Regional Arts Presence
With an arts faculty of national and international recognition, the college is also a regional arts resource. The public is welcome to all events, many of which are free or have a minimal charge. Most of the USC art departments and programs -- the School of Visual Art and Design (SVAD), the McMaster Gallery, the McKissick Museum, Theatre South Carolina, the USC Dance program, Center for Experimental Theatre, and the Open Book Annual Literary Series -- are part of the college. We are proud that art, theatre, dance, and the McKissick Museum hold prestigious accreditation status from their major governing associations.
The SVAD's McMaster Gallery stages four major exhibitions a year, featuring invited regional and national artists, the Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, and a series of MFA exhibitions. Our student gallery hosts around a dozen shows per year, and there are numerous student film screenings. SVAD sponsors up to twenty visiting artists and scholarly presentations per year, which often include demonstrations, workshops, and screenings in addition to a public talk. Every week, 60-80 young art students, ages 5-18, come and take classes taught by our art education students.
McKissick Museum tells the “story of Southern life—community, culture, and the environment” through six major exhibitions a year drawn from our extensive permanent collection, regional and national loans, and faculty and student research. We present 15-20 public programs annually (lectures, films, performances) and offer numerous public tours. McKissick houses the South Carolina Broadcaster’s Association Archives and the Folklife Resource Center, a Southern fieldwork repository. The museum’s educational programming includes sponsorship of a graduate Museum Management Certificate and extensive curriculum-based programming that serves approximately 2000 undergraduates from departments across the university.
Our acclaimed Theatre South Carolina produces ten theatre productions annually (about 70 performances a year) on the MainStage, the UG Laboratory Theatre, and the Center for Experimental Theatre. We host visiting professional actors and directors for all major performances. The USC Dance program produces six dance concerts each year, including the Ballet Stars of New York. During the last several years, we have hosted special dance companies such as Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Every summer, we host summer drama and dance conservatories for young performers.
With the Open Book series, hosted by Professor Elise Blackwell, the College of Arts and Sciences is building a reputation in the community and the writing world for offering high quality, engaging literary experiences. The Open Book draws capacity audiences to attend a Monday night book discussion, which is led by an Arts and Sciences faculty member, and a presentation with an acclaimed fiction writer the following Wednesday evening. Students in the MFA creative writing program benefit, as well, through a master’s writing class held with each visiting author.