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Art info from around Charleston

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Driving with Drama

Two years ago, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a bill allowing the DMV to issue a special license plate on the theme of arts awareness. Last week the S.C. Arts Commission finally revealed the plate, which features a paintbrush dabbing out an image of the state, and the slogan "Driven by the Arts." The Arts Commission chose Manning artist Ned Chilton's winning design from some 40 entries, and the slogan was a team effort from Eric Holowacz and Leigh Newman that beat out more than 200 other suggestions. The plate's unveiling took place Feb. 6 at the Columbia Museum of Art, but Eric Holowacz wasn't there, because he lives in a different hemisphere, though he's got deep Lowcountry roots. The former operations manager for Spoleto Festival USA was director of the Beaufort County Arts Council from 1996-2002, when he created a bumper sticker featuring the "Driven By the Arts" slogan. In 2002 Holowacz moved to Wellington, New Zealand, where he's now the director of the capital city's municipal cultural affairs program -- though he still keeps in regular touch with friends in S.C. (Incidentally, the neighborhood in which Holowacz lives in Wellington is named Marion Square.) Half a world away, and he's still got his fingers in S.C. arts. "I'm pleased as punch to be 18 time zones ahead of S.C., yet still connected through words and all the future arts-friendly drivers." --PS

Women Rock, Kids Roll

Women Making A Difference's annual art and performance shindig known as Women Rock shakes the S.C. Aquarium to its foundation each year, what with all the shoulder-rubbing, networking, dancing, and imbibing at the high-profile arts event. The chick-themed fundraiser's been raising awareness, and bucketloads of cash, for female artists and a lazy-susan of local nonprofits for four years. Part of this year's proceeds went toward a partnership between tri-county Boys and Girls Clubs and Redux Contemporary Art Center. Since January, Redux has been providing weekly art classes and donating materials and supplies to the B&GC. A passel of lucky kids took in the new exhibit The Changing Face of Charleston at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park last week. --Lindsay Sainlar

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