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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. 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. Culture Quench | Aquarium Aglow Experience the enchantment of the holiday season at the South Carolina Aquarium with the sparkling Aquarium Aglow event, set in the heart of downtown Charleston, SC. This November and December, on select evenings, the aquarium will welcome visitors as the sun sets to a breathtaking display of lights. Journey from the shimmering, star-lit mountain scenes to the vibrant neon glow of the coastal settings, guided by the allure of the natural world in a festive atmosphere. Capture unforgettable moments with numerous photo opportunities, enjoy seasonal treats and beverages (with options for adults), and discover delightful new surprises this year. It's an opportunity to create lasting memories! More New Content! 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! 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

  • 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

  • Ella Marushchenko | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Scientific Inspiration, an interview with Sasha and Ella Marushchenko of Ella Maru Studio, Charleston, SC. Ella Marushchenko and her scientific illustrations inspire me. When Darcy and I set out to make South Carolina Sunshine a serious endeavor, we reached out to the Ella Maru Studio to see if they would be willing to be interviewed for a feature in our SC People section. They replied "yes" within twenty minutes of receiving our email. I was thrilled by their generosity. I have followed Ella Marushchenko's career as a scientific illustrator, often incorporating images of the Ella Maru Studio into my Color and Composition syllabus. UofSC students are in awe of the visualizations of chemistry, nano, and biological concepts coupled with the compelling artistic expression of the subjects. They are inspired by Ella's career path, particularly drawn to her social media accounts, where she is authentic about who she is and sometimes shares challenges that she overcame in her youth. Which, for them, is relatable and makes them realize that their goals are obtainable. Sasha and Ella Marushchenko in KUDU Coffee and Craft Beer, Charleston, SC. Photo by Dawn Hunter South Carolina Sunshine is honored to feature Sasha and Ella Marushchenko, the co-founders and owners of Ella Maru Studio located in Charleston, SC. The business specializes in Scientific design and animation. Artistic Background Ella was born and raised in Ufa, Russia. Art has always been part of her life. Her grandmother was an artist, and her mother, who also has artistic talent, always supported her creativity. She received excellent training while she assisted the famous Russian painter, the late Sergey Krasnov, and his assistant Vera Asanbaeva for eight years. While training with Krasnov and Asanbaeva she learned the importance of observation and honed this skill. Above, painting by Sergey Krasnov. After completing her apprenticeship, she earned her Master's degree in art from Bashkir State Pedagogical University, Ufa, Russia. She eventually moved to the Czech Republic and began to explore many different art forms like ceramics, textiles, and watercolor, but she focused primarily on interior and fashion design. She fully expected to pursue a profession in interior design upon arriving in the United States however, she met Dr. Sergiy Minko, who insisted that she create an illustration for an article he planned to publish in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Advanced Functional Materials. Her image was selected for the cover of the journal. Above, artwork by Vera Asanbaeva. Ella Maru Studio Other scientists recognized her ability to summarize their content with the well-designed components (texture, lighting, and color) of her images, and she received more requests for work. Sasha and Ella Marushchenko founded Ella Maru Studio to meet the demand. Sasha, who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry, organized a business plan so that Ella's creativity and scientific illustrations could flourish. In the beginning, it was just the two of them, but Ella Maru Studio has grown and now employs eight people. Their team is a combination of Ph.D. scientists and professionally trained artists from the top universities throughout the United States. In each commission they implement Ph.D. level scientific insight with top art design talent to create engaging scientific images and animations. Her illustrations have been selected as cover art for numerous scientific journals, which include: Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Materials, NatureNanotechnology, Cell, Nanoletters, Angewandte Chemie, and JACS. Sasha and Ella have teamed up for other endeavors outside of Ella Maru Studio in the Charleston area. An example is the conservation of eagles and other wildlife in the low country. Recently, an eagle's nest was threatened by new construction. Sasha is passionate about eagle conservation, so during the peaceful, organized protests against disrupting the eagle's home, they created a painting to put at the site for public display. Through their creativity for conservation, anyone who passed by could be educated regarding dynamics in the region that are threatening to wildlife and endangered species. Ella also continues to develop and is devoted to her personal artistic practice. Occasionally, she accepts special commissions, like the painting featured below. It was a work created for Ella's friend. The painting took three months, and it depicts in rich colors and fine detail the Russian fairytale Lukomorye. Ella's Lukomorye painting is as fascinating and as full of wonderment as her scientific illustrations. We don't know about you, but South Carolina Sunshine is looking forward to the next cover produced by Ella Maru Studio! Ella Marushchenko with her painting about the Russian fairytale "Lukomorye." Follow the link below and visit the Maru Studio website. There you will find lots of examples of her scientific illustration and animated work. Ella Maru Studio

  • 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

  • Featured Sections | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Featured Sections Greetings, friends - let us help you find the best that South Carolina has to offer! Welcome to South Carolina Sunshine's Featured Sections, where we celebrate the vibrant and diverse facets of our beautiful state! Our mission is to immerse you in the unique charm and warmth that South Carolina has to offer, showcasing the richness of our community, the arts, and our natural environment. ​ Our SC People section puts the spotlight on the inspiring individuals who make South Carolina truly special. From community leaders to local heroes, we share their compelling stories and celebrate their achievements, showcasing the unique personalities that bring our state to life. ​ Within the Outdoors section we guide you through the breathtaking landscapes, parks, and recreational activities that make South Carolina an outdoor lover's paradise. Discover hidden gems and reconnect with nature as you explore the Palmetto State's scenic wonders. ​ Tailored and curated, our Culture section takes a deep dive, exploring the heart and soul of South Carolina's heritage, arts, and traditions. We focus on contemporary art exhibitions; however, we also feature local festivals and stories that highlight our region's history. We aim to weave a cultural tapestry that defines our state's identity. ​ Dish with Darcy is your go-to source for mouthwatering culinary adventures! Join our resident foodie, Darcy, as she uncovers the best eateries, local recipes, and gastronomic delights that South Carolina has to offer, providing a delicious taste of our regional cuisine. ​ Lastly, i n Studio Visit, we take you behind the scenes for an intimate glimpse into the workspaces and creative processes of South Carolina artist and USC professor, Dawn Hunter. Learn about her inspirations, techniques, and the stories that shape Dawn's artistic journey. ​ At South Carolina Sunshine, we believe that every feature is a main course, while our columns, departments, and spotlights provide a delightful assortment of appetizers, sides, and desserts to complement your reading experience. We invite you to explore our Featured Sections and indulge in the diverse flavors of South Carolina. Enjoy! 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 bi-monthly 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. Left, Caroline DeSantis of Fast Doll. 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

  • Marius Valdes | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    South Carolina Sunshine is honored to feature Award Winning ZOO Valdes Illustrator, recognized public art muralist, and author of Bird Break, Marius Valdes. Marius Valdes is an artist currently based in Columbia, South Carolina. He is a Professor in Studio Art concentrating on Design and Illustration at The University of South Carolina. He lives in Forest Acres, South Carolina with his wife Beth and daughter Emma. Valdes' artwork has been exhibited and published in throughout the United States and Europe. His work has been featured in several books about contemporary graphic design and illustration. Design publications such as Graphic Design USA, HOW, Print, Communication Arts, Creative Boom, Creative Quarterly, STEP, and industry competitions including American Illustration, World Illustration Awards, AIGA InShow, AIGA SEED Awards, and The South Carolina Advertising Federation Addy Awards have recognized Valdes' work. In 2017, Valdes completed a one year residency as the inaugural visual Artist-in-Residence at the award-winning and innovative Richland Library. In 2020, he completed a series of commissioned artworks and murals for MUSC's Children's Hospital located in Charleston, SC. Above, Dogs and Frogs sketchbook drawing by Marius Valdes. Q & A with Marius Valdes Dawn Hunter: Why did you become a Graphic Designer/Illustrator? Do you consider yourself both, or do you consider yourself an illustrator? Marius Valdes: I started college as a Psychology major and took an art class (my1st art class ever) as an “easy” elective. What I found was that I could sit in a 3-hour drawing class and never lose interest, but a 50-minute Psychology class was torture. I was a little worried about telling my father I wanted to be an art major (since I had no training) but he told me to go for it. He talked to a colleague at his job that was in the marketing department, and he suggested I look at Advertising. I joined the Ad Club at the College of Charleston and won an internship with a local designer named Gil Shuler. I spent the whole summer in Gil’s design studio and knew that design was what I wanted to go to school for. Once I learned what illustration was, that became my real passion. These days, I have resolved myself to the fact that I am an educator 1st, artist second (because I can make art whenever I want), and I do illustration for clients when I have the time and there is interest. I love design but running a design business while teaching full time is very difficult to do properly. I use a lot of my design training in my art though from technical skills to aesthetics of my minimalist and colorful style. Marius Valdes mural installation at the reception area of the MUSC Children's Hospital, Charleston, South Carolina. Above, a commissioned painting for MUSC Children's Hospital by Marius Valdes. Dawn Hunter: This year you provided the illustrations for Columbia’s Vista Lights event. Is this the first year you collaborated on the event’s promotion? Or have you collaborated on it before? Marius Valdes: Several years ago, I was approached by Vista Lights to do some new art for them. I created a huge library of art for them, and they have used various elements from that collection over the last three years. I believe there is interest in creating a new look next year and I look forward to that. It truly makes my day to see my characters on banners, billboards, and beer cups! I was stuck in traffic on I-26 when I saw my reindeer pop up on a digital billboard. It instantly put me in a good mood. Above, and example of one of Mairus Valdes' illustrations for Vista Lights, Columbia, SC. Dawn Hunter: What are the most important skills for an illustrator? Marius Valdes: Conceptual ideas and a visual language that is your own. The technical side of it whether it be computers, software, etc. is just a tool. You need to know some of those things to produce a professional level of artwork but if you don’t have a good idea or a style that is your own, you might not make work that is that interesting to produce and that will show in the work. People are drawn to something that has a bit of personality and that comes from an illustrator who has found their voice in their image making. Dawn Hunter: You are known as Zoo Valdes, and you create many illustrations that feature animal characters. How did you get started on that path? Marius Valdes: When I first started making art, I was trying to do portraits of people and I am terrible at it. Making characters that are animals and creatures is a little more forgiving when it comes to stylizing and simplifying them. Plus, I truly love animals and am quite fascinated by them. I could watch animal reels on Instagram for hours. (Sometimes I do). Also, I originally came up with Zoo Valdes because I figured it would be easier to spell than Marius Valdes. just sounded more memorable. I have had numerous calls over the years from people calling to see if I could bring animals to their kid’s birthday party. Dawn Hunter: Where do you find your inspiration and how do you research a project? Marius Valdes: I love books and magazines and comics. If I see an illustration in any of them that I like, I immediately try to find them online and learn more about them. I literally tear things out of magazines weekly and tape them into my sketchbooks. It might be a New Yorker cartoon or a cool photograph of a rock star. It might not necessarily be of something that I would make art of myself, but it makes me want to be creative. In the last few years I have become a bit obsessed with comic book covers. I love the art, the type, the colors, and collectability aspect. I can’t make art like that, but it makes me want to make my own art. So, I have these types of things hanging in my office to inspire me daily. Researching a project is very important because it often gives you the clues to figuring out what you will make for the client. In doing a mural for The MUSC Children’s Hospital, it was very important to meet the hospital workers, see the space, and understand how my art could be used to make the hospital a better place for their patients. Dawn Hunter: Who is your favorite artist? Marius Valdes: William Steig was a cartoonist and children’s book illustrator. He created Shrek! I love his drawings more than any other artist I have seen. Charles Schultz (Peanuts), Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and Jack Kirby (Marvel comics) are close behind. The last contemporary artist exhibition I saw that literally knocked me back in awe was by a painter named David Bates and his exhibition called “The Katrina Portraits”. He literally paints the way I wanted to when I took my 1st art class. One of many mural walls created by Marius Valdes at the Richland County Public Library, Columbia, South Carolina. Dawn Hunter: You have a few mural projects in South Carolina. Where are the locations? Marius Valdes: MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital has several. Sumter Gallery of Art. Richland Library Teen and Children’s Room. West Ashley in Charleston, SC off Savannah Highway. AC Moore Elementary Library. Satchel Ford Elementary Cafeteria. I have a solo exhibition at the Koger Center in November 2023 so I am thinking hard about how I can make that my best show ever. Dawn Hunter: How did those opportunities come about? Marius Valdes: I have made a lot of art since 2000 and people come across it and think “oh, this would be perfect for us”. So, it usually starts with an email from someone who has just seen my art and wants to discuss a project. The 1st big mural I did was for Richland Library, and it helps potential clients to see what my work looks like in a real environment. So doing larger installations is a newer medium for me but I love it. It’s so rewarding that people let me transform a space for them with my characters. I take it very seriously because I know it will be in their space for a long time. Dawn Hunter: What piece of advice would you give your younger self? Marius Valdes: Make more work but be patient about your career. I graduated college and wanted to be a famous artist on day one. I was restless and impatient to have my work be seen. I was not ready to do client work. I needed to find my own voice and that took a few years and a few hundred paintings. 24 years later, I am still figuring it out! But perhaps most important, do what comes natural to you and don’t compare yourself to others even though it’s really hard not to. Visiting Artist, Marius Valdes with attendees of his Secret Species solo exhibition at Miami University. Visit Marius' website, click on the underlined link below Marius Valdes | ZOO Valdes

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Contact | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Contact Let us, Dawn and Darcy, know what you think. Also, please submit information you have regarding upcoming events, art exhibitions, or interesting outdoor places to explore. We aim to keep our project going and growing! Let's Chat Phone 770-815-9008 Email Social Media First Name Last Name Email Message Send Thanks for submitting!

  • Bohumila Augustinova | Dawn Hunter | South Carolina Sunshine™

    Did you ever wonder how the trees got their scarves? An interview with Bohumila Augustinova, by Dawn Hunter. An interview feature with 2021 Jefferson Award recipient, Cola City Yarnbombing leader and Columbia Art Center Director, Bohumila Augustinova. Above, Bohumila Augustinova, Director of the Columbia Art Center. Photo by Dawn Hunter. Q & A with Bohumila Augustinova Introduction: While aesthetically improving the forefront of a local business five years ago, Bohumila Augustinova, unwittingly launched a Cola City art installation winter staple by YarnBombers of Columbia on Main Street and beyond. The Yarnbombers of Columbia is a group that Bohumila spearheaded brings together over one hundred local artists who create unique, brightly colored, and patterned crocheted and knitted forms that they wrap around trees or parking meters during the winter months. The project evolved beyond aesthetics with the emergence of the “Giving Tree” located on the corner of Main and Taylor, downtown Columbia. As part of the tradition, artists hang hundreds of scarfs, hats, and gloves for anyone to take and use from that tree. This past December, Bohumila was recognized for her hard work and community investment with a Jefferson Service Award. Yarnbombers of Columbia art, downtown Columbia, SC. Photo by Bohumila Augustinova. Dawn Hunter: How did the "Giving Tree" get started? Bohumila Augustinova: Our first installation by the Yarnbombers of Columbia was on Main Street, and it was during the winter. At the end of our first installation day, an artist noticed a man "stealing" part of an installation wrapped around the bottom of a tree. Later, we saw him walking downtown, and he was wearing it as a scarf, and then we realized that it was not an act of theft but necessity. After that, the group created scarfs, hats, and gloves and offered them free at the tree site to anyone who needed them. It is now an annual tradition. Items are installed during November and are up until mid-March. Yarnbombers of Columbia art, downtown Columbia, SC. Photo by Bohumila Augustinova. Dawn Hunter: Your Jefferson Award is incredible and well deserved. The Jefferson Award, also known as Multiplying Good, recognizes members in the community who selflessly give of their time, embrace service to others as an essential part of life, and have a positive impact on the community. What are other initiatives that you participate in, other than Yarnbombing? Bohumila Augustinova: I have volunteered at Transitions for years. In that capacity I have offered classes in crafts, like teaching others how to crochet. I also collaborated in workshops with Brenda Oliver, the former Columbia Art Center Director, at Transitions and we were part of a team of volunteers. I haven't been able to volunteer as much as I would like to during the pandemic. I am able to continue community service and outreach through my role as director at the Columbia Art Center. Scraffito ceramic bowl by Bohumila Augustinova. Photo by Dawn Hunter. Dawn Hunter: Tell me more about that. Bohumila Augustinova: Other than our regular roster of classes that we offer at the Columbia Art Center, we work with members and organized groups from the community. Examples of groups that we work with are veterans, the Girls Scouts, homeless, and international groups. We also have a partnership with Sister Care, a national organization that assists women who are trying to escape abusive relationships. There are other initiatives that we participate in, too, like, Art Along the Trail, a dynamic visual and performing arts experience that occurs at Columbia's Riverfront Park. Scraffito ceramic bowl by Bohumila Augustinova. Photo by Bohumila Augustinova. Dawn Hunter: What is the most rewarding part of your job? Bohumila Augustinova: All of it. There are so many examples. I love our international programming because the event is for an entire family, and I witness multiple generations conceive of and create a collaborative art project on those occasions. Our programming features fantastic teachers who are dynamic members of the local art community. I am always looking for people who want to volunteer or participate in some capacity. It is exciting because it is a community-driven job, and my day-to-day activities change based on needs - so it is unpredictable. We offer Open Studio memberships to local artists who utilize the work studio space to create ceramic work. Through their membership, artists are given a 25-pound bag of clay, use of the studio, a shelf for storage, access to various glazes, and use of our kilns. They are able to hand build work or throw pottery on the wheel. Scraffito ceramic bowl by Bohumila Augustinova. Photo by Bohumila Augustinova. Dawn Hunter: Tell me about your art. Have you always created ceramics? Bohumila Augustinova: No, but I have always been creative. All of my life, I was sewing my own clothes as a young child - when I was the same age as Darcy! Dawn Hunter: Didn't you win the Columbia Design League's Runaway Runway twice? Bohumila Augustinova: Yes. Dawn Hunter: How do you decide what materials to use? Bohumila Augustinova: My mom was always making something creative, and she was very innovative. I didn't think it was unusual. Making things was just part of life, and it really didn't matter what the material was. I went to college for fashion design, but when I was done with school, I knew I didn't want to pursue a career in the industry. I have never felt afraid to try new forms of expression, and I have made a lot of art work from recycled materials, and I teach classes that focus on sustainability and use recycled materials, too. Dawn Hunter: You used wire for many projects, too, right? Bohumila Augustinova: Yes, that is correct. I am originally from Czechoslavakia, now known as the Czech Republic. One summer, when I was visiting home after moving to South Carolina, I borrowed my niece and took a class structured for mothers with small children. Not all of the projects were collaborative, and they offered workshops that were just for adults. One of the workshops was in traditional Slovakia tinkering. That is a tradition where experts in the craft travel from town to town to create a wire cover, or casing, for the clay cooking pots. It prevents them from cracking or breaking during use. I took to the medium naturally, and when I returned to the United States, I started making jewelry, too. I expanded the language of the wire beyond its traditional use, and I have created many projects out of it, including my Supper Table setting for Jasper. That table setting was symbolic and expressive of the late Elizabeth Evelyn Wright's life. Dawn Hunter: Your current sgraffito work in clay is expressive, too. How do you come up with the color and patterns? Bohumila Augustinova: When I first started, I found inspiration in mid-century design. Now I find inspiration from the natural outdoor surroundings of my home, like patterns and colors from my garden or ripples from the fish swimming in the pond. Dawn Hunter: What's next? Bohumila Augustinova: Well, this week I am participating in the Cottontown Art Crawl on March 12th, and as things slowly open up more, I hope to expand my volunteer work - both personally and professionally. The pandemic has made it challenging to gather in the numbers that some outreach initiatives require. Outreach has been a big part of my life and artistic practice, and I am looking forward to future projects. When I came to Columbia, I immediately felt a sense of community and belonging. I love my work at the Columbia Art Center, and it is rewarding to be part of the process that enables people to be inspired and create. That inspires me. Yarnbombers of Coulumbia art. Photo by Bohumila Augustinova.

  • Events | SC Daily Sip | Dawn Hunter | SCSS

    Find your 'SC Daily Sip' of activities here! Welcome to 'SC Daily Sip,' your curated portal for daily activities and fun things to do throughout the state of South Carolina and cities in the surrounding region. Recharge yourself with the refreshment of our monthly featured sip and embark on culinary adventures as we taste-test the best food and celebrate music talent. View or join in the creativity around you as we spotlight crafters, art centers, and galleries. Whether it's exploring new nooks, making visits to our landmark spots, uncovering hidden local treasures, or securing your spot in bustling stadiums, fine-dining restaurants, or dedicated volunteer stations - we've got you covered. At 'SC Daily Sip,' we're firm believers in delivering upbeat, informative content that empowers you to engage with diversified options and feel inspired by South Carolina. Because together, we fuel South Carolina's growth. Welcome aboard; click on our responsive calendar below to learn about each day's event!! Calendar of Events | November 2023 Friday, 17th - Thursday, 30th F. 11/17 Gimme Gimme Disco 9:00pm The Senate 1022B Senate Street Columbia, SC S. 11/18 The Big Photo Book Sale,10:00am-4:04pm SE Center for Photography 116 E Broad St Greenville, SC S. 11/19 Pie Baking Class 4:00pm-6:00pm Mercantile & Mash 701 E Bay St Charleston, SC M. 11/20 Introduction to Pottery 6:00pm-8:00pm Columbia Art Center 1227 Taylor Street Columbia, SC T. 11/21 Upstate 4-H Winter Market Hog Project 2023-2024 4:30pm-6:00pm Location Kickoff Location- Woodmont High School 2831 West Georgia Road, Piedmont, SC W. 11/22 Holiday Festival Of Lights 5:00pm-10:00pm James Island County Park 871 Riverland Drive Charleston, SC Th. 11/23 Modern Shag Night Bill's Music Shop 710 Meeting St West Columbia, SC F. 11/24 "The Wiz" 7:30pm Peace Center 300 S. Main Street Greenville, SC S. 11/25 Taylor Swift vs. Miley Cyrus Drag Bingo with Collin MeDaddie 5:30pm-7:30pm Drip Coffee 729 Saluda Avenue Columbia, SC S. 11/26 Expressive Portrait Painting Workshop 3 3:00pm-5:00pm Gibbes Museum 135 Meeting St Charleston, SC M. 11/27 Teen Anime and Manga Club, 6:00pm-7:30pm Richland Library Main 1431 Assembly Street Columbia, SC T. 11/28 Behind-the-Scene Close-Ups Showcase ‘Grinchy’ Holiday Classic 10:00am-5:00pm Upcountry History Museum 540 Buncombe Street Greenville, SC Show More Start each day with a simple healthy treat... ...a Cucumber Cooler You will need an electric juicer, o ne green apple, one cucumber, a lime, and a sprigs of fresh mint. Chop the fruit and vegetables into pieces; peeling is optional. Juice all the ingredients together, and add a generous pinch of nutmeg. Stir and serve immediately and enjoy! ​ Craving more, visit our Sweet Carrot Snap recipe from July, so delicious, it deserves and encore! Cook Up Fun with Darcy's Tangy & Creamy Dip – Quick & Easy Recipe for Tween Chefs. Unleash Your Inner Kitchen Superstar Today! Recipe Begin every day by indulging in a straightforward healthy delight... ...a Sweet Carrot Sn ap You will need an electric juicer, o ne apple, one large carrot, and a piece of fresh ginger. Chop the fruit and vegetables into pieces; peeling is optional. Juice all the ingredients together. Serve immediately and enjoy! More?...try a Wake Up Call You will need an electric juicer, o ne apple, some fresh pineapple, a lemon, honey, nutmeg (powder, not whole) and a piece of fresh ginger. Chop the fruit and vegetables into pieces; peeling is optional. Juice all the ingredients together, and add a generous pinch of nutmeg. Stir and serve immediately and enjoy!

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