Archive for August, 2010

The Exhibit “Clay ‘n Blogs: Telling a Story” is Just Around the Corner, but it has Started Already

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Did you ever want to buy a teapot that was made in New Zealand or some teabowls that were made in Australia? If so – you’re in luck. I’m going to tell you how you can do just that. But, first…

So, it’s almost September and I guess it’s time for another reminder of the upcoming exhibition, Clay ‘n Blogs: Telling a Story, which will be on view at the Campbell House Galleries, home of the Moore County Arts Council, from Oct. 1 – 29, 2010, in Southern Pines, NC. After all, Carolina Arts is one of the media sponsors of the exhibit and I guess you want to know how you can buy those far-off items I mentioned. In due time.

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Work by Michael Kline, Bakersville, NC

This exhibition is the brain-child of Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery in Seagrove, NC. The exhibit will give viewers a glimpse into a unique community of 50 working potters who are separated by distance, but brought together through the common language of clay and the written word in a digital world. These potters share their lives, skills, thoughts, triumphs and defeats through an on-line medium called a blog or web log.

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Work by Ron Philbeck, Charlotte, NC

Meredith’s blog is on my list to check in regularly. I learn what’s going on with Whynot Pottery and the Seagrove community, plus get a view of the world through her blog list – when I have time.

So here’s the news:

As an added feature to the Clay ‘n Blogs: Telling a Story exhibit at Campbell House Galleries, the Moore County Arts Council is proud to offer works by participating potters for online purchases only. Check out the Clay ‘n Blogs Online Gallery at this link. You’ll find a teapot made by Peter Gregory of Old Post Office Gallery in Otago, New Zealand, teabowls by Mel Robson of Brisbane, Australia, as well as works by other potters from around the world, around the US and around the Carolinas.

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Work by Peter Gregory of Otago, New Zealand

Both Meredith and I know you’re all not going to get to see the exhibition, but why should you be denied the opportunity to participate. You can go to her blog, Whynot Pottery Blog where every Friday she posts images of pottery works. You can go back through her archives to see the Friday postings. But, to get the complete picture you need to check out this link on her blog – it tells and shows all.

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Work by Mel Robson of Brisbane, Australia

This doesn’t let you off the hook of going to see the exhibit, it just gives you an excuse – if you’re going to need one. I hope you won’t.

So you see, this exhibition which doesn’t start until Oct. 1, 2010 – has already started. You just need to go check it all out before you’re the last one to do so.

Adventures in Michigan – Reunion or Bust – Part 1

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

The Setup

They say you can never go home again. Well, someone said it and they must of messed up, as I’ve gone home several times with no problems and this year had planned a major trip back to Michigan, my state of origin. I’d say my home state, but since I have now lived in South Carolina longer than I lived in Michigan, I think old SC will have to be considered my home state. After 36 years here I’m still coming to grips with that notion, but that’s another story.

What that person should have said is – Oh, you can go back home, but it will never be the same. At least those things you remember will never seem the same and since no place stands still – there will be a lot of different things there. And, if I learned anything on this trip – my memory for the past is just not what it used to be and is surely not as good as some people’s. I know I said this a lot – “I don’t remember that.”  I’ve been telling Linda, my better half, for years that I’ve got “old timers” disease and now after this trip I’m sure she believes me.

Well anyway, this trip was to be a reunion with some old high school friends, which included a few cousins. At least that was my plan. This idea was hatched last February when a few fellows from high school got together at a friend’s home down in Merritt Island, FL, next to Cocoa Beach. One guy came from New Orleans, LA, two came from Saginaw, MI, I was coming from Bonneau, SC, and a fifth friend came for a day from a town 50 miles or so away from Merritt Island. Others from Michigan just couldn’t fit the trip into the time frame we came up with. So, at that gathering we planned a summer trip up to Michigan – closer to many other old high school friends – hoping more people could get together.

We had done this in the past when pretty much this same group of guys came to Charleston, SC, and we rented a place out at Folly Beach on the Atlantic Ocean. It took me years to live that gathering down. And it’s just getting to the point where I can show my face on Folly Beach again. It’s a good thing we’re a lot older now.

My friend (Jim) (no last names – to protect the innocent – right) who organized the Florida gathering took the lead in getting this reunion organized. A few friends in Michigan said they couldn’t, wouldn’t, be on the organizing end of anything. A big breakthrough came when we visited one of my many cousins on another trip to Florida when we learned that she (we’ll call her Joyce) and her husband (Rick) had been spending summers up at Higgins Lake in Michigan – the middle of the lower part of Michigan. So we had a southern contact that would be up north by the beginning of Summer – this was progress. There was a State Park at the lake where we could have a gathering – if people actually came.

As things turned out, after all our efforts to find some folks and get them on board for the time frame we selected, it ended up that our trip was going to be in three or four locations – pretty much the folks we had planned to see and even (Jim’s) plans changed at the last minute and he ended up in upper New York state. We’re now planning to try and get folks together in two years – hoping that will give them time to get organized and make it happen. But if it doesn’t – it doesn’t.

And, at this point I want to state that this trip wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of our three hosts in Michigan. They treated us like royalty. We hope to one day be able to return that generosity.

For the purpose of keeping these entries as short as I can, I’m going to break this trip up into 3 1/2 parts. But, those who know me know – nothing is short once I start talking or writing.

So one evening after we finished our August issue of Carolina Arts after Linda got off work at her other job at 7pm, we packed up the car and headed north up I-26 to I-40 and then hopped on I-75 in Knoxsville, TN. From there it’s a straight shot up to Michigan – except for Kentucky and OMG Ohio. A drive that is so boring it takes forever to make it through that state. But, I drove straight through for 19 hours – with one unscheduled stop in Berea, KY, at the Kentucky Artisan Center which I’ve already written about.

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Of course we stopped at a million rest stops in-between. We crossed the border into Michigan about 5pm the next day and once we got to Ann Arbor we were headed West on I-94, going through Jackson – I had a relative who was the warden at the State Prison there – then Battle Creek – where most of your breakfast cereals come from – then Kalamazoo – where I attended my last years of college at Western Michigan University (I never finished, with just one more semester to go – that’s another story) and then on to South Haven, MI, on the shores of Lake Michigan.

South Haven – Our First Stay

When we arrived in South Haven we got lost. Google maps sent us in the wrong direction. Get this folks. I stopped the car and called for directions. Does this make me any less a man? After 19 hours of driving I was ready for this trek to be over.

When we got to my cousin’s home we parked that car where it stayed put for days. We’ll give my cousin the name of (Rocky) and his wife (Sandy) – like the waters of Lake Michigan turn rocks into sand – lots of sand.

After a tour of their home and a little unloading of the car they drove us into South Haven to the Riverfront Park – catchy name – the Charleston, SC, area has three of them (Riverfront Parks that is). This park sits along the Black River which runs into Lake Michigan. It’s a favorite place for folks there to walk along and watch the sunset.

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We see lots of sunsets on Lake Moultrie at home, but this lake is a little bigger – there’s no seeing across to the other side. From South Haven, looking across the lake your left eye is looking at Illinois and your right eye is looking over at Wisconsin. There aren’t many places where you can do that.

We have to stop the story for a little geography lesson. Lake Michigan is 307 miles long by 118 miles wide, with a maximum depth of 925 feet, but the average depth is 279 feet. The lake has 1,660 miles of shoreline – largely of sand and pebble beaches touching four states: Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. Now that’s a big lake. The Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface and volume.

It was here (back at the Riverfront Park) that our host learned how easy it was going to be to entertain us – at least me. We later learned that everyone was planning art adventures for us. They wanted to show off the arts in their area or thought that’s all we were interested in since we do an arts newspaper – wrong. We get enough of that at home – everyday. Parading through a bunch of art galleries and art museums was the last thing I was interested in – I was on vacation. Linda and I also determined that this was the longest we’ve been away from South Carolina and our business – ever or at least in a long, long time. So we wanted to get away – far away – as much as we could.

So here’s the deal. After the sunset on the walk back to the car I see fireflies and go nuts. They’re (my cousin and his wife) amazed at my excitement. We used to see fireflies in our backyard when we first moved to Bonneau, but after we cleaned up the jungle in our backyard – we never saw them again. We’d have to go up to the mountains in Western North Carolina to see fireflies, and I can’t remember seeing any on my nighttime delivery trips of Carolina Arts. So, this was an occasion. Everyone soon learned that we had no formal plans to see anything, do anything (with a few exceptions) – we had come to visit them. But we saw and did plenty.

At this point I think it’s a good time to mention the temperatures in Michigan. The highest it ever got while we were there was 84 degrees, and there was little humidity – except when it was raining. Some days it never got above 74 degrees and one day it was cool enough to put on light jackets – well Linda got cool. I was born in Michigan. I only wore a coat for a few hours when it was raining.

In South Carolina we had been having months of 95 + degree days with lots of humidity. It was going to be hard going back and it was. The heat is still turned on here. But as someone said in Michigan – at least you don’t have to shovel heat. They had a point.

After we got back we talked a little bit, but then we crashed – we had been up well over 24 hours at this point – it was time for bed.

My cousin and his wife have a backyard that is half garden, half wildlife preserve – they were feeding birds, squirrels, and chipmunks from miles away. There was always something going on back there to watch. And, we spent plenty of time out there – as it was nice enough to do so. Back in SC – I don’t go outside unless I have to in the Summer. Their backyard also backed up to a cranberry bog – which was interesting. I’ve never see one of those before. Now, I can check that off my life list.

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The next day we went back to the downtown area for a tour, first by car and then by foot. The homes along the lake shore were mostly owned by folks who lived and worked in Chicago – at least the big places. This seemed to be a theme all along the eastern side of Lake Michigan – which is all sand dunes, and I guess considered to be the best side of the lake. I saw the same thing in Maine when I was there. Most of all the land along the coast was being bought up by people from Boston and New York City. It’s the same way at our lake in Bonneau – politicians, judges, teachers, business moguls, lawyers – they all live along the edge of the lake. Little folks like us have to live on the other side of the road across from them. Of course when one of our neighbors explains that his breakwall cost more than his house and he’s replaced it twice – I always tell him I’m happy to be where we are. It seems that the more money you have, the more troubles you have. And, a lot of these folks staying in the big houses in South Haven are only there during the summer. But the town looked really nice with a lot of the old homes being restored.

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When we got to main street, which wasn’t named Main Street, it was inevitable that we would come to an art gallery and end up inside, but I wasn’t ready for what we would find there. I’m walking around and pretty soon I see a painting and mention to Linda – “this sure looks like an Eva Carter painting”. She agrees and the next thing we do is turn it over and Eva Carter’s name is on the back, but this is not an Eva Carter painting.

Eva Carter is a world famous painter from Charleston, SC. We’ve known her since the days we began our arts newspaper, we have some of her work in our collection and we know her work doesn’t go for $650 – not a painting this size. My cousin and his wife (Rocky and Sandy) were amazed that I could identify a painter’s work by sight and so was I as I didn’t expect to see it in this gallery. I took a picture of the painting without anyone from the gallery seeing to deal with this later. You see, we should have stayed out of art galleries – now I had a duty to preform when we got back home.

I’m not going to mention the gallery, they probably don’t even know they are helping rip off an artist. I later learned from Eva that this has happened many times to her now – it’s the price you now pay when you’re an artist who creates works that are popular all over the world – people rip you off and there’s not much you can do. If you catch someone, it might cost you more to stop them and even if you do, someone else will pick up right behind them. If someone wants to rip you off these days – they can do it. There are plenty of people willing to pay less for a ripped off copy of good art.

I guess the only benefit, if you want to call it that, is that now works by Eva Carter are sold all over the world. She gets reports from friends all over who run into works where they shouldn’t be, but if you want an original Eva Carter you’ll have to get one from her. And, you’re going to have to pay more than $650, but you’ll be getting more than a $65 poster mounted on board or canvas. The good thing is – this is only happening to a few images – but, over and over again. Buyer beware!

As much as you try sometimes you just can’t get away from your work.

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We had lunch that day at Joe’s Bar & Grill (I’m not making these names up.) where (Rocky and Sandy’s) daughter, (Laura) worked. I had two foods on my list of things to do – eat Michigan cherries and lake perch. They had perch on the menu and I ordered it. Oh man, oh man, if there is anything I miss from living in Michigan – it was fried lake perch and it tasted exactly like I remembered on the first bite. I later learned from (Rocky and Sandy’s) daughter (Laura) that these perch were not from the lake. I’m like – what? Apparently restaurants can’t serve perch from the lake because of the mercury levels. So where do these perch come from? She didn’t know. And, what about all those perch people are fishing for in the lake and taking home and eating? She (Laura) said she didn’t know.

What’s this world coming to when you can’t get Lake Michigan perch when eating in a restaurant in a town on Lake Michigan? This would have been perplexing until we found ourselves in a Wal-Mart and they had cherries, but the cherries were from Washington state! We were in Michigan, one of the biggest producers of cherries and Wal-Mart is selling Washington cherries. Go figure.

I learned on this trip that my cousin (Rocky) had become quite a cook, which was a bit of a surprise to me, but very good news – we were eating very well. I’m including a photo of one of the meals we had – it looks like something you would see in a magazine. We ate really well the whole trip. But, one of the things I learned about folks in Michigan I guess I never really knew when I lived there was that folks in Michigan are nuts about ice cream – not just the kind you buy in the grocery stores – the kind served by people who make it themselves – hand scooped.

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One afternoon they took us to Sherman’s Dairy Bar. If you’ve ever been to South Haven you probably were taken to Sherman’s. I’m glad we were taken, but this was just the beginning of one of the themes of our trip. Sherman’s is the type of place where you get a number and wait and when you get your ice cream – you may have to wait to sit down and eat it. Well, you’ll start eating it the second you get it – or you’ll be wearing it. They believe in giving people their money’s worth and more. They want satisfied customers and they get them every time.

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Another highlight of our South Haven visit was going to see the movie,Inception, at the Michigan Theatre (really, I’m not making these names up). It’s just $3.50 for first run movies, and if you buy one of their popcorn buckets for $2, you can enjoy popcorn at every movie you go to there after for $.50 – and drinks were just $.50. Boy, I wish we had one of those kind of movie theatres in the Charleston area. The Michigan Theatre is one of those small town restored theatres right downtown – not a big multiplex outside of town.

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The 13th Hour

Back in high school, my cousin (Rocky) and I were in a rock and roll band – we lasted a couple of years before our own Yoko broke up our band (another tragic story of fame and glory cut short), but (Rocky) has kept up with his guitar playing, while the last time I played a guitar, I was playing The Beatles Rock Band game with our son. But, today, (Rocky) plays on Sundays for Jesus. On our last full day there, we went to one of the services at First Baptist Church in South Haven. This was one of those modern multi-media services – we have them in our area, where going to church is more like going to a concert. The minister did a power point presentation for his sermon. It’s not the kind of church I went to as a youth, but if I was a church goer – I could get used to this kind of church.

On our way out we were spotted as someone new and a member of the welcome committee made sure we left with one of their welcome packages – which included a copy of the church’s cookbook and a mason jar full of ready-to-make brownies. We had them a week or two after we got back home. (Rocky and Sandy) kept trying to tell the person we would be a 1,000 miles away in a week, but it didn’t matter to them – they wanted us to feel welcomed – and we did.

The last event of our stay in South Haven was a private, after hours, visit to the training center at the Pailsades Nuclear Power Plant, just south of South Haven where (Rocky) works. He keeps the equipment running for the test they do to see how prospective employees would handle themselves under the pressure of something suddenly going haywire in the control room. We got to see a run through of all the bells, buzzers, and flashing lights going off – in case someone spilled a Pepsi on the control panel  or something like that.

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(Rocky) got his training in the US Navy and he assures me nuclear power is safe and I believe him. It’s one of the only things France has gotten right. We need a Nuclear America and we can send all our waste to Iran – they seem to want nuclear stuff for some reason.

Early the next day we were headed north to Interlochen, MI, to visit an old high school friend (Pati) and her husband (Jim) who had just moved back to Michigan from Minnesota, where they had a fairly large maple syrup operation. But that’s Part 2.

Saul Alexander Foundation Gallery in Charleston, SC, Calls for Exhibit Proposals

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

I know I said I wasn’t going to put just general press releases here, but I’m posting this here and at Carolina Arts News because I’m a big supporter of the library. Like life – there are always exceptions.

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Attention SC Visual Artist: The first thing you need to know is that you have to get your act together between Sept. 1 – Oct. 15, 2010, to have a shot at an opportunity to have an exhibit at the Saul Alexander Foundation Gallery, located in the Main Branch of the Charleston County Public Libraryin downtown Charleston, SC.

Those dates are the important thing to remember. Now you can read the rest of the information.

The Saul Alexander Foundation Gallery announces a call for entries for juried art exhibitions, solo or group, for the calendar year 2011 at the Main Library. Preference is given to work reflecting experiences and viewpoints of South Carolina residents. Deadline for completed applications is October 15, 2010. Applications are available at the Administrative Office of the Main Library or on our web at this link. Applications are also available by calling Mallery Manning at 843/805-6949.

The Saul Alexander Foundation Gallery is a small intimate exhibit space – when entering the gallery, the left wall is 17′ 8″, the rear wall is 14′ 6″ and the right wall is 19′ 2″. The room height is slightly more than 8′. But, it is in a location that sees high traffic by people who are knowledge seekers – folks with expanded horizons. These are the kind of people you might like to see your art. Although the space is small, I have seen creative artists use it with unlimited imagination. If you understand that – you know what I mean.

For some reason Charleston’s artists don’t seem to be as interested in this exhibit space as I think they should. How do I know this? By the lack of applications submitted by Charleston area artists. And, the fact that more and more shows presented there are by artists from outside of the Charleston area. I guess they prefer places where they can have receptions – booze. You see, some artists think people will only like and buy their art when they are boozed up. I hope you have more confidence in your art.

What you get out of the space depends on what you put in it – meaning I’ve seen exhibits where the artists didn’t even leave any info about the exhibit or how to get in touch with them – even if someone was interested in learning more, getting them to exhibit somewhere else, much less buy something. While others have placed sign-in books for people’s reactions to the exhibit, price lists, business cards, an artist’s statement about the exhibit, and anything else that will help them make a connection with viewers. These artists also send out press releases by deadline to the media to make sure their exhibit has a chance at being promoted to the public. You get out what you put in.

So, here’s an opportunity for any SC visual artists to show their work in Charleston – the place some people call the cultural capital of the South.

Once More: Applications will only be accepted during the Calls for Submissions period from Sept. 1 until Oct. 15, 2010. The works of each selected artist or group will be exhibited for one month beginning in February of 2011.

For further information, please call 843/805-6949 or visit (www.ccpl.org).

The Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild’s Biennial Festival of Quilts Takes Place in Seneca, SC – Sept. 17 & 18, 2010

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Our first mention of quilts on this blog was made in Feb. 2010, when we brought you news about the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail being developed in Oconee County, SC. Since that time the Quilt Trail has expanded to Anderson and Pickens counties and has been renamed the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. We also talked about how developed these quilt trails are in Western North Carolina. You can read that entry at this link.

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Now, I’m bringing you news about a Festival of Quilts and the official kickoff of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.

The biennial Festival of Quilts will be held on Sept. 17 & 18, 2010, at the Shaver Center, located at 698 West South 4th Street in Seneca, SC. The show will be open on Friday from 10am until 6pm and on Saturday from 10am until 4pm. More than 200 quilts, all made by Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild (LMQG) members, will be on display throughout Seneca. Admission is $5, but children 12 and under get in free.

The Festival of Quilts features quilts produced by members in a variety of categories from traditional bed quilts to art quilt wall hangings, wearables and other quilted home decor. Demonstrations, special exhibits reflecting guild projects and challenges, and displays honoring special guild members are an integral part of the show. A donation quilt made by members, a Fat Quarters basket prize (a quilter’s dream) and a charity auction are part of the excitement. Even a Car Quilt is featured – in the past it has been the hit of the show.

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The Presentation Quilt – Eat Your Greens

The Festival of Quilts will also highlight two other special quilt related events, the recognition of the Oconee Quilter of the Year, Mrs. Jenny Grobusky, and the official kickoff of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.

Jenny Grobusky began quilting in 1993, creating a king-sized bedspread in the Dresden Plate pattern for her husband, George, in honor of their 50th anniversary. It was the first quilt she’d ever made and it launched a whole new career for her of quilting and teaching others to quilt. She had been a seamstress all her life, teaching all aspects of sewing at the Fred P. Hamilton Career Center and elsewhere in the area. As part of the reward process in being named Oconee Quilter of the Year, her quilt pattern was painted and mounted on the barn at her family farm, becoming part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. She was also honored in May 2010 at a reception at the Blue Ridge Arts Council in Seneca.

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The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail will celebrate their grand kick-off in conjunction with the Quilt Show. A sample of painted quilt blocks will be on display during the show and maps of the Quilt Trail will also be available. Several of the sites displaying show quilts also have Quilt Trail blocks mounted on their building. Thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT) was formally established in February 2010 with the mounting of four quilt blocks on buildings. Since then, local interest in the Quilt Trail has increased rapidly, and new painted panels (almost 30) are popping up throughout Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. The establishment of the Upstate Quilt Trail adds South Carolina to the National Quilt Trail, established in 2001.

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The LMQG and its members preserve the traditions, culture and history of quilting in Oconee, Anderson and Pickens Counties. They promote fellowship among quilters; contribute to the knowledge and appreciation of fine quilts; sponsor and support quilting activities, and contribute to the growth of knowledge of quilting techniques, textiles, patterns and quilt makers through educational meetings and travel. More importantly, they create Comfort Quilts for children and adults at Oconee Medical Center, Hospice of the Foothills and local nursing homes. When a non-local need arises, such as a Ronald McDonald House, or a catastrophe such as Hurricane Katrina, LMQG members rise to the challenge to provide the comfort of a soft, warm quilt to make the recipient’s days a little brighter.

For more information on the festival, log onto (www.lmqg.org/quiltshow).

Vista Studios in Columbia, SC, Features an Exhibit of Clay Sculptures

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Just another posting about an exhibit proving this blog’s feet are firmly placed in clay or something like that. Of course we have plenty more like this at Carolina Arts Online.

Here it goes:

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Vista Studios in Columbia, SC, will present the exhibit, Clay Works 2010, featuring clay sculptures by Sandra Carr, Rita Ruth Cockrell, and Richard Lund, on view in Gallery 80808 from Sept. 16 – 21, 2010.

The Carolinas have a long history and tradition of artists who work with clay. This exhibition features works by three contemporary artists who live and work in South Carolina.

Each of the artist use clay as a sculpting medium. Rather than make functional pieces, they use clay as a medium for personal expression. Each has a distinctive style. They create sculptures with conceptual meaning, taking the viewer past the decorative to a more emotional experience.

Sandra Carr has the following to say about her work, “Clay represents healing for me as an artist. It has been forgiving, stable and has the capacity to change when altered by outside influences. All characteristics I admire and strive for. Sculpting figurative pieces allows me to tell a story in my work or communicate a feeling. It speaks for me when I choose not to.”

Rita Ruth Cockrell offered this statement, “Born and raised in South Carolina, I love this place, every road side weed, every red clay road, leopard clay bank, shadow of white sand. After traumatic events with myself, my mother and authorities, I began working in any medium that came my way, always going toward the inside to go outside. Believing that if I can be good enough, some aspect of truth or beauty would help me understand that even if I can’t get there, the glimmering of the source comforts me”.

Richard Lund has this to say, “I moved to Columbia South Carolina two and a half years ago. Shortly after I arrived I joined the City of Columbia Arts Center studio which began my working with clay. I have been an artist many years creating paintings, photographs and sculptures but clay was a new exciting medium for me. Sculpting in clay offers me a seductive tactile experience that other mediums can not give. As I mold, move and pinch the clay with my hands it allows me to easily release my ever changing imagination and ideas realizing them in three dimensions.

For further information call the Studios at  803/252-6134 or visit (www.gallery80808vistastudios.com).

Falling Rivers Gallery in Albemarle, NC, Presents Works by North Carolina Professional Potters Guild – Sept. 24 & 25, 2010

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Here’s another contact from Central NC. The more we hear from folks the more we know. I feel like Albemarle is a cousin since Hwy. 52 goes through it just like here in Bonneau, SC, where Hwy. 52 goes right through town. Maybe we’re working on a Hwy 52 thing, since we just talked about Salisbury, NC, and Hwy. 52 goes through that town too. The only difference is Albemarle and Salisbury are cities and Bonneau is just a spot on the map. But if you just stay on 52 – you can get here or there.

We didn’t exactly receive a press release – it was more like a note, but I did some digging and found out a bit more info about this event, the gallery, art guild and potters guild.

So here it goes:

Falling Rivers Gallery will present the North Carolina Professional Potters Guild Member Show on Sept. 24 and 25, 2010. The guild is made up of members from around the greater area surrounding Albemarle.

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The gallery is located at 119 West Main Street, next to Starnes jewelers in uptown Albemarle.

The Falling Rivers Gallery is a cooperative venue of the Stanly Arts Guild. Member staffed, this gallery offers the very best in local art and crafts including: oil and watercolor, photography, pottery and ceramic art, jewelry, native American art, gourd sculpture and much more. The gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am-5pm; Thursdays until 6:30pm; and Saturdays from 10am-4pm.

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Work by Nancy Lipe

The mission of the Stanly Arts Guild is: To introduce the public in Stanly County and surrounding regions to the talented artists in the area; To sponsor educational opportunities for potential artists; and To nurture beginning artists with developing skills in how to promote, display, and market their work.

If you’re in the area or headed near there this month, the current show is The Ellen Cook Gaskins Memorial Art Show 2010 – Nature At Its Best, on view from Aug. 4 – 27, 2010.

For further information contact Nancy Lipe, Gallery Director at 704/983-4278 or visit (www.fallingriversgallery.com). The gallery also has a blog found at (http://frgblog.com/).

Arts and Heritage Center in North Augusta, SC, Features Clay in A Can, on View Sept. 14 – Nov. 13, 2010

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

This can be considered another in our series of reporting on clay exhibits taking place in the Carolinas, although this notice came from an area we don’t often hear from much – North Augusta, SC. Border towns in South Carolina like to think of themselves as part of bigger cities close to them. North Augusta is more akin to Augusta, GA – they share names. Hilton Head, SC, likes to associate itself with Savannah, GA. Rock Hill, SC, likes to think of itself as part of metropolitan Charlotte, NC.

Actually, this notice came from someone in Augusta, GA, as this event is part of a festival in GA, but that’s OK – the exhibit is still taking place in SC. And, it’s not often you’ll be able to see a show like this with works from across the country. They may be small works but many are made by big names in the pottery world.

Here it is:

The Arts and Heritage Center in North Augusta, SC, will present the invitational traveling exhibit, Clay in A Can,  featuring works by members of the Clay Artists of the Southeast (CASE) including nationally known potters Joe Bova, Anna Calluori Holcombe, Sylvia Hyman, Val Cushing, Don Reitz, Nancy Selvin, Richard Shaw, Victor Spinski, Jack Troy, and Bill van Gilder, among others.

The exhibit, part of the Westobou Festival in Augusta, GA, will be on view from Sept. 14 – Nov. 13, 2010. The sixty-one invitational works will range from utilitarian pottery to inventive clay sculpture. Any piece must fit into a one-gallon paint can. The maximum size must be 6-inch by 5-inch by 5-inch. Each piece will be presented on top of the paint can. All works will be for sale.

Potters participating in this exhibit include: Peter Alsen, Idleyld Park, OR; Carolyn P. (Pearl) Bailie, Augusta, GA; Ann Baker, Aiken, SC; Douglas Baldwin, Missoula, MT; Alice Ballard, (Munn), Greenville, SC; Elizabeth M. Barnes, N. Augusta, SC; Jeanne Bisson, Washington, VT; Betsy Borgatti, Martinez, GA; Joe Bova, Santa Fe, NM; Eric Carlin, North Augusta, SC; Janine Cawthorne, North Augusta, SC; Val Cushing, Alfred Station, NY; Cheryl Dean, North Augusta, SC; Carissa Doying, North Augusta, SC; Aubrey Desportes, Gilbert, SC; Cecelia Desportes, Gilbert, SC; CP.  Dunbar, Leesville, SC; Christy Dunbar, Leesville, SC; Sarah Barney Fletcher, Augusta, GA; Rosemary Forrest, Augusta, GA; Wade Franklin, Midville, GA; Annette Gates, Athens, GA; Donna Hallman, North Augusta, SC; Lisa D. Hatch, North Augusta, SC; Steven Hill, Sandwich, IL; Anna Calluori Holcombe,Gainesville, FL; Richard Holt, Baltimore, MD; Bill Hunt, Delaware, OH; Sylvia Hyman, Nashville, TN; Marsha Johnson, Aiken, SC; Christy Knox, Cummington, MA; Eva Kwong, Kent, OH; Elena Sonbok Lee, San Diego, CA; Frank E. Lustig, Aiken, SC; Kayrene Lyon, North Augusta, SC; Kirk Mangus, Kent, OH; Nick Mason, Mt. Vernon, IN; Jennifer McCurdy, Vineyard Haven, MA; Katy McDougal, Atlanta, GA; Richard Nickel, Norfolk, VA; Lisa Orr, Austin, TX; David Otis, East Jordan, MI; Neil Patterson, Philadelphia, PA; Sandi Pierantozzi, Philadelphia, PA; Barbara Powell, Lincolnton, GA; Don Reitz, Clarkdale, AZ; Elizabeth Reynolds, North Augusta, SC; Andy Rogers, Maryville, MO; Tierney Rollins, Augusta, GA; Renee Rouillier, Columbia, SC; Lisa Scroggins, Ridgefield, CT; Barbara Sebastian, San Francisco, CA; Nancy Selvin, Berkeley, CA; Richard Shaw, Fairfax, CA; Victor Spinski, Newark, DE; Tom Supensky, Aiken SC; Leslie Thompson, Oak View, CA; Ikuzi Teraki, Washington, VT; Jack Troy, Huntingdon, PA; Bill van Gilder, Gapland, MD; and Dianne White, Lincolnton GA.

The exhibition is testimony to the versatile nature of clay and those persons who have chosen ceramics as their means of aesthetic expression. Each piece is an individual, one-of-a-kind work of art. The artists represent twenty-three states, from Oregon to Florida and Arizona to Vermont. Their educational and social backgrounds are as diverse as the clay objects they produce. The methods, techniques, materials and tools used cover the gamut of ceramic practice.

Please examine each work carefully and witness the fine quality as well as the creative response to a wide variety of forms and topics. Some of the pieces are humorous while others more conceptual. You will find examples of excellent craftsmanship all tied to the broad concept of clay in a can. The exhibition is partly funded by a grant from the Porter Fleming Foundation.

The Westobou Festival, designed to celebrate excellence in the arts, features a variety of performances and exhibitions by local, regional, and nationally-recognized artists, primarily in the disciplines of dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Each day and evening of the 10-day festival will be filled with a variety of performances and exhibitions designed to dazzle visitors and showcase our area’s wealth of artistic talent. Whether your passion is contemporary theatrical performances or traditional symphony events, strolling through gallery exhibitions or listening to jazz, you’ll find it all – and more – at the 2010 Westobou Festival!

The Arts and Heritage Center is located at 100 Georgia Ave., at intersection of Georgia Avenue and Center Street in North Augusta. There is an admission charge and hours at the Center are: Tue.-Sat., 10am-4pm.

For further information contact the Center by calling 803/441-4380 or visit (www.artsandheritagecenter.com).

Editor’s Note: This same exhibit will take place at the Aiken Center for the Arts, in Aiken, SC, from Jan. 6 – 27, 2011. Art venues interested in hosting this unique exhibit should contact Tom Supensky by calling 803/641-6811 or e-mailing to (supensky@gforcecable.com).

Carolina Arts has a New Site for Press Releases – Carolina Arts News

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

As usual, it always takes us longer to prepare something new than we had hoped, but we finally setup this new site, Carolina Arts News for the kind of press releases that have been filling up Carolina Arts Unleashed. We still have some work to do on the site, but it is up and running.

Why do we need a new site? Like with all things, it started with just a few press releases that came after our deadlines – too late for publication in the printer paper and too late to post on the website. Once people found that this was a second life for their late actions – more releases came – some too important to just ignore. If you give people an inch they’ll take a mile and before long things just got out of hand. Luckily, only a few people take advantage, but then others get confused about when to send info.

Our mission at Carolina Arts is to bring the most news we can about the Carolina visual art community in a timely fashion so readers can make plans to attend some of these exhibits and events, but we can’t run a 24/7 news wire service. We just don’t have the resources and time to do that – at least not while we are still producing a printed paper that has to be physically delivered throughout North and South Carolina.

So, we hope Carolina Arts News will provide that service as best we can and Carolina Arts Unleashed can get back to what it was set up to be – an outlet for my views on what’s going on out there. But, for a little bit more – we will still be bringing you news about pottery events here.

15th Annual Wake Forest Area Artists’ Studio Tour takes place Sept. 25 & 26 and again on Oct. 2 & 3, 2010

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

First off, this Wake Forest is not to be confused with Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. This Wake Forest is the town just northeast of Raleigh, NC. There was a Wake Forest College, but that’s another story. So these artists are competing for attention with the art community of the Triangle – Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill. They could use our help and they have it. Also, the tour will travel to artists’ studios in Wakefield, Rolesville, Youngsville, Franklinton, Knightdale, Zebulon and areas north of I-540.

Here’s what they sent and some:

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Meet the artists and see the unique talent that the Wake Forest area has to offer during the 15th Annual Wake Forest Area Artists’ Studio Tour, taking place on Sept. 25 & 26 and again on Oct. 2 & 3, 2010. The tour last both weekends from 10am-5pm on Saturdays, and 1-5pm on Sundays.

Come see where these artists work, many in their private home studio settings. Visit as they demonstrate their craft and explain the process of getting to that final unique state that we call fine art.

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Work by Micah Mullen

The participating 2010 Studio Tour artists are: Ginger Meek Allen, Boni Clifton Arendt, Lauri Arntsen, John Beamer, Kathy Beamer, Mary Benejam-O’Connell, Gayle Strouss-Blackerby, Barbara Blaisdell, David Boone, M. Theresa Brown, David Bruno, Kittie Rue Deemer, Susan Espin, Nancy Espy, Steve Filarsky, Amanda Fisher, Bekah Haslett, Angelia Hayes, Robin C. Hendricks, Don Hodgin, Bruce Johnson, Steve Karoski, Martha King, Nancy Lange, Nancy Lovejoy, Leslie Martin, Jean McCamy, Alison McCauley, Maurizio Munafo, Gary Miller, Micah Mullen, Trish Nardozzi, Mary Benejam-O’Connell, Sharron Parker, Gaylord Picard, Nancy Redman, Robbin Richardson, Maureen Seltzer, Mary Margaret Steele, Suzanne G. Thomas, Judith Webster, Phyllis Weldon, Lisa Bernardi Wolf, and Deborah Young. (Hopefully no one was left out.)

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Works by Nancy Redman

The brochure for the 15th Annual Wake Forest Area Artists’ Studio Tour will be available at all artists’ studios and at several downtown Wake Forest locations including Sunflower Studio and Gallery, 214 E. Jones Ave., and the Wake Forest College Birthplace, 450 N. Main St., where visitors can view a sample of each artists’ work, so they can plan which studios they would like to visit. (Sounds like a good place to start.) The website will have a downloadable version of the map at (www.wakeforestareaartists.com).

Go see where all that creative juice runs wild.

The Wells Gallery at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, SC, Features Exhibit by the Smith Family Women

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Well, by now you know the drill – info that has come to Carolina Arts at the last minute.

Here it is:

The Wells Gallery at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, SC, will present the exhibit, SMITH, a new show of works by the Smith family women: Betty Anglin Smith, Shannon Smith, and Jennifer Smith Rogers, on view from Aug. 26 through Sept. 9, 2010.

On Thursday Aug. 26, 2010, the gallery on Kiawah will host an artist demonstration from 4pm-5pm by Jennifer Smith Rogers and Shannon Smith. This show brings us new works by Betty, and her daughters Shannon and Jennifer, of Kiawah and the surrounding Lowcountry.

The Wells Gallery at Kiawah is proud to present a family most often thought of as “The Smiths”.  Betty and two of her triplets, Jennifer and Shannon, bring us new works that display the similar color palette they share while highlighting their varying techniques and visions. Each artist works to be independent while still relying on the family for challenge and support. An artistic passion consumes their world and it drives them to grow a presence and quality of work that speaks nationwide to collectors and visitors about today’s life in the Lowcountry.

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Low Tide at Cedar Creek by Betty Anglin Smith

A native of the Carolinas, Betty Anglin Smith has firmly established herself in Charleston’s artistic community. Using large brushstrokes and grabbing colors, Betty has grown adept at capturing not just the physical nature of a place, but the feeling as well. Her paintings, whether they depict vibrant sunsets or the sweeping expanses of the Lowcountry marshland, give the viewer a sense of the immediacy of the moment as though Betty, working against the clock, was able to capture the essence of her subject.

“I can’t emphasize enough, I want my work to look quick, and spontaneous, like it just happened and flowed as opposed to appearing overworked,” Betty explains. She adds that the bold colors she uses give the paintings an element of surprise “so that you are not looking at something you have seen a thousand times before. “These colors are there, I just exaggerate them as much as possible. I want my work to be expressionistic but also remain in the realm of reality”, she explains.

Following the birth of her children, who incidentally are triplets, Betty enrolled in art classes at the Gibbes Museum of Art in downtown Charleston and rekindled her love of painting. “I really became serious about it immediately,” she recalls. “It was like a part of me that I had not been able to fulfill yet. I was lost in it.”

Betty’s love of broad landscapes, which are frequently the subject of her work, grew out of a trip she took to Santa Fe, NM, in the late seventies. The tidal landscapes of the Lowcountry presented her with different challenges than the ones she encountered in New Mexico. The tremendous difference between the southwest and southeast forced Betty to more closely examine the Lowcountry. In a predominantly flat environment, she discovered the lines in the colorful shifting clouds and meandering creeks.

For the past twenty years, Betty has dedicated herself to painting, and though her subject matter frequently reflects the Lowcountry landscape, her success has outgrown the confines of South Carolina. Her works have been shown in prominent galleries from New York, Washington, DC, and Martha’s Vineyard, MA, to San Francisco, and Carmel, CA. In addition, many of her pieces are included in some of the nation’s finest corporate collections such as Walt Disney World, IBM, and Johnson and Johnson.

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Single Pine by Jennifer Smith Rogers

Jennifer Smith Rogers is known for her themes of architecture and vistas seen from towering over the city. Her works weave together the themes of light and architecture, portraying a near symbiotic relationship between the two. “As far as what inspires me to paint, a lot of it is the light and the way it interacts with the landscape.”

Just as her paintings center on light and architecture, Roger’s life has always revolved around art. Raised in a family of artists, her mother, Betty and her sister, Shannon, are also highly-regarded painters. Her brother, Tripp Smith is an accomplished photographer.

Although Rogers is an integral part of the Smith Family of artists, she has certainly carved out a name of her own. Over the years her works have been featured in galleries all along the Eastern Seaboard, from Charleston to Martha’s Vineyard, MA. In addition, many of her works now hang in prominent corporate and private collections, including Walt Disney World, the Medical University of South Carolina, Ethyl Corp. in Richmond, VA, the Family Circle Cup on Daniel Island, SC, and Tristan Restaurant in Charleston, SC.

Rogers takes her success in stride, continually diving into her passion for painting. While Rogers has painted in locations ranging from Maine to Italy, she always finds herself drawn back to the familiarity of the Lowcountry. Even more particular, she finds herself drawn to the late afternoons and early evening, when the colors are most dramatic. “I am fascinated with the fleeting light at day’s end because the drama and color change so quickly,” she says. “It is the most dramatic time of day because you get the highest contrast between light and dark. I am also intrigued by the night. Trying to capture the natural light of the moon, the artificial lights of the storefronts, lanterns, and streetlights is both challenging and enthralling.”  The light’s intensity against the dark of night sharply illuminates the buildings, store front windows, and church steeples. Rogers’ bold, thick brushstrokes create a sense of urgency and immediacy in her work as though she is fighting against time to capture each second of light before it fades. Combining this with her use of vibrant, warm colors, she expertly portrays more than just the landscape, but the mood of a place as well. Whether rooftop views of Charleston, vacant store front windows illuminated by the headlight of moving cars or desolate windswept beaches at sunset, Rogers’ lush oils continually deliver a fresh and distinctive style, one that her admirers have come to love.

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Marshland by Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith has quickly ventured beyond the title of up-and-coming artist and has established a solid reputation within the art community. Regardless of what subject she chooses to paint, she has proven to possess an unusually keen eye and an unrivaled sensitivity to light. It is her attention to detail coupled with the use of strong, warm colors that she uses to delicately capture the fading light of the late afternoon hours. In her latest canvases, Shannon paints even stronger contrasts of color, with dramatic darks and subdued grey tones juxtaposed with warmer, more radiant hues. But, as always, her main focus is capturing light.

“My direction in oil painting is to capture natural light,” says Shannon. The artist is also fond of seeking out the quiet beauty in everyday objects. Whether it is old glass bottles gathered in a windowsill or the interior of a French bistro, the artist seems to be in constant pursuit of capturing the simple things in life.

Born and raised in the Lowcountry, many of her works are inspired by the beauty of coastal landscapes and downtown Charleston scenes. However, Shannon has studied in the Burgandy region of France with New York artist Gregg Kreutz. In the pieces produced from that trip, many of which were painted on location, she truly captured the power, emotion, and presence of France.

For Shannon, art has always been a natural part of life. She was raised in a household of artists. It was this constant immersion in art that helped foster Shannon’s talent from an early age. After completing her BFA at Clemson University in 1994, she has been painting professionally. She has been honored by the Oil Painters of America, receiving the Award of Excellence for a painting shown this summer. She has also teamed up with noted fine artist Kim English to feature workshops for aspiring artists.

For further info call the gallery at 843/576-1290.