Friday, December 20, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute concert set for January 18 in North Charleston

Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now: A Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Performance featuring the CSO Gospel Choir and CSO Spiritual Ensemble, members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, in collaboration with the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, brings the legendary civil rights leader’s legacy to life through music, imagery and narration on Saturday, January 18, 2014 7:00pm at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 7396 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston SC.

This performance is free and open to the public. Entry ticket required; freewill donations accepted.

Directed by Guest Conductor Vincent L. Danner, the event will commemorate Dr. King’s civil rights legacy in a moving musical and visual performance featuring gospel and spirituals woven together with narration provided by Dr. Karen Chandler of the College of Charleston and historical images of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.

“We are excited to partner with the City of North Charleston again and bring our choirs together with musicians from our partner organization, the CSO, and the newly formed Colour of Music Festival Orchestra as we honor Dr. King’s contribution to civil rights and economic equality. The event will be the perfect way for the community to reflect upon his wisdom, sacrifice and hope,” says Lee Pringle, President and Founder of the two choirs and executive producer of the event.

“Conducting performances honoring Dr. King are annual highlights for me; I look forward to showcasing moving selections carefully chosen to tell Dr. King’s extraordinary, epic story,” says Vincent L. Danner, Guest Conductor.

WHAT: Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey: A Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Performance (approximate running time: 2 hours)

WHO: CSO Gospel Choir and CSO Spiritual Ensemble with members of the CSO and Colour of Music Festival Orchestra
Vincent L. Danner, Guest Conductor

WHEN: Saturday, January 18, 2014, 7:00pm

WHERE: Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 7396 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29406

TICKETS: FREE ADMISSION - Ticket required for entry. FREE entry tickets (four per request) available in person at North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, North Charleston City Hall or Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. By mail, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Tickets/City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, PO Box 190016, North Charleston, SC 29419-9016 by Friday, January 10, 2014.

Freewill donations encouraged to support CSO Spiritual Ensemble and CSO Gospel Choir community outreach efforts.

This program is generously sponsored by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department. Additional support provided by Historic Second Presbyterian Church.

About Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Prime mover of the Montgomery bus boycott, keynote speaker at the March on Washington, youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Dr. King’s policy of nonviolent protest was the dominant force in the civil rights movement during its decade of greatest achievement, from 1957 to 1968. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. Commemorating the life of a tremendously important leader, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day each January.

About the CSO Gospel Choir
For thirteen years, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Gospel Choir, Charleston’s celebrated culturally diverse choir, performs gospel, spirituals and sacred music for annual concert events including a Palm Sunday performance, CSO Gospel Christmas, Piccolo Spoleto, regional events throughout the southeast and numerous engagements in Europe including Paris, London, Rome and Prague and Ghana, West Africa.

About the CSO Spiritual Ensemble
Founded in 2008, the Charleston SC based, 35-member CSO Spiritual Ensemble honors the “spiritual,” the historical musical form born of the suffering and endurance of African slaves after arriving to the southern shores of this country. The CSO Spiritual Ensemble performs throughout the southeastern US and regularly for local and regional special events.

North Charleston City Gallery to Exhibit Works by Charlynn M. Knight & Gingi Martin

Angel Oak, Wise One by Charlynn M. Knight & The Elusive Peacock of Cypress Glade by Gingi Martin
The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that watermedia paintings by the City’s current Artist-in-Residence, Charylnn M. Knight, as well as oil paintings by Pineville, SC, based artist, Gingi Martin, will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from January 2-31, 2014. The artists will host a free public reception at the gallery from 5:00-7:00pm on Thursday, January 2.

Visions of the Lowcountry Through a New Perspective – Watercolor Paintings by Charlynn M. Knight
In Visions of the Lowcountry Through a New Perspective, Charlynn M. Knight presents watercolor paintings that depict the beauty of the everyday. Her recent works feature scenes captured during afternoon walks down well-worn dirt roads and paddling through the Lowcountry’s coastal waters in a kayak. Her approach with watermedia captures the “glow” and vibrant colors and textures of her subjects, which include the marshes, avenues of oaks, Lowcountry wildlife, and Deep South beauty and charm that coastal South Carolina has to offer.

Knight, a native Charlestonian, received a BA in Studio Art from the College of Charleston in 1994 and continues to further her painting knowledge through workshops with national and international artists. She has worked primarily in watercolor for over 28 years and has received numerous awards for her paintings. She has taught visual art classes and workshops in all media for children and adults since 1990, and is currently offering residencies to North Charleston schools and community groups as the City’s 2013/14 Artist-in-Residence. Knight’s work has been published in International Artist Magazine and her paintings are featured in several private and corporate collections, including the City of North Charleston’s Public Art Collection. Presently her work is available at Karen’s Korner in Mt. Pleasant and Laura Alberts Tasteful Options in Daniel Island.

La Tempesta – Oil Paintings by Gingi Martin
Gingi Martin’s great passion for Nature and its preservation manifests itself in the work presented in her exhibit, La Tempesta. The collection of oil paintings featured in the exhibition includes mostly landscapes. “I rarely represent the human figure because of its historically negative impact on Nature,” she explains. Martin’s utilization of intense colors and depictions of super-realistic scenes take inspiration from her deep love of the music and art of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, and their relation to the Sublime.

A native of Pennsylvania, Virginia “Gingi” Martin received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Art from Hiram College (Hiram, OH), and a Master of Fine Arts from the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY). She currently lives in Pineville, SC, where she maintains an art studio and teaches private art lessons. Martin has been painting in oils for eight years and finds the medium preferable to others with which she has experimented, largely due to their richness and texture, the ability to apply the paint in multiple layers, and the use of glazes to enhance color and atmosphere. In an on-going effort to understand the potential of color in landscape and portrait painting, she has conducted extensive and in-depth studies of color mixing and color theory. Aside from painting, Virginia and her husband, Dr. Peter W. Ferran, are collaborating on a book about creative individuals, their inspiration and drive to create.

The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in the common areas of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free during regular Convention Center operating hours, 9:00am – 5:00pm daily. The gallery is staffed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only. Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas, North Charleston!

On behalf of the City of North Charleston, Mayor Keith Summey wishes all a very Merry Christmas.
**be sure to watch until the end**

Monday, December 16, 2013

Boeing Plans North Charleston Expansion Activities

New paint hangar and additional land purchase confirm Boeing's long-term commitment to South Carolina

Boeing announced Friday, December 13, 2013 that it will begin construction in the second half of 2014 on a new paint facility on its main campus in North Charleston, S.C. The company expects to begin painting fully assembled 787 Dreamliners in South Carolina in mid-2016.

The approximately 230,000 square-foot (21,368 m2) facility will be used to apply customer liveries to Boeing South Carolina (BSC)-built 787s. Today all BSC-built 787s are flown to Fort Worth, Texas, for final paint and then flown back to South Carolina for customer delivery.

"Painting our airplanes in South Carolina supports our Lean manufacturing and production optimization initiatives," said Jack Jones, vice president and general manager, Boeing South Carolina. "We can make our delivery process even more efficient by painting airplanes here in South Carolina, creating more value and convenience for our customers."

The company also announced today that it acquired access to a total of 468 acres (189 hectares) in North Charleston, S.C., to protect for potential future growth in South Carolina through a long-term lease with Palmetto Railways, a division of the S.C. Department of Commerce. In addition to the 267 acres (108 hectares) sold by the Charleston County Aviation Authority, another 201 acres (81 hectares) of land in North Charleston were purchased with state bond funds allocated to Boeing. Owned by Palmetto Railways, the land will be leased to Boeing under a long- term lease. The company has an option to purchase all of the 468 acres (189 hectares) at the end of the initial lease term at the end of 2027.

"This expansion makes future growth in North Charleston possible. While we expect to begin the permitting process immediately for this property, we have no specific plans for the land other than where we will locate the new paint facility," said Jones.

As part of the site expansion, beginning in January 2014, Boeing will construct a new 10,000 square-foot (929.03 m2) fully equipped fire station at its main campus, which is expected to be operational by late 2014. The company will add a second autoclave in 2016 to support aftbody composite fabrication for previously announced 787 program rate increases.

"We've been busy here in South Carolina this year," said Jones. "Our BSC teammates have not only been ramping to rate in component and airplane production, but they're doing it in the middle of construction zones. Our commitment to South Carolina is visibly demonstrated every day as our growth and expansion continues. I don't expect that ending anytime soon."

Since late 2012, Boeing has been expanding its main South Carolina site to create more efficiencies and capabilities in production to meet committed 787 build rates. Under previously announced expansion plans, the company is adding 391,000 square feet (36,325 m2) to its aftbody fabrication and assembly building; 42,000 square feet (3,901.9 m2) to its aft and midbody component paint facility; 67,000 square feet (6,224.5 m2) in office and meeting space to its final assembly building; and a new 94,000 square-foot (8,732.9 m2) Dreamlifter Operations Center, to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. The midbody component assembly facility is undergoing construction to add additional capacity and efficiency on the production floor.

In 2013, Boeing announced plans to establish IT Centers of Excellence and an Engineering Design Center, along with plans to build a new Propulsion facility in South Carolina. In November, Boeing broke ground on the new 220,000 square-foot (2,0439 m2) facility located in Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston (Ladson area) that will house its new 737-MAX propulsion assembly work, scheduled to begin in mid-2015.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Boeing Realigns Research & Technology Unit for Growth and Productivity, will add 300-400 jobs in North Charleston

Boeing today announced it will establish technology research centers in Alabama, California, Missouri, South Carolina and Washington as it continues to lay the foundation for increased competitiveness and future growth.

The company will restructure its Boeing Research & Technology organization, the company's central research-and-development unit, through the establishment of research centers in Huntsville, Ala.; Southern California; St. Louis; North Charleston, S.C.; and Seattle.

The new centers will operate independently but cooperatively with one another and with Boeing technology centers in Australia,Brazil, China, India, Spain and Russia. The international centers conduct research to benefit the environment, aviation safety, air traffic management and other areas.

"We are reorganizing and realigning our research-and-technology operations to better meet the needs of our Commercial Airplanes and Defense, Space & Security business units, as well as our government R&D customers," said Greg Hyslop, vice president and general manager of Boeing Research & Technology. "Our customers have a common need for new technology that can be integrated quickly and efficiently into current products and production lines, as well as enable new market-leading products and services. With these changes, we are enhancing our ability to provide effective, efficient and innovative technology solutions."

Earlier this year, Boeing announced the geographic diversification of its Information Technology organization, as well as engineering design centers within Boeing Commercial Airplanes. BR&T's realignment continues the company's strategy of pursuing future growth and competitiveness while consistently delivering on the company's promises to its customers.

The new research centers will consolidate technology development of strategic importance to Boeing over the long-term – up to 30 years into the future. They will be chartered to accelerate technical capability in specific fields and enhance and build networks of collaboration with university, industry and government research centers around the world.

The new locations and centers:
Huntsville, Ala.: Simulation and Decision Analytics; Metals and Chemical Technology
Southern California: Flight Sciences; Electronics and Networked Systems; Structures
St. Louis: Systems Technology; Digital Aviation and Support Technology; Metallics and Fabrication Development
North Charleston, S.C.: Manufacturing Technology
Seattle: Manufacturing Technology Integration.

As the centers are established, BR&T employee totals are expected to grow between 300-400 each in Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina. BR&T jobs in Washington are expected to decrease by 800-1,200, and BR&T jobs in California are expected to decrease by 200-300.

The unit will continue to provide manufacturing technology integration support at Boeing business unit production sites inWashington state, as well as Arizona, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of jetliners and military aircraft combined. Boeing Research & Technology collaborates with customers, suppliers, universities and R&D agencies throughout the world to provide a broad base of innovative and affordable technologies for Boeing's business units.

Monday, December 2, 2013

North Charleston Christmas events

North Charleston Christmas Festival and Parade
To celebrate the upcoming holiday season, the City of North Charleston will feature the following public Christmas events.

Christmas Festival and Parade
Saturday, December 7, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm around Park Circle with the Christmas Parade beginning at 5:00 pm. The Christmas Festival includes a Holiday Market with children’s activities, craft and food vendors, and live musical performances on two stages. The Christmas Parade begins at the corner of Montague and Mixson Avenues, proceeds down Montague, around Park Circle, and concludes at Armory Park.

Immediately following the Christmas Parade, Mayor R. Keith Summey and Santa Claus will light the City’s Christmas tree located outside the front entrance of the Felix C. Davis Community Center.

Christmas Festival Schedule
3:00 pm - Police will close the Park Circle traffic circle, Montague Avenue from Mixson to the traffic circle, and Mixson and Lackawanna to West Enterprise to vehicular traffic
3:00 - 4:45 pm - Children’s activities (jump castles, petting zoo, carriage rides)
5:00 - 6:30 pmParade, immediately followed by the Christmas tree lighting
6:30 - 9:00 pm - Musical performances on all stages, children’s activities continue, food and craft vendors
9:00 pm - Roads opens to traffic

View North Charleston Christmas Events in a larger map

Winter Wonderland
Tuesday, December 3, from noon to 1:30 pm, Wednesday, December 4 - Friday, December 6, from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm at Armory Park. This free pre-school event provides young children an opportunity to visit Santa, participate in hands-on activities, including holiday arts & crafts, and take part in live performances and music.

For required pre-registration, contact the North Charleston Parks & Recreation Department at (843) 740-5807.

Children’s Theatre
Friday, December 6, at 10:00 am at Sterett Hall Auditorium. Atlantic Coast Theatre presents Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus. Francis P. Church’s famous newspaper reply to an inquisitive little girl is imaginatively brought to the stage in this fast paced show that pays homage to the classic holiday films of the 1940s. A reporter must follow leads to find proof about the existence of Santa Claus, realizing in the end that believing is proof enough. For grades K-8.

To purchase tickets, call (843) 740-5854. Children $2, accompanying adults free.

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 7, from 8:00 am to 10:00 am at Felix C. Davis Community Center. Breakfast with Santa gives area children the opportunity to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. A hearty meal is provided.

To purchase tickets, call (843) 745-1028 or visit the Felix C. Davis Community Center for $4 per person.

Film Screening - It’s A Wonderful Life
Saturday, December 7, at 7:00pm at the Olde Village Community Building. The Park Circle Film Society will feature the classic holiday film It’s A Wonderful Life, as part of the quarterly Silver Screen Series. Frank Capra's inverted take on A Christmas Carol stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a good man who's spent a lifetime giving up on his dreams in order to keep life in his small town humming. When a guardian angel named Clarence finds a despondent George poised to jump off a bridge, he shows George what life would've been like had he never been born.

All tickets sold at the door. General Admission - $5, Film Society Members - $2.

North Charleston POPS!
Saturday, December 7, at 7:30pm at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. The POPS! presents A Rockin’ Christmas, a rockin' good time featuring the greatest pops music of the season. Classics like Santa Baby, White Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, Merry Christmas Darling, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and The Christmas Song are just a few of the treats awaiting you in this high-energy holiday concert.

Ticket information

Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 8, at 7:00 pm at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra's wind and strings ensembles will perform familiar holiday classics to kick off the holiday season. Bring family and friends to share in the good cheer of the holiday!
Admission is free.

Village Antiques & Collectibles Holiday Market
Saturday, December 14, and Sunday, December 15, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day at Felix C. Davis Community Center. The Show will feature home decor, fine antiques, furniture, collectibles, antique guns, art, jewelry, rugs, crafts, vintage toys & games, silver, pottery, china, silver, salvage items, outdoor decor, vintage instruments, and more.

Admission is $2.00, all of which will be benefits The Spay Not Slay Endowment.

Christmas lights and displays will shine at Park Circle and on the eight exterior islands nightly from December 7 until New Year’s Day.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Affordable healthcare information fair

The City of Charleston and the City of North Charleston are jointly hosting an Affordable Healthcare Information Fair at the Charleston Area Convention Center (5000 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston) on Sunday, December 8, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

The Fair will offer residents of the Charleston region an opportunity to meet with Certified Agents, Navigators and Application Counselors to ask questions and receive information about the four ways to enroll in health insurance through the Marketplace. No appointments are needed. There will be an informational presentation every 30 minutes starting at 11:00 a.m. For more information about the event call the Palmetto Project at 1-888-998-4646.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said, "Consider this event a one-stop-shop with resources and counselors comprehensively assembled to address any need or question. We hope to eliminate confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act."

City of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. added, "Having health insurance protects families from the potential of crippling financial debt caused by expensive medical bills. Charleston and North Charleston have organized this event as an opportunity for our residents to learn more about the Healthcare Marketplace."

The Marketplace is for uninsured people to find health coverage.
Those with job-based health insurance can keep it.
Those with Medicare are already covered and don’t need to make any changes.
Those who are enrolled in Medicaid are not eligible.

To be eligible for the Marketplace in South Carolina, one must have an income between 100-400% of the federal poverty guideline:

Persons in family/household
Eligible Income to use Marketplace
$11,490 – 45,960
15,510 – 62,040
19,530 – 78,120
23,550 – 94,200
27,570 – 110,280
31,590 – 126,360
35,610 – 142,440
39,630 – 158,520

Most people must have health coverage in 2014 or pay a fee. Those who do not have coverage in 2014, will have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, or 1% of their income (whichever is higher). The fee increases every year. Some people may qualify for an exemption from this fee.

Individuals are considered covered if they have Medicare, Medicaid, any job-based plan, any plan they bought themselves, retiree coverage, TRICARE, VA health coverage, or some other kinds of health coverage.

Insurance plans in the Marketplace are offered by private companies, and they cover the same core set of essential health benefits, including doctor visits, preventive care, hospitalization, prescriptions, and more. Plans can be compared based on price, benefits, quality, and other important features before choosing a plan.

There will also be new protections. Health insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge more due to pre-existing health conditions, and they can’t charge women and men different premiums.

Marketplace open enrollment ends March 31, 2014. If enrolled by December 15, 2013, coverage can begin as soon as January 1, 2014.

Explore the Marketplace now
Visit now to get answers to questions and sign up for e-mail or text updates about the Marketplace. Or, call the Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Clemson dedicates one-of-a-kind energy systems research and testing facility in North Charleston

The South Carolina Lowcountry’s primary provider of electricity, together with the nation’s largest utility, joined Clemson University Thursday to dedicate the world’s most-advanced energy systems testing and research center.

The world-class facility was named the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center during a dedication that marks the beginning of groundbreaking research, education and innovation at the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) campus. SCE&G supported the center with a $3.5 million gift.

The center houses the world’s most-advanced wind-turbine drivetrain testing facility capable of full-scale highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing of advanced drivetrain systems for wind turbines. A drivetrain takes energy generated by a turbine’s blades and increases the rotational speed to drive the electrical generator, similar to the transmission in a car.

Duke Energy named the 15-megawatt hardware-in-the-loop grid simulator the Duke Energy eGRID — Electrical Grid Research Innovation and Development — center. The eGRID, housed in the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center, supports education, research and economic development to speed new electrical technologies to market.

Hardware-in-the-loop is when a device is connected to a system — in this case an electrical device connected to a simulated electrical grid — and the device performs under test as it would under actual conditions. The eGRID can simulate the electrical grid of any country in the world.

Duke Energy is contributing $5 million to help fund laboratory infrastructure and educational program development and fund a Smart Grid Technology Endowed Chair. Duke Energy employees also will provide the center with ongoing technical expertise and resources.

Duke Energy’s endowment was matched by the SmartState Program to establish two distinguished professorships. Together, these three positions will form a focused smart-grid technology research team that will lead to new innovations and help educate the workforce of the future.

Speaking to an international audience of more than 1,000 people, including elected representatives, U.S. Department of Energy officials and industry executives from around the world, Clemson University President James F. Barker said the facility places South Carolina at the forefront of energy systems testing and research.

“Clemson University is renowned for groundbreaking research, supercomputing, engineering and workforce development, but the Innovation Center and eGRID take the university to another level,” Barker said. “The fact two such prestigious companies have put their names on this building undoubtedly will help us attract additional industry partners.”

“We will always be grateful for their support and trust, as we are to the many public and private partners that helped the Clemson team make this incredible project a reality,” he said.

The versatility of the facilities will enable Clemson engineers to engage in an array of mechanical and electrical systems testing for a broad range of energy markets. Such a unique environment means Clemson students will experience an education that goes far beyond a traditional classroom environment.

Testing and research at the Innovation Center will encompass many facets of the electrical market to help transform the electrical infrastructure into a more distributed, resilient and efficient system. Focus areas include energy storage; solar energy; wind energy; traditional energy sources, such as natural gas and diesel systems; smart-grid and micro-grid technologies; fuel cells; aerospace systems; electric vehicle charging systems; grid security; and others.

The Innovation Center also will house engineers with two partner companies: Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and FEV Inc. SRNL will conduct research into grid security and resilience. Germany-based FEV, a leading developer of advanced powertrain and vehicle system technologies whose North American headquarters are in Detroit, will establish a research and development center of excellence at CURI.

John Kelly, Clemson University vice president for economic development, also made two important personnel announcements.

Nikolaos Rigas, who helped lead the testing facility grant application, and the facility’s design and implementation, was named executive director of the Restoration Institute. Rigas previously was associate director of the campus.

Curtiss Fox, the former Clemson student who envisioned the groundbreaking grid simulator, was named director of operations for the eGRID center. During a graduate student internship at the Restoration Institute and then as a Ph.D. student, Fox developed his ideas to use the electricity generated by the drivetrain testing facility to create a laboratory that allows electrical equipment testing on a scale unavailable at any other facility.

Kelly said the Innovation campus’ capabilities, and the partnerships it will create, will help generate what lies at the project’s heart: ideas. From its onset, the testing facility’s core mission was to speed innovation to market. Such innovation is borne from collaboration. These projects are indicative of what creates a knowledge economy for the Charleston region, and the state. Both the drivetrain testing facility and the grid simulator are the largest and most-advanced technologies in the world, Kelly said.

“The grid simulator is the perfect example of what can happen when free thinking and creativity is allowed to flourish,” Kelly said. “In this case, we had a Clemson student who worked with senior engineers and researchers and ended up developing a project that could change the world. People like Nick Rigas and Curtiss Fox, and the many others who helped make the facility a reality, are the epitome of what this campus stands for — and why it is such a success.”

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman said, “Developing America’s vast renewable energy resources is an important part of the Energy Department’s ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy to pave the way to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. The Clemson testing facility represents a critical investment to ensure America leads in this fast-growing global industry – helping to make sure the best, most efficient wind energy technologies are developed and manufactured in the United States.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

North Charleston City Gallery to Exhibit Works by The Village Artists

The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to announce that works by The Village Artists, an artist collective based in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant, will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from December 2-28, 2013. The group, which includes Margaret Connell-de Ruyter, Jane Hart, Ann Marie McKay, Lorie Merryman, Ryoko Miller, Faye Sullivan and Ginny Versteegen, will host a free public reception at the gallery from 5:00-7:00pm on Thursday, December 5. Musical entertainment for the reception will be provided by pianist Steve Jacobs.

For many years The Village Artists have gathered to paint, critique, organize exhibits and interact as professional artists. In their month-long exhibition, titled Inspired, the group will present a collection of paintings and drawings in a diverse range of styles and media, including representational, abstract, still-life, figurative studies and landscapes in watercolor, oils, pastels and acrylics. In addition to original work, the artists will also have prints and notecard sets available for sales.

The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in the common areas of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free during regular Convention Center operating hours, 9:00am – 5:00pm daily. The gallery is staffed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only. Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at

About the Artists
A native of Aruba, Margaret Connell-de Ruyter, is a naturalized citizen educated in Vermont, Boston and Charleston. She has exhibited at the Prince Art Gallery, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Charleston Artist Gallery, the College of Charleston Salon de Refuse Art Show, and various venues in St. Petersburg, Florida. Margaret is inspired to paint the wonders of the natural world. She uses acrylic on canvas with effects and color to achieve what she sees and feels. Margaret’s series is painted in an impressionist abstract style featuring water, earth, wind and fire. Although her paintings show destructive forces at times, they are always beautiful, conveying the majesty and force of nature.

Oil painter and pastelist Jane D. Hart’s work is held by private collectors throughout the U.S. and has been exhibited in both juried and invitational exhibitions, including the Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibition in Charleston, SC. Born in southern Illinois and having lived in many states, Hart now claims Charleston and its beautiful landscapes as her home. As Hart says, “To me, composition is key to a successful; painting. This is what draws the viewer to an image from across the room, whether the image is representational or abstract. What keeps me excited about painting is that it is a constant learning process. Painting from life contributes to this learning process as it inspires me to try to capture the light and see color accurately – a great challenge, and never boring.” Her paintings can be viewed at

After a career as a college English teacher, Ann Marie McKay became an active member of the Mt. Pleasant and Charleston art communities. She has exhibited her work at Brookgreen Gardens, Mt. Pleasant Town Hall, Old Santee Canal Park Fine Arts Exhibition, and the Lowcountry Senior Arts Festival. She has been featured artist twice at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery at 160 East Bay Street, where her work can currently be viewed. McKay prefers to work in plein air on location, using oil for landscapes. She also uses pastel and watercolor for colorful interpretations of people, places and animals. Collaborating with author Julie McLaughlin, Ann Marie has illustrated three children’s books: Hungry Mr. Gator, Mr. Gator’s Up the Creek and Mr. Gator Hits the Beach.

Drawn to the beauty and architecture of the Charleston area, Lorie Merryman recently arrived on the Lowcountry arts scene from Atlanta, Georgia, and is a member of the Mt. Pleasant and Charleston Artist Guilds. A representational artist, Lorie works in oils and paints plein air landscapes, figures, portraits and still-life. Her work has been in numerous shows and won awards at the Atlanta Artists Center, twice in the Hudson Valley Art Association’s annual exhibitions, and as a solo artist at the Brown Gallery at Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her paintings are held in private collections across the U.S. and Australia and can be viewed at

Ryoko Miller, native of Sapporo, Japan, discovered her passion for painting in Charleston. Recently, she studied at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, and came back inspired to rediscover the beauty she sees in the world and recreate it with her own interpretation. Her skills and talent are shown in representational work such as her Sweetgrass Basket series. Her subjects include portraits, plein air landscapes, still-life and animals. She has received numerous awards from the Mt. Pleasant Artist Guild, the First Federal Bank People’s Choice Art Exhibits, Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Show, the North Charleston Arts Festival, and the Mt. Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet Festival. Her work can be seen at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery or online at

Originally from Virginia, Faye Sullivan moved to the Lowcountry from Massachusetts after a career as an art teacher at middle school and high school levels. Her goal as a landscape and seascape painter is for the viewer to experience the beauty and the open expanses which surround them. In some paintings she tries to express the excitement of a vibrant sunset or in others the peacefulness of an empty beach. The one element all of her paintings seem to have in common is her love of water. Sullivan is inspired by water and finds it to be the ultimate chameleon as it reflects the clouds, time of day, wind, sky and shore. An active member of the Charleston, Ion and Mt. Pleasant Artist Guilds, her paintings can be seen at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery and online at

Ginny Versteegen has painted and taught art in the United States and Europe. In fact, her oil paintings are like anecdotes in her life. They tell the story of what inspires her, from simple to complex. Working in plein air and in her studio in Mt. Pleasant, SC, Versteegen interprets her surroundings using vivid colors as she paints the ever-changing beauty of the Lowcountry. While traveling, she carries a limited palette of paints and her outdoor easel. Around every corner she finds inspiration for another painting. Ginny Versteegen’s award-winning oil paintings may be found in many private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe. To see more paintings, visit or the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery at 160 East Bay Street in Charleston.