Artists among us
at the arts council of scotland county
The Arts Council of Scotland County is committed to presenting a diverse selection of contemporary fine art, unique rotating exhibits, and community oriented events that support and promote visual arts. Our "Artists Among Us" gallery located within the Arts Council of Scotland County currently has open display spaces available for exhibitions!
We love showing off the work of the dedicated artists in our community and would love to have yours!!
Interested in being a showing artist? Have other questions?
Email us at email@example.com
Laurel Hillbillies Bluegrass Band
Storyteller, Gwen McNeil
I'm By returning to his roots, Tyris Jones discovered a new path in life. The Laurinburg native lived away from his hometown for years, but when he came back to live in Scotland County, he was inspired to combine his professional background and his family traditions into a new career as a storyteller.
Jones has always had a love for stories and performance. He remembers absorbing his older relatives’ stories from an early age. While other children were off playing, Jones remembers, “I’m the one that’s sitting on the porch . . . listening to everything [the older family members are] talking about.” The process of learning to read gave him an early appreciation for the written word. Early-childhood struggles with reading led to an intensive immersion in books, and as his skills grew the young Jones shared his love of books with his cousins.
'We would get the old discarded library books, and . . . [at] my grandmother’s picnic table . . . sit there and teach ourselves. Sometimes I was the lead teacher. Me and my cousins, we would rotate who would teach this and who would teach that—and I laugh today how it all come full-circle today, using storytelling as a craft.''
Jones’ affinity for narrative helped guide his path during his college years as well. At North Carolina Central University he received a BA in Theater Arts. In addition to learning about performance and the technical aspects of theater, while a student at Central, Jones was introduced to the work of pioneering folklorist and author Zora Neale Hurston, whose depictions of rural and small-town African American life resonated with his own heritage. He took part in an adaptation of Hurston’s Of Mules and Men for the stage, which he and his fellow students performed at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 1991. In the years immediately following college, Jones toured the United States and Europe with theater productions and as a lighting designer for a hip hop group.
After moving back home to Laurinburg, he worked as a substitute teacher, and then accepted a position as a teacher assistant. One day a colleague, knowing that Jones had a degree in theater, suggested that he tell a story to the children. His storytelling career began that day. Telling stories in the classroom led to performances at churches and festivals, at Laurinburg’s Storytelling and Arts Center of the Southeast, and many other venues and events.
Jones draws inspiration for his storytelling from many sources. He tells children and adults about the lives of important historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, and promotes literacy and a love of reading by sharing stories from a wide variety of books. He continues to be inspired by the work of Zora Neale Hurston, and enjoys introducing audiences to her rich body of work. “I think she’s right here on my shoulder when I step out,” he says. “I pay a lot of homage to her, because I was honored and privileged to study her work.”
Tyris Jones’ career as a storyteller illustrates an important trend in the traditional arts of North Carolina: artists who have returned to their hometowns, and their regional traditions, after spending years living away. In many cases, such artists are retirees who have spent their careers in the Northeast or elsewhere, and after retiring home have become reengaged with the traditions of their families and native communities. Younger artists like Jones also follow this pattern when they choose to build their lives and careers back in their hometowns. He explains, ''being back home has helped me reconnect with the past, and the future as well, because I’m able to reflect on where I grew up, family members who have passed on, or people who were in my life . . . While they weaved their tales, I was actually being groomed to weave my own tales. So being back here has helped me to actually reflect on the past, and move in the future as well. It’s been very, very wonderful.''
Artist or in person, Jim Quick is the kind of guy you genuinely want to call a friend. With the charm only a true Southerner can possess, he brings his talent to the stage with a quick-witted, knee-slapping sense of humor coupled with the clear sincerity of his love for his craft.
“As a child, I was real mischievous. Playin’ pranks and makin’ jokes; doin’ stupid stuff you do as a kid. People would laugh; the more they laughed, the more I’d act a fool! It was like applause for more, more, more. I loved being the center of attention. Still do. Add music and, well, that’s spice to the concoction! That’s how I roll.”
And “roll” he does. Quick’s been touring the Southeast US for more than 20 years, playing nearly 250+ shows per year, and has released more than 11 albums including his newest, DOWN SOUTH. Originally introducing their music as the Coastline Band—a band of friends who played the Carolina beach bars day in and day out—the group pushed Quick to the forefront and naturally transformed into Jim Quick & Coastline. Known for his all-out performances and deliberate, off-the-cuff wisecracks, Jim has been a gracious recipient of the Carolina Music Awards “Entertainer Of The Year Award” – sixteen times.
Those who have seen Quick perform in the flesh may wonder if the funny guy sitting at the bar wears the same suit as the artist on stage. The answer is “yes.” “When it comes to me, the person on the street and the person performing are completely the same. As an artist, I am a true, exaggerated version of myself. Magnified. Make no mistake, they are both me, just different sizes.”
Born and raised in deep Carolina, Jim Quick grew up with a kind and fun-loving family. He, along with his younger sister and childhood friends, spent countless hours loping across the grasslands. In quiet time, Jim enjoyed visits with his grandfather, a Veteran of World War II, who shared front-porch-sittin’ and lemonade sippin’ while Sgt. Loyd Merle Quick shared tales of the battle and helped little Jim conquer a debilitating stutter—a budding singer’s worst enemy.
“I grew up between the swamplands and the sand-hills of Southeastern North Carolina. I played a lot in the Gum Swamp area, my yard, and nearby fields. I didn’t have a whole lot of friends in such a sparse, rural area, so I spent most of my time with my imaginary friends. I was a true Son of the South, exploring the land on my bicycle or on foot, pretending I was one of Mark Twain’s characters or a chunky, little descendant of Lewis and Clark.”
When he wasn’t surveying the lands, Jim discovered his love for music in the confines of his bedroom, sitting in front of his Sears & Roebuck stereo with Radio Shack headphones atop his head. Playing the role of both DJ and performer, young Jim would introduce himself before the next song, with which he’d appropriately sing along. His playful dress rehearsal wasn’t in vain. At 14, he secured a job as a radio DJ for a small, local AM station giving him the platform he needed to learn about the entertainment business and create the stage character for which he’s known.
“Working at the station was a real blessing. It was a 500-watt, so really, really small, but it provided me a way to learn about a variety of music genres and what went on behind the scenes. It really gave me that extra push I’d needed to finally start making my own music. Now look at me: I’m nearly a dozen albums in and still goin’ strong!”
” Strong” is exactly the word to describe Jim’s catalog, and his most recent, DOWN SOUTH, is poised to become a best-selling musical novel. With songs such as “I’m A Dog” and “Don’t Shoot The Snake,” Quick segues the comic relief of Rodney Dangerfield and Barney Fife to teddy bear tenderness in “Hurt That Bad” and “Forever Man”. The composition is the kind of music that makes you want to get up and dance, grab a beer (or four), and cut-up with your friends. A melding of the genres that make up the musical culture of the South, including Country, Blues, Soul, Southern Rock and Jazz, Quick’s take on music is not to be tuned out.
A smorgasbord to suit any music enthusiast’s appetite, DOWN SOUTH was produced by the one and only Gary Nicholson (of Delbert McClinton, Wynonna Judd and Pam Tillis fame to name a few). After sending Nicholson an unsolicited cryptic message through his personal web site claiming to “have some of his money,” Quick’s clever and intriguing communication captured Nicholson’s attention. Within days, Jim was on his way to Nashville to meet the acclaimed music producer and the rest is, as they say, history.
“I got to Nashville and touched base with Gary. He invited me to his home—his home!—and we talked music, of course. Next thing I knew, we’d started picking songs from his catalog for my album! Life is so good. I constantly find myself surrounded by my musical heroes. I get to work with my mentors… as peers! How lucky am I?”
Featuring special appearances by Delbert McClinton and Bekka Bramlett, as well as tunes penned by Nicholson, McClinton, Billy Currington, Paul Overstreet, Randy Houser and more, DOWN SOUTH proves Jim Quick has stand-up, staying power on any stage in any entertainment sector.
“I want my music to be a bridge for many genres; a place where traditional and contemporary music can unite. But, I do love the pure emotion and simple-yet-deep concepts of country music. I’m a Southern boy and it all hits home; the lyrics and roots of the music—from the melodies to chord progressions—seem to strike an ancestral nerve with me.”
His devoted fans, the “Coastline Crazies,” know it’s hardly luck that allows Quick’s path to cross with musical greats. It’s his musical gumbo and unadulterated energy that keeps fans coming back for more. And, with the release of DOWN SOUTH and his introduction to country radio, Quick is certain to add more “Crazies” to the mix!
Article by Kat Atwood, Music City News.
Myra Stone is well known throughout our community for being an outstanding photographer.
Her studio is located around the corner from our office. Myra enjoys photography because it provides her with a creative outlet and the opportunity to capture memories and special moments for others.
For more information on Myra Stone Photography and how to book your session, please visit https://www.myrastonephotography.com.
Quinyon is an outstanding photographer who specializes in commercial lifestyle, branding, marketing and consulting.
Deberry has been capturing lifestyle and commercial photography for close to a decade. Throughout his professional career, Quinyon has worked with a great variety of individuals and companies.
Within the past few years, Deberry's passion within media production has evolved into consulting. This allows him to assist companies with branding and marketing.
''I love studying the market and understanding trends which help my clients forecast the best placement for their advertising along with strategic campaigns to help promote a company's overall message,'' Deberry said.
With his studio located in Laurinburg, it is the perfect location that is central to all of North Carolina's major areas. With nearby airports, it makes traveling out of state for a photography shoot much more easier.
To learn more about Quinyon and his photography, visit www.rqdeberry.com.
Pamela Hansen was raised in the city of Aurora, Illinois, located 50 miles west of Chicago. As a child Hansen spent a lot of time with her grandmother who inspired her to love and create beautiful things.
At the age of four, Hansen fell in love with dancing and later became a ballet instructor. While living in Chicago, Hansen served as a neonatal specialist at Children's Memorial Hospital.
Hansen and her husband moved to Laurinburg in 2005 and enjoy the small town life. Both currently attend St. Mary's Catholic Church and can be found singing in the choir each Sunday.
Whenever she has free time, you can find Hansen in the garden, doing arts and crafts, and enjoying a good book. In 2015, Hansen discovered another hidden talent. After the death of her daughter, Amanda, Hansen discovered the love of painting.
''I feel like the Lord guided me to paint with a woderful group of supporting ladies at This & That,'' Hansen said. ''God has given me this gift and I am truly blessed.''