Meet Prominent Artists at Ninth Annual Artist Showcase

The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce welcomes local and visiting exhibitors to the Artist Showcase 2011 scheduled for May 27-28 at Sea Island Best Western in historic downtown Beaufort.  The showcase is free and open to the public Friday, May 27 from 12 Noon until 8 pm with a reception from 5 pm until 7 pm and Saturday, May 28 from 10 am until 6 pm.

James Denmark earned his MFA Degree at the prestigious Pratt Institute of Fine Art in New York. Denmark has a natural affinity for the difficult and largely improvisational medium of collage and developed his own unique and easily identifiable style. With brightly hand-colored papers, found papers, fabric and objects, he creates compositions that go beyond the superficial and transitory and focus on the eternal and universal. Denmark’s collages, watercolors, woodcuts and reproductions are sought after by galleries and collectors worldwide. His level of acclaim is reflected in the number of prestigious collections in which his works are represented including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hank D. Herring creates his unique graphics from rescued materials such as driftwood, siscarded metals or fabrics.  He learned whittling from his two grandfathers and quilting from his family, crediting his family with artistic stimulation. He creates original wood stamps used for batiking, and then the stamps themselves become pieces of art. He teaches at the Children’s Educational Village in Atlanta as the village printmaker and continually shows his passion for the community and the arts through public events and forums. He recently opened with a partner the Green Fish Gallery in historic downtown Beaufort, SC.



Claudette Humphrey was a first grade teacher in New Rochelle, NY when she joined scores of other arts-minded teachers in year-long workshops at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan and Julliard School.  She immersed herself in the burgeoning New York arts culture inviting all the arts from dance to drama, from painting to poetry daily into her classroom and into her life. Her paintings smile through bright, elemental colors reflecting themes and vistas from her years living in California, Hawaii, New York, and now Beaufort, SC.


Amiri G. Farris is a prominent artist whose work has been exhibited in major museums and displayed in permanent collections nationally and internationally. His powerful paintings combine an alluring blend of vivid colors and layered textures that evoke images of Sea Island Gullah culture with his signature style of using Adinkra symbols subtly stamped into an African dress, a colorful turban or entangled in a shrimp net. Amiri received his MFA in painting, with his BFA in illustration, from the Savannah College of Art and Design and currently teaches art at The University of South Carolina Beaufort.


Bob Doster is a metal sculptor based in Lancaster, SC. He has been an Arts in Education Resident Artist/South Carolina Arts Commission since 1977 and a working artist and gallery owner/operator since 1975. His works are located throughout the world in public and private sites and collections, museums, and galleries.  He holds the MFA from Clemson University and a BFA from the University of South Carolina. His multiple juried and salon show competition awards over a 30-year period include York County Cultural Commission Keeper of the Culture Award 2007 and the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award 2006.


James E. St.Clair (aka The Artist Saint) is an award winning South Carolina Lowcountry artist. Many of his paintings depict the rich heritage and culture of the Lowcountry and the Sea Islands. Steeped in history, Saint’s visual stories tell tales of work, humor and adventure. He primarily paints with acrylics on many surfaces, including canvas, paper, clayboard, masonite, wood and even newspaper.  His works hang in private collections nationwide.


Marquita Willis is an emerging artist from California, holding the BFA from California State University, and recently relocated to South Carolina. Her paintings reflect the vibrant Gullah culture. She has exhibited in several galleries throughout the Carolinas and has illustrated the children’s book I Saw It Coming.


Nancy Basket is a fiber artist. She takes her name from a Cherokee grandmother and from the work she does. She’s made pine needle baskets for more than 30 years and kudzu baskets for 21 years. Paper art from kudzu made in her kudzu bale barn in back of her house in Walhalla, SC allows her to tell traditional stories of respect for all ages and cultures. She was awarded the Jean Laney Harris Folk Art Award for Cherokee baskets in 2005.

Marie Lewis, a Beaufort, SC resident, began her painting in oils and acrylics four years ago. She has an A.A. Degree in apparel design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, a B. S. Degree in marketing and distributive education from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Webster University. She is co-owner of the Sea Island Furniture Mart where she is the director of Home Staging and Redesign. She has conducted seminars and workshops in fashion, color, line and design, interior design, and management development for 25 years.


Patricia Wells is a Beaufort, SC, native who offers peace, love and harmony through her acrylics and oils which she describes as “divinely guided.” Geraldine Smith, a self-taught folk artist in Columbia, SC, paints in acrylics expressing her memories of childhood in rural NC. She has exhibited in antique stores, malls and galleries throughout the Carolinas and in Washington, DC. Saundra Renee Smith is a self-taught artist, a native of St. Helena, SC. She is a registered nurse by profession and holds a Masters Degree in Health Care Administration. Her art, displayed at Red Piano Too Art Gallery on St. Helena, is deeply rooted in her Gullah culture, as she portrays the beauty of her island home in bold, vivid colors, and bright hues.   Sharon Holmes, based in Mt. Pleasant, SC, is the only jewelry artist exhibiting this year.


Henry Lee Battle is a California native now based in Atlanta. He describes his painting style as richly realistic figurative snapshots of life with subject matter ranging from spiritual to family-oriented to romantic moments frozen in time. Amy Queen is an NC native, based in Statesville, NC,  a painter who studied art at Lipscomb University. Her oils include beach scenes, mountain scenes and portraits. She is represented in SC by The Mitchell Group which includes authors, speakers and entertainers.


Patricia Bee is a Beaufort, SC author who has recently published her children’s book Try’umsee’s Wings which is a Gullah folktale. Her first book was Mama’s Pearls, poetry capturing the Gullah essence. She is the founder of BeeYond Limits Educational Support Systems, a company established to promote literacy. She is a native of Beaufort and has taught for two decades in the public school system.


Liz and Charlie Mitchell will be signing their two travel books published in the Tourist Town series – Hilton Head: A Guide to the South Carolina Lowcountry and Myrtle Beach: A Guide to South Carolina’s Grand Strand. The authors recently have published iPhone and iPad travel apps for these two destinations. They also are marketing consultants and event managers for international clients and cultural organizations.


For additional information and artist details follow and connect at bcbcc.org, on Twitter @BeaufortBlack and the Facebook page Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce.



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