Late last year I applied for the Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist Grant. This award was established at the Coastal Community Foundation in 2003 by Mike Griffith and Donna Reyburn with the goal of helping to support an artist during the creation of a piece of work that represents unique aspects of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s lifestyle, culture or environment. When I received the call from CCF that I received this generous grant, I was overwhelmed and totally THRILLED. I spent the next several months planning, researching and finally executing my piece, and I am so excited to share it with the world.

I spent a month or so walking around downtown in different neighborhoods, during different times of day, and ultimately landed on this view as my final reference for the piece

I spent a month or so walking around downtown in different neighborhoods, during different times of day, and ultimately landed on this view as my final reference for the piece

Charleston is a very important and special place to me. It represents so much including home, inspiration, and legacy. I wanted to reflect these themes in my piece, as well as create a work for Charleston locals. Our city has become such a “destination” in the context of tourism, but I wanted my piece to be recognizable to the locals who make their lives here. Emily Reyna at Art Mag came for a studio visit while I was working and she did a wonderful job writing about the piece and my process, you can read the full article here.

Next I worked out some sketches, trying to get a better feel for the composition before I broke out the paints

Next I worked out some sketches, trying to get a better feel for the composition before I broke out the paints

Creating a piece in this context is a humbling experience. I want to please my benefactors and be worthy of this award, as well as grow and develop my practice. These past several months have been a roller coaster of emotion, challenges and personal victories. I am so grateful for this opportunity and for the doors it has begun to open.

The final product: “This Must be the Place”, 30x28, oil on panel

The final product: “This Must be the Place”, 30x28, oil on panel

The Coastal Community Foundation and The Miller Gallery will generously host the official release of “This Must be the Place” on the evening of Thursday, October 24th. Thank you to my friends and family who have supported me every step of the way, I couldn’t create without you.

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