October Issue 1999
by Tom Starland
Sometimes Goodgals Win
On the evening of Sept. 1, 1999, Scottie Hodge,
owner and manager of Tempo Art Gallery in Greenville, SC, was
escorted by friends toward a restaurant located on Greenville's
Main Street. She thought they were going to have dinner. As the
group got closer to their destination, Hodge began to notice a
large group of people gathered before them. As they got closer
to the group she began to recognize that many of these people
were artist/friends of hers as well as other members of the Greenville
arts community and City officials. Before she realized what was
up, Hodge was led to the front of the gathering and soon heard
the Mayor of Greenville, Knox White, reading a proclamation designating
Sept. 12 through Sept. 18 as "Scottie Hodge Week" in
Greenville, SC. Hodge had just been setup by a conspiracy of friends
and supporters to be the featured guest at a ceremony to celebrate
Hodge's contributions to the visual arts in Greenville - of which
there have been many.
Sept. 12 - 18 is the week in which Hodge puts on her "General's" hat and leads an army of staff members and volunteers to present ART IN THE PARK, an annual celebration of the visual arts in Greenville held outside the entrance to the Greenville Zoo at Cleveland Park in downtown Greenville. For eight years Hodge has headed up this event sponsored by Upstate Visual Arts which provides the community with a quality event showcasing a large UVA member exhibit, artists and organizational booths, art demonstrations and workshops, and many educational opportunities. It is one of the smoothest running operations you will ever witness.
A large mural, created by Rebecca Jonas and
Kerry Parkman, depicting the ART IN THE PARK event was unveiled
at the celebration which stayed on display on Greenville's Main
Street until Sept. 18 when it moved to the site of the visual
arts festival. After that, it moved to Tempo Gallery until Hodge
can hang it at Greenville's "future" Community Visual
Arts Center - a dream of hers for quite some time.
Along with the yearly ART IN THE PARK event, Hodge has been instrumental in the founding of many visual art groups, on a statewide level as well as in the Upstate area. Through Tempo Gallery she has provided Upstate artists with a source of art supplies, exhibit space, and classes in art. Whatever needs done, Scottie Hodge is the person who will most likely do it - act as director, be a newsletter editor, provide entertainment (she plays a mean horn), learn to be a web site designer, provide newspaper distribution, provide office space, and a good overall listener for artists who need someone to hear their end of the world tales. Hodge has been serving the artists and art community of the Upstate for over 25 years.
It's nice to have a City and community recognize your contributions, but as I told Scottie after learning of this event - every day is Scottie Hodge day to me, and I'm sure it is for many others who have come in contact with this "Art Angel".
55 Percent Isn't Bad For Guessing
Well, I finally got sent a list of the 100
artists who will represent art in South Carolina over the last
century in the SC Arts Commission's big show at the SC State Museum.
I correctly guessed 55 percent of the artists included and that
was because of my knowledge of the Commission's favored artists.
It would have been higher except for the fact that I would have
never expected them to include so many artists working before
1950. That was the only surprise.
The exhibit can be divided into two groups - old guard - new guard. Quite a few included in the old guard are artists with very little connection to SC other than passing through or in some cases, they were born here, but they don't claim SC as their home - only SC claims them.
The new guard is mostly artists who have had the ear, eye, and money of the Arts Commission for the past twenty or thirty years. The general public hasn't seen much of these people's art except in Arts Commission sponsored shows. Most of the University professors included in the show (20%) are usually only exhibited in other university galleries. They exchange shows back and forth under the guise of giving their students a well rounded view at the art community. When they get their degrees and reach the "real" world - it's going to be a rude awakening.
So, what do we have here? We have another SC Arts Commission show at the SC State Museum giving a narrow view of what South Carolina's art community is really like - especially the kind of art most of the citizens of South Carolina like.
You know those folks - the ones paying the bills for the SC Arts Commission and the SC State Museum - the SC taxpayers and the federal taxpayers. SC stands for South Carolina - all of South Carolina, except when it comes to these two institutions - they have their own agenda - their own view of what art should be shown in our state facilities.
Again, don't get me wrong. There are only a few folks on the list of the lucky 100 who I think don't belong. But, then that's only my opinion and I don't want to embarrass anyone. The problem is that there are several other lists of 100 artists who should get some attention from these institutions.
Frankly, more people will go see the art at the Oct. 3rd French Quarter ART WALK in Charleston, in one evening, than will make an effort to go see this major "View From the Edge". There'll be a lot of folks at the State Museum's opening reception - they have great food, but there won't be many people passing through the doors to see the art of the lucky 100, after the reception. The list follows:
100Years/l00 Artists: Views of the 20th
Century in South Carolina Art
Oct. 29, 1999 - March 19, 2000
South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC
I. 1900 - 1918/20
Ann Cadwallader Coles
William Aiken Walker
Thomas Isaac Weston
II 1920 - 1940
James F. Cooper
Laura Glenn Douglas
William Henry Johnson
Alice Ravenel Huger Smith
Anna Heyward Taylor
Elizabeth O Neill Verner
Marion Post Wolcott
Anna Hyatt Huntington
III 1940 - 1967
Catherine Phillips Rembert
IV 1967 - 1987
V 1987 - 1999
William Thomas Thompson
J Scott Goldsmith
Jane Allen Nodine
Mailing Address: Carolina Arts, P.O. Drawer
427, Bonneau, SC 29431
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