See Winthrop artists in ArtFields

A couple of issues ago The Johnsonian wrote about three Winthrop artists accepted into an unprecedented art festival consisting of 12 southern states. Quoted below is the most recent press release about the festival which includes information for those that want to come to the festival, contact information for any questions, a schedule of events and an ArtFields map.


ArtFields Map

Calendar of Events




LAKE CITY, SC—Art lovers of all ages will make their way to Lake City, South Carolina from April 19 – 28, 2013 for ArtFieldsSM,the largest arts competition of its kind in the Southeast. This 10-day epic Southern artfest will feature a wide variety of art events, including an art competition, workshops, lectures, talks, public art and more. Most events are free, and ticketed experiences start at $5.

The full calendar and ticketing information can be viewed at:

The spotlight will be on 400 pieces of two- and three-dimensional artwork selected from artists in 11Southeastern states. These original works will be exhibited in more than 40 downtown businesses and other venues during the ten days of ArtFields. Art Competition finalists are vying for $100,000 in total cash prizes. A special twist: attendees vote for their favorite to determine the $25,000 People’s Choice Award, which also factors into the $50,000 Top Prize.For full voting instructions, visit: Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. on April 27 during the Awards and Finale Presented by IGA.

In addition to the art competition, other events scheduled for the 10 days include:

  • Artist Lecture with Dr. Leo Twiggson batiking, a techniquethat uses dye and wax to color fabric (April 26).
  • ConversationwithJonathan Green and Mary Whyte moderated by Angela Mack of the Gibbes Museum of Art ($10 advance/$15 at door; April 20).
  • Artist Talks with Installation Artists of the Carolinas in front of their work (various dates, various locations).
  • Public Art
    • Installation Art of the Carolinas created by Jonathan Brilliant, Jarod Charzewski, Jocelyn Châteauvert and Herb Parker.
    • “Before I Die”Wall allows the public to share their hopes and dreams on a chalkboard in a public space in downtown Lake City.
    • Mini Cine is aone-of-a-kind movie theater designed inside a 40-foot recycled shipping container (it traveled the world 120 times by sea!). It will include 33 seats and a 90” viewing screen playing art documentaries and short films by independent filmmakers.
    • Community Mural led by muralists who will guide the public in creating a very large piece of art.
  • Artfields Portrait Contestwith local farmers as the subjectsis a high-speed, high-stakes paint-off. The best in show will receive $1,000 (April 27).
  • Art workshops
    • Plein air paintingin rural Lake City and Moore Farms Botanical Garden with Andrea Hazel, West Fraser, Roy Paschal and Kelly Atkinson ($25 advance/$30 at door; limited space available; various dates).
    • Terrarium workshopwith Leesa Phippswill instruct guests how to create a low maintenance terrarium in a glass bell jar usingeasy to maintain plants, mosses and greenery ($50 in advance/$55 at door; limited space available; April 26).
    • CraftFields will be led by book binder Brien Beidler, who will demonstrate traditional paper techniques and book binding ($20 advance/$25 at door; April 21).
    • Screen printing pros will teach attendees about this ancient Chinese technique using woven mesh and an ink-blocking stencil ($5; various dates).
  • Screen Printing Café (cost of merchandise)guests can curate their own merchandiseby selecting from a variety of goods and designs to be screen printed before their eyes.
  • Live Painting on The Greenturns painting into performance as four artists from the Carolinas work in pairs to complete two large canvases beside the Music on the Green stage (April 20).
  • ArtFields After-Dark: Exquisite Corpse Featuring DJ Rocky Horror ($5 in advance/$8 at door; age 21 and over; April 27) invites attendees to take part in an interactive art project based on the old parlor game created by surrealist painters in the 1920s.

In addition to the officially sponsored events, ArtFields will also feature a variety of free concerts on The Green—including a performancebyNew Orleans’ Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band (April 19).Home Grown Music Industry Nightwith Fork & Spoon Records of Columbia, S.C.(April 26) will also feature Hartsville’s singer/songwriter Dylan Sneed (an organizer of nearby ARTSVILLE),and musicians from across the Southeastwill perform throughout the artfest.

Come hungry and enjoy numerous food and beverage (wine and beer only) options, including al fresco flavors from food trucks like Geechee Island, Bebe’s BBQ and Wallace’s Seafood. Sample fresh, South Carolina produce and wares at the SaturdayFarmers’ and Artisans’ Market(April 20 and 27). Guests can also enjoy a four-course Farm to Fork Dinner(April 24)paired with wine and an open bar with signature cocktails on April 24. Wrap up the weekend on April 28 at the How Great Thou Art – A Lavish Southern Tea featuring Community Gospel Choir (April 28)with bellinis, finger sandwiches, tea, petite desserts and more.

ArtFields is family-friendly. Free parking is available throughout town. Leashed dogs are permitted, no coolers or glass containers. Bring a beach chair or blanket to relax during Music on The Green.

The genesis of ArtFields is contained within the name and the town’s rich history of cultivating strawberries, beans and other staples of South Carolina’s agriculture. Now, ArtFields is serving as a fertile field for the cultivation of art and culture in one of South Carolina’s oldest communities, thanks to the generosity of local sponsors, including the Patron of the Arts IGA.

For information on sponsorship or participation opportunities, contact ArtFields at 843.374.0180 or For more information on art activities, email


Media contact:

Grace Newland


Art contact:

Erin Nathanson


On-site contact:

Rob Bockman


Meet WU’s international students

Ibrahim Almunive
Ibrahim Almunive

Ibrahim Almunive is a freshman computer information systems major from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Almunive has also lived in Cairo, Egypt for about three years.

Almunive said that one of his favorite memories from living in Riyadh is going camping every weekend with his friends from high school. He said that he loves camping because he loves to cook.

While living in Egypt, Almunive said that he enjoyed the simple things such as going on weekend trips with his parents to Alexandria, Egypt and just having lunch and getting coffee.

Almunive said that he decided to study in the United States because of the advice of his uncle who received a Ph.D. in Portland, Oregon.

“My uncle said that it is important to be here (the U.S.) and that the people are friendly,” Almunive said.

Something peculiar that Almunive has experienced in the United States these past two years is that “people can say ‘hi’ by just waving their head, not even waving.”

Almunive said that he is thinking about applying his degree in some form of law enforcement and is excited about what a major in computer information systems can bring him.

African dance group opts out of Arts Crawl

dance group
Ngoma dance group from Benedict College. Photo Courtesy of Curtis Boyd

The Ngoma dance group from Benedict College is known for their energy, smiles and unique global experience.

Curtis Boyd, a graduate student in the Masters of Arts Teaching program (MAT) for music, was planning the Ngoma dance group event for the Arts Crawl as part of the interdisciplinary arts and production class with professor Jill O’Neill. Boyd said that this class has been a great avenue for him because he is changing to a program for a master’s in arts administration next fall.

Ngoma is a student run African dance group that travels and performs all over the state. The group is also ran with academic professor and artistic director Dr. Rodney Hopkins of Benedict College.

The group originated at Norfolk State University in 1994 with Dr. Hopkins, and he brought it to Benedict College when he transferred his education in 1998.

Boyd wanted to bring the Benedict Ngoma group to Winthrop’s Arts Crawl because he used to be a student artistic director at Benedict college during his undergraduate study.

The Ngoma dance group was also of particular interest to him when helping to plan the Arts Crawl because of his love for dance in the arts.

“Artists love to be heard and to be seen and so I’m just trying to help them out and have them be seen,” Boyd said.

“It was my idea to get them to perform here, to get them around to as many places as possible. The students (of the Ngoma dance group) like to go around and travel to show people what they are doing, so it’s interesting for them too,” Boyd said.

Boyd said that there is always a lot of energy from this group with “smiles, maybe some freestyling with about four or five drummers, males and females, freshmen, sophomores and alumni” as regular occurrences.

There are at least 17 performers in the group from Benedict College. Boyd said that they used to travel to Africa to perform and a group came to Benedict from an African country to perform as well.

Speaking on the African origin of the Ngoma dance group, Boyd said that while he thinks that many groups come from Eastern Africa, many styles have merged between the groups from various African countries.

The Ngoma dance group is open for anyone in the community to join, “as long as you’re willing to learn,” Boyd said.

The youngest participant he has seen in the group was about five years old.

This Ngoma group was scheduled to perform during the Arts Crawl around 1:45 p.m. in Byrnes Auditorium, but have faced unforeseen circumstances and will no longer be able to make it to this year’s Arts Crawl.

On a positive note, the Ngoma dance group is just one example of the caliber of artistic performance and display that students can expect from the Arts Crawl.

Speaking on the global experience that this group is known to bring, Boyd said that it is always good to have, “more culture to digest, more alternative ways of dancing, different moves than may have seen from the normal popular culture dance moves – sometimes when students get in there we have like a freestyle session and sometimes they might add a popular dance into the African dance just to mix it up.”
Boyd thinks that there is something inspiring about live performances.

“Live performances are so raw, you can’t go back and press rewind, once it’s out there it’s out there – its a life in motion kind of thing,” Boyd said.

Boyd said that the group’s presence would be an interesting comparison for many African students at Winthrop.
“I talked to a lot of international students here from Africa and they speak of a different kind of dance,” Boyd said, “Some students from Nigeria said its a different type of dance, different body parts are used more in different styles. One might use their hands, one might use their hips more, some might use their chest more – there’s a lot of things that differentiate the different types of dance.”
Boyd’s interest in music in the arts comes from his appreciation of his view as art as a part of everything.
“I think of everything as art, from the way you talk,the way you walk, the way you write,” Boyd said, “We just don’t put everything on the same level – if I could find a painter to paint every element in the period table and write a song about it or something, that’s what I imagine, art is always interesting.”

Boyd said that art in the context of education can inspire more enthusiasm in the way that people perceive art because an educational context makes relevant connections throughout the expression.

“This is a greater way to teach – everything is brought out more in the arts,” Boyd said.

Boyd wants to work as an arts administrator because he wants to be an advocate for the arts.

“I want to sit on educational boards and tell them you can’t take funding away from this program,” Boyd said, “Once people get in certain positions like that they kind of forget about the arts and the fun of learning and they start putting things in a box and arts can not be put in a box – art is always changing and always evolving, people get new ideas through creativity.”

Boyd said that there are openings for last minute performers who might get inspired and decide to perform something that day.

“I’m looking forward to seeing people that say ‘I got inspired by this’ or people that decide they want to read their poem, even if its only thirty seconds long – I’m looking forward to seeing who it inspires,” Boyd said.

WLS’s shocking murder mystery dinner


Murder. Revenge. Innocence. The class of 1940 met in the Shack for their 10th reunion. The year was 1950. The ladies dressed in their sweaters, poodle skirts and pearls. Everyone was on his or her best behavior until someone was murdered.

The Winthrop Literary Society (WLS) put on their second annual murder mystery party last Thursday night at the Shack by Winthrop Lake. WLS sold 60 tickets for the event.

“It was really successful,” said Jess Land, president of WLS.

There was a turnout of about 35 people last year and this year 60 people came. Considering the small size of the organization, Land was surprised at the turn out.

“It was a fun theme to work with. It was fun getting to play characters who hadn’t seen each other in while,” Land said.

The murder mystery was created by The murder mystery party packet came with 30 characters and Land wrote in 30 more characters.

Each individual character packet contained a hostess guide with information about the character and a confidential packet that contained secrets only the individual character knew.

Two days before the reunion, one of the classmates was murdered. The day before the reunion, another classmate’s building complex was burned to the ground. Supposedly one of the classmates burnt the building and another classmate committed the murder.

In the end, it was revealed that one individual, Susan Shock, played by Anna Johnson, treasurer of WLS, framed both suspects.

“It was really funny that one of our officers was the real murderer,” Land said.

Two additional characters were murdered at the party. One victim was a woman that was part of a love triangle, and the other victim was English professor Casey Cothran’s character’s father-in-law.

“I didn’t expect that of Dr. Cothran, even as her fake character,” Land said.

There was a tribute table for the murdered classmates and other photos of the characters in their high school days.

Not only does the WLS reach out to the campus through their murder mystery party, they are also reaching out to the community by building a program with Clinton Elementary in which the members will come to read to the students.

Land is planning to write all of the characters and the murder mystery plot next year. She plans for this to be a members-only-party in the fall to see how well her plot worked out. If it is a success, she will write another one with more characters for the spring and open it up to the entire university.

The Winthrop Literary Society meets twice a month on Thursdays during common time in Bancroft 267.

WU’s international students

Leon Subonić
Leon Subonić

Leon Subotić is a senior double majoring in accounting and management and is originally from Thessaloníki, Greece. Members of his family currently live in Ljubljana, Slovenia and many others are in parts of Croatia, Montenegro, and Lebanon.

Subotić said, “all of my relatives have lived in the same place, except for my parents because of my dad’s job.” Subotić’s dad works as a professional basketball coach.

“It was very easy for me to come here because I was already so used to moving around,” Subotić said.

He said that Winthrop was kind of like an American school that he went to in Greece because there are people from all around the world. Subotić said that making friends with so many different people from different backgrounds has helped shape his view of the world.

His world view has taught him to be more open-minded about change and encourages others to have an open-mind as well.

Some of Subotić’s favorite memories are going on vacation with his family in places like Croatia, Greece, Austria, and Italy. Also, he said that he, of course, misses his mother’s cooking, “she is a vegan, but she cooks meat. Her dishes are healthy, but very good.”

Seductive sadness of “Melancholy Play” sticks with audience

Tilly is a young woman whose deep state of melancholy entrances and seduces a small Illinois town that at some point lost the ability to be sad. Students performed “Melancholy Play” by Sarah Ruhl last week in Johnson’s Studio Theatre. The play follows the woes of Tilly, played by Riley Ketcham. To the ordinary townsfolk, Tilly’s deep sadness and yearning for happiness is romantic. Every town’s member ends up not being able to resist falling in love with Tilly, until one day out of the blue Tilly becomes happy, turning the town upside down.

The play is accompanied by cellist Leah Smith, whose deep, sad songs underscore the entire play and only add to seductiveness of sadness that the play pushes across. Original music was produced for this production, and the songs fit well with the original script and did not seem out of place. The cast of the play was also amazing. The character who was transformed most by Tilly was Frances, played by Cecily Bigham. Bigham portrays her character’s sadness in the play genuinely and realistically. Her ability to show an authentic range of emotions over the play made her performance stand out.

The art and costume direction was fabulous. Uniformity in clothing styles between characters was effectively used to show their unified love of Tilly and what she represents. The set design of the play was also impressive. Large empty picture frames acted as entrances and exits for the actors. They also doubled as windows the players could look out of and see the rain. Unfortunately because the play took place in the Johnson Studio Theatre, the audience was forced to sit on three sides of the stage. This sometimes lead to the actors having their backs to a third of the audience members and lines of dialogue could not be heard.

Student director Sydney Moore did a fabulous job at bringing this modern farce to life. The acting was fantastic, the stage movement was spot on and the music brought all of that and the script together in a way that really stuck with the audience. The play was a great showing for Winthrop’s Theatre Department. Look for the department’s showing of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” running April 3 through April 7.