Archive for March, 2012

Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County in Camden, SC, Announces 2012 Youth Arts Month Exhibit Winners

March 31, 2012

The winners of the 2012 Youth Arts Month exhibit were announced during the opening reception on Thursday, Mar. 8, 2012, in the Bassett Gallery of the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County (FAC) in Camden, SC. Youth Arts Month is a partnership project of the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County and the School District of Kershaw County’s education programs and is sponsored by Target. The winning pieces are now part of a traveling exhibit to be hosted by Kershaw County businesses over the next year. The exhibit will make a trip to the State Capital before returning to the FAC next spring.

Work by Kaitlyn Bressler

More than 124 pieces of student artwork from elementary, middle and high school students throughout Kershaw County were chosen by art teachers and submitted to be a part of the Youth Arts Month exhibit in the Bassett Gallery. Fourteen pieces of exceptional artwork were chosen as overall winners and will now be a part of the Youth Arts Month Traveling Exhibit. This year’s exhibit was judged by local artists, Edward Nester, Marta Herman and Craig Craighead.

“This is my 19th Youth Arts Month exhibit, and this year is the perfect meeting of talented students and local arts interests,” said Steve Levan, director of education at the FAC. “The quality of the art work created by Kershaw County School students under the guidance of their art teachers is outstanding. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in the mounting of some of the middle and high school pieces done by the folks at The Garden Gate Gallery & Frame Shop adds so much. And capping it all off, the exhibit was hung by local professional artists Marta Herman, Ed Nester and Carl Craighead from the Camden Art Association. All of this working together in concert yields a beautiful exhibit that the community needs to be proud of and needs to come and see,” Levan concluded.

Work by Raya Nixon

The 2012 winners are: Abbey Jefferson (Lugoff Elementary, grade K); Brooke Young (Lugoff Elementary, grade 1); Jaiden McCaskill (Wateree Elementary, grade 2); Ella Chandler (Camden Elementary, grade 3); Ana Lucena (Midway Elementary, grade 4); Christopher Tucker (Camden Elementary, grade 5); Maegan Albert (Camden Middle School, grade 7); Kaitlyn Bressler (North Central Middle Schoo, grade 8); Jorge Silve (Camden Middle School, grade 7); Cameron Messinides (Camden High School, grade 9); November Grundvig (Lugoff-Elgin High School, grade 12); Raya Nixon (Camden High School, grade 12); and Katie Saville (Lugoff-Elgin High School, grade 12).

The Youth Arts Month exhibit is free and open to the public during normal FAC business hours. The Bassett Gallery is located inside the Bassett Building of the FAC and is located at 810 Lyttleton Street in Camden. Office hours are Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 10am-5pm, and Thursday 10am-6pm. The Youth Arts Month exhibit will remain in the Bassett Gallery through Apr. 6, 2012.

Work by Katie Saville

The Fine Arts Center is funded in part by the Frederick S. Upton Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by the City of Camden, Kershaw County, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina along with donations from businesses and individuals.

For further information contact Jane Peterson, Director of Marketing, Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County by calling 803/425-7676 ext. 305 or visit (

Alliance for Young Artists and Writers in New York, NY, Announces 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

March 31, 2012

Two Carolina students win 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards – Leah Lierz of Greenville, SC, and Brianna Robinson of Charlotte, NC.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative teenagers, today announced the winners of its 2012 competition. Fifteen high school seniors were honored with a Portfolio Gold Award, the highest level of achievement that includes a $10,000 cash scholarship. The graduating seniors who received national Awards are now eligible for $5 million in scholarships from more than 60 colleges, universities and art institutes across the country; other student medalists won cash awards for “Best in Grade” and other special designations.

Photograph by Brianna Robinson. Used with permission from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Photograph by Brianna Robinson. Used with permission from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

More than 1,600 of the most talented and ambitious students in grades 7-12, representing 48 US states, as well as students in Washington, DC, and American schools abroad, were chosen to receive national medals. Students’ works were blindly adjudicated, first locally through the 116 affiliates of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the presenting nonprofit of the Awards, and then nationally by panels of judges comprised of renowned artists, authors, educators, and industry professionals. This year’s list of jurors included David Sedaris, Mary Ellen Mark, Edwidge Danticat, and Roz Chast, among others. Works were judged on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal vision or voice. The teachers of national winners were also recognized with awards.

This year’s competition attracted more participants than ever before, with over 200,000 submissions in 28 categories, including dramatic script, journalism, humor, novel-writing and science- fiction, as well as painting, sculpture, photography, fashion design, film and animation, and video game design. 2012 is also a milestone for poets as it marks the inaugural year of the National Student Poets Program, the highest honor for youth poets and open exclusively to winners of the Scholastic Award in poetry. It is presented by the Alliance in partnership with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Recipients of the 2012 Portfolio Gold Awards are: Lashanda Anakwah of Bronx, NY; Chelsea Borsack of Oceanside, NY; Haeyeon Cho of Milton, MA; Sarah Devlin of New Orleans, LA; Felipe Di Poi of West Hartford, CT; Emma Goldberg of New York, NY; Leah Lierz of Greenville, SC; Leo Purman of Milwaukee, WI; Brianna Robinson of Charlotte, NC; Drew Shields of Milwaukee, WI; Diane Ward of Brandon, MS; Rosa Wolf of Boise, ID; Elise Wunderlich of Lake Oswego, OR; Batrek Yassa of Jersey City, NJ and Yan Zhang of Omaha, NE.

Photograph by Brianna Robinson. Used with permission from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Additional monetary awards were provided by the AMD Foundation, the New York Life Foundation, Sanford Prismacolor, Bloomberg L.P., Ovation, and the National Constitution Center.

“The 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners have once again proven the broad and brilliant capacity of our nation’s teens to produce exquisite works of art and writing,” said Virginia McEnerney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. “The Awards continues to be the largest source of scholarships and recognition for our nation’s student artists and writers, and our program’s reach only grows as we recruit new partners each year to join us in honoring creative teens and providing the necessary support for them to explore their potential. After meeting these students and viewing their work, you can’t help but feel optimistic and excited about the future of America’s creative leadership.”

This year’s National Celebration of the Awards will kick off in New York City on the night of May 31, 2012, when the top of the Empire State Building will be lit in gold. On June 1, 2012, the national winners will be honored onstage alongside well-known illustrator and Award alumnus Edward Sorel at a special ceremony at the world-famous Carnegie Hall, and to extend the festivities, select Award-winning art and writing will be exhibited at Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan through June 16, 2012. The exhibition and accompanying public programs are co-sponsored by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design.

Alumni of the Scholastic Awards have gone on to continue their education at many of the top colleges, universities and institutes across the country, such as Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Kenyon College, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Carnegie Mellon University, the School of Visual Arts, Parsons The New School for Design, Columbia University, and Yale University. Distinguished alumni include Andy Warhol, Robert Redford, Richard Avedon, Zac Posen, Joyce Carol Oates, John Baldessari, Sylvia Plath, John Lithgow, Ned Vizzini and Abdi Farah (first-season winner of the Bravo reality show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist). As the program prepares for its 90th anniversary in 2013, the Alliance is calling all alumni to reconnect and join in the celebration.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is generously supported by Scholastic Inc., the Maurice R. Robinson Fund, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, AMD Foundation, Command Web Offset Co., Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, The New York Times, Blick Art Materials, Ovation, New York Life,, Bloomberg L.P., the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and additional contributions from numerous other individual, foundation, and corporate funders.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, identifies teenagers with exceptional creative talent and brings their remarkable work to a national audience through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Founded in 1923, the Awards is the longest-running, most prestigious program of its kind, having fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students through recognition, exhibitions and publications. Over the past five years, students have submitted nearly 700,000 pieces of work and over $25 million has been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning participants. The Alliance partners with 116 regional affiliates across the country to bring the program to local communities, and works with a network of more than 60 colleges and universities to increase the range of scholarship and award opportunities. With the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alliance is a founding partner of the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for youth poets, which selects five students exclusively from current Scholastic Art & Writing Award poetry winners.

More information about the Alliance and its programs can be found at (

Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC, Announces Results of Horry-Georgetown High Schools 11th Annual Juried Art Exhibition

March 30, 2012

Thirteen area High School artists received cash prizes and one received a $2,000 college scholarship Sunday, March 27, 2012, at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum’s Horry-Georgetown High Schools 11th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, sponsored by Carolina Radiology Associates, LLC.

The 81 pieces of student artwork chosen for display from 257 entries will remain on view at the Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC, through Apr. 22, 2012.

Kate Parris, Socastee High School, received the scholarship for her full portfolio. The award provides tuition assistance for four years of higher education in the arts.

Alyssa Scirocco, St. James High School, Best in Show, Invisible Children

Alyssa Scirocco, St. James High School, garnered a Best in Show for her mixed media piece, Invisible Children.

Breanna Williams, Myrtle Beach High School, First Place 2-D, Shout it Out

First, second and third-place prizes in two-dimensional works went to Breanna Williams, Myrtle Beach High School, Kelly Lu, Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology and Katherine Hall, Socastee High School.

Honorable Mentions, two-dimensional, were awarded to Maria Finkenbiner, Carolina Forest High School, Austin Lane, Socastee High School and Michelle Lefevre, St. James High School.

Luke Horowitz, Socastee High School, First Place 3-D, Breaking Down

First, second and third-place prizes in three-dimensional work went to Luke Horowitz, Socastee High School, Rachel Berkey, Myrtle Beach High School and Gonzalo Chan, Myrtle Beach High School.

Honorable Mentions, three-dimensional, went to Leanna Devan, North Myrtle Beach High School, Jessica Hughes, St. James High School and Kelly Roden, St. James High SChool.

This year’s judge was award-winning children’s book illustrator E. B. Lewis.  Lewis’s work was on display at the Art Museum in 2009 in an exhibit entitled E. B. Lewis: Story Painter.

For further information, call 843/238-2510 or visit (

First Thursdays on Main and Urban Tour in Columbia, SC, Takes Place April 5, 2012

March 30, 2012

This month, First Thursdays on Main is being held in conjunction with the Urban Tour. You’ll find the same art venues, the same hours, but with Urban Tour you’ll be able to enjoy some of the non-art venues, which don’t usually remain open for First Thursdays. So, come down and be a part of an even bigger celebration of all that is on our Main Street!

Frame of Mind:  April FOM Series presents “Tarses” by Jenna Sach

Carl Jung said, “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. The dark side of his being, his sinister shadow…represents the true spirit of life…” The shadow is a part of the unconscious mind.

The April FOM Series presents “Tarses” by Jenna Sach. Tarses is the follow up to Jenna’s 2011 blockbuster show, “Box.”  It is actually the antithesis of Box; Tarses deals with the male physique and the shadow/s that lie within.

Jenna says, “In art, man has been viewed with the same physique throughout the ages. Tarses is a challenge to the modern concept of what men are physically supposed to look like. Instead, I am showing real men with all their flaws. The idea of Jung’s philosophy about shadows comes into play when I’m lighting the male models. Instead of focusing the photos, lighting, and poses on sexuality, I wanted to explore the darker and subdued side to masculinity. This side usually resides within the subconscious, rarely ever shown…or even known to oneself.”

Anastasia & Friends:  “Three”

Anastasia & Friends will host an exhibition of paintings and sculpture called, “Three.” Three will feature the work of three artists to include the paintings of legendary artist, Blue Sky, sculptor and architectural designer, Alexander Wilds and some new work by surrealist sculptor, Anastasia Chernoff.

Blue Sky is known worldwide for his paintings and murals and has received “best of show” awards at prestigious art shows all over the world; he has been featured in numerous international arts magazines and publications. His famous work, Tunnelvision, is well known worldwide.

Alexander Wilds spent many years in Japan as a sculptor and architectural designer and is now Associate Professor of Fine Art at Benedict College in Columbia.

Wesley Cook, our special guest musical artist from Atlanta, Georgia, was recently nominated as Best New Alternative Band for the Georgia Music Awards.  Wes has been selected as one of eight national finalists for Rolling Stone magazine’s, Street to Stage competition and will perform as a part of the evening’s entertainment.

Big thanks to Maria Kennedy Mungo and her never-ending hospitality.  She’ll create some delicious treats for us to savor at this special opening.

Anastasia and Friends is located in the front of the Free Times’ building at 1534 Main Street. The gallery is open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Anastasia Chernoff at 803-665-6902.

S&S Art Supply: Weighs Heavy! New works from Cedric Umoja

April is the HOTTEST month on Main Street! We’re doubling up again with Urban Tour and First Thursday on Main, featuring artwork by one of Columbia’s most fresh, exciting artists. In addition to the amazingly bold artwork inside, we will be featuring music from Sound Scientist Sunday Morning on the street from 5-7:30 pm, along with Red Road Photobooth from 5-8 pm.  Come play dress up and get a funky photo taken of you and your friends as you dance in the street!  J Gumbo’s will also be out front of S & S serving hot delicious Cajun creations!

Cedric Umoja’s art takes a unique Urban perspective – street art with an attitude! This exhibition consists of mixed media paintings, drawings and found object sculptures. He will also be creating a site-specific window installation! His medium of choice is paint- house, water, acrylic, and aerosol- and his canvases range from recycled materials including cardboard, waste concrete backer board and the occasional door to traditional canvas and plywood.

“There are several ideas or conversations taking place in the work,” says Umoja. He enjoys having a visual dialogue with the viewer, via use of many different materials and methods. These methods include brilliant colors, symbolism, ethnic expression, psychological, and metaphysical references. “My goal is to bring together past, present, and future means of communicating in a holistic manner to create an old, familiar, and new way of altering the thinking of the status quo!”

Born and partly raised in California, Cedric Umoja has spent most of his adult life in the South.  When asked, he will tell you that he’s from here, but California has a special place in his heart. His work is influenced by graffiti, modern European and American art, comic books, and even R-rated movies.

Tapp’s Art Center:

April will feature works from two artist groups who both have studios within Tapp’s.  Featured artists will be: Studio # 3:  “Art On Main”  Val Zaba, Mary Williams, Ron Weathers, Julie Brown, Debi Kelly, Jennie Branham, Marcia Murray, Ingrid Carson
and Studio #4: “Etc.Studio”  JJ Casey, Jean S. Kirkley, Karen Larabee, Rajas S Londhe, Nancee Nixdorf, Ann V. Peake, Pam Steude, Barbara Yongue.

Well known Columbia Artist, Stephen Chesley, will also have a showing of his works commemorating anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.

The USC Fashion Board will present a show in the Skyline Room. It is a preview of and marketing for their “The Student Designer” competition, which is a part of Fashion Board at USC’s annual Fashion Week. They will have various small stages designed in cooperation with artists with models on them.

Wine Down on Main: “Low Country Chapels” Photography by J Kee Eck

Wine Down on Main is pleased to present the BFA thesis show of Kee Eck, Low Country Chapels.  Kee is a senior at the University of South Carolina and has presented his work previously at Tapp’s and City Art Gallery.  Low Country Chapels highlights the rural small churches that are 50 plus years old.  “I wanted to document these chapels and illustrate their importance.  I have always enjoyed photographing architecture and have always felt a certain draw towards the Low Country,” says Kee.

Frame of Mind is open Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday 12 pm to 4pm, and is located at 1520 Main Street across from the Art Museum in Columbia, South Carolina.  You may contact Mark Plessinger by calling 803/988-1065 or via e-mail at (

Toe River Arts Council & Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild Invite Artists to Burnsville, NC, for the 6th Annual TRAC Paint-Out – May 19, 2012

March 30, 2012

Come spend the day in the Town of Burnsville, NC, and help create, through your artistic endeavors, a plein aire experience on May 19, 2012. The event is sponsored by the Toe River Arts Council & Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild.

Sandra Gates, a local painter and member of TRAC, was inspired to create this event based upon her vision . . . “for one day, all day, artists are outdoors, painting or drawing for all to enjoy!”

Prizes: (A total of $1000 in cash awards will be presented including $500 First Place) and students Ages 5 to 18 years old – Free registration – Compete for the $50 Student Award). All juried artwork will be on display at the Burnsville TRAC Gallery from May 19 through June 2, 2012
This event will be held rain or shine!!

Download an application and information at (

Public Is Invited To Vote On Sculpture at Spartanburg Marriott in Spartanburg, SC

March 30, 2012

The public is invited to vote on four select sculpture designs, one of which will be created and permanently placed on the outside patio of the Spartanburg Marriott in Spartanburg, SC. Voting ends on Apr. 9, 2012. You may vote online at ( or by paper ballot available at the hotel’s front desk.

The four designs are by local artists who are competing for a $10,000 commission. The competition required the designs to be of an outdoor sculpture that would “reflect and contribute to the creative culture of Spartanburg.” The project—A Display of Welcome—is co-sponsored by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg and the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg.

A jury committee selected the final four designs for public vote. However, the names of the artists are not being released during the voting process. The first design is entitled “The Armillary Sphere,” and is modeled after classic celestial globes. The second design is “The Green Gazebo,” and is a gazebo made of recycled metal. The third design is “Convergence,” and has three distinct, colorful, and symbolic stacked components. The fourth design is “Eva,” which an abstract of an emerging and maturing woman.

“This has been a wonderful experience, and it will produce a work of art that all of Spartanburg can be proud of,” Akshay Bahl, the hotel’s General Manager, said. “Spartanburg Marriott is proud to have this work reside on its grounds and to share it with everyone who comes through our doors. More than anything else, we wanted to create something that would welcome people… not only to Spartanburg Marriott but the entire Spartanburg community.”

Located in downtown Spartanburg, SC, at 299 North Church Street, the 247 room Spartanburg Marriott offers the Upstate’s largest hotel and conference center with meeting facilities totaling 30,000 square feet. The hotel is owned by Greenville, SC, based Southern Hospitality Group and managed by Cincinnati, OH, based Winegardner & Hammons, Inc. For more information visit (

The Artist Guild of Spartanburg founded in 1957, serves as a source for creative art in the community by promoting, fostering, and cultivating knowledge of the visual arts and of local artists. It strives to provide enrichment and artistic education for its members as well as the community at large, and thus encourage a deepening appreciation, understanding, and love of art among the citizens of Spartanburg and surrounding counties. The Guild Gallery is located at the Chapman Cultural Center 200 East St. John Street, Spartanburg, SC. For more information visit (

Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries Host Artist of the Year Soirée and Silent Auction in Columbia, SC – April 13, 2012

March 30, 2012

The Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries host the ninth annual Contemporaries’ Artist of the Year Soirée and Silent Auction on Friday, Apr. 13, 2012, at 7pm in Columbia, SC. The event, established in 2004, is designed to increase awareness of and support for nearly 60 emerging artists in South Carolina. Tickets for the CAY Soirée and Silent Auction are $30 / $15 for Contemporaries members and includes food, drinks, music and a performance by members of the USC Opera. To purchase tickets, visit (

This year, the jury includes – Executive Director of Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston, SC, Janie Askew; Professor of modern art history and theory, Brad Collins; Museum curator of decorative arts, Brian Lang; and Assistant Director and Chief Curator at the Sumter County Gallery of Art, Frank McCauley. The jury selects the artwork to be in the silent auction and also selects one winner, the Contemporaries’ Artist of the Year, based upon the following criteria: originality of concept, technical execution, consistency, professionalism and the degree to which the work was aesthetically interesting.

The CAY award is generously supported by Anne and Alex Postic and a matching gift from the Contemporaries. The winner receives a cash prize of $2,500. Event guests vote on the People’s Choice award, and the winner is presented with an award and a cash prize of $300. Jasper Magazine is sponsoring the “State-of-the-Art” award, which includes a $200 cash prize and a feature in an upcoming issue of Jasper.

The Contemporaries mission is to provide an opportunity to support the Museum through: promoting the Museum and its programs, diversifying the Museum’s membership, and leading the next generation of Museum supporters. A portion of the proceeds from the Artist of the Year Soirée goes toward the Contemporaries’ Art Acquisition Fund, designed to acquire a significant piece of art for the Museum.

For more information about Contemporaries’ membership, visit ( or call 803/343-2197.

City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, SC, Hosts Art on Wheels – Apr. 13, 2012

March 30, 2012

Photographer Ben Gately Williams and art dealer Sean Ferneau are teaming up to bring you Art on Wheels on Friday, Apr. 13, 2012, from 6-8:30pm at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, SC. Art on Wheels benefits both Brunswick to Baja and SideWalk Chalk.

Art on Wheels is a send-off party and silent art auction for Brunswick to Baja, Williams’ and fellow rider Jason Neuman’s 6,000-mile, cross-country bicycle fundraiser beginning in May, which is a fundraiser for SideWalk Chalk.

SideWalk Chalk is a registered 501©3 organization providing creative writing and visual art programming to students in Title 1 schools in Charleston. Last year, students that participated in SideWalk Chalk programming scored 60% higher on English/Language Arts national testing than their peers.

Art on Wheels will feature original artwork from dozens of Charleston’s best-loved traditional and contemporary artists, both emerging and established. Cocktails will be provided by Social Restaurant & Wine Bar and Holy City Brewing. Live music will be presented by Aesthetic. Bidding begins at 7 o’clock. Tickets to the event are $10 at the door and children are admitted free.

For a list of current participating artists and current committed sponsors, please visit ( For more information on SideWalk Chalk, please visit ( For all event related questions, please contact Sean Ferneau at 843/557-3198.

First Friday’s on Gallery Row on Historic Broad in Charleston, SC – April 6, 2012

March 30, 2012

The Broad Street Merchants Association will continue hosting “First Fridays on Broad” on Friday, April 6, 2012, from 5 – 8pm. Come out and celebrate “Spring on Charleston’s Gallery Row” by enjoying fine art and refreshments in the boutiques, fine art galleries, and bodegas on Gallery Row – Historic Broad Street, Charleston, SC.

Hamlet Fine Art Gallery is excited to host a new exhibit titled  “Low Country Landscapes” by pastel painter Kellie Jacobs and will feature the original copper frog sculptures created by Charles and Zan Smith.

Work by Kelliie Jacobs

Nationally-known artist Dee Beard Dean has finally moved to Charleston and opened Galerie on Broad at number 29.  She will feature her work as well as Calvin Liang, Richard Oversmith, Lori Putnam, Karen Hewitt Hagan, and James Richards.

Ella Richardson Fine Art is honored to welcome the incredibly talented father-son duo Michael Coleman and Morgan Coleman to the Lowcountry for their inaugural show. Both born and raised in Utah, these award-winning artists showcase the beauty of landscapes and western wildlife in their exquisite oil paintings and watercolors.”

COCO VIVO Fine Art | Interior Design is excited to announce a new exhibition of artwork featuring new releases by plein air artist Mitch Billis, Who’s Who in American Art, of Maine; also a new collection of Kinetic Wind Sculptures by Michigan artist Peter Griz is displayed in our gallery courtyard.

Ellis-Nicholson Gallery at 1 ½ Broad Street celebrates Eleven Good Men.

Spencer Galleries will exhibit two new shows, “Color Splash” a body of new artworks that are light and lively paintings by Tina Mayland and “In Full Bloom” which are florals and still life paintings by Pat Fiorello.

Martin Gallery will be featuring new works by photographer Ben Ham. Rich with detail and emotion, Ham’s images allow one to sense and experience the beauty contained in each photograph. Take a journey through the captivating collection of large-format landscape photography during the First Friday on Broad Art Walk.

Robison and Richard will be featuring Canadian artist Kelly Dodge, pastel painter and naturalist.

Each doorway on Gallery Row offers you something special to treasure, be it a painting, a gift, or simply a wonderful memory.  As you stroll from one gallery to another, enjoy the Southern charms of colorful flower boxes, enchanting hidden courtyards and gardens, and pristinely preserved architecture.

Works by Zan Smith

Participating art galleries include: Ellis-Nicholson Gallery, Hamlet Fine Art, Edward Dare Gallery, COCO VIVO, Mary Martin Fine Art, UTOPIA, Spencer Galleries, Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art, Martin Gallery, Bernie Horton Gallery, Lambert Gray Gallery, Galerie on Broad and Robison & Richard Fine Art.

For information please contact ( or for questions, please call Stephanie Hamlet at 843/722-1944.

Monumental Thomas Sayre Sculpture Project Set to Begin in Lenoir, NC

March 30, 2012

It’s time to start turning dirt on a project that will change the landscape of Lenoir and Caldwell County, NC, literally. The Caldwell County Arts Council, with help from various sponsors and local groups, currently is organizing the largest public art project in the history of the community.

The project begins taking shape in the next few weeks, as renowned sculptor Thomas Sayre begins the earth-casting process that will yield a sculpture that honors Caldwell County’s past, present and future.

Titled “Across the Grain,” the landscape-sized sculpture, draws inspiration from the surrounding community and pays homage to the area’s logging, woodworking and furniture-making heritage. But, more importantly, the sculpture honors the community’s strong tradition in the arts, and a bright future ahead.

“Caldwell County is known for its vast public sculpture collection.  Adding a significant work to this collection gives added value to the collection and its ability to attract visitors to the community.  Adding a work by an artist as renown as Thomas Sayre is a huge accomplishment,” said Lee Carol Giduz, director of the Caldwell Arts Council. “The Sayre project makes sense for Caldwell County. The current collection gives us a context to add this piece.  ‘Across the Grain’ will attract people into our community and once here they will see what a special community this is.”

The week of April 9, 2012, digging will begin at the site of the former Blackwelder Hospital. A metal skeleton frame will be placed in the dug ground and concrete will be poured into the mold. Following about three weeks of curing, the 26-foot diameter, 40,000-pound earth-cast sculpture will be lifted from the ground using a 90-ton crane.

“We dig around the inside and outside of the cured concrete like a cake knife trying to lift out a cake,” explains Sayre. “Because there is so much friction, we must dig from around the piece in order to lift it.”

The entire process for the sculpture and surrounding park will take three to four months, and at the final unveiling, Lenoir and Caldwell County can lay claim to one of Sayre’s earth-casted sculptures. The official unveiling will be announced by the Caldwell Arts Council at a later date.

The finished piece will resemble a circular hole saw and will be called “Across the Grain.” Sayre derived the name from many places, both from the region’s treasured past and its anticipated future.

“This ability to commit to doing something ensures that there is a future,” explains Sayre. “The act of bringing this sculpture to Lenoir is going across the grain, and I get the sense there is something unique here.”

Sayre by a previous sculpture. Photo courtesy of Donn Young

The sculpture will be bordered by a grassy plaza at the corner of Harper Avenue and Church Street in downtown Lenoir. The finished plaza will feature a sidewalk with green stepping stones that will acknowledge the financial donors for the project, which was funded by donations to the Caldwell Arts Council. There will be seating created by local artists using historic local timbers along with a grassy berm for viewing the sculpture.

Sayre’s first interaction with Lenoir was as a young, upcoming competing artist at the second Sculpture Celebration in Lenoir in 1986. More than 20 years later, he was asked to be a judge at the Sculpture Celebration by Executive Director Lee Carol Giduz.

Sayre also was invited by the Caldwell Arts Council to inventory and assess the current 77-piece sculpture collection in Caldwell County.

Sayre lived a decade in neighboring Burke and Rutherford counties and had developed a love for the area.

Sayre explains three important reasons that compelled him to agree to build one of his sculptures in Lenoir.

“First, it was the landscape itself because I lived nearby for 10 years,” he said. “Second, it was the unusual history of sculpture in this community. And thirdly, I’ve come to have enormous respect for the leadership in this town. For a town this size to elect to raise the money to do a large, prominent and contemporary sculpture in its downtown on city land is unusual. There are communities I have worked with who claim more sophistication who can’t even get out of the starting blocks. I find this inspiring.”

Sayre is known worldwide for his work. He, along with architect Steve Schuster, is a founding principal of the multi-disciplinary design firm, Clearscapes, and has collaborated to produce lighting, furniture, terrazzo floors and specialty surfaces.

Sayre has created commissioned pieces in various locations in the United States including Boston, Sacramento, San Francisco and Tampa. He has also completed projects in Turkey, Thailand, Hong Kong and Canada. In North Carolina, Sayre is well known for his creation of “Gyre” at the North Carolina Museum of Art, which includes three earth-casted ellipses on the Museum Park Trail.

Sayre’s work also moves beyond his more familiar earth-casting techniques, such as “The Shimmer Wall” at the Raleigh Convention Center or the stainless steel sculptures that hang near the Washington Nationals baseball stadium in Washington, DC.

Sayre attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a Morehead Scholarship and majored in English and studio art. After graduation, he moved to Ann Arbor, MI, where he was a Michigan Fellow with a three-year grant from the Ford Foundation to make sculpture at the University of Michigan. In 1975, Sayre attended the Master of Fine Arts Program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art for the one year.

Caldwell Arts Council invites the community to come meet Thomas Sayre on Monday evening, Apr. 9, 2012, at 6pm at the City-County Chambers, 801 West Avenue, NW in downtown Lenoir, and hear a presentation about this undertaking.

For more information on Thomas Sayre, including his background and commissioned pieces, visit (

For more information about the Caldwell Arts Council and its renowned sculpture collection, which soon will include a Sayre piece, visit ( or call 828/754-2486.