Archive for the ‘Florence SC Visual Arts’ Category

Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, Announces Winners of the “2020 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition”

February 7, 2020

Thursday evening, January 30, 2020, marked the formal opening of the “2020 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” at the Florence County Museum’s Waters Gallery in downtown Florence, SC.

This year’s competition juror was South Carolina artist and paintings conservator Jeff Donovan of Columbia. The “Pee Dee Regional” has been presented annually since 1954 and is one of the longest-running competitive art exhibitions in the state.

Attendees at the reception were welcomed by Stephen W. Motte, curator of the Florence County Museum, followed by remarks from Mr. Blake Pate, representing corporate sponsor Chick-fil-A of Florence, who announced the winning selections, congratulating the artists with a presentation of the cash awards.

The $1000 First Place prize was awarded to Ashley Arakas, for her watercolor, “Bore”. The painting is both an evocative portrait and a careful study in the interplay of negative and positive space, which the artist has used for dramatic emphasis of the painting’s subject. Arakas’ paintings in oil and watercolor have entered the competition several times in past years. In 2017, she took Third Place in the Pee Dee Regional with her painting, “Apprehensive Love”, one in a series of works exploring the psychological effects of divorce on children. Arakas was also recently awarded Best in Show at the “42nd Annual National Exhibition of the South Carolina Watermedia Society”. She is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina.


Ashley Arakas pictured with her 1st place award winning watercolor painting, “Bore”.

A Second Place award of $600 went to Kevin Spaulding for his large oil on canvas, “Requiem”. Although a relative newcomer to South Carolina, Spaulding’s paintings have quickly gained recognition on the competition stage. He has won awards at three of the past four Regional competitions, as well as at Artfields 2018 where his painting “The Sacrifice”, won the people’s choice cash award in the paintings category.


left to right: Ashley Arakas (1st Place), Alexandra Knox (Honorable Mention), Charles Clary (3rd Place), and Kevin Spaulding (2nd Place)

“Spaulding’s paintings are deep and rich, visually and conceptually,” said museum curator Stephen W, Motte. “All of his works invite the viewer to approach slowly, to come closer, but within that closeness, each leaves you with a cold, distant impression. It’s a challenging thing to accomplish as a painter, I believe.”

Third Place ($250) went to Charles Clary for his hand-cut paper relief assemblage “Memento Morrididdle Movement # 502”. In 2016 Clary took Top Prize at ArtFields for his installation piece, “Be Kind, Rewind”. He received his MFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009, and has been represented in galleries throughout the eastern United States. He has been featured in the popular contemporary art magazine “Hi-Fructose”, and on the Discovery Channel program, “Daily Planet”. In addition to being a full-time artist, Clary is a lecturer and teacher, and currently works at Coastal Carolina University.

Honorable Mention ($100) was given to Alexandra Knox of Loris, SC, for her sculpture “Stockpile”. Knox is a veteran of the “Pee Dee Regional”. In 2019 she was awarded second place, and in 2018 also won recognition for her three-dimensional mixed media work, “Five to Nine”. Her art frequently utilizes raw materials like plaster, wax and construction waste lumber.

“Knox’s works are very visceral and direct,” said Motte. “She has a unique ability to transform simple, familiar media into forms which communicate complex ideas.”

Knox has been a faculty member of the art department of Coastal Carolina University since 2014.

Competition juror, Jeff Donovan, said, “This year’s award winners were selected not only for their formal merits, but for their respective uniqueness of concept,” adding that, “The juror’s role is to recognize the inherent subjectivity of an artwork while measuring its success by objective criteria.”

Donovan is an artist and professional paintings conservator in Columbia, SC. He studied art at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, FL, and at the Penland School of Craft in North Carolina.

As in previous years, the 2020 Pee Dee Regional was opened to submissions of contemporary art created within the last two years by all artists within the state’s northeastern Pee Dee region.

The exhibit is now open to the public and will remain on display through Friday, April 3, 2020 in the FCM Waters Gallery, 135 South Dargan St. Visitors are invited to join the awards selection by casting their ballots for the Jo Ann Fender Scarborough People’s Choice Award. Voting for the People’s Choice Award is open through Friday, March 27. The winner will be announced Monday, March 30.

The exhibit can be viewed at the Florence County Museum Waters Gallery, 135 South Dargan Street, Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm, now through Friday, April 3, 2020.

For more information about the “Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” and other upcoming exhibits and events, please contact the Florence County Museum at 843/676-1200 or visit the website at (flocomuseum.org).

A Trip to Florence, SC, to See Some Art

December 7, 2019

I just made a post on our blog “Carolina Arts Unleashed” about a trip I made to Florence, SC, to see a couple of exhibits. You can view it at (http://carolinaarts.com/wordpress/?p=3427). It was the first time I’ve been back to Florence to see some art in about five years and things have really changed. I got a look at the South Carolina Watermedia Society’s new national exhibit at the new Francis Marion University’s University Place Gallery in downtown Florence and the Jim Boden exhibit at the Florence County Museum’s Waters Gallery. Check it out.


Work by Ashley Arakas, Best of Show in the Watermedia exhibit


Work by Jim Boden from the “Out of Paradise” exhibit

Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Awards Museum Leadership Award to Andrew R. Stout, Executive Director, Florence County Museum, Florence, SC

October 9, 2019

The Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) is proud to announce the winner of the Museum Leadership Award. The winner was chosen from a wide range of entries across the Southeastern United States. The SEMC Awards Committee, co-chaired by Julie Harris, Catherine Pears, and Robin Reed, honors outstanding colleagues who have helped shape the world of museums.

The Museum Leadership Award, initiated in 1994, recognizes mid-career museum professionals who have shown significant advancement within the profession by leadership in museum activities at his or her institution, within the museum profession as a whole, and especially in the southeast region. Award eligibility requires ten years of experience as a museum staff member and a minimum of five years immediate past tenure with a museum in the SEMC region.

The winner of this year’s award is Andrew R. Stout, Executive Director, Florence County Museum, Florence, SC. Andrew R. Stout began his museum career at the Florence Museum (SC) in a small converted residence. Since 2001 he has diligently advocated for museum support and helped to champion its impact on Florence’s cultural, educational, and economic future. Stout was named the director of the newly formed Florence County Museum system in 2009 and assisted in cultivating funding for its construction and annual operational support. During this process Stout coordinated all necessary policies and procedures for the newly structured system along with the development of needed professional staff. In 2013 funding was allocated to acquire 140 works of art that compose the Wright Collection of Southern Art. This collection was featured at the opening of the Florence County Museum in October of 2014. In 2018 Andrew worked to secure funding for the acquisition of two significant collections of art by 20th century artist William H. Johnson and his wife Holcha Krake, over fifty works collectively. The Florence County Museum has an annual average attendance of 24,000 visitors and is always free to the public.

Since 2014 Stout has served on the executive committee for the South Carolina Federation of Museums and has served as the President since 2017. He has assisted in the formation of the Wright Foundation for Southern Art, Florence County Museum Foundation and the Wilson High School Class of 1945 Scholarship fund.

The award will be presented during the SEMC Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon October 23, 2019, at the Charleston Marriott.

For more information, visit (SEMCdirect.net) or contact John Witek, Manager of Communication and Member Services by calling 404/814-2047 or e-mail to (jwitek@semcdirect.net).

Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, Announces Call for Submissions to “2020 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” – Nov. 3, 2019

September 18, 2019

The Florence County Museum is proud to present the “2020 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition”, sponsored by Chick-fil-A of Florence. The competition aims to highlight the best contemporary art in the Pee Dee region. This year’s exhibition will be on display in the FCM Waters Gallery located at 135 South Dargan Street in Florence.

Any person who is a native or resident of the following Pee Dee counties is eligible to enter: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter, and Williamsburg. The 1st place award receives $1,000. The 2nd place award receives $500. The 3rd place award receives $250. Honorable Mention receives $100. People’s Choice receives $50.

We are excited to announce this year’s online submission and judging process for the “2020 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition”. Artists are invited to upload digital imagery of original work for consideration. Please visit (flocomuseum.org/pee-dee-regional).

Online submissions will be accepted through 10pm on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. After which time, the competition juror will select works from online submissions. Artists will be notified by e-mail as to each entry’s acceptance status during the week of Nov. 18, 2019.

Artists whose work has been accepted by the juror into the semifinal round will be required to drop off their work at the FCM Waters Gallery, Dec. 2-13, 2019.

South Carolina Watermedia Society Calls for Entries for Its “2019 SCWS Annual National Exhibition” – Deadline August 4, 2019

June 10, 2019

The South Carolina Watermedia Society’s “2019 SCWS Annual National Exhibition” will take place from Nov. 2 – Dec. 20, 2019, at the Francis Marion University Place, 142 North Dargan Street in Florence, SC 29506.

Eligibility and Entry
The call for entries for the “2019 SCWS Annual National Exhibition” is now open! All paid SCWS members may receive one entry at no cost, and one additional entry may be submitted for $20. (You will receive a separate e-mail with a discount code for free entry.) Non-members may enter for $50. SCWS accepts online entries only via CaFE, where you can log into an existing profile or create a new one. Then you can upload artwork as a digital file and enter the call.

Deadline
The call for entries closes August 4, 2019. No entries will be accepted after the deadline.

Juror
Ryan Fox is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society as well as five state & regional societies — Georgia, Illinois, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and North Carolina (GWS, IWS, NEWS, PWS, MOWS, WSNC). Fox has won awards in The American Watercolor Society (AWS), Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, Missouri Watercolor Society, Georgia Watercolor Society (GWS), and Watercolor Society of North Carolina juried shows. His work has been featured in “Watercolor Artist”, “Art of Watercolour”, and “Splash 15, 16, 19 and 20” hardcover books published by F+W Media. His instructional DVDs are marketed by Creative Catalyst Productions. You can view his work online at (www.rfoxphoto.com).

Complete details and instructions are available on the SCWS website. We look forward to receiving your entry at this link (https://artist.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=6652).

Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, Announces Competition Juror, Kristi Ryba

September 30, 2018

The Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, is pleased to announce South Carolina contemporary artist Kristi Ryba as juror for the “2019 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition”, sponsored by Chick-fil-A.

Ryba has lived and worked as a professional artist for the past 30 years, most of which she has spent in Charleston, SC. In that time she has explored themes of personal memory and identity in a variety of media, including video, photography, printmaking, painting, and installation.

Her recent works blend political commentary with images and iconography of illustrated Medieval religious manuscripts. Ryba has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions throughout eastern US and is currently represented by the Corrigan Gallery in Charleston, SC.

A cash prize of $1000 will be awarded to the competition’s first place winner.

Artists’ entries for the “2019 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” will be taken online at (flocomuseum.org), from Friday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Nov. 4. Any artist native to the Pee Dee area or currently living in Florence, Horry, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Georgetown, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter, and Williamsburg counties are eligible to enter.

Competition prospectus, schedule, and registration details can be found at (flocomuseum.org). Questions may be directed to Florence County Museum by calling 843/676-1200.

Awards Announced at Opening of “2018 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” at Florence County Museum in Florence, SC

January 31, 2018

Thursday evening, Jan. 25, 2018, marked the formal opening of the “2018 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” at the Florence County Museum’s Waters Gallery in downtown Florence, SC.

This year’s competition juror was contemporary South Carolina artist Hollis Brown Thornton, of Aiken. The “Pee Dee Regional” has been presented annually since 1954 and is one of the longest-running competitive art exhibitions in the state.

Attendees at the reception were welcomed by Jumana Swindler, chair of the Florence County Museum Board, followed by remarks from Blake Pate, representing corporate sponsor Chick-fil-A, who announced the winning selections, congratulating the artists with a presentation of the cash awards.

The $1000 First Place cash prize was awarded to competition newcomer Kevin Spaulding, for his oil painting, “Hearth”. The painting is one of two works by Spaulding in the exhibit. Spaulding, who recently relocated to Florence County, has been an accomplished artist for over 20 years. He received a degree in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University before living and working in New York.


Kevin Spaulding standing by his work “Hearth”.

“Spaulding’s entries are rich, darkly-toned, and technically proficient,” said museum curator Stephen W. Motte. “His subject matter is rendered within a natural environment, but avoids being landscape painting, it appears isolated in place and time, like classical still life. The two works in the competition are photo-realistic in detail, yet minimal in composition. The result is something both traditional and contemporary. I look forward to seeing more from this artist in the future.”

A Second Place award of $600 was given to Haley Ard, also of Florence County, for her large mixed media work, “The Kitchen Sink”. Although perhaps the youngest artist in the exhibition, Ard is no stranger to high-profile competitions, and is currently exhibiting work in Spartanburg, SC.

In 2017, she received due attention for her assemblage-portrait “Made-Up”, composed of cosmetics and accessories. The work, exhibited at ArtFields in Lake City, was intended to raise questions about the purpose of wearing makeup, and whether it is used to enhance beauty, or cover to it up.

“Like ‘Made-Up’, Ard’s collage ‘The Kitchen Sink’ is an excellent example of the relationship between media and message,” Motte said. “This is one of the most difficult lines to walk for a lot of artists, and Ard is showing a lot of maturity in her handling of concept with craftsmanship.”

Third Place ($250) went to Treelee MacAnn, a veteran printmaker, for her serigraph “Congaree Forest Ribbon”. MacAnn has received numerous honors in past Pee Dee Regional exhibitions for her works on paper, which often originate in photographic imagery before being reinterpreted in print.

The Honorable Mention ($100) this year went to Alexandra Knox, of Loris, SC, for her sculptural mixed media wall piece, “Five to Nine”. The work, created from wax casts of the artist’s hands held together with horse hair, is one of two by Knox in this year’s exhibition.

About Knox, competition juror Hollis Brown Thornton had this to say, “… stunning to see in person. Incredibly organic and visceral. It is difficult to add humanity and vulnerability to an object using technique and materials, and Knox’s ‘hands’ have done that beautifully.”

Thornton is a professional artist and native of Aiken, South Carolina. He received his BFA from the University of South Carolina and has been working professionally since 2000. His work has been exhibited in France, Germany and Japan, and has appeared in “Elle” magazine and “The New Yorker”.

Thornton became Gallery Director at Mongerson Gallery in Chicago in 2001 where he also worked for two years as an art preparator. Returning to South Carolina in August 2005, Thornton and his wife opened the clothing boutique Threads, in downtown Aiken.

Thornton’s recent large scale drawings often examine the malleable nature of memory in both personal experience and popular culture. His colorful compositions are carefully rendered with photo-realistic effect, at times using only permanent marker, a medium which alludes to the concepts at play beyond the artworks’ surfaces.

When asked about his approach to making art, he says, “Everything I do works with the balance between precision and the inherent limitations of making something by hand.”

Thornton’s recent works will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Florence County Museum Waters Gallery in the fall of 2018.

As in previous years, the “2018 Pee Dee Regional” was opened to submissions of contemporary art created within the last two years by all artists within the state’s northeastern Pee Dee region.

The exhibition is comprised of 30 works selected from nearly 200 submissions in multiple media. “We have seen a notable increase in entries this year, a lot of which are coming from artists new to this competition,” Motte commented.

“I hope that, with this annual competition, the Florence County Museum can continue to engage with contemporary artists, and encourage the creative intelligence in the state. Artists should know that they are a part of something outside the studio… that the physical works they create are assets that give intangible value to the world around them.”

The reception was organized and catered with refreshments prepared by museum volunteers. Flower arrangements were provided by Consider the Lillies, of Florence.

The exhibit is now open to the public and will remain on display through March 30, 2018 in the FCM Waters Gallery, 135 South Dargan St. Visitors are invited to join the awards selection by casting their ballots for the Jo Ann Fender Scarborough People’s Choice Award. Voting for the People’s Choice Award is open through Friday, March 23. The winner will be announced Monday, March 26.

The exhibit can be viewed at the Florence County Museum Waters Gallery, Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm, now through March 30, 2018.

For more information about the “Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” and other upcoming exhibits and events, please contact the Florence County Museum at 843/676-1200 or visit the website at (www.flocomuseum.org).

Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, Calls for Entries for “2018 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” – Deadline Nov. 3, 2017

September 30, 2017

The Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, is now accepting artists’ submissions for the “2018 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition”, sponsored by Chick-fil-A.

Artists wishing to enter the competition may register online using the online submission form at  (http://www.flocomuseum.org/pee-dee-regional/). Each artist may obtain a competition schedule and prospectus at (www.flocomuseum.org), or by visiting the Florence County Museum at 111 West Cheves St, Florence.

The “Pee Dee Regional” is the longest running art competition in the state of South Carolina. It has been presented annually since 1954.

Artists may submit up to four entries during online registration at a fee of $12.50 per entry. Current museum members are eligible to submit two entries without charge. Online submissions deadline is 10pm, Friday, Nov. 3, 2017.

A first place cash prize of $1000 will be awarded by corporate exhibit sponsor Chick-fil-A during the exhibition’s opening reception, Thursday evening, January 25, 2018. Both the exhibit and reception will be held at the Florence County Museum Waters Gallery, 135, South Dargan St.

Any person who is a native or resident of the following Pee Dee counties is eligible to enter: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter, and Williamsburg.

Questions about the competition schedule, registration, or prospectus may be directed to Florence County Museum by calling 843/676-1200.

Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, Offers Reception and Lecture with Yvette Cummings – March 17, 2017

February 28, 2017

florence-co-museum-logo

The Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, is pleased to announce an afternoon reception and lecture with contemporary South Carolina artist, Yvette Cummings.

The lecture, titled “Remember Everything” will address her current body of work, including the ongoing “Voyeur Series”, which deals with psychological, social, and gender issues, and their personal and cultural contexts in her art.

217florenc-museum-yvette-cummings-when-the-magpie-came
Yvette L. Cummings, pictured with her 2017 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition 1st place painting, “When the Magpie Came”.

In addition to winning the First Place award in the museum’s 2017 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition, Cummings has recently received the 701 CCA Prize, 2016, for artists 40 years and younger.

The lecture will be held in the FCM Waters Gallery reception hall, 125 South Dargan St, from noon to 1pm, Friday, March 17, 2017. The event is free to the public.

For more information about its free public programs, contact the Florence County Museum at 843/676-1200 or visit (www.flocomuseum.org).

Awards Announced at Opening of “2017 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” at Florence County Museum in Florence, SC

January 31, 2017

florence-co-museum-logo

Thursday evening, Jan. 26, 2017, marked the formal opening of the “2017 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” at the Florence County Museum’s Waters Gallery in downtown Florence, SC. The competition is one of the longest-running competitive art exhibitions in the state, and has been presented by the Trustees of the Florence Museum annually since 1954.

Attendees were welcomed at 8pm by Rebecca Crawford, chairperson of the Florence County Museum Board, followed by remarks from corporate sponsor Chick-fil-A. Representing Chick-fil-A this year was Blake Pate, assisted by Sara Black, who announced the juror’s winning selections, congratulating the artists with a presentation of the cash awards. The reception was organized by The Florence County Museum Hospitality Committee. Flower arrangements were provided by Consider the Lilies of Florence.

117florence-museum-yvette-cummings-when-the-magpie-came
Yvette L. Cummings with her work “When the Magpie Came”

This year’s $1000 First Place cash prize was awarded to Yvette L. Cummings, of Conway, SC, for her acrylic on canvas double portrait, “When the Magpie Came”. The painting is one of two works by Cummings in the exhibit. Both were recently shown at 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, where she received the 701 CCA Prize 2016, for emerging artists under 40 years of age. Since earning her MFA from the University of Cincinnati in 2003, Cummings has received honors in numerous statewide competitions. She is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Coastal Carolina University, and is preparing new work for three solo exhibitions scheduled for 2018.

Watercolor on paper was the medium of choice for the remaining award recipients, presented to the following works: Second Place ($600), “And So it Was”, by Debbie Broadway of Florence.

117florence-museum-reception-1

Third Place ($250) went to competition newcomer Ashley Arakas of Conway, SC, for her impressive photorealist portrait, “Apprehensive Love”. Arakas was recognized by the South Carolina Watermedia Society in their annual traveling awards exhibition. The Honorable Mention ($100) this year went to Lynda English of Florence for her sympathetic documentary work, “Through the Eyes of a Child”.

As in previous years, the “2017 Pee Dee Regional” was opened to submissions of contemporary art created within the last two years by all artists native to the state’s northeastern Pee Dee region. The exhibition is comprised of 34 works selected from 119 submissions in multiple media by this year’s competition juror, Sanford Greene.

Greene’s twenty-year career as professional comic book artist has recently received critical success in multiple markets. He is currently the primary production artist for Marvel Entertainment’s popular contemporary restyling of the progressive 1970s interracial superhero comic book, Power Man and Iron Fist. The series follows main character, Luke Cage who forms an unlikely bond with the young, but powerful, Danny Rand (also known as Iron Fist). The Iron Fist character is set to debut in a Netflix original series this year, and will join Luke Cage for Marvel’s new Netflix superhero line-up.

The exhibit is now open to the public and will remain on display through March 18, 2017, in the FCM Waters Gallery. Visitors are invited to selection and cast their vote for the Jo Ann Fender Scarborough People’s Choice Award. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will be open through Friday, March 10 with the winner being announced on Monday, March 13.

The exhibit can be viewed at the Florence County Museum Waters Gallery, 135 South Dargan Street, Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm, now through March 24, 2017.

For more information about the “Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” and other upcoming exhibits and events, please contact the Florence County Museum at 843/676-1200 or visit the website at (www.flocomuseum.org).