Archive for August, 2013

Rhett Thurman of Charleston, SC, Among American Artists To Display Works in Paris – The Sylvan Gallery in Charleston will Offer a Preview at Thurman’s Studio and a Reception at the Gallery on Sept. 5, 2013

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Rhett Thurman is a long time supporter of our arts newspaper going back as far as being a supporter of our first paper, Charleston Arts. The Sylvan Gallery has been a long time supporter of Carolina Arts. That’s why I’m making an exception to the rule of only covering exhibits that take place in the Carolinas.

Thurman is also a mainstay of the Charleston visual art community in being a member of the “gang or four” including Thurman, Eva Carter, Margaret Petterson and Betty Anglin Smith – four great friends who were all leaders in Charleston’s second visual art renaissance.

Here’s a press release about the Paris Exhibition:

Ten artists, mostly from the Southern US, will present their work in the independent art exhibit, “Paris Welcomes American Artists” at the Atelier Z of the Centre Culturel Christiane Peugeot located in Paris, France. The exhibition, which features artists working in both the US and France, will be on view from Sept. 16 through Sept. 21, 2013. A reception is scheduled for Sept. 19 from 6 to 9pm.

“Paris Welcomes American Artists” will include dozens of installations reflecting the artists’ interpretation of Paris and France in an array of artistic styles and in mediums including painting, drawing and sculpture.

Artists displaying their work include Robert Calcagno, Lane Duncan, Kim English, Paige Harvey, Wayland Moore, Suzita George, Serge Ruffato, Jill Steenhuis, James Sutherland and Rhett Thurman. Most of the artists are from the South: Duncan, Harvey, Moore and Sutherland are Atlanta, GA-area residents. George, a world traveller, currently resides in Madison, GA, and Thurman lives in Charleston, SC. The American West is represented as well – English is from Evergreen, CO. The French influence will also be strong: Calcagno divides his time between Jasper, GA, and France; Atlanta native Steenhuis has resided in Provence since 1978 with her French husband and sculptor, Serge Rufatto, near Aix-en-Provence.

The exhibition is a result of collaborative discussion between Druid Hills resident Dr. James Sutherland, Atlanta resident May Spangler, gallery owner Madame Christiane Peugeot and Isabelle Zebourian, director of the Atelier Z.

“Everyone is thrilled to be going to Paris – it is a city of magnificent beauty and history,” said Dr. Sutherland. “France is a  Mecca of the art world and the birthplace of Impressionism, which has influenced so many artists over the years. I felt that if I did not act on this opportunity, I would regret it.”

The exhibition has been developed with Dr. Sutherland’s organizational lead, along with the generosity of the Atelier Z of the Centre Culturel Christine Peugeot. The address of the gallery is 62 Ave. De La Grande Armee, Paris. The artworks will be on display from 2 to 7pm daily.

The Atelier Z was founded in 1991 by Christiane Peugeot, in honor of the painter Zévaco, Peugeot’s friend. Located in Paris, near the Arc de Triomphe, it is open to, and hosts, all forms of art and culture, promoting artists of all ages. Each year Atelier Z offers 20 exhibitions promoting international contemporary art events, allowing artists to participate in a contemporary art contest. For more information please visit (

Together through the determined inspiration of Dr. James Sutherland and the generous hospitality of the Atelier Z, “Paris Welcomes American Artists” has been developed to provide artists the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their work in the city that has impacted art and painting throughout the world.

For more information, visit (


Rhett Thurman offered some comments about this exhibit, “I have painted in France many times, and taught a workshop in Amboise. For me, the experience is a combination of the light, and painting on hallowed ground – i.e. where the masters painted.


“The last time I painted in France we were in the St. Remy area. I was painting in the middle of a lavender field, which was not only incredibly fragrant, but was also HUMMING, it was so full of bees. I turned to Harry and said, “I don’t even CARE if this painting works. I’m painting in the middle of a lavender field in Provence!” I could tell from the look on Mr. Left Brained Business Man’s face that he was not COMPLETELY in sync with that line of reasoning!”


“Finally, I must say, that although I am after light and what it does to color, the subject matter that intrigues me (and most of us) has become a cliche. (The same things intrigued the masters – lavender fields, sidewalk cafes, etc.)  So the feat becomes taking this tired old subject matter (in this extraordinary light) and putting your own individual, unique spin on it – your own fresh eye. One of the greatest compliments a friend once gave me  is, ‘Rhett’s work has her DNA’, adds Thurman.

On Sept. 5, 2013, The Sylvan Gallery will be hosting a preview and sale of Rhett Thurman’s “American Artists in Paris” collection from 5:30-7:30pm.

The event starts at Thurman’s Studio at 241 King Street in downtown Charleston, from 5-6pm and a reception follows at The Sylvan Gallery, at 171 King Street (just a short walk down King Street) from 6-8pm.

For further info call The Sylvan Gallery at 843/722-2172.

Latest Additions to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC – Aug. 2013

Monday, August 19th, 2013


The ever expanding Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC continues to grow. Here’s some info about the latest additions.

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away!

It is a tuffet, or footstool, that has inspired a recent addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Anna and Jamie Smith installed a quilt block called Momo’s Tuffet in the garden at their home on Long Creek Highway in Westminster, SC.  The original quilt was made by Anna’s mother, Carolyn Harris of Fair Play, SC, as a tuffet, or foot stool, in honor of her daughter’s birthday. Her father made the frame.


Carolyn Harris has “been seriously quilting for twelve years, but sewing since my maternal grandmother taught me to use her treadle machine. My mother continued the encouragement through 4-H sewing projects. My love of stitching, fabrics, and mental designing has created a desire to make color and value be the voice in my quilts while continually striving to excel in workmanship. Taking classes from nationally and internationally known teachers, teaching and judging quilt shows are part of the joy of being a quilter.”

Hanover House, located in the South Carolina Botanic Gardens on the campus of Clemson University, has also joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. It was built in 1716 for French Huguenot Paul de St. Julien in Berkeley County, SC. St. Julien honored his French heritage in the mortar of one chimney where he inscribed, “Peu a Peu,” from the French proverb, “Little by little the bird builds its nest.” The house remained in the St. Julien and Ravenel families for nearly 150 years.


The Historic American Buildings Survey of the Santee-Cooper basin noted that Hanover was of national significance. Threatened with flooding by Lake Moultrie in 1942, it was relocated and preserved at Clemson University and the South Carolina Botanic Gardens in 1994. The Spartanburg Committee of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America furnished Hanover with 18th and 19th century period artifacts. It has been restored as a monument to early French Huguenot colonial structure. It interprets the lifestyle of Lowcountry South Carolina and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The double sided quilt block has been mounted in front of the home near the driveway entrance and reflects its history and furnishings. The original pieces of hand work are displayed in the home. The first is an Antique Appliqué Square in a floral wreath pattern 14 ¾” x 14 5/8” sewn by Harriet Porcher Smith. She was born in March 1844, at Mexico Plantation, Berkeley, South Carolina and died on July 22, 1855, in Pineville, St. Stevens Parish, South Carolina at 11 years of age. She was the daughter of Robert Press Smith and Mary Mazyck Gaillard both descendants of Huguenot families in Berkeley County and related to the St. Julien and Ravenel families of the Hanover House.  Harriet was descended from the youngest sister of Paul se St. Julien, Jeanne Marie de St. Julien (1707 – 1764) who was Harriet’s great-great-great grandmother on her mother’s family tree.


The second block, called “Peu a Peu,” is the motto for the Hanover House at Clemson University. Begun in 1714 for Paul de St. Julien the house took two years to complete. The residence was originally designed as a brick structure but the basement and huge chimneys used all the bricks on hand and the house was finished in cypress. Thus, Paul had the inscription carved in the belt course of one chimney in French the phrase which translates to “Little by Little”. PEU À PEU for the French proverb Peu à peu l’oiseau fait son nid, which is “Little by little, the bird builds his nest.”

Hours of operation are Saturday 10am to noon and 1 to 4:30pm, Sunday 2 to 4:30pm, closed University holidays, additional hours by appointment. An admission donation of $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $2 for children is suggested. School and tour groups by reservation only. Call 864/656-4789 to schedule a group tour.

For more information and pictures, visit (

Yes, Yes, Yet Another Trip Into the Heart of the Pee Dee in South Carolina to the Art Trail Gallery in Florence

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013


There was a time when it seemed like I was going to an opening reception for exhibits at the Art Trail Gallery in Florence, SC – every other month. It didn’t actually happen that often, but it seemed like it as I wasn’t getting to much of anywhere else. Travel like I used to do has been hard to come by. That can be explained with three factors – I don’t have to physically deliver our paper anymore, extra gas money has been hard to come up with these days, and our son, his wife and their two children live with us now.

So going to the Pee Dee is easy for me. It’s not far away and I can get there and get out fast and be back home in no time at all. And make no mistake – I’m yearning to go to many other places – far and wide, but for now the quick and easy will have to do. And, I might get too travel farther once things settle in and it cools off a little in the Carolinas.

This latest trip was a multi stop trip which I enjoy most. Because the Art Trail Gallery reception for “Vulcraft-Nucor Visualicious 2013″ was being held on a Friday, I was able to check in at the Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City, SC, before I headed further north on Hwy. 52 from Bonneau Beach, SC – headquarters of PSMG, Inc. and Shoestring Publishing Company which produces Carolina Arts.

At the Jones-Carter Gallery, operated by the Community Museum Society Inc, I checked in on the exhibit “agriART,” featuring works by Joshua Vaughan, Mark Conrardy, and an installation by Vassiliki Falkehag. While there I had the opportunity to catch up with Hannah L. Davis, Gallery Manager and Historic Preservation Coordinator for the Community Museum Society. She was also curator of this first exhibit at the new space in Lake City.

It should be noted that on the door was a change of hours from Mon.-Fri. to Tue.-Fri., 10am-6pm – a move in preparation for Saturday hours. Hopefully, soon visitors to the Pee Dee will be able to make a triple stop in Lake City, Johnsonville, and Florence on a Saturday art adventure.

It also should be noted that the “agriART,” exhibit will be closing earlier than scheduled on Aug. 19, 2013, for maintenance and renovation. If that seems a little early for a gallery space which has only been open a few months – I hope to have some good news about that soon.

Davis and I talked about a lot of things – how to grow tobacco plants inside a gallery, a visit to the gallery by the Lake City High School football team, and the fact that the gallery is seeing more outsiders than locals so far.

The tobacco plants had grown since the exhibit opening.

The Jones-Carter Gallery is a beautiful space that will no doubt have an interesting and eventful future ahead of it. Right now it is the tip of the spear for all the cultural changes Lake City has planned. So, you better get there soon to be able to say you were there at the beginning.

For further information call 843/374-1500 or e-mail to ( You can also like their Facebook page at (

Within 30 minutes I was parked less than 100 yards of the door of the Art Trail Gallery in downtown Florence at the corner of Irby and West Evans Streets – another reason I like going to the Pee Dee. Parking was free and there was plenty of it to go around.

This was my second visit to the new Art Trail Gallery at its new location, just around the corner from their old location on Dargan Street. But it was my first reception in the new space. The reception had already been going on an hour by the time I arrived and it was pretty lively inside. There was a good crowd on hand and people were enjoying the food and good conversation about the works on display. So I headed right in for my first walk though of all the works on display.

Work by Sherry Dailey

Work by Amy Smit

This new space has less wall space than the old location, but it is not small and it seems to be more set up for social networking. The first noticeable thing was that there was no lack of seating during the reception. Good news for older folks like me, who can stand only so long. Of course the gallery was also offering a free Jazz Night concert during this reception, so maybe all the seating was for that and other receptions might not offer all that seating, but here’s my open request for all receptions at all facilities – provide seating and lots of it.

On my first pass I was seeing some good works. There were some from artists I remember form exhibits at the old location and a good number of new names I didn’t remember or was seeing for the first time. I then started taking photos of those works that stood out to me. Works I wanted to show when I wrote this blog entry. There is no rhyme or reason for what I’m attracted to and over all I didn’t spot much that I didn’t feel should have been included in the Professional works. In the Novice works there were typical works that looked like they were made by beginners as well as a few who could have hung with the Pros.



Just about as soon as I stopped taking photos the announcement of the award winners began. The judge for awards was Amelia Rose Smith, an artist I’ve known in Charleston, SC, for more years than either of us would want to admit. I love her work and the gallery had a good display of it – which was a nice touch so visitors could see that this judge knew her stuff.

Work by Amelia Rose Smith

After the award ceremony was done I had selected five of the 15 artists she had selected for awards which was pretty good. There have been times when I didn’t like any of a judge’s selections and wondered if they were blind or what. Even when it came to individual selections by artists Smith and I liked different works by the same artist. Which just goes to show – everyone like different things. It’s nice to win an award, but it’s also not life or death if you’re not selected. Your day will come – all judges are different.

Work I liked better by Sherry Dailey.

Work by Johnny Tanner I might have scored higher.

I know the Art Trail Gallery has been more inclusive than exclusive – something the artists in the Pee Dee region need, but I hope one day as opportunities expand for displaying art arrives – as I’m sure they will in Florence, that the gallery offers some curated exhibits where artists are invited to show works that tell a story or explore a selected subject. It would be great if they get to a point when they can present a major show by one deserving artist who doesn’t have to share the walls with anyone. But, then the new Florence Museum of Art will be open soon right next to the old gallery location on Dargan Street.

Two works by Gingi Martin.

There was plenty of food and beverages offered – which seems to be a tradition with the Art Trail Gallery, although I did have a meatball which seemed like I was getting my salt content for a year. Maybe I got the unlucky one that got an overdose, but all the rest of the food I tasted was great and plenty of other folks were eating lots of meatballs – so it might have been me. Hey, we’re lucky that any gallery these days serves anything at a reception – so I’m not complaining. And we all have to remember – it’s all about the art on display.

Eventually the Jazz band started playing and it got a little hard to talk and, since I still had to drive home, it was time for me to leave. One of these days I’m going to make an overnight stay in the Pee Dee so I can enjoy all that this new arts district has to offer.


Here’s a list of all the award winners:

The Best of Show award was presented to Gingi Martin, for an oil painting entitled “The Elusive Peacock”.


First Place went to Pam Rhoads, for an oil painting titled “Jump For Joy”.

Second Place was awarded to Johnny Tanner for an acrylic painting entitled “Freedom Light”.

Third Place was given to Sherry Daily for an acrylic entitled “Serenity”.

Honorable Mentions were given to: Ann Page for a woodburning titled “Screech Owl”; Gaye Ham for a watercolor titled “Fruit Loops”; and Denny Stevenson for an oil painting titled “Untitled #5.


First Place was given to Amy Smit for an oil painting titled “Serving Together”.

Second Place was awarded to Patricia Emery for a pastel painting titled “Faced in Blue”.

Third Place went to Jessicah Kean for her work “Masked”.

Again – work of Jessicah Kean I liked better. Works behind glass are hard to photograph.

Honorable Mentions were given to: Antoinette Ganim for her work titled “Pink Peace”; Gena Sallinger for her work titled “Peace”; and Jana Goss for her work titled “Peacock”.

The Gleason Emerging Artist Award was given to John Ainsworth for his wire work titled “Greeting In the Park”.

The Vulcraft-Nucor Award of Excellence was given to Patricia Emery for her colored pencil piece titled “Reflections of the Afternoon II”.

One last thing about the awards. It’s nice when local companies like Vulcraft-Nucor step up and provide support for exhibits and cash awards and it was really nice of Jim Gleason to step up and provide an Emerging Artist award, as it was not too long ago when he was a beginning artist looking for recognition and encouragement.

One of Jim Gleason’s creations.

The Art Trail Gallery is located at 185 West Evans Street in downtown Florence and “Visualicious,” will remain on view through Sept. 7, 2013. Gallery hours are: Wed., 11am-6pm; Thur., 11am-3pm; Fri., 11am-6pm and Sat. 11am-3pm.

For further information call 843/673-0729, e-mail at ( or visit (

Checking Out Another Cultural Offering in the Pee Dee in Johnsonville, SC

Monday, August 5th, 2013


Linda and I made an early scamper up Hwy. 52 to Lake City, SC, and then to Johnsonville, SC – just 20 minutes to the east to check out the 2nd Artisan Outpost event at the old library building in Johnsonville. We had overbooked the day and needed to get back home early to entertain grandchildren. So we were going to be spending a little more time in the car than on the ground, but in the short hour we were there – we saw what it was all about and learned something too.

When we got to Lake City I took a short cut and Linda remarked that I was getting to know that town very well – as I should, as I think of it as the new Gateway to the Pee Dee. I won’t trademark that so the tourism folks are free to use it, but I guess if you’re coming from a different direction other than Bonneau, SC, headquarters of PSMG, Inc., who produce Carolina Arts, it doesn’t make much sense. So, it’s just my gateway to the Pee Dee. Of course if I ever find something worth seeing in Kingstree, SC, that could change.

But here’s a hint to Lake City. If you ever want me to stop in Lake City, as I’m passing through, you’re going to have to open something up on the weekend.

Anyway, we arrived in Johnsonville in about an hour and 20 minutes – a little early, before the event was scheduled to open but I’ve found that no one seems to mind if the press shows up early. We were welcomed by Jackie Stasney, an artist who makes jewelry and is also the driving force behind the Artisan Outpost.

I took some photos which are presented here, but they are not the best they could be. I was under some duress as to what I could accomplish in an hour. Can I talk to folks – something that tends to get me sidetracked and forget to take photos. If I just took photos it would make the artists nervous – thinking I was another artist who had no original ideas of his own – snapping pics to steal all their ideas. In the end, I got a look at everything, talked with a few folks and then ran into Jane Madden – who we have a long history with in sharing ideas in promoting the artists of the Pee Dee. So the serious talking began, but before I knew it Linda was acting as my walk-up alarm – which had gone off twice – when she just said, “we have to go!” And, go we did, but I do have some observations to share with those who care to read them.

First, if the Artisan Outpost event is to continue, and I think it will – they have had great success with the first two events (considering this last one was competing with tax-free weekend in SC) the city of Johnsonville would do well to invest in a couple of banners to drape across a few of the town’s crossroads announcing that the Artisan Outpost takes place on the first Saturday of the month. This would let everyone who passes through the area know about the event. That’s a small investment to help develop some cultural tourism. A few more signs like the one shown here placed where people need to turn to find the old library would also help.


Although there is a great mix of items offered, all handmade, that you would normally find at flea markets, farmer’s markets, craft fairs, and even in fine art galleries – a few more items would really round things out. I think a local potter who makes functional wares would be an excellent addition to the Artisan Outpost offerings. This month they had a sweetgrass basket maker, Jennifer Mazyck, from Mt. Pleasant, SC, which brings up the idea of inviting one special artisan from outside the Pee Dee every event to give locals a look at something they may not see locally – to keep them coming back. After awhile seeing the same items offered – event after event, may grow stale for the folks who live in Johnsonville or nearby. A monthly invited guest artisan would shake things up and keep them fresh, but they may have already thought of this.









Now it should be noted that in this eclectic mix, there were a few things you might not see at any of the afore mentioned venues – anywhere. Jim Gleason’s musical creations – made from recycled parts of musical instruments can’t be found just anywhere. I get around a lot but I’ve never run across baskets made from recycled magazines which Joyce McDaniel makes. And, the big unexpected find of the hour for me was John Siderio, who was offering knives, arrowheads and arrows all made from chipped stones and other natural items – like animal gut.




Siderio who moved to South Carolina from Linden, TN, used to travel the craft fair circuit for 20 years, has just joined the Artisan Outpost group, and I found his display to be the most interesting – this day. I’m not even sure what you would call him – a flint worker, stone chipper, or what, but other than the stones (which come from all over the world) all or most of his items he said came from his back yard. He makes his items the way Native Americans did hundreds and thousands of years ago. And, like those Native Americans he uses everything offered from nature and wastes no part of anything.

While we were talking with him, Siderio demonstrated how you would break a chip off a rock, use natural tools to make a saw that could cut a tree branch or a tool to skin an animal. He loves his craft, loves talking about it and loves showing folks who would take the time – how it was done. You can’t do this with just any stone, but the chips he got off of those stones were like razor blades.



I know some re-enactor folks who would love to shop at Siderio’s display. He doesn’t have a website, so there is no online shopping so you’ll have to go to Johnsonville’s first Saturday Artisan Outpost to see his hand-crafted items. If the zombie takeover ever comes John Siderio will be a survivor for sure. If you see yourself as a survivor – you might want to check out Siderio’s knives and arrow heads.

Jackie Stasney, with the help of Johnsonville city leaders, have created a wonderful event for locals and tourists alike which I feel will only get better and better as word gets out. Jane Madden who has assisted them in promoting the event is also one of the artisans offering silk scarves.


I’m sure I’ll be back for a longer stay, and it sure would be nice to have something to check out in Lake City at the same time, but that will come in time. Before you know it SC will have a new heritage trail around the Pee Dee for folks to explore.

The next Artisan Outpost will take place on Sept. 7, 2013, from 11am to 5pm. And, if you go – don’t forget to pay your respects to General Francis Marion over at Venter’s Landing in Johnsonville where Alex Palkovich’s statue rests. It was men like Marion and other men from the Johnsonville area who saved us from having to get all excited about a royal baby being born. Oh wait, that happens now anyway. Why – I’m not sure.

For more information, to volunteer, or to participate, persons may contact Jackie Stasney at 843/621-1751 or visit the Artisan Outpost Facebook page at (

The August 2013 Issue of Carolina Arts is Now Ready to Download

Thursday, August 1st, 2013


The August 2013 issue of Carolina Arts is up on our website at ( – all 69 pages of it.

This month – like last month – we have a goal of more “Likes” on our Facebook page (at Carolina Arts) and more “shares” of the post we make about the August issue being ready to download on Facebook. We had 76 shares last month – let’s make even more this month.

The link is: (

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. And, don’t forget to find a way to thank our advertisers – they make the paper possible.

Thanks – Tom and Linda Starland
Carolina Arts