I'm running a few days behind on the blog... but I have reasons, I swear. Good ones. More on those in a bit. The above picture was supposed to have been last week's Friday Beautiful Thing. The Lee Industries cowhide chaise was spotted at when I was visiting my friends at Verve Interiors. The North Carolina-based company has built a strong reputation for their  high quality furnishings that are available in a  variety of fabric and leather choices that will withstand the changing needs and aesthetic moods that go through a home from year to year. Lee Industries has been a particular hit at this season's High Point Market, having been "spotted" by some of the event's Style Spotters and chatted up by the team from Architectural Digest. For a full listing of stores that carry Lee Industries furniture, visit their website.

So why am I just now posting this? Well, as I've said in the past, April is a crazy month in Columbia. It's a crazy month in South Carolina. Friday morning I woke up and drove to Lake City, a small town about an hour and a half from the coast that is undergoing some very big changes. Lake City is the home of Darla Moore, one of America's most successful female financiers. Lately she has been in the news regarding her induction into Augusta National Golf Club alongside Condoleeza Rice. Though Ms. Moore has homes in New York and Charleston, her heart lies in Lake City, where her family roots stretch back before the American Revolution. 

Lake City has always been an agricultural and market town. It's pretty. It's quaint. It hasn't been equipped to keep up with the whiplash-inducing economic and market changes of the 21st century. Ms. Moore has set out to change that. The first publicly visible step that she and her local colleagues have taken is the establishment of ArtFields, a regional art festival, located in her hometown, that opened on Friday and runs through Apr. 28. The festival has been billed as "epic", and it certainly is so for the town residents and for the artists who came from 11 states to participate. The top prize is $50,000. This type of monetary prize has become a rare bird in today's market. People from all over are visiting the town... something that hasn't happened en masse in decades, if ever. The locals are thrilled. The atmosphere is charged. Ms. Moore is very determined. The festival has the potential to become a truly unique tourism opportunity, so naturally, as a writer who works with the SC Department of Tourism, I had to check it out, and miraculously was granted an interview with Ms. Moore at her home. That was kind of a big deal! The post from the interview will go up soon, and I'll link to it when it's time. 

A piece by Columbia artist Scotty Peek on view at ArtFields

Then, on Saturday, I received the good news that one of my essays will be included in the first issue of an upcoming quarterly anthology entitled Equals: A Record For All of Us. I'm thrilled. Over the moon. The catch is that I have a short time to edit and beef up my piece! So, I'm scurrying around like crazy right now. 

I'll be posting on the blog at least one more time this week, but other than that will be keeping my head kind of low as I work. More to come!

This was originally posted on CamilleMaurice.com. For more, come on over!

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Tags: art, interiors, lifestyle

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Comment by MaryDell Harrington on April 25, 2013 at 6:27pm

Darla Moore is a pioneer in every way and how fantastic that she is so loyal to Lake City.  And, Shani, way to go, for your essay.  Happy for you!

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