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First Novel Prize winner to debut book in Columbia

MinnowJoin the South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press and Jasper Magazine at Tapp's Art Center on April 30 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. for the Columbia launch of Minnow, the 2014 First Novel Prize winner, written by James Edwin McTeer II. Minnow will be available for sale in hardback for $24.95, and McTeer will give a brief reading and sign books. The event is free and open to the public. Minnow is an otherworldly story of a small boy who leaves his dying father’s bedside hunting a medicine for a mysterious illness. Sent by his mother to a local druggist in their seaside village, Minnow unexpectedly takes a dark and wondrous journey deep into the ancient Sea Islands, seeking the grave dust of a long-dead hoodoo man to buy him a cure. Born and raised in Beaufort, McTeer is the grandson of the late J. E. McTeer, whose 37 years as High Sheriff of the Lowcountry (and local witch doctor) served as inspiration for the winning novel. McTeer has worked for five years as a school media specialist and is currently the librarian at Polo Road Elementary School in Columbia. He lives in Lexington with his wife, but travels to Beaufort monthly “to soak in the marsh, the mud, and the salty air.” His debut novel was selected by novelist Ben Fountain of Houston as winner in the biennial First Novel competition, which is co-sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission and Hub City Press in Spartanburg. Fountain, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, said, “Minnow is a gorgeous fever-dream of a novel. It picked me up by the scruff of the neck and carried me along as powerfully as a novel by Pat Conroy or Toni Morrison.” The book also has received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.  

Tapp’s Arts Center developing an Artist in Residency program

The Tapp’s Initiative is a juried Artist-in-Residency program developed by the Friends of the Tapp's Arts Center that is aimed at bringing contemporary art production, practice and community engagement to the Columbia/Midlands area. Each resident will have access to their own studio space at the Tapp's Arts Center in downtown Columbia for three months to develop a site-specific project and invite the public to interact with the artwork during open-gallery events. At the end of the studio time, the artist will close with an exhibition of work produced during the residency. The residencies will be open to artists from all areas of South Carolina. The success of a current Kickstarter campaign will determine whether the program can begin accepting applications in early February 2015. Campaign proceeds will help support the artist during the residency; if funds permit, the residency can be extended to four months. For more information, visit the Tapp's Arts Center website. About the Tapp's Arts Center Tapp’s Arts Center is Columbia’s community center for visual and performing arts located at 1644 Main Street. Our mission is to provide communal space, studios, and exhibition opportunities to strengthen artistic voices and enrich the lives of Columbia’s diverse communities. The center boasts 32 artist studios on two floors, two multi-use performance/event venues with room for up to 300 guests and dedicated gallery space accommodating painting, sculpture, installation and performance. Local artists may rent studios, gallery space and featured Tapp's original window displays to both create, show and sell their work. The center is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Via: Tapp's Arts Center

Artist Ventures Initiative grantee Kimi Maeda presents new work

Letters of Intent are due Dec. 15 for the next round of Artists' Ventures Initiative grants. On Nov. 15 and 16 at the Tapps Art Center in Columbia, Artists' Ventures Initiative grantee Kimi Maeda will premiere Bend, the final installment in a trilogy of performances developed over the past 14 years. Both shows start at 7 p.m.; tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Advance tickets are available online. Using sand, shadow, and projection, Bend tells the story of two men interned in a Japanese American Relocation Camp during World War II: Maeda’s father, an Asian Art historian, and the subject of his research, Isamu Noguchi, a half-Japanese half-American sculptor. In conjunction with this performance, Tapp’s Arts Center will present Ephemera, a month-long exhibition of objects created in the development of the trilogy.

Maeda partnered with artist Lyon Hill in 2011 to form Belle et Bête, a puppet production and promotion company in Columbia. The Spork in Hand Puppet Slams, evenings of short-form puppetry that showcase artists from across the Southeast, have been a major component of their work. Slams allow puppeteers to test ideas and push the limits of the art form, making them vital to the development of longer puppet endeavors. Bend will share each evening with Jenny Mae’s Playhouse, an all-local edition of the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam featuring house band We Roll Like Madmen. Get a sneak preview with this Bend teaser video. kimi maeda bend preview Support for Bend was made possible by the Tapp’s Arts Center, the Jim Henson Foundation, the South Carolina Arts Commission, and the Kō Festival of Performance. Support for the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam was made possible by the Puppet Slam Network and the City of Columbia Hospitality Tax Commission. Letters of Intent are due Dec. 15 for the next round of Artists' Ventures Initiative grants. Selected applicants will be invited to develop a full grant proposal. Individuals and collaboratives may apply for up to $5,000 in order to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture.