February 26, 2015

The Dance of the Gar Fish at SCSU

South Carolina State University has seen troubles. But this February the state legislature upped the anti by voting to close the institution for two years, opening again only if its fiscal house is ordered. My own personal reaction to this was to first wonder at the timing of this pronouncement in Black History Month. Coincidence? Or just bad manners?

For now, the enforced closing appears to be on hold in the face of administrative shake-ups. I do hope that SCSU will be able, somehow, to get its fiscal house in order. There is much about the university that is worth preserving. The I.P. Stanback Museum, the theatre, music and arts departments come to mind first, albeit on account of my artist’s bias. There are great holdings of African and African American art at the Stanback. The music department does incredible work, with graduates often moving on to international careers in performance. The best dance performance I ever saw, and I’ve been around the world, was at South Carolina State University.

Some of the dancers I knew some years ago at South Carolina State University posed for me when I was creating a visual arts project involving the gar fish. The recent debacle with SCSU’s precarious fiscal position made me think of those dancers once again. I wanted to post a drawing or two of them. I searched my archive, however, and only found photographs and a previously posted ceramic piece. So conjured up a new drawing based upon my photographs. An original photo is at right.

Won’t a Deus Ex Machina, a Sugar Daddy, or a Sugar Mother arrive on the scene and help set things right for this beleaguered university? Creative ingenuity needs to continue to grow and thrive.

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