Though it has been a little over two years since the tragedy that occurred at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, the effects of this horrific event have stretched beyond Charleston, permeating the state and every corner of the nation. Local names and figures have been weaved into history and filtered into a stimulating dialogue of race, violence and forgiveness.
Touched by this narrative, the Collectors of Wood Art (CWA), a nonprofit organization founded 20 years ago; acknowledges the gravity of the Emanuel A.M.E. massacre.
Committed to the development and appreciation of studio wood art, CWA’s mission is to not only increase awareness and appreciation of wood as an artistic expression, but also to support scholarship in the wood art arena. Passionate about their work, the nonprofit recently gathered in Charleston to experience the rich history, culture and art of the Holy City. It was there that minister Richard Hogue of Summerville’s Bethany United Methodist Church hosted an art show held at the Mary Martin Gallery addressing the Emanuel AME tragedy. The show honored the nine lives who were sadly lost June 17, 2015, with artists showcasing their latest works, in addition to exhibiting a piece of art in a mini-exhibit called In Remembrance that responded to and interpreted the church massacre.
The group had a gathering in 2016 to see the art show and tour the Charleston area, where they learned about Coastal Community Foundation’s response to the Emanuel AME tragedy. Created by an anonymous group of donors in 2015, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney Scholarship Program was established to promote higher learning and to develop young leaders in the black community.
Moved, the group collected funds to contribute to this program on behalf of CWA, supporting a mission that Richard Hogue and the late Reverend Pinckney found to be highly meaningful – higher education.
We want to thank Collectors of Wood Art for their unexpected gift to the Reverend Clementa Pinckney Scholarship Program. It was touching to receive their note, and to know that members felt inspired to give in honor of the lives lost and in honor of the resilience of the Charleston community.