Upstate artist Ric Standridge will mesmerize the audience with his artistic talents as he paints to live, gospel-themed music in Lander University's Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium, March 20, at 6 p.m.
The performance, titled "The Gospel Show," will be a spectacular fusion of art and music - from hymns inspired by life on the plantation to the melodies of Liverpool, including "Up Above My Head," "Peace in the Valley" and "Let It Be." With paintbrush in hand, Standridge will translate the powerful emotions behind these songs - performed by Lander and Greenwood musicians - into a kaleidoscope of colors on canvas. The paintings will be auctioned at the end of the show, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Lander Foundation to form the Adell Standridge Art and Music Scholarship in memory of Standridge's mother.
Standridge began creating art at an early age. His first inspiration was his mother, Adell Standridge, who often brought materials home from work for him to use for drawing. A teacher in the Simpsonville public school system later recognized Standridge's talent and encouraged him to hone his skills in college. As a direct result, Standridge attended Lander in the 1970s and noted his time at the university - and the people he met while there - as major influences on his art career.
"My time as a student at Lander gave me invitations to places in life that I never would have been invited to otherwise," said Standridge. "It taught me to see the credibility in and understand the value of my work. That's what Lander did for me then and that's what it continues to do today. Hopefully this scholarship will help do the same for other young artists."
Since his time at Lander, Standridge has left his mark in the Upstate community as founding director of the South Carolina Children's Theatre and as a recruiting director for the S.C. Governor's School for the Arts. Standridge owns and operates two studios and galleries in Greenville. His paintings have been exhibited throughout the Southeast, and his works are sought-after by private and corporate collectors.
Tickets for "The Gospel Show" are $40 for individuals and $75 for couples. A reception with wine and heavy hors d'oeuvres will take place just prior to the show in the Abney Cultural Center Johnston Commons. The reception will also feature a silent auction of Standridge's work. To purchase tickets contact The Peace Center box office in Greenville by calling 864-467-3000 or 800-888-7768, or visit their Web site at www.peacecenter.org. Tickets can also be purchased from Lander's Office of the President by calling 864-388-8300.