Local Arts in Brief

Laid in the northeast corner of the Gibbes Museum building, the cornerstone is inscribed with the name of the Masonic Grand Master and lodge number. It was uncovered recently during renovations.

Contractors working on the renovation and expansion of the Gibbes Museum of Art on Meeting Street recently unearthed the building’s original cornerstone, first laid on Dec. 8, 1903, by the Masons of Charleston.

The cornerstone has been hidden from view for 111 years. According to newspaper articles from that time, a copper box sealed within the stone contains a copy of James S. Gibbes last will and testament; the 1902 proceedings of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, the 1902 Year Book of the city of Charleston; a copy of the News and Courier for Dec. 8, 1903; and medals and other memorabilia contributed by ceremony participants.

The Masonic ceremony was performed before a crowd of hundreds. It was lost to history until 2005 when a photograph was brought to the museum by John Zacharias, great-nephew of Harry T. Zacharias, the original building contractor. John Zacharias found the photograph in his aunt’s house in Delaware and brought it to the Gibbes on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Gibbes opening.

Laid in the northeast corner of the building, the cornerstone is inscribed with the name of the Masonic Grand Master and lodge number.

The College of Charleston’s International Piano Series continues with a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday recital at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St., featuring Stephen Beus.

Beus was born in eastern Washington state and studied at the Juilliard School of Music. His teachers have included Leonard Richter and Robert McDonald. He has performed with numerous orchestras and is a regular recitalist. His program will include works by J.S. Bach, Franz Liszt, Arvo Part, Ronn Yedidia, Sergei Rachmaninov and Nikolai Medtner.

Tickets are $20, free for students.

The College’s musical offerings continue at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 with a Charleston Music Fest recital, part of the 2nd Monday Series, featuring cellist Natalia Khoma and pianist Volodymyr Vynnytsky.

The performance will be in the Simons Center Recital Hall, 54 St. Philip St. Tickets are $15 at door, $10 for students.

Satya Tranfield, 11, of Mount Pleasant won first place in the classical category and second place in the contemporary category last week at the semi-final stage of the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) competition in Atlanta.

She will go on to compete in the national finals in New York in April, dancing a classical Grand Pas Classique and contemporary “Tango Tartare” choreographed by Jill Eathorne Bahr, one of her coaches.

Satya is a student at the CBT Center for Dance Education, run by Bahr and Don and Patricia Cantwell. Recently, Satya danced the role of Maria in Bahr’s “Nutcracker,” and she is slated to appear in the upcoming production of “Cinderella.”

YAGP is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition, awarding more than $250,000 annually in dance school scholarships.

The annual competition is open to students of all nationalities 9-19 years old.

The Charleston Library Society at 164 King St. will host Eustace Conway for a book signing and special screening of the documentary film “Reconvergence.”

The event is 6 p.m. Feb. 10 and is limited to 200 people. To RSVP, email mstokenberry@charlestonlibrarysociety.org.

Conway, a celebrated naturalist, is the subject of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “The Last American Man” and is one of The History Channel’s “Mountain Men.”

He left suburbia for life in the forest at 17, making a handmade tipi his primary residence for more than 17 years.

He canoed more than 1,000 miles on the Mississippi River at 18, hiked the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail at 19, kayaked along the southern coast of Alaska in his early 20s and rode his horse all over North America.

Conway founded the 1,000-acre nonprofit environmental education center, Turtle Island Preserve near Boone, N.C., where he resides.

The Gaillard Center has engaged students at four area elementary schools to produce temporary banners for the building. The artworks were unveiled last week by Mayor Joe Riley.

The nonprofit Engaging Creative Minds and the Gaillard Center’s Director of Education Richard Jerue worked with third-graders at Memminger and James Simons, and fifth and sixth graders at Buist and Mitchell to produce colorful murals that will be on display during the final months of the renovation project.

“More than 80 students worked on this project over the past few months, and it was exciting to see the energy, enthusiasm and creative talent that was evident at all four schools,” Jerue said in a statement. “We spoke with each class about the history of the Gaillard Center and how we wanted it to be a space that they would want to come to time and time again. I think their murals indicate that they are excited about the Center’s potential.”

At Wednesday’s unveiling, Riley acknowledged the students and their teachers Erin Russell, Lori Essenberg, Mary Beth Dinunzio, Lea Wagner and Amanda Kennon for their efforts and artistic talents.

“Our goal is that nearly every student in the tri-county area can experience the Gaillard and the educational opportunities presented to the community,” said the center’s Executive Director Tom Tomlinson. “The mural project is a most exciting beginning.”

Adam Parker