Past Comments

March Issue 2010
by Tom Starland

SC Arts Commission Wants Your Opinion?

The SC Arts Commission, SC's state arts agency, is calling for participation in its 2010 Canvas of the People, a statewide planning process that will inform the 2011-2020 Long-Range Plan for the Arts in South Carolina.

Of course we received the press release after our Feb. 2010 issue was out so one gathering has already taken place, but there are six more planned for the following areas:
Thursday, Mar. 11 - Technical College of the Lowcountry, Beaufort area (Bluffton, SC); Tuesday, Mar. 16 - Governor's School for the Arts, Greenville; Monday, Mar. 22 - Black Creek Arts Center, Hartsville; Thursday, Mar. 25 - Aiken Center for the Arts, Aiken; Monday, Mar. 29 - North Charleston City Hall, North Charleston; and Thursday, Apr. 8 - Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg.

Each forum is free and open to everyone. Each runs from 6:45 to 8pm. Registration is not required.

For more information, visit ( or contact Milly Hough by e-mail at ( or call 803/734-8698.

Did you notice all the gatherings are taking place mid-week? I guess the Arts Commission or the arts community doesn't work weekends.

Now if you don't already know what my opinion is on these Canvas of the People events you can read all about it at Carolina Arts Unleashed ( or hear me say in a nutshell - I think the Arts Commission goes through this process as window dressing - they will do what they want no matter what the public thinks or wants.

I've lived through two of these ten year events and can see no progress on the goals that should have had an effect on the visual art community, me and Carolina Arts. It's plain and simple - there is no follow-through and no "public" review process. It's just a passing of time and a big waste of time and money - especially in a time when money is short in supply.

But, I'm going again anyway - if just to plead the case that they didn't accomplish many of the goals of the last ten year plan. And, I think you should go too. They're hoping you won't and just their friends will show up - those are the people who receive funding from the Commission. They need to show their loyalty to keep the funding coming - so they will be there with smiles on their faces.

Do they do this in madness in North Carolina? If so, I haven't heard of it.

More Artists is Better

Due to the explosive increase in the number and quality of visual artist applicants for this year's Artisphere, (Greenville, SC) the Festival has expanded Artist Row by 20 percent from 100 to 120 artists. A list of the 120 participating artists is online at ( Artisphere will take place the weekend of May 7-9, 2010, in downtown Greenville near the Reedy River at Falls Park.

Four More Pages is Better

Well, we were able to add four more pages to the paper this month thanks to our advertisers. That means we were able to fit all but two articles we received by deadline into this issue.

Is this a sign that things are improving? I don't know - we lost a group of advertisers who have been with us a long time - some closing up shop and some who just say they can't afford to advertise at this time.

We thank them all - past, present and future advertisers as they make the paper possible. And, the more advertising we get - the more we can fit into the paper. Times are tough all over and we've been feeling just like everyone else in the art community, but we're trying to do all we can with the help of our electronic partners - Carolina Arts Online and Carolina Arts Unleashed.

Art Auctions Showing Record Sales

Now this might not be the case for your gallery or you as an artist, but people are paying record prices for art around the world.

The only down side might be that most of this art is by artists who have gone on to greener pastures - places where the art critics are always complimentary, where the grants always come through, exhibits always sell out and no one asks them to donate works for charity art auctions.

The up-side is that people are reading about these record-setting auctions and realizing that the purchase of art can be a very good investment.


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