The Stick

June 2023
Written By: 
Grand Strand Magazine Staff
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the artist and the South Carolina State Museum

Clay Rice, 2014, silhouette paper mounted to matboard

The Stick exhibition is based on artist Clay Rice’s children’s book, “The Stick,” about a young boy who embarks on an exciting journey after finding a stick. It is on exhibit at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum June 1 through September 3, 2023, courtesy of the artist and the South Carolina State Museum.

With original hand-cut illustrations from the artist, The Stick will come to life in this fascinating exhibition at the Art Museum.  Rice blends the elegant black and white silhouette tradition with a world of color in this story of the power of imagination. 

Clay Rice is as much a folklorist as he is a visual artist, collecting stories from people he meets and preserving their tales in silhouettes, an art form that began in France in the mid-1700s, taking its name from one of its most famous practitioners, Etienne de Silhouette. 

Rice learned his craft from the master – his grandfather, famed South Carolina silhouette artist Carew Rice, who was described by poet Carl Sandburg as “America’s greatest silhouettist.”