On opening night of her week-long exhibit on Jan. 8 at Hed Hi Media, Taylor Faulkner — the 2021 Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year — unveiled “Small Breaks Vol. II” the works she created over the past year with the $6,000 grant that accompanies the award. The collection will be on display through Jan. 15.
The 38” x 50” pieces featuring soft pastels and charcoal on paper depict surf culture in the Lowcountry, mimicking the laid-back energy of this region. Faulkner said the pieces are inspired by the colors of the marsh along the southern coastline, from North Carolina to Georgia.
“I wanted to showcase surfing in the Lowcountry,” she said. “I want people to have a glimpse of how beautiful our surf culture is down here, because when you think of this part of the country not many people think of surfing.”
The grant, established at CCF in 2003 by donors Mike Griffith and Donna Reyburn, is awarded to one visual artist each year to support the creation of a new work that represents unique aspects of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s lifestyle, culture or environment.
“Taylor creatively stepped outside the box and selected surfing as her vision of the breadth of what the area has to offer,” said Griffith and Reyburn. “As you might guess, she is a surfer herself, and has captured the grace, beauty, and excitement of surfing in several of her paintings.”
For Faulkner, the award also gave her the opportunity to travel around the Lowcountry region and connect to the water in a more freeing way — meeting new people and surfing new breaks.
“It gave me new confidence,” said Faulkner. “To be recognized for my art, and the direction I want to take it.”
Faulkner, who has been showing her work since high school, studied media arts at the University of South Carolina for two years before leaving to pursue her love of fine arts. She then immersed herself within the arts community in Charleston, appearing in a solo show at Redux Contemporary Art Center in 2019 and connecting with local creatives, while learning and growing in her practice. You can follow the artist and her work on Instagram at @t.faulkner_art and online at www.tfaulknerart.com.
The Lowcountry Artist of the Year Award of Coastal Community Foundation is intended to provide financial support to cover the artist’s living expenses during the creation of the piece, allowing more time and energy to be spent on the artistic process. Once completed, the work remains the personal property of the artist, to keep, show or sell at his or her discretion.