College Town, Hub-Bub bring art, college designs to utility boxes by HUB-BUB

The newest public art project in Spartanburg seeks to give the county’s seven colleges more of a presence downtown.

Electric Art, an effort by Hub-Bub and the College Town consortium, features colorful vinyl coverings on nine utility boxes across the city. Each of the county’s seven colleges and College Town are featured on boxes, and the work of Roderice Cardell, also known as the Maddd Artist, is in front of the Spartanburg County Headquarters Library.

“We wanted to do something arts-based that showcased the colleges in downtown Spartanburg,” said Naomi Sargent, director of College Town. “We wanted to give students a sense of ownership in downtown.”

Sam Veremchuck, a Wofford College graduate and outreach administrator at the Chapman Cultural Center, surveyed students at several of the county’s colleges to learn what icons should be included with each college’s colors and design. He worked with local artists Russell Bannan and Eli Blasko to design each college’s vinyl pieces.

That led to lesser-known things being included on the vinyl box covers — like strawberries and cream, a Converse College tradition dating back to the college’s beginning, being included on its box, just in front of Groucho’s at Church and Main.

Public art is about the continuing transformation of our community.
— Eric Kocher, Director of Creative Placemaking & HUB-BUB

“It was initially about elevating the ordinary, but there was the dual focus about partnering with College Town,” said Eric Kocher, director of Hub-Bub, which now falls under the Chapman Cultural Center umbrella. “What we wanted to do was represent students’ identity.”

Monday afternoon, the boxes featuring Converse, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Spartanburg Methodist College and College Town were all complete. Boxes for the University of South Carolina Upstate, Wofford, Sherman College of Chiropractic and Spartanburg Community College were left to finish.

Kocher said the most difficult part of the project was getting approval for the designs from the S.C. Department of Transportation. SCDOT owns the utility boxes, so any changes have to receive approval in Columbia, he said.

The newly redesigned boxes add to the ongoing gradual facelift across downtown.

“Even with the hanging baskets, it changes the aesthetic of the city as you walk through,” Sargent said. “Transforming that into something positive to look at can definitely change your feelings as you’re downtown.”

Electric Art started because it would add more art to structures that were either meant to be ignored or had been overrun with graffiti, scratches and faded stickers, Kocher said.

“There’s no point at which we reach capacity for public art,” Kocher said. “There’s no point that we say, ‘And now, we have enough.’ Public art is about the continuing transformation of our community. I think these boxes right now are a moment to signal some of that.”

By Zach Fox
Staff Writer
Spartanburg Herald-Journal
http://www.goupstate.com/news/20171106/college-town-hub-bub-bring-art-college-designs-to-utility-boxes

Hub-Bub to become part of Chapman Cultural Center by HUB-BUB

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A group of Spartanburg artists and creatives formed in 2004 soon will be under the umbrella of Chapman Cultural Center.

This summer, Hub-Bub will become part of Chapman Cultural Center’s Outreach and Community Development Division, which manages the Spartanburg Downtown Cultural District and various neighborhood public arts programs.

Jennifer Evins, CEO and president of Chapman Cultural Center, said the merger is a good business move that will be able to leverage the center’s capacity as a leading arts agency with Hub-Bub’s strengths as a creative manager of public spaces.

“We are thrilled to be joining creative forces with Hub-Bub,” she said. “Their mission is critical to what has strengthened the arts in Spartanburg for the last 10 years.”

Evins said Chapman Cultural Center intends to build upon Hub-Bub’s offerings and programs to benefit area artists and Spartanburg’s economy.

“The arts are fueling tremendous momentum in our city and county,” she said. “We believe that working together is a better use of our resources to the benefit of our community.”

Hub-Bub’s showroom gallery and performance hall was located at 149 S. Daniel Morgan Ave. from 2006 until 2015. The showroom provided a space for the group’s events and a venue for artists to present their work. Since moving out of the building, Hub-Bub has occupied a space off of Spring Street.

This past summer, Hub-Bub launched a variety of new downtown programming with plans to bring up to 150 free, public events each year for the next three years to Morgan Square.

Eric Kocher, managing director of Hub-Bub, said the group is excited about the upcoming union with Chapman Cultural Center.

“With last year’s official designation of Spartanburg’s Cultural District and Hub-Bub’s downtown programming initiative, the partnership feels like a natural fit, and we believe it will be a big win for both organizations and the communities we serve,”
— Eric Kocher, Director of HUB-BUB

Kocher said the merger will help expand Hub-Bub’s inventory of public art and provide new events and opportunities to spend time in downtown Spartanburg.

“We also look forward to re-imagining and expanding our artists-in-residence program, through which we will recruit talented artists and creative professionals from around the country to live and work in Spartanburg,” he said.

By Alyssa Mulliger
Staff Writer
Spartanburg Herald-Journal
http://www.goupstate.com/news/20170515/hub-bub-to-become-part-of-chapman-cultural-center

"Special Collections" Exhibition Opening + Weaving Workshops this week! by lydia see

Sunday was the first of two Branch Weaving workshops with our AiR, Lydia See. Check out some of the fiber sculptures made by participants in Sunday's class, and join us for the next class, today at 6pm (details below). 

If you're interested in seeing some of Lydia See's work, her first show since arriving to Spartanburg will open Thursday night for Art Walk, at the Spartanburg Public Library HQ Studio CLICK HERE or scroll down for more info. 

UPCOMING EVENTS + PROGRAMS

On Wednesday November 16 (6-8pm) is another drop-in weaving workshop using tree branches as the loom! 

FREE, All Ages, Family friendly (kids under 11 should be accompanied by an adult who plans to participate with them), no previous weaving experience necessary! Learn weaving and fiber/sculpture techniques in a fun non-traditional way, make a beautiful naturally inspired weaving to take home. All materials supplied, but feel free to bring branches, favorite yarns and fibers, or found natural ephemera like feathers and dried flowers (several of the participants from Sunday's class brought branches, yarns, and unexpected objects from home!).

AIR WELCOME SHOW - "SPECIAL COLLECTIONS"

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm with an Artist's Talk at 6:45pm
Spartanburg County Public Libraries - 151 South Church Street, Spartanburg, SC, 29306

During the November Art Walk join us for "Special Collections," a welcome exhibition of current artist-in-residence Lydia See's work,  MORE INFO

Updates, Upcoming, and "Special Collections" from Resident Artist Lydia See by lydia see

 Lydia See in her home studio  (Photo credit: Alex Hicks of  GoUpstate.com )

Lydia See in her home studio (Photo credit: Alex Hicks of GoUpstate.com)

Hello All! Lydia See here - It's been a whirlwind of a few weeks here in Spartanburg. I'm so thrilled to be the first Artist in the Community Artist in Residence in partnership with HUB-BUB and the Spartanburg County Public Libraries and I feel as if I have hit the ground running!

HUB-BUB and SCPL and I have joined forces to build a more creatively engaged Spartanburg, starting with community access to arts programming with a focus on inclusivity and a gentle point of entry. So what does this mean?

When I arrived almost three months ago, I wrote a little statement which the following is excerpted from: 

"I believe that art and creative practice in any form should be inclusive and accessible to anyone. Teaching and exchanging dialog about art is an integral part of my practice, and spending time in the service of a community will expand my ability to learn about my own work while facilitating the aesthetic development of others. By using my studio practice and through designing a series of community-oriented programs, I hope to inspire and create connections within the community, and offer a gentle point of entry for those who might not ordinarily seek out art in their daily lives."

We've started this initiative to engage the community through accessible creative programming in a few ways: by creating a Studio in the HQ Library where I have begun teaching workshops and classes, as well as keeping regular studio hours, open to anyone who would like to stop by. We've also built a custom traveling loom (with the help of former AiR Eli Blasko) which has been out in Morgan Square for both of HUB-BUB's Hub Crawls this fall, and now lives in the Studio at the Library when not traveling. The influence of fibers and textiles on my practice has been immense, and after moving to Spartanburg and learning more about the rich textile history here (particularly thanks to reading the Hub City Writer's Project book Textile Town, which should be required reading for every resident!) I felt compelled to offer textile arts education to connect Spartanburg residents to their own heritage. 

 learning to weave at Hub Crawl on the Community Loom

learning to weave at Hub Crawl on the Community Loom

Building community has always been important to me, and I've spent years working in community education, non-profits, and as a museum professional. I received my BFA at Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a focus in Photography, Fibers, and site-specific sculptural installation, and I have a deep commitment to public and community-engaged practice. Residencies often offer artists an opportunity to work unfettered by daily obligations, isolated in their studios with their residency culminating in an exhibition. I was so drawn to this partnership residency specifically because it offered a completely unique experience: to contribute to the creative health of a community while folding in my own studio practice, connecting everything by "the event of a thread" as Anni Albers states in On Weaving

Since my arrival I've also been working on some other public projects, including a forthcoming public work in partnership with Partners for Active Living, a collaboration with Northside Artlet Artist and former HUB-BUB AiR Eli Blasko, as well as consistently working on my personal projects. Pictured below is an image of nearly three months of my daily practice, imagine it as a warm-up sketch in a figure drawing class or a 10-minute run before lifting weights: I embroider an old family photograph, which didn't make it into the family album, every day, refining my embroidery skills, measuring time, warming up my fingers at the beginning of each day of work in my studio. By the time I leave the residency I will have accumulated 335 of these embroidered "other pictures" - process on this project and my studio practice can be followed by visiting the HQ Studio, on Instagram - @archetypographia and with the hashtag  #stitchingtheotherpictures

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If you would like to HEAR me talk about some of this stuff, I was recently invited to be on the City Podcast, and had a fantastic time talking with Christopher George about moving to Spartanburg, my work, and how excited I am about this residency. CHECK IT OUT HERE or embedded below. 


UPCOMING EVENTS + PROGRAMS

 Branch Weaving and photo by lydia see - drop in to our Branch Weaving Workshop on the 13th or the 16th of November and make your own!

Branch Weaving and photo by lydia see - drop in to our Branch Weaving Workshop on the 13th or the 16th of November and make your own!

On Sunday, November 13 (2-4pm) and Wednesday November 16 (6-8pm) I'll be offering drop-in weaving workshops using tree branches as the loom! 

FREE, All Ages, Family friendly, no previous weaving experience necessary! Learn weaving techniques in a fun non-traditional way, make a beautiful naturally inspired weaving to take home. All materials supplied, but feel free to bring branches, favorite yarns and fibers, or found natural ephemera like feathers and dried flowers.

AIR WELCOME SHOW - "SPECIAL COLLECTIONS"

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm with an Artist's Talk at 6:45pm
Spartanburg County Public Libraries - 151 South Church Street, Spartanburg, SC, 29306

During the November Art Walk join us for "Special Collections," a welcome exhibition of current artist-in-residence Lydia See's work, with an Artist's Talk at 6:45 pm. MORE INFO

Announcing the HOLIDAY MARKET by HUB-BUB

HUB-BUB is proud to announce an open application for its new outdoor, downtown Holiday Market

This December we will host an outdoor holiday market on Wall Street for local artisans, artists, and makers. With space for over 25 vendors we are set to add to downtown's holiday festivities with a unique shopping experience that fulfills our mission of encouraging local involvement.

The event will span two days: Saturday, December 10th and Sunday, December 11th.

If you are interested in applying to become a vendor check out this helpful guide and then head over to our application to submit your business. We would love to accommodate all interested parties, but with limited space we need to take applications to ensure a varied market.

In addition to retail there will be drinks, light food, and live entertainment at specific times. We hope that this starts a tradition that can carry on for many years to come. Spread the word and join us for the holiday market this December 10th and 11th!

Guest Blog: 2014 AiR Lauren Ferebee by Tim Giles

In our newest blog, former AiR Lauren Ferebee talks about working with Spartanburg-based artists and invites you to collaborate on her current year-long project as an artist-in-residence for Spark and Echo Arts.

Book of Hours

Hello from Texas!

My time in Spartanburg in 2014 as the theatre artist-in-residence had such a profound impact on me that I ended up coming back and staying through 2015, working with local theatre artists and companies in creating a lot of amazing projects and events.

Part of that time involved curating Spartanburg artists into Spark and Echo Arts, a project that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of since 2013.  Each year, Spark and Echo commissions works responding to scripture from artists of all disciplines and faith backgrounds, with the intention of one day completing a sprawling multimedia illuminated Bible.  So far this year, Spartanburg-based artists Lily Knights, Chandler Crawford, and Tim Giles have completed works in theatre, visual art, and music for the organization (click on their names to check out their amazing work!). 

This year, I’m also serving as an artist-in-residence for Spark and Echo, which means I’m working on a yearlong project responding to Proverbs 8. In my first project update, I outlined the shape of the piece: a multimedia book of hours, focused on wisdom and acts of contemplation.

 A snapshot of the website Lauren is building as part of her project.

A snapshot of the website Lauren is building as part of her project.

A piece of this work is going to be a public exchange of contemplations.  In their original medieval setting, books of hours were individually crafted and deeply intimate, illustrated and selected to reflect the concerns, challenges, and daily lives of their owners. As I began working on this book of hours, I became curious about how to replicate that process.

What I’ve decided is that as a part of it, I am reaching out to ask for contemplation requests: for people to send me one-sentence descriptions of an event, action, or situation in their lives that they need some time and thoughtfulness to contemplate – along with their physical address. My commitment is to send back a handwritten contemplation, and my plan is to make and document 365 contemplations as a part of the book of hours.

So, this blog post is also an invitation. Send me something.

Prior to her current project with the group, Lauren's latest project for Spark and Echo Arts was a short film in response to a section of Psalm 107. Watch it below!

WONDERS OF THE DEEP A response to Psalm 107 23-32 By Lauren Ferebee Music/Cinematography: Tim Giles  | Featuring: Shianna Whitner and Liam MacDougall

Guest Blog: 2014 AiR Amber Hansen by Tim Giles

Called To Walls

Hello the friends of HUB-BUB and the Spartanburg community!

I am writing from Lawrence, Kansas to announce the recent completion and premiere of Called to Walls! (debut, documentary, feature by co-director Nicholas Ward an myself, Amber Hansen.)  As a 2014 HUB-BUB Air, I would like to share this project with you not only because it was in production during my residency but because the film and my time in Spartanburg greatly influenced one another.

Called to Walls is an 82min film chronicling the heartening story of unlikely partners in middle American communities, working together to reexamine their histories, celebrate what makes their towns unique, and imagine their futures in the form of monumental murals in the heart of their downtowns. The film follows four of the six projects making up the Mid-America Mural project including Tonkawa, Ok, Newton, Ks, Joplin, Mo and Akradelphia AR. The projects are lead by muralist Dave Loewenstein.

Nicholas and I began as assistant muralists on this project and brought our camera on a lark. The filming began very playfully in 2010 when we created a series of comedic vignettes to post to the mural blog site so that people could follow the project. As we became more invested in our host communities and the collaborative art process, our approach to telling the story became more focused. We lived in each of these communities for three months and made several return visits to gather follow-up interviews. Two of these return visits were made in route, traveling from Lawrence to Spartanburg to begin my HUB-BUB residency, stopping in Joplin, MO and Arkadelphia, AR.

 Amber Hansen and Nicholas Ward

Amber Hansen and Nicholas Ward

The different perspectives shared by the HUB-BUB Airs and community were both timely and crucial to helping us think through different aspects of the film. One of the most difficult parts of editing the film together was imagining how four projects in four different communities, each with their own stories and characters, could be woven together into a single coherent narrative. 

This challenge was aided by evenings spent previewing works in progress with the other AiRs as well as with interested community and board members. Not only did we dedicate a night to watching an early, rough-cut version of Called to Walls, but the process of facilitating a feedback session became a tangible process that we recreated several times after returning to Lawrence. The critical feedback we received during these events became crucial to the completion of the film and helped us to see the film with new eyes. 

During my time in Spartanburg I lead and helped out with several community-based projects in various different mediums, including a mural that also fueled the motivations for this film. Spartanburg is now a community brimming with new murals and with a passion for community and the arts! We are thrilled to announce the completion of Called to Walls, and hope we can share it with you someday!

With love from Kansas!

Amber Hansen