A new batch of benches will join those introduced last year as public art project flourishes


The benches are back.

Or at least a new set of colorful benches, each with its own story, will be introduced at an unveiling at USC Beaufort’s Center for the Arts soon.

Six new custom-painted benches will join those already gracing the city’s street corners and sidewalks.

From the first batch of benches: Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce, 711 Bladen Street. By Omar Patterson

Spearheaded by the Cultural District Advisory Board, the public art project was launched in January of 2020and was away to introduce more public art to Beaufort’s Cultural District, similar to what other cities across the country have done.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time. Along with businesses, restaurants and retail establishments, COVID-19 also shut down art galleries, shows and other cultural events.

But the benches, ironically enough,provided a way for people,who may have already been out and about orlooking for something low-key to do, to enjoy art and learn about Beaufort’s history and culture in a safe, outdoor environment.

Beaufort Digital Corridor, 500 Carteret Street. “Augmented reality” component by Dr. Brian Canada and computer science students

Public art is something members of the city’s Cultural District Advisory Board said is important to cities that are looked at as places of cultural enrichment.

In fact, on surveys taken by visitors to Beaufort, many had indicated they would like to see more benches or places to sit while out enjoying or walking through the area.

Made by local craftsmen with Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity and local artists and sponsored by organizations in the community, each depicts part of Beaufort’s history or culture.

This round of benches were sponsored by the Beaufort Arts Council and the Mather Museum, the City of Beaufort, Fripp Island, the Pat Conroy Literary Center, Tabernacle Baptist Church and by an anonymous donor.

Now with an even dozen, the benches are sure to be enjoyed by visitors and residents alike for years to come.


If You Go

Members of the Cultural District Advisory Board and the City of Beaufort will be on hand to celebrate six new benches from 5 to 6:30 p.m. May 6 on the lawn of USC Beaufort’s Center for the Arts. The Center for the Arts is at 801 Carteret Street.The benches will then be moved to their permanent homes.


New Benches

Fripp Island Bench
Beaufort Visitors Center
713 Craven Street

Robert Smalls Bench
Tabernacle Baptist Church
901 Craven Street

Pat Conroy Bench
Pat Conroy Literary Center
601 Bladen Street

City of Beaufort Bench
City Hall
1911 Boundary Street

Beaufort Arts Council Bench
Mather Museum at the Technical College of the Lowcountry
881 Ribaut Road

Donor Bench

Read more about the original benches and bench project here:  www.lcweekly.com/culture/local-color/sitting-pretty