Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Heidi Darr-Hope Honored with Verner Award

So proud of our own, Heidi Darr-Hope for being one of this year's recipients of the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner award.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission Board announces the 2011 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts, the highest honor the state presents in the arts. Established in 1972, the annual awards recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina.
This year’s recipients are:
* Lifetime Achievement, C. Thomas (Tommy) Wyche, Greenville
* Lifetime Achievement, Mary Jackson, Johns Island
* Artist, Heidi Darr-Hope, Columbia
* Arts in Education, Terry K. Hunter, Orangeburg
* Business, Carolina First Bank, Greenville
* Business, Nina Liu & Friends Gallery, Charleston
* Individual, Steven Rosenberg, Charleston
* Organization, Carolina Youth Symphony, Greenville
* Leadership Award, Linda C. Stern, Columbia

“The South Carolina Arts Commission is honored each year to recognize the state’s extraordinary artists, advocates and others working through the arts to make South Carolina a better place to live and work,” said S.C. Arts Commission Board Chairman Dr. Sarah Lynn Hayes. “This year, we are once again in awe of the quality of work and selfless dedication to arts displayed by this round of awards recipients. They are excellent representations of South Carolina’s vibrant arts community.”

Awards will be presented at a Statehouse ceremony on Thursday, May 5. The S.C. Arts Foundation will honor the recipients and the arts community at the South Carolina Arts Gala on Wednesday, May 4. The gala is a fundraiser supporting the programs of the S.C. Arts Commission. For more about the Verner Awards or the S.C. Arts Gala, call (803) 734-8696 or visit

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Something New at Gallery 80808


Artists: K-12 students of Edgefield, Saluda, Newberry, Fairfield,
Chester, Lancaster, Kershaw, Lee Sumter, Calhoun, Richland, Lexington,
and Aiken counties

Reception: February 26, 2-4pm
Show Hours: February 24-March 1 from 4:30-6:30pm each day
Contact info: Kara Saxon 843-333-7573 or

SCAEA Youth Art Month Statement

Beginning in 1961, Youth Art Month is a time, usually in March, dedicated to highlighting, showcasing, and promoting youth art and art education. On the national level, students design a flag that represents their state based on a given theme. The chosen designs are then honored at a flag ceremony in Washington, D.C. In addition, each state presents Youth Art Month events.
The South Carolina Art Education Association celebrates this month through a variety of ways, including public exhibits and receptions honoring student artists. Each of South Carolina’s four regions has developed its own Youth Art Month traditions.

Art Education….
Promotes and advocates for the arts.
Provides students with an outlet to be creative. 
Celebrates individualism but honors and respects other’s views.
Gives students the opportunity to use a variety of materials to problem-solve.
Helps students to build connections to other curriculum areas and the world around them.
Allows students to examine, interpret, discuss and analyze artworks in relation to history and world culture.

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
-Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Laura Spong - Age as a Administrative Device

Celebrating LAURA SPONG's 85th Birthday

L A U R A  S P O N G   2 0 0 6  - 2 0 1 1

Age As An Administrative Device

February 11 - 22, 2011
an if ART Gallery exhibition
Gallery 80808/Vista Studios

808 Lady St., Columbia, SC

Reception: Friday, February 11, 5 - 9 pm.

Spong 85 invitation

LAURA SPONG 2006 - 2011 @ Gallery 80808/Vista Studios
        In the five years since her 80th-birthday exhibition in 2006, the career of Columbia, S.C., artist Laura Spong  has taken off with multiple solo exhibitions throughout the state, brisk sales, and the acquisition of her work by the South Carolina State Art Collection, the South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art. A dozen of Spong's works are featured permanently on the Lifetime TV show Drop Dead Diva and one painting, Viva La Vista, was recently displayed on a big screen at New York's Time Square. With Spong 85th birthday coming up in February, if ART Gallery is organizing Laura Spong 2006 - 2011: Age As An Administrative Device.
        The exhibition will take place at Columbia's Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, February 11 - 22, 2011. The artist's reception is Friday, February 11, 5 - 9 p.m. if ART Gallery will present a 32-page catalogue with essays by Columbia College art professor, artist and art critic Mary Bentz Gilkerson and if ART owner Wim Roefs. 
        The exhibition will feature paintings by Spong, an abstract expressionist, from the past five years, with an emphasis on works created in 2010 and 2011. Among the paintings on display will beWhy?, an enormous triptych measuring 60 x 144 inches. Spong completed the painting in 2011. The painting will make its Columbia debut.
         "I know I have enjoyed it," Spong says of the past five years. "That has to do with success. I feel like I got affirmation and have a sense that I got more recognition. A while back a lady was in my studio, and she liked my work. 'Sometimes you see something that makes your heart skip,' she said. I still can't believe people actually mean that. But the response in recent years has made me feel more people appreciate what I am doing, which gave me more confidence. Before, I thought at times that I was just painting for myself, that I was wasting time, but when I noticed that people appreciated it, it was just more fun doing it."