South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Emerging Artists

Support for career satisfaction and sustainability

“Emerging artists” are defined as those who are at an early stage in their career development (specifically, artists who are starting their careers and have been active for one to five years).

Further, the term “emerging” refers to professional accomplishments and recognition, not to stylistic evolution.

  • An emerging artist is expected to have a limited performing, publishing, or exhibition record.
  • Emerging artists may demonstrate potential in their practice through risk-taking and pushing their work in dynamic ways.

The South Carolina Arts Commission recognized the needs of artists who fit into this category—of any age. Thus was born a grant and accompanying program designed to assist emerging artists in South Carolina through project grant funding up to $1,500 as well as free mentorship and professional support during the grant period.

This page is a showcase of the current grantees and work samples resulting from their involvement in the program.

Current grantees (FY21)

Artist statement

Impossible Germany tells the story of the late Ingeborg (“Inge”) Seuss, a German expat who—decades prior to settling in the American South—experienced the terror of Nazi rule firsthand as a teenager living in Nuremberg during the Second World War. Juxtaposing lines from Inge’s oral histories (conducted by the artist three years before her death at age 93) with original black-and-white Polaroid photography and vivid archival collages, this melancholic, contemplative work touches on questions of national trauma, collective responsibility, and the trustworthiness of memory.

Social media
Emerging Artist project

Click images to enlarge.

Artist statement

“I’m grateful for the program and being able to team up with the S.C. Arts Commission. It’s giving artists the power and confidence to continue living the dream they once started out with. Ce Scott-Fitts and her dedication to helping support artists in South Carolina is a huge blessing. I would still be searching for ways to fund and market ‘The Josh Project’ if it had not been for her. I learned a lot from this experience with Ce, and the other mentors who spoke with our group. The program that the SCAC has in place for artists like us is great, and I want to make sure they are able to grow and continue helping new generations to come.”

Website

www.chrisjenkinsofficial.com

Social media
Representative works

Artist statement

My work uses traditional methods of textile construction with non-traditional materials to create dynamic, multilayer sculptural works. In the Nested Forms sculpture series, I examine utilitarian vessel forms and reimagine their structure and function by interpreting them in knitted open wire forms. By combining, layering, and enveloping forms, I invite the viewer to observe the relationship between forms, separate form from function, and imagine the thematic connection between each form and our own life experience as human vessels.

I originally set out to create this body of work as a purely formal study of double-walled forms. But, as I researched utilitarian vessels, I began to explore the meaning, function, and purpose of each form. Through my research, I began to observe the correlation between the function of each form and my own experience of humanity, femininity, and motherhood. Each form, with the functionality removed, began to mirror my own multilayered feelings of purpose and disfunction as a human, woman, and mother. By using the textile process of knitting, traditionally a female occupation or hobby, I again remove the functionality to highlight the construction process and personal connection to womanhood. The objects enclosed in each form link my personal experience to the intended function of each vessel.

Social media
Emerging Artist project

Click images to enlarge.

Artist statement

It is essential for me as an evolving creative to increase the boundaries of my abilities, opening up the gateway to explore how integrating current and new art forms will create for more my vision to thrive into an ongoing evolution in its mixed forms. My intentions are to embrace the freedom to create what is in alignment with what is at the center of my beingness and purpose and feeling the freedom to connect with others (about or outside of my work) as an influence without it unveiling as limitations.

The mission with my creations (explicitly and implicitly) will always be to move individuals into a greater space of liberation within themselves; to growing emotionally, intellectually, relationally, and metaphysically. Connecting with my mission allows me to preserve peace with the outcomes of creating knowing that the influences of my work are both intentional and free flowing. For sincere expression and progression as an artist and as an individual, I must avidly grow to be more curious about what is more to a moment, understand better and develop more loving-kindness for all beings, and build better bonds with myself and God.

Creating this short film was important for me throughout the stages of development as it allowed me to take on roles as a film photographer, visual subject, poet, voice-over, and editor. I am so grateful to have connected with a musician whose music is divine to what I imagined and resulted to develop cohesively with the visuals and messages shared. This collaboration of media, as well as the full support and trust within the grant offering, speaks to the freedom my vision and mission advocates.

Website

intint.info

Social media
Emerging Artist project

Click images to enlarge.

Artist statement

This grant came to me right when I was starting to make the decision to turn my craft into something that could be my career. Since receiving the Emerging Artist Grant, I have been able to start my work in ceramics with the confidence and support that I needed to make it into a thriving business. I was able to grow my studio space, buy equipment, materials, and everything I needed to help me boost the growth that I created for myself since starting to sell my work online. With the support from the commission, Ce Scott-Fitts, and the team of artists in my grant group, I had an amazing network of people who helped guide the way to where I am today with my business. Today my work has grown significantly in the past year that I started my work. I now work mostly within my studio, keeping my website updated and collaborating with retailers across the country.

Website

www.studiosontosis.com

Social media
Emerging Artist project

Click images to enlarge.

Artist statement

I am an artist, I am a friend;

My artistry is built upon the impact of others’ experiences

in relation to my own.

Exchanging stories, recalling pasts, dreaming of futures;

I create worlds.

Inviting others into mine with open arms.

My art strives to convey meaning.

As we question the meaning of existence in real time.

I seek to make connections, innately.

Resisting slowly, emerging quickly.

Bodies moving, shaping and shifting.

Alluding experiences through sweat pores dripping outside of someone else’s body.

Seeing, feeling and sensing.

Longing for touch; to feel their being.

Humanity unfolding.

My dances evolve by reflecting the thoughts of the mind,

as they echo out of the body, and

radiate into the world.

My artistic promise is to provide space for others to express their voices, their movement, their meaning. I curate communities with my genuine intention, seeking to understand the others whom I share space with. Ultimately, my pursuit is to give others an opportunity to reveal themselves, to openly share and manifest ideas, to create a collective response through the love of movement.

Website

www.ashleasovetts.com

Social media
Emerging Artist project

Mac OS and iOS users might need to view this video by using the pop-out button on the top right of the embedded video.

Questions?

If you are seeking more program information or advisement before submitting a grant application, please contact Ce Scott-Fitts (803.734.8203 | cscottfitts@arts.sc.gov), Program Director for Artist Services.