The ballad of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow by David Ocasio

 The formal garden at Marble House. The architect who designed this garden, Charles Downing Lay, also worked on some major projects in NYC including Battery Park, Bryant Part, & Madison Square Park!

The formal garden at Marble House. The architect who designed this garden, Charles Downing Lay, also worked on some major projects in NYC including Battery Park, Bryant Part, & Madison Square Park!

I spent three weeks in October at an artist residency program in Dorest, Vermont called the Marble House Project (MHP). While it was tough to temporarily leave behind my brand-new Spartanburg community, this residency was an invaluable opportunity for many reasons, and I am very grateful to have gotten the chance to participate.

 An aerial shot of the marble quarry from a drone.

An aerial shot of the marble quarry from a drone.

MHP brought together 8 artists, each incredibly talented and accomplished in their respective fields. In my group, there were three visual artists, a musician, a poet, a dancer/choreographer/director, a filmmaker, and a chef.

We were a diverse group, but all shared a passion for our craft, and we quickly connected with one another over dinner each night. It is MHP’s mission to foster multi-disciplinary collaboration and exchange, and this is especially supported by the ‘family-dinners’ each night. Each resident was paired with another resident and cooked dinner for the whole group 3 times throughout the program. We were encouraged to harvest ingredients for our meals from their gorgeous, small-scale organic farm (we had so much squash!). Dinners often carried on late into the night as we got lost in lively conversation ranging from our art projects, to Britney Spears, to politics, to leeches, and everything in between.

 I told you – SO much squash (well, ‘tis the season). Left: an assortment of beautiful squash harvested from the farm.

I told you – SO much squash (well, ‘tis the season). Left: an assortment of beautiful squash harvested from the farm.

 Our creative attempt to try to use as much of said squash as possible. Pictured is 500 acorn squash cookies with chocolate chips and sea salt.

Our creative attempt to try to use as much of said squash as possible. Pictured is 500 acorn squash cookies with chocolate chips and sea salt.

Participating in MHP was also paramount for the completion of filming this big project that I am working on in collaboration with another painter, Christian Berman. We are in the middle of creating a magical-realist, feminist fairytale film that will be exhibited this coming March in London. The grounds of MHP were stunning and fit as the perfect set for one of our characters. With over 38 acres, the property was replete with formal gardens designed in Italianate style, two abandoned marble quarries (closed since 1870 and now overrun with nature), a chicken coup, a small farm, and not to mention, all with the scenic Green Mountains as a backdrop! This magnificent location became our stage as we filmed our remaining scenes, and we let our imaginations embrace the possibilities of our new setting. Some fun scenes we were inspired to add were body painting my character to camouflage with the marble quarry and spinning on this large rotating marble bench while serving hors d’oeuvres.

 Marble quarry camouflage.

Marble quarry camouflage.

I owe a big thank you to Marble House project for supporting our project and for creating a space where artists can feel supported by community and creative networks can grow. And I owe a huge thank you to the Chapman Cultural Center for recognizing this important opportunity in my artistic career, and for allowing me to see it through. I am so excited to be back here and working on fostering connections and opportunities within my new Spartanburg community.

To see the initial trailer for our film, check out this link: https://vimeo.com/298688895

 I made pizza dinner one night with another resident.

I made pizza dinner one night with another resident.

 Can you find the mini-fridge? My collaborator and I painted a faux-marble effect of a mini-fridge for a scene in our film. This prop is now in my studio in the Chapman Cultural Center, so be sure to come check it out!

Can you find the mini-fridge? My collaborator and I painted a faux-marble effect of a mini-fridge for a scene in our film. This prop is now in my studio in the Chapman Cultural Center, so be sure to come check it out!

 Spinning on the marble bench while holding trays of hors d’oeuvres.

Spinning on the marble bench while holding trays of hors d’oeuvres.

 Even the chickens got a cameo appearance in our film!

Even the chickens got a cameo appearance in our film!

Influenced by the Environment Around Me by David Ocasio

Written by Ambrin Ling - 2018/19 HUB-BUB AiR

When asked how long it’s been since I arrived in Spartanburg and began my term as an Artist-in-Residence through Hub-Bub, my answer of two months in counting feels both too long and too short a measure. 

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With Hub-Bub director Eric Kocher as our guide, Marisa— my fellow AiR— and I have taken tours of the Spartanburg Regional Hospital, spoken about our goals for our residencies on the City Hall podcast, and biked the Rail Trail with Partners for Active Living.  We’ve gotten into touch with local artists, nature conservationists, college profs, members of Spartanburg organizations, and other downtown denizens too great a number and variety to list here.  Not to mention my recurrent run-ins with regulars of Little River Coffee Bar.  And yes, I count myself among them.  

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Settling into the Creative Placemaking Studios at the Chapman Cultural Center, I’m excited to expand on these encounters and make new ones.  The white walls of my studio have slowly begun to take the (constructively chaotic) look of an artist space.  Notes with research into OneSpartanburg and from the Johnson Collection library and their archive of Southern art hang side by side with the beginnings of my new paintings and sculptures.

I especially look forward to inviting people into our studios once November rolls in to talk about mine and Marisa’s plans for projects that engage the community.  It is my belief that community-centered art, especially by an artist who is new to the area, should not only respond to the needs and desires of people living there— it should also be a learning process, a way for the artist to become part of their new environment as well.   

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As a newcomer to South Carolina and Spartanburg, such is my goal.  It is hard to express all the appreciation I feel for the friendliness, dog abundancy, craft beer abundancy, and unconditional helpfulness of those around me.  With the sense of welcome unknowing mobile Artists-in-Residence know so well, I anticipate myself and my art in Spartanburg— at the present moment and for the months to come— changing and being changed by it. 

HUB-BUB adds Creative Placemaking Intern - Sheridan Kate by David Ocasio

Hi! My name is Sheridan Kate Murray, and I am serving as the Creative Placemaking Studio intern for this fall semester. I’m an Asheville, NC native and a senior at Wofford, pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Art History. I’ve got a passion for community engagement, and am experienced with art-making, so all things considered, this internship seemed like a great fit. In my art-making practice, I tend to focus heavily on how sense of self and sense of place are often intertwined, and this is a concept I hope to pursue with this internship. I am really intrigued by the Creative Placemaking initiative as someone who comes from an area with a budding arts and cultural scene and a strong sense of place-rooted pride.

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It’s my firm belief that art is a universal right, something that should be made accessible to everyone, and I also believe that exposure to creative moments is also an amazing way to increase community involvement. A quote I come back to time and time again in my own life is by Howard Zinn, and it reads, “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” If done right, I believe I can absolutely apply this time-tested quote to my time as Creative Placemaking intern.

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My personal goal is to ultimately walk away from this internship feeling confident that I have a sense of how to best serve a place like Spartanburg through art and creative engagement. This goal will likely be accomplished through the design, production and implementation of community art installations in the cultural center, meant to encourage all visitors to enjoy an art-making experience that will also enable them to feel that they’ve contributed in a meaningful way to the place they call home. Another angle for community involvement will come from the artists in residents that will be calling Spartanburg home themselves for a few months, and ultimately will be leaving their own creative marks on this unique town.

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Last week, I had the chance to sit down with the Cultural Center’s artists-in-residence, Marisa and Ambrin, and got to pick their brain about their individual artistic pasts as well as the unique reasons that drew them to Spartanburg. Ambrin, an artist from the Chicago area, specializes in works on paper that range from paintings and drawings as well as sculptures and installations as of late. Ambrin has been really interested in the idea of place, and how place can relate to identity and belonging and how these concepts can be applied to certain groups of people. She’s also really interested in creating works of art that require both artists and viewers to reevaluate what it can mean to truly “belong” in a space. Ambrin was drawn to the Cultural Center because she, like myself, is really interested in the concept of making place-themed art in a place she is relatively unfamiliar with. She’s most excited to work in a shared space with Marisa while also pursuing her individual projects.

Marisa, a painter and Long Island native, fostered a sense of performative art early on in her artistic career, eventually allowing this instinct to point her in the direction of performance art itself. Her work has been based around food and gender, and how these topics can interact. She recently has been interested in domestic spaces surrounding food, and how food signifies so many social and cultural components of a society. Marisa has been exploring these themes through performance art lately, as well as photorealistic paintings and movies. Marisa was also drawn to the Cultural Center because of the dualistic nature of the fellowship, involving working collaboratively on a project while also pursuing her own independent projects. The idea of being somewhere for a year is something that has also drawn her to this residency, as many other programs don’t allow enough time to really plug into a place.

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Sitting down with the artists-in-residence has made me even more excited to be involved in this internship. It’s rare that a college student gets to interact with practicing artists on a professional level at all, much less inspiring artists like these two ladies that are also focused on a sense of place in their own work. I look forward to the coming weeks, in which I will be developing community-based art installations for the Cultural Center that will hopefully interact with and respond to the work of the artists-in-residence in some way!

Former AiR's selected as Juried Semifinalists in ArtPrize 2018 by David Ocasio

2015 Artists-in-Residence Robin Schwartzman, Desiree Moore, and Anna Abhau Elliott are still building community through dynamic arts and ideas.

They recently launched a new public art project called “Barter Boat”

Barter Boat is an art project that looks like a carnival stand, where you can trade for small art assemblages made out of previously bartered items from different cities. They were most recently at ArtPrize 2018.

 Photo by Sean Deckert

Photo by Sean Deckert

The project is made by the three alums, who were recently selected as Juried Semifinalists in ArtPrize 2018, alongside some other great artists (and out of literally hundreds of other entries). Check out their Instagram too - radar_art

Are you a former AiR makin' moves?

Let us know so we can feature your work!

Welcome to the Burg AiR's! by David Ocasio

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HUB-BUB is bringing in our newest Artists-in-Residence with a bang! You can catch us at the coolest Biergarten in Spartanburg on September 7, from 5 - 7 pm! 

The Artists-in-Residence Meet-and-Greet at the FR8yard is an opportunity for Spartanburg to get to know our 2018-2019 AiRs, Marisa Adesman and Ambrin Ling.

There will be a special "AiRs" themed cocktail that will be unveiled before the live music begins at 7 PM. Stop by the Yard to grab a brat, some drinks, and help our new artists feel welcomed in their home for the next year.

As part of the program, HUB-BUB AiR's will have the opportunity to work on any number of community-based projects that we hope will arise organically through partnerships, experimentation, and collaboration.

This is the first opportunity you'll have to connect with the residents and share with them the Spartanburg Community that we all know and love. 

Let us know your coming and hit "Going" on our Facebook Event

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HUB-BUB is an Artist-in-Residence program hosted by Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC designed to provide time and space for emerging artists to live free and create.

HUB-BUB’s Creative Placemaking Studio Comes to Chapman Cultural Center by David Ocasio

Soon HUB-BUB’s Artists-in-Residence (AiR) program will be opening its Creative Placemaking Studio at Chapman Cultural Center. The Creative Placemaking Studio is a partnership with The Milliken Foundation and will allow artists-in-residence to interact more openly and intimately with the public and other artists.

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“We’re calling it the ‘Creative Placemaking Studio’ because we hope that local artists, and even staff members, use the studio to improve the quality of life and quality of space,” said Eric Kocher, who’s the Creative Placemaking & HUB-BUB Director. “Each artist will have their own space and be holding an open studio for 15 hours each week. The open studio allows for the community to come in and learn about the artists process”

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Artists will also be present in the Creative Placemaking Studio for an additional 5 hours each week to participate in meetings and planning sessions about community engagement efforts. Along with artists-in-residence, this year the studio will have two interns from Wofford College to help with a series of interactive exhibitions and efforts to help tell the story of the Creative Placemaking Studio and Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District.

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The Creative Placemaking Studio will be located by the main entrance of the Carlos Dupre Moseley building and is designed to engage, educate and inspire individuals and small groups to participate in the growing arts culture of Spartanburg county. The Creative Placemaking Studio is slated to officially open to the public during the September 20th ArtWalk event.

AiR Program Celebrates 10th Year with 2 New Artists-in-Residence by HUB-BUB

This September we will begin the 10th year in which the HUB-BUB Artists-in-Residence program has recruited artists to live and work in Spartanburg. Anyone already familiar with the program knows there have been quite a few changes since it began in 2006, with a hiatus in 2012 and another in 2017 during which the organization made some necessary transitions. By its nature, this program is an ongoing experiment, one that seeks to explore the many complex and necessary roles that artists play in our community. Now, housed within the Chapman Cultural Center, HUB-BUB will continue its work in ways that will seem both familiar and totally new.

For the next year, we will host two artists, Marisa Adesman and Ambrin Ling, in a space we will be calling our “Creative Placemaking Studio” at the Chapman Cultural Center. Marisa and Ambrin, both trained as painters (but whose work explores elements of sculpture and performance as well) will hold regularly scheduled open studio hours where the public will be invited to come and observe their processes and engage in conversation and discussion about their work. Ambrin and Marisa will also have the opportunity to work on any number of additional community-based projects that we hope will arise organically through partnerships, experimentation, and collaboration.

Our goal is for the “Creative Placemaking Studio” to be a place where, as a community, we can work together to create a more vibrant and healthy Spartanburg through the arts. Out of the many amazing applications, we were lucky to receive from brilliant artists working all over the country, we were particularly drawn to both Ambrin and Marisa, not only for their technical skill and impressive resumes, but for the important and, at times, challenging the content of their work. We saw in both of these incredible emerging artists the opportunity to have some necessary and difficult conversations about our identity as a community. The real beauty of this program is in its ability to provide a fresh perspective by inviting artists with a clear vision and generous voice. We hope, through their work, we might find a portrait of our community that we would not otherwise be able or willing to see.

We hope you’ll join us this fall in our “Creative Placemaking Studio” to meet Marisa and Ambrin and to spend some time engaging with their work. 

Eric Kocher
HUB-BUB and Creative Placemaking Director
Chapman Cultural Center