May Issue 2010
by Tom Starland
No one knows better than Linda and I that mistakes happen when you are putting many pages of text and ads together to make a newspaper every month. You try your best to find them before you go to print, but as much as you try to find them - they seem to pop out - after the pages are printed.
It happened again last month, but this time is wasn't us, but it made us feel just as bad. We really hate mistakes.
The folks at Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove, NC, who put the ad together for their "Cousins In Clay" event - taking place on June 5 & 6, 2010 - NOT June 6 & 7 - the dates from last year's event, fell victim to the old copying something old for something new practice. They were using a flyer from last year as a guide for creating their ad and it happened - the old dates stayed in the new ad and no one caught it - until it was too late. This happens more than you know, but someone usually catches it.
You can see their new, corrected ad in this issue on Page 17 and an article about the event with the right dates on Page 17. (Click link on front page of website.)
Spoleto Time in Charleston
And, the annual question raised by some who remember when the Spoleto Festival USA was a comprehensive arts festival which included visual art offerings - what is Spoleto offering this year for visual art - if anything? And, the answer is - nothing on their own.
Spoleto has "partnered" with the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, in their new digs at The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts - letting them offer visual arts for the Festival.
The Gibbes is offering JoAnn Verburg: Interruptions, which features recent portraits and large single and multi-panel architectural prints made in Spoleto, Italy, on view from May 28 - Aug. 22; and the Halsey Institute is offering the exhibit Call and Response: African to America/The Art of Nick Cave and Phyllis Galembo, on view from May 27 - July 16. Both exhibits may be wonderful but are no comparison to the glory days of visual arts at Spoleto in Charleston - so long ago now that it's hardly worth mentioning. So I won't.
But, I will toss this out. When will one of these two institutions offer an exhibit of works by William Struhs, the official Spoleto Festival USA photographer - since its beginning? Now, that would be an exhibit - he's seen it all and captured most of it. We've just never seen it.
These days, visitors to the twin festivals - Spoleto and Piccolo - get their visual art fix from the Piccolo Spoleto Festival visual art offerings, the special efforts of Charleston's regular visual art community and the fringe - shows that seem to pop up out of nowhere - without much advance notice. That's why I can't mention most of them here - details are still being ironed out - so they say.
But we do know about some of the major Piccolo
offerings which take place on an annual basis and are highly popular
with visitors to the festivals.
First, there is the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit which takes place at Marion Square Park, in the heart of downtown Charleston, and features tents filled with art and artists - over 100 from throughout South Carolina. Just right down the street in Wragg Square is the Piccolo Spoleto Crafts Fair which takes place two weekends during the festival - featuring over 130 American craft artists from throughout the US. Both events have ads in this issue filled with lots of details.
But, before the Spoleto and Piccolo Festivals begin in Charleston - there is the French Quarter Gallery Association ART WALK which takes place in downtown Charleston from 5-8pm on May 7, 2010 - the largest and most concentrated art walk in the Carolinas.
The North Charleston Arts Festival will be ongoing through May 8, 2010, throughout SC's third largest city with a Grand Finale taking place at the Riverfront Park, located on the Cooper River at the former Naval Base. At 9pm a fireworks display will take place over the Cooper River by Zambelli Fireworks.
Up in Summerville, SC, just up I-26 from Charleston and North Charleston, art lovers will be treated to the 12th Annual Sculpture in the South Show and Sale on May 15 & 16, 2010. This upscale event puts you up-close-and-personal with over thirty-five world-class sculptors in Summerville's Azalea Park. (See our cover and an article on Page 16). (Click link on front page of website.)
There's so much to do - so much to see and I hope to see at least a slice of some of it all myself.
Last year was the last official color cover for Carolina Arts - ours and many advertisers survival reaction to the collapsing economy - except for the color cover we had last October. Except for the color cover our paper this month is the same size this year as it was in 2009 - 28 pages, but in 2008 it was 40 pages and in 2007 - 44 pages. It just goes to show how different things are now, but we're not complaining. I feel lucky to be here at all - a feeling I'm sure that is shared by most in the Carolina art community.
It seems that failure has been just around the corner for a long time now, but... there are signs of things getting better. Not much better, but better. We have a long way to go for it to be good again, but perhaps we're at least on the long ride back up and not going down anymore. At least I hope that's the case.
While the size of the printed paper has gone down, our presence on the Internet has grown in leaps and bounds. In the next few months our website, Carolina Arts Online (www.carolinaarts.com) will pass the 20,000 mark of - articles, photos, graphics in the archives. That's a lot of history about the Carolina visual art community.
My blog Carolina Arts Unleashed (www.carolinaarts.com/wordpress/) has become a timely venue for not only commentary, but a lot of information which comes to us between issues of the paper and a few things that just didn't make the deadline. In fact, I'm almost thinking of starting a new blog just for press releases, so Carolina Arts Unleashed can go back to being the place you'll find just my commentary.
We've got a huge audience through the Internet - yet some of our readers of the printed paper have not learned that each month there is so much more info - articles and gallery listings from communities throughout the Carolinas - on the website. Check it all out - you might be surprised at what you're missing.
Ending on a High Note
The good thing is, the visual art community, although struggling, still marches on. Artists are still creating, galleries and museums are still offering art exhibits, and an art newspaper is still reporting on those offerings. Quitting is not an option we take lightly in the visual arts. All we need is for the public to come back with open pocketbooks and we can stop looking around that corner.
Carolina Arts is published monthly by Shoestring Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc. Copyright© 2010 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright© 2010 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.