News Column

Concerts, exhibits round out arts center's summer

July 16, 2014

Aiken Standard, S.C.

July 16--Concerts and exhibits are upcoming at the Aiken Center for the Arts this summer.

Aiken Center for the Arts is at 122 Laurens St. S.W.

For more information, call 803-641-9094 or visit

July events


Now until Aug. 2, the art of Center's students and faculty and the art of the Center's summer campers are hung in the galleries.

Hung in the Aiken Artist Guild Gallery is the work of Bill Updegraff.

Updegraff is a member of the Kentucky Watercolor Society, Indiana Watercolor Society and the Watercolor Society of Alabama, according the Aiken Artist Guild website.

He is a member with excellence of the South Carolina Watermedia Society.

Updegraff began painting over thirty years ago.

His works are in private collections, corporate collections and the permanent collection of the Sheldon Swope Gallery in Terre Haute, Indiana. The artist has held solo shows in the Lander University Gallery, the McCormick Arts at Keturah Gallery and the Greenwood Arts Council Gallery in South Carolina.

Updegraff has "held several watercolor classes and taught workshops over the past 20 years," according to the Aiken Artist Guild website.

He currently is teaching watercolor classes in Greenwood, Anderson and McCormick.

For more information on the Guild, visit

For more information on Updegraff, visit


On July 31 at 7:30 p.m., classical guitarist Jeff Bianchi will give his one-hour concert.

The concert is part of his summer concert schedule in which he will also perform in Wyoming, Minnesota, Alabama and Georgia.

"I am very excited to have the opportunity to perform in Aiken and bring the classical guitar to a new audience," Bianchi said. "I have always enjoyed playing in South Carolina. The audiences have always been fantastic and receptive to the guitar. Having the opportunity to come to Aiken will be a great addition to this year's concert schedule."

Tickets are $10 for Center-members and $15 for non-Center members.

Bianchi has performed at the Rantucci International Guitar Festival as well as the nationally-recognized Ithaca Guitar Festival.

As a native of Williamson, New York, this guitarist began performing at weddings and cafes while still in his teens.

His concerts continued with his move to Atlanta in the summer of 2002.

From 2005 to 2007, Bianchi took a personal hiatus to tour nationally with country acts Young Guns and Chace Roberts.

On his return home, the musician resumed his solo performances. By 2009, he was touring throughout Georgia, playing in places such as Savannah, Tybee Island, Toccoa, Richmond, Duluth, and Hartwell.

The positive reactions he received gave him a goal to take his music to a much wider audience, according to a release.

In February of 2010, Bianchi undertook his first cross-country solo tour.

Bianchi's current repertoire includes a variety of works by Ferdinand Ignace Hinterleithner, Leo Brower, Fernando Sor and William Lovelady.

For more information on Bianchi, visit

August events


On Aug. 4., the Center's summer camp exhibit will continue, but the month's Aiken Artist Guild exhibitor will be Colleen Morgan.

A free gallery opening reception will be on Aug. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The exhibits will be on display until Aug. 30.

Last month, Morgan placed at the Aiken Artist Guild membership show.

A Lexington native, this photographer is the daughter of famed artists Danny and Mundina O'Driscoll.

"Spending the weekends going with them to art shows, I grew up surrounded by all different aspects of art, and with our Irish heritage came my love of nature. I dabbled in pen and ink, coloured pencil, photography, poetry, writing, music, and dance, finally settling on photography when my father gave me a Canon Rebel digital camera for my 16th birthday," Morgan said via her website.

Her photographs have been displayed at Juniper Restaurant in Ridge Spring, at The Neighbor's Cafe in Batesburg and at the Batesburg-Leesville Public Library, according to a release.

Morgan is also featured in the book "Signs of Life."

For more information on Morgan, visit


On Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m., award-winning pianists Susan Zhang and Zachary Hughes will perform.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the show.

"With their musical dynamism and powerful chemistry on stage, Hughes and Zhang bring to life a captivating program of Barber, Beethoven, Ravel, Stravinsky, Kapustin, Gershwin and Art Tatum," as stated in a release.

Both are Southeastern Piano Festival alumni and played at the festival last month, according to the event's website.

Zhang has been featured as a soloist with the South Carolina Philharmonic and the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, according to a release.

When she was 12, this female pianist made her orchestral debut with the Augusta Symphony.

She has performed nation-wide and beyond in locations like Canada, China, Venezuela and Spain.

Among his other accolades, Hughes placed first in the 2011 Arthur Fraser International Concerto Competition, according to the Southeastern Piano Festival website.

Working on his bachelor of music degree in piano performance at The Juilliard School, Hughes has studied with Ann Holler, Fabio Parrini, Chih-Long Hu and Jerome Lowenthal.

He has performed with several orchestras like the South Carolina Philharmonic and has performed solo in cities such as New York, Kyoto and Paris.

For more information on either artist, visit


(c)2014 the Aiken Standard (Aiken, S.C.)

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Source: Aiken Standard (SC)

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