The South Carolina Arts Commission has awarded a grant to photographer Benton Henry to pursue the publication of a book uniting his photography of tobacco culture and the writings of Dr. Eldred “Wink” Prince. This new endeavor arose from the highly successful traveling photography exhibit, Tobacco Barns of the Pee Dee. The exhibit was featured in several cities throughout the Pee Dee in 2008-09.
The new project will explore in words and images the historical memory of the Pee Dee tobacco culture by those who lived it. “Wink and I are extremely excited to be working together again,” said Henry. “This is something that we have talked about for some time and it’s a great feeling to know that the Arts Commission supports our project.”
The images featured in the book will come from all over the Pee Dee and will showcase several aspects of tobacco culture. Much of the text is derived from historical research and interviews conducted in the 1990s by Dr. Prince, Director of the Waccamaw Center for Cultural and Historical Studies at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, and Dr. Robert Simpson, former Chair of the History Department at Coker College in Hartsville, SC.
Henry, a resident of Latta, SC, and graduate of Francis Marion University, has been a professional photography for 25 years. Prince, a native of Loris, SC, is the author of Long Green: The Rise & Fall of Tobacco in South Carolina. Joining Henry and Prince in the project will be Bruce Douglas of Pee Dee Arts as editor and Nate Gulledge, a native of Chesterfield, SC, as designer.
The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants and leadership initiatives in three areas: arts education, community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, SC, 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 (www.SouthCarolinaArts.com) or call 803/734-8696.