Archive for the ‘SC Visual Arts’ Category

SC State Museum in Columbia, SC, Hosts Annual Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party – Sept. 24, 2016

September 8, 2016

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The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC, is kicking off the fall season with its annual Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party from 10am-5pm, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The festival presents a mixture of opportunities for guests to enjoy South Carolina barbeque and food, craft beer, live bluegrass music, artist demonstrations, kid friendly activities and more outside and inside the museum.

The festival will feature a variety of barbeque made by award-winning South Carolina pit masters cooked on-site at the event including mustard-based sauce by Jim Hayes of West Columbia, light tomato sauce by Buddy Rogers of Marion, and vinegar and pepper sauce by David Elliott of Hemingway. In addition, chicken bog, delicious sides and local craft beer will be available for guests.

Throughout the day, there will be live music from a variety of bluegrass bands performing, including Steam Drill, Willie Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass and Blue Iguanas. The SC Bluegrass and Traditional Music Association will also be on hand at the festival.

A number of accomplished artists and craftspeople from across the state will be demonstrating and discussing their techniques, including folk artist Herman Thompson, blacksmith Heyward Haltiwanger, woodcarver Joda Snipes, lotion and soap maker Polly Fitzgibbon, painter Rick Wells, Sweetgrass basket maker Jennifaye Singleton, black folk artist Geraldine Smith, decoy artist Tom Boozer and luthier/guitar maker Jack Bouknight and more.

“Fall Festival is great opportunity to experience some of the reasons why South Carolina is incredibly unique, from foodways to music to art,” said Celeste Wszola, programs manager at the State Museum. “It’s an event for people of all ages to not only learn about the trades of the artists, but also purchase some one-of-a-kind handmade objects.”

The museum will also conduct a “Bed Turning,” presenting quilts as they were meant to be seen. Textile historian and restorer Maree Dowdey and State Museum registrar Robyn Adams will showcase quilts from the State Museum’s collection, revealing their history, pattern, significance and backing.

There will be a children’s area with a variety of activities and hands-on crafts. Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party will take place in front of the museum, as well in the lobby and in areas throughout the museum. Guests are welcome to bring their own chair or blanket to enjoy some of the bands playing outside. All Fall Festival and Pickin’ Party activities are included with museum general admission or membership, except for food, beverages and art purchases.

As the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum, the South Carolina State Museum, offers a unique, entertaining and educational experience to visitors throughout its 225,000 square foot facility located in the heart of downtown Columbia’s Congaree Vista.  The State Museum is housed in one of its greatest artifacts, an 1894 old textile mill full of character and charm. In addition to beautiful meeting spaces throughout the facility, guests can explore outer space in one of the largest planetariums in the Southeast, watch an interactive 4D movie and look through a vintage telescope in a one-of-a-kind observatory. These exciting opportunities are all in addition to the four floors of South Carolina art, cultural history, natural history and science/technology that guests can experience.

For further information visit (www.scmuseum.org).

Brookgreen Gardens’ New President and CEO Takes Office in January 2017

September 8, 2016

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With the announcement of Bob Jewell’s decision to retire at the end of the year, Brookgreen Gardens, in Murrells Inlet, SC, initiated a national search to find a successor. The search was led by Bob Jewell and an executive search committee of Brookgreen Trustees. As a result of this effort, Brookgreen Gardens’ Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Page Hayhurst Kiniry has accepted the position of President and CEO effective in January 2017 (exact date to be determined).

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Currently, Hayhurst Kiniry is the Executive Director of Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, VA. Along with Brookgreen Gardens, the Virginia Living Museum is one of only 14 institutions in the country accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums. Hayhurst Kiniry has a Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary, and a Masters in Humanities from the University of Richmond.

“I am honored to be selected to lead Brookgreen, one of America’s great institutions. Its outstanding reputation and historical legacy have been expertly managed. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to build on that success and explore the many opportunities in Brookgreen’s next chapter…” said Hayhurst Kiniry.

“Page has a successful background in museum leadership and administration,” said Bob Jewell, President and CEO. “We are fortunate to have a person with her abilities to guide Brookgreen to its next level of advancement. I am confident that with her background and experience she is uniquely qualified to lead us in the present and into the future as we carry out our future strategic direction.”

Dick Rosen, Chairman of Brookgreen’s Board of Trustees, said, “I would like to thank Bob Jewell, retiring President and CEO, for his outstanding leadership over the past 12 years and his expertise in guiding our executive search committee by successfully recruiting Page Hayhurst Kiniry. We believe that Page will continue to move Brookgreen Gardens forward in fulfilling its mission and continue to adhere to the overall standards of excellence that have been attained over the course of the institution’s history.”

The search strategy that led to the selection of Hayhurst Kiniry included timelines, milestones, key competencies, and a profile for a cultural match. Candidates were solicited through various channels; the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, the American Public Gardens Association, plus networking through personal contacts and other sources.

Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and non-profit organization, is located on US 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, SC, and open to the public daily. For more information, visit our web site at (www.brookgreen.org) or call 843/235-6000.

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Adds Another Quilt Block to Trail

September 8, 2016

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#185 Carpenters Wheel

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Westminster, SC’s latest addition to the trail is directly across the street from the Defoor’s old homestead, at the former home of the Benjamin Wingert family at 110 Cornelia Avenue. Although Ben now resides in Six Mile, SC, he has completely refurbished the small vintage house where his children were raised as youngsters. After a fire that started in the wood stove on a cold January day in 2014, then spread throughout the structure causing extensive damage, Ben has worked to reclaim as much of the original materials as possible. He then did a complete re-design of the floor plan and repurposed much of the old wood, metal and tin to create a uniquely beautiful new, old house.

The original structure dates from the early 1920s as the first owners are thought to be a family by the name of Pickle, hence the name chosen for his new Airbnb venture is “The Pickle House.” This house will hopefully accommodate tourists in the upstate area who come to experience the hiking trails, waterfalls and whitewater river destinations on a short-term rental basis.

The choice of the Carpenter’s Square as Ben’s quilt block is very appropriate, as Ben has worked in the building trades for many years. One of his first work experiences in carpentry was at “Swing of Things” in Westminster, constructing gazebos. He then moved on to work for local contractor Lee Bolding, where he learned the carpentry trade from a master builder. After Lee closed his business, Ben went on to work independently in the upstate, creating many beautiful structures, interiors and furnishings.

The Carpenter’s Square or Wheel block design has a long history in the south. It is said to be one of the fifteen “escape” patterns used in the Underground Railroad during the slavery years of the south. The carpenter was Jesus and the wheel symbolized to the slaves, most of whom were illiterate, their reliance on religion. The wheel was made up of small triangular shapes, and by carefully placing the darker ones with the point aiming in a specific direction, this would guide the slaves in the proper direction to safety.

After Ben chose the design for his house, he consulted with a friend in Bloomington, Indiana, Cathy O’Bryan who is a prolific quilter. As most quilters, Cathy is a generous soul who opened up her “stash” of fabrics and allowed him to pick whatever struck a chord with him. The mix of colors are Ben’s favorites; greens, browns, oranges, even a wood grain fabric is included.

Ben and his partner, Cindy then asked a friend that volunteers in the UHQT studio if she would consider stitching a block so that the requirement of the trail to have an actual quilt attached to each square would be fulfilled. Mary Dee Rudy was graciously ready to help out. Mary Dee has been a quilter for thirty years and a painter of quilt squares since the inception of the trail. She shares, “My first quilting experience was through lessons taught by a neighbor. We were a group of six and completed a crib sampler quilt in six weeks, all hand pieced and quilted. I was hooked!” She has made numerous quilts for her own children, including one she made for her son that he took to military school, college and still uses to this day.

Mary Dee’s first submission to a quilt competition was the 2010 Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show where she won first place in the category for people who had never entered before. This was a king-sized quilt, called Cherry Rose, that was hand appliqued and hand quilted. In 2012, she took third place in the applique category for her yo-yo quilt. Mary Dee lives outside Seneca with a quilt block on the garage. Inside her log cabin are many fabric quilts, both completed and in progress.

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail call 864/723- 6603, e-mail to (info@uhqt.org) or visit (www.uhqt.org).

At the Art League of Hilton Head, SC’s Annual Fundraising ‘Got Art?’ EVERYONE Gets Art! – Oct. 1, 2016

September 8, 2016

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The Art League of Hilton Head, SC’s annual fundraising benefit, Got Art?, promises to make collectors out of art enthusiasts. Each $100 ticket admits two guests into the event and participation in a live drawing that guarantees the ticket holder one original piece of art. Only 100 tickets will be sold. This fun and popular event is sure to be a sell out!

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What makes this event special is that ticket holders go home with an original piece of local art created and donated by Art League member artists. Artwork may include paintings, drawings, photography, collage, jewelry, ceramic and sculpture; each valued at $200 or more.

Not knowing when your name will be called adds a certain element of fun and suspense. You never know which pieces will still be available when it’s your turn to choose. It always proves to be a lively night.

The event takes place on Saturday, October 1, 2016, starting at 4pm. Artwork preview and reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres followed by the exciting main event drawing. When your ticket is drawn, choose an original piece of art! Every ticket is a winner.

More than 100 Got Art? artworks will be on view from Sept. 27-30 from 10am-4pm and on October 1 from 10am-1pm at Art League Gallery.

Purchase a $100 ticket. Visit (www.artleaguehhi.org) or call 843/681-5060. Tickets also available at Art League Gallery and Art League Academy.

Only 100 tickets will be sold. You must have a ticket to attend. Each ticket admits two guests and awards one piece of art.

The Art League of Hilton Head Gallery, located mid-island inside Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island. Call 843/681-5060 for more information.

Art League of Hilton Head is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit visual arts organization on Hilton Head Island with a synergistic Art Gallery and teaching Academy that welcome artists and students at all skill levels and in all media.

Art League of Hilton Head promotes and supports the visual arts through education, exhibitions and partnerships for the cultural enhancement of the community and its visitors.

The September 2016 Issue of “Carolina Arts” is Now Ready to Download

September 1, 2016

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The September 2016 issue of Carolina Arts is up on our website at (http://www.carolinaarts.com/916/916carolinaarts.html) – all 76 pages of it – 17 more than last month.

So download that PDF and dig in – it makes for good reading and shows that you have lots of opportunities to enjoy the visual arts in the Carolinas. And, don’t forget to find a way to thank our advertisers – they make the paper possible.

And help us spread the paper around by sending this link to your friends.

If you want to get something in the October 2016 issue – send it now or as soon as you can. Don’t wait till the September 24th deadline. You do know you can be early. Some folks are already several months ahead of the deadline when their press release would be due.

Thanks – Tom and Linda Starland
Carolina Arts
843/693-1306 (a new number)
info@carolinaarts.com

Artists’ Guild in Spartanburg, SC, Offers Annual Juried Show

August 29, 2016

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Editor’s Note: They have new leadership who may not have known our deadline, but they do now and this won’t happen again. Of course the folks at the West Main Artists Co-Op knew the deadline and they always seen to be late.

The Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg will host its “43rd Annual Juried Show” at the West Main Artists Co-Op in Spartanburg, SC, from Sept. 1 through Oct. 1, 2016. A reception, which is free to the public, will be held in the Co-Op on Sept. 10, from 6-8pm; the awards ceremony will take place at 7pm. Cocktails and hor d’oeuvres will be available.

The Artists’s Guild is the oldest guild in South Carolina and has one of the longest running juried shows in the southeast. This year’s juror, Mary Gilkerson, juried in 70 NC and SC artists from over 175 entries. Gilkerson is an artist who uses color and light to connect people to the experience of place. Gilkerson notes, “For the last four years I have been making a small painting every day inspired by the landscapes I travel through, mainly near the roads and highways around Columbia, SC, especially lower Richland County. I’m drawn to the ordinary spaces we move through, especially ones that are within view from the road, a strange intersection of nature and culture. We move so fast that we don’t take time to observe the world around us in the way that people did before modern transportation and technology came along. My work seeks to focus on the shifting patterns of light and color that tell us what time of day and season it is, to notice the small and subtle as well as the large and grand.”

Gilkerson holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of South Carolina. A native South Carolinian, she lives and works in Columbia where she is a professor of art at Columbia College. She has received grants from the S.C. Arts Commission and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties in addition to having been selected as a Southern Arts Federation Fellowship Finalist. Her work is in the permanent collections of McKissick Museum, Palmetto Health, Morris Communications Company, and Seibels Bruce Group, among others. She has been recognized for excellence in teaching by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU).

Six of the exhibiting artists will receive cash awards totaling $4,000, including one $1,500 Best in Show award, two $500 Excellence in 2-D Awards, two $500 Excellence in 3-D Awards, and one $500 People’s Choice Award. Visitors to the show may vote for the People’s Choice between 10am, Tuesday, Sept. 1, and 6:30pm, Saturday, Sept. 10.

The West Main Artists Co-Op Gallery is open and free to the public from 10am until 6pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays.

For further information, please contact Nikki Hicks by e-mail at (nhicks@spartanarts.org), or call 864/764-9568.

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Adds Two New Quilt Blocks to Their Trail

August 29, 2016

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183 Blue Heron

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The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, (Oconee, Pickens and Anderson Counties in SC) is pleased to announce the Blue Heron quilt block, created by their 2015 Quilter of the Year, Penny Little of Salem, SC. The Quilter of the Year award was created to honor quilters who not only are talented artists, but also give back to their communities in very meaningful ways.

Little is a member of the Lake and Mountain Quilters’ Guild making charity quilts for donation through the Guild programs and helping with a variety of Guild activities and programs. She leads the Hi-Fiber Art Quilters. She donates her time and expertise to the Tamassee DAR School, where she teaches sewing and quilting to aspiring young people on a weekly basis. She has been active in supporting the Oconee Animal Shelter making pet beds. Little has taught many classes for the OLLI program at Clemson University and done classes and demonstrations of her skills at Blue Ridge Arts Council and Locker Hooking at a Quilters of SC retreat.

Her quilts have won numerous awards in local and regional venues as well as national and international competitions. Her accomplishments in the world of art quilters is impressive. “African Bride,” has won first place at the 2006 Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show and was also a semi-finalist at both the International Quilt Association’s Houston show and the American Quilters Society show in Paducah, KY, that same year. In 2012, “Numida I” took 3rd place at the Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show and was also a semi-finalist at Paducah. “Reflections of Africa” was a semi-finalist at two AQS shows in 2014 as well as taking second place at the Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show. These are just a few of her many awards in competition. She has also had a number of one-woman exhibits throughout the upstate.

Little was born in Detroit, MI, attended Eastern Michigan University, is the mother of three sons, two daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. She and her husband lived in several states and Tokyo, Japan. She is a retired travel agent and enjoys the good life living on Lake Keowee near Seneca, SC. As a young child, she can remember cutting up clothes and hand stitching the fabric into doll clothes or turning cardboard into little houses or villages. Later she made clothes, upholstered furniture, macramé or any craft that was popular. This quilter’s story started in 1994 when she was introduced to the world of quilt making and found her true passion. Her first quilt took two years, a block a month for twelve months followed by hand quilting for another twelve months. After joining quilt guilds, reading books, and attending workshops she became an adequate quilter. Although traditional quilts were useful, for Penny they were monotonous to make. That all changed when she discovered art quilts. The guideline for designing quilts is “there are no rules”. A typical quilt of Little’s may have an African theme, be made entirely from scraps, have no straight lines only curves or a focal point or embellishing from beads to seeds. The fabrics are frequently batik or her own hand dyed fabric.

When designing a quilt, ideas and color are the most difficult for her, she relates. Inspiration comes from fabric, workshops, travel, and books. Fabrics depicting African animals have inspired several of her quilts since her first trip to Kenya in 1995, second trip to Tanzania in 2006 and last trip to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe in 2011.

Little says, “A really fabulous day for me is quilting in my studio. I never lack for something inspiring to work on, talk about, design or get excited about. I enjoy teaching quilting to children and sharing my skills with others. In 2015 I was honored as Quilter of the year by the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. I was given a quilt block to be painted featuring a quilt made by me. I decided to donate the quilt block to the Lake Keowee community to honor quilters and artist. The great Blue Heron, which was inspired by Toni Whitney, seemed perfect for the lake community. The Heron took days and days to cut feathers and fused together and sew the edges.” The quilt was made by using hand dyed fabrics and batiks.

Toni Whitney, of Big Fork, MT, is the designer of the Blue Heron pattern. While pursuing a career as a wildlife painter, Whitney discovered the art of fusible applique in 2005. From her website (www.toniwhitney.com), “dabbling in textiles proved to be a thrilling experience that merged easily and effortlessly with painting…this medium seems to come hand in hand with the nicest group of people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, Quilters!”

When asked about the inspiration for the Blue Heron pattern, Whitney responded, “I live outside of a very small town in NW Montana in a heavily forested area. While I knew there were great blue heron in these parts it was a rarity to actually see one, I myself never had. I was thinking of my sister one morning and feeling particularly blue. She had passed suddenly many years ago with reasons never fully explained and finding closure for myself proved difficult. On this day of remorseful pondering I happened to look out of my window to see a beautiful great blue heron staring right back at me as if I were the oddest thing it had ever seen, perched, if you will, directly on top of a balsam fir just as comfortably as a chickadee, the top of the tree bent almost in half from the weight.

“Every morning for a few weeks following that day I would happen to look up at just the right moment to the bird, gliding low, silent and graceful over me,” said Whitney. “The peacefulness of witnessing such a large creature somehow effortlessly and quietly making its way through life out here in this wilderness which seems much too harsh for such a delicate creature somehow eased my soul and reminded me to take things lightly, try to live gracefully regardless of where I’m at and if I’m in a precarious place that I feel could snap at any moment sending me hurtling down to a horribly painful experience, I have but to lift my spirits and fly.”

The Keowee Fire Commission has unanimously agreed to display the quilt on the station on Highway 130, just north of Route 183. Rich Caudill, chief of the station explained the Keowee Fire Commission was established in 1993 as a fire tax district by the community and covers a service area of 30 square miles. This encompasses the Duke Energy facility, the lake communities of Waterford, Wynward, Waterside, Keowee Harbors and Keowee Key. The current station was built in 2008.

Little resides in the Keowee Key community on Lake Keowee in the upstate of South Carolina. In her usual selfless fashion, she has dedicated her award, the Blue Heron quilt square for community display and the fabric quilt that she beautifully crafted to honor the talented artists and quilters of Keowee Key.

184 Winter Cardinal

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A Winter Cardinal quilt has also been added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail at the Peck home on 202 Winterberry Lane in Seneca, SC. Jane Peck shared with us that “after downsizing from our lake house on Hartwell, it has taken some time for me to invite cardinals onto our feeders. At the lake I would have 6 to 7 families. Needless to say, I have missed them. Therefore, along with time welcoming all the birds in our new neighborhood, I want to especially show the joy of sharing our home with the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail by placing the Cardinal block for all to see. I believe the meaning of a Cardinal visiting your yard is a visit from someone close to you whom you have lost. Watching the Cardinal family, I have been fortunate to have witnessed the male bird feeding his young, protecting his mate. The art of creating a quilt has been something I have admired and the sentiment placed in each and every stitch has always caught my imagination. I am reader and a gardener. Taking great pride in my garden over the years, welcoming the birds and butterflies have given me peace.”

This quilt pattern was a project for work to show applique patterns using Batiks and Prisma dyes. Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka, owners of Lunn Fabrics in Lancaster, OH, create ideas for batik fabric for Robert Kaufman. Barbara Palumbo and Scott Clark worked together to make an appliqued quilt pattern for each season to promote new lines of fabric. The Cardinal was created in 2008 at the Studios of Lunn Fabrics.

Barbara Palumbo has been an avid sewer since a child and had been doing decorative painting for approximately 20 years, but had no experience quilting. She began by taking classes at Quilt Beginnings Quilt Store in Bexley, OH, and is still taking classes in different sewing techniques.

Scott Clark was hired by Lunn’s to design the caps (chops) that are used in making batik fabrics. Prior to that he designed patterns for screen print design companies. Lunn Studios still continue to make patterns that are available at the store and on-line.

A total of four season quilts were finished. Palumbo said about the quilt designs that, “It gave us a permission to play with applique.” “Also it was good resource to promote the Elementals’ line of batiks in each of the quilts and showed how you could make the fabric work for you”

Lunn Fabrics is located at 317 E. Main Street, Lancaster, Ohio, 43130, phone 740/654-2202. Visit their web site at (www.lunnfabrics.com) to view Lunn Fabrics complete line of Artisan Batiks, Patina Handpaints and Prisma Dyes.

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail call 864/723- 6603, e-mail to (info@uhqt.org) or visit (www.uhqt.org).

City of North Charleston, SC, Appoints Caroline Self as New Artist-in-Residence

August 29, 2016

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The City of North Charleston (SC) Cultural Arts Department is proud to announce the appointment of painter Caroline Self as Artist-in-Residence (AIR) for 2016/17. The City’s AIR serves as a key resource for the department’s outreach programs, especially in the area of art instruction. The selected artist shares his/her unique skills, talents, and experiences by providing services to public schools, seniors, and various community groups within the city limits of North Charleston. Self will be available for visual art residencies of 12-15 hours at a minimum of two hour increments at North Charleston schools and is also available to host workshops for community groups of all ages.

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Caroline M. Self is a contemporary, abstract expressionist artist inspired by the vivid paint colors and textures made famous by Vincent Van Gogh and the unique abstractness of paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and Willem de Kooning. Caroline’s passion blends color and texture into a poetry of fluidity, tension, and/or juxtaposition. She has painted for as long as she can remember, and her works have found homes from coast to coast. Most recently, her piece, “Life”, won a purchase award at the “41st Lyndon House Arts Center Exhibition” juried by Jock Reynolds, Director for the Yale University Art Gallery. Caroline was the art education program specialist at the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, GA, for almost nine years before moving back to the Charleston area with her husband in 2016. In addition, she was a long-term substitute art teacher for the Normal Park Museum Magnet Elementary School in Chattanooga, TN. Self has developed a unique track record of creating innovative classes, programs, award-winning camps, and exhibits for countless groups, children, and events.

As an art teacher, Self enjoys sharing her art passion to create lasting, meaningful experiences. She believes that creativity, innovation, and adaptability are highly desirable skills and is excited to facilitate experiential learning using art to make connections through integration.

The North Charleston City Gallery will host an exhibition of Self’s work throughout December 2016 and January 2017. The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. School liaisons, arts teachers, and the general public are invited to meet the artist at a free gallery reception on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, from 5-7pm.

Art teachers and school liaisons may initiate the request for FREE services by the AIR by contacting the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843/740-5851. Community groups are also welcome to submit requests, which will be considered on a first come first served basis. All project requests should be placed at least two weeks in advance, with residences completed by the end of May 2017.

More information about the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department’s AIR program, as well as the department’s other programs, exhibits, and events, can be found on the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website at (www.northcharleston.org).

Construction Begins on the New Location of the Art Trail Gallery in downtown Florence, SC

August 28, 2016

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The new home of the Florence Art Trail Gallery is moving up the list in the downtown revitalization schedule. Work is beginning on the new site located at 142 North Dargan Street, Florence, SC. The existing three story structure stood for many years as the Rainwater Furniture Store and according to records was established in 1939. Florence City Council, in an executive session, July, 2015, unanimously voted to purchase the multi level structure as the permanent location for the Art Trail Gallery. Once updated and remodeled the location will soon house art exhibitions and competitions for local and regional artist, artisans and photographers. The ATG will once again be a popular venue for special events, musical performances and area schools student art works. The Rainwater building being located in the heart of the downtown revitalization is conveniently located close to hotels, restaurants and shopping.

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The Art Trail Gallery has survived several moves since its inception in 2008; which started a popular career with local and regional artists and stood for what the city recognized as the art hub of Florence. Located in the downstairs of the Waters building on South Dargan Street it was shared by sculptor Alex Palkovich. The (ATG) gallery; operating strictly with all volunteers quickly became popular; centering around work done by amateur and professional artists. The ATG provided an opportunity to new artists as a place to feel comfortable in showcasing their artistic ability for the first time, along with more established professionals.

Increasing popularity of the Florence downtown revitalization made the second move for the Art Trail necessary, as the Waters Building was sold to private interest and the present location would be vacated to make room for the new Florence County Museums’ public art functions and events.

The gallery, under the leadership of the Florence Downtown Development Corporation, was then moved to the corner of Evans and Irby Street in the vacant Bo Smith Furniture building. There it continued to surge ahead in achieving more popularity, not only from the art community, but from the general public. That location became a favorite for public functions downtown as it served as a place to host private events, such as, college reunions, political rallies, small weddings and was known as the people’s gallery.

As the downtown continued to thrive and more private sectors wanted to buy into the progression of the new Florence downtown; the gallery found itself once again without a home. The Bo Smith Building was sold for the Morgan Project. Aspects of the continuation of the Art Trail Gallery surviving hinged on being conveniently located for the public and accessible to other businesses, therefore increasing economic development for the entire downtown. The public rallied and with assistance from Councilman George Jebaily and commitment from the FDDC and Florence City Council the permanent location on North Dargan was authorized to be purchased.

First stages of remodeling 142 North Dargan Street have already begun with the repair of the outside wall; architectural drawings are in final phases for approval, along with taking bids for construction.

The Art Trail Gallery’s new home will be a state of the art facility. When entering the main double doors, patrons will notice the high open ceiling that can house large art installations. Artists will be proud to have their work displayed on a professional hanging system mounted to movable track walls. The mobile walls will allow for closing off space for classrooms, different configuration of art exhibits and the needs for larger events. Lighting will be selected that will enhance the works of art, but not damage the quality. Visitors will still be able to buy special artisan gifts in a separate location. New heat and air, security system and fire sprinkler system will be installed during construction.

All bathrooms located in the rear of the building will be handicap accessible. Positioned in the back of the gallery will be a full catering kitchen with plenty of counter space and deep sinks. Several storage locations will house tables and chairs for classes and special events.

The first floor facility will allow for the rental of the building for various functions for a fee and patrons will find plenty of parking available in the newly constructed areas located on the side and rear of the building. A central control system will allow staff to regulate necessary lighting during rentals, performances, or special events.

The Gallery will remain in partnership with the FDDC Not-for-Profit status and as the ATG will continue to grow and play a vital role in the educational and leisure experiences of the public, there will be a need for a paid Director. According to city officials the new facility should be open by early 2017. Plans are in development for beginning exhibits and a call for artists will be publicized in the near future.

For additional information please contact: David Hobbs, Retiring Director, ATG by e-mail at (dd61hobbs@gmail.com) or call 843/206-8116.

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Editor’s Notes: I took a photo of what I thought was the building last year sometime when I was in Florence viewing some art. You can see security is not going to be a problem, as the building is located next to a Police Substation. It’s nice to see a city in SC that can take on a job like this for the art community and finish it in the same decade it was announced. Some cities (World’s most popular city in magazines) just can’t seem to do something like this. Our hats go off to the leaders in Florence.

CREATE! Conway in Conway, SC, Calls for Participation in Live Oak Art & Music Fest in Oct. 2016

August 28, 2016

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October is Arts & Humanities Month and CREATE! Conway will kick off the month with a community celebration of creativity. The Live Oak is a fun, family art event presented under the oaks and on the lawn of the Horry County Courthouse in Conway, SC.

The Artisan Market features fine art & crafts for sale. Visitors are encouraged to bring a chair and enjoy a day of music. Coolers are welcome.

Join CREATE! Conway, support the arts and receive free artisan space at the Live Oak Art & Music Fest and the Indie Market.

The 11th Annual Live Oak Art & Music Fest is hosted by Create! Conway, a non-profit community art promotion and art education organization. We celebrate creativity and community at the Live Oak by showcasing local artists and musicians and promoting public participation in the arts.

Learn more at (http://www.createconway.org/live_oak_art_music_fest).