Category: Arts

Cumming Arts Center spreads love of art, not Covid-19, with new virtual platform – Forsyth County News Online

Amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19, the Cumming Arts Center/Sawnee Association of the Arts has prevailed and prospered in new and exciting ways. Announcing its “Autumn in the City Virtual Art Show” was only the beginning for this growing organization, as they have plans to continue creating virtual events for members of the center and public to enjoy.

The Autumn in the City Virtual Art Show began on Oct. 5 and will continue to run until Nov. 5. Being the first virtual show, the response from the public was overwhelming. On the first day of the show alone the website had 81% more visits than years before.

Due to the new virtual format, the Cumming Arts Center wanted to allow more of the community to participate, so they opened online submissions to members of the center and the general public. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, yielding 68 artists and 128 different art pieces. The pieces varied in mediums, ranging from 3D with wood and metal, 2D with acrylic and oil, and photography. Winners were announced on Oct. 16 and their pieces can all be found on the Cumming Arts Center’s website, . Some of the artwork has been put up for sale, and the prices for each piece can be located under their descriptions online.

Cumming Arts Center also invited two art judges to select the winners for the Autumn in the City Virtual Art Show, Jim Dunham and Nancy Nowak. Dunham is with the World Class Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville  and was asked to participate in the City Virtual Art Show at a prior art festival. Nowak is an internationally known pastel artist and she has taught classes at the Cumming Arts Center before. 

“We were very fortunate to have two experienced art judges to select the awardees,” said Marilyn DeCusati, member of the Cumming Arts Center. “They said it was difficult for them [to judge] as the art submitted overall was excellent.”

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Waiting the show

Gov. Lamont Announces Grant Program to Support the Arts Community – NBC Connecticut

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has announced a grant program that will support the state’s arts community amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Lamont said the state will be providing up to $9 million in grants to certain nonprofit arts organizations. The grants are designed to help them recover quicker from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to state officials, the state Dept. of Economic and Community Development’s Office will administer the COVID Relief Fund for the Arts Program using federal CARES Act funding from Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.

The COVID Relief Fund for the Arts program has a goal of supporting arts nonprofits where grants will make a difference for survival and rehiring or arts nonprofits that have had to curtail operations for a period of time due to COVID-19 and have had limited ability to reopen and/or have had to pivot their delivery service due to COVID-19, Lamont’s office said.

Organizations that qualify will receive a base grant of $5,000. The program will also offer a supplemental match of 50 percent of contributed income for organizations that raise money between March 10 and November 20, state officials said. The maximum award for any organization is $750,000.

“The ongoing, global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted so many aspects of our lives, and many of our state’s nonprofit arts organizations are struggling to recover from its impact. This program will provide some support so that these groups can continue providing the services in our state that so many depend on,” Lamont said in part in a statement.

Arts organizations that are eligible for funding include:

  • Performing Arts Centers

Performing arts centers includes multi-purpose facilities for arts programming including theaters that present live performances and/or live classes.

  • Performing Groups

Performing groups are groups of artists who perform works of arts including orchestra, theater or dance groups. In order to qualify, the organization must own the venue where it performs and/or must spend more than 20 percent of its annual operating budget on rental space used to perform, according to state officials.

  • Schools of the Arts

Schools of the Arts are organizations that have arts education as its primary educational mission. An example is a community arts school.

The state Office of the Arts ill be accepting applications between October 23 and November 3, Lamont’s office said. All contracts must be executed by December 30.

For more information on the application process, click here.

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New Exhibit Unveiled at Jamestown Arts Center –

Over the span of Patrick Luber’s career he has explored the serious and humorous intersection of religion, national identity, popular culture, and folk art as they relate to American culture. His sculptures are unified by his use of referential objects as sculptural form, especially familiar objects, such as beds, books, architectural forms, or liturgical objects. Through the manipulation and combination of these ordinary objects, a visual language emerges which expresses the idiosyncratic experiment called America.

“Threshold: the place or point of entering or beginning. Although I have worked in many different mediums and artistic modes over the years, the two things that have remained constant have been my interest in relief sculpture and various aspects of religion, especially the practice of prayer. Both relief sculpture
and prayer are thresholds.

Formally, relief sculpture’s placement on a wall locates it within the context and threshold of architecture—and draws attention to the images and objects we deem important enough, or worthy enough to be displayed. As we shape our environment with images and objects, these things, in turn, shape us. Prayer can be thought of as a threshold too, an entry point to spiritual realms. Prayer literally intersects all aspects of culture, from health care to politics and science. As such, prayer becomes an expressive entry point for visual exploration of our idiosyncratic culture.

What seems to collectively unite our culture is popular culture, and I employ various tropes to unite my interest in relief sculpture and prayer. Drawing upon popular culture, religious material culture, national identity, and vernacular art, I work to continue and expand upon the timeless relationship between art, religion, and spirituality.

More broadly speaking, a work of art is a threshold—a beginning point for both the maker and the viewer to enter other visions, ideas, and emotions. As a fellow teacher and artist once expressed, as we begin the journey into a world of artistic expression “we find our souls immigrating to another world and we have to leave our belongings behind.”
~ July 20, 2020

Visit for more information.

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Orange County Arts Commission distributing CARES funding to local art organizations – The Daily Tar Heel

Grant  applications through the OCAC will be open until the end of Oct. 30. Katie Murray, director of the OCAC, said the commission will prioritize applications from nonprofit organizations hit hard by the pandemic. 

“We have to honor the original intention of the state legislators, which was to help the nonprofit arts industry,” she said. “But we also want businesses to apply.”

As of Oct. 13, the economic impact of COVID-19 on North Carolina’s art and culture sector has amounted to nearly a $83 million loss, according to a survey conducted by Arts North Carolina. 

The median loss for organizations was $22,000, and 12 percent of respondents were not confident that their organization would survive the pandemic. 

Daniel Mayer, executive director of The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, said the center has had to look toward several different sources of funding, like individual donations and federal loans, to help keep their doors open. 

“The ArtsCenter is all about gathering as a community — the heart of its mission is to come together,” he said. “So without that ability, we’ve had to reinvent who we are and what we can do creatively. The Orange County Arts Commission program will be a real lifeline to all of us struggling.” 

While the grant program is ideal for arts organizations, Murray said it might not be ideal for individual artists. But, she said, the commission can point them toward other funding sources that can provide them the assistance they need. 

“We have two other ongoing grant programs right now that are funding artistic and professional development, and we also have a relief fund going, too,” she said. “The need is just so great, and I’m so thankful for what we have, but I wish we had more so we could help everybody that’s on that list.” 


@DTHCityState | 

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Artists grateful for opportunity to sell at Jubilee Festival of Arts – KESQ

Click here for updates on this story

    DAPHNE, AL (WALA ) — Folks on the Eastern Shore are taking advantage of this weekend’s fall weather and heading out to the 32nd Annual Jubilee Festival of Arts.

It was delayed three weeks because of Hurricane Sally. And while COVID-19 may have changed the normal layout of the festival — you can still find one of a kind treasures.

“I love doing this… I love making my bird feeders. Each one is unique. I try to make them all different,” said Judy Callaway, Callaway’s Glass Garden.

This is artist Judy Callaway’s first event since February. Most have been cancelled because of COVID.

“It’s been great. I think everybody here has had a great show. The crowd yesterday was just tremendous… Very friendly and shopping wanting to buy Christmas… So it’s been a good weekend so far,” said Callaway.

Judy is not the only one trying to make up for lost revenue during the pandemic.

“One artist who does 60 shows a year — this is his first show. So in terms of their livelihood and being able to sell their artwork — this has been a huge relief for a lot of them,” said Liz Thomson, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Director of Tourism & Speical Events.

Giulia Sciutto is happy to showcase her handmade jewelry. She says while online sales have been steady — nothing beats in-person.

“I’m so happy that this is back again because I need to see people and speak with people. I mean the best part of this festival is building relationships — you meet people from all over,” said Sciutto.

And locals love supporting locals.

“I think just where we are right now with the pandemic… It’s so hard for these guys so we wanted to come out. This is our favorite way to shop. And it’s outside so we feel comfortable being out here… And then we brought our masks just in case. We are excited to be out here,” said Ashley Maras, Fairhope.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

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Think! Chinatown Kicks Off Chinatown Arts Week – The Lo-Down


Think! Chinatown kicked off their 3rd annual Chinatown Arts Week on Friday.  Live events in Chinatown and online run from October 16-25. Highlights include a Min Opera using shadow puppets, a performance by Red Silk Dancers and an Art of Storytelling workshop

They write:

This year, our festival celebrating the cultural richness of Manhattan’s Chinatown will be partly in neighborhood and partly online. In neighborhood (in person) events will all be outdoors. Since we’ll be online anyways, we’ll be highlighting virtual events from Chinatowns around the continent. It’s been a tough year, but let’s get “together” to celebrate our neighborhood…Chinatown Arts week is a festival celebrating the cultural richness of Manhattan’s Chinatown. T!C has produced several cultural events throughout the week, all of them are free to the public. By presenting grassroots Chinatown artists and emerging Asian American artists in the same context, we hope to bring the generations together and connect with a wider arts audience. ChAW also highlights cultural happenings presented by our neighbors, to increase awareness of Chinatown’s cultural assets. Beyond this week, we hope that visitors and neighbors alike will recognize and engage more in Chinatown’s cultural offerings.

Check out the full schedule here.

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New art exhibit gives the Black community space to create after a heated summer –

KALAMAZOO, MI — In a summer marked by “I can’t breathe,” the new art exhibit by the Black Arts and Cultural Center is a collective exhale for the Black community.

Black people are tired, said Sydney Davis, executive director of the Black Arts and Cultural Center. Between the pandemic and the protests the cultural center didn’t get to express and showcase their art fully this past summer, she said.

On May 25, George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota pleaded “I can’t breathe,” dying after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death and those of other Black men and women killed by officers prompted people across the country to protest against police brutality and racism for months.

While the exhibit isn’t directly about police brutality and Black Lives Matter, it focuses on the mourning process that stems from it, Davis said.

“This is for us to give roses to those who we haven’t had a chance to give our roses to,” Davis said.

As a way to move the conversation forward into a state of healing and progress, Davis came up with the “Make Room” exhibit idea. The Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre, formerly Epic Theatre, has been sectioned off into 15 spaces where 10 artists created symbolic pieces of Black cultural.

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Before entering the exhibit, guests can browse a mock concession stand labeled Change is Free.99, because “there’s always a price tag,” Davis said.

The concession stand will have Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy candy and pop but a careful reader will find that the nutritional facts include ingredients like ‘conformity’, Davis said.

As guests walk through the doors of the exhibit, they will find the “Head in the Clouds” hallway with fluffy clouds created by Kalamazoo artist Danielle Lewis. Guests are invited to reflect and write their thoughts down on the walls before they continue through the exhibit.

“You’re going to go in with some preconceived thoughts and hopefully by the end your thoughts will be different,” Davis said.

As they move through they will be invited to stop and smell the roses and walk down Black Lives Matter Boulevard featuring art created on boarded up downtown businesses Kalamazoo after the protests.

Rooms also include Jamari Taylor’s crown room where she has created pedestals for individuals to write about what they are passionate about. Guests can also wear one of her handmade flower crowns and sit on a gold throne to take a photo.

Taylor, who helped created Kalamazoo’s Black Lives Matter street mural, said that she hopes the room gives guests a sense of peace, some confidence and that they leave feeling uplifted.

Next door, a room of 90s nostalgia and Black culture is on display to symbolize that home should be a safe place, although that’s not always true for the Black community, Davis said.

Last week, Robert Earl Johnson, 54, was killed in his sleep less than a mile away when a bullet passed through a wall in his Church Street home. Kalamazoo is following a nationwide trend of increased gun violence this year.

“You shouldn’t go on social media and see people like you being killed,” Davis said.

Among the interactive features in the exhibit is a wall of protest music that will have QR codes for guests to scan and listen to songs carefully curated to speak to the current moment, Davis said. There will also be phone booths encouraging guests to use their voice with social justice petitions available to sign and community resources posted.

The exhibit is open to the public starting Saturday, Oct. 17. The exhibit will run Thursday-Saturday until Dec. 12. Tickets are $10 for adults and free to students K-12. On Thursday’s the exhibit will be donation only.

More on MLive:

‘Gun violence pandemic needs to stop,’ Kalamazoo police chief says

Black farmers create community of urban growers to diversify Kalamazoo Farmers Market

Kalamazoo NAACP chapter visits county jail to register inmates to vote

Black candidates find elation at being ‘the first,’ frustration at being left behind in Kalamazoo County

Businesses stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement after Kalamazoo vandalism

Search database of black-owned businesses in Michigan

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Pandemic takes a swipe at fine arts education, but might just prove how much it’s worth –

Jennie Geisler
| Erie Times-News

Been to an art museum lately? A symphony? How about the ballet? Yeah, few other people have, either, and some are getting antsy about it. Not since the pandemic started seven months ago, closing down most nonessential entertainment-focused establishments, have we had anything close to a thriving fine arts scene in any city. 

But the ills of the professional art world are not the point of this story — and with any luck, they never will be.  

Students of all ages are in a different kind of bind. Their own exposure to the fine arts — music, visual arts, dance and theater — is deemed so important to professional educators that it is written into the Pennsylvania School Code. This is not because the commonwealth wants to churn out millions of professional artists, but because study after study has shown that exposure to the arts is crucial to students’ development in just about everything else: cognitive, emotional and social development, critical thinking, problem solving, independence, resilience, risk taking and more. 

Human development, squared

This is according to Jamie Kasper, director of the Arts Education Partnership, a national network of more than 100 organizations dedicated to advancing arts education. The partnership is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education.

“There have been 300 studies about arts learning on learners, birth to adulthood,” Kasper said. “Children raised in arts-rich environments, regardless of socioeconomic status, amount to human development squared. Arts accelerated all development: language, cognitive, reading, adults engaged in the arts as children are even more civically engaged than those who weren’t.”

The problem is, many school districts were lucky to get students and teachers wired properly just to address reading and math this autumn. 

Richard Scaletta, superintendent of the General McLane School District, was blunt.

“Every (subject) is suffering,” he said. “(Arts education) is not different than anything else. The kids who aren’t here, they’re not going to get an arts experience online, but it also impacts kids who are here.

“The band can’t rehearse with the whole group together, due to social distancing,” Scaletta said, adding that the band is about 25% smaller because of the number of students whose families chose to keep them at home to learn virtually. “In (kindergarten through eighth grade) there is no offering of fine arts on a regular basis.

“We had to focus on limiting time kids are in school and we are focusing that time on reading.”

He said it’s a painful decision, but “Our main focus had to be getting kids back into major classes of reading and math. In K through eight, reading is incredibly important. That affects everything.”

Arts education experts know the challenges administrators face.

“I don’t think anybody out there wants to see these opportunities taken from students,” said Dana Gilmore, dean of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, a magnet school in Erie. “But this is the hand we’re dealt and we have to play it the best we can.”

Playing the hand dealt 

Kimberly Elliott, an assistant dance professor at Rutgers University and dance teacher at The Beacon School in New York City, has seen firsthand how a lack of arts could negatively affect students of all disciplines, starting from showing up in the first place.

“A lot of my students have said to me, ‘I came to school today because I knew I had dance and I wanted to feel better,’” Elliiot said. “They are willing to take that into consideration as to why they are going into the building.”

General McLane High School’s band director, Jacob Malec, said the students who are attending school in person are indeed getting all of the music education he and his colleagues can squeeze in, including music, jazz and rock and roll history as well as choir. “They’re just happening differently,” Malec said. 

He had to split the marching band into four groups, so it takes him two days to teach them all one lesson. 

“It’s good in a way,” he said. “In smaller class sizes, I can tell better how individuals are playing.” 

And though they only have one rehearsal a week as a full band, somehow it all falls together. He said it’s not quite the same, of course. 

“Part of music is communicating and being with other people,” he said. “It’s a little bit harder because the big family isn’t there, but we still have the opportunity to create.

“We have to find different ways to do that and make people feel engaged. It’s forcing everyone to do that, and we are figuring out ways to do that.”

He’s been searching high and low for opportunities to have the band perform, including during a recent soccer match.

“It was a lot of fun,” Malec said. “I was nice to watch other students I didn’t usually interact with.”

He has set up two performances just so the band could do its marching band shows for parents.  

Arts educators are pleading with districts to offer as many arts experiences as they can, suggesting open-ended outdoor arts projects, distance learning for musical and choir groups, closed-circuit dance classes, livestreamed theater performances, socially distanced marching band shows — anything that serves as a springboard to creative thinking. 

Arts classes also drive students who are more inclined to the arts to be active members of their school community, said Elliott, as well as focus more on their other subjects.

“They’re not able to focus as much with a lack of arts classes,” she said. “If students are just focusing on academics, there’s no balance for them to have an outlet or be a well-rounded student. Well-rounded students have different intelligences. If you’re only fixated on one part of that, you lose something.”

‘Making and learning are linked’

“What’s important about the arts is that students are learning about art not for a job, or assuming children will grow up to be artists,” said Mary Elizabeth Meier, head of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design-accredited arts education program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. “It’s that they are right now creative people making things and responding to things. Making and learning are linked.”

Advika Anand, 10, a fifth-grade student at Grandview Elementary in the Millcreek Township School District, spends almost all of her free time on painting with acrylics on canvas and rocks, and making bracelets with a loom in dozens of dazzling colors.

More: Grandview Elementary 5th-grader excels at art

“I don’t even know what all she’s doing,” said her mother, Anjali Sahay, who shakes her head and smiles at her daughter’s fascination with art. 

But for Advika, it’s as natural as eating or doing her math homework. She’s been distance learning full time this semester. 

“We have an art class assignment posted every week,” she said. “I’ve been doing well, keeping up with my work, and I’ve figured out all my art projects.” 

“It helps your imagination,” she said about art. “The part of your brain that overlaps with the part that helps you do hard work.” 

She explains that painting requires problem-solving. 

“If your painting technique isn’t working, like if you drop a big splotch of black paint on your canvas, you have to figure out what you’re going to do next,” she said. 

She actually said she likes all of her art, music and gym class assignments. “In school, when you’re working hard on math and (English), you get a small break by being creative.”

Does she think she’ll grow into a professional artist? 

“I’m not sure,” she said. “But at the moment, I’d like to be a computer scientist.”

Creativity wanted

The skills that students learn in art, music and other fine arts experiences are useful, even critical, now, Meier said. 

“Creative thinking is the ability to react and respond in a really imaginative, flexible, innovative way to problem-solving in the world,” said Christina Riley Brown, dean of the Hafenmaier College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Mercyhurst University. “When we think about creative thinking, we think of music and artwork, but it’s connected to problem-solving. It’s connected to self-reflection, resiliency and independence. … 

“That’s exactly what we need right now,” Brown said. “The best way to promote creative thinking is have a robust arts program.”

More than that, arts education is useful to kids’ and adults’ mental health in a time of crisis.

“It gives a sense of community that these kids really need,” Gilmore said. “It gives them another outlet that’s vitally important.

“I want parents to understand we’re teaching the whole child,” Gilmore said.

Although many parents are currently focused on their kids’ safety and academics in virtual learning due to the pandemic, it’s important for parents to realize what the arts can do for their children, said Elliott.

One way for parents to do that, she said, is to be vocal to their school administration about wanting to keep arts in the schools and also have conversations with teachers about how to keep arts in the home.

“The conversation needs to be, ‘What does my child need to become better at this art form at home, and how do I mimic what they were doing at school in my home?’” said Elliott.

“You don’t need to go out and spend all of this money, but you can discover what you have in your home to help your child to continue their art form and also find resources in the community to help.”

Performance anxiety

He added that most of what his students have missed is the opportunity not for learning about the arts, but for performing.  

“That’s a huge loss for them,” he said. “Contests and concerts and festivals have been canceled.”

But he has used some creative thinking to make up for it.

Because the 2020 graduating seniors missed their traditional performances for chamber choir and full orchestra, he had each student film himself or herself performing and send it to the school. Through the magic of computer technology, all 45 videos were combined into one “performance.” 

“We did that with orchestra musicians and vocal jazz also,” Gilmore said. 

He said the pandemic has forced all teachers to be creative. 

“Every child deserves to be thinking, making, creating and establishing habits of mind to enliven and enrich their lives,” Meier said. “This is a historical moment in education and it’s the art and music teachers who are the creative ones.”

Arts all day, every day

Kasper, from the AEP, said she’d like to see the arts woven into every subject, a concept she called arts integration. It involves allowing students to reflect what they’ve learned in traditional classrooms through an artistic expression — say, choreographing a dance that interprets an environmental science lesson, or visual art that allows a student to paint what they’ve learned in math. Then that art could be collected into an online gallery or an event night at the school.

“Ideally, this kind of teaching would be a partnership” between a traditional subject teacher and art teacher or community artist, Kasper said.

“Arts integration can be a huge asset to schools because the basics are that … when children have good vocabulary of arts concepts and come back to other subjects, they would use works of art to express what they’ve learned,” she said. “This is a really efficient way to learn and efficiency is what we need at the moment.”

Will the lack of opportunities brought on by distance learning and the pandemic create gaps in their education that can never be filled, or will students bounce right back when the opportunities return? No one would hazard a guess. 

And there might never be a way to know for sure.

Dearth of data

Kasper said that since the early 2000s, arts education opportunities haven’t been measured in any meaningful way.

“We have all kinds of information about reading instruction,” Kasper said. “But I can’t do that in many states for the arts. The things we’re hearing from partners is that kids have access to a lot more diverse arts experiences, and I know that anecdotally at the local level.

“But the idea of tracking systems, access to arts education, is the only way we’re going to now the outcomes, ever.”

Scaletta said he worries about the damage the pandemic will eventually do to kids’ educations as a whole. 

“That is an excellent question on all our minds,” he said. “I worry about the effect of many things we’re not able to do now. Whether for many kids, school is a great place to be and they enjoy being here and have all kinds of opportunities here, but if this stripped-down version — will it go on so long that they just become complacent with what is? 

“I would be very sad if that happens.”

More: Erie Art Museum struggles as revenue sources dry up

Contact Jennie Geisler at Follow her on Twitter @ETNgeisler. 

Jenna Intersimone of Courier News and Home News Tribune contributed to this story. 

Arts education opportunities at home

For parents who want to enrich their children’s arts education experiences while they are distance learning, there are many online resources. The Arts Education Partnership has a long list of suggestions. We picked out some that seemed active and engaging for school-aged students from kindergarten through high school. For more, visit

• Chicago Arts Partnersip in Education:, offers links to the following:

    Weave Silk where students can draw abstract pieces. 

    bomomo:, where students can play with lines, shapes, and time, where students can find hours worth of learning about the world’s cultural treasures

Visit the following art museums virtually: 

Erie Art Museum at

Rogers Park’s Mile of Murals at

The Art Institute of Chicago digital collection at, and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Virtual Visit at, for multimedia resources, including videos and interactive features about works of art. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art digital collection at

Online creative arts experiences 

• Dozens of free art classes on YouTube from Ben Bataclan:

• This San Francisco Symphony lets kids compose and play music:

• The New York Philharmonic has a virtual instrument storage room, a lab, videos and interactive models for kids who love music,

• SmartMusic offers students educational tools to help them learn music,

• Prodigies gives students in elementary, middle and high school online music lessons in singing, playing instruments and hand-signing,

• Chrome Music Lab gives children hands-on training to learn music,

• Classics for Kids is a home-schooling site for children to listen, play and learn music,

• Incredibox provides students with a visual and audio music experience with the help of virtual musicians,

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Aiken Center for the Arts takes gallery online – Charleston Post Courier

With its mission to sustain the arts in the COVID-19 climate, the Aiken Center for the Arts is broadening its reach with a new online gallery.

By visiting the Aiken Center for the Arts online, users can view and purchase a variety of works, including paintings, collages and sculptures available at the center, all created by local artists. 

“Our online gallery is made up of artists who have exhibited at Aiken Center for the Arts, so the names might be familiar to some,” said Caroline Gwinn, the executive director of the arts center.

Artists in the online gallery, all of whom have previously exhibited in the the center’s gallery, include:

• Ann Lemay, oil paint;

• Janet and Walt Koertge, large wood turnings;

• John Gordon, sculpture; and

• Sunny Mullarkey McGowen, graphic artist.

“It’s always a reason to celebrate when you find a piece of art that speaks to you, and our online gallery makes it easy to put that art in your home,” Gwinn said. “When you buy art, you are supporting the arts center, the artists and our community as a whole.”

More works are available for viewing and purchase at the Aiken Center for the Arts, 122 Laurens St. S.W.

For more information, call 803-641-9094 or visit

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Four Seasons Abstract Paintings: Cuban Artists & Ribbons to Di For at the Center for the Arts –

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Photos by Diane Shagott | Save the Date – October 29, 10 AM – 2:30 PM – Ribbons to Di For! An online workshop with Marco Island milliner, Diane Shagott, owner of Hats to Di For. She will be sharing the art of ribbon cockades in an online class. Register call up 239-394-4221, or online at

The four seasons is a universal reminder of the passage of time and nature’s cyclical changes. The four seasons has long been a favorite topic for poets, songwriters and artists. Artist Olga Tkachyk’s exhibit at the La Petite Galerie is an abstract and impressionistic representation of the Four Seasons.

Originally from Ukraine, Olga is now living and creating beautiful paintings in her home in beautiful Naples, Florida. After receiving her Art education in Ukraine, Olga didn’t paint much for 20 years until she was inspired to revisit her creative side in 2016.

She began painting with a palette knife and immediately fell in love with it. Olga enjoys painting nature, particularly flowers, as well as abstracts filled with movement and color. Olga’s painting is full of bright colors, joy and happiness. According to Olga, you won’t find dark shades or depressed subjects in her works, but she hopes to share the positive energy and joy of life through her paintings. 

“Here and There” exhibit is part of a culturally unique exhibit featuring five world-class Cuban born artists. The works of these world-class artists that have been featured in galleries and private collections across the globe will be at Marco Island Center for the Arts for a two-month engagement from October 12 through November 20. 

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Photos by Diane Shagott | Learn to make this perfect for holiday décor. Ribbon cockade from Marco Island milliner, Diane Shagott, owner of Hats to Di For.

Carlos Leandro Suarez Crespo, also known as Cale, is a graduate from the Fine Arts Program at the Pedagogical Institute Frank Pais Garcia of Santiago de Cuba. 

Juan Manuel Garcia, known artistically as Juanma, is a graduate of the reputable Leopoldo Romanach Visual Arts Academy in Santa Clara, Cuba. Juanma’s art is filled with symbolic power of Marti and creates social awareness through his paintings.

Jose L. Diaz, known artistically as Montero, is a self-taught artist. Montero has participated in over 34 shows including a solo show at Ubicuidad in 2008, won first prize at the IV Salon of Plastic Arts, Lo Africano en la Contemporaneidad, May 2008 in the Concha Ferrant Gallery, C. de la Habana, Cuba. 

Jose Luis Bermudez is a graduate of the renowned Academy of San Alejandro de La Habana, Cuba. Bermudez has participated in exhibitions such as SCOPE Miami Beach, SCOPE New York, CH. ACO Vitacura, Santiago de Chile, and The Havana Biennial. 

Raciel Gomez Golpe is a graduate of Havana’s legendary San Alejandro Academy and has been featured in art fairs such as Art Miami, Art Palm Beach, Circa Puerto Rico, Artbo Bogota Columbia, Art Moscow, Arte Americas and Houston Fine Art Fair. 

Ribbons to Di For (October 29, 10 AM – 2:30 PM). An online workshop with Marco Island milliner, Diane Shagott, owner of Hats to Di For. She will be sharing the art of ribbon cockade in an online learning class. Complete your holiday decorations with stunning ribbon cockades, use as napkin holders, party favors or as a hat accessory—the possibilities are endless. This class is for all artistic abilities and is presented as a fundraiser with 100% of the tuition given to Marco Island Center for the Arts. Register call up 239-394-4221, or online at

All paintings exhibited at the Center for the Arts are for sale! The Marco Island Center for the Arts was founded in 1969 by a dedicated group of artists and patrons and it has developed into a place to learn and to become inspired. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM and is located at 1010 Winterberry Drive.

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