Archive for the ‘Midlands SC Visual Arts’ Category

Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC, Appoints New Executive Director Della Watkins

August 9, 2017

The board of trustees of the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) in Columbia, SC, announces the appointment of Della Watkins as the new executive director. Watkins currently serves as the executive director of the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA.

“We heard it consistently from her current board and Mr. Taubman himself, one of Della’s greatest strengths is her engagement in the community,” says CMA Search Committee Chair Earl Ellis. “That was a very important factor in our consideration set. The Columbia Museum of Art is a community asset, and we were seeking a proven leader who had demonstrated strengths in community engagement.”

After 14 years of working as an art educator, Watkins began her career in museum education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where she held successively more senior roles during her 16-year tenure. Watkins joined the Taubman Museum of Art in 2013. Under her leadership, the museum completed build-out of the last remaining gallery space that now hosts major national traveling exhibitions, reclaimed financial stability through steady fundraising, and forged new collegial partnerships in Roanoke and beyond to champion the region’s arts and culture community.

“After a thorough search process, selecting Watkins was a clear choice to lead this dynamic organization,” says CMA Board President R. Scott McClelland. “Her experience and passion allowed the search committee to check every box for leadership attributes essential to achieving the next step in the museum’s vision.”

Watkins officially takes the helm as executive director on October 1, 2017.

“With the completion of the renovation next year, the Columbia Museum of Art is poised to take an even greater leadership role as a vibrant local and statewide arts and education powerhouse,” says Watkins. “I look forward to working tirelessly to get to know the community, grow membership, friends, donors, business supporters, colleagues, and partners. Together, we’ll ensure that the CMA is a proud and lively cultural arts destination for everyone in South Carolina and beyond.”

The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina.

To learn more, visit (www.columbiamuseum.org).

Stakeholders Announce Plans for “Southern Lights,” a Signature Art Installation for Columbia, SC

June 29, 2017

Southern Lights, a signature, long-term art installation by artist Chris Robinson, will span the Congaree River between the Blossom Street and Gervais Street bridges in Columbia, SC. Scheduled to light up every evening in Cayce, West Columbia and Columbia for the next decade, this installation is coming to fruition through supporters including, What’s Next Midlands, the Congaree Vista Guild, the South Carolina State Museum, EdVenture, the City of Columbia and One Columbia for Arts and History. The laser installation will launch on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, as part of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend celebrations.

With the support of the cities of Columbia, West Columbia and Cayce and Richland County, the installation’s design is meant to connect our cities and the Midlands community. The project offers an innovative approach to public art and celebrates and highlights public infrastructure uniquely. Southern Lights will be the only installation of its kind in the United States, and celebrates the work of Charles Townes, a native South Carolinian whose theories led to the development of laser technology.

“Southern Lights is a product of What’s Next Midlands and an example of our community coming together to move our region forward,” said Meghan Hickman, executive director of EngenuitySC. “This will be a signature piece for our community and a must-see for tourists, and we’re proud to be formally introducing Southern Lights as part of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend.”

Along with leadership and support from the communities who touch the bridges, leaders in the Midlands business community, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, are sponsoring the project, which will cost an estimated total of $120,000, a value for a signature art piece that will be part of the fabric of our region for a decade.

Chris Robinson, a professor in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina, concentrates on contemporary science and technology and its role in decision-making through installations and digital drawings. He holds a BFA from Florida State and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts and is the recipient of many awards including the Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award and the Palmetto Pillar Award, along with many competitive art awards. He has lectured, written and exhibited extensively throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Robinson has completed dozens of large-scale installations in his career, most notably installations on the National Mall in Washington, DC, (in conjunction with Rockne Krebs), and in Columbia his light installation at the celebration of the opening of the South Carolina State Museum in 1989 and for the Governor’s Carol Lighting at the South Carolina State House in 1992.

“My installations create a sculptural structure, draw attention to interesting aspects of the surrounding environment and illuminate the distinctive quality of laser light,” said Robinson. “The Congaree River is special and unusual in that it is relatively dark in the middle of an urban environment and the beams can go both under and over the bridges and the viewers.”

Southern Lights is representative of Robinson’s body of work and marks the end of Robinson’s academic career in the School of Visual Art & Design at the University of South Carolina (May 31, 2017). Robinson will become chair of the Department of Art at USC Beaufort this fall.

Robinson will have Southern Lights completely installed by August 2017 but will test the lasers along the way. Two lasers are installed at points on the banks of the Congaree River. One laser is at the City pump station below Founders Park, the USC baseball stadium, and the other is at EdVenture. Additionally, a series of mirrors that will reflect the lasers will be placed on existing structures, including on the rooftop of Bridgepointe Condominiums in West Columbia. The lasers are blue and green in color and mirrors along the river and on the bridges will reflect the lasers. Viewers who take in the installation can expect Southern Lights to look different from different vantage points.

Southern Lights will formally kick off at an event on Saturday, August 19 in the evening in celebration of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend. The tie-in with the eclipse means that our region’s new signature art piece will be celebrated by locals and tourists alike. Stay tuned to (SouthernLightsSC.com) for event details.

This installation is slated to light up the night for three hours every evening for the next 10 years, (times will change depending on what time the sun sets) or as long as the equipment holds up. The City of Columbia is committed to the ongoing maintenance and management of Southern Lights, as is the South Carolina State Museum. Those who cross the Gervais and Blossom Street bridges or visit the riverfront regularly will be able to take in Southern Lights, and with signage and wayfinding surrounding Southern Lights to come, visitors to the region will discover this major attraction for years to come.

For more information on Southern Lights, visit (SouthernLightsSC.com) and on social media via #SouthernLightsSC.

See Lancaster in Lancaster, SC, Calls for Participants for 12/02/17 Winter Block Party

June 29, 2017

“See Lancaster Live”, a subsidiary of Lancaster Performing Arts is seeking participants for the fifth annual Winter Block Party. Entertainers, artisans and craftsmen, and food vendors are invited to apply for this family-oriented event that will be held from 10am until 4pm on December 2nd, 2017.

The outdoor Winter Block Party, located in the Cultural Arts District at 216 S. Catawba Street, Lancaster, invites musicians, dance troupes, theatre troupes, choral groups, and other Christmas-themed performers to entertain the holiday crowds that descend upon downtown for Christmas in the City. Artisans, craftsmen, and food vendors are encouraged to apply early as a limited number of outdoor spaces are available. Winter Block Party is one element of a downtown-wide holiday celebration that includes gingerbread contest, free trolley rides, Santa photos & letters, Santa’s workshop & carousel, artisans holiday market, Native American artisan sale, holiday open houses, L & C train museum, Lancaster history museum, historic Springs house, jewelry trunk show, artists exhibitions, stories with Mrs. Claus, costumed characters, and more.

Admission to the day-long activities is free and convenient parking is plentiful. Those interested in participating in the Winter Block Party should complete an application and return it to April Joplin, Peforming Arts Manager, P.O. Box 1149, Lancaster, SC 29721. Applications are available at City Hall, 216 S. Catawba Street or Springs House, 201 W. Gay Street or apply online at (https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=pas).

Information on all upcoming events can be found at (www.lancastercitysc.com).

Red White and You!!!! A Pop Up Party in Cheraw, SC – June 29, 2017

June 24, 2017

An Art Pop Up Party at 192 McMillan Road, Cheraw, SC, on Thursday, June 29, 2017, from 2-7pm.

Look for the signs and balloons!

Participating artists include: Brenda Branson (jewelry, mixed medai, textiles), Jane Crossman (ceramics), Foundry G Art Glass (hand blown glass), MJ Martin (textiles), Beth Wicker (jewelry & photography).

For info call 843/910-0317.

 

See Lancaster SC, Receives 2017 National Main Street Accreditation

June 22, 2017

See Lancaster SC has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its Coordinating Program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach®.

“It is a great honor to recognize this year’s 828 nationally Accredited Main Street America programs for their outstanding work to transform downtown and neighborhood commercial districts,” says Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “Main Streets are the heart of our communities, and the work they do to create quality public spaces, catalyze local entrepreneurship, and support downtown housing is more important than ever. Across the county, Main Street America programs truly strengthen the economic, social, and cultural fabric of their entire communities.”

The organization’s performance is annually evaluated by South Carolina Main Street, which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, securing an operating budget, tracking programmatic progress and historic preservation.

See Lancaster SC promotes tourism through marketing, special projects, partnerships, production of performing arts series, and events. The City of Lancaster department assists businesses with relocation opportunities, facilitation of façade grant program, and by connecting them with resource providers. Through partnerships, See Lancaster SC spearheads revitalization and beautification efforts such as the Native American Studies Center, Cultural Arts District designation by South Carolina Arts Commission, Cultural Arts Center at the Olde Lancaster Presbyterian Church, Kennedy Center Public Art Projects, and Lindsay Pettus Greenway. See Lancaster SC is dedicated to development of quality of life and actively pursues opportunities that contribute to the creation communities in which visitors and citizens desire to work, live, and play.

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,000 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $71.35 billion in new public and private investment, generated 583,869 net new jobs and 131,974 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 267,800 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For further info contact Cherry Doster, See Lancaster by calling 803/289-1492 or e-mail to (cdoster@lancastercitysc.com).

The Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC, Reduces Admission Prices During Renovations

June 12, 2017

The Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC, announces specially reduced admission pricing for the duration of building renovations, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018. Museumgoers gain entry for half the regular amount: Adults are now $6, seniors and military $5, and students $2.50. Children six years old and under remain free.

This initiative is partially funded through the Karen Brosius National Medal Fund, established last year to honor Karen Brosius, who served as CMA executive director from 2004 – 2016. The fund benefits CMA programs, exhibitions, and opportunities with dynamic approaches to public service.

“In the years I worked with Karen, I saw firsthand her passion for arts accessibility,” says R. Scott McClelland, president of the CMA board of trustees. “She was a driving force behind our National Medal win and the fact that a third of our programs are free. We thought this was a great chance to honor her dedication and service in a way that benefits our community.”

The onset of reduced admission pricing coincided with the opening of the summer exhibition “ReTooled: Highlights of the Hechinger Collection”, on view Friday, June 2, through Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017.

“The museum is staying active during renovations, and we want to make it that much easier for people to participate in our full schedule of exhibitions and programs,” says Lynn Robertson, CMA interim director. “Beyond the hammers and drills, we still have plenty to see and do.”

For more information, visit (www.columbiamuseum.org).

The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. To learn more, visit (www.columbiamuseum.org).

Crooked Creek Art League in Chapin, SC, Receives Grant from SC Arts Commission

May 31, 2017

The Crooked Creek Art League (CCAL) in Chapin, SC, has been awarded a grant by the South Carolina Arts Commission for the 2017 fiscal year. The support is a grant that will help with annual operating expense which will encompass not only monthly general membership meetings which include refreshments and 1 ½ hour arts education program but also helped CCAL conduct its “22nd annual Juried Art Show”. The annual juried show took place Mar. 20, 2017. The show highlighted over 100 pieces of art that were displayed at Crooked Creek Park. The show recognized 20 pieces of art with $2000 awarded in prizes.

The South Carolina Arts Commission grant will enable CCAL to more fully achieve our mission of encouragement and support of new and established artist, to offer outlets to improve skills, display and sell art, and allow artist and art supporters to socialize and network.

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 circumstance. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission is working to increase public participation in the arts by providing services, grants, and leadership initiatives in three areas: art education , community arts development and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, SC, the Arts Commission is funded by the state of South Carolina and by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information visit (www.SouthCarolinaArts.com) or call 803/734-8696.

CCAL encourages persons with art backgrounds or just a general interest in the arts to attend our monthly general membership meetings or visit us at (www.crookedcreekart.org).

Congratulations to the winners of the “22nd annual Juried Art Show” for Crooked Creek Art League reception was given Mar. 20, 2017 at Crooked Creek Park Chapin SC.

Winners included: Sandra Oliver, Roger Buenzow, Karen Larrabee, Dan Frick, Randy Spencer, Anna Kay Singley, Ann Hightower Wright, Stephanie Arnold, Ron Weathers, Al Leitch, Richard Robertson. Barbara Teusink, Raja Londhe, Ingrid Carson, Shin Wilbanks, Jean Kirkley, Ruby DeLoach and Tommy Thompson.

The Red Rose Festival, Lancaster, SC’s Signature Event, Returns May 19 & 20, 2017

April 28, 2017

Everything will be coming up roses when the eighth annual Red Rose Festival sets the stage for a weekend of free family fun in the Cultural Arts District of the Red Rose City, Lancaster, SC. There is no admission fee for the popular two-day music festival, which also features children’s rides and activities, arts and crafts, food vendors, Red Rose Photography Contest, and much more. The festival opens 6pm Friday, May 19 with an official welcome from the Main Street stage. After Red Rose Photography Contest winners are announced, live music begins at 6:30pm and ends 10pm.  Kicking off Friday’s music line-up will be Lancaster’s hometown favorite, Triple Play Band, bringing the best of classic rock, beach music, and ‘70’s dance tunes to the stage.  Fiftywatt Freight Train, a hard rock quartet out of Charlotte, N.C., takes the stage at 8:30pm, delivering an adrenaline-fueled, nonstop combination of original and cover songs. Food vendors that will be on hand selling all the festival favorites include Allison Concessions, Chappell’s Snack Shack, Gripp’s Grills, Jones Lee Concessions, Southern Fried Factory, Tastes Like Chicken, World’s Greatest Funnel Cakes, Izzy’s Ice, Pelicans Snowballs, Snowie, and Soul Ice.

Those who enjoy running for a cause can take part in Lancaster Rotary Club’s 5K Race for Charity beginning at 7:45am on Saturday, May 20 at Lancaster High School and finish in time to arrive in the Cultural Arts District for day two of the Red Rose Festival. The festival is pet-friendly and dog owners are encouraged to register man’s best friend between 9:15-10am to compete for prizes in the annual dog show.

At 10am on Saturday, May 20, the festival opens with background music from the Main Street stage, as the Red Rose Dog Show takes place on the grounds of Lancaster County History Museum. Prizes will be awarded for Most Adorable Puppy, Best Smile, Biggest, Smallest, Couch Potato, Terrific Pet Trick, Golden Oldie, Wiggliest Tail, and Red Rose Best in Show. Kenaki Karate takes the stage at 11am, with demonstrations and children will enjoy a great variety of free rides, games, and activities throughout the Cultural Arts District.  Kids will be amazed by Captain Jim’s Magic and will not want to miss the historic Main Street Post Office, where Lancaster County School District will be hosting a book give-away for children of all ages.  Stop by Sue’s Face Painting to add a bit of festive design.

Browse the arts and crafts area for handcrafted and unique items while enjoying your favorite festival foods or stop by one of the downtown restaurants and cafes to enjoy a leisurely lunch. Locally owned bottle shop, The Craft Stand, will offer an outdoor beer garden at their 134 South Main Street location, with a great selection of craft brews.  In the market square, expect to find a variety of gifts, services, and non-profit information. Look for Cottage Chics, Dill Pickle Woodworks, K1 Marblebillia, Mojo’s Hodgepodge, Once Upon a Tub, Southern Soap Shop, Sues Face Painting, Allen Tate Company/ Mz Libby Team, Barbara Downer, Carolina Cardinal Creations, Carolina Chiropractic and Wellness, Carolina Home Remodeling, Carolina Novelties, Cee’s Jewelry and Accessories, Courtney Sports, Cultivate Health Chiropractic, Dana Roderick, Home Care and Hospice of Lancaster, Impressions Fashion Boutique, InStitches, Leafguard of Charlotte, Lula Roe Angela Cockrell, Mobley Drugs, Mookie’s Kettle Korn, Nina Paparazzi, Peace’s Pieces, Posh by Cristy, Providence Chiropractic, Scentsy, Senior Benefits Center LLC, Cornerstone Bible Church, Giant-Giving In A Needy Time, Green Pastures, JAARS, Lancaster Congregation of Jehovah’s Witness, Lancaster County Bee Keepers Association, Lancaster County Youth Football.

Shared Hope International, Thorton for Congress, Women’s Enrichment Center Lotus Boutique, Lynn’s Concessions, The Crafty Peddler, Arrow Pointe Federal Credit Union, and Magnabilities.

Cool off in the welcoming galleries of the Native American Studies Center to view gallery exhibits focused on Native American art, history, and culture. Visitors will also enjoy archeological viewing, historic archives, and the world’s largest collection of Catawba pottery & artifacts.  Native Artisans will be on site selling art, providing art and music demonstrations, and storytelling from 10am until 1pm on Saturday. Browse the downtown businesses in the Cultural Arts District while getting from place to place is as easy as walking across the street! Help raise funds for the Community Playhouse of Lancaster, United Way, and American Cancer Society by testing your skills at the Dunking Booth from 10am-7pm.

On the Main Street Stage at noon, Mikey will perform a blend of original folk and rock songs that he has written. Following Mikey’s smooth delivery, RJ Adams Music takes the stage at 1pm.  A native Carolinian, RJ and songwriter/guitarist/producer James Eudy write story-telling lyrics, backed by high energy Funk, Americana, and Soul music created by the duo. At 2pm, Mike Faulkenberry and the Whiskey Prophets bring their own style of classic rock/blues/jam band covers to the stage. Sugarshine, a local band composed of five talented Lancaster musicians, will perform at 4pm, ushering in the evening with their original Reggae style music, with a twist of rock and blues. At 6pm, settle onto your blanket or lawn chair as Hamilton Loomis Band takes center stage with a music style about which Guitar Magazine says “If blues, soul, and rock can be said to form a triangle, you’ll find Hamilton Loomis right in the center of it”. The two day music festival will close the evening entertainment with Purple Masquerade, a high performance celebration of an icon. Prince’s greatest hit songs, elaborate costumes, and awesome stage presence guarantee a show that is fun and exciting – a show that celebrates the life and music of one of the music world’s biggest legends.

The evening will end with a bang, as fireworks illuminate the Cultural Arts District to signal the culmination of another year’s fun and entertainment. Always free admission, free parking, free rides, and fun for the whole family.

Festival-goers should be sure to register at the See Lancaster tent for a 48” Sony Smart TV, to be given away just before Saturday night’s closing act, Purple Masquerade.

The Red Rose Dog Show is sponsored by Nutramax and ArrowPointe Federal Credit Union. 5K Race for Charity is sponsored by Lancaster Rotary Club. Sponsors of the Red Rose Festival include Rapid Signs, The Lancaster News, Interstate 107FM, 104.1 the bridge, and City of Lancaster.

Red Rose Festival applications are being accepted until May 1 for artists, craftsmen, food vendors, non-profit agencies, and commercial vendors. Apply online at (www.lancastercitysc.com), e-mail Events and Festivals Manager, Joe Timmons at (events@lancastercitysc.com) or call 803/289-1498.

Arts Council of York County in Rock Hill, SC, Call for Artists for the “28th Annual Juried Competition” – Deadline June 30, 2017

April 27, 2017

The Arts Council of York County presents the “28th Annual Juried Competition” at the Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., Rock Hill, SC, from Aug. 4 – Sept. 10, 2017. The deadline for entries is Friday, June 30, 2017, at 5pm. This is NOT a postmark deadline for mailed entries. Winners will be announced at a free, public reception to be held at the Center for the Arts on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 at 5:30pm.

The “Juried Competition” is open internationally to artists 18 and older. Only original work, created in the last two (2) years, and not previously shown at the Center for the Arts, Dalton Gallery will be accepted. All forms of media are eligible, including video. Limit four pieces per artist.


“Afraid of Being” by Alexis Howard winner of the “27th Annual Juried Competition” Gerald and Barbara Schapiro Best of Show

Entry Fees: Member: $30 for up to two pieces, each additional piece is $10; Non-members: $40 for up to two pieces, each additional piece is $10.

Please make checks payable to the Arts Council of York County. Complete guidelines and entry information will be available at (www.yorkcountyarts.org) on May 1, 2017.

AWARDS
Gerald & Barbara Schapiro Best of Show – $1,000
1st Place     – $500
2nd Place – $200
3rd Place – $100

JUROR | MARGARET STRICKLAND
Margaret Strickland, a Charlotte, NC, based photographer, has been making portraits of family, friends, and strangers for over a decade. Born and raised in Valdosta, GA, Strickland was influenced by cultural norms of the Deep South — a foundation that would later surface as an undercurrent in her work. Her work explores concepts of gender identity and performance, expectations of the self and of society, and the confluence of these ideas in the constructed poses of intimate portraits. Her works have been shown nationally at galleries and institutions, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, and The Mint Museum Uptown, Charlotte.

The Arts Council is headquartered in downtown Rock Hill, a state-recognized cultural district.

For more information on Arts Council events, contact the Arts Council of York County at 803/328-2787, by e-mail at (arts@yorkcountyarts.org), or visit our webpage at (www.yorkcountyarts.org).

2017 Ag + Art Tour of York County in Rock Hill, SC, Calls for Participation – Deadline April 21, 2017

April 4, 2017

In partnership with the Arts Council of York County, the Ag + Art Tour is now accepting applications for artists and artisans interested in participating in the 2017 Ag + Art Tour of York County, SC, on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11, 2017. For this program, artists and artisans are defined as individuals who make handcrafted products without the use of kits or commercial models, and whose primary components are not manufactured. Examples include but are not limited to: painters, potters, weavers, quilters, jewelers, acoustic musicians, and artisan bakers. Storytellers and musicians may also apply to be considered. Those selected to participate in the Tour will be located at Farm Sites and can sell their products.

Artisans are encouraged to participate in their home county of residence. Artisans can participate on different weekends but must complete a separate application for each county/weekend. There is no fee to participate. Artists and artisans may apply online at (http://www.agandarttour.com/artisans). Artisans whose applications are received after Friday, April 21, 2017 will not be included on printed materials; however, they will be listed on (www.AgAndArtTour.com).

The South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is the nation’s largest free, self- guided tour of farms featuring local artisans and farmer’s markets. Set to take place at local farms and farm stands in 11 counties across South Carolina – Chester, Chesterfield, Darlington, Fairfield, Florence, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Newberry, Union and York Counties, visitors have the chance to see first-hand where their food comes from, watch artists in action, purchase homemade and homegrown goods, and learn more about rural life. The Tour will be held each weekend in June, on Saturday, from 9am-5pm, and from 1-5pm on Sunday. Different counties are participating each weekend, giving visitors the opportunity to explore more farms and farm stands across the state.

The first Ag + Art Tour started in 2012 in York County to bring together agriculture and art. York County hosted close to 3,000 visitors during the inaugural year. The Tour expanded to include Lancaster County in 2013 with 6,000 total visitors, and added its third and fourth counties to include Chester and Fairfield in 2014 with a total of 8,000 attendees for the entire tour. In 2015, the Tour welcomed its fifth county – Union. Chesterfield, Darlington, and Horry Counties joined the Tour in 2016, and in 2017, the Tour added Florence and Newberry Counties, bringing the total number of participating counties to eleven. Overall, the Tour has seen over 20,000 visitors since launching in 2012.

The Tour is coordinated by a leadership team and county-level planning teams that are coordinated by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and the Olde English District Tourism Commission. Partner organizations include economic development, chamber of commerce, tourism bureau, farm and artisan organizations, education and extension office, arts councils and community volunteers.

Support for this project is provided by York Electric Cooperative, Inc., the SC Arts Commission (which receives funding from the NEA), Rock Hill Accommodations Tax/Tourism Commission, York County Hospitality Tax, the ACYC’s Annual Campaign and Small Grants Program, and the John and Susan Bennet Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC.

For more information on the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour, please contact Ben Boyles at 803/981-3021 or visit (www.AgAndArtTour.com) for details. Artists and artisans seeking more information about participating in the Ag + Art Tour of York County should contact Stephanie Castaldo by e-mail at (scastaldo@yorkcountyarts.org) or call 803/328-2787.