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October Issue 2003

SC State Museum in Columbia Presents Harvest Heritage Festival Oct. 11-12, 2003

Artists outside the mainstream - from topiary super-star Pearl Fryar to Jim Hadley's One-Man-Band to the recyclers of the Ripple Effect - will be features Oct. 11-12, 2003 at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC.

At 2pm on Oct. 12, 2003, join Pearl Fryar for the program "Pearls of Wisdon". He will demonstrate his work and discuss it with Polly Laffitte, former chief curator of art at the State Museum and one of the art historians who knows Fryar best.

Jim Hadley will preform in front of the museum's train, the Best Friend of Charleston, at 3pm on Oct. 12, 2003. "Although he studied music at the University of South Carolina, Hadley has the soul of a self-taught artist," says Nancy Higgins, programs and services manager. "Well-known for his work as a street musician in Columbia, he plays just about everything, including the banjo, fiddle, guitar, accordion and harmonica. We know our guest will enjoy him."

One of our state's better known self-taught artists, "Button King" Dalton Stephens of Bishopville, will sing and play his guitar at 3pm on Oct. 11, 2003. "We've had his hearse here. Now he's bringing his guitar. This will be a special treat," she says.

"South Carolina has produced it share, maybe even more that its share, of formally trained artists, everyone from the early miniaturists to William Henry Johnson and Jasper Johns. But the strong creative spirit of the residents of the state is also vividly seen in the work of self-taught artists," Higgins says. "During this second weekend of the Harvest Heritage Festival we're celebrating these artists, particularly those in the new exhibit Traditions and New Inventions: South Carolina Self-taught Artists."

Special activities for the entire family begin on Oct. 11 with a series of workshops in which adults and children create a craft together. Jane Hiller of Paper Stock Dealers/Sonoco will present "Too Good to Waste: Creating Art from Trash." Visitors can sign up to make their own "trash art" at 10:30am; 11:30am or 2:30pm.

At 11am on Oct. 11, Ben Boozer, president of the board, and Jayne Darke, volunteer coordinator, will discuss the Ripple Effect. As part of this intriguing program, professional artists and craftsmen make decorative objects and furniture from recycled materials.

At 2pm on Oct. 11, Paul Matheny, the museum's chief curator of art, will join Tom Stanley, Winthrop University Galleries, and Laffitte for a discussion of the work in Traditions and New Inventions. "Paul, Tom and Polly all have long-standing involvement in the work of self-taught artists. They will bring most interesting perspectives to this exciting show," Higgins says. At 4pm on Oct. 12, Matheny will offer a tour of Traditions and New Inventions.

On both days, a variety of self-taught artists will display and discuss their work. They include Geraldine Smith of Columbia, memory painting; William Thomas Thompson of Greenville, visionary painting; Herman Thompson of Winnsboro, metal sculpture; Laddy Sartin of Rock Hill, painting; Ernest Lee of Columbia, painting; and Pear Fryar, topiary.

Barbecue, catfish and refreshments will be available for purchase on both days. All programs on Oct. 11-12 are free with museum admission.

For further information call 803/898-4902 or visit (www.museum.state.sc.us).

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