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MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT

Amiri Farris, Artist, Professor, Homeowner

Images/AFarris.jpg

A neighborhood is reclaimed from blight and now inspires a rising new artist.

Sometimes a blighted neighborhood is just a blank canvas waiting for the right inspiration and a little paint. So it was with the Wharf Street neighborhood in Bluffton SC, a once blighted and crime ridden neighborhood, now restored thanks to a lot of vision and funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and HOME.

Amiri Farris had heard about a new community being built near the May River Oyster Factory site in the heart of Bluffton, SC’s historic district. Out of curiosity he decided to drive by and take a look. That’s when two things caught his artist’s eyes--a beautiful blue house facing Wharf Street and a sign requesting applicants to live there. Amiri became the second resident of the beautiful new neighborhood. The nearby riverfront land had recently been converted to a park where he enjoys the evening breezes with his dogs and others in the now tight knit community.

Amiri now draws inspiration from his Old Town neighborhood, recently releasing a series called “Bluffton Dreams,” illustrating many of the elements he sees around him every day.

About 70 people applied to live in the homes, which range from 330 square feet for a one-bedroom house to 1,155 square feet for a three-bedroom house. Applicants were narrowed down during a review process that included background and credit checks and a mandatory course for first-time home buyers.

Like Amiri, the works of the Wharf Street Redevelopment project have been recognized and awarded for their excellence, first by
SC Housing in 2012, for Housing Development of the Year and then by the S.C. Municipal Association.

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