An art mission by a local student artist celebrates her hometown and the Hampton County Watermelon Festival.
Briann Durkan, a full-time student at Piedmont Technical College, recently completed an artistic and informative “visitor’s guide” to Hampton County for her graphic reproduction course. The brochure contains information about the history and culture of Hampton County as well as colorful artwork.
“Hampton has a bad reputation, and when I tell people where I’m from, they often laugh at me or ask me questions that don’t show what our citizens really are,” Durkan said. “There are hard-working, honest, dedicated families throughout our county, just like mine. I know that I, and many other young people, are fighting to make people see that there is more to Hampton than the big guys. titles for negative reasons and that there really is so much talent waiting to be recognized. I wanted to include the history of Hampton, which includes The Hampton County Guardian, The Watermelon Festival, and the deeper history of the battles that took place here and our Native American history.
Durkan, 19, from Hampton, is majoring in commercial art with a major in photography and is determined to overcome all obstacles to achieve her artistic dreams.
“Growing up, teachers and other adults always told me that you couldn’t make a living being an artist,” she said. “It wasn’t until I was about to graduate from high school and was really struggling to decide what I wanted to do that I realized I would never be truly happy if I wasn’t trying to make art a career. My grandparents pushed me to find a school that taught what I wanted to learn and go. I found Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, SC , which has a commercial arts program which was perfect for me. I am currently in my third semester and have placed in six of the eight Concour finals, and won first place for this local project that I realized.”
Durkan attributes his ambition and work ethic to several members of his family.
“My grandfather Micky Ginn is a farmer in Hampton and Jasper counties and sells peanuts, sweet corn, deer corn and also plants trees. My grandmother is Cissy Jarrell and runs a cleaning business very successful on Hilton Head Island. My grandparents always taught me and my two cousins, Cody Ginn and Rena Tuten, that we can always strive to achieve anything we would like to achieve. They taught us that hard work and dedication gets you what you want in life. It made it possible for all of us to go to school and strive for what we want in life. For my cousins, this is the realm dentistry and agriculture, for me it’s art and design.
Once she graduates from Piedmont, Durkan hopes to become independent and work for small businesses in Hampton and throughout SC Lowcountry.
“I want to give back to our community and to the families who work so hard to make our county a great place, and it makes home feel like home.”