Posts Tagged ‘SC State Museum’

Another Quick Trip to Columbia, SC, for Some Art Viewing During the Crazy Winter of 2013

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

I don’t know why the good folks in Columbia, SC, think that Thursday evenings is the day to have art openings and art walks, but it seems that’s their day. Maybe it has to do something with early preparations for Saturday morning tailgating, but once again I was making a trip up I-26 from the Charleston, SC, area to see art in Columbia – something I don’t think a lot of folks in the Charleston area ever consider doing. Believe me – it’s their loss.

Charleston has an excellent visual art community, but so does Columbia and other parts of South Carolina and the Carolinas as a whole. But I’m not sure many folks in Charleston know that.

So on a day when our crazy Winter was turning from an Eskimo’s Summer to a Carolina Winter, I traveled to Columbia to see several exhibitions. When I first arrived in Columbia it was a wonderful 80 degree day. Within hours the temps had dropped 30-40 degrees and rain was blowing horizontally. It kind of reminded me of Michigan.

My first stop was the Goodall Gallery at Columbia College to see the exhibit,South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Faculty Exhibition, featuring works by Marty Epp-Carter, Ben Gilliam, Elaine Quave, Joseph Thompson, Carolyn Tucker, and Paul Yanko. The exhibit will be on view through Feb. 16, 2013.

I usually don’t know what’s going on at the Goodall Gallery as we don’t ever seem to receive info about their exhibits, but somehow info reached me this month. So, I was interested in seeing the work created by the folks teaching our lucky high school students in SC who get the opportunity to attend the Governor’s School for the Arts in Greenville, SC.

I’ve been told that we will be better informed about exhibits at Columbia College. As Martha Stewart says, “That’s a good thing.”

As I drove to Columbia College I was experiencing a feeling of auto-pilot – the Goodall Gallery was my first stop when delivering papers to Columbia (years ago now). The only difference now was that it was the middle of the day instead of being at 1 or 2am at night. And, being daytime I had to take some faculty member’s parking space, but I figured at that time of the day they had probably left for home already – otherwise I created a parking domino effect. Sorry about that.

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A view of one corner of the gallery.

The Goodall Gallery is not a large space, but it isn’t small either. It has two levels, but today’s exhibit only took up the lower level. The only artist whose works I was familiar with were those by Paul Yanko, an abstract artist – go figure. I like his work and if you’ve seen it before you can spot it in a second – as long as he keeps to his current style.

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Bridge Frame Wing by Paul Yanko, 2009-10, acrylic on canvas

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Bridge Frame Wing by Paul Yanko, 2009-10, acrylic on canvas – detail

After a look at everything on display my first impression was that the visual art students at the Governor’s School for the Arts would do well in following what these instructors had to offer. All of the work I saw could actually sell in the Carolinas – which is not often the case when it comes to college or university professors. I liked all the work I saw, but beyond Yanko’s abstracts I focused in on the earthenware clay works by Elaine Quave and a series of photographs by Carlyn Tucker.

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Hercules Beetle, by Elaine Quave, 2012, earthenware clay

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Economic Indicator Series, by Carlyn Tucker, 2005-2011, digital color print

Quave’s works were large platters mounted as wall hangings and Tucker’s photographs told a timelapse story on how well our economy has been doing since 2005. One set of photographs showed one small building in transition from openings to closings of five different businesses in a span of time from 2005 to 2011. It was very interesting – something probably only noticed by people who drive by the building on a daily basis or its landlord. Having been someone who has failed at business in the past, I felt the pain and loss in these images.

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(left) Vespa, by Ben Gilliam, 2010, alabaster, copper (right) Erosion Vessel, by Ben Gilliam, 2010, bronze, copper

We have an article about this exhibit on Page 14 of our February 2013 issue of Carolina Arts (www.carolinaarts.com). Go see this exhibit.

My next stop was Tapp’s Art Center on Main Street. It’s been awhile since I’ve been there – way before they got city funding, but by the time I got from Columbia College to where Tapp’s is on Main Street – the skies had opened up and rain was coming down in buckets – horizontally. After driving around the area a few times and finding only one parking space that would have meant I would spend the rest of my time in Columbia soaked to the bone – I went to plan B, which is mostly plan A every time I’m in Columbia. I drove over to One Eared Cow Glass to see what the cowboys were up to. Besides I had orders from Linda, my better half, to get one of those glass snowflakes from the display of the Four Seasons (in glass) that One Eared Cow Glass did at the recent SC State Fair.

I found a space at OECG right next to the front door, but judging by how wet I got just getting out of the car and through that door – not going to Tapp’s was a good decision. Hopefully I’ll get to visit on my next trip to Columbia.

The cowboys on this day were working on a commission piece for the town of Blythewood, SC. They were making leaves to create a chandelier for the new Doko Manor community center in Blythewood. When I asked what that was going to look like they said picture the Dale Chihuly chandelier over at the Columbia Museum of Art, but made of colorful leaves. That’s some kind of picture. I’m sure we’ll be bringing you more about this project in the future.

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Dale Chihuly chandelier at Columbia Museum of Art

I watched about a dozen leaves get made while looking to see if the rain was letting up, which it wasn’t, and kept checking at my phone for the time. That’s right, I don’t wear a watch anymore. It’s just another thing a smart phone has replaced. I was keeping track of the time as the main reason I had come to Columbia was for the opening of an exhibit at City Art Gallery, Selected Work from the 30 Year Retrospective: Made in America -1983- 2013, featuring works by artist Marge Loudon Moody, an art professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, on view through Mar. 2, 2013. (We have an article about this exhibit on Page 16 of our Jan. 2013 issue of Carolina Arts).

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Tom Lockart making the stem for a leaf.

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Mark Woodham rolling out a leaf from a big glob of molten glass.

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Lockart merging the leaf and the stem.

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Lockart shaping the leaf.

So while the rain continued, I took some photos (with my phone) and picked out a snow flake, talked with the cowboys and looked at all the wonderful works in the gallery, until it was time to venture back into the car to head over to City Art. I always want to get there early to get a good parking space – especially on that day, due to the downpour.

I got a fairly good spot considering, but the rain was still relentless. I had come ready to be dressed for a reception, at least dressed up for me (dress pants, shirt and sport jacket), but ended up deciding that at my age, it was better to wear my old reliable rain coat and Carolina Panther’s hat to stay as dry as I could. My normal dress is shorts and T-shirt or in Winter – T-shirt and lounge pants or jeans – 24/7 (Panther hat when going outside).

The 100 yard dash to the door was an event. As I reached the door and got inside I can remember letting out a whew! and realizing I was the first person there. The only folks in the gallery were staff members and they were all staring at me. Once I walked up the stairs to the gallery Wendy Wells , the gallery director, walked over to me and asked, “What are you doing here?”. Taking that as a sort of comment based on the weather and distance from Bonneau to Columbia, I replied. “I came for the opening.” She still looked a little surprised, I usually only show up in Columbia for maximum effect – Artista Vista, Vista Lights or even a First Thursday on Main, but I think she understood why I had come for the opening. She also said the artist was still “swimming” upstream on I-77 coming through the rain from Rock Hill.

You need a little background at this point. You see, we have to go back to an exhibit the SC State Museum presented a year or so ago, Abstract Art in South Carolina 1949-2012, which is where I first saw works by Marge Moody. This was my favorite exhibition in some time in SC and I was familiar with the name Marge Moody, but had never seen any of her work before that exhibit. I was more familiar with her husband’s photography – Phil Moody, who also teaches at Winthrop University. Marge Moody’s works in that show made a big impression with me – as did many of the works in that show. It was a spectacular exhibition. You can read about this exhibit and see some images in a blog I did about another trip to Columbia at thisLink.

Wendy Wells had also liked that exhibit and in a discussion about the exhibit Moody’s works came up and she said she was going to have a solo exhibit of her works at City Art Gallery. My response was – when you do we’ll feature her work on the cover of Carolina Arts, and we did in our Jan. 2013 issue.

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So, you see, I couldn’t wait to see a whole exhibit of Moody’s works and I said so on Facebook, but I guess some people just think comments on Facebook are just superficial comments. Not with me. So, Wells shouldn’t have been too surprised to see me there – slightly wet. But, due to the weather, I think she was surprised anyone would show up that evening. Linda wanted to come too, but just couldn’t get off work to come, so we’ll probably see it again before Mar. 2.

The SC State Museum in Columbia has just received the 2012 Certificate of Excellence for the exhibit, Abstract Art in South Carolina 1949-2012, from the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC). So, I guess I stand in good company in liking that exhibition.

Shortly after the reception started the rain stopped and a little sunlight came through the skies so I was able to dash back to my car and change back into my better looking duds – which meant ditch the hat and rain coat and put on the sport coat.

Moody and her husband soon arrived and I got a chance to talk with her about how she had managed to stay off my “abstract” radar, but the good news is that there are other exhibits in the works coming in the future. Hopefully we’ll have more about that in the future.

First off, this exhibit was not really a retrospective – most of the works were recent. I guess it was my mistake in thinking I was going to be seeing a wide range of works over a period of time – by not reading the exhibit title – literally (“Selected Workfrom the 30 Year Retrospective: Made in America -1983- 2013). These works were on the more recent end of those 30 years. Perhaps one of those future exhibits will offer a wider view of those 30 years.

The only way I can describe Moody’s work is to show some of my favorites with photos provided by City Art Gallery. My phone’s camera doesn’t do such a good job in that space for some reason or it’s the fact that at a reception I do more talking than taking photos.

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Blue Chicago Series: Blue Chicago, by Marge Loudon Moody, 60″ x 70″

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Field Lines Series: Terrain, by Marge Loudon Moody, 60″ x 70″

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Moon, by Marge Loudon Moody, 12″ x 12″

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Studio Series: Sunset and Stilllife, by Marge Loudon Moody, 18″ x 18″

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Thin Places Series: Field I, by Marge Loudon Moody, 54″ x 54″

You have lots of time to go see this show, but don’t put it off and then miss it. And, it will be some time – too long for me – before the SC State Museum mounts another view of abstract art in SC. So for people who love and understand abstract works – you have to get out and see these shows when they happen as they don’t happen that often – especially at commercial galleries.

Why is that? Well, those who like abstract art and would consider buying it are in a minority in SC. Commercial galleries are in business to sell art, so my hat goes off to someone like Wendy Wells and City Art Gallery for presenting a show like this one. In this case the public could prove me wrong. I hope so. Yes, City Art Gallery is a supporter of Carolina Arts, but that doesn’t change the facts and supporter or not, they deserve credit for their efforts.

I do want to mention another exhibit that opened that same evening in Columbia over at 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Stephen Hayes: Cash Crop, on view through Mar. 3, 2013. This is another “must see” exhibit that probably won’t be coming to Charleston any time soon – although it should have originated there.

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A detail of one of Hayes’ pieces in the exhibit.

At the core of the exhibit are 15 life-size sculptures of shackled people placed in boat- or coffin-like structures, with diagrams of captive, warehoused humans in Trans-Atlantic slave ships carved in wood on the back. Hayes says the sculptures represent, “the 15 million human beings kidnapped and transported by sea during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.”

Most of those slaves probably arrived in Charleston first in coming to America.

This exhibition has been shown several times in North Carolina and I got to see it at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. If I get another chance I’ll see it at 701, but with a two hour drive back home, my visits to Columbia are always limited. One of these days I’m going to stay overnight and enjoy Columbia’s art scene like a local.

Hayes is doing a residency at 701 CCA, so he may be adding new pieces to this exhibit.

So, if you travel to Columbia before Feb. 16, you can see all these exhibits and maybe get a peek at the chandelier that One Eared Cow Glass is creating.

A Trip to Columbia, SC, the Famously Hot City, to See Some Art and Attend a High Noon Event

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

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Last Saturday (June 23, 2012), before I was knee deep in our July 2012 issue of Carolina Arts I headed to Columbia, SC, to catch up on a few things going on there. I wanted to attend one of the Nigh Noon series that City Art was offering – Mary Gilkerson was giving a demo on how to start a painting. I wanted to see the exhibit, Abstract Art in South Carolina: 1949-2012, which offers the first inclusive look at the evolution and influences of abstract painting and sculpture in South Carolina, on view at the SC State Museum through Aug. 26, 2012. And, for me, no trip to Columbia is complete without a stop at One Eared Cow Glass to see what the cowboys, Tom Lockart and Mark Woodham, are up to.

Hitting the road these days is less painful. I filled up the car in Moncks Corner, SC, with $2.91 a gallon gas – thanks to my BiLo Fuel Perks card. Any day under $3 is a good day. I saw on the Weather Channel the other day that Greenville, SC, has the cheapest gas in the nation at $2.69. Our car, a Honda Civic Hybrid, is getting between 42 – 44mpg these days, but we still like lower gas prices.

As usual, I arrived at City Art in Columbia’s Congaree Vista area within two hours of leaving home. A short trip compared to my paper delivery driving days where I would spend 16 -18 hours a day in the car. Thank you Al Gore for inventing the Internet – ha, ha.

I checked out the exhibit of works by Michael Fowler which were still on display, before the big SC Watermedia Society exhibit comes to City Art (beginning July 7). I like abstract works and Fowler offers some good ones. Unfortunately, this day also confirmed that my pocket camera just wasn’t cutting it. I have been disappointed in how it acts in low-light situations. And, on this day I was running a test with my new iPhone’s camera – which after inspection showed it did much better, but it’s going to take some practice getting used to using it – especially keeping my fingers out of the way. In good daylight – the pocket camera is OK.

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Here’s a photo I took with my camera

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Here’s the same painting off the City Art website

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A view of a few more paintings

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a few more

While at City Art I also checked out some of their other art offerings, but I never got upstairs. I also went downstairs and looked over the art supplies. Not being an artist, I’ve never had much need for art supplies. There was a time when Linda and I did some silkscreening of T-shirts and a few Spoleto Posters with some friends. But this was in relationship to the photography we once did. And, back in the day when we had to physically layout the pages of the paper we used some spray adhesive. When I got to tubes of oil paints I instantly started trying to add up how much the paint might cost an artist like Brian Rutenberg who puts gallons of paint on his paintings – sometimes sticking an inch or two off the canvas. That’s got to cost a pretty penny. I’d learn some tricks about stretching out paint at Mary Gilkerson’s demo.

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A view of some of Harriet Goode’s tall women – from a previous exhibit at City Art

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A colorful painting by Jo Dean Bauknight with a lot of texture

So, close to noon I headed back upstairs and people were beginning to flow in for the demo. At first ten, then twenty, and thirty to eventually forty people and about a handful of staff from City Art. Gilkerson, being an art professor at Columbia College in Columbia came well prepared for this demo – no winging it here, and as I’m sure she’s used to after all her years of teaching – the hour moved on a steady path and I was amazed at how much material she covered with her ten point system in such a short period of time. And it wasn’t all lecture – there was plenty of show and tell, opportunity for questions, and at the end – opportunity to try out some of the materials – on the spot. The show and tell is good for people like me who need people to draw a picture for them to understand a concept sometimes. Words alone don’t always bring up the clearest picture for me.

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High Noon with Mary Gilkerson

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A view of the whole group

The bonus of this kind of learning event taking place at City Art is the staff being able to add info about materials, brands, and availability of items mentioned. (Which is no surprise – I’m sure they are offering these events in hope that what people learn will lead to sales of products and early reports were that this was the case.) Just like Carolina Arts, City Art is doing what they are doing because they like the arts, but they are in business too. Gilkerson was handing out info about upcoming workshops. She’s also hoping for some return on her efforts.

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Folks trying out materials from the demo and collecting sample goodies

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Pushing paint with painting knives – easier to clean

Gilkerson, being an active painter has her habits, but she was flexible to offer alternative ways of doing things. But, at the same time she made her pitch to work safe (some toxic materials are involved in painting) and working green. She explained that she knew artists who have gotten sick and a few who died due to their careless handling of some of these materials.

I have no intention of becoming a painter, but I learned a few things while listening. The number one point was – cheap materials usually result in cheap results, but in some cases – cheap is useful. Gilkerson finds suitable brushes at dollar stores for prepping canvases, but when laying paint on the canvas – the best is best. She also advised that sometimes you have to do bad work to learn from it – just don’t show off your learning experiences. That’s a trick of a real pro.

I remember back in my photography days learning that a National Geographic photographer might shoot 1,000 images for every one that is used in the magazine. This makes it look like they only take fantastic images – they just don’t show you all the misses. It’s a good practice for any artist. I see too much work not ready for public viewing.

From what I saw, I liked this High Noon series and it seemed others there did too. I understand that City Art already has programs scheduled for every Saturday at High Noon through the fall. I don’t think they expected the reaction to their offerings to be so good right off the bat. But, the art community always needs to remember that education and involvement is the key to success and development. It can’t always be about begging for funding.

And, here’s where I ask the usual question. Why couldn’t programs like this get funding from public resources? Not that anyone’s asking – I’m just saying… What makes programs that are hosted by non-profits more worthy – when many times they are not and many times they are not free? The business part of the arts community understands our role in the arts and many of the non-profits look to us for help, but it makes no sense to me why it’s an absolute that for-profits can never share in public funding. Isn’t the point of public funding to help people do good things they would not be able to afford otherwise – for the benefit of the public. And what business couldn’t do better things without a little help? It’s funny that the government doesn’t seem to have any problem helping out big farm operations, oil companies, and other big corporations with public funding – why not in the arts?

I feel a headache coming on – so on to the SC State Museum where there is something better to talk about. Regular readers know I like my abstract art and the show at the State Museum was like Christmas in July, although it was still June. To me there is nothing better than wall to wall abstracts and this exhibit offered many treats from artists who are already some of my favorites and some by folks I had not seen much of before this visit.

Thanks to Paul Matheny, the curator of art at the State Museum, I can offer you great shots of the gallery space. I handled the individual works – as best I could between camera and iPhone, but the lighting is always better for viewing than for taking photos at the Museum.

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For anyone who loves abstract works as I do this show is a must see. I mean it – you have until Aug. 26 to see this show and then you’ll probably never see such an assemblage again – in my lifetime. And, for those who say – I don’t get it – when they view abstracts – this is also an opportunity to give abstracts a chance to see if you’ll ever like abstracts. Because after viewing this show – if you still don’t see the beauty in these works – you probably never will and you can cross them off your bucket list. I didn’t get them at first – many a year ago. One day looking at works by Eva Carter and William Halsey – the lightblub in my head went off.

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The exhibit seems to be organized by area of influence or around universities. You have the Charleston/College of Charleston group; Columbia/University of South Carolina group; Rock Hill/Winthrop University group; Upstate/Clemson University group and so on.

You have works by artists who were born as far back as 1897 with Faith Murry being the oldest and Hollis Brown Thornton the youngest born in 1976. In this exhibit – being in your 50′s and 60′s might still make you a young upstart.

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A slightly fuzzy photo of a work by Eva Carter

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A work by William “Bill” Buggel

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A work by Brian Rutenberg

It’s hard enough being an abstract artist today, but I can only imagine how hard it was for some of these folks who were working in the 50′s and 60′s in South Carolina. No problem if you were in New York City, but in SC – folks like to be able to tell what they are looking at – an old house, marsh scene, mountain stream or people. Many of these artists had to make their living by teaching art and trying to convert a few students – over to the dark side when they could. And, the exhibit probably has a number of teacher/student groupings – if not even a third generation of influence. Others had to show and sell their works – out of state.

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A work by Gene Speer

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A work by Marge Moody

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A work by Tom Flowers

Sculpture was represented with some excellent works, but the majority of the works are paintings – large paintings. Not many would fit in my car for a ride home – not that I’m saying I’d try something like that, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a lot of these works on my walls – if I had walls big enough to hold any of these works.

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A work by John Acorn who will have an exhibit at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in July

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A close in detail of that same work by John Acorn

After seeing all this great work, I still felt like I wanted more. This was a pretty big exhibition in one of our state’s largest galleries, but I would have liked to see more works by some of these artists and more works by others not included. In fact I told several folks at the State Museum that I can hardly wait for the follow-up exhibit, Abstract Works in South Carolina: Today, which I don’t think is being planned any time soon – too bad.

The Museum produced a very nice catalogue for this exhibition and SCETV produced an informative video which plays just outside the entrance to the exhibit. Don’t leave without viewing it. I suggest the State Museum place a few chairs out there for us older folks.

Thank you Paul Matheny for organizing this exhibition.

Like I said before – no trip to Columbia is complete without a visit to One Eared Cow Glass and I used my iPhone to show some new works from the cowboys – Tom Lockart and Mark Woodham. They’re working on a special display for this year’s SC State Fair – which is going to be BIG. We’ll have details about that later.

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A group of works at One Eared Cow Glass

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All these images are from the iPhone

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My favorite photo from the day’s trip – love that iPhone

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Not sure what these are – might be for the State Fair exhibit

I didn’t stay there long – probably because they were not working their magic – turning melted sand into art, but while there, Lockart said I was brave to come to Columbia on one of the first hot days of summer. I mean for the city that calls itself Famously Hot! I didn’t think it was that hot. I don’t think I spent more than ten minutes going from my car to a well cooled space, but when I left it was 98 degrees and by the time I got back to Bonneau – two hours later, but still the hot part of the day – it was only 91 degrees – so I guess they are hot there, but not too hot to view art or learn something about the arts.

So you folks in the Upstate with $2.69 gas – you have no excuse not to travel to Columbia and you won’t melt and by the time you get back to the Upstate – it will feel so much nicer. For the folks on the coast – stop in Columbia on your way to the mountains – you’re driving right by anyway. Beside there’s cheap gas in the Upstate – go get yourself some.

Columbia, SC’s Spring Arts Festival – Artista Vista – Celebrates 20 Years – Apr. 28-30, 2011

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

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Artista Vista, the Columbia, SC’s, Congaree Vista’s annual gallery crawl, will once again usher in spring in the Midlands from Thursday, Apr. 28 through Saturday, Apr. 30, 2011. The event features special exhibits at each of the participating galleries from 5-9pm on Thursday night and from 11am-5pm on Friday and Saturday.

In celebration of Artista Vista’s 20th anniversary this year, well-known arts writer and critic Jeffrey Day will curate a variety of installation art exhibits, original poetry readings, music performances and more in the streets of the Congaree Vista Thursday evening.

Artista Vista’s founding grew out of the rise of installation art in the 1990s, so we wanted to embrace art outside the gallery to honor the 20th anniversary while recognizing that many of Artista Vista’s founding galleries are still thriving twenty years later,” said Day.

The three-day event will encompass all forms of art from visual to performing arts.

Thursday, Apr. 28, (5-9pm): Installation pieces by an assortment of artists will be on display at 927 to 929 Gervais Street and the fire-training tower on Park Street.

Fiber artist, Susan Lenz will unveil her public art project, Looking for a Mate. Lenz collected mate-less socks from the public during Vista Lights, last Fall, and used them to create an art quilt.

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Barry Wheeler and Heather Bauer will present a photography piece at Lewis + Clark, which will share the history of the Vista through photos. Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art group will perform at Ellen Taylor Interiors and Design’s storefront window from 7:15-8:30pm.

Friday, Apr. 29 (11am-7pm): Installations will be on display at 927-929 Gervais Street.

Saturday, Apr. 30 (11am-7pm): Installations will be on display at 927-929 Gervais Street.

There will be a special performance by the USC percussion ensemble at 1pm at City Art Gallery.

From noon to 1:30pm, One-Eared Cow Glass artists will be collaborating with artists from the About Face art group at One-Eared Cow (1001 Huger Street).

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USC’s art department painting studios (located in the Vista at the corner of Devine Street and Gadsden Street) will have an open house and the department’s new wood-fired kiln will be up and running from 11am to 4pm. Participants include: Kara Gunter, Susan Lenz, Amanda Ladymon, George Fenter, Billy Guess, Marius Valdes, Eileen Blyth, Barry Wheeler, and Heather Bauer.

As a special part of its 20th anniversary, Artista Vista is offering a social media contest at this year’s event with the chance to win a limited-edition, silk screened, signed 2011 Artista Vista poster and a $50 gift certificate to Motor Supply Company Bistro. All you have to do is search “Artista Vista” as the venue on Foursquare and check in as you come to each gallery during the event. Whoever becomes the mayor of Artista Vista by checking in at the most galleries the most often over the course of the three-day event wins the poster and gift certificate.

Artista Vista 2011 participating galleries include: Carol Saunders Gallery, 300 Senate, Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, The Gallery at Nonnah’s, Paul D. Sloan Interiors, if ART Gallery, Lewis + Clark, Gallery at DuPre, SC State Museum, SC Contemporary Dance Company, City Art Gallery, and One Eared Cow Glass.

Free parking will be available in the Vista’s parking decks located on Lincoln Street near Lady, Park Street near Pendleton, and Lady Street near Wayne Street. Many galleries will offer complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine.

To learn more about the Congaree Vista, Columbia’s arts and entertainment district, visit (www.vistacolumbia.com) or follow the Vista on Twitter: (@vistaguild).

A Layman’s View

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

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OK, here we go – my review of the SC State Museum’s 20th Anniversary Juried Art Exhibition, on view in Columbia, SC, through Sept. 7, 2008.

This should not be taken as a “professional” review, done by someone who has a degree in art history, art criticism or was educated in writing art reviews. It should not be taken as a review by someone who has been writing reviews for some time. It’s almost a first for me.

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Right off the bat I can tell you I liked the exhibit and enjoyed viewing it. I think that it is one of the best examples of a cross-section of the kind of art which is being produced in South Carolina by a wide variety of artists in a variety of media and subjects.

As a juried show where artists had to enter to be considered for inclusion, I realize the exhibit’s limits to be all inclusive or have examples of the best work being done in various media, but since 500 artists submitted 1000 works – I’ll accept the two jurors’ judgment as to what they selected to be in the exhibit – as the only work I see. I know who the two jurors were – Brian Rutenberg and Lia Newman – both I feel make good judges for such exhibitions. I don’t always feel that way about some jurors – some are the last people who should be a juror for an exhibition.

I’ll also add that I have never had a problem finding the SC State Museum (the building, the entrance, the restrooms, or the Lipscomb Gallery) since before it’s opening in 1988. We did a special issue just on the Museum’s opening back then. I’ll also thank the Museum for the free parking – right in front of the Museum. I even found a spot in the shade. A real bonus on the 95 + degree day I was there.

I paid my $5 admission and learned that what used to be Free Sundays, on the first Sunday of the month, was now $1 Sundays, but still only on the first Sunday of the month. But with a little planning you can save $4. It’s all a deal. Try finding a parking space in downtown Charleston, SC, Columbia, SC, or Charlotte, NC, and if you do – hope you get back in time before your meter runs out of time. With free parking it’s almost like free admission.

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by Tyrone Geter

This was my second visit to this exhibit, so my eyes were already expecting some works as I walked in the door of the gallery. Tyrone Geter’s work, Is This Who You See, jumps right out at you. That title starts you wondering right away. This mixed media piece is an image of a black man in what I say would be African clothing. The work is done in layers of paper, placed in a box frame with items assembled at the bottom. There are several simple drawings of images in the background suggesting – other personalities. As the title might suggest – if we see a black man in African dress – do we form an instant opinion of who he is or what kind of man he is? The objects assembled at the bottom of the box remind me of items that may have been owned by a black child and items that might have been found in a yard – like artifacts found on a visit to an old homesite after being away for many years. Does our dress make us who we are? Do our possessions make us who we are? Does our past make us who we are? The work definitely had me thinking. And, since the piece was dated 2004 – 2008, I imagine Geter had put a lot of time and thought into the work over time too – wondering.

I’ve always found that the first work that grabs my attention in an exhibition stays with me the longest. But, then again, most of Geter’s works that I have seen are very striking – they demand your attention. When you’re finished seeing this exhibit, go over to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center – not far away on Lincoln Street. They have another large work by Geter, as well as many other works worth seeing. And, it’s free.

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But I have to say, out of the corner of my eye a large work way across the room is calling, but I’m trying to proceed in some order.

If you turn right around you’ll see a couple of examples of Doug McAbee’s brightly painted steel sculptures. I’ve seen his work all over the Carolinas in outdoor settings. They’re always amusing and sometimes a puzzle to figure out what they are or are supposed to be.

Next on the attention radar is the piece Where Were You When the Moon was Full, by Aldwyth. This is a large collage on Okarawa paper. I had to look that up when I got home. Okarawa paper is Japanese paper suitable for student work – according to the internet. I’m not sure that particular type of paper added anything special to the work. If it wasn’t in the title I don’t think I would have wondered what kind of paper it was. Well, here was an image which could have hundreds of stories. The collage consists of cutout images of boats, sea creatures, eyes (1,000s of them), planes, birds, balloons, and hands – which all seemed to be surrounded by a circle of stages of the moon. The entire work was bordered by faces in droplet shapes over some sort of measure of time. There’s a lot of imagery to absorb. I know this was a piece which would be popular with children as the guard had to tell several not to touch it while I was in the gallery.

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by Lee Sipe

From there was Vessel No. 60 by Lee Sipe. This was an egg shaped vessel open at the top, made of what looked like copper wires wrapped with thread – which was a crimson color. The wires ran from bottom to top. The vessel was sprinkled with what looked like small copper coin-shaped pieces. I’d like to be able to add that work to my collection, but have you seen the price of copper these days?

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by Lynne Riding

Now I’ve entered what seems like a section of abstract works by a number of artists, with the most dominant work being an oil painting on linen by Lynne Riding entitled, Concerning Hope. This is a 7 ft. by 9ft. abstract work with a large orange shape – which looks like a big glob of the stuff in a lava lamp floating against a milky gray background with some white markings. Before you even enter the gallery you can see this work and it’s saying – look at me! It’s like the 900 lb. gorilla in the room – no matter what you’re looking at – out of the corner of your eye you can see it — demanding your attention.

This is what’s great about the Lipscomb Gallery space. It has big wall space which can take big works of art – look normal – until you get up in front of them. Concerning Hope is not the biggest work in the exhibit, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

At this point I want to revert back to my blog entry on June 6, 2008. This 7′ x 9′ piece is just one of two works Riding had to rent a truck in order to deliver her work to Columbia from Charleston – just for the chance to enter this show. I guess it’s debatable if this work would have had the same impact on the jurors if they saw it as a small jpeg or a slide, but I still think it is unnecessary to ask artists to deliver works to an exhibit space to be juried. We should all know how big a 7′ x 9′ painting would be – the smallest side is way over most of our heads – I mean way over.

In this abstract section was another work which was a surprise. I had to read the label twice but I was looking at a very large mixed media work by Gene Speer, entitled Highway 101 Series. Most of the work I’ve seen by Speer was colorful geometrically designed print works. But, the more I looked at it I could see the abstraction of these works into this painting. I really like it. I’d like to see more of this kind of work. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’ve got a thing for abstracts. It doesn’t mean I like them all, but I do like them.

Moving on we come to the largest work in the exhibit, About SC, an acrylic on canvas by William Thompson. I’m sure this work came to the Museum rolled up, but it still couldn’t have been easy to deliver – it had to be at least twice the size of Riding’s work – if not bigger. The image is a history lesson of South Carolina by Thompson – as he sees it or knows it. I guess you have to give credit to people who feel driven to create such works, but I just can’t seem to get into “visionary” works of art. In this piece I just don’t think Thompson is skilled enough to pull it off. The images painted on the map are not easy to recognize and there is a lot of writing, which is not all that easy to read. So if there is a message – it is probably lost on viewers who just don’t want to commit the time to figure it all out. There’s a lot of art in the room which is not that hard on the eyes. Other people really get into this kind of work – I just never have. It’s probably my problem and I have no problem with it being included in the exhibit. These artists are part of South Carolina’s visual art community and they should be included in exhibits that are featuring a wide variety of works. Like the WWII movie, A Bridge Too Far, this work may have been too big for Thompson to handle in his normal style.

Man Power, an etched copper and brass half sized figure of a man by Mana Hewitt was a clever reproduction of one of those old time illustration of looking inside something to see how it works. It’s usually a machine, but this man was full of gears and machine parts. His brain was filled with the word “Power” and some other sections, but I was too short to be able to read them. (The work could have been hung a little lower.) His heart was money. Is this an indictment on man? Is it the way employers see their workers or is this a look inside the head of the boss man?

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I’m not mentioning some works in the exhibit because I feel I’m too biased towards these artist’s works – some are in our art collection. Some of the artists I consider friends. This may not be fair to them, but I think most of them know how I feel about their work and I hope they can understand me not gushing about them here. It’s also nice to see that my own taste in art is matched by a couple of good jurors too. Besides I’ll find other ways to express my support for their art.

There are 122 works in this exhibition and I’m not trying to write a catalogue – I want people to go see it themselves. So here are some general thoughts on the exhibit.

To me, the abstract works were the strongest group of works in the exhibit. There was also a strong group of sculptures of all sorts. There is an excellent grouping of portrait paintings and drawings. Also there were some very interesting baskets and pottery pieces, but I felt that overall crafts might have been under-represented. And, I hate to say it but the photography in the exhibit – to me – was the weakest medium in the exhibit. There were some good photographs, but some not so good too.

Some works, I don’t mind admitting – go right over my head. They’re interesting to look at in an exhibit – they add the spice of life. I know they have a message, but I’m not receiving it. That’s OK with me. Like the workFuture Dust by Mike Lavine. It’s a button on the wall – like a campaign button with Future Dust printed on it and below is a child’s chair. That’s the work. Maybe someday I’ll be somewhere and the light bulb will go off and I’ll get it – maybe not.

There were some surprises in the exhibit. They shouldn’t be a surprise, but with the history of the Triennials (see previous blog entries) behind us and track record of other institutional exhibitions I hate to say it, but seeing some works in this exhibit did surprise me. More to the point – it was certain mediums and subject matter. That’s a good thing.

But, my biggest surprise was when I turned a corner and was facing a work rarely seen in our state in the last 38 years. It was Wisteria at Rose Hill State Park, a mixed media work by Bill Buggel. I came to South Carolina in 1974. In a few years I was working in a custom black and white photo processing lab. One of my bosses was Bill Buggel, who also operated a t-shirt printing business next to the lab. I knew Buggel was an artist and at one time worked at what was at the time the Gibbes Art Gallery in Charleston. He once told me he was no longer an artist because he could make more money designing and printing t-shirts. A few years later I got an opportunity to see some of the work he created and learned that in 1970 Buggel was named one of South Carolina’s most promising artists. That promise led to frustration – in playing the game – the art game. The game of it’s not what you create – it’s who you know and kiss up to.

I knew Buggel has been creating works again in the past five or so years, but he was having a hard time breaking back into the art community. So, there was a Bill Buggel on the wall in front of me. He made the cut of 116 out of 500. I bet you Buggel couldn’t get a return call from the SC Arts Commission. They don’t know any artists who may have been in their heyday in the 1970′s.

And, that’s another good thing about this exhibit – it seems the State Museum has thrown out all the old prejudices of the past 20 years dictated by the SC Arts Commission as to what art can be shown and what art will get grants. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another 20 years for another exhibit like this.

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by Peter Lenzo

OK, against better judgment I’m going to name (some) of my favorite works in the exhibit not mentioned previously. They include: Red Chair Alter – Jim is Dead by Peter Lenzo; SC Woman No. 2 by Meg Gregory;Three Receptivity Markers by Robert Lyon; Universal Bouquet by Enid Williams; Three by Brittany Bagwell; Weather Worn Boulder by Clay Burnette; Peaches by Wanda Steppe; and American Idle by Anthony Conway.

American Idle is like a portrait of a really nice young woman, but she’s probably a trailer park gal. In the background is a billboard, a water tower, power lines and a trailer. A nice pun on America’s top television show.

That’s it folks – go see this show. And, if you like it, let the SC State Museum know so they’ll be encouraged to do more like it.

Also since you’re going to Columbia, if you don’t already live there, plan for a day and go visit the Columbia Museum of Art and some of Columbia’s commercial galleries too.

Good Bye “Triennial” – Good Riddance

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Good Bye Triennial – Good Riddance (parts printed in the Editorial Commentary from the June ’08 issue of Carolina Arts)

Let me warn you this is going to be a long piece – there is a lot of material and a lot of years to cover.

On Apr. 14, 2008, Jeffrey Day in The State newspaper offered what can be only seen as a “whine” piece on the loss of the SC Arts Commission’sTriennial exhibition at the expense of the SC State Museum’s 20th Anniversary Juried Art Exhibition – which wouldn’t open at the time until Apr. 25, 2008. While Day cherry-picked comments by artists (shown in past Triennials) and curators around the state on their feelings over the loss of the Triennial or their dislike of juried shows, he almost implied that this upcoming exhibition just couldn’t be any good – before he or anyone else saw it in place. Well, he wouldn’t say it – he got others to say it for him and his buddies at the Arts Commission.

While the Triennial was always dished up as a survey or snapshot of contemporary art being made in SC – it was always a picture with the lens turned toward the SC Art Commission and how they wanted people to see art in SC. It was never really a view of the wide spectrum of art being created in SC. At times it was just a look at what college and university art professors and their favorite students where doing in SC – before many left the state for greener pastures.

If a juried exhibition is such a flawed format for a statewide exhibition – tell me why 500 artists from throughout SC, hauled 1000 works of art to the State Museum for a chance to get in the exhibit? Why would they do that?

And, the funny thing is – many of the artists who have been lucky to be selected to be in past Triennials entered their work and many got in the exhibition. The good thing – the really great thing is – many other artists who would never get a chance to be in a Triennial – also got in this exhibit. And, in my opinion – this juried exhibit is one of the best views of the type of art being created in SC. It doesn’t represent every aspect of SC’s visual art community, but like all juried shows – the jurors could only select from the works entered.

The exhibition might have drawn more entries if the jury process was done by a digital process – after all this is 2008. And, a wider variety of artists working in mediums and subjects which have been “deemed unworthy” by the SC Arts Commission might have entered work if they knew that the Arts Commission had taken their bat and ball home since the State Museum no longer was willing to let them dictate what art was going to be seen in SC. That’s why there will be no 1/2 inch full-color catalog for this exhibition. The State Museum doesn’t have the deep pockets the Arts Commission does.

The really sad thing for artists around SC is that the State Museum doesn’t have any plans for doing more statewide juried exhibitions anytime soon.

Jeffrey Day’s article seemed more like a warning to the art community than newspaper reporting. The warning is – if you don’t play ball the way the Arts Commission wants – you might get chewed up in the press. It’s not the first time he has acted as an attack dog for the Arts Commission.

The whole piece was also designed to mask the real issue – that the Arts Commission had dropped the Triennial from its project list – not the State Museum. The Museum was still offering opportunities for SC artists – all its artists.

Go see the exhibition – you’ll be glad you did. I was. And, don’t forget – most of the works in the exhibit are probably for sale. So you could go home with some great art and a piece of history, from the show that couldn’t be any good, but was.

One final thing – Jeffrey Day offered a – surprise – negative review of this exhibition on May 11, 2008. The headline was, “Too much to see, too little to appreciate”.

New comments for this blog.

With a headline like this – “Too much to see, too little to appreciate” you have to wonder why Day is an arts reporter working for one of the state’s largest newspapers. He should just go to work directly for the SC Arts Commission.

Day, like me, has a large body of opinions he has written about art in SC. I keep copies of most of his articles about the visual arts. This review is one of the strangest – it contradicts many things he has said in the past about the Triennial.

It seems his goal is to tear down the SC State Museum for substituting this statewide juried show in place of a sixth Triennial exhibition – his favorite type of exhibit. As I said earlier, the death of the Triennial can only be blamed on the Arts Commission – they pulled out of this project on the State Museum. They took their funding with them too.

You have to read the entire review to get the full impact, but you’ll have to pay The State to see a copy from their archives or go to a public library in SC – or maybe do a Google News search. The article was on Apr. 13, 2008. But let’s start with the headline, “Too much to see, too little to appreciate” .

“Too much to see”. The SC State Museum’s 20th Anniversary Juried Art Exhibition has 122 works by 116 artists (6 artists have two works each in the show). The last Triennial, shown in 2004 in the same gallery space had 128 works by 29 artists (11 only had 1 work and 3 had only 2 works). Most of the Triennials had at least 100 or more works on display.

So as I get it, according to Day – more is less. More works to see in theTriennial was easier to see than less works in the juried show. I guess because they were made by fewer people.

Day also offers early in his review this statement, “But this first-time exhibition (named for the 20th anniversary of the museum) has little to offer after the initial surprises – no depth, no context, no concept and, when it finally comes down to it, not all that much good work.”

In the State Museum’s juried show, 25 of the 116 artists included have been in one or several of the previous 5 Triennial shows. That’s 21 percent of the exhibit. And since these artists represent most of the positive comments in his review – we get the point that he really likes theTriennial. And, we get the point that he doesn’t care for a lot of the other artists’ work presented in the exhibit. They’re clearly not his kind of artists, clearly not producing the kind of art he cares for and not the kind of art which a major museum should be showing in this state – in his opinion.

Day ends his review with this statement, “As it is, this isn’t really an art exhibition. It’s a display.”

So between Day’s preview article and his review – it’s clear he doesn’t like the juried show format and the art presented in this exhibition. OK, all art is subjective. I didn’t fall in love with every work I saw either, but it also didn’t make my skin crawl as I can imagine Day’s skin was doing as he moved throughout the exhibit – seeing works by artists he didn’t know or knew but didn’t care for. After all, he knows all the important artists in the state.

Where I have a real problem with his two pieces is the comparison factor. Even though the State Museum’s show is clearly a juried exhibit – Day keeps comparing it to a curated exhibition – to the Triennials. But, I don’t see where he is coming from when he says this exhibit has – “no depth, no context, no concept…”

About half of the artists in the Triennial 2004 exhibit had only one work or at best two works in the show. Where is the depth in that? Jane Nodine had one work in the Triennial 2004 and one work in this juried exhibit. How is that different – other than Day’s point that curators pick artists’ work better than the artists do – meaning a curator would be more familiar with the context of Nodine’s work than she would. And, as you’ll read later – Nodine is a perfect example of a perfect Triennial artist.

I’ve seen these Triennial shows and even after reading the in-depth comments written in the catalogues offered – I still didn’t see any connection between what I was looking at and what was written about it. Then again, I’m not as educated as Day is on the arts. I know I can’t compare art degrees with him. It should also be noted that the SC Arts Commission didn’t offer to fund a catalogue for this exhibit like they did for the five Triennials. Perhaps that would have offered the context and concept for this exhibit.

In fact, Day makes a lot of complaints and comparisons about this juried exhibit which I haven’t seen in many exhibits offered in a lot of art museums – except when it comes to major retrospective exhibits on individual artists. And, he’s made the same complaints about otherTriennials in past reviews.

Day also offers the following questions he claims are unanswered in this exhibit, “What are the artists’ backgrounds? How many make a living from the art? How many are teachers? How many are students?” As if all those things really matter on deciding whether art is good or not.

Is Day trying to tell us he thinks that the artists who are making the most money are the best artists in this state? I never got that impression before from his writings. Do only art teachers make good art? That would be a message you would walk away with after reading the Triennial 2004catalogue. And, I guess no student art can be good enough to be in these exhibits – even though you couldn’t tell who was or was not a student by looking at the work in the exhibit. Do these questions really matter?

I have always thought that the art works should speak for themselves. Why should we have to read something to get the artists’ meaning or intention. Shouldn’t it be there in the art?

In an Apr. 19, 1992 article about the first Triennial, Day offered this criticism, “A serious omission is the lack of any text panel explaining the show. A few lines would help the viewer – and the exhibit – considerably. As it is, the viewer has no way of knowing that the artists are even from South Carolina. While the work speaks for itself, as it should, the lack of a basic introduction shows the museum and Arts Commission making too many assumptions.”

This exhibit had work included by people who have had no formal training in the arts. Should that matter? And, if it’s a factor that should count – how did they fool the jurors? They had 1000 works to select from. Should we wonder what kinds of works were in the 878 not selected – whether those works were made by artists who made a living by selling their art or teaching art, whether they were made by students or teachers, or whether they were ever in a Triennial exhibition before. Would it matter if some of the artists were former convicts, made a living as a plumber, or worse – were voting democrats?

Doesn’t the work speak for itself – as it should?

In the past we are told by the Arts Commission that the purpose of theTriennial format is to show works by “contemporary” emerging artists or artists who are not often seen. Yet many of the artists whose works have been included in the Triennials – were neither emerging or hardly artists not exposed to SC’s exhibition scene.

I’ll cherry pick one artist who represents this hypocrisy – Jane Allen Nodine – she’s sort of an Arts Commission superstar. She also entered and was selected to be in the SC State Museum’s 20th Anniversary Juried Art Exhibition. She has also been in four of the five Triennial exhibitions. Nodine has also been awarded two SC Arts Commission Fellowship awards. She’s in the State Art Collection and has benefited by many programs sponsored by the Arts Commission. Nodine is an art professor at the University of South Carolina – Upstate in Spartanburg, SC, and is also the director of the USC-Upstate art gallery. She is a well exposed artists with a lot of connections.

Nodine is also a very good artist. I’m not attacking her as an artist or someone who has taken advantage of every opportunity available to her. My problems is that she is one of a very small group of artists which the Arts Commission seems to be focused on – at the expense of many others who just don’t seem to get the same exposure.

Just to show you how well exposed Nodine was in exhibitions, I went to her website and copied the list of exhibits she has participated in from 1978 – 2004, the last year the Triennial took place. Among this long list are 32 exhibits which took place in SC alone. And, as you will see there are many more – all over the region, nation, and out of the country. She was hardly a case of being either emerging or not often seen.

2004
traces, solo installation, University of South Carolina McMaster Gallery of Art, Columbia, SC

Figure 8; Lee Hall Gallery, Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Southeastern Louisiana University Invitational, SLU, Hammond, LA

SECAC 2004 Members Exhibition, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Jacksonville, FL

TRIENNIAL 2004, South Carolina Arts Commission & South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC

2003
Digital Exhibition, WomanMADE Gallery, Chicago, ILL

SECAC 2003 Members Exhibition, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Tribute to Trees, Outdoor Sculpture Invitational, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC

2002
traces, solo Installation, Thompson Gallery of Furman University, Greenville, SC

traces, solo installation, Milliken Gallery, Spartanburg County Museum of Art, Spartanburg, SC

Vision’s International Competition, Art Center Waco, Waco, TX

Photo-Based Competition Exhibition, WomanMADE Gallery, Chicago, IL

A Sense of Place; Continuity and Change in the New South, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, GA

SECAC 2002 Members Exhibition, Gulf Coast Exploreum, University of Alabama, Mobile

2001
Spartanburg Views Winterthur, Artist Photographer Exchange, Spartanburg Museum of Art, Spartanburg, SC

Spartanburg Views Winterthur, Artist Photographer Exchange, Alte Kaserne, Winterthur, Switzerland

SECAC 2001 Members Exhibition, South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC

TRIENNIAL 2001, South Carolina Arts Commission & South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC

Winterthur Artist Photographer Exchange; Alte Kaserne, Winterthur, Switzerland

2000
American Identities, Gibson Gallery, The Art Museum of State University of New York College, Potsdam, NY

What is Drawing Now, Weber State University, Ogden, UT

34th Annual National Drawing & Small Sculpture Show, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX

SECAC 2000 Members Exhibition, Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville, KY

Upstairs Photography Biennial, NC & SC competition, Upstairs Gallery, Tryon, NC

Views from the Edge, Computer Art-Future Art, Florence Museum of Art, Florence, SC

1999
USC International Digital Works on Paper Competition, McKissick Museum of Art, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Sanctity of the Family, Hunger Artist Gallery, Albuquerque, NM

33rd National Drawing & Sculpture Competition, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX

Womanscape ’99 National Competition, Collier County Arts Council, Village Galleries, Naples, FL

SECAC 1999 Members Exhibition, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA

Southern Visions Photography Competition of SC and NC, York County Museum of Art, Rock Hill, SC

100 Years; 100 Artists, South Carolina State Museum & South Carolina Arts Commission, Columbia, SC

SELECTIONS from 100 Years; 100 Artists, Bank of America Plaza, Columbia, SC

Potent Figures, Views from the Edge of the Century, Winthrop University Galleries, Rock Hill, SC

1998
contentions, solo exhibition, Slocumb Galleries, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Paper Constructions, solo exhibitions, Georgia Southern University, Statesville, GA

Manipulated Photography, solo exhibition, USC Spartanburg
Americas 2000, Works on Paper, Minot State University, Minot, ND

Women’s Art Works 7, Bausch & Lomb Inc., Rochester, NY

Paper Works: On and of Paper, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL

32nd National Drawing & Small Sculpture Exhibition, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX

Mixed-Media National, Slidell Cultural Center, Slidell, LA

Drawn from Nature, Dalton Galleries, Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, GA

98 Photography Biennial Exhibition of NC & SC, The Upstairs Gallery, Tryon, NC

VOICES, 701 Gallery, Columbia, SC

TRIENNIAL ’98 South Carolina Arts Commission & the South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC

TRIENNIAL ’98 Satellite Exhibit, NationsBank Plaza Gallery, Columbia, SC

1997
connections, solo exhibition, Appalachian Center for Crafts, Smithville, TN

BANG! The Gun as Image, 621 Gallery and Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

1996
connections, solo exhibition, University of Arkansas, Monticello, AK

Scissors, Paper, Stone, Lexington Art League, Lexington, KY

Women’s Art Works 6, Women’s Foundation, Rochester, NY

Lagrange National XIX Biennial, Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, Lagrange, GA

Visionary Women National, WomanMade Gallery, Chicago, IL

Icons National, 800 East Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Rutgers National ’96 Works on Paper, State University of New Jersey, Rutgers, Camden, NJ

Women by Women Invitational, Salem College Art Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC

A’ LA ALBERS, Black Mountain College in CONTEXT, Context Alternative Space, Charlotte, NC

KY/SC/nyc Invitational, The National Arts Club, New York, NY

1995
Wichita National 1995, Wichita center for the Arts, Wichita, KS

Through the Looking Glass National, Photography Exhibit, Fuller Lodge Gallery, Los Alamos, NM

Texas National ’95, Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX

Texas National ’95, Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX, Second Place Cash Award, Leon Golub, Juror

1994
28th National Drawing & Small Sculpture Show, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX

LaGrange National Biennial XVIII, Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, LaGrange, GA

Visual Voices; The Female, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL

Dakotas International Exhibition of Artwork on Paper, University of South Dakota, Vermilion, SD

1993
Wichita National 1993, Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita, KS

27th National Drawing & Small Sculpture Show , Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX

Americas 2000: Works on Paper, Minot State University, Minot, ND

14th Annual Paper In Particular, Columbia College, Columbia, MO

Revising Boundaries: Southern Women Artists, 1993 CAA Conference, Seattle, WA

1992
Jane Nodine Solo Exhibit, Meteor Gallery, Columbia, SC

Art by Women in the South, Havens Galleries, Columbia, SC

Kentucky/South Carolina Exchange Exhibition, South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC

TRIENNIAL ’92, South Carolina Arts Commission & South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC

TRIENNIAL ’92 Traveling Exhibition, Gibbes Museum, Charleston, SC & Stanback Museum, Orangeburg, SC

South Carolina Expressions, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC

Southern Exposure, 101 Wooster Street, DNC Exhibition Space, New York, NY

1991
Kentucky Exhibition of South Carolina Artists, Owensboro Museum, Owensboro, KY

This Year’s Model: Upstate Artists, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC

1990
Southeastern Juried Exhibition, Fine Arts Museum of the South, Mobile, AL

40th Annual Exhibition, Guild of South Carolina Artists, SC State Museum, Columbia, SC

South Carolina Arts Commission Artists Fellowship Retrospective, SC State Museum, Columbia, SC

1988
Ten Years of Southeast Seven, SECCA Fellowship Retrospective, Winston-Salem, NC

1985
5th Biennial Paper and Clay Exhibition, Memphis State University, Memphis, TN

Gallery Artists Exhibition, Heath Gallery, Atlanta, GA

South Carolina Arts Commission Annual Competition, Gibbes Museum, Charleston, SC

1984
Rutgers National Works on Paper, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ

Women in the Mainstream, National Women’s Art Exhibition, 1984 Worlds Fair, New Orleans, LA

31st Arts Festival of Atlanta, Traveling Exhibition, Atlanta and Southeast

25th Annual Springs Mills Traveling Exhibition, North and South Carolina

1983
SPAR National Art Exhibition, SPAR Gallery, Shreveport, LA

4th Biennial Paper and Clay Exhibition, Memphis State University, Memphis, TN

11th National Exhibition of Works on Paper, Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

Second Annual Spoleto Arts Competition, Marble Arch Gallery, Charleston, SC

2-D National, Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA

Drawing Southeast, Arts Festival of Atlanta Invitational, Atlanta, GA

1982
Southeastern Spectrum, R.J. Reynolds Gallery, Winston-Salem, NC

On of and About Paper, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC

Magic in Art Invitational, Spirit Square, Charlotte, NC

23rd Annual Springs Mills Traveling Exhibition, North and South Carolina

Anuszkiewicz Shows and Selects, Marble Arch Gallery, Charleston, SC

1981
5th National Drawing Exhibition, State University College, Potsdam, NY

9th Annual Exhibition of Prints and Drawings, Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

Southeast Seven IV NEA/SECCA Artist Fellowship Exhibition, SECCA Winston-Salem, NC

Southeast Seven IV, Traveling Exhibition, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL

WEEA Project Invitational, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

22nd Annual Springs Mills Traveling Exhibition, North and South Carolina

1980
Mixmaster National Mixed Media Traveling Exhibition, Kentucky Arts Commission, Louisville, KY

Appalachian National Drawing Competition, Appalachian State University, Boone NC

1979
Art on Art of Paper Art, Illinois State University, Normal, IL

Southeastern Invitational Paper Exhibition, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Mint Biennial Exhibition of Piedmont Painting and Sculpture, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC

1978
SECCA 46th Drawing, Photography & Print Competition, SECCA, Winston-Salem, NC

12th Dulin National Print and Drawing Competition, Dulin Gallery, Knoxville, TN

Nodine is just one of the many reasons I’m glad the Triennial is dead, but I’m concerned that they are already drawing up new plans for a new format to feature the same group of artists – over and over again. Frankly, I don’t think the SC Arts Commission should be presenting any exhibitions.

I know this is upsetting to Jeffrey Day, as it seems like he has lived from one Triennial to the next – as if he was a part of them himself. Which he may have been.

In an article Day wrote for The State on Dec. 14, 1997, he describes what it was like to be the only other person to view the slides entered forTriennial ’98, other than the jurors and Arts Commission staff members. He goes on to say he made a list of 88 artists out of the 270 who had entered – who were “worth looking at more”. Once the 35 artists were selected to be in the Triennial – Day gives readers his 2 cents worth and gives the exhibit his stamp of approval with this statement, “Looking at the list makes me feel very good about art in South Carolina”. That’s the list the jurors made.

It just seems to me Day has just too cozy a relationship with the people he is supposed to be reporting on objectively.

But, like most of us who follow Day’s writings know, his mood can change quickly. When he gets around to reviewing the Triennial ’98 exhibition in an article on June 21, 1998 in The State, he offers this final summation: “The exhibit provides a look at artists who haven’t shown much in South Carolina; it also brings back artists we’ve seen often, who aren’t doing much new; and introduces some who aren’t ready to be seen. While this year’s show is stronger than the previous three, it is still amazing how much undeveloped work finds its way into the exhibit. It’s always difficult for anyone who is intimate with the state’s art scene to view shows like this without a little cynicism and frustration about the good artists who didn’t get in the show. In the end, what this exhibit shows – which is what it should show – is that regardless of what anyone may say to the contrary, there’s good art being made in South Carolina.”

I think this statement says a lot about Day. First, he would like to be in the position to select who would be shown and who wouldn’t. After all, he made his list of 88 worthy artists. He also feels he knows all the good artists out there. And, it also shows he doesn’t keep track of things too well. This Triennial was the third version – there were only two previous exhibitions in 1992 and 1995. And, you have to wonder what happened between the day he looked at the entry slides and when he made the statement that this was a good list of artists. Perhaps the curators selected the wrong works to show. Could that happen?

The thing is, Day’s mood changes and he has been inconsistent in his support of this exhibit format. He’s currently in the – I can’t believe there will never be another Triennial and there will never be anything worthy of replacing it – mood.

By the time 2001 rolled around Day’s mood about the Triennials was still cool and the public’s taste for them had soured too. In an article titled, “ATriennial Simply Isn’t Enough” written for The State on June 17, 2001, Day states: “With the dearth of venues in South Carolina where the state’s best artists can exhibit, the once-every-three-year survey of the state’s art at the State Museum – the Triennial – just isn’t enough.”

Day goes on to write, “The current Triennial is refreshing with much srong work, but enthusiasm for it has not been high. This might be because the museum and the co-sponsor, the SC Arts Commission, did almost no promotion.” Adding, “It might be because there are so many new artists in the show. Those who have long supported the show, be they artists or patrons, stayed away because the work is unknown and everyone is more comfortable with the known.”

Now there’s a couple of gems. The show is failing to attract viewers due to a lack of promotion and the show’s regular supporters stayed away – because they did not know the artists or the work being presented. So people have to be sold to go see this show with a big promotional campaign and supporters are not interested in seeing it unless it includes the same old artists they like and know. This is the Triennial he’s talking about. The greatest show on earth.

Day offers his review of the exhibition in another article offered that same day on June 17, 2001. That’s because at The State – they seem to only offer arts coverage in Sunday’s paper. In this article Day writes: “As is usually the case, this year’s Triennial is not sharply focused. Still the exhibit at the State Museum provides a fair representation of our art at this particular moment.”

Wait a minute – “As is usually the case, this year’s Triennial is not sharply focused.” Isn’t that one of the complaints Day makes about the current juried show being featured at the State Museum? But in 2001, Day says that up to that point (four Triennials) they have not been focused either.

In Day’s review of the SC State Museum’s 20th Anniversary Juried Art Exhibition, one of his main complaints it that the exhibit has – “no depth, no context, no concept”. So what, apparently neither have the Triennials – according to Day.

He goes on in the 2001 review to say, “If all the works are not tightly connected, one nonetheless can find webs of continuity throughout the gallery.”

Well, here’s another revelation – if you go to see an exhibit that you already have negative feeling about – you won’t see anything positive. But, if you’re trying to find something good about an exhibit format that you want to support – you’ll look hard to find the silver lining – the webs of continuity.

This is the core reason readers of art news presented in The Statenewspaper have a hard time figuring from article to article where Jeffrey Day is coming from – hot then cold – about the same issues – never a bit of consistency to hold on to – other than his desire to protect the Arts Commission, promote contemporary art (his version of it) and keep happy what few friends he has in the art community in SC. It’s not easy being an arts writer – you never know who your friends really are. I know – believe me