Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist



Artist Q&A: Jonathan Brilliant

Posted 7/10/2013 3:19:00 PM

Jonathan Brilliant may live in Raleigh, N.C. now, but we still claim the Charleston native as one of our own in the Palmetto State. Jonathan works in two- and three-dimensional mediums, having used everything from charcoal pencils to popsicle sticks to bring out movement and scale in his abstract art.

The 37-year-old’s resume reads like a cultural world tour, including participation in programs at The Penland School of Crafts, The East/West Project in Berlin, Germany, and a stint at The Vermont Studio Center. He was also a South Carolina Arts Commission 2011-2012 Visual Arts Fellow, which is one of the most coveted fellowships awarded in the state.

Jonathan was nice enough to share some thoughts on his home state with us at

Q: What do you love about pursuing your craft in South Carolina?
A: When I was living in Columbia, I enjoyed the super low cost of living and proximity to the Charlotte airport. My time there allowed me to undertake my world tour from 2009-2010. Now that I no longer live in South Carolina I enjoy visiting family and friends in both Columbia and Charleston when I have the chance.

Q: Where is your favorite place to enjoy the arts as a spectator/audience member in South Carolina?
A: For visual arts, the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia; and maybe the Regal Grande movie theater in Mount Pleasant. For music it would be the New Brookland Tavern in Columbia and the Tin Roof in Charleston.

Q: What is your favorite South Carolina restaurant?
Pho Viet in Columbia. I liked that their other locations were in San Jose, Calif., where I went to grad school, and I felt like I was one of a few people who got to enjoy all of their locations.

Q: Where is the first place you would suggest to a guest who is visiting the state for the first time?
Maybe to the Brickyards in Columbia for a walkabout and in Charleston to the old rice building façade behind the East Bay Harris Teeter, then to the East Bay Starbucks.

Q: In six words, tell us why you love South Carolina.
Beaches, barbecues, bushels, ocean, sky, sand.