From the Director's Desk: Spring 2013

It's time. Always dread this time of year. It won't be easy to say goodbye to these seniors, many of whom have spent four years with us. Seeing them every day, seeing them grow, physically, intellectually and artistically, is one of the great joys of my position. I get to come to work every day and spend time in the studios with our students -- I often get to see them at one of those moments when they have created something from the very center of their experience, capturing an iconic moment in their development and in such a unique manner that I stand there speechless. (I know ... many would say that is impossible!) But that's what this school and faculty does for students: they are taken outside themselves, or taken inside themselves, where they find new combinations of experiences, new ways of connecting moments, visions, sounds and ideas, that make us see and feel in different ways and show us, as Shakespeare said, "… virtue her own feature … and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure." When you are an artist, or an artist becoming an Artist, you wrestle at the deepest of levels on how to make sense of the daily bombardment of images in order to make order -- to understand, at an aesthetic level, how all of the "out there" can be constructed, manipulated, colored, moved, arranged, so that making sense of it will help someone else make sense of it and better understand their world and be more richly involved in it. Artists connect to their world, up to their creative elbows in the "stuff" of daily existence, and from that "stuff" give us, through the power of their imaginations, work that celebrates our humanity.
These students leave us now, some going on into the arts, others seeking different paths, but what they have done here, no matter where they go or what they do, has become part of their DNA: FAC will always be with them, will always be a yardstick against which they'll measure their Becoming. They will be more adaptable, more tolerant, more compassionate, more understanding, and better able to seek creative solutions to complex problems than others. The arts do that. This school does that. Your student does that. Be proud of them, hold them close. We will, too.

Gelnda Guion Retires After 25 Years at FAC

Glenda Guion, Fine Arts Center Ceramics teacher for 25 years and Art Department Chair for 13 years, is retiring at the end of this school year. What she has meant to the school, to Greenville, the state, and to countless numbers of our visual arts students cannot be measured. She came to the Fine Arts Center in 1988 and, since that time, established herself as one of the leading ceramicists in the Southeast. She joins Jim Campbell, Drawing and Painting teacher, who retired last year after 34 years; Susan Willis, our 3-D Metals teacher who retired six years ago after 33 years; and Debbie Cooke, our Photography teacher, who retired two years ago after 14 years. Among them, they formed one of the finest visual arts faculties to be found at any level in this part of the country.

Glenda's first career began in a bank in Nashville, her hometown. Starting as a teller, she quickly moved to head teller and then branch manager. Obviously, she was good at it, but she found it unfulfilling and went back to school, receiving her BFA from Middle Tennessee State University in 1985. She continued her studies at Clemson, getting her MFA in 1987. In 1988 she replaced long-time Fine Arts Center Ceramics Teacher Bob Chance, who accepted a similar position in the art department at Furman. 

Once at The Fine Arts Center, her commitment to her art, her students and the school launched a career that saw her artwork featured in "Handbuilt Ceramics" by Kathy Tripplett (1997) and "500 Teapots" by Lark Books (2002). Her work with Fine Arts Center students for the Children's Wing of Greenville Memorial Hospital was featured in "Pottery Making Illustrated Magazine" (2004), a publication of the American Ceramic Society. She served as instructor at the Greenville Museum of Art, Clemson University and USC Upstate. She worked as a studio assistant for Ellen Kochansky, lectured at Furman and Tri-County Technical College, and did ceramic workshops for 16 different Greenville County Schools. In 2002 Glenda was part of the original group of artists who began Greenville Open Studios, one of the most successful programs of its kind in the country, and served as its chairperson for five years. 

Ms. Guion's work is included in numerous public collections, such as the South Carolina State Art Collection, the Pickens County Museum, Columbia College, Clemson University, Sumter County Museum of Art, Elliott Davis, LLC and Middle Tennessee State University. She has received 13 first place awards and has been exhibited in more than 120 regional shows, 19 national juried exhibitions and 12 solo exhibitions. Her clay work has been exhibited in venues such as Hickory Museum of Art in Hickory, N.C.; Galleria Mesa in Mesa, Ariz.; Danforth Gallery in Portland, Maine; The Holter Museum of Art in Helena, Mont.; Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Wash.; The University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn.; Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah; Gallery of Artifacts and Treasures in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Capital University in Columbus, Ohio; and The Museum of Modern Art in Miami, Fla. 

The beautiful stainless steel John Acorn sculpture on the west side of our new building was obtained due to Glenda's efforts. Roper Mountain Science Center, where Acorn's sculpture could be seen as part of the Holiday Lights exhibit each December, wanted ceramic sculptures for its Japanese Butterfly Garden and traded the sculpture for the three beautiful pieces she and her students designed and executed. 

One of the highlights of her time at FAC was when she received a Surdna Foundation Grant (now the National Arts Teacher Foundation) to study Native American clay techniques in New Mexico with the Acoma Indians. That led to a curriculum unit that became a regular feature of her work and that of her students. It also led to a collection of 24 Native American pottery pieces that now forms one of the finest collections of its kind of any high school in the country. The collection, a gift of Joe Comin obtained with the help of Sharon Campbell and now on view at FAC, stands as a testament to Glenda's career as an artist, teacher and colleague. Scores of students will attest to what she meant to them and how her unwavering belief in their talents led them to discover in themselves the excellence she knew was there. Her example and her love of the school and everything it stands for will impact what we do long into the future. Enjoy your time, your new home and your new studio, Glenda. You have more than earned it! 

Creative Writing

The Spring newsletter for Creative Writing is dedicated to graduating Senior Kathleen Cole, who has had astonishing success in the past few months with her writing and college plans. Kathleen was chosen as a finalist in Fiction in the YoungArts national arts contest and spent a week in Miami in January attending workshops with other young writers and artists. As a result of her time there, she was awarded a $1,500 cash grant in recognition of her outstanding potential in the field of short fiction. Additionally, the national awards in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition were announced in March, and Kathleen was awarded a national gold medal -- given to the top 5 percent of creative youth in the country -- for her work in poetry. In June she will be traveling to New York City to accept her award in a ceremony at Carnegie Hall. As if that weren't recognition enough, Kathleen is also the winner of the Bennington Young Writers Competition for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. Her winning poem can be downloaded in PDF format here: 
On the same day that Kathleen found out about her Bennington prize, she also received a call from the University of Chicago, admitting her into the incoming class and offering her a $50,000 grant renewable for all four years of her college career. This, added to the offers from the University of Richmond (which offered Kathleen a full, four-year tuition remission) and Davidson University (which awarded Kathleen the prestigious Patricia Cornwall Scholarship for outstanding promise in writing, worth a total of $10,000) has made her college decision unusually difficult. Ultimately, however, Kathleen has decided to accept the University of Chicago's offer and will be traveling to Illinois this summer to start school in the fall.

In other college news, all four of the graduating seniors in Creative Writing have been accepted to the colleges of their choice and are planning to attend the University of Chicago, Perdue University, Converse College and Winthrop University, respectively. We wish them the best of luck and are proud to have the Fine Arts Center represented in such a diverse range of schools.
This summer, Creative Writing underclassmen will keep busy in their field. Sophomore Adina Lasser and Juniors Willard Ramsey and Ashley Israel have all been accepted into highly competitive summer writing programs and have all been offered substantial scholarships to attend. Adina and Willard will both be students at Kenyon College's Young Writers Summer Program in Gambier, Ohio. Ashley, who attended the Kenyon program last summer, will be going to the highly selective Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College, where she will be a part of the Young Writer's Workshop.

Instructor Sarah Blackman, her husband, John, and their daughter, Helen, are expecting a second girl to join their family. The Little Stranger (as she is currently called) is due Aug. 2.   


Dancers Jacqueline Calle, Rhiannon Laymon, Nikki Morath, Kara Nightingale and Hannah Winton have been accepted into one or more of these dance programs:
SUNY/Purchase Dance Conservatory
California Institute of the Arts
Florida State University
University of the Arts
Point Park University
University of South Carolina

Two dancers are valedictorians! Hannah Winton is valedictorian at Greenville Technical College Charter High School, and Mattison Williams is valedictorian at Greer Middle College Charter High School.

Rebecca Lee set challenging choreographic works the morning and afternoon dancers during her residency in February. Ms. Lee, an alumna of the Fine Arts Center, received her BFA from Columbia College in Columbia, S.C., and her MFA from Florida State University. She has been a company member with Dance Repertory Theatre in Tallahassee, Fla., and the Power Company in Columbia, S.C. She has been a guest artist with Wildwood Ballet and with Christian von Howard in the Von Howard Project in New York City. Her dances, "Crispitudo Caelum" and "Isomorphous" will be performed in the FAC Concert on April 26.

Teri Goddard, a costume designer, designed and created the costumes for "Chaconne," choreographed by guest artist Tim Glenn. Assisting Ms. Goddard was Meade Inglis, a current Visual Arts student at the Fine Arts Center. Teri Goddard created costumes in the past for such dance pieces as "Mud," choreographed by Lisa Wheeler, when her daughter, Danielle Goddard, attended the Fine Arts Center.

The Fine Arts Center Dance Concert is April 26 in the Wade Hampton High School Theatre at 7 p.m. The repertory will include choreography by Tim Glenn (Associate Professor in the School of Dance at Florida State University and former dancer with Nikolais & Murray Louis Dance Company), Sara Procopio (founding member and former Artistic Associate of Shen Wei Dance Arts), Tyler Gilstrap (founding member of Battleworks Dance Company and featured dancer in such films as Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor), Andrew Kuharsky (Director of the Greenville Ballet) and Rebecca Lee (Wildwood Ballet and alumna of the Fine Arts Center).

On Feb. 14, the afternoon dancers had the privilege of taking a master class with two cast members from the National Tour of "Billy Elliot: The Musical" at the Peace Center. The dancers learned a dance that was a compilation of various sections of the show -- it was non-stop dancing for the entire hour-long class!

Vincas Greene, professor of Dance at Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga., taught master classes on Jan. 31. He received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and has trained with dance artists Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris and Gerri Houlihan, among others. He has choreographed more than 40 choreographic works and three operas.


Digital Film students Amanda Fryar and Colton Miller recently earned their IMDB credits by working on a web series called "The Adventures of Iguana Man," starring Chris Cashon and directed by Dean Ferreira. Amanda served as sound operator, and Colton worked in the grip department. Amanda has also recently worked as an actress and a production assistant on a black and white short film called "It Should've Had Water." The short film is scheduled to premiere later this year.


Student Awards and Recognition

Fine Arts Center percussion student Justin Lamb (Eastside High School 2011) will perform as a mallet percussionist with the Carolina Crown Drum Corps over the coming summer. His membership in Crown came about as the result of an intense, competitive audition, preceded by extraordinarily dedicated practicing and preparation.
According to the Carolina Crown Drum Corps website, "(The corps) is the largest performing ensemble offered by the Carolina Crown Organization and is based out of Fort Mill, S.C.  Students from all over the world come to audition on an annual basis to become part of this national touring group of 150 members.  The general makeup of the group is young people between the ages of 17 and 22 who aspire to become music educators, performing artists and the leaders of tomorrow.  While touring the United States, the group performs while participating in competitions held in conjunction with Drum Corps International."
Justin occupies an extraordinary place in this line-up of musicians: he is the only high school student participating as a member of Carolina Crown's mallet percussion section. The corps has already begun preliminary rehearsals on weekends this calendar year and will begin regular, intensive rehearsals starting in May. Justin has been given permission to finish his junior year early and will depart for rehearsals in Fort Mill following his participation as timpanist in the Young Artist Orchestra's May 11 "Shoulder-to-Shoulder" concert at Dorothy Gunter Theater. Starting in June, Crown will undertake a 40-city concert tour with stops in Mesa, Ariz.; Sacramento, Calif.; Ogden, Utah; Casper, Wyo., Denver, Colo., and many other locations.

FAC percussion student David Wilson (Wade Hampton High School 2012) won the recent Music Club of Greenville Scholarship. Performing two selections on the marimba (the prelude from Bach's "Cello Suite in G Major" and Matthias Schmitt's "Ghanaia") David was awarded a prize of $1000 that he will use toward college expenses next year. Having applied as a music technology major, David is currently considering scholarship offers from the Berkeley School of Music in Boston, Belmont College in Nashville, and the University of Michigan.

Violinist Reagan Bachour won the South Carolina Music Educators Association's highest honor, the Memorial Scholarship. The $1000 award is given to the outstanding high school senior music student in the state. Reagan also won a $500 award in the Music Club of Greenville scholarship competition.

Senior cellist Jonathan Simmons won a $1000 scholarship from the Music Club of Greenville.

Violinist Katherine Woo appeared as soloist with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra in a performance of music from the film "Schindler's List." Katherine also won a $500 award in the Crescent Music Club's scholarship competition. Katherine has been accepted as a participant in the Heifetz International Music Institute this summer.

Junior violinist Paul Aguilar won an $800 scholarship from the Crescent Music Club and has been accepted to return to study at the Meadowmount School of Music this summer.

Pianist Jeon Yu-Jung won first place in the Crescent Music Club grade 10-11 Piano Division and the Piano Duet division. Yu-Jung also won first place at the state level in the National Federation of Music Clubs competition.

Maria Parrini won first prize in the Senior Piano division from the Greenville Music Teachers Association. Equally talented as a cellist, Maria appeared with Pan Harmonia at the Altamont Theatre in Asheville, N.C., in a performance of "Piano Trio in D Minor" by Felix Mendelssohn.

Guest Artists

In April, the Grammy Award-winning Parker String Quartet performed a concert for the Fine Arts Center students and then led a chamber master class. The quartet was in South Carolina for an extended residency at the USC School of Music. The Parker Quartet's visit to the Fine Arts Center was presented courtesy of Dr. Bob Jesselson and the University of South Carolina. The members of the Parker Quartet are violinists Daniel Chong and David McCarroll, violist Jessica Bodner and cellist Kee-Hyun Kim. Many students from the Strings Chamber Music classes attended the Parker Quartet's concert in Columbia, S.C. on April 19.
Asheville-based ensemble Pan Harmonia will perform a free public concert in the Fine Arts Center's Sutherlin Recital Hall on Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. This Holocaust remembrance concert will feature the engaging and energetic "Trio Concertino" by Erwin Schulhoff, Sephardic songs, and an Elegiac Sketch by T. G. Febonio. The performers are Kate Steinbeck, flutist; Amy Brucksch, guitar; Ian Bracchitta, double bass; and FAC faculty member John Ravnan, viola. More information about Pan Harmonia activities can be found on the group's website at
Violin soloist Rachel Lee will give a master class for the Strings Chamber Music students on May 3. The master class is presented by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Lee will be performing Tchaikovsky's "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major" with the symphony at the Peace Center on May 4 and 5. 


The Theatre Department has had an incredibly busy spring!
Semester performances for the Beginning and Advanced Theatre Ensembles took place April 18 and 19. The morning students presented a movement demonstration of "The Viewpoints" as well as a stirring performance of Shakespearean sonnets. The afternoon students presented original projects, from a 20-minute version of Lee Blessing's "Independence" to originally composed pieces about Craigslist, inspirational quotes, and Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree." Most of these pieces will be performed again on Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m. for the annual Generation to Generation concert, which highlights original student work.
Please catch our performance on Saturday, May 11, at noon at Artisphere! The Theatre and Dance departments will be performing at the TD Bank Stage at the Peace Center.
For those of you who caught our production of "welcome to the new age yeah yeah yeah" by David Garcia, you know what a successful night of theatre it was. We thank David for his plays, and we look forward to doing more original work by up-and-coming playwrights in the future. It is an amazing experience for young actors to work on new plays, and it is an experience they will get more of the longer they stay in theatre.
The Theatre Department had another unique experience this semester, with voice-over artist Lisa Biggs. You have heard Lisa's voice on TV and in film (including Pixar's "Toy Story 3"), and we were lucky enough to have her for a six-part workshop! The students learned the basics of voice over and were recorded, and several even walked away with a rough demo. We look forward to having her again in the future, and we are thankful she is now calling Greenville her home.
A huge congratulations goes to the seniors. Out of 10 seniors in Theatre Performance this year, eight will be majoring in Theatre next year. Our trip to Unified Auditions in New York City was an enormous success. Congratulations to Anna Barry, Tiffany Bunch and JP McLaurin for their successes there. A big round of applause also to Claire McCreight, Eren Brock, Cameron Treiper and Courtney Weber for completing their extensive audition schedules. Between all of the seniors, they have auditioned at more than 20 schools, have received recognition from some of the top theatre schools in the country (including Juilliard, University of Minnesota, the Hartt School and the University of the Arts) and will be attending excellent programs in the fall. Nick Brown and Brianna Rodriguez will be majoring in something other than Theatre (as of now), but their hard work and talent are no less appreciated. Seniors, we are proud of you and wish you well as you journey on to the next stop.

Visual Arts

FAC Mural Downtown

Anthropologie has partnered with students from the FAC to design and install a unique artwork outside the site of Anthropologie's new store location in downtown Greenville. The artwork is student-designed and will herald the arrival of the new store in the Greenville community.
During the weekend of March 9-10 at the corner of Main and Coffee Streets, students from the Fine Arts Center visual arts department painted a live installation of the artwork. A photography team was on hand to document the progression of the artwork, and through targeted social media the members of the community were invited to come and observe as the design progressed from initial installation to completion. Fine Arts Center student Sierra Snipes' design concept and proposal was chosen and accepted for the 20 feet wide by 8 feet tall mural project. The completed artwork will stand until construction of the store and plaza is completed; afterward the mural will be deconstructed for inclusion in the store's interior displays.

Annual Juried Spring Show

Fine Arts Center's Annual Spring Juried Show and reception was held Thursday, April 25, in the Sheffield Wood Gallery. The reception was generously funded by Publix. Artists Tom Dimond and Terry Jarrard-Dimond juried this year's exhibition. Married for 43 years, Tom Dimond and Terry Jarrard-Dimond have long been sharing ideas, studio space and a passion for experimentation with new materials.
Tom Dimond received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and his MFA from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He is now emeritus professor of art at Clemson University. He has exhibited his works at Clemson, Furman and Lander Universities, as well as at numerous galleries, including McDunn Gallery (Greenville), Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, Ala.), and the Addison Ripley Gallery (Washington, D.C.).
A native South Carolinian, Terry Jarrard-Dimond completed her BA at Winthrop University and her MFA at Clemson University. She has taught at several colleges and universities as well as in the summer program of the South Carolina Governor's School of the Arts. Her work is represented in collections including Coca-Cola International (Atlanta, Ga.), The Federal Reserve Bank (Charlotte, N.C.), and The State Museum of South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.).
In the Drawing and Painting category, the jurors noted, "All work demonstrated a very effective mixture of concept and technical skill in handling of materials." The jurors also commented that, in the Clay category, the work has "very strong, imaginative storytelling and beautiful surfaces." The Best of Show work "demonstrated an extremely imaginative concept within the medium as well as displaying strong skills and craftsmanship. The image is strikingly beautiful and mysterious with a strong narrative."
Best in Show
Kimberly Chambers, "Silk Moth"
First Place: George Nnodim, "Progression"
Second Place: Mariana Fuenmayor, "Stolen Moment"
Third Place: Jessica Wortkoetter, "Overlapping Hands"
Honorable Mentions
Erika Olvera, "Gadgets"
Mikayla Femenella, "Saw & Pierce Sample"
Jamie Condon, "Life as a Puzzle"
First Place: Hannah Rodgers, "Plaster Sculpture"
Second Place: Hannah Rodgers, "Bonsai"
Third Place: Marley White, "Relief"
Honorable Mention
Nick Dekrafft, "Mohawk"
First Place: Caroline Dillard, "Radiation"
Second Place: Katie Ducharme, "Clay Leaf"
Third Place: Rachel Heeke, "Sirens"
Honorable Mentions
Kimberly Chambers, "Bee"
Rachael Thoma, "Awakening"
First Place: Tia Hall, "Parting"
Second Place: Olivia Black, "Seductively Ashamed"
Third Place: Madelyn Knight, "Shouldn't She Be in the Kitchen"
Honorable Mentions
Carrie McGeachie, "Freedom"
Anna Huff, "The Wandering Mind"
Drawing and Painting
First Place: Hattie Odell, "Wrestle"
Second Place: Meade Inglis, "Solitude"
Third Place: Elise Huguley, "Gigi"
Honorable Mentions
Matt Gutierrez, "A Marriage"
Denzel Harrison, "Untitled"
Valentin Brindel, "Self-Portrait with Mood Swings"
Steven N. Sato, "9 Sides"

Twenty-Third Annual Upstate High School Art Exhibit

Exhibition Dates: April 6-26, 2013
Reception and Awards Ceremony: Friday, April 19, at 7 p.m.

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Greenville Technical College's Greer Campus held the 23rd Annual Upstate High School Art Exhibit. This year's exhibition features 174 artworks from 20 Upstate high schools. Awards were selected by Greenville-based artist Daniel Marinelli, whose choices reflect an emphasis on diverse narratives and more personalized content.

Exhibit Winners From FAC

Best in Show: Denzel Harrison, "Chance"
First Place in Drawing: Hannah Rodgers, "Oscar"
First Place in Metals/Jewelry: Cala Adair, "Untitled (Rings)"
Second Place in Metals/Jewelry: Lindsay Parker, "The Storm"
Second Place in Painting: Megan Hueble, "Coming Undone"
Third Place in 3D/Sculpture: Matt Guttierrez, "Untitled (Jellyfish)"
Third Place Design and Color: Anna Huff, "The History of the Human Heart"

Permanent Collection Addition

"Manuscript One," a 2009 piece by fiber artist Terry Jarrard-Dimond, who did a weeklong residency at FAC earlier this year, has been selected to join the permanent collection at the Fine Arts Center.
Terry has written a wonderful blog post that discusses the piece, her work, her residency at FAC, and her time with the students there.
Take some time to read her post and navigate through her blog. It provides some wonderful insights into the mind of this talented and thoughtful local artist. 

Young Artist Orchestra

On Saturday, May 11, the Young Artist Orchestra, led by Fine Arts Center faculty member Dr. Gary Robinson, will be joined by members of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra in their annual "Shoulder-to-Shoulder" concert. Performed at the Peace Center's Dorothy Gunter Theater, the combined forces will perform Franz Liszt's "Piano Concerto No. 1 E Flat" and the monumental "Symphony No. 5 in C Minor" by Ludwig van Beethoven. YAO cellist Stephen Hawkey will be the featured piano soloist in the Liszt concerto. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for adults are $15; student and children's tickets are $8.

Alumni News

Fine Arts Center graduate RORY SCOVEL has been cast in a TBS comedy pilot called "Ground Floor," an office take on Romeo and Juliet. Scovel, who studied film at the FAC, has found much success as an actor and stand-up comedian. He has previously been featured on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and Comedy Central and landed roles in several films and TV shows.

KEVIN BOSEMAN (Dance) was invited to speak to the seniors in the dance department at California Institute for the Arts about his dance career with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the Martha Graham Dance Company and his transitions into musical and non-musical theatre.

SAMANTHA PATTERSON (Dance 2012) performed in the gala performance at the American College Dance Festival in Tampa, Fla., representing Winthrop University's Dance Department. Samantha auditioned and was cast in a piece which was performed at the Medal of Honor ceremony that honors five people in South Carolina who have been recognized for their contributions to the arts.

AMANDA PORTER (Dance 2009) graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida State University with a BFA in dance and a minor in hospitality management. Highlights during her final year in the acclaimed dance program included performances in the graduate thesis concert, Rick McCullough's piece "The Chairman Dances," and Tim Glenn's "Chaconne." Amanda also performed this spring at the American College Dance Festival Association in Tampa, Fla. After graduation, Amanda will direct the dance program at Camp Laurel South in Casco, Maine, before moving to New York City in the fall.

LAUREN MILLER (Dance 2009) is graduating Cum Laude from Columbia College in Columbia, S.C., with a double major BFA in dance choreography and performance and community arts. She had two pieces of choreography in the Columbia College Spring Choreographer's Showcase this spring. Lauren will be attending Texas Women's University in Denton, Texas, to pursue a MFA in dance next fall.

BLAKE ULMER (Dance 2012) will be attending the University of North Carolina in the contemporary dance program next fall.

KATIE JENKINS POTEET (Dance) is completing her first semester as director of the Furman Dance Company. She coordinated the Dance Spectacular in March, at which the FDC performed many genres of dance. Local dance studios performed, as well.

CAITLIN CLARK (Dance) is going to Benin to be a Peace Corps volunteer in the environmental action sector on June 24.

KATE FURMAN (Fine Arts Center 2004 and Rhode Island School of Design MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing 2012) has been asked to include work in the collaborative exhibition between alumni from Rhode Island School of Design and Monash University in Australia. Her jewelry will be traveling to Australia for the exhibition, entitled "Seams," which is open July 17-Aug. 17, 2013.
The exhibition features 10 alumni from each program as a representative body of the type of work made in their advanced degree programs. The exhibition is meant to emphasize and broaden the discourse around where the boundaries for jewelry lie in 2013.

Keyboard artist and strings chamber music student CAROLINE ROBINSON  (Wade Hampton High School 2009) is completing her senior year at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with a flourish. On April 5-7, Caroline was the soloist with the Kansas City Symphony under the baton of Michael Stern, performing Francis Poulenc's "Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings in G Minor." These performances were followed by a solo recital on April 10 on the Casavant organ in Helzberg Hall of the new Kauffman Performing Arts Center. Following a senior recital and graduation from Curtis, Caroline will carry out a Fulbright grant, living and studying in Toulouse, France, for one year, beginning in July.
According to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts website, "the new, multi-venue center for music, opera, theater and dance was designed by Moshe Safdie and opened in Kansas City on Sept. 16, 2011. The Kauffman Center seeks to enrich the lives of all Greater Kansas City residents by presenting vibrant and diverse performances, educational programming and creating a tradition of the performing arts as a catalyst for Kansas City's civic, economic and educational vitality." To showcase the grand Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant organ in Helzberg Hall, the Kansas City Symphony will present four organ recitals hosted by Michael Barone of American Public Media's popular radio program, "Pipedreams." Caroline began her evening with a discussion with Michael Barone followed by a performance of Sowerby's "Pageant," Bach's "Präludium and Fugatum in Organo Pleno a 5 Voci in E-s," Vierne's "Carillon de Westminster" and more.
Caroline garnered glowing reviews from the Kansas City press for her performances with the Kansas City Symphony, including these comments: "Robinson played with verve, virtuosity and drama" (The Kansas City Star) and "... young organist Caroline Robinson was in command of the mighty Casavant" (Don Clark of the Kansas City Symphony Blog).
Caroline is the recipient of a grant from the J. William Fulbright fellowship fund, allowing her to travel to Toulouse, France, to study for one year at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional with renowned concert organist and pedagogue Michel Bouvard. While in France, Caroline will focus on the performance practices of French organ repertoire and strive to better understand how organ-building influenced the repertoire composed in the area. She also hopes to collaborate with other musicians on both organ and harpsichord, travel around southern France as well as Spain, and (of course) eat cassoulet and paté. Caroline's parents, Gary (FAC music faculty member and conductor of the Young Artist Orchestra) and Kathleen (violinist, educator and conductor) will travel to Toulouse in July to assist Caroline as she establishes herself for the coming year.

Faculty News

Two FAC Teachers Receive National Artist Teacher Fellowships

Formerly known as the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship, the National Artist Teacher Fellowship program offers grants to support the artistic revitalization of arts teachers, offering them the opportunity to immerse themselves in their own creative work, interact with other professional artists, and stay current with new practices. NATF is generously supported by the Surdna Foundation and is a program of the Center for Arts in Education at Boston Arts Academy.

Design Instructor Donna Shank-Major received a National Artist Teacher Fellowship to study in Florence, Italy. She will study with master Italian bookbinder Enrico Giannini, spend time exploring Florence's Oltrarno artisan district and will visit Bologna's museums for inspiration and ideas. Upon her return, she will share these methods with students, colleagues and the community through several workshops and create a new body of work. 

Theatre Instructor Teri Parker Lewis also received a National Artist Teacher Fellowship.  She will be spending 18 days on the west coast, from San Francisco to Seattle, studying with actress Diane Venora and director Jeffrey Fracé and attending performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage and On the Boards. Next fall she will perform a new solo work that will be the focus of the grant. The Fine Arts Center Theatre also has been awarded a complementary grant of $1,500 to support her  post-fellowship activities in the school.

Upstate Premiere of Grier Song Cycle

The Emrys Foundation, an Upstate arts support organization, celebrated its 30th anniversary year with a special event April 7 at the Greenville County Museum of Art. The program included the premiere of "Museum Pieces," a song cycle for soprano, saxophone and string quartet by FAC Composer-in-Residence Jon Jeffrey Grier. The songs were set to poems by Emrys-affiliated poets, who were in turn inspired by the whimsical paintings of Spartanburg native Helen Dupré Moseley (1887-1984). The performance was held on the fourth floor of the Museum, surrounded by an exhibit of Moseley’s paintings. The work was performed by Mary Freeman, Connie Frigo and a string quartet from the Strings Chamber Music program at the FAC (Reagan Bachour and Paul Aguilar, violins; Shannon Elliott, viola; and Maria Parrini, cello). Each of the six brief songs features a poem inspired by one of the Moseley works. The entire work will be repeated by the same ensemble at John Ravnan's year-end Strings Chamber Music recital on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in the Sutherlin Recital Hall at the FAC.

School News

Graduation Speaker Chip Egan

Clifton "Chip" Egan is dean emeritus of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities at Clemson University. He received his BA in speech and theatre from Hanover College and his MFA in scenography from Northwestern University. Chip began his academic career at Clemson University in 1976, eventually serving as chair of the department of performing arts for nine years, during which time the Robert Howell Brooks Center for the Performing Arts was planned and constructed. He is a past president of the South Carolina Theatre Association and the Southeastern Theatre Conference and currently serves on the SETC Executive Committee. Chip is now a freelance director, actor and designer who works regularly at the Warehouse Theatre and Centre Stage in Greenville and at the South Carolina Repertory Company in Hilton Head Island. He and his wife of nearly 40 years, Diane, have two married children and four grandchildren.
Recently, he was seen on the Warehouse Theatre stage as George in a production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" staged by FAC Director Roy Fluhrer. This coming Warehouse season, the two will together again in the Pulitzer Prize winning "August: Osage County."

Visiting Artist
Kadiatou Kante taught an African Dance Master Class to the dance and theatre students, with percussion students playing drums. Kadiatou was born in the village of Siguiri, Guinea, West Africa, and at age 7 she began her formal training under Master Artist Kemoko Sano, the Director of Les Ballets Africains. Kadiatou currently resides in New York City, where she teaches dance, conducts workshops and performs.

"Refresh" is the School District's word for providing new computer hardware for our schools, and now it is our turn. This week we have begun to receive computers that will replace all of the computers in our building, a combination of PCs and Macs. With the increasing necessity of technology in our schools, we cannot afford to be behind the curve, so this initiative by the district is most appreciated. However, while the district picks up the check for $130,000 of computers, they do not cover the $33,000 needed for the software to drive them. Without the software, it's as if we had a powerful sports car with no engine. We have applied for and hope to receive grant funds that will cover all of the software. In addition, the Fine Arts Center Partners organization has contributed to both of these initiatives, which has helped reduce our costs. You, too, can help by making a donation at
When the new year begins, your students will return to all-new technology and, given their imaginations, they'll find new ways to express themselves and have something to teach the rest of us about the best way to use these educational tools.

Performance and Special Events Calendar

April 23: Spring Greenville County Youth Orchestra Concert at the Peace Center at 7:30 p.m.
April 24: Morning Jazz Class Concert in the Recital Hall at 7 p.m.
April 25: Pan Harmonia "Elegy" Concert in the Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.
April 25: Juried Student Show and Reception in the Sheffield Wood Gallery at 6:30 p.m.
April 26: Spring Dance Concert (in the auditorium at Wade Hampton High School)
April 28: ARMES Dance Concert
May 1: Afternoon Jazz Class Concert in the Recital Hall at 7 p.m.
May 2: Strings Recital in the Recital Hall at 7 p.m.
May 3: Generation to Generation Theatre Performance at 7 p.m.
May 6: Music Club Recital from 6-10 p.m.
May 8: Percussion Recital at 7 p.m.
May 11: FAC Dance and Theatre Students Perform for Artisphere at 3 p.m. at the TD Stage at the Peace Center
May 11: Young Artist Orchestra Concert at the Peace Center's Gunter Theatre at 7:30 p.m.
May 13 and 14: Voice Recital in the Recital Hall at 7 p.m.
May 17: Showcase and Last Day for Seniors
May 21: Awards Day Ceremony from 1:30-3:20 p.m.
May 21: Graduation Rehearsal at 4 p.m. at Wade Hampton High School
May 22: Graduation at Wade Hampton High School at 7:30 p.m.
May 27: No Students/Teacher Workday
May 31: Last Day for Underclassmen
May 31: Film and Video Showcase at 7 p.m.

Explore the Arts

Come join us for a summer arts extravaganza! Explore the Arts will be held at the Fine Arts Center June 17-21, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Explore the Arts offers classes for rising elementary and middle school students in Painting on Canvas, Drama, Sculpture, Guitar, Drums and Shakers, Japanese Art, Creative Writing, Ballet, Drum Set and Snare Drum, and Cartooning. Also offered are high school and adult workshops in Printmaking, Digital Photography, Metals and Ballet.
The cost to attend this exciting arts program is $125 for the elementary and middle school program and $150 for the high school, college and adult workshops. Some partial scholarships are available. Students who register for the ballet workshop receive a $25 discount.
There are also opportunities available for high school and college students to volunteer to work with younger students and assist instructors.
To find out more about the classes we offer or for more information, call 864-355-2574. To print a registration form, visit our website at You may also email Donna Shank-Major, the Explore the Arts coordinator.