Archive for the ‘Greenville SC Visual Arts’ Category

A Visit to Downtown Charleston, SC’s Art Walks – May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Even though I haven’t been to many art walks in Charleston lately, it’s still our backyard as far as art communities go. I don’t know everyone there now and many don’t know me, but for a lot of the folks who have been there more than a few years, it’s hard for Linda and I to just slip into a gallery and not be spotted. Gallery owners and artists seem to gravitate to us – one because we’re friends with a lot of these folks – at least we feel we are, and two, we haven’t seen most of these folks – face to face in a long time. So we’re like a blast for the past.

It would be nice to do an art walk and not be working, but the nature of these events is always social/working. I want to write the trip up for our blog and they hope I’ll write it up – everyone needs publicity. The problem in Charleston is we know and meet so many people we want to talk to that I end up doing more talking than taking photos. So, I have some images to not make this blog all words, but in no way all that I should have. I’m sorry for that. We got some from the galleries or their websites.

I’ll refresh people’s memory of the weather on May 6, 2011, in the Charleston area. A forecast called for scattered showers, but it seem to be raining most of the day up here in Bonneau, the headquarters of Shoestring Publishing Company on the shore of Lake Moultrie. And just as it was about time to leave, the rain came down hard, but the weather wizards said the system would clear out of the area by 6pm. This time I was hoping they were right. It rained pretty hard all the way to Charleston’s borders, but as we crossed that border the rain stopped and the sky opened up.

By the time we found the same parking space I used in visiting the April art walk, the sun was shinning. Thanks to whoever saved it for us. The rain had cleared the air and cooled it down to a very pleasant 75 degrees. We’ve had some great weather as far as temps go lately – although dangerous at times.  At least there weren’t any tornado warnings on May 6.

Our first stop, due to location, was Nina Liu and Friends, at 24 State Street. The gallery is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. The exhibit being presented that evening was Defining Moments, featuring works by Susie Miller Simon of Colorado, on view through June 30, 2011. Simon couldn’t be there for this opening, but will come in a few weeks.

Nina Liu’s gallery is spread throughout three levels in her home – which is still up for sale – if anyone is interested in living in the heart of Charleston’s French Quarter district and wants to also have a gallery – or not. She’ll sell – either way. Liu is hopping to retire one day to the home she has waiting in Mexico – someday. But, we’re not in any hurry to see her go.

We noticed something strange going on. People were coming into the gallery, saying hi as they passed by, heading upstairs. Liu noticed the strange look on our faces and explained that they were regulars to her openings and they know the food and drink is upstairs. I rolled my eyes, thinking to myself that they could have at least glanced at the works in the exhibit before – running upstairs, but it doesn’t seem to bother her as another group zoomed by. Her food is very popular.

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Work by Susie Miller Simon

Simon’s works give reference to imagery of the Southwestern United States – a million miles from Lowcountry art, which is refreshing at times and I’m sure a reason why her works are so popular here. I’ve included an image, that I’m sure wasn’t in this exhibit. I got it off the Internet just to give you an idea of what the work is like. But you’ll see some images like this and some very different, but you’ll be able to tell it came from Simon.

It was reassuring to see some of those folks who rushed upstairs eventually filtered down to see the exhibit, one even asking about the price of a work found upstairs. A good time for us to move on.

For the second month in a row, I was focused on going to Smith-Killian Fine Art, at 9 Queen Street, at the corner of Queen & State Streets. Last month it was to see an exhibit by Shannon Smith and this month to see “abstract” works by her mother, Betty Anglin Smith, as well as works by a very strong group of SC’s contemporary artists including: Carl Blair, Eva Carter, Matt Overend, Laura Spong, Leo Twiggs and Scott Upton. The exhibit, Contemporary Carolinas – an Invitational Exhibition, will be on view through June 12, 2011.

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Works by Laura Spong (L) and Leo Twiggs (R)

The week before we had talked with Laura Spong at Vista Studios in Columbia, SC, during Artista Vista (read about it at this link) and knew she would be there. And, I was hoping to see and talk with Carl Blair, whom I haven’t seen in a while. Blair, was the one and only member of the Commission of the SC Arts Commission who listened to my complaints and tried to do something about them. The one and only! A true arts leader in SC – a rare exception. Unfortunately he didn’t make the trip from Greenville, SC.

That’s OK – I’ll take the hugs from Betty, Eva, and Laura any day.

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Work by Eva Carter

In my opinion, the day William Halsey passed on, Eva Carter became Charleston’s top “abstract” artist, if not one of the best in SC. After closing up her gallery a few years ago, this was the first of her work in an exhibit in Charleston. Although she has now opened a studio just around the corner from her old gallery, at 16 Gillon Street, we haven’t been able to catch her there when we were in Charleston – so we were also looking forward to seeing and talking with her and seeing what she was painting these days.

But, the real kicker in this show was to see more “abstract” paintings by Betty Anglin Smith. I mentioned in my write up of the April 2011 art walk in Charleston that we saw an unexpected work – an abstract painting by Betty at Shannon Smith’s show. We loved the work and I wanted to see if it was a one hit wonder or if we have a new abstract artists in town. Folks – we weren’t disappointed.

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Work by Betty Anglin Smith

Of course as Betty put it – she’s not quitting her day job of painting landscapes – just yet. We all know there’s a smaller audience for “abstract” art in the Carolinas. But, every day we see more of it all the time – and that means more people are buying it. I tip my hat to Smith Killian Fine Art for taking the risk to present such a show – during the Spoleto Festival season in Charleston. I hope it pays off for them – so they can do it again. I know I could have spent a good bit of my lottery winnings there that evening. Now all I have to do is win one.

This was a great show of works from some of SC’s best artists, not painting what most people expect to see when they go to Charleston to see or buy art. But, I’ve always said there is a lot of this kind of art being made in Charleston – you just have to work a little to find it.

What a good time to transition over to Corrigan Gallery, located at 62 Queen Street – one of those places you won’t find what some people call “Charleston” art. But, you will find plenty of art made by Charleston artists. The exhibit, Egg Meditations, the continuation of a ten year exploration by Yvette Dede, was being presented. The exhibit will be on view through May 31, 2011. I swear it’s been that long – ten years since I’ve seen work by Dede on view in Charleston. At one time she ran Print Studio South, which eventually turned into the Redux Contemporary Arts Center (which hasn’t sent a press release about its May/June exhibit yet). But, that’s what happens when you become an adjunct college professor. You spend more time teaching than exhibiting.

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Works by Yvette Dede

For regular readers of my views on art – presentation is a big factor with me and this exhibit was a top notch example of how to present a cohesive group of works – in this case based on the egg shape. Dede made special frames for her small works and in the intimate space at Corrigan Gallery they looked fantastic. I’m talking about the presentation of the art. I really don’t care what the wall looks like or the floor – as long as they don’t distract the viewer from the art, and in that case – that’s a bigger problem for the artist. There’s nothing wrong with the wall or floors at Corrigan Gallery – I’m just saying well presented art can look good in someone’s cluttered basement.

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Works by Yvette Dede

After checking out all the variations Dede presented, we checked out some of the other works being displayed at the gallery and I came across a work which really fooled me at first in an alcove between the two main rooms of the gallery.  There was a large abstract work on one wall – blue and red. You know how I like abstracts. When I got close enough to see who the artist was,  I was, well not totally surprised, but embarrassed that it was by a good friend of ours –  John Moore. I’ve seen a lot of Moore’s abstract photographs, but for some reason this image didn’t click, I was seeing it from the side and I had just looked through some of his works in a stack and this just fooled me at first.

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Work by John Moore

The real joke here is that Moore and I have talked a million times about the fact that it’s too bad he presents his work as photographs – more people would buy them if they were presented as paintings. A sad fact but true. And, the real tragedy is that many people think they are Photoshopped, but these are the real deal. He finds these outrageous colors – in man-made materials touched by nature. And, to top it off – Moore is color blind. Figure that one out and you can help me pick lottery numbers.

Moore is a purest, he doesn’t manipulate his images and he doesn’t want to fool people into thinking these are not photos just for the sake of sales. He just has a good eye, takes his time before he clicks the shutter and knows how to get the best out of his equipment and when the light is right. That’s the real art of photography.

After Linda coaxed me off the soapbox, our next stop was Horton Hayes Fine Art, at 30 State Street. We wanted to see what Mark Horton was painting these days. The gallery also shows works by Nancy Hoerter, Shannon Runquist, Bjorn Runquist and Chris Groves – all skilled painters. Now, I guess these works don’t fit the classic description of “Charleston” art in that although they are landscapes of the Lowcountry and still lifes – I just think of them as master works. You just want to be in these places put on canvas. You can feel them – smell them. We didn’t talk to anyone here – it was too crowded.

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Work by Mark Horton

Seeing the works at Horton Hayes made me want to go check out Mickey Williams Studio-Gallery, the next street over at 132 E. Bay Street, at the corner of East Bay and Broad Street. This was our old hangout, once the office for IF Labs, then for Carolina Arts newspaper and Carolina Arts Gallery. I spent many a day and night in that space. It survived Hurricane Hugo as if it was just a thunder storm. This was also Eva Carter’s old gallery space.

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Work by Mickey Williams

Williams paints some incredible Lowcountry landscapes. I wanted to go by and see his works and talk to him about facebook. Sometimes I get on facebook by 7am and most days by then Williams has been on for several hours – talking about the birds in his back yard, his garden or the colors in the morning sky. He’s like the good morning guy in the Charleston facebook family – which is funny – as he, like me, is technology challenged. But, he’s got facebook down to a science. I called him and asked him to send me a photo – he had to check with his wife. Sound familiar? We’re two peas in an iPod. We embrace technology – we just don’t know how to make it work.

Our last stop was at Lowcountry Artists Ltd, at 148 E. Bay Street. Their next exhibit is The Power of Glass, featuring blown glass  by Robbie Clair and etched and fused glass by Steve Hazard which will be on view from May 28 through June 11, 2011. This gallery has almost doubled in size since the last time I was in it. As a co-op gallery it has also seen many changes in the group of artists currently showing on the walls.

Another space where we could slip in and get a good look at the art first. Of course we knew some of the artists by name or work and there were a few surprises – like seeing works by Patsy Tidwell on the wall. Her gallery was one of the mainstays of the Charleston art community, but she sold it a few years ago and now it’s closed. I’m sure she is enjoying life now creating artwork vs. trying to sell other artists’ works. It’s not easy running a gallery as an artist – even when you’re doing it as a co-op of artists.

Another surprise was seeing works by Jason Luck, a Seagrove potter who has moved to Charleston. Those Seagrove potters are everywhere. Well they’re not really – but their work seems to be getting everywhere. But, you really have to go to Seagrove, NC, for Seagrove pottery. The chamber of commerce pays me to say that.

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Work by Jackie Wukela

Because we didn’t have to answer a million questions as to how the paper is doing we finally got to eat some of the goodies being offered during the art walk. But, our anonymity could only last so long as I had questions I wanted to ask so we went up front and introduced ourselves to – who I felt sure was Jackie Wukela (due to facebook). She is typical of most of the folks we “know” through the paper. We’ve talked on the phone and e-mailed back and forth, but never met – face to face.

The minute we did this, Carolyn Epperly, who I’ve talked to many times at Tidwell’s Art Gallery, but not in a while, said “I thought you looked familiar.” Jackie Wukela and Lynda English, who are members of Lowcountry Artists Ltd. are also part of the visual art community in Florence, SC, where they live and have a gallery. So this was a twofer – we got to talk about Charleston and Florence’s art communities.

Before long the end of the art walk was on us and it was time to head back to Bonneau. On the ride home a few things struck me. We’ve been to two art walks in two months in Charleston and the art walks have changed – as have the galleries and artists who fill them with works since the days when we went to every one of them.

Charleston’s visual art community is moving away from what many people have tagged it as being for years, a city of artists who are in love with the city, a bad rap in my opinion. Sure there is lots of “tourist” art here to be had – it’s what most tourists want and Charleston is a tourist town, but the artists have moved on to creating what they want – hoping that the more discriminating visitors will want to take that art home. And, a good number of the artworks are being made by artists who live elsewhere – all over the US. The so called “Charleston” art is no longer a novelty – it’s now moved into the realm of novelties – souvenirs.

And, the art walks as I knew them have also changed. There was a time when an art walk in the French Quarter was a near festival – one big party event. I used to equate them to going to the Mall during Christmas – you’d run into everyone you haven’t seen since the last one there, but not so these days. There is an art walk every month in Charleston and most galleries stay open whether they’re in the group hosting it or not. So, it’s not such a special occasion any more. Still, lots of people go to them and enjoy them, but if it rains a little it’s easy to say – I’ll just go to the next one.

Of course my memories are from the 1990′s – what I call the golden age of the visual arts in the Carolinas. It might not be fair to make comparisons to current times – an age where many people are attacking the arts to gain political points and the economy has suffered one blow after another.

I for one am glad to be able to go to them again, but it might be some time before I go to the next one. We’re a little exhausted at this point and there’s so much going on all over the Carolinas. If you don’t believe me – just check our paper out at (www.carolinaarts.com). See how long it takes you to get through it all – end to end.

Some Articles About Exhibits Taking Place in the Carolinas Which Came In After Our February Deadline

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Some of these came in late – after our Jan. 24 deadline and a few came from folks just discovering us. Some think we should just add them to the paper – after all it’s not printed – it’s electronic, but I say no. That’s what deadlines are for and I don’t want several editions of the paper out there and people hearing about items they missed after they first viewed the paper. And, we might not always give these late articles a second life atCarolina Arts Unleashed. So people need to make that deadline.

If you haven’t seen our Feb. 2011 edition of Carolina Arts, you can find it at this link (Warning – this download can take several minutes) (http://www.carolinaarts.com/211/211carolinaarts.pdf).

Coker College in Hartsville, SC, Features Works by Koichi Yamamoto

An exhibition of prints by Koichi Yamamoto, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee School of Art, is on view through Feb. 25, 2011, in the Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building in Hartsville, SC.

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Tochika Ni, by Koichi Yamamoto, a 12″ x 24″ intaglio print

Yamamoto’s show, 00 To 10, includes a selection of intaglio prints (a printing process wherein an image is engraved or acid etched into a metal plate, inked then printed) and prints made with a monotype process, a procedure that yields only a single impression from each plate.

Merging traditional and contemporary approaches to printmaking, Yamamoto has worked with meticulous metal engravings, large-scale relief and intaglio prints. His current work is in large-scale monotypes and exemplifies a contemporary, international aesthetic developed from his upbringing in Japan and his education in Europe and North America. His prints explore issues of the sublime, memory, atmosphere, light and history through various representations of landscape.

“Surface only provides a record from recent events,” Yamamoto said. “Making critical judgments requires an understanding of what lies underneath. Addressing the landscape as subject, my work attempts to describe cross sections of history. I seek to slow down and take time for a deep level of investigation.”

Yamamoto is a graduate of the University of Alberta and Pacific Northwest College of Art. He has also studied at the Bratislava Academy of Art and the Poznan Academy of Art. His work has been included in a number of recent juried print competitions including the Boston Printmakers, the 7th Bharat Bhavan International Biennial Print Art in India and the Lujubljana International Printmaking Exhibition in Slovania. Yamamoto’s prints are in the collections of University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Graphic Center in the Portland Art Museum and the University of Alberta Museum and Collection.

The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building on the Coker College campus. Gallery hours are from 10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday, while classes are in session.

Coker College upholds and defends the intellectual and artistic freedom of its faculty and students as they study and create art through which they explore the full spectrum of human experience. The college considers such pursuits central to the spirit of inquiry and thoughtful discussion, which are at the heart of a liberal arts education.

For more information, contact Barb Steadman by calling 843/857-4199.

UNC Asheville in Asheville, NC, Features Laura Hope-Gill’s Poetry and Photographs by John Fletcher Jr.

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UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library will present the collaborative work of poet Laura Hope-Gill and photographer John Fletcher Jr., on view in Ramsey Library’s Blowers Gallery from Feb.  1- 28, 2011. Hope-Gill and Fletcher will also present a slideshow and poetry reading at 12:30pm, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, in the library’s Whitman Room.

Hope-Gill and Fletcher’s book, The Soul Tree, features photographs of uniquely beautiful southern Appalachian landscapes accompanied by lyric poems, which illuminate themes of vision, faith, healing and the sacredness of nature. The Blowers Gallery exhibit will feature some of the images and poems from the book as well as more recent work inspired byThe Soul Tree.

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The exhibit and the slideshow/poetry reading are free and open to the public.

Hope-Gill is the Poet Laureate of the Blue Ridge Parkway and a recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship. She is also the founder and director of WordFest Poetry Festival in Asheville, and an instructor in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program. Fletcher is a photographer for the Asheville Citizen-Times. His 20-year career has included clients such asUSA Today, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

The gallery is free and open to the public daily and most evenings.

For more information, call 828/251-6336 or visit (http://bullpup.lib.unca.edu/library/exhibits/blowers/exhibits.html).

Greenville Technical College in Taylors, SC, Features Works by Faculty of SC Governor’s School

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the Greer campus of Greenville Technical College in Taylors, SC, is presenting an exhibit of works by members of the South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts and Humanities, on view through Feb. 18, 2011.

Impressive for its scope, the show includes works by photographer Carlyn Tucker, sculptor Joseph Thompson, painter Paul Yanko, ceramists Alice Ballard and Sharon Campbell, printer Katya Cohen, metals artist Ben Gilliam, and graphic designer Neil Summerour. We are pleased to showcase the creative excellence that exemplifies the commitment of arts faculty at this unique Upstate program.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings call Lisa Smith at 864/848-2044 or e-mail to (lisa.smith@gvltec.edu).

Mesh Gallery in Morganton, NC, Features An Exhibit of Iron Works

Mesh Gallery in Morganton, NC, will present an exhibition showcasing the work of Oak Hill Iron that includes both fine art and utilitarian wares titledIronology. The exhibit will be on view from Feb. 14 through Apr. 8, 2011, with a reception taking place on Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, from 6-9pm.

Oak Hill Iron was born out of necessity and driven by true talent and sheer determination to create beautiful products. Founded over a decade ago by Dean Curfman, Oak Hill Iron produces custom ironwork that meets the needs of countless utilitarian applications as well producing works of fine art that are at home in a gallery space. Both high art and craft are integral parts of a healthy arts community and with this exhibition Oak Hill Iron will demonstrate it’s ability to wear both those hats.

Oak Hill Iron is staffed by a team of highly trained artistic craftsmen and offers a wide selection of ironwork for both residential and commercial projects. There is no job that is considered too big or too small.

As always events at MESH Gallery are free and open to the public. Appetizers (hors d’oeuvres) for this event will be provided by Mountain Burrito of Morganton. Wine will be served by Sour Grapes Wine Distribution.

There will be a free concert starting at 8pm on Feb. 18, during the reception with a performance from Pimalia recording artists Moolah Temple $tringband hailing from Jackson County, NC. The duo of Johnny Favorite & Eden Moor co-pilot their goat-drawn deathcart, trailing the detritus of Old Time, Musique Concrète, Honky Tonk, IDM, Minstrelsy, songs of wounded affection, cautionary tales for our age, and the aesthetics of the Fraternal, Temperance, and Evangelical Movements. Moolah Temple $tringband rarely makes public appearances, but the duo is pleased to be invited by MESH. One clown is merely a clown, but two clowns make a circus.

Mesh Gallery is located at 114-B West Union Street, Morganton, NC.

For further information call 828/437-1957 or e-mail to (eliot@meshgallery.com).

Charleston County Public Library in Charleston, SC, Features Works by Cheryl Baskins Butler

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The Charleston County Public Library in Charleston, SC, will present the exhibit, A Day at the Zoo: Impressions of Riverbanks, featuring works by Cheryl Baskins Butler, on view in the Saul Alexander Foundation Gallery, located in the Main Branch of the CCPL system in downtown Charleston, SC, from Feb. 1 – 28, 2011.

Butler began her sketch “safaris” at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC, when it first opened in the mid 70’s. Throughout the ensuing years, she has returned regularly to observe, sketch, paint and spend personal time with the Riverbanks residents. A Day at the Zoo: Impressions of Riverbanks is a compilation of paintings, collages and site sketches from her visits.
The Main Library is located at 68 Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston.

For further information call Frances Richardson at 843/805-6803 or visit (www.ccpl.org).

Martha R. Severens is Retiring From the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, SC

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

We were first sent this news by an old friend in Greenville, SC, and then confirmed it by reading an article in the Greenville News and then making contact with the Greenville County Museum of Art. After 17 years as curator at the Museum, Severens and her husband Kenneth will do some well deserved traveling.

Linda and I knew Martha and Kenneth when they were in Charleston, SC, long before we started doing an arts newspaper – Martha was curator at the Gibbes Museum of Art and we worked with Kenneth processing black and white photos for his books on Southern architecture. We did photo processing for the Gibbes too. That was during our life as custom photo processors before publishing newspapers.

At some point a change was being made at the Gibbes and I think Martha Severens and Paul Figueroa were both up for the directors job and Figueroa got the job. Severens moved on to take a job as curator of the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, but in 1992, came back to South Carolina to take a job as curator at the Greenville County Museum of Art. That was probably during a time when folks in South Carolina couldn’t imagine a woman being director of a major museum. Now women directors are the norm.

Severens is the author of The Greenville County Museum of Art: The Southern Collection, issued in 1995. She has written books on Andrew Wyeth, The Charleston Renaissance, and a series of articles on the Museum’s collection, which have appeared in American Art Review, a national publication.

Severens will be leaving the South Carolina Museum community with a lot of knowledge and experience, and will be hard to replace, but all good things come to an end and she and her husband deserve their time to travel. And, who knows – she may still have a few books planned.

Riverworks Gallery in Greenville, SC, Features Works by Tracie Easler – Jan. 8 – Feb. 28, 2010

Friday, December 18th, 2009

As usual we received several press releases about exhibits starting in January – after our deadline. We can’t reward all the stragglers, but occasionally we single out one or two for exposure here. It’s not that they’re all not interesting, but some just stand out more than others and after all – all we receive by deadline for the web version of Carolina Arts will be posted on Carolina Arts Online – on the first of the month.

That’s right, we produce two really different publications every month – one the physical printed paper and another online version which includes much more info than can be found in the printed version. The ratio of advertising to printer cost vs. unlimited space on the Internet, for much less money, is the reason for these two publications. It’s not like we wouldn’t want to produce one big color publication covering everything – we just can’t afford it without the help of advertisers and since we’ll never be able to receive any government support for doing what we do – it’s the reality of our life. Oh well.

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These small gallery spaces located at Art Crossing on the Reedy River in downtown Greenville are an interesting concept which I wish more cities or developments offered to their local visual art communities. The Reedy River area in Greenville is interesting enough on its own, but the galleries add an extra touch of class – many cities in SC and the Carolinas could use.

Here’s the press release.

Riverworks Gallery, located at Suite 202 at Art Crossing on the Reedy River in downtown Greenville, SC, will present the exhibit, Carolina Cowboy, Photographs by Tracie Easler, on view from Jan. 8 – Feb. 28, 2010. The exhibition is sponsored by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the Greenville Technical College/Greer Campus.

Easler’s riveting photographic portraits document the cultural anomaly of the South Carolina cowboy. The Carolina Cowboy series is a collection of environmental portraits produced using processes from the 19th and the 21st centuries. The images are intended to serve as a reflection of the lifestyle of each individual. Easler utilizes both 35mm digital and 4×5 large format film cameras to make the portraits. The images are presented utilizing the antique process of platinum/palladium and the modern technique of archival inkjet printing. “Photography fuels my personal expression in ways that words cannot,” say Easler.

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In addition to being enrolled as a photography student in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Greenville Technical College, Easler is the mother of three children under fourteen, a wife, a homemaker, a ranch hand, a gardener and a cook. She is also a rodeo promoter and a calf and team roper.

Easler was selected as the 2009 recipient of EMRYS Foundation grant, the Alice Conger Patterson Scholarship, from a group of over fifty applicants. The scholarship is designed to encourage South Carolina women to pursue continuing education or to develop a creative endeavor.

Riverworks Gallery is a small student art gallery operated by the faculty and students from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Greenville Technical College.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings or call Blake Praytor at 864/848-2020 or e-mail to (blake.praytor@gvltec.edu).

Greenville, SC’s Open Studio Tour is a BIG Event – Taking Place on Nov. 7 & 8, 2009

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

At times I find myself in a conflict when I’m promoting several events taking place at the same time. Such is the case with the Greenville Open Studios tour in Greenville, SC, and the Charleston Art Auction taking place on Nov. 7, 2009, in Charleston, SC, during the Charleston Fine Arts Annual weekend. Both the tour and the auction are big supporters of Carolina Arts. People could really attend both, but human nature for most is just to chose one. I just hope I’ll be finished delivering our Nov. issue and have that opportunity. But, then again – with every issue of Carolina Arts or Carolina Arts Online were promoting dozens of events that take place at the same time – even in the same city or town.

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Carl R. Blair

In this posting I’m plugging the Greenville Open Studios tour – taking place Nov. 7 & 8, 2009, 10am-6pm Saturday and noon-6pm Sunday. The event is organized by the Metropolitan Arts Council in Greenville. This is the biggest or at least one of the biggest studio tours in the Carolinas. And, Alan M. Ethridge, executive director of MAC, would just love it if I would plug the events two major sponsors – Wachovia and SEW Eurodrive, so I guess I will.

Wachovia Bank, N.A. and SEW Eurodrive are proud to be the presenting sponsors of the eighth annual Greenville Open Studios and congratulate the 124 participating artists.

Hopefully some of you got a copy of the tour booklet I helped distribute during the delivery of our Oct. issue of Carolina Arts. It’s a great resource about the studio tour and the Greenville area visual art community. With 124 participants, it doesn’t represent the entire visual art community but it does feature a lot of the area’s heavy hitters – at least a lot of folks I like. Alice Ballard, Carl R Blair, Jane Todd Butcher, Bob Chance, Lynn Greer, Diane Hopkins-Hughs, Glen Miller, Susan Sorrell, Barbara Stitt, Enid Williams, are just a few I’ll mention. Of course there are just as many that I like who are not on the tour, but out of 124 – anyone should find plenty to like.

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Barbara Stitt

The booklet offers one image by the artists, contact info, including website addresses to see more work, a short description – even info on wheelchair accessibility. If also offers maps that can be very helpful in figuring out your driving route from studio to studio. The booklet also offers info about other programs by the Metropolitan Arts Council and an arts calendar of other events taking place in the area during the months of Nov. and Dec. It also gives a complete list of sponsors – of which there are many. So even if you don’t go to the tour – the booklet is a great resource to have.

I took these booklets to a lot of places we don’t go to every month distributing Carolina Arts.

Why don’t we distribute Carolina Arts to every inch of South Carolina, much less every inch of the greater Carolinas? Come on – we’re a business, not a non-profit charity. Besides, anyone with access to the Internet can see every page of Carolina Arts every month. If you have a library in your community – you can most like get access to the Internet. The address is (www.carolinaarts.com).

I guess there are some who would make a game out of the tour by trying to go to all 124 studios in the two-day time frame, but that’s no way to look at art. The tour is a great opportunity to see the environment in which these talented artists create, talk with them, see their latest creations, and – wait for it – buy art. That’s right – they’re going to let you buy art during the tour. So don’t let this opportunity go by.

Now, if you think this is something you might be interested in and you’re making plans to go – here’s a tip. Plan to go to Greenville on Friday, Nov. 6, 2009, so you can also enjoy the First Fridays event (6-9pm) – a gallery crawl of many of Greenville’s art galleries and some of the folks on the tour will be open that evening too – giving you a few extra hours to see more of the 124. The booklet tells you who is doing the First Friday and who is not.

Man, this booklet reminds me of another great resource of the visual art community in the Carolinas. It’s on the tip of my tongue.

Well, anyway I’ve made my plug – it won’t be the last and you may just run into me there – you never know. It seems to be a surprise for anyone who does see me at an event as they are always saying – “What are you doing here?” which I hope refers to the distance the event is away from homebase Bonneau, SC – because I do actually show up at a lot of events. Not as many as we report on – but a lot. It seems such a funny question to ask – considering what I do.

Christopher Rico Exhibit Begins on First Fridays Event at Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC – Oct. 2, 2009

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Not too long ago I went to Clinton, SC, to witness a visual art event – a short site-specific installation – which was being photographed for a book and filmed at the same time. I did a blog entry of it on Aug. 27, 2009 – here’s a link to that blog entry.

Not long after that I got to see the first draft of the short film made that night. It was amazing to see how hours and hours of work edited down to a few minutes looked. You can also see that at this link, but I must warn you – it you have an old computer, it might not work, it you have a slow internet connection, it might not work and even for those who have a spiffy new computer and highspeed internet, you might want to turn the HD switch off.

The book will be called, The Forest and the Sea. Rico offers a read of the interview done for that book on his blog, Machinations of a Distracted Mind. Rico’s friend D. A. Adams did the interview which can be found at this link.

You can also see a preview of some of the works done for the show at Art & Light Gallery on Rico’s other blog found here.

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St. Theresa #2

Of course if you are going to be in the area of Greenville, SC, on Oct. 2, 2009, you could go to the First Fridays event, which takes place from 6-9pm. Art & Light Gallery is located at 1211 Pendleton Street, (for you fans of Google Maps) in the Flatiron Studios of the Pendleton Street Art District of Greenville.

Now, with all these links you have just about everything Christopher Rico – except the article we’ll be running in our Oct. issue of Carolina Arts. But, why hold that back? Most of you readers don’t ever see a printed copy of the paper unless you view it on our website – where you can see every page of every issue dating back to Aug. 04.

So here’s the article:

Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC, Features Works by Christopher Rico

Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC, will present the exhibit, Christopher Rico – The St. Theresa Suite and Other Works, on view from Oct. 2 – 31, 2009.

Christopher Rico’s work has been exhibited nationally. He is part of corporate, public and private collections in locations throughout the Southeast. He has been a member of artists’ collectives from Memphis to Seattle to Texas. Rico has also designed professionally for the theatre, collaborated with modern dance companies and mounted ephemeral exhibitions in warehouses, construction sites and public outdoor settings. His work, while deeply tied to his materials, responds powerfully and uniquely to each environment it finds itself in and consistently creates a profound sense of encounter within the viewer.

“When people look at my work, I hope they ask themselves questions about my medium and my surfaces, because all of those choices are very specific and hold references to history or poetry or the body, and these references exist autonomously from whatever loose concept or abstracted narrative the painting may or may not have,” says Rico.  “I want people to bring their own interpretation, so their associations and relationships to these materials may be completely different from my own, but no less true.”

Rico adds, “I like to paint with my hands – without brushes – because I feel a real intimacy with the paint and surface that way. I think we make our own light in the world, our own meaningfulness. I’d rather people be concerned with this meaningfulness than worrying about objective meaning.”

The Art & Light Gallery is a fusion gallery/home accents boutique located in the heart of the Pendleton Street Arts District in Greenville.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 864/363-8172 or visit (www.artandlightgallery.com).

Lest We Forget Our Humble Beginnings

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

The Greenville News in Greenville, SC, offered an article by Ann Hicks on June 22, 2008, entitled, “Phil Garrett’s King Snake Press Marks 10 Years”. The article gives a brief overview of Garrett’s past ten years running the press and mentions a collaboration between the press, SC artists, and the Greenville County Museum of Art. In fact the Museum is currently showing an exhibit of works coming out of the print studio over the past ten years by 15 artists through July 27, 2008.

What the article doesn’t mention is that Garrett lifted the idea of setting up a print studio in Greenville after parking himself at the Art Thomas Gallery in Charleston, SC, in the mid-’90s. Thomas first offered a print studio for artists to make monotypes in Charleston and gave Garrett the idea to work with artists and the local art museum through his collaboration with the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. I know, I have one of those prints.

It’s not surprising that Garrett left out the fact that the spark for his idea of opening a print studio and working with a museum came from Charleston – his past conduct in Charleston is forgettable – except some of us remember. But, then again, maybe that part was cut from the article for space limitations.