- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - It’s a case of art recycled twice at the Spoleto Festival USA.

Martha Jackson Jarvis, a well-known artist from Washington D.C., uses recycled materials such as oyster shells in her sculptures. She created one called “Rice, Rattlesnakes and Rainwater” for Spoleto almost two decades ago.

It sat in the courtyard of a small Charleston church for years until being refurbished and moved this week to a courtyard outside the headquarters of the Spoleto Festival. Jarvis says bringing the sculpture back to life and in a new location is a chance to recycle the entire project.

The installation has been put in its new location just in time for the start of the 2014 festival. The new season of the internationally known arts festival, featuring 143 performances by 63 artists and ensembles, opens May 23.

The sculpture Jarvis created for the 1997 festival consists of barrels that collect rainwater and replicas of Charleston houses among other images of coastal South Carolina. The idea is to conjure the experience of blacks living along the coast.

“My work is always involved in how to recycle and how to repurpose, so I think this is an interesting opportunity to repurpose the entire project,” Jarvis said. She said she had to refurbish the sculpture because “weather and nature took its tool” in the years it sat in the churchyard.

Jarvis‘ commissions have ranged from a sculpture for the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone to her work at the Anacostia Station of the Washington Metro and a sculpture for the South Carolina Botanical Gardens in Clemson.

Nigel Redden, the festival’s general director, said it seemed right to give Jarvis‘ Spoleto sculpture a new permanent home and hopes festivalgoers will seek it out.

Back in 1997, other Spoleto artists put up temporary installations such as twisted saplings stretched across oak trees and bronze sculptures on a walkway overlooking the harbor.



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