By BRUCE SMITH
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina rice and the slaves who cultivated it built Charleston into 1 of the largest and wealthiest cities in British colonial America. Now artist Jonathan Green sees rice as a way to build bridges between people.
Green, famous for his Gullah paintings, has formed the nonprofit Lowcountry Rice Culture Project working with other Charlestonians and an advisory panel of artists, educators and historians.
He said the project's goal is to focus on the significance of rice in the building of Charleston and use it to begin broader discussions of how race, class, art and history continue to influence the region.
A special exhibit of Green's paintings kicks off the effort Thursday. A forum on rice and its impact on the region's economy, culture and traditions is scheduled next month.
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