Posts Tagged ‘Florence SC’

Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, Calls for Entries for 2017 Art Competition – Deadline Nov. 25, 2016

October 27, 2016


The Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, began accepting artists’ submissions for the “2017 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.

Artists wishing to enter the competition may register online using the submittal forms at ( Each artist may obtain a competition schedule and prospectus at (, or by visiting the Florence County Museum at 111 West Cheves Street, Florence, SC.

The competition juror this year will be Marvel and DC comics illustrator, Sanford Greene. A first place cash prize of $1000 will be awarded by corporate exhibit sponsor Chic-fil-A, during the exhibition’s opening reception, Thursday evening, Jan. 26, 2017. Both the exhibit and reception will be held at the Florence County Museum Waters Gallery, 135, South Dargan Street.

The “Pee Dee Regional” has been presented annually by the Florence Museum Board of Trustees since 1954, and is the longest running art competition in the state of South Carolina.

Artists may submit up to four entries during online registration at a fee of $13.00 per entry. Current museum members are eligible to submit two entries without charge.

The deadline for entry is Nov. 25, 2016.

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

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

August 28, 2016


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.


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 ( or call 843/206-8116.


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.

Organizers of the Florence Fashion Week in Florence, SC, are Calling for Entries – Deadline Feb. 27, 2016

February 17, 2016

Artists – we want to pair you with a local clothing boutique to create artwork inspired by select garments from their store. Minimum size 16×24. Your work will be displayed during Florence Fashion Week, April 14-17, 2016. $25 per piece.

Designers – seeking artist to design articles of clothing or accessories from recycled materials of your choice. The creation must be 3D and easily transportable as it will be displayed venue to venue during Florence Fashion Week, April 14-17, 2016. Each piece may sit table-top OR stand up to 5½ feet from the floor. $25.00 per creation.

Illustrators – seeking illustrators to perform “live” drawings/sketches of Guests (and their attire) attending the Art & Fashion Opening Reception at the Florence County Museum on April 14, 2016.  Archival paper, Velvet Fine Art Paper, or similar quality 8.5×11” paper are suggested for use. A small sitting fee may be accessed OR opt for $75.00 payment from the organizers.

Vendors – Consider the Art & Fashion Opening Reception at the Florence County Museum on April 14, 2016 from which to showcase your work! Our low-cost merchant rate is $75.00 and includes a 6ft table with black linen. Only 3 spaces available. Deadline to confirm is February 27.

ALL participants will recognized during the events as well as in our Program Book and on Social Media. All payments will be issued at the conclusion of Fashion Week unless otherwise discussed.

For further info contact Felicia Orr by calling 843/992-0152 or e-mail at (

Florence County Library in Florence, SC, Features Works by Patz Fowle and Mike Fowle – Jan. 10 – Feb. 29, 2016

January 7, 2016

The Florence County Library in Florence, SC, will present “Then and Now: Selected Works from South Carolina Artists Patz Fowle and Mike Fowle,” featuring ceramic and mixed media sculptures by Patz Fowle, found metal assemblage by Mike Fowle, and award-winning, installation art that the two have collaborated on. The exhibit will be in the Dr. N. Lee Morris Gallery, from Jan. 10 through Feb. 29, 2016. Patz and Mike will appear at the gallery to introduce the exhibit and talk about their work in a free public presentation on Sunday, Jan. 10 from 3-4pm.

Work by Patz Fowle

The Fowle’s most notable collaboration to date is a 23-foot tall, kinetic, metal sculpture titled, “Big Bleu Birdnanna” located in the heart of the Cultural Arts Corridor adjacent to the Florence County Museum in downtown Florence, SC.

The Fowle’s artist statement asserts that, “Creating art is a wondrous journey from the conception of a juicy idea to the final aesthetics; it’s what propels our spirits as creative beings!”

Work by Mike Fowle

Their most recent awards include People’s Choice for 3D at the 2015 ArtFields© Competition/Exhibition and First Place for sculpture at the 2015 South Carolina State Fair (Professional Division).

In addition to being professional artists, Patz and Mike serve the local visual arts community as Teaching Artists through the South Carolina Arts Commission. Patz Fowle is Visual Arts Coordinator at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, a presenting member of the National Art Education Association, and an international artist in residence.

The exhibit and artist presentation are sponsored by Friends of Florence County Library. The Morris Gallery is located on the second floor of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation Library in Florence and is open seven days a week.

For more information about the exhibit and artist presentation, please visit ( or call 843/413-7070.

Florence Regional Arts Alliance in Florence, SC, Calls for Entries From NC and SC Artists for “Small Works 2015” – Deadline Oct. 9, 2015

September 11, 2015


Entering its second year, “Small Works 2015″ is a juried visual arts competition featuring a compilation of 40 small pieces selected from a wide range of media and artists. The show aims to provide a place for the emerging artist to place alongside the professional artist. In a small works competition, finished pieces may be no larger than 12” x 12” including the frame. The size constraints provide an exhibit that is more intimate in nature and also a venue for a young art collector to begin acquiring smaller more affordable pieces.

All artists 18 and older living in South or North Carolina may submit work for this show. Entries are submitted online at ( Only original work, not previously shown with the Florence Regional Arts Alliance or with the Greater Lake City Artist Guild within the last two years are eligible. These 2-D works may be in any medium including photography. Artists may submit up to four entries at $15 per entry. Three cash prizes will be awarded: First Place $500, Second Place $250, Third Pace $100 and Honorable Mention.

The competition will be juried by Edward Puchner. He is Curator of Exhibitions for the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. A dedicated scholar and arts advocate, prior to joining the staff at USC, Puchner worked at a variety of museums, galleries and cultural non-profits, including the National Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Indiana University Art Museum and the Clark Art Institute, earning a doctorate in Art History from Indiana University in 2012. He also served as gallery manager at Luise Ross Gallery, a significant New York gallery of modern and contemporary art. Puchner has published articles and reviews for “Raw Vision” magazine and his article “‘Winning the Peace’ over Mr. Prejudice: Horace Pippin, the Social Gospel, and the Double V” was recently published in connection with the exhibition, “Horace Pippin: The Way I See It” at the Brandywine River Museum of Art.

Last year, the competition was hosted in the Art Trail Gallery and winners included Paolo Gualdi (first), Allison Triplett (second), Doug Gary (third) and Colleen Critcher (honorable mention). This year the exhibition will be hosted by the Greater Lake City Artist Guild within the Art Fields® Office at 110 East Main Street in Lake City, SC, from Nov. 3 – 28, 2015. This year, prizes will be awarded at a reception on Nov. 3, from 5:30-7:30pm.

The deadline for entries is Oct. 9, 2015, by 6pm.

The show and competition is underwritten in its entirety by a generous  gift from International Knife and Saw, Inc. International Knife and Saw (IKS) is a manufacturer of high quality industrial machine knives and accessories. Their continued investment in the Arts encourages and supports the quality of life and economic growth within Florence County.

The Florence Regional Arts Alliance is pleased to see the competition traveling throughout the county it aims to serve.

For more information or to enter please visit ( or call the Arts Alliance at 843/407-3092.

FMU’s Arts International Features Blue Dogs, for Pee Dee’s Spring Tradition in Florence, SC – Apr. 11, 2015

March 31, 2015


The longstanding festival, Arts International, one of the Pee Dee’s great spring traditions, will bring its regular mix of art, music and food to its new location, FMU’s Performing Arts Center, on Apr. 11, 2015. The 38-year-old festival has been held in previous year on FMU’s campus.

The festival runs from noon to 6pm. There is no admission charge and all the entertainment is free and open to the public. There is a charge for food and craft items that are on sale.

The premier event at this year’s festival will be a 2pm performance by the Blue Dogs in the PAC’s amphitheatre. The “Dogs” are an earthy, Southern rock band from South Carolina, and a well-known favorite of Pee Dee music fans. FMU’s Music Industry Ensemble and the Celtic rock band Stirling Bridge are also slated to perform in the PAC amphitheatre.

The Blue Dogs

The FMU String Ensemble, Vocal Edition, pianist Paolo Gualdi, violinist Terris Roberts and pianist Sumire Worman are all scheduled to perform in the PAC Black Box.

Other scheduled acts include the Jabali African Acrobats, the Chief Kamu Fire and Hula Show and the Chinese Acrobats. They will offer festivalgoers a unique perspective on arts from around the world on the festival’s International Stage. A variety of strolling musicians and performers will patrol the festival area, providing impromptu entertainment throughout the day.

Other events will include Florence-Darlington Technical College’s famous welding sculpture competition. The competition will feature teams of experienced craftsmen who will create breathtaking pieces of art on the fly, using a pile of scrap material brought in for the occasion.

Also on tap: an arts and crafts fair featuring the work of local and regional artisans, children’s activities, art displays in the Florence County Museum and Waters Building Annex, and an international food court.

The City of Florence is joining FMU as a major festival participant for this year’s events. Other sponsors include FDTC; St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is providing space for festival parking and events; Honda of SC; Nan Ya Plastics; Florence County; Pepsi Cola of Florence; and the Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The festival is the union of two former festivals, Art’s Alive and the Pee Dee International Festival. Its roots date back to 1977.

For more information on this year’s Arts International festival, go to (

Florence Regional Arts Alliance in Florence, SC, Calls for Entries for “Once a Part Now Art” – Deadline – May 2, 2015

March 30, 2015


Smart Phone Repair in collaboration with the Florence Regional Arts Alliance announces an art contest in which artists are called to find new and creative purposes for discarded phone or tablet parts. Interested artists must register for this project by either stopping by the store located at 190 West Evans Street or by calling Smart Phone Repair at 843/536-0239.


On Thursday, Apr. 9, 2015, at 6:15pm Smart Phone Repair will host an artist gathering at which artists will receive materials to use in their creations as well as an overview of the contest. Artist must be 18 or older to participate and the submission deadline is May 2 by 6pm.

Prizes will be awarded with first place being an iPad Air. Smart Phone Repair customers will also have the opportunity to participate by voting on their favorite creation from May 4 – May 21. A People’s Choice Award will be presented as well.

Completed artwork becomes the property of Smart Phone Repair and will be placed on exhibit within the store.

The Florence Regional Arts Alliance is pleased to partner with this downtown business in this innovative contest celebrating sustainability and the visual arts.

An Awards and Artist reception for “Once a Part Now Art”  will take place on Thursday, May 21 at 6:30pm at Smart Phone Repair celebrating this upcycled exhibition of repurposed materials.

Inquiries may be directed to Smart Phone Repair at 843/536-0239 or stopping by the store during normal business hours.

Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, Will Celebrate the Birthday of William H. Johnson on March 15, 2015

March 9, 2015


The Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, will celebrate the birthday of noted artist and Florence native, William H. Johnson on Sunday, Mar. 15, 2015. The celebration will begin at 3pm with a lecture at 3:30pm by museum curator, Stephen W. Motte on the subject of Johnson’s 1930 and 1944 return visits to Florence. The lecture will be followed by a reception with refreshments. This birthday celebration is free to the public. The public is invited to attend and inspect the artist’s work on exhibit.

Photo of “Self Portrait” painted in 1929. This work is one of many on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of “William H. Johnson: New Beginnings”.

“William H. Johnson: New Beginnings” consists of nineteen works by the artist selected from the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Florence Museum Board of Trustees, the Johnson Collection, and a private collector in Denmark. This exhibit will be on display until Oct. 5, 2015.

By almost any standard, William Henry Johnson (1901–1970) can be considered a major American artist. He produced hundreds of works in a virtuosic, eclectic career that spanned several decades as well as several continents. It was not until very recently, however, that his work began to receive the attention it deserves.

Born in Florence to a poor African-American family, Johnson moved to New York at age seventeen. Working a variety of jobs, he saved enough money to pay for an art education at the prestigious National Academy of Design. His mastery of the academy’s rigorous standards gained him both numerous awards and the respect of his teachers and fellow students.

Johnson spent the late 1920s in France, absorbing the lessons of modernism. As a result, his work became more expressive and emotional. During this same period, he met and fell in love with Danish artist Holcha Krake, whom he married in 1930. The couple spent most of the ’30s in Scandinavia, where Johnson’s interest in primitivism art began to have a noticeable impact on his work.

Returning with Holcha to the US in 1938, Johnson immersed himself in the traditions of Afro-America, producing work characterized by its stunning, eloquent, folk art simplicity. A Greenwich Village resident, he became a familiar, if somewhat aloof, figure on the New York art scene. He was also a well-established part of the African-American artistic community at a time when most black artists were still riding the crest of the Harlem Renaissance.

Although Johnson enjoyed a certain degree of success as an artist in this country and abroad, financial security remained elusive. Following his wife’s death in 1944, Johnson’s physical and mental health declined dramatically. In a tragic and drawn-out conclusion to a life of immense creativity, Johnson spent his last twenty-three years in a state hospital on Long Island. By the time of his death in 1970, he had slipped into obscurity. After his death, his entire life’s work was almost disposed of to save storage fees, but it was rescued by friends at the last moment. Over a thousand paintings by Johnson are now part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Florence County Museum is located at 111 West Cheves Street, in the new arts district of Florence.

For more information please contact: Stephen W. Motte, Curator of Collection and Interpretations, Florence County Museum by calling 843/676-1200 ext. 58202

Arts International Festival in Florence, SC, is Calling for Artists to Participate

February 28, 2015

Attention!! The Arts International Festival is coming to the downtown Florence, SC, on Saturday, Apr. 11, 2015. They are seeking artisans to participate. I have uploaded their full PDF file and vendor application to the FILES link at the top of the Facebook Art Trail Gallery Group page. The business page does not have that capability so I have posted the Arts International files to the Art Trail Gallery page “Call for Artists” at (

NOTE: They are waving the $50 vendor fee.

Florence County Museum in Florence, SC, Announces Winners of “2015 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” Sponsored by Chick-fil-A

January 21, 2015


On Jan. 15, 2015, the Florence County Museum hosted the opening reception for the “2015 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” at the museum’s newly opened adjunct gallery, The Waters Gallery located at 135 South Dargan Street in historic downtown Florence, SC.

“The Engagement” by Colleen Critcher

“Sirens I” by Jim Boden

“The Genesis of Jihad” by Cat Taylor

First place in this year’s competition was awarded to Colleen Critcher of Florence for her painting “The Engagement”. The other award winners include second-place oil painting by Hartsville, SC, resident Jim Boden titled “Sirens I” and third place, “The Genesis of Jihad” by Longs, SC, artist, Cat Taylor. The honorable mention was awarded to an acrylic collage on canvas titled, “December” by Yvette Cummings of Conway, SC. Each year attendees at the exhibit’s opening reception vote for the People’s Choice Award. This year’s award was won by “Freely Bound”, an oil painting by Amy Smit of Florence.

“December” by  Yvette Cummings

“Freely Bound” by Amy Smit

The exhibit this year is composed of 38 works of art selected from 170 submissions by 77 artists representing northeastern South Carolina. This year’s exhibit is comprised from a balanced variety of paintings, mixed media, drawings, photography and three dimensional works. The juror was Lese Corrigan, artist/owner of Corrigan Gallery LLC in Charleston, SC.

The presentation of awards was made by Blake Pate of competition sponsor, Chick-fil-A. “Chick-fil-A has partnered with the Florence Museum since 2000 to underwrite this art competition,” said Andrew Stout, the museum’s director, “and have also been exhibit sponsors for several solo art exhibitions here. They have shown a real commitment and support of our arts, history and culture in the Pee Dee.”

This year’s “Pee Dee Regional Art Competition” will remain on display until Mar. 29, 2015. The exhibit can be viewed at the Florence County Museum Waters Gallery, 135 South Dargan Street, Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm.

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