Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Artist Crawl Deemed A Success

by Jessica Barnes

Hartsville, SC –After three months of meticulous planning and preparation, the Black Creek Arts Council of Hartsville hosted its first annual Artist Crawl on September 21, 2008. From 2 o’clock in the afternoon to 6 o’clock in the evening, an estimated 200 guests from the surrounding community visited the homes and studios of over 50 artists.

Artist Crawl participants began their adventure at the Arts Center where they were able to pick up a few light refreshments and a map showing their destinations on and off College Avenue. Participants were able to view a myriad of distinctive pieces featured inside the homes and studios of the artists, as well at some local businesses (such as Mantissa Row and the Hartsville Memorial Library). Some of the featured artwork at the Crawl consisted of stained-glassed window pieces, quilts, jewelry, paintings, and even wooden sculptures.

Bruce Douglas’, the executive director of Black Creek Arts Council, inspiration for the Artist Crawl were the many talented artists who resided in the Hartsville area. Douglas believed that hosting the event would expose local artist to the entire community and vice versa. Along with the Council’s board president, Judy Haenni, as well as the collaborative efforts of many committee members, they were able to create an event that was mutually beneficial for both Hartsville artists and residents.

The success of the first annual Artist Crawl: On and Off College Avenue, has inspired Douglas and the team at the Black Creek Arts Center to make the Artist Crawl an annual event. “We had great turnout of artists as well as participants for this extraordinary event and we definitely aim to increase those numbers so that the Crawl will be even more successful in the future. We even hope to expand the Crawl to other areas in Darlington County and possibly other counties as well,” Bruce Douglas states.

Located in a state of the art 10,000 square foot facility at 116 West College Avenue in 2003, the Black Creek Arts Council’s mission is to promote and foster the Arts in Darlington County. The Council also offers guidance and assistance in arts administration resources, information, funding, education, and program coordination for the arts and cultural heritage in Darlington County.

BCAC Adds Two Interns

With the recent return of the Coker College student body, there is a noticeable upswing in movement in our local businesses. Our restaurants are filled with younger faces. There is less elbow room in the isles at Wal-Mart. Coker’s contribution to our local businesses does not end with more money in the tills. Coker also provides our businesses and organizations with an eager, intelligent, and fresh work force.

Two of our local arts organizations are glad to have that resource nearby. “We’re fortunate to have two Coker students now on our staff,” says Bruce Douglas of Black Creek Arts Council. The Arts Council has welcomed Jennifer Graham of Neskowin, Oregon and Jessica Barnes of Moncks Corner, SC to its staff. Both girls come from varying academic and cultural backgrounds. “I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of new and innovative ideas with the addition of these young ladies,” said BCAC President Judy Haenni.

Graham, is a senior Fine Art major, who is also pursuing a specialization in Museum Studies. A native of Korea, Graham is hoping to expand her knowledge of fine art and position herself for a career in the arts sector, as well as furthering her education. “The diverse nature of this internship will be tremendous for me as I head into the next stage of my life,” said Graham. The diversity Graham speaks of is the dual-site aspect of her internship. Graham will be interning at BCAC and Feury Fine Art. “With Jennifer on our staff, we will be able to implement a lot of our ideas sooner than we imagined. We really appreciate the opportunities Coker offers local businesses,” said Dianne Feury.

Graham will be exposed to arts organization management from both the profit and non-profit vantage points. “Jennifer is very fortunate to be able to see the art world from both sides of the coin,” said Haenni.

Joining Graham at BCAC is Jessica Barnes. A junior Communication major, Barnes will be focusing on media promotions, press writing, and community outreach. “This is my first internship. I am looking forward to applying the knowledge and skills I’ve picked up in the classroom for the benefit of a fascinating organization,” said Barnes.

Barnes comes to BCAC with an impressive resume. She is a Sparrow Scholar, president of the Pan-African Sisterhood Association, and a resident assistant at the Governor’s School.

If your business is interested in Coker’s internship program, call Darlene Small in the Center for International and Experiential Education (CIEE) at 843.383.8035.