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  • Dawn Hunter Art ® | South Carolina Sunshine | Interviews with important people in South Carolina

    Welcome to South Carolina Sunshine! Dawn Hunter Art ® | South Carolina Sunshine™ is a lifestyle webzine dedicated to promoting all things South Carolina. The website is a collaborative project of visual artist and Fulbright Scholar Dawn Hunter and her daughter, Darcy. Together, they learn about and explore the state's vibrant culture, discover its hidden gems, and learn about the great people who make up its communities. There is a particular focus on events that extend beyond local communities by featuring "happenings" with regional, national, and international connections. They feature an online listing of outdoor activities in South Carolina. For the culture enthusiast , they regularly publish photo essays of art exhibitions. Dawn Hunter Art ® | South Carolina Sunshine™ provides curated content with a unique and intimate look into what makes the state special. Along the way, Dawn is committed to sharing her creative life and process with others in the Studio Visit section. New Interview! Dive into the Heart of Southeastern Artistry: An Exclusive Interview with Kyle C. Coleman, Fine Arts Director of the ArtFields Collective! Discover the magic behind ArtFields, the festival that's revolutionizing the art scene in the Southeast and transforming Lake City into a creative paradise. Learn how a small-town community came together to create something extraordinary, offering $110,000 in prizes and endless opportunities for artists. As ArtFields approaches its 12th anniversary, find out what makes this event a must-see, and how it continues to evolve and captivate. Unlock the story behind the festival that's not just shaping artists but building communities. Click Here to Read the Full Interview! Beet the Blues Looking for a refreshing and reinvigorating springtime juice treat? Look no further than Beet the Blues! To create this vitamin-rich drink, you will need a juicer. This nutrient-rich recipe contains 2 beets chopped and peeled, 3 peeled carrots, 1 green apple, 1 fresh peeled sprig of ginger, and 1/2 of chopped fresh pineapple. Beetroots are known for their rich fiber content and abundant vitamins and minerals, including folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. This springtime treat tastes amazing and offers health benefits. Beets are known to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, plus boost energy during exercise. ​ Craving more, visit our Sweet Carrot Snap recipe, so delicious, it deserves and encore! ​ Events | Get your 'SC Daily Sip' Unearth South Carolina's hidden gems with 'SC Daily Sip', your curated events compass to the state's best food, art, concerts, and more - click to start exploring today! More Cook Up Fun with Darcy's Tangy & Creamy Dip – Quick & Easy Recipe for Tween Chefs. Unleash Your Inner Kitchen Superstar Today! Recipe Popular Content Darcy and I are exhilarated to unveil our latest SC People interviews with the acclaimed Charleston, SC artist, Brian Rego, and renowned USC printmaker, Mary Robinson . Additionally, we are delighted to introduce a fresh photo essay feature that spotlights the raw, natural beauty of Bulls Island . Featured Sections About Experience South Carolina! - the inspiration behind our website, we are fueled by the remarkable talents and accomplishments of individuals in the Palmetto state. With a unique blend of art, science, and community service, we've crafted a vision for a site that transcends the ordinary. Browse our online webzine that celebrates and explores the exceptional people, enchanting culture and natural beauty of South Carolina. Learn More SC People Dawn Hunter's SC People section for South Carolina Sunshine™ provides exclusive interviews with notable individuals contributing significantly to their communities throughout the state. From community and business leaders to creatives, each story sheds light on South Carolina's rich diversity and evolving culture. Stay tuned for our following lineup featuring inspiring conversations with engaging artists, entrepreneurs, and educators shaping our present and mapping our future lives. In this photo, Nakisa Abdollahbeigi at her exhibition opening, Carry On. Learn More Outdoors South Carolina Sunshine™ | Outdoors section is your resource for exploring the stunning landscapes , hiking trails, and outdoor activities in South Carolina. We have organized a collection of must-see places and exciting things to do. Embark on unforgettable adventures and create cherished memories as you experience the natural beauty and charm of South Carolina's great outdoors. Learn More Culture Welcome to South Carolina Sunshine™, your ultimate guide to the vibrant cultural events that make the Palmetto State shine. Our specially catalogued content features an array of exceptional happenings across South Carolina, ensuring you stay informed and inspired. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of our state's culture and discover events that capture the essence of South Carolina Sunshine™. Learn More Dish with Darcy Join Darcy, Dawn Hunter's vivacious daughter, as she embarks on mouthwatering culinary adventures throughout the Palmetto State. Accompanied by friends, local talent, and a passion for food, Darcy showcases South Carolina's diverse and delectable cuisine. Embrace Darcy's motto, "food prepared is meant to be shared," and savor the scrumptious flavors of our beloved region with Dish with Darcy™. Learn More Studio Visit Join artist Dawn Hunter for a Studio Visit. Here you'll journey through her creative world. Explore a captivating photo essays and "Tumblr" page that showcases her past, present, and future projects, reflecting the depth and diversity of her artistic endeavors and gain a unique insight into the creative process of this talented South Carolinian artist Learn More Brought to you by artist Dawn Hunter as featured in . . . crazyhorse/ swamp pink CIRCULATING NOW

  • Kyle C. Coleman | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Interview with Kyle C. Coleman of ArtFields: Celebrating the Artistic Landscape of the Southeast "I think the fact that ArtFields has no parameters concerning, media, technique, and content, makes our event an annual mirror for Artists across the Southeast." ArtFields, a thriving cornerstone of the Southeast's art scene, has significantly influenced the creative landscape of South Carolina since its inception in 2013. The brainchild of a small-town community, it boasts a nine-day celebration and competition honoring artists from the Southeast region. The event is a testament to the transformative power of art, helping to revive the prosperity of one of South Carolina's once-flourishing agricultural communities by turning the entire town into an art gallery. ArtFields is not just a contest; it is a showcase of the Southeast's artistic talent, embodied in a plethora of mediums and displayed in various locally-owned venues. From renovated warehouses and professional art spaces, such as the Jones-Carter Gallery and the TRAX Visual Art Center, to public places like libraries, restaurants, and boutique shops, art is integrated into every nook and cranny of the town. The Ronald E. McNair Life History Center and the local history museum also participate, solidifying the event's deeply-rooted connection to the community's heritage. ​ ​ A critical role in ArtFields' success is the Fine Arts Manager. This role, held by Kyle C. Coleman since 2019, facilitates and oversees every aspect of the competition. The Fine Arts Manager ensures a seamless flow from managing artwork submissions to coordinating with a team of professional jurors. Moreover, Coleman also acts as a liaison between the participating artists and the hosting venues, fostering an environment of collaborative camaraderie. ArtFields 2023 Second Place "40 Burnt Books" Artist: Kristen Tordella-Williams | LOCATION: Opeelika, AL. Title: 40 BURNT BOOKS, Burnt books on custom steel brackets, 180" x 180" x 12." 2023 Competition Year. ArtFields' prize structure is another crucial element of its success. The competition offers over $110,000 in cash prizes, including a grand prize of $50,000 and a second-place award of $25,000. Additionally, two People's Choice Awards are bestowed, chosen by votes from the attending public, ensuring participation from the community. Now, as ArtFields heads into its 12th anniversary in 2024, it continues to grow, fostering artistic talent. While simultaneously transforming the small town of Lake City, SC into a vibrant cultural hub, future plans include collaboration with other organizations and the expansion of ArtFields Jr. ArtFields is poised to uphold its unique charm while embracing the evolving Southeastern art world. ArtFields is a testament to the transformative power of art and a celebration of the beauty that arises when a community comes together to honor and support its creative talents. It is an event that not only cultivates artistic talent, but also invites everyone to engage in a dialogue about the soul of the Southeast by infusing art into everyday spaces. Darcy with Isabella K. Losskarn's "Did you make that all by Yourself," Trax Visual Art Center, Lake City. 2023 Competition Year. Q & A with Kyle C. Coleman Dawn Hunter: In your role as the Fine Arts Manager for ArtFields since 2019, what major changes or innovations have you observed or implemented in the event that significantly contributed to its success? Can you share some of your most memorable experiences in this role? Kyle C. Coleman: Even before I came on board, there has been a deliberate focus on ArtFields as a celebration and competition for visual artists. Those nine days do function as an arts festival, as well, but there is focused intentionality in consistently improving the art experiences for our participants, venues, visitors, and community. There have been several instances where we’ve seen the transition from doubters to believers. We do our best to describe who we are and what we do. Often, Artists who are not aware of us have some difficulty in truly understanding ArtFields. To see those Artists in particular who approach the event with trepidation to participate f or the first time; to see the light come on when they “get it” and become staunch supporters is very satisfying. (continued below) ArtFields 2022 Grand Prize "of America: September 4, 1957" Artist: Noah Scalin | LOCATION: Richmond, VA Artist: Anne Boudreau | LOCATION: LaFayette, LA Title: Climbing the Walls. 2022 Competition Year. Photo Essay of ArtFields 10th Anniversary Exhibit Dawn Hunter: ​ ArtFields is a unique concept that turns an entire town into an art gallery, which appears to have a deeply rooted connection to the community's heritage. How does the art displayed at ArtFields reflect the current sentiment and diversity of the Southeast region? Kyle C. Coleman: I think the fact that ArtFields has no parameters concerning, media, technique, and content, makes our event an annual mirror for Artists across the Southeast. That inclusivity naturally lends itself to prompting diverse viewpoints. We are able to see the experiences of our participating Artists through the lens of their artwork. Artist: Steven L. Anderson | LOCATION: Atlanta, GA Title: Half 483 Years. 2023 Competition Year. Dawn Hunter: ​ ArtFields invites everyone to engage in a dialogue about the 'soul of the Southeast'. How have you seen this dialogue evolve over your tenure, and what issues or themes have become more prominent in recent years? ​ Kyle C. Coleman: To continue the previous answer, I think those dialogues adapt and change depending on the year. For example, in 2021, there were many works that dealt with COVID and its effects on our lives. There has been a continual number of entries that discuss social justice issues and politics. There are always works that reflect the lives, motivations, and dreams of the Artists who craft them. The thought of this work as a mirror is probably the best description. ​ Dawn Hunter: ​ The competition offers significant cash prizes, which must be a significant lure for artists. However, aside from the prize money, how do you think ArtFields benefits the artists of the Southeast region? Can you share stories of artists whose careers were notably impacted by the event? ​ Kyle C. Coleman: Our prizes are intended to be life and career-changing for our Artists. Beyond that, ArtFields has become a living, ever-growing community of Art and Artists. The relationships built here, among practitioners from across the region have proven to be lasting. That we have a sizeable group of Artists and patrons that visit us every year, whether they are competing or not, shows the consistent impact of ArtFields. It is a big deal to be selected to participate in ArtFields, and that doesn’t come from us, but from the sentiments of the Southeastern Artist community. ArtFields 2022 Merit Award "Join Me - A Prelude" Artist: Noah Saunders | LOCATION: Athens, GA Dawn Hunter: Can you tell us more about the future plans for ArtFields, particularly the expansion of ArtFields Jr. and the collaboration with other organizations? How will these new initiatives help continue the growth and reach of ArtFields? ​ Kyle C. Coleman: We are striving to be better and better at facilitating meaningful art experiences for participants and visitors, alike. The recently launched "tours" of ArtFields Jr. artwork, which is a traveling exhibition featuring winners and partic ipants from each region. It will expand the exposure and opportunities for those young artists. Likewise, our Southeastern Partnerships serve to conceptually blow those dandelion seeds far beyond Lake City and provide similar opportunities to our participating Artists. Artist: Diana Farán| LOCATION: Greenville, SC Title: The Last Kiss. 2023 Competition Year. Exhibition Installation, The R.O.B., curated by Michaela Pilar Brown , 2023 Competition Year. ArtFields 2024 Competition Entry

  • Tina Williams Brewer | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Tina Williams Brewer Stories of Grace, June 10 -September 3 , 2023 Tina Williams Brewer, a West Virginia native, has a career spanning more than four decades, during which she has skillfully intertwined personal experiences, historical narratives, and vibrant textiles to create her signature story quilts. Her dynamic, hand-stitched pieces are often richly inspired by her extensive travels, including significant time on St. Helena Island in South Carolina. These inspirations infuse her work with diverse themes reflecting African diasporic history, spiritual connection, shared lineage, and migratory patterns. "My intention is to give dignity to human suffering, finding rhythms that are both mind-stirring and soul-soothing." - Tina Williams Brewer A remarkable collection of her work, the "Stories of Grace" exhibition, can be appreciated at the Columbia Museum of Art through September 3, 2023. The museum's doors are open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM until 5 PM, extending their hours to 8 PM every Thursday. Born in 1949 in Huntington, West Virginia, Brewer now resides and creates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design, honing her unique artistic voice over 40 years. Her story quilts weave together symbolism, textiles, and an exploration of African-American history and spirituality, reflecting themes of generational healing and cultural resilience. ​ Her work narrates stories, channeling ancestral wisdom. It expresses the profound joy of communal gathering, spiritual strength, the sting of racial prejudice, and the steps toward progress. Her art captures the tenacity of African American families and the light that elevates them. She aspires to bring honor to human suffering, finding rhythms that are thought provoking and comforting. Tina Williams Brewer, continued: ​ Primarily hand-quilted, Brewer's artwork incorporates collage mixed-media, such as photo transfers, printmaking, and hand-beading. Each piece is adorned with symbols from African cultures and vibrant patterns that echo cultural and personal narratives, creating intricate, layered compositions that map out her heritage, the African diaspora, and the interconnection of past, present, and future. Her creations have found homes in both domestic and international exhibits, including the United States Embassy in Ghana and the American Craft Museum in New York City. Brewer has enjoyed recognition from the American Arts in Embassy Program for over two decades and has received the prestigious Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Governor's Awards for the Arts. Her pieces are also part of the permanent collections at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and The African American Museum of Dallas. Brewer's recent showcases include the 1-54 Contemporary Art Fair in NYC, selected by Omar Berrada, EXPO Chicago's Curated Selection by Eric Shiner, Christies, Rockefeller Plaza, NYC, "Knotted Ties" at DeBuck Gallery NYC, and "Threaded Memories" at the Untitled Art Fair, Miami Beach, 2021, selected by Natasha Becker, Curator, DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA. About the Columbia Museum of Art Situated in the vibrant downtown district of Columbia, South Carolina, the Columbia Museum of Art stands as a cultural beacon for the city. Boasting an extensive permanent collection along with intriguing temporary exhibitions, the museum establishes itself as a central hub for community engagement. With a dedication to lifelong learning, it offers comprehensive educational programs tailored for all age groups, from children to adults. Each exhibition is enriched by supplementary programming, emphasizing the museum's commitment to crafting an inclusive and enriching experience for every visitor. ​ Museum hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10AM - 5PM Extended hours every Thursday until 8PM More

  • Carla Gannis | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Carla Gannis / C.A.R.L.A G.A.N. WWWUNDERKAMMER, May 19 -July 15, 2023 Up until July 15, visitors are encouraged to explore the uniquely captivating exhibition by Carla Gannis, known as C.A.R.L.A G.A.N. WWWUNDERKAMMER, hosted at the esteemed Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, located at the College of Charleston, Charleston, SC. We highly encourage local residents and visitors to make a trip down. "One of the most compelling (and sometimes daunting) aspects of digital narrative is how it can traverse electronic pathways and physical spaces in more adaptive ways than traditional mono mediums." - Carla Gannis from Lume Prize interview . What is WWWunderkammer? WWWunderkammer, a project by Carla Gannis, is an inventive project aimed to redefine the traditional concept of Wunderkammer or the 'cabinet of curiosities', thus challenging the conventional norms of a museum. Through innovative applications of technology, she seamlessly blends tangible reality with the virtual world. Her installation, mirroring her ongoing online project available on Mozilla Hubs and in high-resolution desktop VR, introduces audiences to various thematic "chambers" - each exploring a unique element of our modern existence, from environmental concerns to the digital metamorphosis of self-perception and language. The in-person exhibit leverages augmented reality to blur the boundary between real and virtual, a technique Gannis employs to delve into the human experience in the digital age, while ensuring knowledge remains accessible for everyone. Carla Gannis, continued: ​ Initiated in 2019, WWWunderkammer serves as an ever-evolving project that advances as our understanding of our surroundings deepens. Historically, artists have employed illusions to obscure the demarcation between fact and fiction, constantly encouraging audiences to re-interpret visual content. Gannis invites viewers to embrace a learning and questioning mindset anew, challenging accepted narratives and conventional outlooks, and fostering an understanding of overlooked histories and possible futures. ​ A renowned American transmedia artist, Carla Gannis spent years teaching at the Pratt Institute's Department of Digital Arts in New York before transitioning to New York University in 2019. Her oeuvre melds digital designs with celebrated artworks, such as those by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, gaining significant acclaim in 2013 for her emoji reimagining of Hieronymus Bosch's painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights. About the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art Situated within the College of Charleston S chool of the Arts, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is an innovative platform fostering dialogue between groundbreaking visual artists from across the globe and diverse communities. As a non-collecting institution, it focuses on the development, display, interpretation, and sharing of thought-provoking ideas, underscoring the historical, societal, and cultural significance of contemporary art. ​ Free Admission GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions) Monday - Saturday, 11am – 4pm Open Thursdays until 7pm More

  • Studio Visit with Dawn Hunter | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Studio Visit A PHOTO ESSAY AND "TUMBLR" PAGE FEATURING PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE PROJECTS BY SOUTH CAROLINIAN ARTIST, DAWN HUNTER. Table of Contents Icons Scroll and click on an icon image below to go a studio visit section you are interested in reading. Dawn Hunter Art ® | Collected Works Welcome to the online portfolio collection of Dawn Hunter, an Associate Professor at USC, a Fulbright Scholar, and a passionate, prolific visual artist. With two decades under her belt, exhibiting her art at leading educational institutions and professional galleries, she's made a profound mark in the art world. ​ In an effort to provide an effortless browsing experience and ensure her diverse portfolio themes are accessible, Dawn has curated a collection of specialized websites, each dedicated to a distinct theme and content. Consider this your gateway to a vast array of Dawn's creative endeavors and portfolios, each a testament to her extensive career and artistic evolution. More The Dance: A Cell Block Tango Biological Pun Unleash your imagination and explore the captivating connection between dancers and the intricate world of cells. Picture them gracefully moving at the center of the cell, akin to the nucleus—the very command center that orchestrates growth, division, and gene expression. Prepare to be enthralled by Dawn's latest painting series, a fusion of the mesmerizing "Cell Block Tango" dance and Santiago Ramón y Cajal's legendary neuron imagery. Through a blend of art and science, these figurative works unravel the narrative of a cell's function, weaving together the beauty of movement and the intricate workings of cellular life. Join this artistic journey where art and science harmoniously intertwine. More Cajal: Scientific Drawings and Landscapes Step into the world of Cajal's Scientific Drawings and Plein Air Landscape paintings of locations where he lived. Cajal's remarkable scientific illustrations are a testament to his keen observation and remarkable talent for visually conveying complex concepts. Inspired by Cajal's legacy, Dawn embarks on a creative journey by painting landscapes from his birthplace, interweaving them with rendered neuron imagery. Through this artistic fusion, she aims to capture the environment that fueled his scientific pursuits visually. More Portraits 2022 Immerse yourself in the world of Facetober, created by critically acclaimed illustrator Charly Clements. "I use the opportunity of this social media challenge to focus on the sub-theme of my daughter, Darcy. I experimented with portraiture, color, and patterns to create a warm and intimate atmosphere. Among this series, Darcy's favorite portrait, featuring blue braids and gold hoop earrings, exudes sophistication and mystery. These expressive images depict our evolving relationship, showcasing our collaboration and the joy we share." ~Dawn Hunter More SciArt September 2022 Embark on a journey of artistic discovery with SciArtSeptember, an enriching social media event in which Dawn has had the pleasure of participating in for the second time. What truly excites her is the opportunity to respond to thought-provoking prompts through her artwork, exploring various topics within science and art. This event catalyzes connecting with other talented artists, providing a platform to learn and grow together. She is grateful to Liz Butler (@liz_lagomorph ) and Glendon Mellow (@FlyingTrilobite ) for creating and hosting this annual SciArtSeptember initiative, fostering a vibrant community of creative minds. More Summer Drawings Welcome to the Summertime Drawing Board of Rodin's artwork! During this summer, Dawn's artistic focus revolved around historical subjects such as the Rodin exhibition at the Columbia Museum of Art and the picturesque scenes at the Riverbanks Zoo , which inspired her Plein air sketches. In a fusion of these experiences, her studio became a hub of creativity. This photo essay showcases a glimpse of the various artistic processes involved, including drawings of Rodin statues completed in Madrid (distinguished by an orange background) and her CMA Rodin drawings featuring either white or yellow backgrounds. Rather than simply a sketchbook, she prefers to refer to this collection as a "drawing board." Back in the studio, she had the opportunity to develop these artworks further, exploring new dimensions and possibilities. More Art of Neuroscience "I am thrilled to share that my artwork, "Dueling Cajals," received an Honorable Mention prize in the prestigious 2022 Art of Neuroscience competition out of the Netherlands. The jury was struck by this submission, which uniquely explores the history of neuroscience. The piece weaves together diverse periods of time from Cajal's life, emphasizing the cultural and historical influences on scientific image-making. The jury appreciated the meticulous research into the sources that influenced Cajal and recognized the artwork as a potent reminder for neuroscientists to acknowledge and understand the impact of history on their work." ~Dawn Hunter More Elected to the Cajal Club's Board of Directors "I am honored and proud to announce my election to the esteemed Cajal Club Board of Directors. Words cannot express my gratitude for the opportunity bestowed upon me to create their new website. The transition from July to August was filled with hard work, collaboration, and invaluable feedback from renowned Neuroscientists I have admired for years. The new website is live, representing an ongoing endeavor akin to a flourishing garden. Stay tuned for exciting updates and content. Explore the website by clicking the MORE button below." ~Dawn Hunter More Sketchbook | Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Discover the inspiration Dawn finds at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden every year! Explore a portfolio of her sketchbook drawings featuring the zoo's ever-evolving attractions. Some changes have occurred, like the new White Rhino exhibit and the absence of elephants; she was prompted by these changes to include past highlight subject matter intermingled with the Zoo's present-day renovations within the portfolio "image essay." More Artfields 10th Anniversary Exhibit "I am thrilled to announce that my artwork, The Darcy Inventory, has been chosen for this prestigious exhibition. In addition to preparing for the showcase, I've been keeping busy creating captivating Instagram Reels. The Darcy Inventory is a thought-provoking portrait installation I crafted in October. It explores, through visual art, profound themes such as race, identity, societal norms, and the intricate dynamics of our modern culture's daughter/mother relationship. Join me on this artistic journey and witness the power of visual storytelling at ArtFields! " ~Dawn Hunter More The Jasper Project 10th Anniversary Exhibit The Jasper Project's 10th Anniversary celebration is a momentous event commemorating a publication that showcases and illuminates Columbia, SC's vibrant cultural landscape. Spearheaded by the visionary Cindi Boiter, the magazine keeps the Cola Community informed while delving into the lives of artists, performers, dancers, musicians, and writers through captivating interviews. More Studio Visit | Cajal Biography Welcome to Dawn Hunter's studio! Explore the Cajal Inventory artworks, a series inspired by Santiago Ramón y Cajal. They were most recently on display in a solo exhibition in Las Vegas. The works now adorn Dawn's studio walls. They continue to inspire her handmade Cajal sketchbook, a testament to her ongoing creative investigation into the father of modern neuroscience life. More

  • SC People | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    SC People South Carolina Sunshine™ | Special feature interviews with people who build our communities and make South Carolina great! Table of Contents Icons Scroll and click on an icon image below to go an interview section you are interested in reading. Kyle C. Coleman Artfields Collective | Fine Arts Director More Mary Robinson Internationally recognized printmaker More Brian Rego Renowned Charleston, SC artist More Marius Valdes Professor, University of South Carolina More Ella Marushchenko Scientific Illustrator More Sara Schneckloth Professor, University of South Carolina More Nakisa Abdollahbeigi Critically Acclaimed Artist More Caroline DeSantis Entrepreneur More Bohumila Augustinova Director, Columbia Art Center More Upcoming Interviews Cedric Umoja, Multidisciplinary Artist Diana Farfán Valente, Ceramic Artist

  • Sara Schneckloth | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Welcome to CONVERSATION, interviews with Sara Schneckloth, Nakisa Abdollahbeigi and Stephanie Allen. SARA SCHNECKLOTH is passionate about teaching. Her excellence in the classroom was recognized this past spring when she was awarded USC's prestigious Michael J. Mungo Teaching Award - for the second time during the past ten years! The first was for her undergraduate teaching and the second was for her Graduate teaching. Professor Sara Schneckloth has been teaching at UofSC since 2007. She has a reputation among the student population as a great motivator who is prone to incorporating the unexpected and innovation in the art classroom experience. Students find her classes exciting, rigorous, and rewarding. South Carolina Sunshine has interviewed Sara and two of her recently graduated students: undergraduate Stephanie Allen and MFA graduate Nakisa Abdollahbeigi. Image above, by artist and UofSC professor, Sara Schneckloth from her Topographies series: Earth pigments, graphite, colored pencil, wax on Yupo, 2021. Dawn Hunter: Teaching is a great passion of yours. How did you become interested in teaching? Sara Schneckloth: It is indeed a driving passion! I had the pleasure of teaching for the first time in Cape Town, South Africa at the Community Arts Project from 2000-2002, where I discovered how grounding and satisfying it is to be in a studio classroom with people who are focused, engaged, and motivated – it has grown and expanded ever since, whether at the University of Wisconsin as a grad student and instructor, and here at Carolina since 2007. Dawn Hunter: You have won two Mungo teaching awards, one for undergraduate teaching and one for graduate teaching, what are your perceptions of similarities and differences among those student populations? Sara Schneckloth: Our students all bring different levels of experience into the classroom, and I believe it’s important to meet people at whatever level they are starting. In any level of drawing course, we engage with the questions, techniques, and processes that can help bridge the gap between what they aspire to create and a growing bank of skills and resources they have at their disposal. Like many of us teaching studio art courses to undergraduates, SVAD classes attract both art majors and students from across the university who are keen to bring artmaking into their lives – it’s these interdisciplinary conversations that can really take an undergraduate project in exciting directions, as students look to combine their other academic interests and cares with drawing. SVAD graduate students bring a host of life experiences with them as they engage in three years of creative and academic study and studio work, and I am perpetually inspired by the strides these artists and scholars take in bringing their creative visions to light while in the MFA program and beyond. Above: Sara Schneckloth working at her summer studio in New Mexico. Photo by Megan Clark. Dawn Hunter: When you pursued your MFA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, at the time, did you envision teaching becoming such a big part of your life and studio practice? Sara Schneckloth: I did, if only because of recognizing early on the excitement and joy I feel when working with a group of inspiring and motivated students – that dynamic energy, the flow of ideas, the deep immersion in creative process – all of it elevates my overall approach to making artwork. There is a cyclical flow between what happens in my studio and what happens in the classroom – each feeds and inspires the other and I honestly and simply love working with people as they bring a vision to light. Dawn Hunter: Describe your teaching style. Sara Schneckloth: My approach to teaching combines rigorous attention to a range of traditional and contemporary drawing methodologies, encouragement of self-discovery, and active engagement in peer critique. I believe that every student brings a unique set of personal experiences to the university environment, and that one of my roles is to support undergraduate and graduate students in investigating and translating those diverse experiences into meaningful works of art, through drawing, writing, and speaking, becoming artists who move fluidly between ideas and images. ​ ​ From teaching to mentoring and advising, I work with graduate students to build solid technical skills in visual artmaking, confidence with materials and processes, and a critical and incisive language for talking about their work and the work of others. Students move forward with a better understanding of themselves as thoughtful practitioners they learn to ask questions of their artwork, each other, and of the enterprise of art making as it manifests across disciplines. In my career at UofSC, I am dedicated to training a generation of artists, scholars, and future educators who embody principles of open exploration and expression of ideas, and care for the aesthetic dimensions of being in the world. Dawn Hunter to Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: How or why did you decide to work with Sara Schneckloth as your mentor? ​ Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: Professor Schneckloth is a very kind and supportive person—also highly professional and experienced in studio art with main focus on Drawing. Since Drawing is my primary major, I have decided to work with Professor Schneckloth as my thesis mentor. Dawn Hunter to Stephanie Allen: How or why did you decide to work with Sara Schneckloth as your mentor? Stephanie Allen: I've worked closely with Sara since I was a sophomore. Even before I had asked her to be my thesis director, she had mentored me more than any other professor I had worked with. She understands my goals as an artist, knows my range of skills and where to push me. Choosing her just made sense. She was always willing to go above and beyond to support me and I am so indescribably grateful for how she's helped shape my undergraduate experience. Above, image from Nakisa Abdollahbeigi's MFA thesis exhibition, Carry On. Dawn Hunter to Sara Schneckloth: How does teaching a class or working one-on-one with a student in a classroom setting manifest differently from mentoring a long-term project? Sara Schneckloth: When working with any student on a project, long- or short-term, my hope is that they allow their thinking and processes to be fluid and evolve. That evolution can take on many forms, whether in how they approach the act of seeing, the drawing techniques and materials they use, or how they invent new conceptual challenges and questions for themselves. Being able to work with a student over an extended period of time is so rewarding, as often the project will go through a period of radical reinvention, as the person goes deeper into what is really motivating them to make the work. It’s that blend of discovery and excitement that can propel a project to even greater success, with momentum to keep making more work going forward. One of many mural walls created by Marius Valdes at the Richland County Public Library, Columbia, South Carolina. Dawn Hunter to Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: What qualities did Sara bring to the relationship that helped you progress your thesis in the right direction? Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: One of the most important qualities I admire in Professor Schneckloth is her organized and detail-oriented personality. As my thesis mentor, she played a key role in helping me coordinate committee meetings routinely and provided excellent mentorship for developing the idea, implementation, and management of my thesis project. She also evaluated my performance in the program and provided thoughtful feedback on each step of my project to help me complete it with the best quality. Dawn Hunter to Stephanie Allen: What qualities did Sara bring to the relationship that helped you progress your thesis in the right direction? Stephanie Allen: Sara has a knack for finding the most interesting and unconventional mediums and surfaces. I knew she would be a great resource to have when working on a project that required unusual materials. I wasn't sure what the pieces would be made of or how they would be hung, and she provided resources that allowed the project to look professional while staying within budget. ​ She has a great eye for abstraction. This show features some of my very first exclusively abstract pieces that would not have been conceptualized without her guidance on materials, abstraction, and the intuitive mark. Sara has worked with similar interview-based projects before— she knew where to look for weak spots in interviewing ethics and how to create successful visual narratives. While I technically have a drawing concentration, Sara has a very expansive definition of what a "drawing" is. I knew that this perspective would give me the creative freedom to work however I needed to and would allow me to take an untraditional approach to drawing. Above, Strive, a mixed media drawing by Stephanie Allen. Below, Stephanie Allen's BFA thesis exhibition titled, In My Skin, Her Skin. Both photos by Stephanie Allen. Image above, by artist and UofSC professor, Sara Schneckloth from her Topographies series: Earth pigments, graphite, colored pencil, wax on Yupo, 2021. Dawn Hunter to Stephanie Allen: Your thesis exhibition is a personal and biographical (of you and others) show. What did you want the viewers to learn, understand or experience from the show? Stephanie Allen: The ways in which the spoken word and the creation of art can lead to a larger understanding of self was deeply considered in the creation of this project: by understanding other queer stories, I could more clearly engage with my own. This exhibition is an artistic investigation of queer femininity and body image. As our bodies and identities are so deeply intertwined, this project explores the way in which the body and presentation create and structure perceptions of queerness, gender, and beauty. Each portrait represents a queer woman or non-binary person that I interviewed, directly rendering their appearance and abstractly interpreting their relationship with their body and queer identity. This project aims to visually record the feeling of being seen and one’s developing knowledge of their identity. Specifically, by realistically showing a variety of different body types that all relate to queerness and femininity in some way, we may expand our presupposed notions about the body enforcing identity. Additionally, despite these varying appearances of the body, the throughlines of body insecurity, navigating queer expression, and learning self-love unify these differences to reinforce the idea that the person is so much more than the body. Understanding that the body is art and art is the person is a key component of my work. In extending our definition of art to include the body, we can shift out of a sense of moralizing critique to one of understanding, appreciation, and respect for both the self and others. Dawn Hunter to Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: Your thesis exhibition, Carry On, was a personal/autobiographical show. What did you want the viewers to learn, understand or experience from the show? Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: One of the most important aspects of my thesis exhibitio n was to help the viewers feel and communicate with the emotional challenges immigrants face during and after immigration. Most importantly, I aimed to show them how feelings of living far away from loved ones, like parents, siblings, best childhood friends, and family members can have personal and emotional impacts on an immigrant’s life. Another aspect was to show how the sense of disconnection from the original culture, language, memorable moments, and nostalgic places in life can affect an immigrant’s personal identity. Lastly, my goal was to reflect on challenges that immigrants experience after moving to a new country such as adapting to a different culture and learning a new language. Above, image from Nakisa Abdollahbeigi's MFA thesis exhibition, Carry On. Below, Nakisa (center) with guests at her exhibition opening. Above, image from Nakisa Abdollahbeigi's MFA thesis exhibition, Carry On. Below, Nakisa (center) with guests at her exhibition opening. Dawn Hunter to Stephanie Allen: The work is created in layers, and each piece is a complete experience on its own, but the entire show works as an installation. Was that intentional, or did it synchronize in the installation process? Was that intentional when creating the works for the show? How did the choices in the installation evolve? Stephanie Allen: These pieces are what I have come to describe as "floating collages." The question of materials was something that long haunted me in the beginning stages of this project. More specifically, the question of how to hang said materials was one of the biggest early challenges that I faced. I was set on the pieces being larger than life and knew that the show had to function in layers. I wanted to have a layer that realistically described the body, and another layer to describe the person's relationship with their body femininity, and queer identity. This made it difficult for traditional materials (canvas, board, frames, etc.) to practically function. Acetate was light but durable, and had the transparent quality that I wanted. Ultimately, the installation came together because it had to. Once I had created the pieces, they needed to go up however would work. Based on the advice of Sara Schneckloth and my second reader, Brent Dedas, I used magnets and metal plates to hang the drawings. I wanted the pieces to invade the viewers' space, have intricate cast shadows, and have distinctly separate layers (i.e. I didn't want them stacked flatly on top of each other). The choices I made for installation then followed these requirements that I had established for myself. Above, BFA Thesis exhibition, In My Skin, Her Skin, by Stephanie Allen. Photo by Dawn Hunter Below, closing reception for In My Skin, Her Skin. Photo by Rachel Kaiser. Dawn Hunter to Stephanie Allen: You selected unconventional drawing materials for the works, and the figures are larger than life in scale. Why did you decide to use unconventional materials, and what was the process that led to the large-scale figures? Stephanie Allen: A big part of the show was subverting the expectation that the body dictates identity and expression. It was the perceived difference between these two things —body and identity— that I wanted to focus on. Because the two exist in different spheres, I wanted the visual representations of each aspect of the subject to have separate spaces on the piece. Yet, because they are combined to create one person, they had to exist within a singular composition. I didn't want to create separate pieces (one about the body of the subject and one about the identity of the subject) because that would strip the body of personhood and the person of body. Our identities and bodies are deeply and personally intertwined, so the notion of a floating collage seemed like an interesting challenge that fit my thematic goals. I wanted the pieces to command attention— these drawings are about real people and their stories, so they deserve to be on a scale that appropriately describes the complexity of queer identity. Dawn Hunter to Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: There was an installation piece in the show, Memories in My Carry On. However, one could argue that the entire show is an installation with sub or "mini" structures within it - like, Family Album or the diptych Family Tree. Was that intentional when designing the show? How did the choices in the installation evolve? Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: The central idea for my exhibition was developed based upon the concept of immigration and its challenges. The components of the show were designed to reflect on different aspects of this main concept with the goal to show how personal, cultural, and emotional challenges play a critical role in an immigrant’s life. The most challenging part for setting up the exhibition was the installation of the "Memories in My Carry On" as the central component. This theme was designed by wrapping a suitcase – as a symbol of immigration – in red straps inside a wooden box and visually connecting it with photos of family, moments, and nostalgic places printed on fabric. To develop the idea for this theme, I played around with the sub-components and changed their order and composition several times. The empty space between photo installations on the wall and the suitcase on the floor was filled with red-strap loops hanging from the ceiling. This latter component was designed to create an obstacle and make it difficult for the viewers to walk in the space between components with the goal to symbolize challenges that immigrants experience during and after their transition to a new life. Above, Stephanie Allen's mixed media drawing titled Skin. Photo by Dawn Hunter. Dawn Hunter to Stephanie Allen: How did your work evolve and change while at UofSC? Stephanie Allen: The biggest change that came to my work was increasing degrees of abstraction. I was almost afraid of working abstractly when I first came to Carolina I felt that I had to "prove" my ability to work realistically before delving into the abstract. This then resulted in an interesting combination of realism and abstraction: I love creating weird abstract shapes and images that functioned realistically within their compositions without being directly representational. This project was in some ways far more representational than I have worked in a long time but is simultaneously one of the most abstract series I've done. I honestly see myself continuing to spiral into more abstract territories. My work has consistently focused on feminine and queer identity while at Carolina, and I am interested in expanding and diversifying this thematic base that I've established. ​ Dawn Hunter to Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: How did your work evolve and change while at UofSC? Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: Studying art at UofSC was my first experience with an American educational institute after my immigration to the United States. At the beginning, I found it very different from my experience with an educational institute in my home country, Iran. I gradually adapted myself to the new environment and learned many new things about the art, culture, and language by taking different courses and working on studio art projects for my classes and the MFA thesis. The SVAD program has given me the chance to interact with amazing students and work with inspirational professors and artists who showed me how to think and work creatively and supported me along the way. In my program, I became familiar with a wide range of materials and learned many new techniques for creating art and these skills will be critical for my collaboration with other artists and exploring new things in my future career. Above, Nakisa Abdollahbeigi at the opening of her MFA thesis exhibition, Carry On. Below, detail of an installation piece. Dawn Hunter to Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: What are your future plans? Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: Personally, I enjoy working in academic environments and continuously exploring and learning from other people’s work. I also highly value teaching and am enthusiastic about having the chance to share my experience with students. As an immigrant artist with Iranian background, my plan is to continue working on projects that can help raise awareness about and promote appreciation for cross-cultural values and differences. I believe this is one possible way artists can contribute to building bridges between people from different personal, social, and cultural backgrounds. Dawn Hunter to Stephanie Allen: What are your future plans? Stephanie Allen: I majored in English and studio art while at UofSC and truly enjoyed both subjects. Right now, my career is aligning more closely with my English degree. This summer I am attending NYU's Summer Publishing Institute and I plan to pursue a career in publishing from there. However, as I'm always looking for ways to combine my passions, I am certainly keeping an eye out for publishers of illustrated books and art-based magazines. I plan on continuing my artistic practice regardless of my career path and hope to ultimately find my way back to grad school. ​ Dawn Hunter to Sara Schneckloth: You have initiated a lot of opportunities for teaching, outreach, and community engagement. Do you have plans to develop other teaching initiatives? - like in NM, is that a program/residency you aim to grow? Sara Schneckloth: The studio work I do in the summer in New Mexico is a central part of my overall creative research, and working out here in this remote and rural location is a point of ongoing inspiration and challenge. It’s exciting for me to be able to share the kind of work I do out here with others, and I am interested in growing that in the years ahead, but slowly and with care. I just hosted a small in-person gathering for six artists keen to integrate natural materials into their practices we gathered local clay and ground it into pigments, hiked though the San Juan Basin badlands gathering visual inspiration, and created drawings to connect mark to landscape. The act of uniting material to place is one that can be revelatory, and I hope to create more opportunities to do that with others in the years to come. Dawn Hunter to Sara Schneckloth: What surprises you the most about teaching? or, What event did you experience in education that gave you the biggest surprise? Sara Schneckloth: I think I’m most surprised by how new it always feels every semester, with the rush of jumping in to a full stream of potential, and being a part of such personal exploration, development, and growth. I am grateful for being a part of hundreds of people’s creative processes over the past twenty plus years of teaching, and look forward to many more. Sara Schneckloth, final thoughts on teaching: ​I would say my teaching style closely mirrors how I work in the studio – I’m driven by an ethic of play and experimentation, curiosity, and a willingness to hold things lightly throughout the process, even/especially when things don’t unfold as planned. By engaging in a blend of close observation, traditional drawing approaches, and experimenting with diverse materials and processes, my hope is for students to make discoveries about their own investment in creating images and artworks, and find satisfaction in process and image alike. Learn more about Sara by visiting her website link below.

  • Outdoors | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine

    Outdoors South Carolina Sunshine™ | Places to see and things to do outside in the beautiful state of South Carolina. Table of Contents Icons Scroll and click on an icon image below to go an outdoor activity you are interested in learning more about! Bulls Island Bulls Island, the largest in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, is a pristine 5,000-acre barrier island established in 1932. Its thriving maritime forest, diverse wildlife habitats, beautiful beach area, and numerous trails offer plenty of opportunities for exploration and wildlife observation. More Hilton Head Island Discover Hilton Head Island's year-round allure! This vibrant South Carolina hotspot shines even in winter. In February alone, the island hosts events like the 2023 Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration, a cherished Seafood Festival, and the prestigious Darius Rucker Intercollegiate Golf Tournament hosted by the University of South Carolina. Craving more? Explore Hilton Head Island's vibrant culture with our photo essay. More Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Delight in the engaging attractions at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden in Columbia, SC. From the captivating Western Lowland Gorilla, Sea Lion, and White Rhino exhibits to the tranquil botanical gardens and fun-filled Waterfall Junction splash pad, there's something for everyone. The venue, offering rentable spaces for events, makes learning fun across all ages, with educational aspects woven into every exhibit. Exciting events for summer 2023 include Members' Night Out and Brew at the Zoo. More Lake Jocasse Discover the enchanting Lake Jocassee, a gem nestled in the secluded northwest corner of South Carolina within Devils Fork State Park, Oconee County. Perfect for local getaways and out-of-state explorations, this family and dog-friendly haven offers refreshing, crystal-clear waters fed by Appalachian rivers - an ideal retreat on the hottest days. Embrace serene solitude or engage in thrilling adventures with many activities, including flatwater kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, scuba diving, and hiking. Lake Jocassee - your destination for a memorable escapade! More South Carolina State Fair Hosted annually in Columbia, the South Carolina State Fair is a cherished local tradition managed by the South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical Society. With rides, tempting food, and exciting games brought to you by North American Midway Entertainment, it's the perfect gathering spot for community fun. Revel in this delightful event, an ideal setting for a memorable day with loved ones. Soak up the amusement, indulge in delectable treats, and engage in lively games! More Field Trip | South Carolina in New Mexico Join acclaimed artist and the University of South Carolina Professor Sara Schneckloth for an enriching drawing residency in New Mexico's high desert. Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing landscape that inspired Agnes Martin. Discover the sensory richness of piñon, juniper, and Milky Way skies, as you create artwork with handcrafted charcoal and natural paints. This unique experience combines land, creativity, and tutorials to deepen your drawing insights and foster independent studio practice. More Soda City Market Every Saturday, come rain or shine, the Soda City Market in downtown Columbia, SC, welcomes visitors from 9 am to 1 pm all year round. An ideal experience for Midlands residents or those seeking weekend fun, this producers-only market hosts an average of 150 vendors weekly, with a rotating database of 400. From fresh produce, handcrafted jewelry, baked delights, and art to trendy clothing and accessories, there's something for everyone. Food trucks and LIVE music add to the vibrant atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination! More South Carolina Aquarium Embark on a journey through the South Carolina Aquarium, with a special focus on the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery™ exhibit and the Sea Turtle Care Center™. It is devoted to preserving sea turtles, and the center's efforts are crucial in protecting all seven endangered or threatened species. 'Dive' into our photo essay tour of the visit with images captured by Dawn Hunter (unless noted otherwise). More Pumpkin Carving with Baby Goats Embrace the outdoors at Flowertown Charm in Summerville, SC, where we enjoyed an unforgettable pumpkin carving experience amidst a delightful farm setting. With pumpkins, tools, and stencils provided for up to sixteen guests, we bonded over carving and interacting with various farm animals, planning to turn this into an annual tradition. Beyond this seasonal delight, Flowertown Charm offers cozy accommodations and unique activities like Goat Yoga, Farm Snuggle Sessions, Marshmallow Roasting with Goats in Sweaters, and more. The warm hospitality of farmers Chris and Jenna Pelayo makes every visit special. We wholeheartedly endorse Flowertown Charm for fellow animal enthusiasts! More

  • Caroline DeSantis | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Stitching the Past into the Present: an interview with a great gal who owns and operates FAST DOLL. An interview feature with USC Alumnus, Caroline DeSanctis, artist and owner of Fast Doll, "hand embroidery inspired by the golden age of North American traditional tattoo and other iconic vintage imagery. Above, Caroline DeSanctis, owner of FAST DOLL Hand Embroidery, Charleston, SC. Photo by Michelle Hart, Palmetto Snapshots, Charleston, SC. Palmetto Snapshots Q & A with Caroline DeSantis Introduction: Based on her original drawings and unique designs, owner and operator of FAST DOLL Caroline DeSanctis creates 100% hand-stitched patches, custom clothing & accessories influenced by the tattoo flash of the 1940s & 1950s. All embroidery and designs are drawn and stitched by Ms. DeSanctis. Most designs you see here are original to the shop unless otherwise noted (i.e., the Sailor Jerry designs and some custom commissioned work). The cost of her hand embroidered patches range from $20.00 - $125.00. Her shop additionally features hats, pennant, key chains, tattoo passes and custom orders. All patches are cruelty-free: made from eco-felt, which is made from recycled plastic bottles, and 100% cotton embroidery floss. Let's catch up with Caroline and find out more about her unique shop and business. Above, an example of some of Caroline's custom work. Hand-dyed, hand-stitched & hand-drawn patch flash sheets prior to being framed. Commission Inquiries Dawn Hunter: When and where did you establish FAST DOLL? Caroline DeSanctis: I started Fast Doll in 2015 when I still lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Back then it was still known as Fast Doll Fine Vintage, and I was exclusively selling vintage clothing from the 1920s-1960s online. When I first started I was still working full-time for MAC Cosmetics and was selling vintage on the side after clocking out at MAC every day. I resigned at MAC in April 2016 and I remember as I was leaving the counter that day my phone was buzzing with orders from Etsy, and I remember smiling, and thinking that I had made the right decision to leave. Hand-dyed, hand-stitched & hand-drawn framed "patch flash sheets."™ Dawn Hunter: Has the business always focused on hand embroidery? If not, how did that evolve? Caroline DeSanctis: It was exclusively vintage clothing & accessories for almost 3 years, until I taught myself how to embroider by hand and eventually evolving that into the current style of the things I make today. I remember stitching the first thing, which was the words Fast Doll on the back of one of my denim vest, and then thinking “oh no, I’m already addicted to this“. I started to post my creations on social media and there was immediate interest. They started to sell more and more and eventually became more popular than any other vintage items that I was selling. I got so busy during the holiday season of 2019 that it became the only thing I had time to do, and I officially stopped selling vintage clothing and renamed the company to simply ‘Fast Doll’. And I’ve been stitching full-time ever since. Above, Caroline DeSanctis, owner of FAST DOLL Hand Embroidery, Charleston, SC. Photo by Michelle Hart, Palmetto Snapshots, Charleston, SC. Dawn Hunter: When did you locate to Charleston? Caroline DeSanctis: I moved to Charleston in August 2020 in the middle of the pandemic! I got here and got straight to work and tried not to miss a beat. I think I took off maybe one full day to unpack when I moved, but that was it, haha. Dawn Hunter: How do you come up with ideas for designs? What is your inspiration? Caroline DeSanctis: I draw inspiration from a lot of vintage 1940s and 1950s iconography, ephemera, magazines, illustrations and tattoos from that era of American history. They had bold black lines and were limited to only a few colors — these designs translate so well to embroidery and look very clean and satisfying when they’re done. I also love pinup art and often make things that represent or remind me of vintage glamour and aesthetics. Dawn Hunter: What is your most popular design? Caroline DeSanctis: I think my most popular designs are any of the flowers that I do, any of the skulls, and the ‘Mama Tried’ patches & trucker hats, haha. The imagery in this work was taken directly from a Sailor Jerry sheet of flash featuring an eagle. This is not one of Caroline's designs. The embroidery is straight-up satin stitching. The eagle is embroidered with white, red, and dark & yellow gold embroidery floss. Flag is sewn with deep navy blue, white, red, gold and brown embroidery floss. Flowers are sewn with mustard yellow, green and black embroidery floss. Images are sewn to an off-white piece of sturdy felt that are then sewn on top of a black piece of felt with black embroidery floss (creating a border) and trimmed to fit. Since each patch is handmade, there may be slight, minor differences and no two patches will be 100% alike. If you'd like a different color scheme for your patch, feel free to make a custom request. Please allow additional processing time for custom requests. Hand-embroidered, hand-sewn and hand-cut black and off-white felt patch. The patch flash sheet features pointy-tipped daggers with a hearts detail and dots details. Image is sewn to an off-white piece of sturdy felt that is then sewn on top of a black piece of felt with off-white embroidery floss (creating a border) and trimmed to fit. Classic & timeless traditional-style rose that looks good on everything. Hand-embroidered, hand-sewn and hand-cut felt patches in 4 different color schemes. Patch features a traditional-tattoo-style rose with three leaves. Great for a leather or denim jacket / vest. Felt Pennants Dawn Hunter: Where can people buy your work? Caroline DeSanctis: My work is always available online at my website — — and you can also commission a custom piece from me there as well. I also sell items on my Instagram feed from time to time — @fast.doll. I do lots of local handmade & vintage markets regularly in the Park Circle and North Charleston area. I also have pieces available at The Station, which is located locally in Park Circle. In case you forgot — The boots stay on! ‘The Boots Stay On’ felt pennant featured in two different color ways. • 100% hand-stitched & hand-assembled (no machine!) • Each measure 12” x 6” Fast Doll Web Site

  • Bulls Island | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Bulls Island Bulls Island is a pristine, untouched barrier island, the largest among four islands in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1932, the refuge primarily aims to protect and conserve wildlife and their natural habitats. Encompassing 5,000 acres, Bulls Island is a thriving maritime forest featuring a mix of fresh and brackish water impoundments and a beautiful beach area. The island's many roads and trails offer ample opportunities for hiking and observing the diverse wildlife. “I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together.” –John Burroughs What is Bulls Island? Uninhabited and spanning 6.5 miles, Bulls Island remains largely unaltered by human activity, providing a haven for countless native and endangered species. The island is renowned for its thriving bird population, boasting over 275 species in and around the area. Situated at 5801 U.S. 17 North in Awendaw, the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is approximately 20 miles north of Charleston. Access to Bulls Island is limited to private boats or ferry services. Coastal Expeditions provides a variety of tours to the island, including beach drops and sunrise expeditions. To reach the island from Charleston, take U.S. 17 North through Mount Pleasant and turn off at Garris Landing. A ferry operates twice daily during the summer season (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays) and on Saturdays only in the winter. Embark on a journey through the estuaries, and, with a bit of luck, you may be greeted by a pod of dolphins as you approach the island. Coastal Expeditions Spring 2023 Bulls Island tour Schedule The Bulls Island Ferry is operated by Coastal Expeditions and they have an updated schedule for 2023, offering more flexible options for visitors during the Spring and Fall seasons. Coastal Expeditions’ current schedule offers visitors choices from 3.5-hour, 4-hour, or 6-hour day trips to explore the island every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The spring schedule runs from March through May, while the Fall schedule is from October through December. Morning trips depart at 9 am, with a choice of returning either at 12:30 pm or 3 pm, while afternoon trips start at 12:30 pm and end at 4:30 pm. The summer schedule runs from June-September, and it is a specialized schedule to accommodate the seasonal tides and environmental conditions of summer. The summer time day trips are 5.5 hours from the beginning to end. No need to specify the desired end time when booking a 9 am trip prepare for the duration you prefer and consult with the ferry crew on the day of your journey if you have any questions. There are dates that differ from the regular schedule, which include: on May 11th and 12th, the ferry operates from 10:30 am to 4 pm, while on May 18th, 19th, and 20th, the ferry runs from 9 am to 3 pm. What is Coastal Expeditions? Since 1992, Coastal Expeditions has been committed to guiding and sharing the beauty of South Carolina's Lowcountry: its lands and waters, plants and animals, people, history, and culture. Their mission is to put people safely and securely in the path of beauty, allowing them to experience meaningful connections with nature. As lifelong students and practitioners of environmental appreciation, they strive to create awe-inspiring moments that reveal the interconnectedness of our world. Coastal Expeditions is comprised of a passionate team of "guides, explorers, and storytellers" who continuously study Lowcountry tides, flora, fauna, and history. They work tirelessly to create new routes and maps, ensuring unique natural experiences that are awe-inspiring and tantalizing the imagination and senses. Experiencing the Lowcountry's natural, mystical, and magical aspects fosters a profound love and respect for this unique region. Their goal is to facilitate "soulful journeys" that allow individuals to become part of the beauty around them. Whether it's the shimmering sunlight on the water, an ancient shark's tooth, or the rush of air through a pelican's wings, they strive to create lasting connections between people and the natural world and believe fostering these connections cultivates a deeper understanding of our place within the universe and inspires a desire to care for our environment. Coastal Expeditions Website

  • Culture | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Culture South Carolina Sunshine™ | Special Focused Content and Listings of Cultural Events in South Carolina. Table of Contents Icons Scroll and click on an icon image below to go a Culture section you are interested in reading. Tina Williams Brewer | Stories of Grace Immerse yourself in the rich narratives of Tina Williams Brewer's story quilts at the Columbia Museum of Art. For over four decades, Brewer has woven her personal experiences, historical accounts, and vibrant textiles into her unique quilts, offering a profound exploration of African-American history and spirituality. The "Stories of Grace" exhibition, open until September 3, 2023, showcases her hand-stitched, collage mixed-media pieces that map out her heritage, the African diaspora, and the connections between past, present, and future. Journey through intricate layers of symbolism and culture, Tuesday to Sunday, with extended hours on Thursday. More Carla Gannis/ C.A.R.L.A. G.A.N. Carla Gannis' WWWunderkammer is a pioneering endeavor, challenging traditional museum narratives by reimagining the classic 'cabinet of curiosities', known as Wunderkammer. She employs cutting-edge technology to fuse physical and virtual realms seamlessly. The physical installation reflects her continuous online project found on Mozilla Hubs and high-definition desktop VR, welcoming viewers to distinct thematic 'chambers'. Each chamber explores critical facets of contemporary life - from environmental challenges to the digital revolution's impact on self-perception and language. Gannis harnesses the power of augmented reality in her gallery display, blurring the line between the virtual and the real. This approach helps her investigate the essence of human existence in the internet age while promoting universal access to knowledge. More Elizabeth Catlett Experience the captivating artistry of renowned artist Elizabeth Catlett at the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA). This significant survey exhibition comprehensively overviews Catlett's illustrious career as a printmaker and sculptor. Alongside her works, the collection includes select pieces by mentors, peers, and students who shared a personal connection with Catlett. Additionally, the installation incorporates additional artworks from the CMA Collection. Witness the profound impact of Elizabeth Catlett's artistic journey, spanning an impressive seventy years. Her art sought to give visibility and voice to underrepresented individuals, often focusing on laborers, women, and African Americans. Addressing social issues relevant to the United States and her adopted home of Mexico, Catlett's powerful figures embody resilience while acknowledging the struggles Black and Mexican working classes face. More Jordan Sheridan Introducing the winner of the prestigious 2022 701 CCA Prize, Columbia-based artist Jordan Sheridan. This biennial juried award, presented by the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia's Olympia neighborhood, recognizes the talent of South Carolina artists under 40. Jordan Sheridan is an emerging artist known for her captivating installation art. Her remarkable talent and dedication have been acknowledged with the distinction of being named an SCAC Emerging Artist for FY2022. Currently serving as a full-time faculty instructor at the University of South Carolina's School of Visual Arts and Design, she imparts her expertise to aspiring artists through her engaging painting courses. More 701 CCA Prize Finalists Welcome to the captivating 701 CCA Finalists Exhibition, now open at the esteemed 701 Center for Contemporary Art. Prepare to be mesmerized as three exceptional artists and finalists for this year's prize showcase their visionary works until January 15, 2023. Step into this exhibition and immerse yourself in a world of artistic brilliance. Each artist, including the talented Kate Hooray Osmond, Jordan Sheridan, and Brittany Watkins, pushes boundaries and invites you to explore their unique creative perspectives. From innovative techniques to thought-provoking concepts, their creations will ignite your imagination and inspire you. More Art by Krigga Enter the captivating world of the Omphalos, a convergence of time and perspective. In this exhibition, presented by the visionary artist Dogon Krigga, two distinct collections of works harmoniously blend the past and the future. Embracing the timeless beauty of Black thought and form, Dogon Krigga invites you to celebrate the resilience and boundless creativity of the Black experience in the ever-present now. Breaking away from the narrative of Black suffering that pervades historical records and art, the Omphalos seeks to cultivate a space where Blackness thrives. By highlighting the gifts, abilities, and interconnections within the Black community, Dogon Krigga's art becomes an act of rebellion and revolution. Afrofuturism is a powerful tool, reminding us of our mastery and potential in this realm while liberating our minds from societal constraints. More Tyrone Geter Step into the realm of powerful artistic expression with Tyrone Geter's exhibition at ArtFields' TRAX Visual Art Center in Lake City, South Carolina. Over the past six months, this exhibition has left an indelible mark on the art scene, showcasing Geter's masterful mixed media drawings that blend exquisite draftsmanship, torn paper, and found objects into visually captivating statements. Each artwork is a testament to Geter's immense talent and resonates as a profound experience in its own right. Geter's creations operate on multiple levels, transcending mere aesthetics. While some pieces look into his personal journey, many images explore the complex dynamics surrounding race, gender, and economic structures within contemporary American culture. More Adrian Rhodes We are delighted to feature the enthralling realm of Adrian Rhodes, winner of the esteemed 701 CCA Prize in 2020. Celebrated for her artistry in printmaking and mixed media installations, Adrian's solo exhibition "How to Untie a Tight Knot" was a result of her dedicated six-week residency at the 701 CCA. With academic roots in Rock Hill's Winthrop University, Adrian has gained recognition in the Carolinas and beyond. Her work, exploring the paradox of longing for and escaping the past, provides a captivating lens into the human psyche, using recurring motifs to express the intricacies of relationships. More Ginny Merret Meet Ginny Merett, a dynamic artist and passionate art educator, who has been a vibrant part of Columbia's art community for over thirty years. Known for her striking, graphic collages, Merett's art may seem playful and whimsical at first, but it carries profound undertones addressing societal norms, cultural, gender and racial identities. ​ Currently, she holds the distinguished position of Artist-in-Residence at The Jasper Project. Her intriguing creations can be appreciated at Sound Bites, nestled in the heart of historic downtown Columbia, at 1425 Sumter St, Columbia, SC 29201. Don't miss the opportunity to experience her captivating work, which will remain on display until the end of July 2022. More Margaret Curtis Welcome to the world of Margaret Curtis, a prominent figure among contemporary American artists. Known for her distinctive and ground-breaking art, she is currently represented by the esteemed Tracy Morgan Gallery in Asheville, NC. Margaret's oil paintings tell stories through their imagery, and their physicality also forms a deep, visceral connection to their underlying themes. Her widely recognized and critically acclaimed artwork has recently been bestowed with the distinguished Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship, an award that requires an exhaustive selection process. The fellowship, amounting to $60,000 spread over four years, has enabled Margaret to augment her studio and broaden her creative horizon. More ArtFields 10th Anniversary Exhibition ArtFields celebrated its 10th year, showcasing 369 artists from 12 Southeast states in a nine-day festival from April 22-30, 2022. We were thrilled to have "The Darcy Inventory" in the competition and equally enjoyed experiencing the festival as attendees, filled with South Carolina Sunshine. ​ The ArtFields festival, which began in 2013, aims to honor Southeast artists with celebrations and competitions, providing over $100,000 in cash prizes. This year's winners were Noah Scalin, MyLoan Dinh, Melvin Toledo, and Jonathan Imafidor. Enjoy the photo essay and immerse yourself in the art that left us in awe. More Jasper Project 10th Anniversary Party On April 14, 2022, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of The Jasper Project at 701 Whaley. This event paid tribute to a publication that has become a cornerstone of Columbia, SC's cultural landscape. Under the guidance of Cindi Boiter, the magazine offers invaluable insights into our vibrant community, spotlighting the lives and works of local artists, performers, dancers, musicians, and writers. ​ The celebration evening echoed with tunes from Adam Corbett, Post-Timey String Band, DJ Preach Jacobs, and Dick Not Richard, accompanied by a spellbinding performance from the Columbia Repertory Dance Co. Explore the captured moments from the event in our photo essay featured below. More Lady Gamecock Parade Main Street was abuzz with excitement as countless UofSC WBB supporters gathered to commemorate their second historic national championship. The triumphant victory was clinched on April 3 in Minnesota, where they bested the UConn Huskies. Jump into the jubilation of the event through our photo essay to view highlights from the celebration! More Anila Quayyum Agha Anila Quayyum Agha, an American artist of Pakistani origin, brings enchanting realms to life within her exhibition spaces. Her exhibit, "Let a Million Flowers Bloom," leverages halogen bulbs nestled within meticulously crafted and lacquered steel. This technique casts mesmerizing shadows that "paint" the gallery walls, creating an immersive environment that makes us feel as though we've stepped into a chapter of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. Our take on the exhibit? It's superb! Experience the wonder for yourself from February 19 through May 29, 2022. More

  • Brian Rego | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. The Artistic Vision of Brian Rego: Crafting Masterpieces and Nurturing Future Artists "My work is informed by where I live, and how I live out my life in these respective places. South Carolina has been the culmination of challenge and beauty." Brian Rego is a seasoned artist known for his evocative landscape and figurative works. Born and raised in the United States, Rego's formal art education was forged within the robust arts communities of Pennsylvania and South Carolina.In 2004, Brian Rego achieved a significant milestone, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of South Carolina. His unique talent was quickly recognized, earning him the prestigious Ed Yaghjian Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Work. Yet, for Brian, this was only the beginning. Driven by a relentless curiosity and an unwavering commitment to his craft, he pursued further studies at the highly respected Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, attaining his Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 2007. Brian's dedication, however, extends far beyond his academic accomplishments. From the outset of his career, he has demonstrated an exceptional artistic prowess. His solo exhibitions, such as "Present Memory" at the Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York in 2021, "Tiny Mirrors" at the John Davis Gallery in 2019, and "Affections" at the Southside Gallery, also in 2019, have drawn significant attention and acclaim. This acclaim not only cements his status as an accomplished artist but is also a testament to his remarkable creative vision. Furthermore, his work has been featured in various notable group exhibitions, including "Rooms For Strangers" at the Pamela Salisbury Gallery, and "Working Small | A Group Exhibition" at Nancy Margolis Gallery. Above, Dream Walking, oil on board, 15 1/8 x 18 1/2 inches by Brian Rego. Image courtesy of Nancy Margolis Gallery But Brian Rego isn't just about painting pretty pictures. He's got this passion for education that pushes him to go beyond his studio. He's taken on roles as a teacher, a critic, even a visiting artist at different places. He really puts his heart into fostering the growth of young talent, nurturing the next wave of artists who'll make their own marks in the world.. These have included the Jerusalem Studio School in Israel and the University of Mississippi. Notably, he also returned to his alma mater, the University of South Carolina (2008-2019) serving as an Adjunct Professor in 2-D Design Foundations, Figure Drawing and Painting. In 2022, he taught a course, "Considering the Masters: Cezanne and The Organizing Principles of Design," at the Penn Studio School of Art. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Rego received the Blackwell Prize in Painting Award from the University of West Georgia in 2023. This honor underscores the potency and originality of his work. His artistic vision and technique have also made their way into print. In 2022, his thoughts and creative process were shared in "Art In The Making, Essays by Artists About What They Do," where he was featured on pages 228 - 231. From long nights in the studio to countless hours in the classroom, Brian Rego's journey through the art world is a shining example of how grit, imagination, and a love for teaching can shape a successful career. Every brushstroke tells a story, and Brian's art, full of beauty and depth, reflects his unique take on the world around him. But what's really cool is that his work doesn't just hang on gallery walls - it also lights a spark in young artists who dream of following in his footsteps. Pair that with his impressive list of exhibitions and teaching roles, and it's no wonder Brian is making waves in the modern art scene. Above, Swimmer, oil on board, 14 1/4 x 18 1/2 inches by Brian Rego. Private Collection Q & A with Brian Rego Dawn Hunter: What initially sparked your interest in art, and how has your upbringing in South Carolina shaped your artistic style and career? Brian Rego: From the time that I can remember, I had an interest in drawing. Looking back, it seemed like a natural thing to do. There are certain people who have temperaments that compel them to record their experiences to understand the significance of them, and to tell their stories. I grew up reading and drawing Sunday comics and followed the styles of Berkely Breathed, Bill Watterson, and Jim Davis. I was overtaken by how real the characters felt, and how easy it was for me to relate to them. I engendered a deep affection for these illustrators, for treating with such care and attention, their ability for, and dedication to storytelling. For a moment, I found a place to belong. I soon developed my own characters, and told my own stories. My grandmother was an artist, a painter. When she was in her twenties and thirties, she painted in oils, but by the time I had come to know her, she was a watercolorist. I loved her work as a boy, and I wanted to emulate her. I didn’t relate to art as an ideology, but I understood it through my grandmother. I was in awe of the non-diminishing return of her work, how the power of her paintings intensified the more time I spent with them. But I wouldn’t try my hand at painting until my twenties. (continued below) Brian Rego painting en Plein air. Girl in Garden, oil on canvas, 20 x 29 inches, oil on canvas by Brian Rego. Courtesy of Nancy Margolis Gallery. Brian Rego: (continued) I completed my BFA in painting at the University of South Carolina, and as a student, I had two professors who made a huge impact in my artistic development. One was in figure drawing, the other was in painting. Together, they pushed me to be my best while providing me the room to experiment, to struggle, to fail. If I managed to succeed in one area, it was met with brief acknowledgement and the demand to do it better; they were constantly looking ahead. I am grateful for that now because any time I am met with success, I treat it the same way, and that allows me to focus on the work instead of the results. I learned that failure and success are just a part of life, but given too much attention, they become detrimental to the growth of one’s work. My work is informed by where I live, and how I live out my life in these respective places. South Carolina has been the culmination of challenge and beauty. I paint from life, so the heat of the South is always a barrier to my work, but because I struggle against it to paint in the landscape, the work is neither sluggish nor indulgent, but urgent and direct. I have taken to the discipline of working in the studio once the painting is developed enough to sustain the use of memory as a resource. My blessed wife and four children have contributed to the necessity of this development in the process of making paintings, and I have grown to love it. Memory has a limitless capacity for engaging the imagination, and as I learn to channel that powerful interaction through my sensibilities, the expression through the material, as a consequence, has shown itself to be something of a personal style. But I don’t give much attention to that; I focus more on the accuracy or the tone of the gestural expression of form through paint. Artist Brian Rego working in his Charleston, SC studio. East Bay Street, oil on linen, 20 x 24 inches, by Brian Rego. Courtesy of the artist. Dawn Hunter: Your solo exhibitions, including Present Memory; Tiny Mirrors; and Affections; have garnered a lot of attention. Could you give us a glimpse into the creative journey that led to these pieces and what they represent for you? Brian Rego: Each piece of every body of work is a visual accounting of my life in a certain place, in a certain time. But the paintings are about themselves, they are not about me. I just use what is around me and how I engage with those things as material to make the work. I have my own attachments to the work, my own entry points, but those will be different for someone else and what I have to say will only hinder their relationship to the painting. Each painting needs its autonomy. I need to keep looking ahead to what is next, not because I know what to look for, but to keep myself moving, one step at a time. ​ Dawn Hunter: Alongside creating your own art, you’re passionate about teaching and nurturing the next generation of artists. How has this commitment to education shaped your own artistic workand the way you view your role as an artist? Brian Rego: I believe in giving back. I have had many people contribute their time, energy, knowledge, and love, to my development as a person and as a painter. The biggest influences in my life, aside from my family, have been teachers. I am grateful for the ability to teach, but even more so for the desire to do it. It brings me satisfaction to share something that I consider to be so good and so rich with other people. I love to see people struggle and grow, to see them enriched; I never tire of it. This attitude has fostered within me an ardent love for what I do, and in a way, it justifies what I do. If I painted exclusively for myself, I don’t think I would do it. Pineapple Fountain, oil on canvas, 22 x 28 inches by Brian Rego. Courtesy of Nancy Magolis Gallery. Dawn Hunter: You’ve been honored with several awards, like the Ed Yaghjian Award and the Blackwell Prize in Painting. What influence have these recognitions had on your artistic perspective, and what words of wisdom would you share with budding artists aiming for such honors? Brian Rego: Awards are wonderful because they represent someone believing in the value of your work, but whether the work is received favorably or unfavorably, the focus must be set upon the needs and demands of the work, which are established solely between you and what you make. Do not aim for honors, it is a distraction. The people who honor you will also dishonor you the moment you and your work cease to represent the values they hold dear. If you, especially as a budding artist, give that level of influence to someone else, you will lose your way. Expect there to be good times and bad times, but remember that each does not last. Listen to your heart, follow your gut, and move onward. It is not about you, it is about the work. Dawn Hunter: What do you hope viewers will experience or understand when they interact with your art? Looking forward, are there any new themes or techniques you’re looking forward to incorporating in your upcoming works? Brian Rego: Ideally, my hope is for a viewer to enter into the compressed space of the painting, slowly expanding, finding themselves immersed in another world. One that connects deeply to the viewer’s interior world, to their sensibilities, and form a connection to it. My hope is for the viewer to understand that the painting is there to be seen and that it reveals itself in layers, that it imparts something of value, but that it takes time. Regarding my upcoming work, I want to paint on bigger surfaces. I want to learn how to make large paintings, really get into things. I am working out the practical aspects of making large paintings on location, and then of course, how to paint them. ​ Above, Woman Sunrise at the Park, oil on line, 22 x 26 inches, by Brian Rego. Courtesy of Nancy Margolis Gallery. Nancy Margolis Gallery | Brian Rego

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