Past Comments

April Issue 2009
by Tom Starland

Corrie McCallum Is Now Dead

That sounds harsh, but it was kind of an inside joke between me, Corrie and her late husband William Halsey. I said the same about him almost a decade ago, and I wouldn't treat her passing with any less respect.

Unfortunately, they both lived longer than most people expect. That can be a problem when every time someone mentions your name someone else always says, "I thought they were dead!"

When I first met William - a million years ago, I told him it was interesting to meet him since I thought he was dead - everyone seemed to talk about him in the past-tense. At the time he was still a very active artist, he and Corrie were painting everyday. He laughed and remarked that he had lived too long. Most folks want to talk about the young and upcoming artists - not us old folks. What a shame.

I've been lucky to know some of Charleston's older artists - of course Corrie and William and Willard Hirsch, among others. They were a golden resource of information about what it's like to be an artist and the history of the visual arts in Charleston, SC, and beyond. Corrie turned Jasper Johns on to printmaking. Everyone starts somewhere before they get big - even JJ.

Corrie McCallum's passing marks the end of an era in Charleston's visual art community. I haven't talked with her in a while, but I miss her and William. But, we have their art to remember them by and there is a certain color of blue which every time Linda or I see it we say - Corrie blue.

Of the two artists she traveled the toughest road. In her time, being a woman, besides dealing with the trials and tribulations of being an artist, she also was wife, mother and housekeeper for the Halsey clan. She probably managed the money too - like in our household. It's hard to be creative everyday when you're keeping up with all that, but she found her way and even found time to take a world trip on her own.

I hope that some of our local art museums around SC find a way to pay tribute to her in the future. She deserves it. She was a real pioneer. She lived to be 94.

You Can't Find Real Seagrove Pottery Anywhere Else But In The Seagrove, NC, Area

Well, you can in galleries and museums all over the US and beyond, but I'm talking about the Seagrove experience - the center of pottery in the US.

There are some foolish people who think of the Seagrove name as a brand that you can transport anywhere you feel like it. Not so. You can't really have a festival of Seagrove pottery anywhere else but in Seagrove. It would be like having a Spoleto Festival right here in Bonneau, SC. Peanut Festival maybe, but not Spoleto.

Well, lucky thing for you, there is a great opportunity coming this month where you can get some of that Seagrove pottery experience. On Page 8 you'll find an article about the latest events to be offered there. Go to Seagrove - you'll be glad you did.

Shrinking Arts Coverage

Most of you may have heard already as the word spreads by the arts grapevine, but the McClatchy newspaper company, which owns a lot of newspapers in the Carolinas is cutting jobs and cutting people's jobs who cover the arts. This is not good.

It's like saying the one thing they know they're readers don't care about is coverage of the arts. We need to let them know that's not true, by canceling your subscription if your paper is one of these papers - The State in Columbia, SC, the Charlotte Observer in Charlotte, SC, the Sun News in Myrtle Beach, SC, the Island Packet in Hilton Head, SC, and others. We need to get their attention.

One thing is for sure, where arts writers are cut - cuts in arts coverage is not far behind. And do you want the same people who write about sports and crime writing articles about the arts? Do you?

All these newspaper are still chasing the 30 and under crowd, which I don't think read newspapers anymore - if they ever did. Advertisers think that's where their market is, but we need to let them know different and turn this stupid idea around.


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