Two Greenwood artists were honored Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, with Guild Dedication Awards from art guilds at the reception for the “Multi-Guild Annual Exhibition” at the Arts Center of Greenwood, South Carolina.
Potter and gallery entrepreneur Laura Bachinski and woodworker Hal Taylor are recipients of the 2016 Guild Dedication Awards — presented by the Greenwood Artist Guild, Council of Lakelands Area Woodworkers and Greenwood Area Studio Potters.
Established in 2014, by the above-mentioned art guilds, in collaboration with the Arts Center of Greenwood, the Guild Dedication Award was created in honor of potter and local arts champion Dohnna Collins Boyajian. Boyajian was the 2014 recipient and retired arts educator Dot Hershey was the 2015 recipient.
“People who decide on the award are representatives from the Arts Center and previous award recipients,” Boyajian said. “We really could not choose one. We chose both Laura Bachinski and Hal Taylor.”
Recipients did not know about the awards in advance.
Boyajian went on to say that Bachinski has been instrumental in the founding of two annual community events — Empty Bowls Greenwood, the major fundraiser for Greenwood Soup Kitchen, and the Heritage Trail Pottery Tour and Sale.
Bachinski received much of her training as an artist through the professional clay program at the Piedmont Technical College Edgefield County Center. She has her own home studio, Bell House Pottery in Ninety Six, South Carolina.
“Without Laura (Bachinski), neither one of those would have probably happened,” Boyajian said. “With Empty Bowls, she was also instrumental in involving the Greenwood Medical Alliance with that as a project. She can make things happen.”
Additionally, Boyajian said Bachinski’s decision to open the Main and Maxwell gallery and artists’ retail shop in Uptown Greenwood is “a huge deal.”
“More than 59 member artists are now represented there,” Boyajian said. “The local artists and crafts people have a place to sell their work and she’s also creating an Etsy site to get our work out into the World Wide Web, broadening support for our artists and guilds. She’s a proponent of the growth and exposure of the arts community in Greenwood, South Carolina.”
Boyajian said Bachinski has also coordinated workshops with well-known ceramics artists and potters for area artists and Lander University students.
“Hal (Taylor) is sort of the quiet one,” Boyajian said. “He has done many different things and he’s always volunteering to give artist demonstrations or work behind the scenes for Empty Bowls and the Council of Lakelands Area Woodworkers ornaments for trees auctioned as part of the Piedmont’s Festival of Trees. He gets things done and he collaborates with other artists.”
Taylor is also a co-founder of the Greenwood Genetic Center, along with clinical geneticist Roger Stevenson. Taylor served as director of GGC diagnostic laboratories from 1974-2008.
Guild Dedication Award winners are presented with checks and a take-home plaque. A permanent plaque, with the award’s description, is on display at the Arts Center. Nominations are accepted in October with winners announced during the annual November “Multi-Guild” showcase.
Criteria for the award include creativity, engagement, enthusiasm and dedication.
Paula Taylor, 72, wife of Hal Taylor, 74, said her husband is very humble and modest about his skill as an artist.
“He will be shocked by this award,” she said in advance of Friday’s awards announcement.
“He’s been interested in building things from the time he was a boy,” Paula Taylor said. “He’s built numerous pieces of furniture for our two daughters, including a fairly elaborate dining room table and a treehouse for a grandchild. He’s been turning wood for about 15 years. He’s self-taught in a way, but he’s taken a lot of intensive courses.”
Paula said her husband turns wood every day.
“If he hears a chainsaw when we are driving somewhere, we stop,” she said. “He has to see what kind of wood it is and ask if he can have a piece.”
She said he has also mentored a number of men and women in wood crafts. “It keeps him active and creating,” Paula Taylor said.
Taylor has pieces at Main and Maxwell in Greenwood, a shop in Highlands, North Carolina and at the South Carolina Artisans Center in Walterboro.
For further information contact Dohnna Boyajian by calling 864/554-0336 or e-mail to (firstname.lastname@example.org).