to improve police-community partnership, and neighborhood camaraderie through the arts.   Chapman Cultural Center and the Spartanburg Chamber are committed to prioritizing public health and reducing the spread of COVID-19 while carrying out their respective organizational missions. "Bringing Back the 'Burg" is Spartanburg's COVID-19 recovery effort. Other initiatives include a Business Recovery Task Force, Open for Business Guidebook, Combating COVID-19 Commitment and marketing campaigns.

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Spartanburg arts orgs to share relief award

Balmer Foundation gifts $155,000


Chapman Cultural Center is pleased and honored to announce Spartanburg’s leading cultural organizations received $155,000 in emergency funding support from the Balmer Foundation.

Through this gift, $130,000 went towards funding Chapman Cultural Center’s General Operating Support Grantees and $25,000 will be designated to cost of operating Chapman Cultural Center. The Balmer Foundation trustees presented each organization with their funds at a limited-capacity ceremony on June 2 to encourage social distancing. Chapman Cultural Center, the leading local arts agency in Spartanburg County, awards General Operating Support Grants (GOS) to cultural organizations each year that have been established as a 501(c)3 for 3 years or more, and must continue working to advance the mission of the organization. Grantees for GOS Grants are evaluated on the basis of merit, evidence of sound management and fiscal responsibility, and service to all of Spartanburg County. These awards support up to 20% of the grantees’ annual operating expenses. The Balmer Foundation Board of Trustees offered the following statement in regards to their gift:

“The current trustees of the Balmer Foundation, inspired by the historic and remarkable commitment of Hans and Lucia Balmer to proactively support the Spartanburg community, have chosen to assist key institutions in this unique time of stress and challenge. The Balmers loved animal education and the arts, as they did other key projects that are important to our lives (such as Spots of Pride). While the foundation does not encourage grant requests, it believes the Balmers would want the foundation to commit to this contribution and thereby encourage your good work.”

In the last 25 years, through generous donations to the United Arts Fund, Chapman Cultural Center has awarded over $17 million in grants to strengthen, develop, and promote the cultural vibrancy in Spartanburg County in a sustainable way. “We are very concerned about the financial stability of the arts during these uncertain times. Our General Operating Support Grant program is critically important to our grantees because it gives them a reliable funding source which allows them to plan strategically to expand programs, reach larger and more diverse audiences, and retain creative talent. We are beyond grateful for the support of generous donors such as the Balmer Foundation, who truly see the value the arts bring to a community, especially during the most difficult times,” said President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center Jennifer Evins.
Emergency funding by The Balmer Foundation was awarded to the following organizations:
  • Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg*
  • Ballet Spartanburg*
  • Hatcher Garden
  • Hub City Writers Project*
  • Spartanburg Art Museum*
  • Spartanburg County Historical Association
  • Spartanburg Philharmonic*
  • Spartanburg Science Centre
  • Spartanburg Little Theatre and Spartanburg Youth Theatre
* arts organizations CCC’s Board Chairman Bert Barre, stated “The cultural sector has grown since we first started providing these grants in 1995 and more demands are being placed on organizations as our community grows and prospers. We evaluate the grantees in a thorough process that includes thirteen volunteer grant reviewers representing our Board and members of the Spartanburg community. They conduct site visits, review applications and listen to presentations made by each organization. Together, these organizations serve over 143,000 people each year and the grants allow these organizations to continue to grow their collective impact.”

About Chapman Cultural Center

Chapman Cultural CenterOur mission is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community. Visit our website to learn more.

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2020 Mary Wheeler Davis Scholarship awarded in Spartanburg

silhouette of three graduatings tudents

Chapman Cultural Center is proud to announce it has awarded the annual Mary Wheeler Davis Scholarship to Mia Easler and Sarah Hoffman.

Chapman Cultural CenterTo honor the memory of Mary Wheeler Davis, an annual award is funded by the Mary Wheeler Davis Memorial Fund for the Promotion of the Arts, which was established in 1989. One or more scholarships are awarded annually to Spartanburg students pursuing college degrees in the visual or performing arts. Mia Easler will graduate from Spartanburg High School this spring, and plans to start a degree in art therapy at Converse College. Sarah Hoffman will graduate from Dorman High School this spring, and will study graphic design-illustration at the University of South Carolina. Mary Wheeler Davis felt her purpose in life was to improve the quality of life for others, especially to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of all citizens of Spartanburg County. The family of Mary Wheeler Davis has created a special trust as a memorial to her to be devoted primarily to the promotion of the arts in Spartanburg County by means of scholarships for studies in the performing and visual arts. Learn more about this year's winners and how to apply for next year.
Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst

Jason Rapp

Helping artists shine in Sparkle City

Are you a Facebook user and an Upstate art lover?


You'll want to check out the new Made in SpARTanburg group from Chapman Cultural Center. (Even if you're not in the Upstate!) The group's goal is to provide the public with great art and cultural experiences, and to provide a platform to help Spartanburg artists make a living.

"We want artists and creatives to be successful, sell their work, and grow their creative businesses, especially during these difficult times. This Facebook group is meant to lift up, celebrate, explore, and sell original art of all mediums.

Scroll through, share, purchase a handmade piece, download a song, watch a film. And come back soon...more and more art is added every day!"

Learn more about the group here.

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Spartanburg artists ‘open for business’

Arts agency launches online exhibitions and sales


In reaction to COVID-19 and the demand for online art exhibitions and sales, Artists Collective | Spartanburg has launched a new website, Shops.ArtistsCollectiveSpartanburg.org, that features the work of local artists.

“This is something we have wanted to do, and COVID-19 pushed us to quickly develop and bring online a website that showcases the work of our members and gives the public an easy way to make purchases,” Collective Chair Beth Regula said. “We have more than 50 members and all of them have been invited to ‘set up shop’ on this website. It’s one of their membership benefits. Plus, it’s a great benefit to the patrons of the arts, giving them an online way to see the work and purchase it, avoiding possible coronavirus exposure.”

Normally, the art venue is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., however, it is now closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new website is set up so that each artist has his or her own “shop.” When visiting one of these shops, the patron can see photos of art by the artist. In addition, there is information on pricing, materials, availability, shipping, and the artist. Currently, the website features jewelry, glass fusion, miniatures, mixed media, paintings, and photographs. Payment can be made by credit or debit card.

All members have the option to have a free shop on the website, and so far several have established their presence with more expected to go virtual as the site gains popularity.

“It’s a very user friendly website,” Regula said. “By word of mouth so far, people are already visiting the site and buying art, which absolutely thrills me. Artists Collective | Spartanburg is focused on the artists of this community. We try very hard to provide private and affordable studio space, public galleries with current exhibitions, the community’s most extensive gift shop for locally made art, and now this new website. We are always looking for ways to help artists and to make art more available to the general public.”


Artists Collective | Spartanburg is one of the leading not-for-profit art agencies in Upstate South Carolina. It is a membership-based agency with more than 50 members, most of whom live and work within driving distance of Spartanburg. The venue is located at 578 West Main St. in a converted three-story Baptist church. Normally, it hosts three public and free art exhibitions each month, but the venue’s galleries are now closed to the public because of the pandemic until further notice. For more information about the Shops at Artists Collective | Spartanburg, please visit online: ArtistsCollectiveSpartanburg.org.