Posts Tagged ‘Carl R Blair’

More Good Words Towards the SC Arts Commission(ers)

Friday, January 29th, 2010

No one should doubt my dislike for the actions of the SC Arts Commission – the SC State Arts Agency. As far as the folks who work there, I don’t harbor any dislike – except for a few individuals who have earned that distinction, but of late I find myself taking a new look at the Commissioners who are supposed to direct the agency – their current leader – Charles T. “Bud” Ferillo, Jr., especially.

If I’m not mistaken, and I’m not saying that’s not possible, it’s been some time since the leader of the Commissioners was someone who actually worked in the arts, was an active business person, and also had experience working in politics. So many of these Commissioners have had questionable ties to the SC art community to be thought of as true leaders or representatives of any part of the arts much less the whole state.

I’m talking about people whose claim to fame is having sat on the board(s) of arts organization or non-profits. People who are the spouse of an important business person, university president or politician. Or in one case, someone from Hollywood who just happened to be married to someone in SC for a period of time. Most of them are just rubber stamps to the staff’s directions.

But Ferillo could be the real deal.

I’ve been reading about Ferillo in local newspapers. He was just awarded the Harvey Gantt Triumph Award during Martin Luther King Jr. Day festivities in Charleston, SC, for the documentary film Ferillo produced called, Corridor of Shame, which highlighted the poor conditions of SC’s public schools located along the I-95 corridor. By the way, Ferillo was the 25th recipient of the award and the first white person to receive this award since its inception in 1983. He’s now working on a second documentary film titled, State of Denial.

You all know who Harvey Gantt is – right? He’s a Charleston native who was the first black student at Clemson University, former Mayor of Charlotte, NC, and he’s the person the new Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture in Charlotte is named after.

Ferillo also runs a publicity business – which I hope will help the SC Arts Commission in dealing with publicity and the media as well as the general public, much less some parts of the art community they seem to not notice.

Ferillo also served as deputy lieutenant governor and chief of staff to the speaker of the SC House – so he knows politics.

And, in a previous posting I told you of the quick response I got from Ferillo (during the holidays) when I e-mailed him about not getting press releases from the SC Arts Commission. Getting a response from a Commissioner hasn’t happened since Carl R. Blair was head of the Commissioners – a long time ago – at least its seems like a long time ago. Since Ferillo looked into this matter I’ve received two press release from the Arts Commission.

I’m not saying I’m an instant fan of Charles T. “Bud” Ferillo, Jr., but he’s got my attention and respect. His leadership is still new and there are lots of things to improve at the SC Arts Commission, during these challenging times, but so far I’m glad he’s at the top – for all that’s worth.

My biggest concern is that he might be too busy to make the impact needed at the Arts Commission, but I can hope.

We can still do that can’t we?

Greenville, SC’s Open Studio Tour is a BIG Event – Taking Place on Nov. 7 & 8, 2009

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

At times I find myself in a conflict when I’m promoting several events taking place at the same time. Such is the case with the Greenville Open Studios tour in Greenville, SC, and the Charleston Art Auction taking place on Nov. 7, 2009, in Charleston, SC, during the Charleston Fine Arts Annual weekend. Both the tour and the auction are big supporters of Carolina Arts. People could really attend both, but human nature for most is just to chose one. I just hope I’ll be finished delivering our Nov. issue and have that opportunity. But, then again – with every issue of Carolina Arts or Carolina Arts Online were promoting dozens of events that take place at the same time – even in the same city or town.

Carl R. Blair

In this posting I’m plugging the Greenville Open Studios tour – taking place Nov. 7 & 8, 2009, 10am-6pm Saturday and noon-6pm Sunday. The event is organized by the Metropolitan Arts Council in Greenville. This is the biggest or at least one of the biggest studio tours in the Carolinas. And, Alan M. Ethridge, executive director of MAC, would just love it if I would plug the events two major sponsors – Wachovia and SEW Eurodrive, so I guess I will.

Wachovia Bank, N.A. and SEW Eurodrive are proud to be the presenting sponsors of the eighth annual Greenville Open Studios and congratulate the 124 participating artists.

Hopefully some of you got a copy of the tour booklet I helped distribute during the delivery of our Oct. issue of Carolina Arts. It’s a great resource about the studio tour and the Greenville area visual art community. With 124 participants, it doesn’t represent the entire visual art community but it does feature a lot of the area’s heavy hitters – at least a lot of folks I like. Alice Ballard, Carl R Blair, Jane Todd Butcher, Bob Chance, Lynn Greer, Diane Hopkins-Hughs, Glen Miller, Susan Sorrell, Barbara Stitt, Enid Williams, are just a few I’ll mention. Of course there are just as many that I like who are not on the tour, but out of 124 – anyone should find plenty to like.

Barbara Stitt

The booklet offers one image by the artists, contact info, including website addresses to see more work, a short description – even info on wheelchair accessibility. If also offers maps that can be very helpful in figuring out your driving route from studio to studio. The booklet also offers info about other programs by the Metropolitan Arts Council and an arts calendar of other events taking place in the area during the months of Nov. and Dec. It also gives a complete list of sponsors – of which there are many. So even if you don’t go to the tour – the booklet is a great resource to have.

I took these booklets to a lot of places we don’t go to every month distributing Carolina Arts.

Why don’t we distribute Carolina Arts to every inch of South Carolina, much less every inch of the greater Carolinas? Come on – we’re a business, not a non-profit charity. Besides, anyone with access to the Internet can see every page of Carolina Arts every month. If you have a library in your community – you can most like get access to the Internet. The address is (

I guess there are some who would make a game out of the tour by trying to go to all 124 studios in the two-day time frame, but that’s no way to look at art. The tour is a great opportunity to see the environment in which these talented artists create, talk with them, see their latest creations, and – wait for it – buy art. That’s right – they’re going to let you buy art during the tour. So don’t let this opportunity go by.

Now, if you think this is something you might be interested in and you’re making plans to go – here’s a tip. Plan to go to Greenville on Friday, Nov. 6, 2009, so you can also enjoy the First Fridays event (6-9pm) – a gallery crawl of many of Greenville’s art galleries and some of the folks on the tour will be open that evening too – giving you a few extra hours to see more of the 124. The booklet tells you who is doing the First Friday and who is not.

Man, this booklet reminds me of another great resource of the visual art community in the Carolinas. It’s on the tip of my tongue.

Well, anyway I’ve made my plug – it won’t be the last and you may just run into me there – you never know. It seems to be a surprise for anyone who does see me at an event as they are always saying – “What are you doing here?” which I hope refers to the distance the event is away from homebase Bonneau, SC – because I do actually show up at a lot of events. Not as many as we report on – but a lot. It seems such a funny question to ask – considering what I do.