Culture watch

Passing The Baton

They say old symphony conductors never die, they just fade away. But that’s a lie: Sometimes they just retire. Such is the case with near-legendary conductor and symphony artistic director David Effron, who announced last year he’d be giving up the post he’s held for 11 years at Brevard Music Center, effective in late 2007. The scope of Effron’s career is vast, but he’s not exactly being replaced by a wet-behind-the-ears whelp. It was recently announced that Boston Pops conductor and Utah Symphony Music Director Keith Lockhart will take over for Effron, signing a five-year contract to lead as many as four concerts each summer. It seems to be a fairly reliable gig, too — Lockhart will be only the fourth person to lead the BMC program in its 70-year history.

Carolina Cabin Fever

There’s an argument in the creative culture that goes something like this: Good art can be made anywhere, out of anything, if only you can see with unclouded eyes. What’s funny about that assertion is how rarely it tends to be applied to Upstate South Carolina. Well, for the last decade, the South Carolina State Park Service has been desperately trying to find visual artists who are willing to put their abstract beliefs on the line by camping in a cabin somewhere in the Palmetto State. The 2007 Artist-In-Residence Program is kind of a bare-bones barter affair, with the selected artist trading an original, S.C.-parks-inspired work for a week of seclusion — but it beats the heck out of couch surfing. The deadline to apply isn’t until Oct. 31, so you’ve still got plenty of time to, you know, find your vision. Learn more by calling (864) 878-9813 or by e-mailing

You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Rhododendron

The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design was recently honored for the design of its Bell Rhododendron public-art project on the Perry N. Rudnick Nature Trail. Designed by David Tillinghast, the project beat out more than 180 submissions of public art from across the country to be included in the Public Art Network’s 2006 Year in Review. It’s a spiffy honor, given only to 40 such programs each year — but the prize isn’t exactly cause for a happy-spasm. Photos and a description of the CCCD’s Bell Rhododendron project (which is actually quite innovative) will be included on a CD-ROM, which will be sent to other public arts groups in hopes of giving them inferiority complexes. Readers suffering from dendrophobia and botanophobia can check out images from the safety of their plantless homes by visiting


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