About the exhibit:
Early female Blues singers lived in a male dominated society, in a segregated country, and worked in an industry that took advantage of their lack of education and opportunity. Physical abuse, drug and alcohol dependence, and poverty plagued most. They struggled, made sacrifices, and sang of their woes. They helped change the world for today’s young, black, female vocalists. "Blues Chapel" is an installation inviting visitors to reflect on the music, lives, and the changes brought about by these pioneering vocalists, including Beverly “Guitar” Watkins who was an annual performer at the Carolina Downhome Blues Festival for many years.
The focal point of the installation is a unit of twenty-four portraits called Tapestry in Blue. Each singer is depicted with a gilded halo and most are embellished with buttons, beads, found objects, and acrylic paint. Among those pictured are Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and Koko Taylor. Images include reverse glass painted names. Blues music adds atmosphere. The work can be enjoyed while sitting on a mahogany church pew and reading a faux-service bulletin or using the summer blues fans.
In keeping with Tapestry in Blue is Lenz’s new, haloed portrait of Beverly “Guitar” Watkins. The Arts Center suggested this inclusion to honor Watkins who passed away in 2019. Photo permission was secured from Bill Blizzard’s. The work was created on a section of an old blue-and-white needlepoint rug. Other exhibited work includes hand and machine embroidery based on Gothic and Romanesque architecture, a mixed media triptych, and other art quilts.
About the artist:
Susan Lenz describes herself as the daughter of German immigrants, a soul mate of a wife, a failed mother, a frustrated homeowner, an involuntary business woman, an avid traveler, a custom picture framer and taxpayer out of necessity, a non-practicing Catholic, a member of a few non-profit organizations, a college graduate, a blogger, and the servant to an adorable cat.
Yet, she is first and foremost, an artist.
Using needle and thread for self-expression, Susan works within the scope of an overall theme and toward a final, mixed media installation. She stitches both by hand and machine but also indulges a passion for book arts and unique, 3D found art objects. Altering found photos is an obsession. In another life, Susan is convinced she was a kidnapper whose fixation with letters snipped from assorted, antique ephemera continued into her current life and studio practice.
Susan’s work has appeared in national publications, numerous juried exhibitions, and at fine craft shows including the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and the Smithsonian Craft Show. She has been featured on art quilting television programs and on South Carolina ETV’s Palmetto Scene. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Textile Museum in Washington, DC and the McKissick Museum in South Carolina. Susan has been awarded fully funded fellowships to art residencies including The Anderson Center, PLAYA, Hot Springs National Park, the Studios of Key West, Homestead National Monument, and Great Basin National Park. Her solo installations have been mounted all over the country including the Mesa Contemporary Museum of Art and as far away as the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England. Susan is represented by the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville.
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Friday, October 22, 2021 - 7pm
Saturday October 23, 2021 - 3pm Matinee
Saturday October 23, 2021 - 7pm
Sunday, October 24, 2021 - 3pm Matinee
“DOGS” groupies need to splash a little champagne in their water bowls, as the Arts Center of Kershaw County presents “One Life, Dogs the Musical,” the revised version of the original beloved show, “Dogs the Musical,” created by Playwright Paddy Bell. This new creation, featuring many of the same lovable characters but with deeper and more mature development, offers up dialogue, lyrics and scenarios that may be dog-specific, but it is clear that the actors represent the human as well as the canine – from the purebreds to the mutts.
Anyone who has tried to stay ahead of the pack or keep a leg up on the competition will identify. Those who see their pets as part of the family will relate, and anyone who thinks that dogs seem almost human will have all doubts removed. However, when asked if this show is about dogs or people, playwright Bell answers, “Yes!” She adds, “There are many layers below the surface, as the story parallels man and dog, and draws a very fine and blurry line indeed between hair and fur, hand and paw.”
“One Life” explores the connection between humans and their animals, both the triumphant and tragic conditions. The professional cast of characters provide a variety of hysterically funny moments that will bring laughter, but also intense on-the-edge and desperately poignant situations that will bring tears. In this vein, parents are advised that the show is not appropriate for children under the age of ten.
The three original principals, Director Larry Hembree, Composer Dick Goodwin, and Librettist Bell have spent the past several years collaborating to bring this new show its new life. “It is my hope,” says Bell, “that the ultimate message of acceptance, belonging, and love, is what will be remembered, especially with the new title which reminds us that we only get one chance – one short life.”
While COVID-19 could delay this performance, we are planning according to CDC guidelines for the safety of our patrons, staff, and volunteers.
This main stage performance by Claire Bryant & Friends will be held on Thursday, November 4th at 7:30pm in the Wood Auditorium. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 day of. For tickets or more information, please stop by the Box Office at 810 Lyttleton Street in Camden, call 803.425.7676, or visit https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/6570/wood-auditorium-at-the-arts-center-of-kershaw-county
This event is sponsored by Louise and Jim Burns and Brenda and Joe Sullivan.
November 12-14; 19-21
PO Box 1498
Camden, SC 29021
800 Lyttleton Street
Camden, SC 29020
Box Office Hours:
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