Spirit and Memory: Jonathan Green curates exhibit featuring Amiri Geuka Farris in Charleston

The work of Old town Bluffton, SC artist Amiri Geuka Farris will be featured in the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs’ “Spirit and Memory: Contemporary Expressions of Cultural Heritage” at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park Jan. 25 to March 9.

Farris and two other acclaimed African-American visual artists will join in the exhibition curated by Jonathan Green that reflects an evolving spiritual energy that honors the soul of life, belief and heritage. The artists Amiri Geuka Farris, Doris Colbert Kennedy and Alvin Staley are all masters of their materials and techniques. Each demonstrates the power of visual creative intelligence to profoundly communicate with others.

Farris also has an Exhibit at Four Corners Art Gallery A Gullah Celebration: Jan. 17-Feb. 14, four Corners Gallery, 1263 May River Road in Bluffton.
amiri artist2

Artist Amiri Farris is known for his dynamic powerful artwork. His fine art combines an alluring blend of vivid colors and layered textures that evoke images of Sea Island Gullah culture. His artistic vision introduces us to uplifting moments and insight into his contemporary view of culture. He has captured the essence of a people who have preserved their African traditions of net making, basket weaving, quilting and bateaux building. In 2012, he was the co-recipient of a very prestigious award for preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

His signature style of using Adinkra symbols subtly in an African dress, a colorful turban or entangled in a shrimp net stimulates the eye to take in every inch of the canvas. Deep, engaging layers invite you to look deeper into the painting, where empowering images and colors dance across the canvas in an energetic display of expression. Amiri states, “The Gullah Geechee people have preserved much of their African cultural heritage. It is very important that we tell the history of this unique sea island culture.”

Amiri Farris received the Master of Fine Art and Design degree from Savannah College of Art & Design and is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. In addition to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, his work has been exhibited and displayed in permanent collections nationally and internationally. He was named the 2008 “Artist of the Year” by the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island, and is artist-in-residence at the Gullah Museum of Hilton head island.

Music that Inspires! The 2013-2014 Symphony Season

Jeffrey Jones jpeg format
CMC_Solo_JJonesMusical Narrative (Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:00)

Featuring the Carolina Master Chorale: Jeffrey Jones, baritone

Symphonic music’s inherent descriptive power is able not only to portray emotions and paint pictures, but even tell a story. Hear some of the most powerful and famous narrative masterpieces in the orchestral repertory, from a great Shakespeare drama to an epic biblical tale, a journey down a Bohemian river and even a ride on a roller coaster!

John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Smetana The Moldau

Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet

Walton Belshazzar’s Feast

Classical Series performances are held on Sundays at 4:00 in the Music & Arts Center of Myrtle Beach High School, 3302 Robert Grissom Parkway in Myrtle Beach. A pre-concert talk with Maestro Charles Jones Evans is at 3:15 in the cafeteria.

The Long Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra presents the second concert of the season:

Gospel Celebration (Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 5:00) – Music & Arts Center, Myrtle Beach High School

Featuring the Community Youth Gospel Choir coordinated by the Mason Temple Church.

The concert is a benefit for The Genesis Community Complex of the Mason Temple Church. Tickets $10 Adults and $5 Students (22 and under).

Tickets available for all concerts through the Long Bay Symphony office at 950 48th Avenue N., Suite 202, Myrtle Beach, by phone 843.448.8379 or online at http://www.longbaysymphony.com.

Amiri Farris: Artist, Musician, Performer, Professor

amiri artist 2013Artist Amiri Farris is known for his dynamic powerful artwork. His fine art combines an alluring blend of vivid colors and layered textures that evoke images of Sea Island Gullah culture. His artistic vision introduces uplifting moments and insight into his contemporary view of culture. He has captured the essence of a people who have preserved their African traditions of net making, basket weaving, quilting and bateaux building.

amiri artist2

His signature style of using Adinkra symbols subtly in an African dress, a colorful turban or entangled in a shrimp net stimulates the eye to take in every inch of the canvas. Deep, engaging layers invite you to look deeper into the painting, where empowering images and colors dance across the canvas in an energetic display of expression. Amiri states, “The Gullah Geechee people have preserved much of their African cultural heritage. It is very important that we tell the history of this unique sea island culture.”

He recently created the festival logo and art for the first Labor Day Music & Art Festival on Hilton Head Island. 18x24 art msic fest poster

In 2012, he was the co-recipient of a prestigious award for preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Amiri Farris received the Master of Fine Art and Design degree from Savannah College of Art & Design and is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at the University of South Carolina—Beaufort. In addition to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, his work has been exhibited and displayed in permanent collections nationally and internationally. He was named the 2008 Artist of the Year by the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island and is artist-in-residence at the Gullah Museum of Hilton head island.

Amiri Farris is also a noted musician and performer. Production of a television show hosted by Amiri Farris, entitled “Amiri’s Neighborhood,” is in the works for late 2013.

Amiri Farris’ client list includes numerous cultural, educational and commercial organizations : the Telfair Museum of Art, The Savannah Children’s Museum, Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, Youth Opera International, the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island, Historic Penn Center Landmark, Savannah Jazz Festival, Heritage Jazz Festival, The Boys & Girls Club, The Coastal Discovery Museum, and many others. He has exhibited his work at numerous one-man shows and has also served as a judge in numerous juried art shows.

Amiri’s art studio, located at the Sea Island Art Center at the University of South Carolina’s Beaufort campus, is open by appointment. His artwork is currently on display locally at Four Corners Gallery in Old Town Bluffton.

Cool John Ferguson: One of the Best Guitarists in the World

Cool John Ferguson

Cool John Ferguson will be featured in the Labor Day Music & Art Festival September 1 on Hilton Head Island.

Cool John was born in Beaufort, SC in 1953.  He learned to play the guitar by the age of 3.  By age 5, Cool John played gospel music professionally and astounded musicians 10 times his age.  At that time his family realized that the world had been gifted with a musical genius.  Cool John was the featured entertainer for Lowcountry Sing on Channel 5, Charleston SC, for three  years, appearing with three of his sisters, the Ferguson Sisters, an outstanding gospel trio. Over the years, he has formed bands playing psychedelic music, rhythm and blues, pop and jazz.

Early in life Cool John made a decision to follow his dream of becoming a renowned guitarist, pianist, organist, drummer and singer.  Accomplished musicians, music industry leaders and his fans all agree that Cool John’s dream is now reality. Cool John’s fingers just seem to glide effortlessly across the guitar strings as his audiences watch in amazement.

Cool John spends his life conveying messages through his music and traveling wherever he is led by the music.  He has performed at numerous concerts and major blues festivals throughout the world to include The Savannah Blues Festival, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, the Lucerne Blues Festival and the Blues-To-Bop Festival in Switzerland, the Byron Bay Blues Festival in Australia and Wasago Beach Festival, Toronto, Canada.

You never know what he’s going to play next. He seamlessly combines styles of gospel, funk, country, jazz, and rhythm and blues to name a few.  He has been active on tent revival circuits, played with LaFace Records of Atlanta, GA, and collaborated with several well known artists throughout the world including Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, BB King, Beverly Guitar Watkins, Barbara Carr, Al Green and the Stylistics.  He has provided sound tracks and scores for countless events and movies.   Living Blues Magazine honored Cool John for two consecutive years as Most Outstanding Guitarist, and he has featured in international publications to include the National Geographic magazine.

Taj Majal stated that “Cool John Ferguson is among the five (5) greatest guitarists in the world and is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.  Cool John is among the ranks of Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhart.”

Cool John’s fans will tell you emphatically, “He is the best of the best guitarists in the world.” Cool John is a recording artist, and his most recent CD is  “With These Hands.”

Labor Day Music & Art Festival Announces Entertainment

Festival artThe first Labor Day Music & Art Festival is scheduled for Sunday, September 1, from Noon until 7 pm in Shelter Cove Park, Hilton Head Island.  Featured entertainers are Earl Williams Band, The Heritage Steel Band and Cool John Ferguson.

Artists exhibiting include Amiri Farris, Hank D. Herring, Dorneisha M. Batson, Geraldine Smith; and Professional Products Unlimited will be distributing free samples of hair products. The original artwork presented by popular regional artists includes fine art, folk art paintings, prints, abstract pastels, wood carving, pottery and a wide variety of styles and products.

Beer, water and Pepsi beverages will be available for purchase, along with hot dogs, chili dogs, she crab soup, gumbo and baskets of fried fish, shrimp, oysters and wings.

The public is invited for an afternoon of entertainment, shopping and dining. Adult admission is $10, and children 12 or younger are $5.

The festival is presented by the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce and the Native Island Business and Cultural Affairs Association.

For more information, please visit www.bcbcc.org or contact nibcaa@aol.com or BeaufortBlack@gmail.com.

Gumbo Gallery Features Hank D. Herring in “Imagination Exhibit”

The opening reception for Hank D. Herring’s “Imagination Exhibit” at Gumbo Gallery is Friday, July 19, 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Gumbo Gallery is located in historic Belmont and Devilliers downtown Pensacola, Florida. It is known for its unique blend of multicultural art.  Herring is a Gullah artist, noted professional framer and gallery owner in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Herring will teach batik classes Saturday, July 20 at 10 am and again at 6 pm. The class is $45 per person which includes materials. Call 850-912-6806 or email sonjagriffinevans@yahoo.com to reserve space which is limited to 20 per class.

stampsHerring creates original wood stamps used for batiking, and then the stamps themselves become pieces of art. One of his specialties in stamps and other media is the adinkra symbol, a series of West African symbols which deliver messages. Also he creates pottery and unique graphics designs from found or rescued materials such as driftwood, discarded metals or fabrics.  He learned whittling from his two grandfathers and quilting from his family, crediting his family with artistic stimulation. He teaches at the Children’s Educational Village in Atlanta as the village printmaker and continually shows his passion for the community and the arts through public events and forums. He mentors other artists and frequently hosts their exhibits at his Green Herring Art & Framing Gallery.

African Diaspora World Tourism Awards in Atlanta recognized Artist Sonja Griffin Evans and the Gumbo Gallery with the Flame Keepers Award for Art Galleries for 2013.

For more information about Herring, contact him at (843)501-1806 or visit www.MyGreenHerring.com or Facebook.com/GreenHerringArtAndFraming.

QR MyGreenHerring

Early Bird Artist and Food Vendor Fee Offered for Labor Day Music & Art Festival

Special discounted rate of $250 is offered for vendors who register by July 15.

DSC_0101

by Hank D. Herring

The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce and the Native Island Business & Community Affairs Association are jointly producing the new event September 1 on Hilton Head Island. Both organizations have a long history of events celebrating the culture and lifestyle of the South Carolina Lowcountry and frequently focusing on the Gullah culture unique to the coastal area.

Food vendors and artists are asked to apply now for participation. Vendor space is $350 each after the early bird deadline, and space is available only by advance reservation. Vendors should provide their own tent, table, chairs or any equipment needed.

DSC_0075

“Looking Toward Beaufort” painting on glass by Hank D. Herring

For details and application, food vendors may contact Native Island Business & Community Affairs Association at 843-255-7303 or email nibcaa@aol.com. Artists may contact BeaufortBlack@gmail.com, download application at www.bcbcc.org or call 843-902-4799.

The first Labor Day Music & Art Festival is scheduled for Sunday, September 1, from Noon until 7 pm in Shelter Cove Park. Music will be announced.

The public is invited for an afternoon of entertainment, shopping and dining. Adult admission is $15.DSC_0108

Green Herring Art & Framing Gallery announces “Hometown Glory” Show Opening

Green Herring Art & Framing will present “Hometown Glory” featuring the works of local artist Dorneisha M. Batson. The public is invited to the opening reception to meet the artist July 5 at 6 pm and the artist celebration July 6 from 2 pm until 5 pm. The exhibit will continue until July 31. The gallery is located at 1001 Bay Street in historic downtown Beaufort. For more information contact gallery owner, artist and framing professional Hank D. Herring, at (843)501-1806.ArtShowFlyer copy

Batson is into acrylic painting with the impasto effect displaying her love of texture.  She also uses different mediums ranging from pastel to oils and watercolors, two dimensional or three.  The pieces she creates are bold and colorful and meant to make the viewer escape the world around them. Complete abstraction has always fascinated her.  When she begins to create she selects colors and music to match her mood, and then lets her utensil do the talking. What she ends up with is a piece that speaks her inner feelings and allows its viewers to interpret whatever they feel while looking at the work of art.

I believe that fashion and art are one. They both demonstrate an individual’s inner feelings in an outward expression.  I have noticed that in my art I create as if I am designing,” Batson said.102_1277

She graduated from Park University in 2006 with a B. S Degree in Business Management and from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010 with a B. F. A. Degree in Fashion Design.

Born in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Batson’s family relocated to Beaufort, SC in 1988.  Her grandfather was a pastor and immersed her in his teachings. Hearing the stories her grandfather told while preaching helped her get in touch with her inner spirit.   She also recognized the strength and beauty of her mother who always told her she could do whatever she put her mind to do if she worked hard enough. She now credits the family stories and teachings for molding her creativity and work ethic.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Gullah Festival Features Art of Diane Britton Dunham

The 27th Annual Gullah Festival of South Carolina features “St. Isabella Island Fishing Woman” and more art by Diane Britton Dunham. This year’s festival, themed “Celebrating the Unique Gullah Culture with Ties from Generation to Generation,” is underway May 24-26, 2013, at the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort. Meet Dunham at her exhibit in the college auditorium.St Isabella Island Fishing Woman

Diane Britton Dunham’s work has been recognized internationally as a genuine illustration of the history and traditions of African American southern culture for over two decades.

She is one of the artists who pioneered the Gullah style prevalent from South Carolina to the Florida Gulf Coast. Dunham is now painting in what she calls the Gullah-Creole style which is a blending of the Gullah culture and the Creole culture, which she always has done in a small way, however now with more emphasis on the Creole than in the past.  Look for her line drawings to include more depth as she delves into multimedia to tell her stories. Guitar_Man

Dunham’s paintings are recognized for their brilliant coloring, intricate human and landscape forms, and themes that represent life in South Carolina’s Lowcountry region and the bayous of Louisiana. A self-taught mixed media artist and instructor, Dunham has received honors and awards from the Artisan Center, the Gullah Festival, the Beaufort Art Association and others.BEACH_BLUES

Her artwork has been highlighted in many local and national publications. It has been featured in The Children’s Museum of Houston’s installation “Tales from The Land of Gullah,” in which three murals of Dunham’s paintings are included. Also, it has been presented in The Zenith Gallery, Washington, DC; The Red Piano Too, St. Helena Island; Penn Center’s York W. Bailey Museum, St. Helena Island, SC and The Four Winds Gallery, Beaufort, SC.

The Gullah Festival’s new location at the college was the original site of Mather School, founded in 1858 by Rachel Crane Mather as a boarding school for African American women. The school added a high school program in 1932 and an accredited junior college was opened and men admitted in the 1950s. The school served African American families until it was given to the state of South Carolina in 1968 when it was renamed Beaufort Technical College and later named the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

For Gullah Festival information please call 843.636.3788. For more information about Diane Britton Dunham, call 843.902.4799 or visit DianesArt.com or fineartamerica.com