Mount Pleasant’s Rising Star gets her shine

  • Monday, June 16, 2014

Rumph’s award-winning artwork is composed of charcoal and watercolor. CIAPHA DENNIS


After growing up under her older sisters’ shadows, it was finally this star’s turn to shine.

Abby Rumph of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina was featured in Piccolo Spoleto’s Rising Star event. Hosted by Dorchester District Two’s Director of Fine Arts Larry Barnfield, the program selected five “exceptionally gifted” youths, ages 8-18, to display their artistic abilities.

Rumph was one of them. A recent graduate and visual artist at Charleston County School of the Arts, Rumph is the younger of two artistically inclined sisters. After years of following in their footsteps, she’s finally claimed the spotlight.

“She always felt like there was competition,” said Abby’s mother, Linda Rumph, of Abby and her sisters.

She continued, “Now she’s got a chance to shine and it’s really neat.”

Using the theme “White Charcoal and Black Paper,” a number of Rumph’s works received Gold Keys in the Scholastics Regional Competition. One displayed a 91-year-old Cuban musician, exposing with great detail his wrinkled features.

“I like drawing old people,” Rumph said as she chuckled.

This piece, along with many others, were inspired by her older sister’s visit to Cuba, Uganda and Ghana.

A piece entitled “Jerrycans and Smiling Faces” captured the hearts of many viewers, as it depicts the cheerful grin of a young Ugandan boy while a woman in the background carefully balances a “jerrycan” upon her head. Another shows a Ghanaian family conducting a ceremonial dance after the passing of a 14-year-old girl who suffered from pneumonia.

“What I try to convey in a lot of artwork is the beauty in one moment,” said Rumph of her drawings.

She added, “I draw things that others don’t find beautiful ... There’s a story that can be uncovered in anyone.”

Barnfield admired Rumph’s work, declaring it a “thinking woman’s art” and expressed his astonishment at her artistic abilities.

“Abby’s work has a great deal of depth ... I was really impressed by how she thought through her creative process ... she has unusual composition,” Barnfield said.

Rumph will attend Montreat College in North Carolina.

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