2018 Voices in American Art Speaker
TJC is pleased to announce that Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, will be the keynote speaker at the 2018 symposium, scheduled for Thursday, March 1, at AC Hotel Spartanburg. Dr. Erickson's lecture will focus on the art and artists of Black Mountain College, the avant-garde, interdisciplinary arts enclave that operated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina between 1933 and 1957. A selection of TJC's Black Mountain College paintings and sculpture will be highlighted throughout the hotel property, slated to open this fall. Complete information about the event is available on the VIAA website page.
Lighten Up Spartanburg!
Lighten Up Spartanburg! is a large-scale public art collaboration that bolsters the cultural vitality of downtown Spartanburg, expands the local economy through tourism, provides opportunities to local and regional artists, and fosters connections between local businesses and the arts. An initiative of the Spartanburg Art Museum, the project is comprised of 28 six-foot-tall fiberglass light bulbs painted, sculpted, and otherwise altered by 36 local and regional artists, sponsored by 30 local businesses and individuals, and installed in nearly 300 square feet of public space in and around downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina's newest Cultural District. The bulb pictured here is positioned just outside TJC Gallery on West Main Street. Created by Beth Regula, People and Places is a collage of local landmarks and familiar favorites.
Elevating the Art in Liberal Arts
In May, the Johnson Collection was honored to help celebrate the opening of Spartanburg’s newest cultural jewel, the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College. Located in the heart of the historic campus, the modern facility now serves as a showcase for the college’s extensive arts programs. A full glass front façade welcomes visitors to the 65,000-square-foot building, which features exhibition spaces, classrooms, the 320-seat Jerome Johnson Richardson Theatre, and stunning ceiling sculptures by Dale Chihuly. To mark the center’s opening, a loaned exhibition from the collection titled The Mountains Are Calling was on view through September. The Wofford galleries are open to the public each week: 1pm to 5pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 1pm to 9pm on Thursday.
Beyond the inaugural display of mountain scenes, the Johnson Collection has pledged to lend annual curated exhibitions, drawn from our holdings, to the Richardson Center gallery for the next three years. Commenting on the collaboration, Susu Johnson noted that “it is our hope that these presentations, like the facility itself, will support Wofford’s mission to provide its students with a broad, rich—and beautiful—liberal arts education.”
Art in Embassies Cultural Exchange
Sponsored by the U.S. State Department since 1963, Art in Embassies plays a vital role in international diplomacy by advancing cross-cultural dialogue through the visual arts. The public-private partnership seeks to educate and inspire global audiences, showing how art can transcend national borders and build connections among peoples. The initiative engages over 20,000 participants around the world—including artists, museums, galleries, universities, and private collectors—and encompasses over 200 venues in 189 countries. The Johnson Collection is pleased to support the exchange program with the loan of Old Man, created in 1972 by Charleston artist-educator William Halsey, to the American embassy in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia.
TJC Receives 2017 MLK Humanitarian Award
The Johnson Collection was honored to receive the City of Spartanburg’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award at the thirtieth annual Unity Celebration held on January 16, 2017 at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. The award is given to an organization or business promoting positive relations among the diverse people in the Spartanburg community. The celebratory event included music, dance, and a stirring keynote address by former Charleston mayor Joe Riley, who challenged the audience to advance Dr. King’s fight for equality, fairness, justice, kindness, and tolerance.
Spartanburg Named Cultural District
It’s official: the South Carolina Arts Commission has awarded cultural district status to the City of Spartanburg for Downtown Spartanburg. A “cultural district” is designated by the South Carolina Legislature as a specific geographical area in a city or town that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. In Spartanburg, the designated district includes 21 indoor live performance venues; nine outdoor performance venues; 43 galleries or exhibit spaces (including TJC Gallery); 38 murals and other public art displays; five museums; 64 studios and workshops; six historic sites; 15 greenspaces and arboretums; 251 creative industry and cultural jobs; and 1,335 events and festivals open to the public. The effort to win recognition was led by the Chapman Cultural Center.
TJC Receives SC Verner Award
The Johnson Collection is honored to have been named a 2016 recipient of the Governor’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, South Carolina’s highest arts distinction which is named for the beloved Charleston artist. In its commendation, the state's Arts Commission paid tribute to the Johnson family's enduring contributions: "Equally dedicated to arts advancement and arts accessibility, the Johnsons generously share their vision, energy, passion and resources to benefit the arts in South Carolina."