Hampton, SC

New Exhibit, and Exciting Partnership, Brings World-Class Art to Rural South Carolina

Hampton Happenings

On Saturday February 19, Hampton Friends of the Arts (www.hamptoncountyarts.org) kicked off the launch of a unique new art exhibit in Hampton County, showcasing the diverse talents and disciplines of one of South Carolina's most storied HBCUs. The exhibit was kicked off at the “Bulldog Ball” held at the Stanley Arts Center -- bringing together SC State University faculty, local artists, students and the community for an evening celebrating the arrival of this exciting new art exhibit in Hampton County, and this important partnership between SC State and the Hampton Friends of the Arts that is helping to bring high quality art to Hampton residents.

John Wright and Heather BruemmerLucy Rosen

This special exhibit was curated by John Wright, Chairman of Hampton Friends of the Arts -- an artist and retired professor who has taught at SC State as an Adjunct Professor. The new exhibit will offer the Hampton community, and local students, the opportunity to experience the excitement of art from SC State faculty professors in Hampton County – helping to create interest among local students in the arts.

“We came up with the idea of showing in areas where many SC State students come from, to give local students an opportunity to experience high quality art right here in Hampton, and work directly with faculty through small classes and workshops we offer,” said Wright. “The idea is to get students interested in art and get them familiar with the professors so that when they decide they want to major in art they don’t feel intimidated, they feel comfortable since they’ve had the experience before.”

Maggie Mullin O'HaraLucy Rosen

As a rural area, Hampton County has trouble attracting and retaining high quality art and music instructors. By partnering with an HBCU to bring their professors out to teach for short term residencies, Hampton Friends of the Arts is playing an important role in helping to foster art education in Hampton County. The gathering of SC State faculty, students and the community at Saturday’s well-attended “Bulldog Ball” provided a great evening of art for local residents – with the exhibit continuing through mid-March.

“One of the main things we wanted to do with this space and with this exhibit is that we noticed that people in the rural areas don’t get to experience this level of work,” said Wright. “This space is all about bringing art to people in the community where they live, as opposed to them driving two to three hours to Charleston or Hilton Head or Savannah.”

Martin LangLucy Rosen

One of the faculty artists showing their work at the exhibit is Alexander Thierry – a ceramic artist and Assistant Professor of Ceramics and Art Education at SC State University.

“Hampton is only an hour from SC State – and this show provides an opportunity for anyone who is interested in art to come and get a degree in art and have a future in a professional career as an artist,” said Thierry, who has previously worked for Hampton Arts Council teaching summer art classes. “Having John and the Hampton Friends of the Arts curate this show and bring SC State faculty to show here in Hampton is a great opportunity to highlight art education” he said, further noting that SC State offers four different concentrations in art and a BS in art education and pointing out that “in this time, with an art education degree you can get a job tomorrow.”

Due to the ongoing covid epidemic, the exhibit will be open by appointment, Tuesday - Friday by calling 803-842-9842 or emailing Hamptoncountyarts@gmail.com through mid-March. For more information, visit www.hamptoncountyarts.org

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