House 110 candidates on growth, infrastructure and education
By Charleston Mercury Staff
So much of the land we love here in the Lowcountry is covered by South Carolina House District 110 — Historic Downtown Charleston and much of Mt. Pleasant’s Old Village, Shem Creek and Hobcaw. For many of us, this is home. For all of us, it’s the core of our region’s past and present and future; these are the key places that attract millions of visitors from around the world. Thus, it is of paramount importance for voters to make right the decision about who will represent some of the finest jewels in the Lowcountry crown.
The Prince of Tides — Preston Hipp
The Face of Charleston with Johnna Spinks
Painted by international artist Johanna Spinks, this series is entitled the Face of Charleston; Charlestonian Katherine Mengedoht is the co-creator. The purpose of this public art project is to highlight our city by offering the portrait and story of one individual per month. Each portrait is painted in a single two-hour sitting with no further adjustments or changes. Johanna, Katherine and the subject get to know each other during the sitting and the life story of the sitter is gleaned from their time together. This is award-winning portraitist Johanna Spinks’ third installment of “The Face of…” project. To find out more, go to www.johannaspinks.com.
Johanna and I arrived at the Tradd Street home of Preston and Laura Hipp just as they were finishing lunch and preparing for the sitting. Laura and I moved a few pieces of furniture and spread newspaper over the ancient oriental rugs. As we transformed the Hipp living room into Johanna’s studio, Preston settled into a chair by the fireplace and was highly entertained by our quest to make him feel “at home” in his own home.
Preston Hipp has lived in Charleston his entire life. He did admit going away for college, then a brief winter trip to Colorado with a friend to ski and one year in Hilton Head. For virtually his entire life, Preston has lived and loved Charleston. His family lived on James Island until he was nine and his playground was The Country Club of Charleston as well as the houses under construction in the neighborhood. When the family moved to Murray Boulevard in the summer of 1968, his best pal, Barre Butler, also moved with his family onto the peninsula. A new playground was discovered — Hazel Parker Playground and The Carolina Yacht Club.
What is your favorite aspect of Charleston?
Charleston is so unique in the way that it is still an agricultural marvel. Growing up — and even now — there are many people with land outside the city. The country, river and beach properties allow for great exploration.
Name and land ownership has always been important in Charleston. If someone was (or is) having a tough time financially, friends always look past it and pull together to have a good time. Fun has always been more important than financial position.
What would you change about Charleston?
Preston states that the commercialization of Charleston has been wonderful to the economic fabric of our community, but he feels that one of the worst side effects is that we are losing our small town quaintness. Our success as a city is a great thing, but if we are not careful, the basic makeup of our society will deteriorate and we could suddenly be Anytown, USA.
How was your experience with Johanna?
Preston said he was amazed at her energy. She was able to carry on a meaningful conversation and paint at the same time! Her energy was felt throughout the entire house. All in all, it was a great day and I love the portrait.
A special thanks for hospitality for Johanna Spinks graciously provided by Palas Hospitality.
Visiting artists to bring talents to renovated Gibbes
Under the Dome
By Lasley Poe Steever
In a few short weeks, the Gibbes Museum will reopen after a $13.5 million renovation. We cannot wait to rehang the collection that has been in storage for the past two years and are excited to present two special exhibitions — Beyond Catfish Row: The Art of Porgy and Bess and The Things We Carry: Contemporary Art in the South — in partnership with Spoleto Festival USA. The public is invited to the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand reopening on Saturday, May 28 (museum members get a preview on May 27). Visitors won’t believe the new Education Center, completely refurbished galleries and the redesigned garden in the rear of the building. The first-floor creative center — a mix of classrooms, artist studios, a lecture hall and reception area — will be a brand new experience for the staff and visitors alike; our new Visiting Artist series will be a focal point.
New Yorker cartoonist quite the draw at Library Society
By Dottie Ashley
Some have defined cartoons as “jokes on paper,” a medium that often express an idea more succinctly than does the spoken word.
Charm found in all shapes and sizes
By Robert Salvo
Writers, this one included, often fall into traps of all sorts. One of the most pernicious is the use of hackneyed word pairs, twinned for their own sake: Rare breed, charmed life, stately home. Is the home truly “stately,” or is it just old and architecturally pleasant? Although many houses in historic Charleston are appropriately grand and imposing, the truly stately dwellings are fewer in number.
Local company’s chic sunwraps offer style, protection
By Patra Taylor
After her son Sam was born, Jennifer Horton settled comfortably into the role of stay-at-home mom, loving every minute she spent taking care of her Mount Pleasant home and family that also included husband, Greg and daughters Anne-Gregory and Zella. Beyond their day-to-day routines, the Horton family enjoys an active outdoor lifestyle that includes long days at the beach, leisurely afternoons cruising Lowcountry rivers aboard their boat and as many Clemson football games as they can squeeze into their schedules.