This is an open invitation for everyone to join me for special panel discussion of the Palmetto Portraits Project at the SC Book Festival this Sunday, May 20, 2012 from 2:20-3:10pm.
The festival and panel are free to attend and will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, located at 1101 Lincoln Street, in Columbia, SC.
I will be joined by Series II photographer Vinnie Deas-Moore from Columbia, SC, Series III photographer Cecil Williams from Orangeburg, SC, and I will be representing the photographers of Series IV. We will also be accompanied by author, Josephine Humphreys who wrote the forward for the book, and the panel will be moderated by Harriett Green, Director of Visual Arts at the SC Arts Commission (and my adviser for the Artists Ventures Initiative grant from the SC Arts Commission.) For more information about the 16th Annual South Carolina Book Festival please visit scbookfestival.org.
The panel discussion is scheduled from 2:20-3:10 in the Richland Meeting Room (located at the back) of the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. (see map below)
If you are just hearing about this project for the first time, here is a brief history of the Palmetto Portraits Project, as stated in the book.
In 2006, the first year of the Palmetto Portraits Project, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) commissioned six photographers to focus on portraying South Carolinians in the Lowcountry, the Piedmont, and the Upstate, reflecting the full range and diversity of the state’s citizens, occupations, and recreational activities. In creating a collection of art to display within MUSe’s educational and clinical buildings, the university hoped to remind students, faculty, staff, and visitors of those they serve at MUSC and throughout South Carolina. Each photographer was given free rein to subject matter. MUSC did not establish any guidelines or place restrictions on whom the photographers might choose as subjects. At the conclusion of the inaugural year, the six photographers invited six additional photographers to create the second series for the Palmetto Portraits Project. This ongoing method was repeated for Series III and Series IV, concluding in 2009. In this way, these accomplished artists helped perpetuate the project, broadening the scope of participation and reaching other photographers throughout the state.
The undertaking was managed by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. Project partners and the selected photographers expanded the ultimate impact by donating an identical set of finished photographs to the permanent collection of the South Carolina State Museum, in Columbia. This publication accompanies the exhibition, and serves as a lasting record of this historic adventure.
Reminiscent of the Farm Security Administration’s photographs of 1930s’ America, the Palmetto Portraits Project is a visual survey of state residents at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Novelist Josephine Humphreys provides a first-person narrative about what it is like to be “from here,” and contemplates our shared kinship. Mark Sloan of the Halsey Institute offers insight into the privileged access that portrait photographers have long provided into the lives of their subjects. In the Afterword, South Carolina State Museum chief curator of art Paul E. Matheny, III, offers an assessment of how these portraits may be viewed by future generations, and applauds the photographers for capturing “the soul of the state.”
The Palmetto Portraits Project partners include the Medical University of South Carolina, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, and South Carolina State Museum, in Columbia.
Palmetto Portraits Project Book Details
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (December 15, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 10.3 x 0.9 inches
Available for purchase at the SC Book Festival, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.