The Supper Table

July 9, 2019

You've heard of The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, but have you heard of The Supper Table, a project being created here in Columbia by over 60 visual artists, poets, and filmmakers and 120 community members in partnership with The Jasper Project? We're proud to see distinguished members of our faculty and staff, alumni, and our local professional artists come together to celebrate notable South Carolina women who have contributed to South Carolinian culture and instilled pride in our foremothers as well as in South Carolina's contemporary women leaders and artists.

From The Jasper Project: “Imagine a 12' x 12' x 12' triangular-shaped table set with SC-artist-created place-settings each inspired by one of 12 diverse women from SC history whose lives were dedicated to the betterment of humankind. Around this table 120 tiles, each naming another great SC woman and decorated by a community member, hang on movable walls called An Array of Remarkable SC Women. Now, listen to essays about each of these women written by SC writers with excerpts theatrically read by SC theatre artists and watch 12 90-second films each created by a SC filmmaker about one of the women honored at the table.

The table for the Supper Table project was built by Columbia artist Jordan Morris from cherry and African mahogany woods. The place-settings, each honoring a woman from SC history selected by project director Cindi Boiter in consultation with USC distinguished professor emerita in history, Dr. Marjorie Spruill, were each designed by a notable SC woman visual artist, such as Artfields grand prize winner Michaela Pilar Brown, Mana Hewitt (SVAD faculty), Heidi Darr Hope, Laurie Brownell McIntosh, and Eileen Blyth (SVAD alumna(. Artists have created their place-settings out of material that ranges from ceramics to coiled paper to copper wire and found objects.

A collection of essays honoring the 12 subjects, written by outstanding SC women writers, such as SC state Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, USC’s Qiana Whitted, long-time journalist Claudia Smith Brinson, and more, along with a roster identifying the 120 tile subjects and the women who painted them, high resolution photography of the place-settings, and portraits of the honored subjects by Artfields People’s Choice winner Kirkland Smith (SVAD alumna) are being compiled into a book titled, Setting the Supper Table, which will accompany the exhibit and be available for purchase, promoting long-lasting public awareness.  

Filmmaker Lee Ann Kornegay is creating a full-length film tracing the creation of the project from inception through performance and installation which will premiere in spring 2020 (The Making of The Supper Table)

Through a partnership with Indie Grits Labs and overseen by Mahkia Greene (SVAD alumna), 12 film makers including Emmy-winner Betsy Newman, Laura Kissel (Professor and Director of SVAD), Faye Riley (SVAD faculty), and Roni Nicole are each creating a 90 second film on one of the honored subjects. These films will be looped and become a part of the collateral material accompanying the installation.

Through a partnership with Trustus Theatre and Harbison Theatre at MTC, 12 theatre artists will each perform a 3 – 5-minute staged oration adapted from the creative non-fiction essays written by the literary artists. Actor and educator Vicky Saye Henderson is overseeing and directing the women, all SC theatre artists, in this component of the project. The entirety of this project will premiere for the first time this September 6th at Trustus Theatre, with following shows at Harbison Theatre and Stormwater Studios, before traveling around the state well into 2020. 

We hope you will join us at these events to celebrate our Supper Table women.”

Learn more about The Supper Table here.