Vernon Grant: An Illustrious Career

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 26, 2018
Contact: Marie Cheek
Community Relations Coordinator
Culture & Heritage Museums of York County, SC
www.chmuseums.org
803.818.6767 • mcheek@chmuseums.org


“Vernon Grant: An Illustrious Career” - New exhibit at York County Regional Chamber of Commerce kicks off the 2018 Come-See-Me Festival


ROCK HILL, S.C. - A tribute to Vernon Grant’s artistic legacy and civic leadership, “Vernon Grant: An Illustrious Career” is an exhibition created by Culture & Heritage Museums and presented in cooperation with York County Regional Chamber of Commerce. The exhibit, featuring reproductions of Grant’s original and published artworks, will be open for the public during weekdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. beginning April 13 at the chamber’s location at 116 E. Main St.


“Vernon Grant: An Illustrious Career” tells the story of Grant’s influential role as a visionary leader in the Rock Hill community. After moving to Rock Hill in 1947, Grant became director for the Rock Hill Chamber of Commerce and director for the Housing Authority of Rock Hill. Grant’s progressive ideas helped to attract business, industry, tourism and families to the York County region. Grant’s artwork and advocacy promoted economic growth and broadened public appreciation for the region’s beauty, amenities and quality of life.


The world renowned illustrator’s whimsical art is the inspiration for Main Street Children’s Museum and the Museum of York County’s Tot Town. Culture & Heritage Museums are stewards of the Vernon Grant Collection, which encompasses hundreds of original paintings, published illustrations, commercial art, and family memorabilia. The Vernon Grant Collection is one of the most significant collections of commercial art in America, serving not only as a testament to Grant’s talent and popularity, but also as a reflection of the times in which he lived.


Vernon Grant’s career as a commercial artist embodies the heritage of American illustration in the 20th century. The prolific illustrator’s body of work includes magazine covers, books, nursery rhymes and advertisements. Grant’s Snap! Crackle! and Pop!, which first appeared in 1933 to promote Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, are the iconic gnomes of one of the most enduring advertising campaigns in America. Vernon Grant’s vintage artwork is the hallmark of the Come-See-Me Festival and ChristmasVille, two award-winning annual events in the City of Rock Hill. Grant created Come-See-Me’s mascot Glen the Frog and the distinctive Santa Claus, gnomes and winterscapes of ChristmasVille.


“Vernon Grant: An Illustrious Career” runs from April 13 through Jan. 31, 2019 and can be viewed weekdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Location: York County Regional Chamber of Commerce at 116 E. Main St., Rock Hill, S.C. For more information on the chamber contact: (803) 324-7500, info@yorkcountychamber.com.


IMAGE: Created circa 1967, this Glencairn Garden brochure was designed by Vernon Grant and features his painting “Spring Serenade.” Included in the exhibit, “Vernon Grant: An Illustrious Career,” the painting shows Glen the Frog playing the violin for one of Grant’s characteristic gnomes. Image courtesy of Culture and Heritage Museums.


More about the Come-See-Me Festival: Glencairn Garden was started by Dr. David A. Bigger as a hobby in 1928; in 1958 Bigger’s wife gave the property to the City of Rock Hill. Glencairn Garden was opened to the public in April 1960. Glencairn Garden is the home of the award winning Come-See-Me Festival, which began in 1962. Vernon Grant’s Glen the Frog made his Come-See-Me debut in 1964.