Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards
April 4 through June 11, 2nd floor lobby
The South Carolina Folk Heritage Award was created by the South Carolina Legislature in 1987 to recognize lifetime achievement in the traditional arts. In 1997 the name was changed to the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in memory of state representative Harris’ long-time support of South Carolina’s cultural heritage. Along with The Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award is a part of The South Carolina Arts Awards Program.
This annual exhibition reflects award winners from years past whose work is part of McKissick Museum’s collection. The display, like the award, recognizes individuals or groups who have used their lives to create beauty and meaning for their communities and the state as a whole in ways that are significant because they have lasted, often for hundreds of years. Winners of the award represent those who have demonstrated excellence in a folk art tradition and enriched the lives of persons in their community through their unique talents. McKissick Museum and the South Carolina Arts Commission administer the awards process; an advisory panel appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House selects the winners.
As part of its ongoing mission to document the traditions and acquire objects significant to the Southeast’s cultural and natural history, McKissick Museum continually works to expand its collections of Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award winners, as well as work by recipients of the National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. McKissick Museum brings attention to these individuals and groups through this yearly exhibition, demonstrating how vital this program of the South Carolina Arts Commission is to the cultural communities of the Southeast.
Image: Georgia Harris, Vase, 1979, ceramic, National Heritage Fellowship recipient (NEA, 1997, Catawba Pottery) and grandmother of Chief Bill Harris (FHA winner, Catawba Pottery, 2016)