Rice and Indigo: Two Coordinating Exhibits

The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach will present the two coordinating exhibits Rice and Indigo: Paintings by Jonathan Green and Works in Denim by Jim Arendt from Sept. 29, 2015 through Jan. 7, 2016. The exhibits explore the effects of the culture of South Carolina laborers who worked these two crops – enslaved and free, colonial and modern-day – on contemporary perspectives and understandings of our rich history. SC Humanities supported this project with a Mini Grant in May 2015.

As well as art exhibitions for the public, Rice and Indigo will form the basis for an educational outreach program designed to dovetail with the state’s school curriculum in South Carolina history, taught primarily in eighth grade. The Art Museum will be conducting tours of the exhibit for Horry and Georgetown County school groups which will utilize the art experience to help enhance students’ understanding of the key role rice and indigo played in our state’s plantation economy.

To begin the visitor experience, there are filmed interviews with the two artists, created through a mini-grant from SC Humanities, which are designed primarily with middle-school students in mind. These videos will play continuously in the galleries while the exhibition is on display. Museum Executive Director Patricia Goodwin said, “We believe that seeing and hearing the artists speak about their lives and their work will help visitors and youngsters in particular to better relate to the artists – one white, one African American – and to be inspired by their examples. We like to think of it as the next best thing to meeting the artist, in person.”

Gallery hours for the exhibition will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 – 4 p.m. Sundays. The Art Museum is located at 3100 S. Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, across from Springmaid Pier. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. For more information, call 843-238-2510 or visit MyrtleBeachArtMuseum.org.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 23-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.  It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image: Jonathan Green, Loaded Rice Barge, 2013, acrylic on paper, 11” x 14”, private collection.