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    Authentic: Harriett Green

    The South Carolina Arts Commission has three goals: to support artist development, to establish the arts as an integral part of South Carolina’s education system, and to encourage arts development in communities around the state. Working at the Arts Commission as they take steps to accomplish these goals is Harriett Green.
    “The work at the Arts Commission is really interesting and involved,” Harriett said. “It feels good when you can make a difference in an artist’s life. Just talking with artists, working with them, and seeing that lightbulb go off makes it all worthwhile.”
     
    Harriett, as the Director of Visual Arts at the South Carolina Arts Commission, works with visual artists, museums, galleries, colleges, and art centers around the state. She also serves as a County Coordinator in Anderson, Lancaster, Lee, Kershaw, Oconee, Pickens, Sumter, and York counties where she consults with art leaders and others on a variety of topics including planning, exhibitions, public art, grant advisement, and more.
     
    In addition, Harriett serves as the State Art Collection Curator, which was one of the things that attracted her to the Assistant Visual Arts Director position at the Arts Commission thirty years ago. “I was the registrar and later the assistant curator at the Columbia Museum of Art from 1980 to 1989,” Harriett said. “As a registrar at the museum, I worked directly with the art collection and I was excited about the idea of having that continuity at the Arts Commission with the State Art Collection.”
     
    Since 1989, when Harriett began working at the Arts Commission, the local art scene around Columbia has gone through expansive change. “There was once a time when you knew exactly what was happening in Columbia and the artist or the organization behind it. Today, things are different. There are many artists and organizations working together in a crowded field with a lot going on.”
     
    “The art scene in Columbia is energized,” Harriet said. “It’s constantly changing and it’s hard to keep up with. Now we have many choices which is good because it means that there’s a lot going on all the time. It all points to a growing city, and I’m excited to see the interest spreading outside of city center. We now have 701 Center for Contemporary Art in the Mill District. Then there is Stormwater Studios, One Eared Cow Glass, and Lewis+Clark on Huger Street. Across the street is the Columbia Music Festival Association on Pulaski Street. In the North Main Street area, we now have Indie Grits Labs. That’s what is really exciting about Columbia’s art scene—it shows growth for our city.”