Archive for the ‘Spartanburg SC Visual Arts’ Category

Hub City Empty Bowls in Spartanburg, SC, Launches 2017 Program

May 31, 2017

Hub City Empty Bowls – an annual fundraiser that uses handmade pottery bowls to feed hungry Spartanburg citizens – has set the 2017 dates for its well-attended events. There will be three regularly scheduled bowl-making events: Saturday, July 15, 2017, at 10am-noon and 1-3pm in Spartanburg Art Museum’s pottery studio at Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC; Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 5-8pm at West Main Artists Co-Op, during ArtWalk; and Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at 10am-noon and 1-3pm at Chapman Cultural Center. Soup Day will be Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, from 11am-4pm at Chapman Cultural Center. All events are free and family friendly.

Hub City Empty Bowls is a localized fundraiser inspired the international Empty Bowls decentralized program. Locally, the program’s spearhead Carolina Clay Artists coordinates public bowl-making sessions. At no charge, citizens of all ages are given supplies, tools, space, and instructions on how to make hand-shaped pottery bowls. Those unfinished bowls are left at the venue to be painted and fired by experienced potters. Bowls often made by children can be simple, primitive, and charming. Others made by experienced potters can be precise, intricate, and sophisticated.

With hundreds of bowls created by local citizens, Carolina Clay Artists then hosts Soup Day, an event where patrons receive the bowls – each for a $15 donation to TOTAL Ministries, a local charity that provides food and other resources to people in financial crisis. In addition to receiving bowls, the patrons can enjoy a meal of soup, bread, and tea donated by the community’s leading restaurants, hear live music, bid in a silent auction, and enjoy the fellowship and comradery of knowing they are helping to feed people in need. In 2016, the Carolina Clay Artists donated a record-breaking $33,000 to TOTAL Ministries.

“Coordinating Hub City Empty Bowls is a massive undertaking,” 2017 Chairman Bruce Bowyer said. “People want to know as soon as possible about our dates so they can plan accordingly. Some people come to all of the bowl-making sessions and Soup Day. Plus, by setting the dates early, we can better handle the large crowds of people who normally show up. It is not unusual for us to have several hundred people come to a bowl-making session. And come Soup Day, we’ll see more than a thousand.”

Despite the crowds, it is seldom anyone has to wait to make a bowl or enjoy Soup Day. Space, volunteers, and experience are plentiful enough to keep everyone engaged.

Carolina Clay Artists is a local group of hobbyist and professional potters who come together monthly to share ideas, hold workshops and demos, and tour pottery studios to see other artists’ work and learn new ideas. It is open to all who have an interest in learning and sharing about pottery. Annual dues are $35. Hub City Empty Bowls is the group’s annual charity fundraising event to help feed the hungry.

TOTAL Ministries got its start in 1982 as Project Eat. Founder Dannie Horne saw an unemployment rate of 9.7% and that many people in Spartanburg County were hungry. During the first 17 months of Project Eat’s existence, $190,000 of groceries were distributed in an effort to alleviate that problem. In 1983, TOTAL Ministries of Spartanburg County, Inc. was incorporated by 12 Spartanburg churches to carry on the work of Project Eat. Since then, additional emergency services have been added to the TOTAL mission in an effort to help those in need. For those in need, TOTAL can help with utility services, food, and medications.

Empty Bowls started in 1990 by Michigan art teacher John Hartom, who organized a charitable event to give his art students a way to make a personal difference in the lives of others in their community. Hartom’s students made pottery bowls in their high school art classes, and the finished products were then used as individual serving pieces for a fundraising meal of soup and bread. From that simple beginning, Empty Bowls has spread around the world, taking root in communities both small and large. Spartanburg had its first Empty Bowls program in 2009. All Empty Bowls efforts are locally based with all proceeds going to a local charity with a mission to alleviate hunger in its community. None of the money raised leaves the community. The lead agency, Carolina Clay Artists, donates all of its time and talents, and receives no monetary benefit. Locally, all proceeds go to TOTAL Ministries.

For more information about Hub City Empty Bowls, please visit online at (www.HubCityEmptyBowls.com) or call 864.706-3739 or 864/585-9167.

Downtown Spartanburg, SC, Mural Celebrates USC Upstate’s 50th Anniversary

May 29, 2017

As part of its 50th Anniversary Celebration, the University of South Carolina Upstate commissioned a commemorative mural and it is catching a lot of attention along a major corridor in downtown Spartanburg. The 50th Anniversary mural marks a significant part of the USC Upstate’s history while providing a visual voice that the university remains youthful, energetic and cutting edge.

“I cannot be more excited to have the University of South Carolina Upstate mural featured in downtown Spartanburg,” said Chancellor Brendan Kelly. “This amazing artwork encapsulates the history of USC Upstate, its strong reputation of serving as a critical force in fulfilling regional and state workforce needs, and its brilliant future.”


Eli Blasko, co-owner of Bannan Blasko, LLC, perched on scaffolding, works diligently on the border of one of the mural’s panels.

The mural spans the entire wall of Gallery East, located at 512 East Main Street just a block away from the intersection of East Main Street and Pine Street.

“I am eternally grateful to Jason Hiltabiddle for providing such a prominent location for USC Upstate to share its remarkable story,” said Kelly. “This is just the beginning of how USC Upstate intends to approach deliberate storytelling and branding.”


USC Upstate graduate Russell Bannan, co-owner of Bannan Blasko LLC, works on some of the intricate details of the mural.

The mural focuses primarily on themes of education, growth, vitality and strength, which permeate the design in a multitude of ways, on both literal and symbolic levels.

“This allows it to capture the values of the institution’s character and mission, while simultaneously allowing it to stand freely as a unique and cohesive piece of fine art,” said Russell Bannan, a graduate of USC Upstate and co-owner of Bannan Blasko LLC, a public art and design focused media company that designed and painted the mural.


Eli Blasko, top, Miranda Peterson, center, and Russell Bannan, below, spent Friday and Saturday working on the USC Upstate mural painted on the wall of Gallery East, located at 512 E. Main Street.

Compositionally, the mural is strategically designed to lead the viewer’s eye from left to right. Because of this, imagery from early in the school’s history is placed at left, visually the “beginning” of the piece, and more contemporary imagery is placed at right.

“In this way, a longer viewing experience should be punctuated by seeing the Upstate logo within a robust visual backdrop before walking away. Likewise, someone passing by quickly in a vehicle or on foot will be drawn to the area of the mural housing the USC Upstate logo,” explained Eli Blasko, co-owner of Bannan Blasko LLC.


Eli Blasko, top, Miranda Peterson, center, and Russell Bannan, below, spent Friday and Saturday working on the USC Upstate mural painted on the wall of Gallery East, located at 512 E. Main Street.

The artistic talent of Bannan and Blasko can be found throughout including “There’s only one. Spartanburg” mural and the popular “Love Where You Live” mural that the two worked with other artists to create. They have also painted the crosswalks at Liberty and East Main Streets and completed several sculptural murals for Drayton Mills Loft Apartments.

With 6,000 students, more than 1,000 employees and nearly 30,000 alumni who live in the area, the USC Upstate 50th Anniversary mural is sure to become a popular destination for photos and institutional pride.

For more information, contact Tammy E. Whaley, assistant vice chancellor for university communications, at 864/503-5210 or e-mail her at (twhaley@uscupstate.edu).

Explaining the symbolism in the mural:

Peaches – The present location of the USC Upstate campus owned by Henry Gramling who used the land as a peach orchard and soybean farm. In 1967, the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education acquired 22 acres of land from Mr. Gramling for $100,000 and he donated 27 acres for the establishment of a new campus, which now includes 300 acres.

Scenic background – The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains can often be seen from the USC Upstate campus.

Trees – Since 2008 USC Upstate has been designated a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. USC Upstate is also home to the 12-acre Susan Jacobs Arboretum that is a place of serene natural beauty. It features a 300-seat amphitheater, lighted walkways, foliage indigenous to the area, and rows of Nuttall Oak trees defining the north quadrangle. A meandering creek lined with stones and boulders completes this tranquil setting.

USCS Rifles – Prior to 2004, the University was named University of South Carolina Spartanburg and its mascot was The Rifles, which paid homage to the Revolutionary War history of the Upstate of South Carolina. On July 1, 2004, the name was changed to University of South Carolina Upstate to signal a new era of academic expansion to Greenville, tremendous growth, qualitative improvements and economic impact across the I-85 corridor. The mascot was changed to Sparty to maintain a connection to the original name and commitment to the Spartanburg community.

177 Founding Class – The Spartanburg Regional Campus of the University of South Carolina opened on September 18, 1967 at Spartanburg General Hospital. Student enrollment was 177 of which 36 were nursing majors.

Nurses Cap – The university was founded when Spartanburg General Hospital (now Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System) announced plans to close its nursing education program, which would create a dire nursing shortage for Spartanburg County. A drop shadow creates a three-dimensional quality to the image, and visually brings the portrait forward to emphasize its importance as a historical symbol for the university.

Gold Dome – The Gold Dome that sits atop the John C. Stockwell Administration Building, which is the first building erected on the campus in 1969. It is a gleaming iconic university symbol that has remained unchanged since the Spartanburg Regional Campus (now USC Upstate) was officially dedicated on April 17, 1970.

1967 – 2017 – The South Carolina General Assembly passed Act No. 36 on February 16, 1967 to establish the
Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education to undertake the creation of a university campus in Spartanburg. USC Upstate is celebrating its 50th Anniversary.

50 Years – The University is celebrating its 50th Anniversary.

Spartan – This Spartan symbol represents the USC Upstate Spartans athletic teams. Sparty is the USC Upstate mascot.

#SpartanStrong – Spartan Strong, a slogan of support for USC Upstate, conveys the unique strength and resiliency that allows an Upstate Spartan to carry on no matter the situation. The phrase was initially coined in October 2015 as words of encouragement and unity for University community upon the death of four student-athletes.

30,000 Alumni – Nearly 30,000 students have earned their degrees from USC Upstate. Approximately 85 percent of the alumni choose to remain in the Upstate to build their lives and careers, making a significant impact on the region’s economy and quality of life.

Diploma Scroll – The diploma scroll signifies the successful attainment of degrees.

Globe – The globe pays tribute to USC Upstate’s diverse and dynamic community of approximately 6,000 students from 26 states and 17 countries, USC Upstate is a wonderful blend of traditional and nontraditional students who reflect the Upstate’s rich international character. Home to more than one million people and boasting the highest per capita international investment of any county in the nation, the Upstate region provides boundless academic, professional, and cultural outlets for students to develop skills and establish meaningful connections.

The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional, comprehensive university that offers more than 40 bachelor’s degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and teacher education, and master’s degrees in education, informatics, and nursing. These are degrees that help students to transition easily to careers in the Upstate region. USC Upstate is committed to fulfilling regional and state workforce needs and thus the university is a major engine of social and economic development.  Comprised of a diverse and dynamic community of approximately 6,000 students from 26 states and 17 countries, USC Upstate is a wonderful blend of traditional and nontraditional students who reflect the Upstate’s rich international character. USC Upstate offers a balance of strengths that, when added up, results in a learning experience that’s hard to match. The academic programs are accredited and highly ranked, with amazing research and internship opportunities for students. USC Upstate has its main campus in Spartanburg, the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics and the UPSTATE Gallery on Main in downtown Spartanburg, two locations in Greenville, SC, and a growing number of programs online. The USC Upstate Spartans, which fields 17 varsity sports, compete on the NCAA Division I level as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Nearly 30,000 alumni have earned degrees from USC Upstate and approximately 85 percent choose to remain in the Upstate region to build their lives and careers, making a significant impact of the region’s economy and quality of life.

Learn more at (www.uscupstate.edu).

Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, Celebrates the Opening of Northside Artlets

March 30, 2017

On Apr. 11, 2017 from 5-7pm the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, along with their partners and the Northside community will celebrate the opening of four Northside Artlets. The celebration will take place on the corner of Brawley and Farley Streets at two of the Artlet locations.

An opening ceremony will begin at 5:15pm with lots of activities and performances to follow. Join us for hands-on arts and crafts like painting, carving, planting and more. Live music and spoken word poetry along with refreshments will be enjoyed by all.

The Northside Artlets are outlets for art, and serve as public spaces for the creation of art. Designed and built to nurture social, cultural, and physical connections to place, embedding art in daily ritual to evoke community memory, tradition, and meaning. Conceived by the Northside Voyagers during the 2014 master planning process led by Art-Force, the Artlets were designed by Spartanburg Artist, Eli Blasko. The Northside Artlets were built by Blasko, four Apprentices receiving NCCER Certification through Spartanburg Community College, and Northside residents. The Northside Artlets provided workforce training, skills, and jobs for apprentices, renewed focus and access for cultural exchange in the Northside neighborhood, and provided direct collaboration with a professional artist.

Jennifer Evins, President and CEO hopes that “by providing a unique place with free daily access to the residents and visitors of the Northside, these Artlets will help to increase the vibrancy of the neighborhood and attract new residents and businesses to this developing community. The arts are known to make neighborhoods livable and express the unique culture of residents.” Northside has a long history of excellence in the visual and performing arts and is home to Spartanburg’s music legend Pink Anderson, Visual Artist and Educator Winston Wingo and many others.

The Artlets were made possible by a design grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the design, fabrication, and installation. The result is a resident-inspired cultural destination capturing and extending the history and unique identity of the Northside.

While the project is being led by Chapman Cultural Center, critical partners include Artlet Artist Eli Blasko, Project Director Janet Kagan with Art-Force, the Northside Neighborhood Association as well as contributions from:

Northside Development Group
The Northside Voyagers
Spartanburg Community College Corporate + Community Education
Spartanburg Housing Authority Youth Build Program
Leadership Spartanburg Alumni Association Led by Crystal Pace
Stephen M Poole Builders Inc
Northside Neighborhood Association
Eagle Metals Manufacturing
Duke Energy
Milliken
Creative Development LLC
Anonymous Donor
Dellfrio
Inman Mills
Bob Burnett’s Inc
Jethro Waters
Constance Jones
Contributions of time generously donated by residents

Chapman Cultural Center provides cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community and all of its citizens.

The Chapman Cultural Center is located in on East Saint John St in downtown Spartanburg, SC. Please visit (www.ChapmanCulturalCenter.org) for more information.

The Johnson Collection in Spartanburg, SC, Offers Lecture by Metropolitan Museum Curator, Sylvia Yount – Mar. 15, 2017

March 7, 2017

Before ascending to one of the most coveted curatorial jobs in New York, Sylvia Yount spent years working in the South, where she developed a deep appreciation for the region’s culture. As the keynote speaker for the fourth annual installment of Voices in American Art, Dr. Yount, who now serves as the first female curator of the Metropolitan Museum’s iconic American Wing, will deliver a lecture that connects her Southern experiences and her achievements as a pioneering female professional with a recurring theme in her scholarship: art created by women.

Her presentation, “A Region of Their Own: Southern Women Artists,” is the centerpiece of the popular yearly symposium sponsored by the Johnson Collection. Open to the public at no charge, the event will take place at Chapman Cultural Center on Mar. 15, 2017, at 7pm. No reservations or tickets are required.

Sylvia Yount became the Lawrence A. Fleischman Curator in Charge of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in September 2014. She is responsible for the administrative oversight of the Wing, with its ten curators and twenty-five other staff and volunteers. She also provides vision and leadership, while defining collecting, interpretation, and audience-engagement goals for the historic department of fine and decorative arts from the colonial period to the early-twentieth century. Before moving to the Met, she spent seven years as Chief Curator and the Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and six as the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art and department head at the High Museum of Art. She began her curatorial career at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, America’s oldest art school and museum, in 1993.

In addition to completing pivotal collection reinstallations at her former institutions, Yount has organized major exhibitions (with accompanying catalogues) on Cecilia Beaux, Maxfield Parrish, and American modernism, among other topics. She received a Ph.D. and a M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Italian from New York University. Yount has lectured and published widely on late nineteenth and twentieth century American art and culture as well as on issues of curatorial responsibility and current museum practice.

Created in support of the Johnson Collection’s mission to increase understanding of the dynamic role that art of the South plays in the larger context of our national history, Voices in American Art brings arts professionals from across the country to Spartanburg for annual symposiums that engage the cultural and college communities. Previous VIAA speakers include Jane Panetta, Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Jan Postma, Chief Financial Officer of the Museum of Modern Art; Elizabeth Pochoda, former editor of “The Magazine Antiques”; and Sarah Cash, Associate Curator of American and British paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Hailed by “The Magazine Antiques” with staging a “quiet art historical revolution” and expanding “the meaning of regional,” the Johnson Collection offers an extensive survey of artistic activity in the American South from the late eighteenth century to the present day. In May 2016, the Spartanburg-based collection received the Governor’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for the Arts, South Carolina’s highest honor in the field.

For more information, please visit (www.thejohnsoncollection.org).

Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, Announces Date for Spartanburg Soaring! 2017 – Apr. 22, 2017

February 28, 2017

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The Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, has set the date for its fourth annual Spartanburg Soaring! International Kite Festival for Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 11am-5pm. This free and family-friendly festival has quickly become a much-anticipated event for people of all ages from all over the world. Hundreds of kites fill the sky above Barnet Park in downtown Spartanburg, complemented by live music, food, and children’s activities. During the course of the day, individuals and kite club members float kites of every imaginable shape and size to the sky, from small kites to whale-size kites made from the latest technology and advanced materials. It is a colorful and creative experience.

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The Spartanburg community has embraced the kite as a symbol of its creative, progressive, and playful spirit. Last year, the event attracted more than 3,000 participants from as far away as Europe.

“Every year we grow the Festival in terms of creativity and attendance,” Jennifer Evins, President and CEO of Chapman Cultural Center, said. “It is part of our mission to increase community vibrancy and civic engagement. It is a beautiful showcase of what it means to live in Spartanburg. It is a symbol of our progressive mindset, our creativity, our curiosity, and our playful nature.”

Chapman Cultural Center is now accepting the participation of kite clubs, food vendors, artists, and musicians.

For more information about this event, please call 864/542-ARTS or visit our Facebook Event Page at (https://www.facebook.com/ChapmanCulturalCenter).

West Main Artists Co-Op in Spartanburg, SC, to Host Holiday Retail Blitz on ArtWalk – Dec. 15, 2016

December 12, 2016

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West Main Artists Co-Op in Spartanburg, SC, is currently hosting its annual “All Members Exhibition”, and from Thursday, Dec. 15 – 24, 2016, a selection of the locally produced artwork will be discounted for the organization non-profit’s Holiday Retail Blitz. The Co-Op will be open for ArtWalk 5-9pm with festive refreshments and the work of about 60 artists on display. In addition to major works of art, such as paintings and sculptures, there will be many smaller pieces, such as pottery, jewelry, prints, greeting cards, gift cards, and Christmas ornaments.

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“As a nonprofit organization that solely supports and promotes local artists, West Main Artists Co-Op provides an outlet for creativity, productivity, and availability,” member and potter Nancy Williamson said. “We are always open for ArtWalk each month, but this month we are mindful that people are looking for Christmas gifts. You won’t find a wider selection of original and local artwork anywhere else in Spartanburg. Nearly all of our members are participating. If you want to give local artwork to the ones you love, we will have something for everyone no matter your taste or budget.”

The “All Member Exhibition” will run through Jan. 19, 2017. However, ArtWalk is a citywide, free, and self-perpetuating event on the third Thursday each month when most local art galleries stay open late so that patrons can socialize and see the latest art on local display. Now through Christmas Eve, the Co-Op will be open Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday, 10am-4pm.

On Saturday, Dec. 17, in conjunction with Holiday Retail Blitz, members will demonstrate techniques they employ in making their work. Rosemary McLeod will demonstrate basic wire work for jewelry 10am-1pm Joan Wheatley will demonstrate how she makes miniature treehouses from 10am-noon and 2-4pm. Various ceramic artists will demonstrate a variety of techniques throughout the day.

For more information about the Co-Op and its activities, please call 864/804-6501 or visit (www.WestMainArtists.org).

Turtle Island Pottery will Hold a Trunk Show a the Advent Shoppe in Spartanburg, SC – Nov. 17, 2016

November 15, 2016

Turtle Island Pottery will hold a Trunk Show a the Advent Shoppe in Spartanburg, SC, Nov. 17, 2016, from noon-5pm.

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The Shoppe is located at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, 161 Advent Street in Spartanburg, SC. The church was founded in 1848 and is gorgeous. We will have a variety of the blue flower pattern functional work to one of a kind pieces. Come see us!

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Turtle Island Pottery, in Old Fort, NC, features handmade pottery by Maggie and Freeman Jones, who create one of a kind, functional, decorative stoneware items. From cups to umbrella stands, mirror frames and clocks. Sculptural and inspired by nature, many forms are reminiscent of antique pottery from the arts and crafts movement and art nouveau styles.

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View a map on how to get to the Advent Shoppe at this LINK.

For further info call 828/669-2713 or visit (www.Turtleislandpottery.com).

Jane Nodine Named 2016 Distinguished Art Advocate by South Carolina Art Education Association

October 28, 2016

The University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, SC, is pleased to announce that Jane Nodine, assistant chair of Fine Arts and Communication Studies, has been named a 2016 Distinguished Art Advocate by the South Carolina Art Education Association.

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Jane Nodine

Nodine, a professor of art and who also serves as the director of the Curtis R. Harley Gallery and the UPSTATE Gallery on Main, will receive the award Saturday, November 19 during the SCAEA’s annual meeting in Greenville. Prior to joining the faculty at USC Upstate, she owned and operated Jane Nodine Hardwear, a full-service jewelry design and manufacturing company. Nodine has worked in a variety of media throughout her career and exhibits widely in the United States and Europe.

SCAEA awards program recognizes excellence in individuals, programs and supporters of art education in South Carolina. Nominees for the Distinguished Art Advocate must demonstrate advocacy and leadership in advancing the cause of art education and work to support and improve art education.

For more information, contact Jane Nodine at 864/503- 5838 or e-mail to (jnodine@uscupstate.edu).

Spartanburg, SC, Unveils Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light – Oct. 4, 2016

September 30, 2016

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Award-winning light and digital media artist Erwin Redl will unveil nine public art installations in Spartanburg, SC, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, as a part of Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. For more than a year, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light has been building relationships between police officers and communities through a collaborative art-making process.

The installations will be illuminated in conjunction with National Night Out events across 10 city neighborhoods, starting with a celebration at 4:30pm at Mobile Suspension downtown in Denny’s Plaza, 203 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC. Composed of five curtains of semi-transparent acrylic panes – nearly 7,000 in total – Mobile Suspension is the result of Redl’s creative design and the collective efforts of residents and police officers who volunteered to assemble the large-scale installation. During the day, sunlight will shine through the mobile, casting colors onto the ground like stained glass. At night, LED lights provided by Hubbell Lighting Inc. in Greenville, SC, will illuminate the mobile from below.

The Oct. 4 event will feature music, food and comments from Spartanburg Mayor Junie White; Jennifer Evins, CEO of the Chapman Cultural Center; Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson and neighborhood residents, who will talk about the year-long effort to revitalize the city through art. The illumination of each installation will coincide with a neighborhood celebration at the site, ending with a grand finale at 8:30pm at Glow at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, 350 Howard St., Spartanburg. See below for a schedule of the Oct. 4 celebration.

“By bringing site-specific art into Spartanburg neighborhoods where residents may feel isolated from traditional cultural assets, this project is already fostering greater understanding of both the artistic process and the transformative impact of public art,” said Jennifer Evins, president and CEO of the Chapman Cultural Center. “We are eliminating barriers as residents become part of the artistic process and help translate ideas into works of art.”

In 2015, the City of Spartanburg was selected as one of four communities to participate in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a new program to support temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private partnerships, and drive economic development. The temporary art project, funded by $1 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies, with supplemental funding provided by regional institutions, corporations, foundations and private donors, is a partnership among Redl, the Chapman Cultural Center, the City of Spartanburg and civic leadership.

Redl, whose art installations have illuminated spaces worldwide, has been working with neighborhood residents and community leaders for more than a year to bring the project to life. The artist said each installation is tailored to its environment and that the scale, medium and design vary significantly, ranging from workshop-based video and smaller light installations to large-scale illuminations of two smokestacks.

“Different structures lead to different aesthetic explorations and community engagement possibilities,” Redl said. “Alternative structures lead to alternative results. Change is inevitable, and, through this process, we begin to see Spartanburg in a new light.”

Mayor White said the efforts of Redl and all of those across the community to bring Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light to life are already bearing fruit.

“The night of Oct. 4 is going to be a great night in the history of our community,” said Spartanburg Mayor Junie White. “Something special is happening in Spartanburg right now. Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light is symbolic of what is happening here, and I can’t wait to see the lights come on for everyone.”

Below is a description of the installations and the schedule of the Oct. 4 events:

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Mobile Suspension, Downtown Spartanburg, Denny’s Plaza, 203 E. Main St. – Lights On – 4:30-6pm, Oct. 4.

Five multicolored mobile curtains float above the center lawn of Denny’s Plaza, located in the heart of Spartanburg’s Downtown Cultural District. Each curtain is 51 feet long and 12 feet high and consists of a woven pattern of translucent acrylic 4-inch by 4-inch squares. The installation was designed to create a dazzling visual experience that changes depending on the time of day, the viewer’s position, and weather conditions. The five shimmering curtains are made of multicolored acrylic squares installed in specific patterns designed by the artist. Community volunteers assembled the curtains over a one-month period using specially designed clips. The rectangular shape of the site gave Redl an opportunity to play with subtle variations within a grid. The artist is interested in creating unique visceral sensations for viewers, and Mobile Suspension offers a kaleidoscopic experience that is fresh with each new encounter.

River Poetry, Andrews Farm and Converse Heights, Cottonwood Trail, 1038 Woodburn Road – Lights On – 5:45pm.

Here, artist Erwin Redl provides an opportunity for visitors to contemplate the role of technology in our lives within a nature preserve. Located between Converse Heights and Andrews Farm neighborhoods, the Cottonwood Trail is a 116-acre urban greenspace with 4 1/2 miles of trails, and is owned and maintained by the Spartanburg Area Conservancy, a membership-based nonprofit organization. By juxtaposing LED displays similar to those used by restaurants and gas stations against the solitude of a meandering creek, the artist creates a tangible demonstration that nature and digital technology can coexist. The project presents local poetry displayed on twelve double-sided LED signs suspended above the Cottonwood Trail. Visitors can read the lines of poetry overhead as they walk along Lawson’s Fork Creek. The layered poetry dimension allows for the community to provide their thoughts, observations, and feelings about nature within this dynamic human/nature system created by the artist. The Hub City Writers Project will curate an ongoing series of poems for River Poetry through March 2017.

Under One Roof, South Converse, Picnic Shelter, 440 S. Converse St. – Lights On – 6:10pm.

This park has special meaning to South Converse residents as a sign of local pride and a link to the past. The local neighborhood association fought hard to get this park funded and completed. Touched by the story of the park’s origin, and inspired by the evident pride in the place, Redl decided to use this picnic shelter to demonstrate the transformative power of turning something ordinary into something extraordinary. Residents have attended workshops to learn how to install and program the LED lighting for the shelter. Redl hopes local residents will want to create special light programs for dances, poetry slams, cookouts, or other events in and around the shelter. By using a simple picnic shelter as the basic structure within which many things can happen, and by involving the local community, Redl has tangibly illustrated that we are all indeed together under one roof.

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Islands of Light, Maxwell Hills, Duncan Park Lake, 293 West Park Drive – Lights On – 6:30pm.

Redl explores the fertile intersection of art, nature and technology with this installation of eight floating islands recalling the image of cattails or reeds swaying with the breeze in an aquatic environment. The scale of the site was particularly interesting to the artist, as it allowed for interactions among water, wind, and sky in addition to light and reflection. The logistical challenges of the project were first taken on by students from Daniel Morgan Technology Center. After meeting with the artist and an engineer, these young technicians created a working prototype, which became the blueprint for the finished islands. A local dock builder was engaged to install these light-topped atolls. The local waterfowl have officially adopted these islands of light.

Benchmark Spartanburg, Forest Park, CC Woodson Recreation Center, 210 Bomar Avenue – Lights On – 6:55pm.

Benches are for sitting, yes, but they can also be a site for romance, business deals, creative pastimes or great conversations. Redl has created a chromatically pulsating bench that he hopes will invite community gatherings, poetry readings and other events that make use of the mesmerizing patterns and shifting color palette. The multiple RGB LED side-lit acrylic panels that make up the bench create an almost cinematic experience, saturating the surrounding environment with gradually morphing gradations of color.

Spartanburg Swing, Hampton Heights, National Beta Headquarters, 267 S. Spring St. – Lights On – 7:15pm.

Twenty-six four-foot-long pendulums are evenly distributed across the glass facade of the National Beta Headquarters building. Their slow one-second pulse animates the surface of the concrete and glass structure. Mixing the simple physics of a pendulum with the off-the-shelf electronics of a small fan and flashlight LED, Spartanburg Swing creates a complex choreography. This kinetic work is controlled by small microprocessors that turn the fans and the lights on and off in intervals programmed by the artist. The pulsing movement is created entirely by intermittent fan bursts and the constant tug of gravity.

The site is the international headquarters of National Beta, whose purpose is “to promote the ideals of academic achievement, character, leadership, and service among elementary and secondary school students.” Headquartered in Spartanburg, the organization has more than 8,750 clubs nationally and internationally. The Hampton Heights neighborhood, comprised of homes built between the 1880s and the 1920s, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Video Village, Highland Neighborhood, Cammie Clagget Apartments, 317 Highland Avenue – Lights On – 7:35pm.

The artist decided he wanted to turn these empty buildings in the Cammie Clagget apartment complex inside out, transforming the now-vacant units into lanterns that face outward to tell their stories and cast their light into the surrounding community. The artist is interested in reanimating these empty spaces as a way to draw our attention to the question of impermanence and what might be possible for the future. Playing with the dual meaning of the word projection, Redl created a 52-channel video screen and directed White Elephant Enterprises and the Spartanburg Art Museum to curate the content for the installation. The selected videos feature a variety of topics but focus on stories of and about the residents of this historic neighborhood. The curators established a media production studio within the nearby Bethlehem Center to facilitate interviews with residents and to collect vintage home-movie footage and digitize family photographs from the community. The artist hopes to jump-start enthusiasm within the community for making videos of all kinds and sharing them in the public square.

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Glow, Beaumont Village and Northside, Beaumont smokestack, 400 Beaumont Avenue – Lights On – 8:05pm.

Northside smokestack, 350 Howard St. – Lights On and grand finale celebration – 8:30pm.

Both of the mill properties owned by Spartan Mills today serve new purposes, one as the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and the other as the administrative offices of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. Originally constructed by master builder Thomas Badgett, these two colossal smokestack structures were built in the late nineteenth century out of locally made brick. Edifices such as these, in the heart of mill villages, have historical relevance and serve as symbols of adaptation and change.

Redl has chosen to treat the smokestacks as two synchronized, large-scale canvases for high-powered multicolored lights that bathe the surface of the worn bricks. For the artist, these artworks offer a new way of seeing old structures.

Born in Austria in 1963, Erwin Redl finished his studies at the Vienna Music Academy with two degrees, a BA in Composition (1990) and BA in Electronic Music (1991). He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for graduate studies in computer art at the School of Visual Arts, in New York City (MFA 1995). Redl investigates the process of “reverse engineering” by (re-)translating the abstract aesthetic language of virtual reality and 3D computer modeling into architectural environments by means of large-scale light installations.

For the 2002 Whitney Biennial, the artist covered the Whitney Museum’s facade with three multicolor LED veils. In 2008 he created a sound and light installation in the Austrian Pavilion at the World Expo in Zaragoza, Spain. The Pacific Design Center’s new Red Building by Cesar Pelli features four permanent installations by the artist, completed in 2013. Redl’s largest work to date is a computer-controlled, 580-foot-long-LED-installation at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, completed in 2010.

Redl’s work is owned by prestigious national and international institutions, among them the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Milwaukee Art Museum; and Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul; as well as by private collectors.

The mission of the Chapman Cultural Center is to provide cultural leadership for Greater Spartanburg by developing, strengthening, and promoting the scope, excellence and educational role of the arts, humanities, and sciences, and to further their significance in the life of our community and all of its citizens. Founded in 1968 with a current budget of $2.1 million, the Chapman Cultural Center is the oldest and largest countywide arts agency in the state of South Carolina and is serving as the lead Arts Agency and Project Manager for Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light.

The City of Spartanburg was selected in 2015 as one of four temporary public art projects from across the United States to receive a grant award from the first-ever Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. Other winning cities are Gary, IN, Spartanburg, SC, and Los Angeles, CA.  Full information on all projects can be found at publicartchallenge.bloomberg.org.

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.

For more information, please visit (bloomberg.org) or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Hub City Empty Bowls Soup Day Slated for Oct. 15, 2016, in Spartanburg, SC

September 30, 2016

Hub City Empty Bowls’s annual Soup Day – a grassroots fundraiser to help feed local hungry people – will be Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, from 11am-4pm at Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC. The public is invited to select handmade pottery bowls and enjoy a wide selection of gourmet soups in exchange for $15 donations. All proceeds go towards feeding the hungry at TOTAL Ministries, a local non-profit, faith-based agency that helps citizens who are facing financial crisis.

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Last year, Hub City Empty Bowls donated $26,000 to TOTAL Ministries. Carolina Clay Artists has spearheaded Hub City Empty Bowls since its inception in 2009. Since then, this group of potters has raised tens of thousands of dollars to help feed people in Spartanburg County.

For the past several months at Spartanburg Art Museum’s pottery studio and West Main Artists Co-Op, the general public has been making clay pottery bowls in preparation for Soup Day. Average citizens, as well as trained potters, have made hundreds of bowls at free bowl-making events. Those bowls have been glazed and fired by volunteers and will be displayed in Spartanburg Art Museum at Chapman on Soup Day. The display of hundreds of colorful bowls is an impressive sight. Patrons can select the bowls of their liking in an exchange for $15 donations. Afterward, the patrons may enjoy a simple meal of soup, bread, and tea while enjoying live music and fellowship.

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“As much fun is generated during Soup Day, we always want to keep in mind the real reason why we do this,” Bruce Bowyer, Chairman of the event said.

“Latest statistics say that about 15 percent of the people in Spartanburg are what professionals call ‘food insecure.’ Food Insecurity causes 43,000 Spartanburg County residents to struggle with putting food on the table or keeping a roof over a families head. TOTAL Ministries can help relieve the stress of these families by making sure they can put food on the table. The Carolina Clay Artists and all of the many people who help with Empty Bowls do it because we want to make sure everyone has enough food to eat. It really is just that simple.”

“The need in Spartanburg is dire,” Traci Kennedy, Executive Director of TOTAL Ministries, said. “If it weren’t for Hub City Empty Bowls, I don’t know what we do. Carolina Clay Artists is a Godsend. We literally have people lined up outside our door needing food. Our resources are limited, and I hate to admit that we cannot meet the entire need of the community. But thanks to Empty Bowls a lot more people are able to get much needed food. If you’ve never been in the situation of not knowing how you will feed your children, you’ll never fully understand how important Empty Bowls is.”

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TOTAL Ministries has become an official organizing partner with Carolina Clay Artists in the annual Hub City Empty Bowls project and the recipient of the proceeds. In past years, the proceeds were donated to various hunger-related agencies.

The soup – donated by local restaurants – will be served in Chapman’s theater lobby, where the music will also be performed. More than two dozen restaurants or food providers have been recruited to donate at least five gallons of soup. Those restaurants are Andre Nguyen, Basil’s Grille, Country Club of Spartanburg, Cribb’s Catering, Cribb’s Kitchen On Main, FATZ Café, Garner’s Cafe, Gerhards Cafe, Hub City Co-Op, Lime Leaf, Lowes, McClellan’s Urban Eatery, Mon Amie Morning Cafe, Moveable Feasts, Nu-Way Restaurant & Lounge, Palmetto Palate, Renato In Centro, Skillet Restaurant, Southern BBQ, Sparks, Sun King Chinese Restaurant, II Samuels Restaurant, Wild Ace’s, and Willy Taco. Donors of bread, tea, and supplies include The Beacon Drive In, Cakehead Bakery, Little River Roasting Co., Long Horn’s, Wade’s Southern Cooking, and Chick-fil-a.

During Soup Day, there will also a silent auction and live music. Collectors take note: the silent auction will feature finely crafted ceramics created by local and regional artists. The musicians donating their talents are Daniel Z, Fayssoux & Brandon, Rick Praytor, Frank Walker, and Mark Miller & Friends. Public drum circles, led by Melisa Emkjer, will be held in the plaza noon-1pm and 2-3pm.

“We are getting down to the wire on this year’s Hub City Empty Bowls’s project,” Bowyer said. “We’ve got the bowls, we’ve got the soup, now we need the people to come and get them.”

The event’s sponsors are Carolina Clay Artists, Spartanburg Art Museum, West Main Artists Co-op, Chapman Cultural Center, Chris Williams, Action Printing, The Healing Arts Fund at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Milliken, Fairway Outdoor, The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, and Wheresville Productions. This program is supported in part by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, its donors, the County and City of Spartanburg, and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina. Proceeds from this event will be directed to the Hub City Empty Bowls Project Fund, a component fund of The Spartanburg County Foundation established to increase awareness about the issues of hunger and food security, and to raise funds to help local organizations fight hunger. This year’s beneficiary organization is TOTAL Ministries.

For more information about Bowls Soup Day, please visit (www.HubCityEmptyBowls.com) or call 864/706-3739.