The January 2015 Issue of “Carolina Arts” is Now Ready to Download

January 1st, 2015


The January 2015 issue of Carolina Arts is up on our website at ( – all 58 pages of it. That’s an easy read – even with a hangover – if you have one. It’s a new year – at least that’s what they say. If you’re like me it seems a lot like the old one, but you can make it what you want. It’s all up to you. We’re just trying to let you know where and when you can see what’s on display. And there is a lot of work on display as the visual arts in the Carolinas has no season – it’s 24/7 for us.

Single page downloads are still adding up to more than double the amount for side by side format – which is good as many people desired one or the other. We’re here to please all we can so we’ll continue offering you the choice of two ways to download the paper:
For single page format use this link (

For side by side page format use this link (
So download that PDF and dig in – it makes for good reading and shows that you have lots of opportunities to enjoy the visual arts in the Carolinas this month. And, don’t forget to find a way to thank our advertisers – they make the paper possible.

And help us spread the paper around by sending these links to your friends.

If you want to get something in the February 2015 issue – send it now or as soon as you can. Don’t wait till the Jan. 24 deadline – or you could be left out. It happens.

Thanks – Tom and Linda Starland
Carolina Arts

Bringing “Carolina Arts Unleashed” a Blog by Tom Starland, Editor/Publisher of “Carolina Arts Back” from the Dead

December 11th, 2014

The shock of losing my blog, Carolina Arts Unleashed, was about as much of a shock that it could be recovered and how soon it was back – thanks to our Super Blog Guru Zelda Ravenel. And, thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, which keeps track of 435 billion web pages – including Carolina Arts.

I’ve used the Wayback Machine in the past to check out how some people have tried to change their history or make people forget about it by “upgrading” their website. I just didn’t think about it when we lost Carolina Arts Unleashed. I guess I just wasn’t thinking clearly. It’s a good thing others, who know alot more about how the Internet works are around for folks like me who don’t have a clue about any of it – other than using it as a tool for communication. What hurt the most was that I had forgotten what was all there to be lost.

I haven’t been using Carolina Arts Unleashed that much in the last year or so as I’m posting more items at our blog Carolina Arts News. We post items people send me to pass on to our readers, where as posts at Carolina Arts Unleashed usually are generated by me – which takes more time – time I don’t seem to have much of these days. As is – Carolina Arts Unleashed has been up more than a week now and I’m just finding time to make my first posting post lost/return.

Unfortunately, while the blog went missing we lost our spot in the rankings of the Internet search engines. I’m not sure we’ll ever get back to where we were, I guess it all depends on how people discover what we have on the blog. Our Super Blog Guru tells me that all the links people made to different post we had there should all still be functional – I hope they are and I’m sorry for any that don’t work, but I guess the good thing is they can now be re-made.

Well that’s all for now. It’s good to be back.

Good News/Bad News We’re Working on it!

September 29th, 2014

We got access back to the blog, but in the process it made a new file, and the old information is no longer in it.  We hope to have everything back soon…

A Trip to See Several Exhibits in the Pee Dee Area of South Carolina in July 2014 – Part II

July 23rd, 2014

On a day when it was thundering and lightening around the lake here in Bonneau, SC, I decided to head over to the Pee Dee area of South Carolina, to see a few exhibits on view in Florence, SC, and Lake City, SC, just an hour’s drive north on Hwy. 52. If the computer had to be unplugged, why not go somewhere else where the weather is not so angry.

Part I, about my visit to the Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City, SC, (home to the ArtFields event) can be seen at this link.

In Part II of this installment, I’m going to cover a subject I’ve talked about several times in the last few years, and that’s the growing arts district in downtown Florence, SC. It had been almost a year since my last trip to see an exhibit at the Art Trail Gallery and I was looking forward to seeing all the changes that had taken place during that time frame. I’ve also been waiting for almost six months to get a close look at the public art that was being installed in this district.

Downtown Florence, like many cities across America has a lot to work with as far as vacant buildings that can be rehabbed and buildings that will need to come down to make new open spaces and in the last 3-4 years I’ve been going there you could see signs of a makeover taking place.

So when I got to Florence after leaving Lake City, SC, I parked across from where the old Art Trail Gallery was on S. Dargan Street – where I knew Big Bleu Birdnanna, a towering sculpture by Mike and Patz Fowle was standing – the first piece of outdoor work to be placed in the new arts district by REdiscovering Downtown Florence, a division of the Florence Downtown Development Corporation.

I’ve seen photos of the big bird, but I wanted to see it myself before I reported about it. Once I got out of the car I could really see that a lot of work has been done since I was last in this area.

Patz Fowle working on design of sculpture


Big Bleu Birdnanna today

Another view

Impressive sign for sculpture – any guess as to who made this?

Many artists wish the sign for their sculpture ID sign was this good

After taking a few photos of Big Bleu Birdnanna, I followed a walkway to another open space that would lead me to the Art Trail Gallery on West Evans Street, but before I got there I discovered another open space which was totally changed since I was last in Florence. It was called the James Allen Plaza. I’m not sure who James Allen was but I’m sure he was someone important to downtown Florence or someone who gave them money to do this space. And, here I found the handiwork of Bob Doster, the man of metal, from Lancaster, SC. I’m telling you – his work is going to be everywhere someday.

Sign for James Allen Plaza

Here we see that Bob Doster has been here – it’s no surprise

Three of the pieces were influenced by students from local schools, including the Swallowtail Butterflies and Yellow Jasmine designed by Williams Middle School students. Doster works with a lot of school children all over the state helping them make sculptures.

“Swallowtail Butterflies,” by Bob Doster with the help of Dredan Brown, Caroline Ham, Lyle Detalo, Marquise Brewer, Ryan Byrd, Hannah Culpeper, Rocye Anderson, and Haven Rector

“Yellow Jasmine,” by Bob Doster with the help of Henry Frierson, Jazmyn Rowell, Caleb Farrell, Ciona Gray, Lilly Huiet, Hannah Rose Carter, and Ezra Smolen-Morton

Unknown title, by Bob Doster, with the help of Lauren Bynum, Lelley Pierce, and Hannah Gandy, from unknown school

Rendition of the City of Florence Seal, by Bob Doster

Here’s a little pitch for REdiscovering Downtown Florence:


REdiscovering Downtown membership is similar to memberships other downtown groups have, but focuses just on public art rather than business promotion.

Arts and culture is a very important component of the downtown revitalization process and creating public art will make the area more inviting and encourage both locals and tourists to REdiscover the historic heart of our community.

With your support, public art will be purchased each year and be placed in downtown courtyards and all the streetscape of Evans and Dargan streets. The city of Florence is providing matching dollars for this project utilizing funds from the fees collected from Sundays alcohol sales. This means that every dollar you donate will leverage public funds to help grow art downtown.

For further info and to become a member visit (

The rest of the time before the reception started for the exhibit at the Art Trail Gallery was spent walking around W. Evans Street and S. Dargan taking photos of some of the buildings which now hold new businesses and some that will soon hold new businesses – in Florence’s new arts district.




Another open space on W. Evans Street


Businesses on S. Dargan Street, near W. Evans Street



More signs of change – building coming down near Irby and W. Evans Street

I understand the new Florence County Museum will be opening sometime in October of this year, and that will add another big cornerstone in that arts district.

Things are happening in South Carolina’s Pee Dee area.

A Trip to See Several Exhibits in the Pee Dee Area of South Carolina in July 2014 – Part I

July 15th, 2014

On a day when it was thundering and lightening around the lake here in Bonneau, SC, I decided to head over to the Pee Dee area of South Carolina, to see a few exhibits on view in Lake City, SC, and Florence, SC, just an hour’s drive north on Hwy. 52 (Lake City is one hour away). If the computer had to be unplugged, why not go somewhere else where the weather is not so angry.


The Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City, is presenting “Upcycled: The Art of Reclaimed Objects”, an exhibition on view through Aug. 23, 2014. The exhibit features works by Natalie Abrams (Charlotte, NC), Patz and Mike Fowle (Hartsville, SC), Randy Gachet (Birmingham, AL), Jordan Morris (West Columbia, SC), Greg Mueller (Spartanburg, SC), and Amelia Sherritt (Seattle, WA), the show explores the ways in which post consumer products can be upcycled into intriguing works of fine art.

I’m doing this blog post in parts to keep it from being so long. Part I is about the exhibit at the Jones-Carter Gallery and a few other notable items related to Lake City.

When you walk in the door you are confronted by a large work by Randy Gachet entitled, “Repercussions”, 2008, made of reclaimed rubber tire, steel wire, and acrylic mirror. Gachet explains that in the 1990′s he started noticing that the rubber tire remnants seen along the roads were beginning to take forms in his mind – crow wings, tortise shells, and alligator hides. I’ve seen a few of those alligator hides along the road in my travels. “Repercussions” reminds me of a group of turtles in a pond with the ripples of water emitting from their shells. I’m not sure what function the mirrors served as I couldn’t see any effect from them.


In “Carbon Plume”, 2011, a work of reclaimed rubber tire, concrete, and steel, I first thought the work depicted some kind of tree, but once I read the ID card provided I easily could see the jet black plumes rising from burning oil fields in Iraq, first seen on CNN. Gachet offers the following statement about this piece, “The rubber tire fragments in the piece were all collected along interstate highways in the Birmingham, AL, area where I live. The perpetual whir and rush of semi-trucks and automobiles implicate the voracious engines of production and consumption that hurtle them as I scavenge the highways for the detritus left behind. The resulting form is both graceful and sinister.” After reading that I kind of wished it was some kind of tree, but then I couldn’t think of any happy story lines involving trees and rubber tires.


Up close look

After reading that statement it was hard to think of this exhibition as representing the ever amazing imagination of artists to make works out of junk and stuff we throw away or consume in our daily lives in America. After all we are the great consumers of the world. It’s a good thing the next works I zeroed in on were by Patz and Mike Fowle. Although their works are more whimsical – they are no less a statements on the great mountains of discarded objects we create in America.

Although this is a group show, it is clear when you get there that Mike and Patz Fowle seized the opportunity to provide many examples of how they use repurposed consumer goods – mostly, in this exhibit, discarded children’s toys. They provide 11 of the 20 works in this exhibition.

The largest piece in the show is “Post-Consumer Aquarium”, 2014, made of repurposed children’s toys, plastic and metal wire. Many of the fish-like creatures are made from plastic toys and toy parts – part of the millions of pounds of plastic produced each year in America which will last longer in boxes stacked in closets and attics or in our landfills for decades longer than they were enjoyed by a child. But now a few of those toys make up parts of artworks.





I have to say that the toys we bought our son are getting a lot of reuse by his children. We kept them all, but they won’t last another generation. His boys are rough on toys.

In another work by the Fowles, “Recycled Red Bird”, 1994, made of found bed springs, steel, sheet metal, and a glass insulator, shows that the couple also makes repurposed works from more industrial and consumer waste. They found the bed springs while exploring the Sand Hills area of South Carolina in a pile of construction debris – not in a landfill, but thrown or dumped out in the open.


These three characters produced out of the Fowle’s imagination represent colorful members of a contemporary community of cast-offs including: “Blow Hard”, 2010 (L); “Fast Food”, 2010 (C); and “Tough Love”, 2010, all made of found post-consumer products.


“Fu-Man Shoe, Jr.”, 2012, made of a found shoe, rusted metal, and doll parts, was created by Patz Fowle. She offered this statement about the piece, “When I held this little canvas shoe in my hand it made me think of the journey it had taken prior to me finding it. So, I felt compelled to give it a face that had experienced many journeys with facial features of rusted metal and the eyeballs of a forgotten doll who had seen it all.”


I first saw one of Patz and Mike Fowle’s plastic planets at an exhibit at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. It was an amazing piece of plastic toys, toy characters, and toy parts inside a vary large ball in plastic wrap. As you examine this “planet” up close you can recognize toys from your time frame and toys from every generation there after. “Plastic Planet Redux”, 2014, by the Fowles, also includes repurposed plastic and electronic children’s toys, tape, and wheels. I took a couple of detailed images of toy characters that have been popular in our household – throughout several generations.




One more of the cast-off characters offered by the Fowles is “The Walk”, 2010, made of found post-consumer products. It represents a scene many of us are used to – walking a pet. The character walking the pet has that look of – “Come-on, we don’t have all day”.


Jordan Morris of West Columbia, SC, offered one work entitled. “The State of Things Series”, 2014, including four works: “Origins”, 2014, made of wood and glass; “Destruction”, 2014, made of sawdust, wood and glass; “Information”, 2014, made of newspaper, wood and glass; and “Creation”, 2014, made of paperback books, wood and glass. Most of the wood and glass represented the shadowbox cases holding the materials contained inside.


Morris offered this sentence in his statement on this work: “Each shadowbox contains what was once a living thing in four different forms, inviting one to consider the drastic changes that our world has been through since the advent of computers”. I didn’t get that and what was said in the rest of the statement confused me even further.

What I saw looking at these four boxes was a box of cut wooden logs, a box of sawdust, a box of shredded paper, and a box of designed objects made out of paper. Each representing the progression from trees to paper and then an interesting looking design made of paper. As someone who has taken a printed publication to an online publication, I see a lot of trees being saved by computers and the Internet. But that’s my point of view. Morris also says he pines for a return to simpler times when we were not bombarded by “waves of information” in the age of electronic media. I felt the same way when I walked into a library -way before computers came along. There has always been more information than most of us could digest – there’s nothing new there.





I thought it was interesting that Morris was the only artist in this exhibit who did not provide information about himself for the press release sent out to promote this exhibition. He could have sent a letter by snail mail, but he didn’t. Perhaps it is his own problems with today’s digital media that he describes in his statement, but I didn’t see how the works he presented would lead anyone looking at the work and reading his statement to come to the conclusion he provided.

Of course there have been times when an artist has provided a statement – several pages long describing a work of art, yet I never saw what they described when looking at the work. And, I wasn’t alone in my feelings. All I can do is apologize for not getting his point. I’m sure it’s me and my lack of higher arts education.

Amelia Sherritt, of Seattle, WA, offers works made of the foil covering the corks of wine bottles. The work “Autumn Gold”, 2013, contains hundreds, if not thousands of wine foils. Sherritt states, “By re-purposing these foils, I am able to make what would normally be thrown away into something long lasting and beautiful”. And, I bet it’s a lot of fun emptying those bottles of wine, although I’m sure she has an army of wine drinkers saving those foils for her.


Sherritt also offers, “Moss Study”, 2012. It got me wondering how many different colors are offered on all the different makes of wine out there and whether she would have to reach out to other countries for certain colors – adding travel into the process of making art. I think this artist has found the perfect materials to make her art.


Well that’s enough – you need to go see this exhibit yourself and see if these works bum you out over America’s wasteful habits or amazes you in the endless imagination of artists – or both.

The next exhibition at the Jones-Carter Gallery will be “Francisco de Goya: Los Caprichos”, on view from Sept. 20, 2014, through Jan. 3, 2015. How many small towns can host a major exhibit of works by Goya? This gallery is a place worth visiting.

It should be noted that several of these artists had participated in the two ArtFields competitions that took place in Lake City. The folks at the Jones-Carter Gallery not only keep an eye out for potential exhibitors, but they also curate some parts of the display – so they get a good look at what’s out there. Some names from those competitions are recycled when organizing exhibitions. That’s another intangible result of getting into ArtFields, much like our selection of cover art for our June 2014 issue of “Carolina Arts”, which turned out to be one of our most popular covers – if not the most popular. I first saw that artist’s work at ArtFields. So, just making the cut at ArtFields can lead to many unknown opportunities. Exposure is “King” in the visual arts. And, it’s something to think about when artists are thinking about re-entering this competition or thinking about entering it for the first time. There is more at stake than winning one of the top prizes.

I also want to warn artists who might think that Darla Moore just might buy their over priced artwork – she’s loaded right. She didn’t get that money by overpaying for things. More work was sold the first year before artists learned she bought work that first year and jacked up their prices the second year. One artist just out of college put $100,000 on their work. I hope they were embarrassed. Moore is not the only person looking to buy works at ArtFields – so don’t price yourself out of a sale. You might also scare off a gallery owner who was thinking of representing your work in their gallery, but your price was out of reason.

It also should be noted that on this trip I learned that ArtFields will be under new management in 2015. The Community Museum Society which operates the Jones-Carter Gallery will now manage ArtFields. ArtFields will be in the good hands of Ray McBride and his team of capable folks in 2015 and I think you’ll notice many changes in how the event is handled and promoted. We’ll have more about that later.

You can read a press release about this exhibit on Page 29 and 30 of our July 2014 issue of “Carolina Arts” found at (

The Jones-Carter Gallery is located at 105 Henry Street in Lake City, SC, next to The Bean Market. Admission is free at the Jones-Carter Gallery and large groups are encouraged to call ahead. The gallery is open Tue.-Fri., 10am-6pm and Sat., 11am-5pm. For further information contact Hannah L. Davis, Gallery and Exhibitions Manager, by calling 843/374-1505 or visit (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Folks Have Been Busy Installing New Quilt Blocks Throughout Upstate SC

July 7th, 2014


The “Summer Winds” quilt block is located at the Pendleton Branch Library of the Anderson County Library System, 650 South Mechanic, Pendleton, SC. “Summer Winds” is a quilt block sponsored by Greeta G. Peden who has made the cloth quilt pattern numerous times as gifts for family and friends. She keeps using this creative block because of the different ways it is perceived. Some see fish, some see flowers, while others just notice the geometry involved. She loves it because she sees something different every time she makes it. Barbara Brackman’s “Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns” attributes the block to Nancy Page, a syndicated column written by Florence LaGanke for mail order patterns that ran in numerous periodicals c.a. 1925 to 1940.


Peden currently resides in Pendleton, SC, and has a truly unique relationship with the Pendleton Public Library itself. She has been meeting on Mondays and Thursdays with her Sit and Sew Group of fellow quilters for several years there. Peden learned to sew on a machine in her home economics class taught by Sister Antonio Marie in the 1950s. She didn’t begin quilting until age 67 and is a self-proclaimed “late” bloomer.

Pendleton’s first library was founded in 1811 as the Pendleton Circulating Library. Its building and collection were incorporated into the Pendleton Male Academy in 1825. The Academy was located on Queen Street, where the Anderson County School District Four offices are today.

In 1860, a Guard House was erected on Pendleton’s Village Green on the site of the former jail house. In 1911, a one-story annex was added. In 1916, Miss Sallie Trescott established a public library on the ground level. Upstairs housed the town’s police department. Trescott served as librarian until her death in 1944. Her personal book collection was transferred to the Clemson College Library.

The small library continued to serve Pendleton and residents in Pickens, Oconee and Anderson counties, with Helen George serving as librarian for over 22 years. In 1978, the Anderson County Library System built a 1,500 square foot library on Micasa Drive. This had remained the branch library’s site until construction of the new 12,000 sq. ft. building at 650 South Mechanic Street.

The new library is able to house 75,000 volumes and other materials. There’s expanded space for up to 30 computers, tutoring areas, and a 75-seat meeting room. The building was designed by the Greenville architectural firm of Craig, Gaulden and Davis, which designed the Anderson County Library System’s Main Library. Estimated cost of construction was $3 million.

The property on which the new Pendleton Branch Library stands was the site of a private residence as early as the 1830’s. In 1860, John Baylis Earle Sloan and his wife, Mollie Seaborne Sloan, established a home that became known as Tanglewood. The columns and ruins seen today are all that remain of the site, which was first destroyed by fire in 1908. It was a Piedmont plantation-style house, resting on tall piers and having large rooms.

The family re-built the home as a classical colonial revival mansion in 1910, reusing the columns in the new portico. Tanglewood stayed in the Sloan family for many years, until it was sold in the 1950’s to EB (Buckley) Hancock, who hoped it or the property could be used for a town library. The building again burned to the ground in 1970, though, leaving only the columns and chimneys and the property was eventually sold to John and Suzanne Morse.

In 2004, funds were allocated by Anderson County Council for the construction of a new Pendleton branch library of the Anderson County Library System. The Tanglewood property was purchased after negotiations with the Morses.

Groundbreaking for the library took place on Dec. 17, 2004. The grand opening was held January 14, 2007.

Westminster, SC, Adds to Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

The old family home of Kenneth and Lynda King on Toccoa Highway is the display site for a “Butterfly” quilt block made originally by his mother, Marie Hardy King (1926 – 2010), the daughter of Tom and Myrtie Hardy. Marie was married to Vinton King and they had three children – Dorothy K. Dyar, Kenneth V. King, and David L. King; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. In addition to taking care of a family, King worked at TGY until she retired.


Growing up in Oconee County, it was King’s mother and grandmother who taught her how to quilt. She also loved to work in her garden, raising her favorite flowers, roses, and enjoyed putting up all the produce that she grew, feeding her family wonderful meals.

King created the “Butterfly” quilt pattern, making one for each of her children and grandchildren. She also helped her granddaughter make a “Dutch Doll” quilt. She was a member of Hopewell United Methodist Church.

Tamassee-Salem Middle High School Adds Third Quilt Panel to Quilt Trail

Tamassee-Salem Middle High School has added a third quilt panel to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt, called “Grandmother’s Choice”, was chosen by the faculty and staff to honor one of their students, Alayna Cobb as well as staff member James Poland for their bravery and perseverance in the midst of medical struggles. Cobb was diagnosed with cancer in November 2012, and Poland who had completed treatments for cancer was a real inspiration to her and to the students at Tamassee-Salem Middle High School (TSMHS).


Alayna Cobb (c) with her parents

It was Cobb’s grandmother, Ruth Porter of Salem, SC, who with her sister Joyce Poore, made quilts for their six siblings as Christmas gifts. Porter quilted off and on for many years but she purchased this original quilt from the Tamassee DAR Thrift Store and then gave it to Cobb’s family. Since they don’t know the official name of the quilt pattern, they chose the name “Grandmother’s Choice”. As A Cobb told us, “I have always been a sentimental person. However, since my cancer diagnosis, I hold even little things sentimental. Before I completed my chemo treatments, I had some photos taken of me with my brother and cousins with Nana’s quilt. This quilt is very special to me.”

Marianne Jackson, the art teacher at TSMHS, used her Artist in Residence funds to sponsor this addition to the trail. As she told us, “Alayna was in the 7th grade when this quilt was chosen to be on the trail. She took the lead in choosing colors and working with her fellow students to replicate the design perfectly. She missed the first half of the 2013-14 school year due to her treatments, but when she returned, it was as if she’d never missed a day. She was one of the most hardworking and dedicated art students, putting her heart and soul into her work – something not all students do.

Cobb has been through a trauma most children could never dream of, but art helped her get through. She told me that if her wish for the Make A Wish Foundation was chosen, it would be to have an art studio built in her yard with all the fixings, materials and tools she would need to create, design and make art however she wished. “I have loved having Alayna as my student this year and look forward to having her in my classes in the years to come. It has been an honor to be a part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail and to watch my 7th and 8th graders participate to create a beautiful piece of history.”

This pattern is known as a patchwork, joining four squares of material to form a larger square. In its simplest form, the block is constructed for four plain squares of fabric. The four patch lends itself easily to endless variation because each of the squares may also be made up of numerous smaller pieces pieced together. “Grandmother Choice” is a fine example of a pattern variation.

Mountain Rest Baptist Church Adds to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

Mountain Rest Baptist Church is the site of a new addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The Church activities building, located at 9915 Highlands Highway, Mountain Rest, SC, will soon bear a quilt block called “Bible Blocks”. The original quilt was made by Myrtle Childers of Heath Springs, Lancaster County, SC, for Pastor Randy Koon and his wife, Suzanne, in 1994. She was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church which he pastored at that time.


Childers was a self-taught quilter. She was 73, a widow with two sons and a retired nurse when she made the quilt as a love gift for the Koons. The pattern was chosen from “Biblical Blocks: Inspired Designs for Quilters” by Rosemary Makhan, because each element in the quilt has a Bible theme. Childers was nearly blind and had to sew the quilt using a large magnifying glass. The quilt was entirely hand stitched in squares on large embroidery hoops and pieced together over a period of three months. She traveled to a cloth store in Charlotte, NC, to find cloth that matched the picture in the pattern book she used to make the quilt.

Reverend Koon told us, “It is one of our most prized possessions and is kept on an antique sleigh bed in our guestroom which was also a gift from Mrs. Childers.” He has pastored four churches in North Carolina and South Carolina and became the pastor of Mountain Rest Baptist Church in September of 2002. He has two children – a son, Daniel, who is a pastor in Murfreesboro, TN, and a daughter, Elizabeth Sturkie, who is a pastor’s wife in Donalds, SC. The Koons have six grandchildren.

The quilt block is being sponsored by the SASSY Ladies Mission organization of Mountain Rest Baptist Church.  The church had its early beginnings as the Double Springs Union Church and meetings were held in an old school building. Ten acres of land were given in the cause of religion for the consideration of $3. Although the land was given in 1858, it was not recorded until 1868. Originally, the church was a union of Methodists and Baptists with itinerant preachers conducting the services, alternating the material used for Sunday school between the two denominational publishing houses. In 1942, the membership nearly doubled from 16 members to 30 members with 12 baptisms and two additions by letter.

The Deacons, with support from the membership, realized the need for a separate place of worship that they might assemble in complete freedom according to the dictates of their conscience. The Baptists appointed a committee to build a separate place of worship, and a building plot was donated on the same highway a short distance away on Chattooga Ridge Road in August 1947. Most of the materials and work to build the church were donated by the members. The church was completed and dedicated on May 27, 1951. It was renamed the Mountain Rest Baptist Church in 1975 in order to tie the church more closely to the community it serves.

The Church relocated to its present site on Highlands Highway in1982, and completed their activities building in 2010. The old Union Church continues to operate as Double Springs Methodist Church.

For more information and pictures, click on ( or e-mail to (

The July 2014 Issue of “Carolina Arts” is Now Ready to Download

July 1st, 2014


The July 2014 issue of Carolina Arts is up on our website at ( – all 63 pages of it.

Last month Linda presented the paper with an option to download the paper in a side by side spread or single page format. Single page dowloads were about double the amount for side by side format – which was good as a good amount of people desired one or the other. We’re here to please all we can so we’ll continue offering you the choice of two ways to download the paper:

For single page format use this link (

For side by side page format use this link (

So download that PDF and dig in – it makes for good reading and shows that you have lots of opportunities to enjoy the visual arts in the Carolinas this month. And, don’t forget to find a way to thank our advertisers – they make the paper possible.

And help us spread the paper around by sending these links to your friends.

If you want to get something in the August issue – send it now or as soon as you can. Don’t wait till the July 24 deadline – or you could be left out. It happens.

Thanks – Tom and Linda Starland
Carolina Arts

A Trip to Lancaster, SC, the Red Rose City, for the 2014 Lancaster County Ag + Arts Tour, Which Took Place June 21-22, 2014

June 30th, 2014


Back in the day, when I was delivering printed copies of Carolina Arts, one of my nightly routes was from Bonneau, SC, to Manning, SC, to Sumter, SC, to Camden, SC, to Lancaster, SC, to Rock Hill, SC, then to Columbia, SC, Orangeburg, SC, and back home to Bonneau. My only drop in Lancaster was at The Springs House Gallery, home of the Lancaster County Council of Arts ( Because this was a night time delivery I never got to see the inside of that facility. But, because of limited time, on this trip we traveled to I-26 to Columbia, where we picked up I-77 and then took exit 55 to Hwy. 200 headed to Lancaster.

As we got closer to Lancaster I told Linda, my better half, that I wasn’t sure I’d know how to get around as I didn’t travel this way in the past. As it turned out, Hwy. 200 ran right into Hwy. 521, my old route. And once we hit Main Street it all came flooding back to me. Our first stop would be at The Springs House Gallery where the publicity we helped distribute through Carolina Arts, was the place to pick up a “Passport” for the Tour. Imagine that, after all these years I was going to see the inside of that building, which like the name says – was a house, once owned by Colonel Leroy Springs that was converted into Lancaster’s City Hall in the 1950′s. Leroy Springs played a major role in the industrial development of Lancaster and the surrounding area.

I have to add this as editor of Carolina Arts, that like in the movie Cool Hand Luke, that between the Arts Council and Carolina Arts – we have a failure to communicate. I’ve tried to encourage the folks at the Arts Council to inform us of the exhibits they present in a timely fashion – meaning by deadline. Even when they did make our deadline, they acted like we were charging them by the word. And, you should know by now we don’t charge a cent to include people’s press releases about exhibits taking place in the Carolinas.

As usual when making one of these trips I go as just another person going to an art event, sometimes I’ll introduce myself to get info from someone, but most times I don’t – I want to see things and hear things unfiltered for the press. When we walked into the facility that lack of communication was staring me right in the face. On view was the traveling exhibit of the “South Carolina Watermedia Society’s 36th Annual Exhibition”. We had no clue this exhibit would be there. All I expected was to see a photo exhibit that took a few months to figure out it would still be up during the Ag + Art Tour.

It didn’t take 2 seconds before Linda said, “I know what you’re thinking”. She knows one of my pet peeves when it comes to exhibits is works of art in group or juried shows that are not identified. None of the works had identification tags. Now, this traveling exhibit is organized by the SC Watermedia Society and administered through the Traveling Exhibits Program at the SC State Museum in Columbia, SC. I was pretty steamed as I started looking at a lot of great works by SC artists, but couldn’t tell who made some of the works. By now I can recognize a lot of the Society’s member’s style to have a pretty good guess as to who they were and where they were from.

Some of that steam was released when I eventually found  a stack of the exhibition catalogues the SC Watermedia Society provided. This was helpful in identifying works, but also led to another problem with the Lancaster County Council of Arts. As I went through the catalogue I noticed three paintings that were supposed to be included in the traveling exhibit that were not on display, and I looked throughout the exhibit area several times trying to find them. When I asked the person on duty that day they first said that those three works had problems with their frames – they said they were “flimsy”. I knew that wouldn’t be the case unless they were damaged in transit to or from one of the other facilities it was shown in. But I didn’t buy that and as I continued to stare back at that person, they eventually said they ran out of room for those three. I’m not sure that was the case either. Most works were on the walls, and a few were on easel stands.

In some ways I was sure they did have a room problem. The photo exhibit I mentioned was in one small room – some were hanging on walls and some on a wire mesh stand, but a good number of works were stacked on one another in a pile. I won’t say much about this exhibit other than it reminded me of a little league team where everyone gets a ribbon for participation – literally.

It was time to leave the The Springs House Gallery. After we got home later that evening and I loaded my photos taken that day onto my computer, I realized that I didn’t take any photos at that facility. I was not surprized.

Some would say I shouldn’t be so hard on small town art facilities, but they are getting state funding and corporate funding to do much better than what I see sometimes and other small towns do excellent work in presenting exhibitions. This is 2014 not 1950. And, sometimes if someone doesn’t complain – nothing ever changes or improves.

Now it was time to head to one of the two main reasons we made this trip. I wanted to visit Bob Doster’s Backstreet Studio (, the studio/gallery space of who I think is one of the hardest working artists in SC – up there with Susan Lenz, and Jane Allen Nodine. Those three are showing works everywhere across the Carolinas, and in Lancaster, Bob Doster is “the man”. You could see his work everywhere we went – from business signs to metal benches on Main Street, to large sculptures in public spaces. Not to mention his works can be found in galleries all over SC. We also wanted to meet with Cherry Doster, his wife who keeps us informed of what is going on in the greater Lancaster area. Some folks in Lancaster are trying to make it a regional hub for arts and culture, and Cherry is part of that group and they have become supporters of Carolina Arts, so anything we can do to help them – we will do it.

So Bob Doster’s Backstreet Studio is located on Gay Street, the same street as The Springs House Gallery, but on the East side of Main Street. If you drove by it you might guess it’s an arts place by it’s funky exterior. The buildings used to be a pool hall, where only the men of Lancaster hung out – well, some men. Once you’re inside you might first think it was some kind of bohemian cafe or something with all the tables and chairs inside and all the art along the walls. The table and chairs are used for art classes offered there. There’s a kind of backyard open space where part of the building’s roof caved in and the Dosters have filled it in with what would remind you of a Japanese Koi pond and garden, but there are plenty of Bob Doster’s works scattered around. I bet the place looks great during evening events held there.

A view of a section of a wall in the outside courtyard.

Nothing is left untouched here.

Looks like one of my Facebook profile images.

I get this.

The studio also features works by many other artists.

Did you notice that Verner Award – it is well deserved.

Linda and I checked the place out and I took a few photos before we introduced ourselves to Cherry Doster, who we have talked to on the phone and exchanged e-mails with during the last year or two. She then went and got Bob who was trying to work in his studio next door. That’s right he was trying to work during an event. And, as it usually goes, Cherry and Linda talked and Bob and I talked. Later in the car, on the drive home, we tried to exchange notes on what was said, but I know that never works well. A month or two later when a certain subject comes up one of us or the other will bring up part of those conversations we had that day. And, one of us will be sure to say, “Well I didn’t know that”.

Photos I took of some of Doster’s small metal sculptures didn’t come out to well, due to backlight, a photography term that describes why when you’re taking a photo of something inside against a lighter background – in this case a wall of windows. I should have known better, but my photography days were long behind me. Plus I was taking photo with my iPhone – which hasn’t replaced real cameras – yet. You can see much better images on his website mentioned above.

Just as we were about to leave to our next stop I mentioned something about seeing a plasma cutter in a photo on Facebook and that led to a tour of Doster’s work space. This was the highlight of the tour – at least for me.

If anything I have learned in my 27 years of doing this paper is that if I ever had a notion of trying my own hand at art – I’d be a painter. I love pottery, glass, and metal sculpture, but if you saw the equipment it takes to work in those mediums – you might pick painter too. Doster’s studio reminded me of my father and his brothers back in Michigan. They all liked to tinker with big machines that did things with wood and metal. As a kid they were all off limits to me and when I was older, I was a 1,000 miles away in South Carolina. My father and his brothers would have drooled over some of Doster’s equipment – especially the plasma cutters, of which one was connected to a computer. My relatives were pretty creative in their shops, but it’s impossible to wonder what they could have done with a computer to work out their design ideas.

I did get use of a band saw, which I didn’t think my father knew about, but he must have known. That band saw made me the hit of the neighborhood, as I was able to make some great wooden swords and guns with that saw. I was an arms dealer at the age of twelve.

OK, the next spot was number two on my bucket list for the day – the Native American Studies Center ( run by the University of South Carolina @ Lancaster. They have the largest collection of Catawba Indian pottery in existence and much more. It was just around the block on Main Street. This facility opened in 2012, and I’ve been wanting to visit since then, but could never work out the right timing. I’ve gone up I-77 several times into North Carolina, but on the way back it was always after hours or on a Sunday or holiday.

This is a great facility and learning center. I took a few pictures inside, but I have to admit that as a Mid-West boy who played his fare share of “Cowboys and Indians”, I suffered from that old movie saying that if you take a picture of an Indian, you would be stealing his spirit. Also, I wasn’t sure if I should call them Indians or Native Americans. Well, I know better, but I picked up a handy little guild while we were there titled, “CultureCard – A Guide to Build Cultural Awareness – American Indian and Alaska Native”. This title confused me a little more, but inside it provides a lot of dos and don’ts on how to act – that is if you want to be respectful or as some say politically correct – as if that’s a bad thing. I know I’m not always politically correct when it comes to some folks in South Carolina, who don’t worry about spending much time on being anything else but.

Local Native Americans were on hand to offer their art to visitors.

More of the same.

A showcase of just a part of their pottery collection.

“Yei East Female,” Sand Painting, by JL Begay, unknown date, Navajo, sand and pigment. A recent addition to the Native American Studies Special Collection, on view in the Duke Energy Gallery.

“Adult Ribbon Dress,” by Stephanie Betancourt, unknown date, Seneca, fabric. A recent addition to the Native American Studies Special Collection, on view in the Duke Energy Gallery.

A view of some of the research area.

I also spent some time lobbying about getting more info about the Center, it’s pottery collection, public activities, and the exhibits they present with a few staff members. I hope Carolina Arts will be featuring more info and photos about the arts being produced by today’s Native Americans living in the Carolinas. I know we will have something in our August 2014 issue as the McKissick Museum at USC in Columbia will be presenting an exhibit about Native American artists of the Southeast.

Next, we had lunch, pumping money into the Lancaster County’s economy. After all that’s what most of these events are about – building tourism. On our way out as we were paying our bill I flashed the Ag + Art Tour “passport” program and told them that’s why we were in Lancaster today. They had never heard of the Tour, which surprised me at first, but thinking about it later – I know folks in Charleston and North Charleston who have never been to any of the area’s beaches or have put their toe in the Atlantic Ocean. Some folks never enjoy what their hometown has to offer which is sad, but much of it is due to habit and economic circumstances.

Now as far as the Ag part of this Tour goes, being just one generation removed from dairy farmers in Michigan and spending many Summers on that farm I wasn’t as interested in traveling out to those stops on the Tour, but there was one stop I wanted to make given our time frame and that was the Benford Brewery (, South Carolina’s only agriculturally operated craft beer producer. I’m not sure we would have found the place without the use of the GPS locator on the iPhone. And, when we drove up – there was a sign made by Bob Doster. And, apparently a lot of other folks were interested in visiting the brewery, as there were cars coming and going all while we were there. This was a popular stop as they were giving out 2oz. samples of two of the beers they produce. They were also selling keg pump handles made by none other than Bob Doster.

Sign by Bob Doster – surprize!

There’s lots of beer in those containers.

Just another view of the beer.

My first question was, what makes them the only agriculturally operated craft beer producer, and it came down to the fact that they are on a farm and feed the by-product of the process to their cows. At the time it was only one happy cow and it was explained that due to the drought in the West – cows are hard to come by these days. If anybody knows of some cows for sale, get in contact with this brewery.

It was very interesting getting the story of craft brewing, and how it all works, which is a boom business these days all across America.

On the way back to downtown Lancaster I remembered that I had forgotten to check out the new sculptures of Bob Doster’s that had been installed recently in the Red Rose Park, which was right across from the Native American Studies Center on Main Street, but we went in the back door when we went there. So we stopped there to check them out and take a few photos. A small Native American garden was there too.

Sign by guess who.

Work by Bob Doster

The Native American garden display.

Another view of a work by Bob Doster. The installation was not finished yet, so there were no ID tags yet.

On the way back to the car I noticed another stop on the Tour, Chastain’s Studio Lofts (, a little further down Main Street. I think I had heard of this place before, probably in a press release about another event in Lancaster, but we had no details about it and so it wasn’t listed in our gallery listing in Carolina Arts – so it was off our radar. So we walked over to check it out.

Signs by Bob Doster.

A view of part of the gallery.

There is quite a variety of works on view.

A view as you walk in the space.

The name of this place doesn’t do it justice. Upon entering it looked to be a regular gallery space – well it didn’t look too much like most gallery spaces, but it looked very interesting. Later I found out they are not open regular gallery hours and perhaps the name is more fitting to their operation – working studios and a place for classes and demonstrations. Maybe once Lancaster moves further down the road in becoming that arts and cultural center of the region it will justify more hours open as a gallery. But I would guess they are open during most of the events Lancaster is producing to bring in tourist and locals of the region. And, by the way, we now have them listed in our gallery listings.

There were two other art venues on the Tour, Gallery 102 and Mahaffee Studios, which we didn’t get to visit, but our departure time was up and a nasty looking storm seemed to be heading toward Lancaster from the direction of Charlotte, NC. So we hit the road.

There were actually four counties that participated in the 2014 Ag + Art Tour – Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, and York, and maybe by next year’s Tour there will be more. It’s a lot of area to cover so if you do it once and like it, these tours could provide an endless supply of travel opportunities to discover South Carolina’s agricultural facilities and arts in some of our rural areas of the state.

For further information about the Ag + Art Tour visit (

Carolina Arts Has a New Facebook Post Queen

June 8th, 2014

On June 1, 2014, a week from today, I posted the notice that our June 2014 issue of “Carolina Arts” was up and ready to be downloaded from our website at ( Right away we started getting a bunch of “shares” of that post. It looked like we were heading to a new Facebook record (for us), but I didn’t want to say anything, as the last time I mentioned we were getting a lot of shares of a post – it died instantly. So mum was the word and I proceeded as we always do to share the post on my Facebook page every day for the next five days and leave the one up on the Carolina Arts’s Facebok page up. But by day three the existing record set by a cover by Jane Filer from the Chapel Hill, NC, area was broken – big time – by a cover by Wan Marsh of Charlotte, NC.


Don’t be sad South Carolina artists – our most popular cover ever is one by Mary Whyte of Charleston, SC – one that no one will ever catch up to – I think. For almost two years after we launched that cover it would get thousands of downloads – every month. I mean like 10,000 downloads a year after it was first launched – month after month.
It finally faded to not much this year.

Wan Marsh’s cover reached 6,440 people on Facebook. The “Carolina Arts” Facebook page only had about 2,290 likes at the time. So a lot of folks were seeing this cover from the 114 shares that post got. Through that reach the post got 451 likes and 85 comments – most I couldn’t see as they were on other people’s Facebook pages.

“Ancient Power” by Wan Marsh

I won’t know till the end of the month how many downloads the June issue will get, but it already looks like a down month – due to the beginning of Summer, so I don’t think the June issue will ever come close to the Mary Whyte launch month – not to mention all the downloads it got month after month – for a couple of years.

But Wan Marsh’s cover makes her our new Facebook Cover Queen.

Big single images seem to be the key, both Mary Whyte’s and Wan Marsh’s were single images where Jane Filer’s was three. And guys – were looking for that image that will give us a Facebook King.

Now here’s the trick. Some of our covers are dedicated to certain events, and we try to tie in a cover with an event – exhibition, festival, or something, but we occasionally just see a work and want it on our cover. Unfortunately there have been a few times when artists could not supply us with a large enough high res file of their work. A couple just couldn’t get it to us in time and we had to quickly find a substitute. So it takes an artist who is prepared when the call comes.

Plus it takes the right timing. We try to be fair to all areas of the two states we cover and at times I see something that would make a great cover, but it’s from an artist who is from the same city the last month’s cover came from. Drat!

A couple of month’s ago we had a popular cover from an artist who just happened to notice a call for cover images I put in one of the little spacers I add to fill pages when articles fall short of filling the page. It pays to read the whole paper.

And, we receive some images by artists who feel they are ready for a cover, but we don’t agree – at least not with what they sent us. And a few of those had no clue of what a high res image was. Any image we put in the paper needs to be at least 300dpi at the size we need it. A single image on our cover can be up to 10″ wide by 14″ tall – at 300dpi, that can call for a 30-40 megabyte file. Some people don’t understand you can’t just type in 300 where 72 dpi was.

So, I’m not saying I want artists to start sending me images left and right. I”M NOT SAYING THAT. I’m saying that some artists might just be able to fit the bill of matching location, timing, and having something that when put on our cover knocks viewer’s socks off – you might want to send us a look at what you have – in a small file. Otherwise we keep an eye out for possible images that we get in press releases, Facebook post, or exhibits we see. I first saw Wan Marsh’s image at the 2014 ArtFields competition. It didn’t win an award in Lake City, SC, but it made her Queen of Facebook Posts for “Carolina Arts” – for now.

And, in compliance to a future Federal law we give equal opportunity to all fine art mediums – including installations, as long as you can supply a decent image of them. I’m waiting for the first image we get where the artist also has a video of its creation. Now that would be something.

Maybe that would stop people from asking if we have a print version of the paper available. You couldn’t have an interactive cover image in a printed paper.

You can see more of Wan Marsh’s work at this link (

The June 2014 Issue of “Carolina Arts” is Now Ready to Download

June 1st, 2014


The June 2014 issue of Carolina Arts is up on our website at ( – all 60 pages of it.

Last month Linda presented the paper in a side by side spread for the first time and some of you responded that you liked the single page version better. We’re here to please all we can so this month we’re offering you the choice of two ways to download the paper right now:

For single page format use this link (

For side by side page format use this link (

So download that PDF and dig in – it makes for good reading and shows that you have lots of opportunities to enjoy the visual arts in the Carolinas this month. And, don’t forget to find a way to thank our advertisers – they make the paper possible.

And help us spread the paper around by sending these links to your friends.

If you want to get something in the July issue – send it now or as soon as you can. Don’t wait till the June 24 deadline – or you could be left out. It happens.

Thanks – Tom and Linda Starland
Carolina Arts