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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Shutterbug captures motion in real time

by Mary Helen Yarborough
Public Relations
Images that capture harrowing feats in world-class sailing competitions are frozen in perpetuity through Priscilla Parker’s viewfinder.
Serving as an organizing official and/or race committee member for local, national and international sailing regattas, Parker has managed to grab photographic stills of competitors pursuing victory in perilously rough, fast Charleston waters —all from the deck of a rocking boat.
On any given weekend, the MUSC Business Development & Marketing Services manager trades in her office pumps for deck shoes, and experiences the saltwater rush while raising funds through sailing events to support cancer research and patient care.
Priscilla Parker captures images during national class sailboat competition while she performs duties as race official. This shot was one of many taken by Parker who has been photographing races for the past several years. Her works have been published in national sailing magazines.
After becoming the first person to use computer technology for onboard scoring of Charleston Race Week in 2005, Parker started toting a camera as part of her racing official gear—generally a scoring pad, whistle, flags and count down clock. After 25 years as a sailing event competitor or race committee member, Parker figured it was time she started recording the experience for enjoyment later.
Her shots have captured soaked men teetering parallel to the waves on the edge of a sailboat; the view of the Spirit of South Carolina as it passes under the Cooper River span; and colorful clusters of competitors that have come to Charleston from as far away as New Zealand to test the currents.
Within the past two years, her work has been featured in national sailing publications: M24 National; Southwinds; Woodenboat; and TideLines magazines. The Catalyst and the Post & Courier also have used her photographs.
Still a little shy about touting her photographic successes, Parker giggles when she talks about getting a great shot, having a famous sailing competitor ask for her work or a magazine publishing one of her digital still-lifes.
It took her weeks to decide which of her photographs to display in the SGA’s annual art show at the Harper Student Center. She picked two: the Spirit of South Carolina Tall Ship under bright, blue skies; and a fisherman gathering his crab pots as pelicans fly overhead, caught in silhouette.
The New Bern, N.C. native and former banking official in Atlanta has become an indelible member of the Lowcountry sailing community as member of the Charleston Ocean Racing Association, Charleston Yacht Club, South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association and charter volunteer for The Spirit of SC Tall Ship.
 As she prepares for another Charleston Race Week, which ends April 19, Parker readies her supplies that will include plenty of memory cards and battery packs as an estimated 181 boats compete from the Charleston Harbor Marina-based event.

And though she will serve as race flag person, this time she also will serve as an official photographer for the Viper Class.

MUSC artists display their talents in show
Artists from every corner of MUSC have put their talents on display this month at the Harper Student Center for a special art show sponsored by the MUSC’s Student Government Association (SGA), Student Programs Office, and the university’s Cultural Projects Council.
MUSC's Annie Lovering, left, and Priscilla Parker take a moment to look at the Art Exhibit at the Harper Student Center. The art show will be on display through April 30.
About 80 pieces of artwork ranging from oil paintings to handmade jewelry can be viewed in HSC until April 30. All pieces that also include photography, complex penciled algorisms, and collages, are priced by the artist. Twenty percent of the proceeds will help support SGA. Staff from the medical university, and students, faculty and staff from all six colleges contributed their works, indicating a common thread of creative expression among the MUSC family. Participation from College of Medicine artists represented the largest group of about 30 entries, according to Alicia Lockard, student communications coordinator. This is the 20th year the annual event has been held.
“We do this to show off the talents of fellow classmates and colleagues,” Lockard said. “There will be no judging, because it’s just a fun event. We could consider judging entries in the future.”

Next year, Nadia Mariutto, student programs coordinator, will be in charge of the event.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.