Greenville Center for Creative Arts (GCCA) revealed the incoming class of the Brandon Fellowship at its Annual Showcase on August 5. The Fellowship is a 12-month program that aims to develop three emerging artists between the ages of 21 to 30 who represent the diversity of the Greenville visual arts community. Now in its eighth year, the program provides free studio space, a stipend for supplies, a supportive environment, mentorship, and art education, including professional development resources, to help these artists thrive in the next step of their education, career, or business.
“We’ve had such strong candidates apply for the Brandon Fellowship this year, representing the breadth of talents and perspectives of young Greenville artists,” says Kevin Kao, the chair of the Brandon Fellowship selection committee. “We’re so excited to present our new fellows and cannot wait to see the impact that they will have with GCCA as well as the greater Greenville community.”
Orlando Corona is a Greenville based oil painter and printmaker, born in Mexico. His artwork is based on his Mexican culture and as a first generation immigrant in the U.S. While only having 3 years of experience, he has been in several galleries since the age of 17, and has studied under several local artists. His favorite artists include Diego Rivera, a Mexican muralist; Posada, a printmaker; and Pablo Picasso. Orlando strives to create impactful art that can be shared with others. Art is his creative way of communicating his thoughts and speaking to the world.
A self-taught painter and mixed-media artist, Faith Hudgens grew up in Greenville and has worked professionally as a highly regarded tattoo artist since establishing her practice in 2017. Her paintings are vibrant, emotional, and layered with spirituality. She has participated in exhibitions at Greenville Technical College and the Commerce Club. Faith is an uplifter in her community and volunteers regularly with Miracle Hill Ministries hosting art classes for young girls in foster care. Faith has also hosted PRIDE events with Upstate Pride SC and donates art to organizations that support women and the LGBTQ+ community. Faith’s overarching goal is to cultivate positive change through her art and specifically, to use art as a platform to propel Greenville forward in unity, cultural diversity, and minority inclusion.
RaAmen (Rah-Mēn) Stallings Is an aspiring creative who is passionate about all forms of art. He is a graduate of both Greenville Senior High Academy and Greenville Technical College where he received an associate’s in Business Administration. Although he has worked professionally as a photographer since launching his business in 2020, RaAmen is now focused on developing his skills as a painter. He is committed to expanding his artistic practice and believes strongly in the power of art as a way to inspire and facilitate community and conversation.
This year’s Brandon Fellowship selection committee included chair Kevin Kao, sculptor and Assistant Professor of Art at Furman University; Danielle Fontaine, encaustic artist and Brandon Fellowship Founder; Rhonda Rawlings, a GCCA board member and community director for Mill Village Ministries; Nick Burns, painter and mixed-media artist and alumnus of the Brandon Fellows class of 2020; Patricia DeLeon, painter and mixed-media artist; and Kara Bale, operations manager for GCCA who oversees the Fellowship program.
“I couldn’t be more excited about our new fellows,” says Kara Bale, who oversees the program at GCCA. “It was a very challenging selection process as we had so many talented and deserving applicants, but I feel the committee did an excellent job and selected three individuals who strongly reflect GCCA’s mission to enrich the cultural fabric of our community. Each has already used their art to grow community and further important conversations so it will be amazing to see what they accomplish within the supportive structure of the fellowship.”
Previous Brandon Fellows alumni have gone on to become full-time working artists, designers, participants in Artisphere and other festivals, graduate students, artists-in-residence, instructors, community muralists, published artists, grant recipients, and award winners.
An exhibition featuring the work of the 2021-22 Brandon Fellows, Kim Le, Sienna Patterson, and Terrell Washington is on display through Sept. 28 in GCCA’s Main Gallery. Kim Le’s work comes from the ugly, wounded and abject parts of a young girl’s psyche, reappropriating the common language of cuteness that little girls use to cope with their pain to connect to the furious and wretched spirit of young girls and women everywhere who’ve been beaten down by the world around them. Through expressive imagery and journal entries, Sienna Patterson explores the concept of the fool’s journey through the lens of her personal experiences. Depiction the trials of self and the price that we pay to develop the ego to surpass the ego and to transcend the ego. Terrell Washington’s “Genesis: Omens and Decisions of Existence”, features Abrahamic beliefs and highlights the realness of prayer, our blessings and curses, human nature, while putting people of melanin at the center of it all. This exhibition can be viewed during GCCA’s open hours Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
To learn more about the Brandon Fellowship, visit https://artcentergreenville.org/brandon-fellowship/.
Greenville Center for Creative Arts is a non-profit organization that aims to enrich the cultural fabric of the community through visual arts promotion, education, and inspiration. For more information, visit www.artcentergreenville.org, call 864-735-3948, or check out GCCA on Facebook (Greenville Center for Creative Arts) & Instagram (@artcentergvl).