by Mary Helen Yarborough
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
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.
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
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
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.
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