Monday, January 3, 2011

Darlington County Arts Awards: February 24th

Black Creek Arts Council is gearing up for the first Darlington County Arts Awards on Thursday, February 24th. The event begins with a reception at 5:30 and the awards will be announced at 6pm. Bruce Douglas sees the event as much as a showcasing of our community as he does as a platform for honoring a few elite artists.

“We’ve got so much to celebrate in Darlington County. We’ve got the work and productions created by our artists and we’ve also got the organizations and community support that allow for those events and displays to be constant and contemporary,” said Douglas.

Some of the organizations Douglas is referencing are the Hartsville Civic Chorale, Hartsville-Coker Concert Association, Hartsville Community Players and the Darlington County Photography Club. Another, Hartsville Downtown Development, is the producer of Jazz! Carolina and Renofest.

Darlington County is also alive with visual and performing artists. Tracy Price, Andrea Powell and Demetrious McDonald are just a few of our community’s incredible performers. Patz Fowle, Pollie Bristow, Derrick Wilson and John Herth are just a few of our numerous outstanding visual artists. Not to mention the Pate and Johnson families, who go generations deep with their creative talents.

In terms of celebrating the Arts, organizations and artists are not the only things that our county has to be proud of. Darlington County also has outstanding arts educators. Dr. Jim Beaumier, Roger Simpson, Michelle McCall and Terry Joyce are just a few of the teachers that educate and inspire our young people.

Speaking of young people, we have another generation teeming with talent and expectations. Christophe Beaumier, Seth Johnson, Sketchboii Lance Rhodes and Brooke Mogy are just a few local products with bright futures ahead. Coker College students Norah Wofford, Hannah Beard and Brianna Lotan also bring great artistic minds and ability to our county.

BCAC President Carolyn Atkinson points out that the arts are infused by businesses and community leaders. “Without support from the non-arts producers in our county, we would not have what we have. The appreciation that comes from our community allows our artists to thrive and our community to, in-turn, benefit from the beauty of the Arts,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson’s comments bring to mind the incredible contributions of people like Nancy Myers, Judi Elvington, Terry Poplava, Clayton Richardson, Judy Haenni, Sandra Ard, Linda Howle and Graham Wood.

Corporations and small businesses alike support the arts in Darlington County. Another unique aspect of Darlington County is the quality of for-profit art galleries. The Chameleon Gallery in Darlington and Feury Fine Art in Hartsville showcase work from local and regional artists.

If you would like to pay tribute to all of the artists, leaders and organizations mentioned above (and many more), come to the Black Creek Arts Center on College Avenue in Hartsville on February 24th for the Darlington County Arts Aawards. Admission is free. “Like all of our receptions, this is a come-as-you-are event,” noted Jordan Heydt, BCAC’s Director of Marketing and Communication.

Below are a list of the awards:

Willard Jacobs Award for Volunteerism

Frankie Bush Arts Leadership Award

Rolfe Godshalk Arts in Business Award

Patz Fowle Arts in Education Award

McCall-Wiggins Award for Community Support

Visual Artist of the Year

Performing Artist of the Year

Darlington County's Rising Young Artist

Admission to the Darlington County Arts Awards is free.

The Black Creek Arts Center is located at 116 West College Avenue in Hartsville, SC. For more information, call 843.332.6234 or email

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