ARTworks nurtures the rich tapestry of the Beaufort County arts scene, strand by vibrant strand.

Weavers & Truth-speakers

Kim Keats is a basketmaker-educator, Jopseph Legree Jr. is a cast net maker-heritage bearer, Evan Thompson is a scholar-appreciator of history, and the band Lost in Holland is about to be found in Beaufort. Meet them all in the next few weeks at ARTworks in Beaufort Town Center, or, in the case of Evan, at the circa 1875 Richard J. Washington, Jr. house in historic downtown Beaufort.

Casting & Filling, October 30th through November 30th

"Knots & Weaving" is a gallery show at ARTworks celebrating Joseph Legree, Jr. and Kim Keats, Beaufort County's two SC Arts Commission winners. The opening reception with the honorees is Friday, October 30th, 6 to 8 pm. Joseph Legree, Jr. has been weaving cast nets his whole life on St. Helena Island and is the 2009 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage award recipient. A living legacy in the St. Helena community, Joseph “Cap’n Crip” Legree, Jr. has spent his life preserving the cultural values and traditions of his Gullah ancestors. After he was honored by the SC general assembly, he told Beaufort Gazette reporter David Lauderdale that "my heart was full." Photos of Mr. Legree by Pat Keown will accompany a display of his nets.

Suspended Arborization & Every Day Collectors

Kim Keats of Okatie uses off-loom weaving techniques to create baskets beyond tradition, and is the recipient of the South Carolina Arts Commission 2009-2010 Individual Artist Fellowship Award in Craft. "The objects that I make are intended to honor the origin of the materials from which they are made," she explained. "The tree has become a personal icon and my work reflects the influences of indigenous cultures that have a tradition of using natural materials. Sharing these materials, techniques and imagery has made me feel a part of a universal heritage." In the spacious gallery at ARTworks, Kim will install Suspended Arborization, "seven tree-like forms intricately woven from hemlock and palmetto. The trees are tumbling, leaf-life. There will also be marketable work for every day collectors, affordable new work." 

That same knotty October 30th reception…

At 8:15pm, while art-appreciators are still browsing the Knots & Weaving show in the gallery at ARTworks, the duo Lost in Holland will go on stage for two sets, only $7, in the black box theater at ARTworks. Michael Ronstadt (nephew of Linda) on cello, and decorated Marine-lyricist Josh Hisle singing and on guitar: Day after day and fight after fight, he wrote alone, never to play these songs for his marines. It wasn't until he returned home, and left the corps a decorated veteran, that he started to play these songs live for audiences in the states. One evening, just a few minutes before playing at a local bar, Josh received a phone call from filmmaker and old friend, Mike Cerre. Mike asked him to play with Neil Young as part of a documentary…

 A President's Circle, circa 1875

Evan Thompson will host the first President’s Circle of the 2009-10 season on the evening of Thursday, November 5th, in his renovated residence in downtown Beaufort. The President's Circle is an incredible chance to see art collections in Lowcountry homes. "I am interested in design and I dislike things that are new. So I like items that are unusual, relatively, simple, and from a diverse range of origins and time periods," Evan said, as an introduction to his collection, acquired from Beaufort's many amazing sources, from the Red Door and thrift shops, to galleries in Beaufort and Hilton Head. "If I see something that strikes me, I take it home." Only 20 tickets available, at $20 each, to this artful evening, benefiting the Arts Council of Beaufort County. Advance ticket purchases only: 843-379-2787. 

 The Arts Council of Beaufort County's Mission

From its office in ARTworks in Beaufort Town Center, the arts council promotes and nurtures the arts 365 a year, and is an independent, non-profit service organization that is not a function of, or funded by, the Beaufort County government., 843-379-2787.