Archive for May, 2009

“25th Annual Piccolo Spoleto Festival Juried Arts Exhibition”

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

I’m not sure you’ll be able to call this a review, but I went by the Charleston Visitor Center (Charleston, SC) today and viewed the 25th Annual Piccolo Spoleto Festival Juried Art Exhibition. The Exhibit is organized by the Charleston Artist Guild for the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs. After viewing all the works once, I picked up the official program for the show and began to go over it. The program stated that 140 artists submitted 3 works each = 420 works of which the two jurors for this show selected 37 photographs and 63 paintings/2D = 100 works in the show. My first reaction was that there couldn’t be 100 works in this exhibit, but I’m sure there were. I may not have seen some works as well as I would like as they were nearly on the floor – not the best angle to view art.

509piccolo-jsphoto

I also looked through the program to see if this was really two different shows – one being the Piccolo Spoleto Festival Juried Photography Exhibition and the other being the Piccolo Spoleto Festival Juried Painting/2D Exhibition. You see, the photography was displayed all together on one side of the room and the paintings/2D were displayed together on the other side. Why was this done I wondered? Was it to make for easy comparison against the works that won awards and those that didn’t in each media? Or, was it not to confuse the public who might not be able to tell the difference between mediums? It couldn’t be that as the media was printed on each work of art’s tag. The organizers of the exhibit brought in two different jurors to select works in the two different categories for First, Second, Third, and Honorable Mention awards in each category.

509piccolo-js-paint

Is this still the old thing that photography is just not worthy to stand up next to a painting/2D? Is this art segregation in the old South? If this was not the intention of the organizers – all the signs were there. Can’t we all just get along? Not sure on that one.

This juried opportunity is open to artists from all over South Carolina, and it had some very good works by some of the states’ well-known, well-exhibited, and award-winning artists. It also had a lot of good work by artists I’ve never heard of – which is a good sign for South Carolina. There were some works that I wouldn’t have put on display, but without seeing the other 320 works submitted – that’s hard to say, but I bet some really good works didn’t make the cut. Which is the usual case in a juried show. But fitting 100 works into the space allotted was a disservice to many of these artists. I like the venue of the Visitor Center because many people will view this exhibit, just passing through, but the show no longer gets the space from the Center this exhibition needs. And, like it or not – this show might be the first and only impression of the visual arts in Charleston and of what’s being offered during the Piccolo Festival. It’s like a gateway exhibit. It should be our best foot forward. This show offered some good glimpses.

There was a time when the Piccolo Spoleto Juried Exhibition was the major visual art attraction of the Piccolo Festival, but after 25 years, it seems a disinherited cousin squeezed into a smaller and smaller space. An exhibit of 50 works would have looked much better in the space. In a better, more expansive space this exhibition could be a major display of some of South Carolina’s best works by its best artists – on the level of the 2008 juried exhibition at the SC State Museum in Columbia, SC. After all, the Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto Festivals are this state’s major art events. Why isn’t it the major showplace of the state’s art creators?

Let’s get back to the jurors. Why do you need two jurors to select works for an art show? Shouldn’t one well qualified person be able to judge paintings and photography alike? I think they should. In this case each juror was only selecting works in the two separate medias (Photography & Painting/2D) – so you don’t even get the advantage of jury by committee – if there is such an advantage. In the past, I think this show even had a third juror to select craft items. I think it’s time to try the one juror system. After all – all juried shows are just the results of one person’s opinion at that time. One added thought – wouldn’t it be nice if all juried shows featuring artists from throughout the state would be juried by an out of state juror? It’s not easy jurying a show in an area where you work and live.

By the way, Dr. Leo Twiggs juried the painting/2D works and Stacy Pearsail juried the photography.

So let’s see – I didn’t like the way the two media were separated and displayed and I don’t like the format for the jury system. And, the venue is good, but too little space is given up for this exhibit. How about the artworks – what about them?

Well, this is definitely a show worth the effort to go see – there are some very interesting things to see. It’s a good thing I took my own notes as I later realized that the exhibit program only listed the last names of the artists.

509piccolo-jsbnellsmith
Bruce Nellsmith

I liked works by Bill Buggel, Toni Elkins, Carolyn Epperly, Susan Lenz, Edward Shumes, Amelia Rose Smith, Janet Kozachek, and Kathleen Pompe, but my favorite this day was a painting by Bruce Nellsmith – which was hung a little too high on the wall, but I really liked it. Now in this case I’m not a juror – picking works over others, but like a juror – these selections are works I liked based on my opinions and feelings at the time. A week later and a repositioning of works in the space and I might have a totally different list of works. And hopefully that’s the way others viewing the exhibit will look at this exhibit too – picking their favorites.

There were a few other works that stood out. One was a photograph by Chris Tertzagian – it was not framed – no frame at all. I’m sure all works were supposed to be framed. I hope it makes it through the life of the exhibit. Also in looking at the program I noticed a few area codes for a couple of artists’ contact numbers were (347), (404), (406) and (603). The 347 code is for New York City, the 404 is for the Atlanta, GA, area, the 406 is for Montana and the 603 is for New Hampshire. I hope these were artists who have moved to SC and still have old cell phone contracts in those states. If not, someone should have wondered why these artists had strange area codes for SC. If these artists pulled the wool over the organizers’ eyes – they also screwed real SC artists.

One name I saw at the exhibit took me back a few years – Cheryl Baskins Butler. If this is the same Cheryl, and I’m not sure it is, because she used to do printworks – woodcuts and such, but this was a traditional acrylic painting. If it is the person I hope it is – Cheryl, it’s nice to have you back in the area.

So there you go. This show will be on view through June 5, 2009. If you get a chance go see it and see how my opinions stacks up with yours.

I also stopped by the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit 2009 in Marion Square, but I didn’t have time to check it all out so I can’t say much about it other than things seemed to be going well. I heard that some artists were doing really well. Anytime you gather 100 or so artists together you’re going to hear a wide spectrum of stories on how things are going but I didn’t hear any real complaints – at least not yet. This was before the halfway mark. This show will be there till June 6, 2009, but that doesn’t leave a lot of time. So go check this show out too. The Juried Exhibition and the Outdoor Exhibition are within a block of each other.

I talked with Vickie Ellis, one of the show’s coordinators and I’m mentioning her name because we talked about blogging and searching people’s names and events and how that all works. So for the record that was Victoria Platt Ellis, one of the coordinators of the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit 2009. The other coordinator is Billie Sumner.

Some Pottery News – Not From Seagrove, NC

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Just to show that I am not a one pottery subject blogger – here is something about pottery in the Carolinas (South Carolina) that is not about Seagrove, NC. Well, I’m not really sure – there might be some Seagrove pottery in this collection, but I don’t know. Anyway, this exhibit will show that important things in the world of Carolina pottery took and are taking place in South Carolina too. We received this press release today for Carolina Arts publication and I thought that it was a good opportunity to show I can see the big picture, as well as be focused.

The South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC, will present the exhibit, Tangible History: South Carolina Stoneware from the Holcombe Family Collection, on view in the fourth-floor Recent Acquisitions Gallery from June 5 through Dec. 31, 2010. Samples of one of the largest and most important collections of South Carolina stoneware in the United States will be on view.

“The name Dr. Fred Holcombe has been very recognizable to South Carolina pottery and decorative arts collectors for decades,” said Curator of Art Paul Matheny. “The family started collecting in the 1960s, but had limited showing its collection until our Difference in Dirt exhibit a few years ago, when it exhibited specific examples of pottery to fill gaps in the exhibit. That was the first time the Holcombes had shown in any exhibition, and since then we’ve been interested in presenting a larger exhibit of the family’s significant collection.”

The exhibit will focus on highlights from the Holcombe family stoneware collection, ranging from exquisite pottery from the old Edgefield district by makers such as Thomas Chandler to the Collin Rhodes factory and the highly-recognized slave potter Dave. It also will include significant pottery from the Upstate including the Owensby, Whelchel and Williams pottery manufactories, among others.

Stoneware is fire-hardened clay, so called because it becomes almost as hard as stone after being heated to about 2,000 degrees. It is highly collectible, especially Edgefield pottery, known for its unique glaze, a tradition which spread across the South in the 18th century. A few artists in South Carolina still produce this traditional art.

The exhibit will include approximately 50 examples from the Holcombes’ collection, plus several pieces from the Museum’s collection.

“The Upstate potteries were usually seasonal. Potters were farmers most of the time, but when the harvest was over, they made pottery in the off season.” These factories were family run, cottage industries. An exception was Edgefield, which had a large number of slaves making pots in the 18th and 19th centuries, said Matheny.

Other artifacts to be seen include churns, storage jars and jugs, pitchers and other utilitarian pottery that has become iconographic for traditional arts in South Carolina. One such piece is a huge, 1850s water cooler with a spout at the bottom. The fact that it’s a thick-walled clay vessel keeps water cool, said Matheny. “The craftsmanship, skill and decoration used to make this piece make this utilitarian object a work of art.”

In addition, a full pottery shop, including a potter’s wheel, will be built into the gallery. This will allow the museum to bring in potters from time to time to demonstrate the potter’s art.

“I want people to recognize this traditional art form that was common in South Carolina and which spread throughout the Southeast,” added the curator. South Carolina was the first state to develop alkaline glaze stoneware, though it originated in Asia.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 803/898-4921 or visit (www.southcarolinastatemuseum.org).

Info Offered At Carolina Arts’ Website

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

I just finished loading up some info to our website at Carolina Arts Online.For years we’ve been receiving e-mails about all sorts of things going on in the visual art community of the Carolinas. This is stuff we don’t and wouldn’t have room for in the printed version of the paper – like the results of juried shows which have taken place. These pages are very popular with artists. They like seeing their names as winning awards or being included in juried show or to see who got in when they didn’t. We have these results going back ten years.

Then there is our ART NEWS section. It carries all kinds of info about the visual arts. Here you can find out info about lectures being offered, dated call for enties for juried show, dated opportunities (for all kinds of things) and news about artists, art administrators, and arts organizations. We get this kind of info on a regular basis and we try to post it as soon as we can, but it does take a backseat to the printed paper. And, sometimes people don’t give us much time to let you know about things before the deadline is up.

We also receive info about art groups’ meetings, fundraisers, and tours.

I just wanted some of our blog readers to know a little bit more about what can be found on our website. Some of you may have known about this, but some may not have known. So, now you do.

Carolina Arts Unleashed – One Year of Blogging

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

My oh my, has it been a year already? And, what a year it was. By early fall of 2008 the economy had gone South (Why does going South mean a bad thing?) – I came South 35 years ago and I think that was a good thing. In November, the first black man was elected President of United States. Both events seemed unbelievable at the beginning of this blog’s life – May 22, 2008. Here we are today – the Carolina art community is about ready to cry “UNCLE” yet there might be light at the end of the tunnel – I hope so. The world of newspapers is at a critical breaking point and arts coverage is taking it on the chin. What’s a newspaper editor to do – especially an arts newspaper editor?

“Start a blog old man!” I would have said “young” man, but that is gone, along with the West – it’s always on fire. (Referring to the “Go West Young Man – phrase.) And, with this anniversary blog, I will have offered 100 blog entries – some short ones, a lot of long ones, and the ones most read. That’s over eight years worth of editorial commentary in the newspaper. I’m sure there are a lot of folks who wish I had never learned about the blog, but I’m glad I did.

So right off I want to share the blame with those who deserve it – those people who helped make it possible. None of the names have been changed – these people are not innocent. First off, is Linda, my better half, who is my editor, safety net, web master and debate partner. She wins a few of those debates – lucky for some you know whos. Plus, she gave me this blog for my birthday last year. Then comes Will Ravenel and his daughter Zelda Ravenel, our God-daughter who help with computer tech problems. Teri Tynes, a master blogger in New York City who helped explain what it was all about. And, let’s not forget the folks at WordPress who make it all possible – and free too. At least it’s been free so far. Still can’t figure that one out yet.

Then there are the bloggers who have provided inspiration and a daily fix of reading someone else’s ramblings, but it all goes back farther than last year. A few years ago I participated on a sort of blog/community forum called Arts Ramble of the Triangle created by Andrea Gomez in Raleigh, NC. It’s no longer in action, but that’s where the seed was planted. Will Ravenel also created a few blogs that showed me the possibilities of communicating in this mode. But, over the last year, inspiration has come on a regular basis from Teri Tynes, Meredith Haywood, Christopher RicoSusan Lenz, Samantha Henneke, Michael Klein, and Doug McAbee – check out these blogs. (Click on their names.)

I’ve also received a lot of inspiration from the ongoing battle to save the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC – which still needs financial help. And, there is always the battle to make sense of the South Carolina Arts Commission – who are they and what do they do? The real life questions. Like the fact that the Arts Commission has a board meeting scheduled for June 3, 2009. Hopefully this will be the last meeting for Linda Stern (the chair of the Commission). Will this meeting take place in Charleston, SC, this year – like years past – or will it be in Columbia, SC? Are the years of the “special” meetings in Charleston during the Spoleto Festival over? Who knows? They usually don’t post an official notice of the meetings until a few days before it takes place, but the public is always welcome – only if they know about it ahead of time. I know where to look.

I’ve learned a lot along the way about blogging over this year. I also learned that it helps when you start a blog if you have already been doing commentary for 21 years and you have a built-in audience that you can call on for readers. It also helps to have the blog attached to a website,Carolina Arts Online, which is a mega site of archived content built up over ten years. It also helps to have a monthly printed paper that has been covering the visual arts in parts of the Carolinas over the past 21 years. So, we got a lot of help in making this blog what it has become.

Now, we still have a lot to learn yet. Hopefully as this next year develops we will be adding more things which make Carolina Arts Unleashed a better place to visit. No use talking about them at this point – this old dog doesn’t learn new tricks easily.

One thing that readers seem to want is for me to turn the comments switch to on, but as I said at the beginning of doing this blog – I don’t have time to monitor comments and keep the crazies at bay. People can still e-mail (info@carolinaarts.com) me comments about anything I say – some do, and their comments are taken into account. We’ll even post them if they are good enough to add into the mix, but I started this blog for me – to give me more opportunities for commentary about what’s going on in the Carolina visual art community and a few other things. And, after some people’s worry – I only made one entry about the SC Aquarium. Imagine that.

I may try a test run with the comments switch turned on, but it will be for a limited time – so those who want to offer their 2 cents – be alert. I’m always willing to try something once.

So there you go – Happy Anniversary to Carolina Arts Unleashed! Who knows, by next year we may master the art of FaceBook, Twitter, and whatever else they come up with – so stay tuned.

Pottery Events Coming Up in Seagrove, NC, in June 2009

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

First off is the Cousins in Clay event on June 6 & 7, 2009, at Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove featuring works by Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke of Bulldog and invited guest and “clay cousin” Michael Kline from Bakersville, NC.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists and add to your pottery collection or begin one. The event begins Sat. June 6 at 9am and continues through 5pm. On Sun. June 7 you can come by at 10am and stay till 4pm, but if you do that – you should buy something. And, why wouldn’t you – all three potters make wonderful works of art – and functional too.

On June 20, 2009, from 10am – 4pm at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove you can come shop at the Pots from the Attic Fundraiser, a once-in-a-lifetime sale of slightly worn pots. I wondered what that meant so I asked and was told, “this could be anything that is chipped, broken, repaired, or just heavily used with signs of wear. Most of the pots for this event will be from the Dr. Everette James Collection with some other pots from various donors. This will be an outright sale of pots, so folks can browse around and see the pieces and prices and take them home that day.” Sounds like a deal. The good Dr. is once again coming to the aid of the Pottery Center.

You might want to come early for the best selection, but you also might want to stick around until 2pm when a booksigning for The Living Tradition – North Carolina Potters Speak, will take place till 4pm. This book includes interviews by Michelle Francis and Charles “Terry” Zug III of 20 of North Carolina’s most distinguished potters with photographs by Rob Amberg, all edited by Denny Hubbard Mecham, the Pottery Center’s former director.

The potters included in the book are: Paulus Berensohn, Jennie Bireline, Cynthia Bringle, Charles Davis Brown, Kim Ellington, Mark Hewitt, MaryLou Higgins, Nick Joerling, Ben Owen III, Vernon Owens, Pam Owens, Jane Peiser, Hal Pugh, Eleanor Pugh, Will Ruggles, Douglas Rankin, Caroleen Sanders, Norman Schulman, Michael Sherrill, Tom Spleth, Hiroshi Sueyoshi, Tom Suomalainen, and Neolia Cole Womack.

The book was published for the North Carolina Pottery Center by Goosepen Press and is available at the NC Pottery Center for $29.95, (cloth, 192 pages) and on this day between 2 – 4pm you can get your copy or copies signed. They’ll let you buy as many copies as you need – Christmas is right around the corner.

The interviews intimately reveal the “aspirations and attitudes” of clay-working in a contemporary, diverse tradition. From the “fast nickel” or the “slow dime” and the practicalities of pricing and selling, to technical discussions of kiln building, clay processing, throwing, glazing, and firing, to the spirituality of the creative process and the medium of clay as a “reflection of life,” potters from across the state vivify the struggle and reward of their lives and work.

Luminous photographs by Rob Amberg complement the artists ’ own words – revelatory of character and ripe with anecdote – in this culmination of a documentary project by the North Carolina Pottery Center to promote and protect North Carolina’s unique pottery-making history.

The book’s description is not in my words – as if you couldn’t tell, but I believe them – the Pottery Center is a first-class operation.

Now, if you haven’t figured it out yet or you’re new to this blog – I’m a big fan of the North Carolina Pottery Center and the potters of Seagrove – all 100 + of them. I like other potters too, in other parts of the Carolinas, but as long as they need me – I’m trying to be their biggest fan and that’s going to take a lot if I’m even hoping to get close to how big a fan Dr. Everette James is, which might not be possible.

Well, if people from all over the Carolinas and beyond, if there is such a place, would start traveling to Seagrove and taking lots of pots home with them (after paying for them) and told people in Seagrove that I made it sound like they were really missing out on something – maybe then – some people might think I’m as good as the “good Dr.” But, that would take a lot of people. I’d settle for second-best fan.

So, what if you just can’t go to Seagrove? I’m thinking. The concept just doesn’t compute, but I guess if it’s not possible, the Pottery Center can take orders for the book if you call 336/873-8430 or e-mail to (ncpc@atomic.net).

All proceeds from The Living Tradition and the Pots from the Attic Fundraiser directly benefit the North Carolina Pottery Center – if you use this link you can even go download sample pages from the book.

If you don’t need a book or a pot – you can go to the website and make a donation to the Center.

As far as the Cousins in Clay event – I hear it’s even possible to go to the websites of potters (links above) and see works there and purchase them by credit card and have them shipped to your door. You all know how to use credit cards, don’t you? Well, I mean our American readers know what that’s all about.

I guess that would be OK, but I still have a hard time getting my head around why you can’t go to Seagrove. What else are you doing in June? Cutting grass? You know there’s no NFL Europe anymore.

The Piccolo Spoleto Festival Starts in Charleston, SC, on May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

If you want to see visual arts at the Spoleto Festival USA – you’re out of luck. That festival isn’t offering visual arts as part of its “World’s Most Comprehensive Arts Festival”. I guess they’ve finally been forced to stop using that moniker. So, if you want to see visual arts in a festival setting, you’ll have to rely on the Piccolo Spoleto Festival – the “little” festival – hardly. Piccolo usually offers over 700 events of all sorts – some not really art events, but it’s a big platter festival. But, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival does offer visual arts – plenty of it, draped against the massive backdrop of Charleston’s regular visual art community.

I recommend your first stops being the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit 2009, held in Marion Square Park – at the intersections of Meeting, King and Calhoun Streets in downtown Charleston and just a few yards away, the Piccolo Spoleto Crafts Fair 2009, held in Wragg Square – at Charlotte and Meeting Street.

The Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit 2009 starts Friday, May 22 and continues through June 6, daily from 10am-5pm. The show features over 100 juried exhibitors from all over South Carolina – working in all kinds of 2-D media. At 4pm on May 22 you can watch Charleston Mayor Joe Riley announce awards selected by juror Harry DeLorme. Art demonstrations are offered   daily and with over 100 artists – a lot of art speak will be available. And, this show is free.

The reason I suggest you stop by this show early on is – early buyers get to see all that is being offered – as the show goes on the supply dwindles. You’ll never know what you missed if you don’t go early.

The first weekend of the Piccolo Spoleto Crafts Fair 2009, also starts Friday May 22 and continues till May 24. The second weekend takes place May 29 and continues through May 31. The hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 10am-6pm and Sundays from 11am-5pm. These shows feature over 130 American craft artists from all over the US. Demonstrations are also offered here daily. There is an admission of $3, but I’ll tell you a little secret. These people send free tickets to galleries all over Charleston and SC – so you might want to check at your local gallery to see if you can get some free tickets, but $3 won’t break anyone.

The reason I suggest you stop by this show early on is – first, these shows only happen on two weekends and second, again – early buyers get to see all that is being offered.

Now, I hope that in-between delivering our June issue I’ll be able to bring you news of other visual art offerings being presented during this festival season in Charleston – you know I do have a newspaper to deliver and then there is always the July issue to work on. But I hope to do a Magical Mystery Tour II of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival exhibitions – this time with images. And, sooner than the last day of some of the exhibits.

Don’t forget we have plenty of info about these exhibits on our web version of the May 2009 issue at Carolina Arts Online. Just search the Feature Articles and both Institutional and Commercial Gallery Listings.

Maybe I’ll bump into you there somewhere on the streets of Charleston. Don’t worry folks – I’m used to looking both ways before I cross the streets in Charleston or just about anywhere else in the Carolinas. People with opinions have to always be careful. Not that anyone has got their sights on me or my back, but some people are always telling me to be careful. I’m not sure what they mean by that, but I’m looking both ways anyway.

2009 SC Watermedia Society Traveling Exhibition

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I was delivering papers – a little early last month – so I got a chance to see the 31st SC Watermedia Society Traveling Exhibition at the North Charleston City Gallery, located at the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex in North Charleston, SC. This exhibit features the top 30 award winning entries from the Society’s annual member exhibition, which was held in Myrtle Beach, SC, back in 2008 at the Franklin G. Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum.

It was nice to see the works up close. I’ve seen digital images and our beautiful Dec. 08 cover with some of the images from that exhibition, but this was the first opportunity I had to see the actual works – one of the great things about this traveling exhibit – it brings some of the artworks to your area, if you didn’t get to go see the exhibit in Myrtle Beach – with help from the SC State Museum and their Traveling Art Program.

I’m a big fan of the SC Watermedia Society – formerly the SC Watercolor Society. They are the largest visual arts organizations in SC and one of the best run non-profits in SC. And, a good supporter of Carolina Arts. But….  Hold on, it’s not one of those earth shattering buts – just a little wishful thinking on my part. So I hope the members of the organization take this knowing I think they’re great. And, that’s part of the problem – they’re so great I want them to take on more visual artists. I wish they would become the SC Visual Art Society.

South Carolina needs a good professional visual arts organization and the SC Watermedia Society would be the excellent foundation for such an organization. At this point in time I don’t envision any development of other “media” forming such a solid organization. Think about it – SC Sculpture Society, SC Oil Painters Society, SC Printmakers Society, SC Crafts Society, etc., etc. How about one really good Visual Art Society – which presents one, maybe two, good annual visual art exhibitions and a traveling exhibition of some of the top works from those shows? Wouldn’t that be a good idea?

It might be a nightmare of a thought to the SC Watermedia Society, but with the increased membership it should bring in the kind of money to really form an important organization – one that is really needed in SC.

This thought came to me as I viewed this traveling exhibit of the top 30 entries because a lot of the names of the artists being represented are the same names I see – year after year. That may not be statistically true over time, but the impression is there. There may be new members who get work into the exhibit every year, but there is a core group of artists who are there all the time or at least most of the time. I’ve seen a lot of these shows over the years.

Don’t get me wrong – except for a few works that make me wonder what was the juror thinking – most of these exhibitions are as strong as can be – within the medium and I’d be happy to own most of them. I can only think that some of these jurors are selecting a few folks to be in these exhibits with more consideration than the work they are looking at – perhaps with tradition or service to the organization in mind – like they are perennial favorites or something. Otherwise I don’t see how they made the cut.

Anyway, it would be nice if some of these regulars would just bow out and let some of the other members have a chance at glory. I’m not saying lower the quality or standards of the show – no one wants that. But maybe there could be a rule that if you’re in the top 30 awards in any two consecutive years, you should have to wait a couple of years to enter again. Do something to let younger members have a chance at some exposure. Opening up the exhibit to all visual art mediums would surely open up the exhibition.

There may have been lots of new works in the main exhibit, but the fact that the same group of people seem to be included in the traveling exhibit which goes around the state for a year – the impressions is – same old, same old. All good work, but a little too familiar to those who follow the exhibit on a regular basis.

The next annual exhibition – the 32nd – will take place at the Florence Museum of Art, Science and History in Florence, SC, from Oct. 17 through Nov. 30, 2009. Will that exhibit look a lot this last exhibit? Who knows what the next juror will select – it’s really in that juror’s hands. The only way to truly make a difference at this point is if some members just decide on their own that being in this annual show – let’s say more than ten times, is enough – twenty times – maybe too much. It’s just a suggestion.

You can still get a look at this exhibit yourself. During May it is showing at the Colleton Museum in Walterboro, SC, in June at The Springs House Gallery in Lancaster, SC, in July at the Belton Center for the Arts in Belton, SC, in August at the Aiken Center for the Arts in Aiken, SC, and in September at the Barnwell County Museum in Barnwell, SC. It’s an excellent show of diverse works showing many creative uses of the prescribed media, with a variety of subjects.

You can see the 2008 Traveling Exhibition by clicking this link.

PS: I just finished processing the awards announced for the Anderson Arts Center in Anderson, SC, 34th Annual Juried Art Show – a lot of the names of winners there were a bunch of the usual names for this competition. Maybe this is a symptom of these regional shows. The same people keep entering and the same people keep winning the awards – no matter who the juror is. That doesn’t give much hope for young, emerging artists.

We Did It – We Helped Teri Tynes Become Best Travel Blogger In The World

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I put out the call for help – people responded and now Teri Tynes has been voted the Best Travel Blogger in the World, in a straw poll on Times Online UK. She won the straw poll, coming out on top of the six finalists – winning 42% of the votes edging out bloggers in Lima, Peru (34%), Barcelona, Spain (15%), Marrakesh, Morocco (4%), Singapore, (2%), and Melbourne, Australia (4%).

Hotels.com sponsored this competition and provided each finalist with a three-night hotel stay and the winner (the Singapore blogger) received a $2,500 top prize of travel. The Bloggers’ Guide will also publish a guide of Singapore, much of which will be based on the Singapore blogger’s original blog posts.

Teri sends out a – Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, to all who voted for her. And, we thank you too for helping us help her.

If you haven’t visited Tynes’ blog – click the link above or on the sidebar and take a walk on the streets of New York City. You’ll soon learn why she is our best travel blogger in the world.

Help Teri Tynes Become Best Travel Blogger In The World

Friday, May 15th, 2009

I’ve written about Teri Tynes’ blog, Walking Off The Big Apple – it’s a great blog about New York City and the art scene there. Tynes used to be the editor of the Free Times alternative newspaper in Columbia, SC, now she is in competition to be named the Best Travel Blogger in the World. The voting takes place at the Times Online (UK) – just click the highlighted words (Times Online) and then you can cast your vote for Walking Off The Big Apple or find the link on her blog. Voting ends May 18, 2009 – so don’t delay – vote now.

Let’s help this former South Carolina arts writer become the Best Travel Blogger – in the World.

Living in the Shadow of the Triangle

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

We don’t hear much from the visual art community in Pittsboro, NC. We used to get sent something about Pittsboro First Sundays and exhibits taking place at the Side Street Gallery there, but not much lately. Not much in a few years. Some folks, when they learn their info is not being included in the printed version of Carolina Arts, figure it’s not worth their effort to be just listed on a website. Whatever.

We received a recent press release about an exhibit taking place as a benefit for a Pittsboro animal refuge hoping we could do something to help them get the word out. That’s what we do, but I’m kind of a stickler for deadlines and this release had missed the deadlines. The person sending the PR suggested that I might be able to give it some exposure on my blog. Now that was clever, appealing to my new toy. I guess it worked, but in checking out some things with a few Google searches I learned something too.

The Side Street Gallery was now the Side Street Gallery and Learning Center, and their hours had changed. That’s info I found on their website, but I was a little suspect when the only exhibit they had listed was taking place in Dec. 07 through Jan. 08 – a little old news. Maybe the gallery is more into teaching art now than showing art and that’s why I haven’t heard anything from them about exhibits.

Well anyway, back to the press release. Here it is:

Spring Art Show to Benefit Local Animal Refuge

Italian-born North Carolina artist Siglinda Scarpa will host a public Spring Art Show featuring a collection of her most recent pottery and sculptures. This show will take place over the course of two weekends: May 16 – 17, 2009, and May 23 – 24, 2009 in Pittsboro, NC, at the Goathouse Refuge Gallery and Gardens. The Spring Art Show will be open from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm each Saturday and Sunday.

Staged in the picturesque gardens of the 16-acre animal refuge, the Spring Art Show will feature Scarpa’s award-winning pottery and sculptures as well as works by three special guests. Guests’ exhibits include Saved: Portraits of Rescued Animals by photographer Abra Fortune Chernik andVedute di Roma: Views of Rome paintings by Leigh Brown and Lee Johnson.

The pottery and vessels of Siglinda Scarpa are fully functional as a pot, tea kettle, pitcher, bowl, or dish. However, Scarpa also creates purely artistic sculptures that mark a return to the delicate forms of the Commedia del Mare period and use aniline dyes and hot wax to make each piece glow with an inner light. These pieces, which she calls “Clouds,” are dense with meaning, a result of Siglinda’s years of rich experience in the medium and diverse life experiences across the globe. The Spring Art Show will also include Scarpa’s tileware and garden pieces.

Siglinda Scarpa’s work has been featured in one-woman exhibitions in the Chapel Hill Museum, Duke University Museum of Art and The Culinary Institute of America, as well as in galleries across the northeast United States and in Italy.

A large percentage of proceeds from the Spring Art Show will benefit The Goathouse Refuge, a sanctuary which houses over 150 abandoned or injured cats. The Refuge provides food, shelter and medical care while working to place cats and kittens in permanent “forever homes.”

To attend the art show, visit: The Goathouse Refuge Gallery and Gardens, 680 Alton Alston Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312 or visit for further info.

OK – I did my duty, beyond the call of duty. I imagine it’s hard for folks in Pittsboro to get publicity being so close to the Triangle (Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh), but while I was on the internet it seemed this benefit was getting a good bit of exposure and now some from us.

In a way – it’s all good. I’m trying to make it to having posted 100 blog entries in my first year of blogging. We first launched on May 22, 2008, so I have a few days to work. Some of my entries should count as 3, 5, or even 7 blogs – as long as they were, but I’m sticking to individual blog entries. So thanks Pittsboro for helping me get into the mid-90s.