We’re featuring the artists from the Supper Table project throughout the summer. This is the 17th in our series on Supper Table Artists
Elizabeth Evelyn Wright lived less than 40 years but accomplished more in that time than most will do in 80. Wright was constantly motivated by the lack of education for her fellow black Americans, and instead of waiting around for a solution, she created one. She opened school after school, and even after those who wanted her to fail burned eight separate schools, she successfully founded what we know today as Voorhees College.
Honoring Wright’s journey with her copper-wire place-setting for the Jasper Project’s the Supper Table is visual artist Bohumila Augustinová. Augustinová was born and raised in Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic, but she came to the United States in 1998. She has a degree in fashion design, and after winning Runaway Runway, she quickly became part of the Columbia art scene. In 2015, she took over curating responsibilities at Anastasia and Friends Gallery. Augustinová is the leader of Yarnbombers of Columbia and is the art curator for Motor Supply Company Bistro. She works at the Columbia Art Center where she both makes art and teaches art to others.
Augustinová’s place-setting represents several elements of Wright’s life. For example, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright was biracial; she had a black father and a Cherokee mother, so the artist chose two different colors of wire that she wove together. This wire is woven into a flower, the edges of which are shaped like the flames of the arson fires that destroyed many of Wright’s schools, and the center of which represents her final success – Voorhees.
Portraying Elizabeth Evelyn Wright for the theatrical component of the premiere is Jocelyn Walters-Brannon. Walters-Brannon is a South Carolina native and believer in the power of creative individuals to manifest joy and understanding into the world. She serves as Director of The Palmetto School of Protocol and earned a BA in Journalism and MA in Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Walters-Brannon has served on numerous artistic boards and committees, including Trustus Theatre, Columbia Children’s Theatre, Vibrations Dance Company, and the East African based In Movement. Her favorite stage credits include roles in Rent, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and Caroline, or Change.
Walters-Brannon finds Wright’s untimely demise particularly interesting. Wright was sick for numerous years before dying at the young age of 34. What she did in that time is testament to what people can do when they put actions to thoughts and words, but it also sparks the question, “What would she have done if she only had time?” This question is driving Walters-Brannon as she finalizes her performance of Wright.
To see Augustinová’s place-setting on Wright, Walters-Brannon’s interpretation of her life, and the chance to get a copy of a book or t-shirt, come to one of our opening events on either September 6th at Trustus (going fast!) or September 8th at Harbison.
-By Christina Xan