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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.

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2020 ‘Voices in American Art’ speaker announced

Spartanburg, Wofford to welcome Dr. Evie Terrono

Dr. Evie Terrono, professor of art history and affiliate faculty in women’s studies at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, will deliver the keynote address at the seventh annual Voices in American Art lecture Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. The year 2020 marks important political and cultural milestones in the history of the United States, including the ratification of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteeing women's constitutional right to vote as well as the two-hundredth anniversary of Susan B. Anthony's birth in 1820. A highly-regarded scholar on understandings of gender, race, and politics, Dr. Terrono has titled her upcoming lecture "Creativity, Collaborations, and Communal Uplift: The Careers of Southern Women Artists." You can read more about Dr. Terrono here. The event, which is open to the public without charge, will take place in the Jerome Johnson Richardson Theatre at Wofford College's Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. on Feb. 20.
Established in 2014, Voices in American Art brings distinguished arts leaders from important national institutions to Spartanburg for annual presentations. Previous VIAA speakers include Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator at The Institute of Contemporary Art/BostonSylvia Yount, Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2017); Jane Panetta, associate curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Jan Postma, a Spartanburg native and chief financial officer of the Museum of Modern Art (2016); Elizabeth Pochoda, editor of The Magazine Antiques (2015); and Sarah Cash, associate curator of American and British paintings at the National Gallery of Art and former Bechhoefer Curator of American Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (2014).

Tuning Up: HBCU artists + Florence arts grants + go for Baroque

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...

Twiggs curates TJC Gallery exhibition on HBCU artists. The recipient of virtually every major arts award South Carolina offers is back in the spotlight with a new exhibition in Spartanburg that coincides quite nicely with Black History Month. “Elevation from Within: The Study of Art at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” opens tomorrow and runs through May 10. Admission varies; More info here. Grant opportunity for Florence County artists and arts organizations. From the Florence Regional Arts Alliance: apply now for grants from the FRAA's Quarterly Grants Program for Organizations & Individual Artists. It's designed to provide support for a wide variety of quality arts projects, as well as for professional development opportunities for artists and arts administrators. Organizations must be based in Florence County with a Florence County mailing address and be registered charitable organizations with federal non-profit status. Individual artists must be practicing artists in dance, literature, music, theatre or the visual arts and have a Florence County mailing address. Individual artists must be over the age of 18 at the time of application. Application deadline is May 15. Go for Baroque. (It's obligatory, and we're not sorry. - Ed.) And we're back in Spartanburg as Wofford College celebrates the visual art and music of the European Baroque period of the 17th and 18th centuries with a special exhibition, a concert of music from the period and presentations about the exhibit. (Story from GoUpstate.com) And finally... Columbia TV station WLTX looked at the arts in South Carolina with three #SCArtists during a Facebook Live event last night.

Former SCAC grantee exhibits in Spartanburg

A new exhibition at Wofford College is dedicated to lithographer Jim Creal - one of the first recipients of an Artists Ventures Initiative (AVI) grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. AVI grantsJim Creal encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for S.C. artists. Grants can be used to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture. From GoUpstate.com:

Another grant, one from the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Artist [sic] Venture Initiative program, allowed him to set up to produce lithographs in his Spartanburg studio and to study under artist and lithographer Lynn Froelich of Charlotte, N.C.

"Lithography is a very twitchy print process, and many of these lithographs would not exist but for the collaborative help of Lynn to print them,” he said in a statement.

Lithographs are “stone prints” created using a large limestone slab on which to draw the desired image with “greasy tools” such as lithographic crayons and utilizes the fact that oil and water do not mix.

Creal created a 25-lithograph collection titled "The South Carolina Coastal Lithographic Project." The new exhibition shows 20 of the lithographs at the Richardson Family Art Museum in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College. This Thursday at 7 p.m., Creal will give a talk at the museum, and admission is free. The exhibition runs through Saturday, Aug. 4.

New Wofford College class connects students to community arts organizations

From Wofford College's The Old Gold and Black (student-run newspaper) Story by Sarah Madden

What do six seniors, a junior, six freshmen and community arts professionals have in common? The newest art history course, Community Engagement in the Arts seminar class, draws these people together to provide students with hands-on experience and changed perspectives on the arts community and its organizations. The class meets once a week for discussions with guest speakers from Spartanburg arts organizations, but the core of the course is centered around 40-50 hour practicums, which are similar to internships. In a practicum, students are “working on an individual mission related to the organization’s mission,” says Dr. Karen Goodchild, associate professor of art history. According to Goodchild, the class focuses on exploring how and why arts organizations are founded, funded, programmed and maintained. First-year student Michal Busbee says that this course has encouraged her dream of becoming a museum curator. “The course, while enabling me to see the practical side of art and get hands-on experience in my dream career, is also pushing me to go outside my comfort zone and get involved with the community outside of Wofford,” she says. Senior Sarah Baldwin finds this class, with its mixture of discussion, guest speakers and hands-on experience, to be her most applicable course taken at Wofford. “It bridges my educational experience and future career plans,” she says. “I have not just learned the material, I have also acquired experience working independently with an organization on a project that allows me to practice and apply what I have learned in class in a ‘real-world’ setting.” These individualized practicums range from working with Wofford’s archivist cataloging art pieces to helping Hub City Writer’s Project interview artists for a soon-to-be-published book on regional public art to collecting and transcribing oral histories of Northside residents for the Northside Initiative’s “Porch Stories” project. Senior art history major Sari Imber has been working with Hub City Press in downtown Spartanburg. “The experience has been incredibly eye-opening in terms of my career search this year, and I have learned a lot about the many aspects of the art industry…that I otherwise would have never been exposed to in a traditional lecture-based setting.” While the seniors tend to point to the applicability of the class to the real world, the younger students attest to a new perspective on Sparkle City. First-year student Julie Woodson, for example, says that before taking this class she had no idea how much there was to do in Spartanburg. “[The city] really has a lot to offer. There are so many arts organizations in Spartanburg, and they are always hosting gallery openings, art shows or other events (which usually offer free food).” The long-term benefit is clear to Woodson. “We have all gained a ton of experience, contacts and skills that will most definitely be beneficial when we graduate. I would love to see more classes and areas of study that encourage students to get involved in Spartanburg,” she says. This class also has been well received in the community, says Jennifer Evins, CEO and president of The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg. “One of the greatest benefits came from dialogue with students about how the local arts community could engage college students more. Some very good ideas resulted, and we hope to implement them with their assistance,” she says. “I believe that this new engagement seminar will continue to help develop a closer relationship with the Wofford College community, and it will give students practical experience in arts administration and arts program development.” “Community Engagement in the Arts has undoubtedly been the most useful, meaningful and challenging class I have had the opportunity to take at Wofford,” says Imber. Baldwin agrees. “Not only that, but it has allowed me to network and establish myself in a work environment, an experience I would have lacked if I had not been given the opportunity to leave the classroom." Image: "The value of the arts on communities is immense,” says former Spartanburg mayor Bill Barnett, one of the many guest speakers.

Art to fill vacant windows in downtown Spartanburg

Converse College, in partnership with the Spartanburg Art Museum, has received a $5,000 One-Time Arts Project grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission for No Vacancies, a public art exhibition taking place this spring in downtown Spartanburg. These funds will help pay for materials, supplies, marketing and public relations efforts. No Vacancies was an idea born last fall when Spartanburg Art Museum’s new Executive Director Elizabeth Goddard moved to Spartanburg. “My first Saturday night in town I walked along Main Street and counted roughly 20 vacant spaces in about a six-block stretch. These beautiful buildings sat in darkness, and I thought, 'wow, what an incredible opportunity for the visual arts to add light, engagement and aesthetics to the downtown area.' ” Goddard then reached out to area professors of art and design to see who might be interested in collaborating to create a rich and relevant public art exhibition utilizing these vacant windows. Several answered the call. The project quickly moved forward as a partnership between the Spartanburg Art Museum, Converse College, USC Upstate and Wofford College. From Converse College, Greg Mueller, a sculpture professor, is leading two teams of students to install two projects, one titled, Recycling the Void and the other titled The Mill, which speaks to the rich history of the textile industry in the Upstate. From Wofford College, Ann Stoddard, Kris Neeley and Dawn Dickins are working with students to install in three spaces. Professor Jane Nodine from USC Upstate is working with students from the Art and Design club to install work in two spaces. Student artist Erin Patton from USC Upstate said about her participation, “I think this is an exciting opportunity to be involved in something that the community will be able to enjoy during their everyday lives. It’s not something that viewers have to go to a museum or gallery to enjoy; it is something that can be experienced walking down the sidewalk.” “I am so pleased with how this project has evolved to a truly collaborative effort that will provide real public art exhibition experience to a diverse group of college students who might not have been granted such an opportunity,” said Goddard. “There is growing knowledge that economies improve for everyone when the arts are front and center in a downtown area. People come to see the art, stay for a meal or some shopping. This is what we want for Spartanburg and for South Carolina.” Viewers of No Vacancies will see how the financial support of the South Carolina Arts Commission aids in the transformation. Goddard added, "Support from the state level is a wonderful confirmation that this project is providing a relevant experience not only to a group of artists, but for hundreds, if not thousands, of viewers.” No Vacancies installation takes place in early April, and the opening event takes place April 17 from 5 - 9 p.m. during Art Walk along Main Street in downtown Spartanburg. For more information, visit spartanburgartmuseum.org or call (862) 582-7616. Via: Spartanburg Art Museum

Tibetan monks to share artistic tradition of mandala sand painting in Spartanburg

The Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg invites you to have a transformative experience with the Tibetan monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery. From Monday, Sept. 30 to Friday, Oct. 4, the monks will create a unique mandala sand painting in the Chapman Cultural Center Theatre lobby. The opening ceremony takes place at noon on Sept. 30. Mandala sand paintingThe mandala will be constructed in the Tantric Buddhist tradition, using a metal funnel called a chakpur to create large circular designs with colored sand. Each day, the Tibetan monks will painstakingly add sand—grain by grain—to a circular design that symbolically represents universal consciousness. The experience is meditative yet intense, aiming toward cultural, artistic, and spiritual enlightenment. The demonstration is free for public viewing daily 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (until 3 p.m. on Thursday). A concert of sacred music and dance will be performed Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. Concert tickets are $10 per student and $20 for the general public. Deconstruction of the mandala begins at noon Friday, Oct. 4 and includes a walk to a nearby source of natural running water. Some sand will be distributed among the audience, while the rest will be ceremoniously poured into the flowing water. This symbolizes the impermanence of life and the return to cosmic awareness. This weeklong program is presented by Wofford College, Converse College and Chapman Cultural Center and is supported by a grant from The Humanities CouncilSC. In recent years, the Mystical Arts of Tibet performance Sacred Music Sacred Dance, featuring the famed singers of Drepung Loseling Monastery, has taken the world by storm. Their two-hour stage performance combines multiphonic chanting, music and dance into an unforgettable experience. The pieces are drawn from authentic temple dances, performed for thousands of years in Tibet. The ancient rhythms and colorful, intricate costumes delight audiences of all ages. On previous tours the monks have shared the stage with Philip Glass, Kitaro, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Natalie Merchant, the Beastie Boys and many others. For more information about the demonstration and related activities, visit the Chapman Cultural Center's website or call (864) 542-ARTS. Via: Chapman Cultural Center