The Artside: Local artists earn accolades for film, public art, paintings

It’s a dream of many indie filmmakers, having their film released in theaters in major cities nationwide, and it’s happening for two local men on March 29.


While it was originally shown in 2009 at the Imperial Theatre, In Their Own Words: Tuskegee Airmen has found new life in conjunction with this year’s 75th anniversary of the airmen.

Fathom Events has partnered with Bryton Entertainment to bring the film to 200 theaters nationwide including cities such as Los Angeles and New York for a one-night showing. It will be shown locally at 7 p.m. at Regal 20 Augusta Exchange.

“We’re blown away,” said Denton Adkinson, who along with Bryan Williams founded Bryton Entertainment in North Augusta in 2006 with the idea of creating wedding videos, short films and music videos.

Little did they know while sitting at an Augusta Huddle House on Aug. 6, 2007, that they were about to embark on a life-changing journey. They brainstormed ideas while waiting for triple-decker cheeseburgers to arrive. They came up with nothing at first and prayed. As they did, they saw an elderly man wearing a jacket with a Tuskegee Airmen patch, and the light bulb came on.

They decided to make a film about the Tuskegee Airmen and include interviews from some of the men who were part of the World War II unit.

Adkinson said there was one common request from the airmen they interviewed: that the filmmakers keep their memory and story alive.

“We’re honored to tell their story,” he said.


THOMSON’S NEWEST public art project will be revealed at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, at an event at the Thomson Depot.

McTell’s 12 String Strut will feature a dozen 7-foot-tall polyurethane replicas of 12-string Stella guitars. The Stella guitar was Blind Willie McTell’s instrument of choice.

“This project will educate visitors and locals about the life of Georgia musician Blind Willie McTell through visuals and audio. It also supports the annual music festival held in his honor, the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival, set for May 7. In its 23rd year, the event coincides with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Year of Georgia Music, which will use Georgia’s musical heritage, music superstars and iconic music venues to promote tourism in the Peach State in 2016.

Once revealed, the pieces will be displayed in Thomson’s downtown/Main Street area for about three years.

THE GERTRUDE HERBERT Institute of Art’s annual Spring Artists’ Market and Festival is taking place March 18-24.

The opening night ceremony will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday with 10 percent off all work. On Saturday, a family friendly, free festival will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with arts activities and face painting for children.


NEW ART WILL be on display at Aiken Center for the Arts beginning St. Patrick’s Day, and there will be a reception that evening from 6 to 8 p.m. to kick things off.

The Everything Pastel exhibit will feature the pastel works of three Aiken Artist Guild members, Carolyn Bohn, Jan Fulton and Jeannette Shoemaker. The exhibit will run through April 8.

Check out works by other Aiken Artist Guild members at various spots around Aiken County. Anne LeMay, known for her abstract paintings, will be featured at Rose Hill, 221 Greenville St., from March 17 through June 30. Virginia Culbertson’s paintings are on display in the Ridgecrest Coffee Bar, 2502 Wagener Road, through April 30. Sharon Taylor-Padgett’s paintings are at Medical Oncology, 450 Society Hill Drive in Woodside Village, through June. Ginger Ferguson’s art will be displayed at the Family Y, 621 Trolley Line Road, Graniteville, through the end of March.


AN OPENING reception for the Park Arts Project will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 20, at the North Augusta Municipal Building.

The Park Arts Project is the third in a series coordinated by the North Augusta Artists Guild to create art focused on the parks of North Augusta. The two other projects, the Historic Homes Project and one devoted to symbols of South Carolina, are on permanent display in the municipal building.

The guild’s joint art projects with the city began in 2009.


THE GREATER Augusta Arts Council unveiled the latest in the Art the Box series on March 11 at Fifth and Reynolds streets. Created by Jason Lutz, the box is titled The Great Generation and commemorates World War II.


HATS OFF TO a couple of area drama students for their showing at the August Wilson monologue competition in Atlanta on Feb. 23. The national competition has several preliminary events leading to the finals in New York City. Out of 400 students at the Feb. 23 event, Seneca Washington from Cross Creek and Quavondre Williams from the Academy of Richmond County finished in the top 15. The top two from the competition advanced to New York. In addition, Roy Lewis, drama director at ARC received the Wilsonian Soldier Award for service to both the True Colors Theatre Foundation and the August Wilson monologue competition.


THE GERTRUDE Herbert Institute of Art held its 37th annual Agnes Markwalter Youth Art Competition earlier in March in conjunction with National Youth Art Month. Themes of the competition were “Save the Earth” and “Transforming Hate.” The contest was open to all kindergarten through 12th grade students in public, private and home schools in Aiken, Burke, Columbia, McDuffie and Richmond counties.

Jurors were Kristi Jilson, the Westobou Festival executive director, and artist Troy Campbell.

Winners are, in the K-2 category: Cayden Burkhart, Byrd Elementary, first place; Giselle Ramirez, C.T. Walker Magnet School, second place; and Anna Moore, Lake Forrest Hills Elementary, third place; Blake White, Lake Forrest Hills Elementary, merit award. In grades 3-5, Olivia Franklin, C.T. Walker Magnet School, first place; Allen Grinalds, Westminster, second place; Savanna Herrington, Lake Forrest Hills Elementary, third place; Lucienne Tompkins and Ryan Robinson, both of Lake Forest Hills Elementary, merit awards.

In grades 6-8, Ethan Nguyen-Tu, John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, first place; Marisol Zayas, Westminster, second place; Hayley Wilson, third place; Nautica Jarrell, C.T. Walker, and Beth Coleman, Episcopal Day School, merit awards. In grades 9-12, Jessica Bryant, Harlem High School, first place; Chris Ali, Butler High School, second place; Olivia Dhandzpani, Lakeside High School, third place; Ashley Williamson, Harlem; Chloe Trammell, Westside High School; Vaughn Hilsheimer, Davidson Fine Arts; Ella Ryder, Midland Valley High School, merit awards. Best in show: Sharon Jenkins, Davidson.



Pop Rocks: Augusta, my Christmas wish list has one thing

My family often accuses me of being a difficult person to Christmas shop for. While it is true that my tastes run toward the particular and tend to lean heavily on easy-to-wrap standards such as books and records, I believe that as I get older, I’m less concerned with the item than the idea. Give me something I believe you have thought about and carefully considered, and I’m happy. The present clearly purchased at the drug store the day before is met with considerably less enthusiasm.

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