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Gullah show, photography display happening on Friday

Colleton residents can soon enjoy a special art exhibit and Gullah musical performance, both of which are honoring black leaders who have influenced our nation’s history.
On Friday, the Colleton Civic Center is presenting a photography showcase entitled the Gullah-Africa Link. It is from LyBensons Gallery of Beaufort. The gallery is owned by former S.C. Rep. Kenneth Hodges, who previously represented Colleton County in the S.C. House of Representatives. The gallery itself carries the names of Hodges’ parents – Lydia and Benjamin Hodges – who he says were his biggest supporters.
In addition to his service as a politician and as a pastor, Hodges is also a lifelong photographer.
He has owned the art gallery since he graduated from college in the 1960s.
This Friday, Hodges will be featuring some of his own photography, which includes candid shots of renowned black leaders. The artwork that will be featured inside the local civic center includes Maya Angelou, Loretta King and Rosa Parks. Hodges took all of the photographs of these leaders.
According to information released on Monday by the Colleton Civic Center, the upcoming presentation will also include Hodges’ sharing stories about his journey as a photographer in the nearby Gullah communities of Seabrook and Bennetts Point.
He will also discuss the growing interest in the Gullah culture and what ties this has to Colleton County, according to Colleton Civic Center Executive Director Jean Harrigal.
The art display will be open to local schools on Friday, Feb. 22nd and will open to the public at 5 p.m.
It will also conclude with a live performance by Dr. Marlena Smalls. Smalls is a known Gullah musician and storyteller. Called “Voice of Gullah,” that performance is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday.
“Dr. Smalls, a classically-trained lyric soprano, has spent the last 25 years performing Gullah music rooted in the rich heritage her West African ancestors brought to the sea islands of South Carolina and George more than 300 years ago,” as stated in a press release issued by the Colleton Civic Center on the performance.
In addition to her career as a soloist, she is also known for playing the role of Bubba’s mama in the movie “Forest Gump.”
The exhibit is free and will open at 5 p.m. in the Gallery of the Colleton Civic Center, which is located at 494 Hampton Street in Walterboro.
Tickets are required for the presentation and performance by both Hodges and Smalls. This will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.
“We are delighted to offer this special event, and are looking forward to having Rev. Hodges back with us and to welcome Dr. Smalls for an evening of art, education and music,” said Harrigal.
The daylong event is part of the civic center’s honoring Black History Month, which is celebrated nationally throughout the month of February.
For more information on this event, or to purchase tickets, go to www.colletoncivic.org.

Heather Walters (1487 Posts)