Six people from Horry and Georgetown counties make up one-quarter of the talent chosen for the 2014 S.C. State Park Service Artist in Residence program.
Each honoree receives a free one-week cabin stay at their designated state park, in exchange for donating a completed artwork representing their stay at the park:
Another common trait among the six artists is their membership in the Seacoast Artists Guild of South Carolina, which has its main gallery at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach (232-7009 or www.seacoastartistsguild.com).
“It speaks to the tremendous talent and creativity of our local artists,” said June Groft, who handles the guild’s publicity.
Mariano did his residency at the lone state resort park, Hickory Knob, along the Savannah River, northwest of North Augusta, which he welcomed as a random assignment.
“I said I would take whatever park they wanted to send me to when I applied,” he said, happy to know his framed enlargement of a photo of a doe and fawn already is hanging in the park’s Great Room.
Mariano also envisions another goal with such residencies, especially after visiting the Frankin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach this past month.
“I am now applying to some national parks for 2015,” he said, “and although the competition is stiff, maybe I’ll luck out. I went see the Ansel Adams exhibit at the art museum here and was inspired to try something on that scale before I’m too old to do it.”
Harry Hafer, manager of two proximate state parks – Lee, in Bishopville, off Interstate 20, about a half-hour drive west of Florence, and Woods Bay, about 20 miles east of Sumter – has overseen the residency program for the past couple of years, and he elaborated on the process of lining up artists across the state with parks.
After all the applications come in, I review them, and usually with a couple of park employees and some people from the arts community in the area ... basically what we do is kind of a blind review, and the chairman knows who everybody is. ... They come in various categories. ... We had one writer this year whom we accepted. ...
We review the materials they sent, and the team kind of looks at them on a scale. ... This year, we had 24 who scored very high, and we managed to place all 24 of them. ...
The other part of is the parks that have cabins, because we have only a limited number of parks with cabins.