"New Heights : Allendale's Swallowtail Kites"
In Progress - Allendale, SC
The concept art above is my latest design comissioned by the Allendale Rural Arts Team. They have adopted a local bird, the swallowtail kite, as the symbol of their mission to revitalize the economy in Allendale through arts and culture. Like Allendale itself, the kites are making a comeback. You can read more about the life history of and conservation efforts for the Swallow-Tailed Kite in South Carolina in this Department of Natural Resources (DNR) article. This blighted historic structure is abandoned near the heart of downtown Allendale. Sitting at the intersection of two highways - 278 & 301, the brightly colored scene of birds in flight at sunset is sure to attract a lot of attention. The town is prepping the building for painting to commence 7/13/2020.
"The Folded Flag" - 2020
This piece is the second of two installations designed to commemorate the Yemassee Marine Recruit Depot, which saw half a million recruits come through the area on their way to basic training on Parris Island. "The Folded Flag" was comissioned by local real estate agent Christina Reardon to recall the sacrifice of the gold star families who lost a loved one in combat. By far one of the most emotionally charged pieces I have ever been asked to create, the bugler and person presenting the flag are represented in ghostly shadow. The honor guard firing the customary funeral volleys are a little surreal with their stylized blue and white smoke. These choices were made to invite the viewer to put themselves in the place of a family member who lost a loved one, a haunting and nightmarish scenario. The US and SC flags are also incorporated, not only tying the location in Yemassee to the thousands who passed through here on their journey to foreign fields of battle, but to represent the home for which these men were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
"The Big Thank You" - 2020
This literal "Thank You" to essential workers was conceived during the "lockdown" phase of the global covid-19 pandemic. Each free standing 4x8 letter in tbe word "Thank You" is a tribute to an essential member of the workforce. The piece is currently installed at the Allendale, SC Farmers Market and will move to various sites throughout Allendale County. The installation was comissioned by the Allendale Rural Arts Team as a part of the South Carolina Arts Comission's "Art of Community: Rural SC" initiative.
"Where Heroes Stood" Mural - 2019
This 12x24 mural which celebrates the significance of the Yemassee railroad depot and the destinies of the 500,000 Marine recruits who passed through there from 1915 to 1966. The installation was commissioned by Jake Sullivan of Veteran Owned Real Estate and also received in kind support from Brunson Building Supply and the Town of Yemassee. It wad placed on a vacant building owned by the town across from the depot. The adjacent lot is being reimagined as a park.
Aquatic Life Mural - 2019
Collaborative project with award-winning muralist Hitnes and other artists completed at the Mega Mountain Mural Fest in Harlan KY.
"Down by the Tracks" Mural- 2019
Funded by South Arts. This mural on the back of a convienience store on Highway 321 in Estill, SC was part of a creative placemaking initiative to combat blight. For this piece, Sophie used Estill's history as a railroad town as the starting point for a bright and whimsical piece celebrating Estill's growing diversity and comittment to expanding access to the arts to all citizens. A police officer was also featured prominently to highlight the importance of LEO's to the community and show them in a friendly and positive light.
Pineapple at Dawn - 2018 Acrylic on Canvas
Charleston's iconic Pineapple Fountain glows in this unique representation.
Road Less Traveled - 2018 Acrylic on Canvas
In a rare foray into more abstract work, Sophie re-imagined work originally done by her stepdad, Greg, in art school, at Kent State in 1989. "I thought it was interesting that Greg, like me, Aunt Jodie, Aunt Audra, even my Great-Grandfather all wanted to be artists in their youth. Such a steep climb, but yet something inside called all of us to do this work."
Forsyth Fountain - 2018 Acrylic on Canvas
Painted during an historic snowstorm, the painting longingly represents the warmth and beauty of Forsyth Park on a spring day. The style is hazy, like a distant memory.
Time for Change - 2017 Acrylic on Canvas
This piece is an artist's statement of hope for the future of her rural southern town. "I wanted to show that Estill is really starting to bloom. I was inspired by the work my mom and her friend (Councilwoman Dwanda Bolden) are doing to change things for the better. They're represented by the two figures in the painting."
Guardian - 2018 Acrylic on Canvas
A fan of architecture and sculpture, Sophie often visits cemeteries for sketching. This angel from a family monument in West Virginia really inspired her. "The angel is watching over a whole family, and you can see the graves were placed decades apart. I feel like the message is "Live your life. I'm here to stand watch over your loved ones until you're ready to join us in the great mystery."