Monday, August 8, 2011

Art is Patriotic!

This morning I had the great fortune of attending the re-dedication of the Frank Roach American Legion Post #34 in Rock Hill, SC. You may be wondering why I would be attending such an event, but as it turns out two Winthrop University Fine Arts Department students Bryanna Smith and Alastair Hutchinson were the reason for my visit. A few months ago the American Legion contacted the Fine Arts Department for a new project they had in mind. They needed students to come and paint murals on the outside of the building in order to draw attention the the building itself, as well as, the work the American Legion does within the community. Two students offered their help and began the tedious work of painting in the summer heat for a noble cause. I asked Bryanna and Alastair why the agreed to such a project and both answered that they felt a sense of duty to help with their artistic talents since they were not planning to go into the military. It was THEIR way of giving back and recognizing the sacrifices made in their defense as fellow Americans. The event closed one lane of Cherry Road and Mayor Doug Echols, as well as, Legion Members recognized the students for their hard work and civic mindedness. Bryanna and Alastair were asked to hold the ribbion for the ribbon cutting ceremony. It was a proud moment for all involved! Many thanks goes out to Bryanna and Alastiar for being model Winthrop University Fine Arts students that value comminuty work just as much as their artistic technique. Thanks!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Public Art!

If you have been in the downtown Rock Hill area, you have most likely noticed some art that has popped up. From large sculptures to artistic bike racks to full on gallery crawls~ the downtown area, referred to as "Old Town" is taking on a new shape. Creative individuals are turning art into industry and the entire city can profit from their work. Within the last couple of years the following arts opportunities have set-up stakes in Old Town; the Community Performance Center, Gallery Up, Center for the Arts, the Children's Museum, the Old Town Market, Old Town Concert Series, Muse Fest and the list goes on and on. Do you think the arts can influence community revitalization? Tell me if you have been part of the change taking place and what you love most about the arts leading the way!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Performing Arts on the Big Screen!

This morning I read an article in the NY Times about performing arts organizations providing live showings of their events at movie theaters. I found this to be an interesting step by organizations considering one of the main concerns about the performing arts is the LIVE experience between the audience and performers. As we move further into the digital age and broaden our definition of "live" arts, how will this change effect the art itself? In 2009, the National Endowment for the Arts released it's findings of the National Arts Participation Survey and found that most of our cultural institutions are losing participants of every age. Is broadcasting performances in movie theaters a new way to reach more individuals or a compromise of the very basic goal we hope to achieve with human interaction?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shakespeare Carolina arrives on campus!

Think Shakespeare’s plays are hopelessly old-fashioned? Shakespeare Carolina has the remedy.

The classical canon theatre company will present “Much Ado About Nothing” July 22-24 at 8 p.m. nightly in Johnson Hall on Winthrop’s campus. The production marks a new partnership between Shakespeare Carolina and Winthrop.

Shakespeare Carolina’s actors will explore the intersecting lives of Benedick (Henry Cabaniss) and Beatrice (Iesha Hoffman), who would be a perfect match if not for one small snag: They can't stand each other. Their family and friends see the potential and set about bringing them together. However, their plans are thwarted when villainous Don John (Brian Willard) aims to destroy his brother Don Pedro (Lou Dalessandro) as well as the marriage of heroic Claudio (John Bryan) to his beautiful fiancĂ©e, Hero (Whitney Drury). With its tangle of mistaken identities, screw-ups and sharp, observant wit, "Much Ado About Nothing" remains one of Shakespeare's most enduring romantic comedies. Chris O'Neill, artistic director for Shakespeare Carolina and technical director/facility manager for Winthrop's Department of Music, will direct the production.

The three-day production of “Much Ado About Nothing” is partially funded by the Arts Council of York County Small Grants Program. The Rock Hill Tourism Commission, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of S.C., the S.C. Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts supplied funding for the grants program.

"Much Ado About Nothing" tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors and active military. To purchase tickets, visit

Shakespeare Carolina, formed in 1997, is the Metrolina area’s only theatre company devoted to the classical canon. Since its inception, the theatre company has produced 11 iconic and lesser-known Shakespearean plays, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Anthony and Cleopatra” and “Macbeth.” For more information, visit the Shakespeare Carolina website.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Arts Funding vs. Sports Funding

I received a comment on the last blog about why sports are funded and valued more than the arts. I was going to comment back, but felt like this may be important enough to allow others to comment too :) enjoy!

The problem of funding for the arts is not at all a new problem and unfortunately in the current economic state it has been magnified. The arts and sports are very different animals and the discussion of their validity has been debated for as long as the two have been pitted against each other. But, the truth is that in many ways both sports and arts can be seen as equal as they provide entertainment to their audiences and give the audience members what they want to see. I have read interesting opinions on both sides of the topic. There is this really great blog entry by Bill Harley that brings up some valid points from an artist's perspective as he attends a sporting event~ With all that being said, I do share your frustration of lack of arts funding and general public interest. I do not blame technology though because just as I feel it has made some art forms passe, it has also opened doors. With the program Garage Band on my computer, I am a one woman band :). Everything moves and changes quickly and it is arts task to also be moving and relevant, because just like in sports, the slow to move and excel get left behind. Maybe we can come up with some new arts/sports collaborations? Ideas anyone? Thanks for interesting topic!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Welcome to the new Winthrop University Arts Blog! I have a few ideas for this blog, so leave a comment and tell me what you think. I thought about going around campus and taking photos of the art located on campus and sharing a little information about each piece. I also want this blog to celebrate the achievements of the College and Visual Performing Arts Alumni working in the area and beyond, as well as, our current students successes. Basically, I want to connect with you, our community of Winthrop University supporters, friends and new friends to create dialogue about the arts at Winthrop University. I am a real person and look forward to the interaction with arts lovers everywhere! Until then, cheers and let the arts begin!