Sculpture marks the spot at West Main Artists Co-op
Opening reception scheduled for Thursday, July 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The West Main Artists Co-op in Spartanburg is transforming its building façade and grounds with eight large-scale sculptures, banners and signage to illustrate that 578 West Main Street is indeed an artists’ co-op, dedicated to supporting local artists and to improving the economic and cultural outlook of the community.
The sculptures are the creations of eight local artists representative of the many talented artists in Spartanburg: Daingerfield Ashton (pictured left), Vivianne Carey, Fran Dambrosio, Bryan Davis, Ayako Abe-Miller, Bailey Szustak, Winston Wingo and Kathy Zimmerli Wofford.
The sculpture project began almost two years ago when concrete pads were installed beside the entrance door and on the property adjacent to West Main Street. Funding for the project was provided in part by a grant from the Arts Partnership of Spartanburg. The sculptors were given the dimensions of the pads, but were otherwise free to develop their own ideas with the materials of their choice. The result is a diversified collection of outdoor sculptures in metal, concrete, stone and clay.
Kathy Zimmerli Wofford is a member of West Main Artists Co-op and an instructor with the COLORS program at Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg. Her sculpture, Influences, references cave art and the works of Mondrian, van Gogh, Keith Haring, and other artists. As a child, Wofford noticed the rock towers or “steinmandli”—little stone men—that marked hiking paths in the mountains of Germany and Switzerland where she vacationed with her family. As an adult, she noticed similar structures in places as diverse as India and South America and along hiking trails in the Cascades in Washington State. She learned that the structures are called cairn, man-made mounds of stones that serve as markers or memorials. Wofford’s cairn is a delicately balanced totem-like structure of stoneware orbs made by shaping coils of clay into rounded “beads” of various sizes that were threaded onto a steel rod. In choosing to decorate the orbs with designs and symbols that are recognizable as motifs of famous artists, she hopes that her cairn fulfills its function as a marker to a building whose primary purpose is to support local artists.
Francis Xavier Dambrosio, local artist and principle of Architectural Gardens in Inman, works with salvaged iron, steel, stone or wood to create functional works of art that can be found in institutions, homes and municipalities in five countries. His yet-to-be-titled work is an armillary sphere that will stand approximately seven feet tall.
Ayako Abe-Miller is a sculptor and Japanese Sumi (ink) painter. Her work, Catch the Wind, is composed of steel rods welded into formed cubes and expresses her belief that Spartanburg “has an energy that is solid and firmly based in strong character and long-held traditions. I (arranged) the building blocks of Spartanburg’s energy in a graceful curve to show the growing and lifting nature of that energy.”
The sculptures are on display for six months, and some will be for sale. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. during Art Walk in Spartanburg.
About the West Main Artists Co-op
West Main Artists Co-op has been in existence since October 2009 and currently has 45 members who work in the visual arts or music. The Co-op provides affordable studio space and exhibition space for local artists. Locally made art is for sale in the Gallery Shop and the galleries. The Co-op art galleries are open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 3-6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and by appointment. The Co-op also participates in Spartanburg Art Walk. West Main Artists Co-op is a nonprofit organization, funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, please visit www.westmainartists.org or call (864) 804-6501.
Via: West Main Artists Co-op