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Six #SCartists awarded by Artists Collective Spartanburg

[caption id="attachment_45617" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Harriet Hancock Center | Gregory Wilkin | 2020[/caption]

The second annual 2020 juried art exhibition presented by Artists Collective | Spartanburg has eight winners from the Carolinas, awarding a total of $4,500 in cash prizes.

The four-state show (South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia) had 2-D and 3-D entries from all four states but only 67 were chosen. The show opened Sept. 15 and will end Oct. 17. The public can see these outstanding works Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at no charge. The gallery adheres to all social distancing protocols in its efforts to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners were announced virtually Saturday, Sept. 26. “We are very pleased with this year’s show,” the Collective’s Management Board Chair Beth Regula said. “Especially in light of the pandemic. A lot of the work this year addressed social issues that the world is now facing, something I believe is very telling about how stress influences the creative process. Also, I think overall the work is very accessible to non-artists. This is a show that anyone can visit and take away some thought-provoking concepts, as well as some great beauty.”
First place was taken by Gregory Wilkin for his oil painting — Harriet Hancock Center, Melrose Heights, Columbia. “I am very flattered by the win because the quality and creativity of the other entries were so strong that I really had no expectations,” Wilkin said. “Watching the video of the announcement of winners was a big and very pleasant surprise.” This image of a house and parking lot has many messages—everything from gay pride to urban trash hidden behind walls — and is presented very cleanly, as if to make sense out of the conflicting morals of today’s woke culture. Each element — the lush greenery, the modern architecture of the white house, the red pickup truck, the trash bins, the rainbow flag — seems isolated and carefully placed in the composition to find tenuous balance and create contrast in the overall image. It is thought provoking in both its subject matter and applied technique. Wilkin’s first place gives him $2,500 from The Wendy Mayrose Memorial Award. “I have been working on scenes of Melrose Heights in Columbia, where we are living for the past couple of years,” Wilkin said. “It is a mix of influences that have driven my recent work. This piece was attempting to capture a moment in time that normally would have been overlooked and yet when examined closely actually carries in it the currents of our time and the beauty of the eternal.” Wilkin was reared in southeastern rural Ohio, and he and his wife Candace have three children. For 26 years, he worked as a graphic designer in New York City for most of the major publishing houses, art directing book cover designs. In his spare time he painted and showed his work in several solo exhibitions at the Frank Miele Gallery in Manhattan. His work was chosen by UNICEF to grace its Christmas card in 2000 and has been exhibited in the U.S. Senate Building in Washington. His work has been featured in Country Living Magazine, Down East Magazine, Yankee Magazine, and Maine Boats and Harbors. He has been profiled many times by the news media.
Second place was taken by Seth Scheving of Anderson for his work Ignorance Was Bliss, a watercolor and ink on paper work of a blindfolded white man wearing a shirt made from an American flag. He received $1,000 from the Friends of Artists Collective | Spartanburg. “I actually watched the video at 10 a.m. (Saturday, Sept. 26) with a lot of nerves,” Scheving said. “I just had a weird feeling, I guess. I kept watching and waiting as they were announcing the pieces, and when they got to the third-place winner, I was at the edge of my seat – hopeful but keeping my expectations low. Then they changed scenes, and they were standing in front of my piece, and I got really overwhelmed. I cried. I’ve never won anything on this level. The piece was my most politically driven, and I didn’t know what the response was going to be. I was content to be included – never would’ve thought it would win an award.” This entry is a wonderful example of hyperrealism used sparingly to drive home the political message. Front and center is a blindfolded white man wearing an American flag that is in contrast to the white-on-white background all-cap letters that repeatedly spell WHITE PRIVILEGE. The man is expressionless, however, he wears a Cleveland Indians baseball cap with the red-faced Chief Wahoo logo bearing teeth and raging eyes. Careful examination shows the man’s skin is a rainbow of colors. “As a middle-class white male living in the Southeast, this painting is for all my white peers who do not realize the privileges we have benefited from,” Scheving said. “I am more speaking to the crowd who think they have no part in it. Choosing to remain ignorant or uninvolved is just perpetuating the problems. We need to be aware of our failings and teach the next generations how to make meaningful change in our country. Equality needs to be an equal opportunity for all, but before we can have that, we really need equity -– we spread the resources to those who need them most, so we can all have an equal starting point. No one is born racist: It is a learned behavior. We need to teach our youth that everyone belongs.” He plans to donate a portion of his winnings to the Urban League of the Upstate. Scheving grew up in North Dakota before moving to the Anderson area in 2008, where he attended Anderson University. As an undergraduate, he discovered his love for watercolor and has been painting with the medium since 2009. He specializes in watercolor and producing work that illustrates vulnerability, dark undertones, self-reflection, or subtle humor. During the past decade, Scheving ventured into graphic design and marketing for about six years, until ultimately becoming a high school art teacher in 2019. He has also served as an instructor at the Anderson Arts Center and has been on the curation committee since 2019. His work has been shown in various South Carolina galleries and shows. Most recently, he has been invited to head an Anderson Mural Project, hoping to raise awareness for social injustices.
In third place is Bennett Stowe for her impressionistic Dining Room, a vibrant still-life that accentuates a large dining table in a refined room with red wallpaper. The work is in acrylic, charcoal, and oil pastel. Stowe, who lives in Charlotte, received $500 from the Collective. This exaggerated and impressionistic image of a dining room gives the patron a sense of luxury gone awry. A passionate red used in the wallpaper and intermixed throughout the image dominate the palette, but the room is grounded with darker colors in the floor rug and lighter — airy — colors on the ceiling. The dining room table is grossly exaggerated from the back of the room to the edge of the canvas, making it both inviting and revolting at the same time. It is the sort of image a patron can study for a long time, taking in the various elements and wondering how they come together to create a dreamy room that just might be nightmarish. “This work was inspired by my childhood home and the often troubling and unstable conditions that surrounded growing up there,” Stowe said. “This dining room is the space where my family and I had dinner together most evenings -- or, at least, that’s what I remember. When my parents began their divorce and things started to fall apart more, I remember walking into that room and it felt so dark and cold and vacant. All of those feelings had dissipated and the warmth that was once there only existed in my memories. When I worked on this painting, I used a photograph of the house as a reference, but the majority of my decisions were made through those feelings and memories. Stowe grew up in Charlotte and attended Virginia Commonwealth University to study art. She graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in painting and printmaking with a double major in gender, sexuality and women’s studies, as well as a minor in art history. She has a passion for animals and worked as a veterinary assistant while living in Richmond before moving back home to Charlotte because of COVID-19. “I honestly don’t find painting to be very easy or even very fun a lot of the time, but I do feel it is something that is an important part of my identity and a way that I can conquer my own internalized feelings and ideas that I often have trouble dealing with in real life,” she said. “The challenge of working through a painting and creating an outcome that exceeds my own expectations is one of the most rewarding feelings.”
In addition to the first, second, and third place winners, there are five merits award winners, each of whom received $100:
  • Wendy Converse of Salem, South Carolina, was recognized for her wood-fired ceramic, Twisted Barrels Tested by Fire, which is organic and almost biological in its conveyance of three opened-end tubes that melt and merge downward to a singular base.
  • Tomya Henderson of Greenville won for her abstract The Essential Worker painting of crowded black handprints holding cotton bolls against a red, green, and yellow backdrop.
  • Aldo Muzzarelli of Mauldin received merit attention for the mixed media work Unprejudiced and Coloress Rain, a portrait of a young African-American woman looking heavenward, amid colorless butterflies and shingle-like raindrops, with the lower portion of the canvas showing cracks in the mixed media of acrylic, graphite and metal leaf on canvas.
  • Lynne Tanner of Rutherfordton, North Carolina, entered untitled#1, a nonrepresentational acrylic painting that utilizes a strong yellow base overlaid with striking and intrusive elements of a black and white tubular slant, three red dots, and a multi-hue blue capstone.
  • Mary Hannah Willingham of Fountain Inn presented Forever on Call, a 3-D creation of a wooden cabinet door, supporting an old-fashion (landline) wall-hanging rotary telephone that uses a red 6-inch high heel shoe as the handset.
The jurors (judges) for this show were Alice Sebrell, program director for the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville and Connie Bostic, a late-blooming and highly involved artist in Western North Carolina.
Artists Collective | Spartanburg is a membership-based and member-focused organization, providing low-cost studio space to more than 30 working artists. Its membership is more than 50. The Collective is housed in what was once a three story Baptist church. Each month (when safe from the pandemic), the Collective hosts three art exhibitions showcasing its members and guest artists. It has two galleries and the once-sanctuary now serves as a large gallery space, as well as a venue for performance art. Its annual juried show has some of the largest cash prizes in the region. Most works are available for purchases at the Collective, located at 578 West Main Street, Spartanburg, SC. For more info, please visit online: ArtistsCollectiveSpartanburg.org.

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: #SCartists as active as the tropics?

Good morning!  "Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...


It isn't just the tropics that are active

Good soggy Thursday morning, Hub readers. As what's left of Sally creeps across South Carolina throughout the day and into tomorrow, take heart: despite everything tough weather and tough times, #SCartists are as busy as ever. Here's proof.
  • Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE, according to tickets) is back in "Tuning Up." The airport announced the selected artists for its 2020/2021 "Art in the Airport" program. Out of 115 submissions received from local artists eager to reflect the talents of the area arts community, four were selected to exhibit their artwork for the upcoming season:
      • Christopher Garvey (October 2020 – January 2021)
      • Ija Charles (February – May 2021)
      • Sonya Diimmler (June – September 2021)
      • Harold Branham (October 2021 – January 2022)
    "Once a traveler lands, these works of art will be the first artistic and cultural touchpoints to the region,” CAE's Kim Jamieson said. The exhibit location will be in the connector of the terminal, the walkway between the security checkpoint and the departure/arrival gates.
  • Camera taking high-resolution image of glass artwork in a studio settingFarther north and west on I-26, photographer Thomas Koenig and fused-glass artist Judy Martin are set to exhibit a collaborative work, Big In Glass, at Artists Collective | Spartanburg. The free and public exhibit will be open Oct. 6-31, 2020 Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Social distancing and other protocols will be practiced. Each artist is contributing 10-12 pieces of work. Martin will present a collection of fused glass creations especially made for this exhibit; Koenig will use macro photography (right) to present highly enlarged details of Martin’s work, giving the viewer a different perspective.


SCAC Fellow featured in Columbia

Back in the Midlands, 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia has a familiar face on exhibit now through Oct. 26. Well, her work is exhibited, anyway. "Reigning" SCAC fellowship recipient in craft Valerie Zimany has And I was Covered in Blossoms in the gallery Wednesdays through Sundays, 1-5 p.m. Visitors are required to wear coverings over mouth and nose (You know who you are. - Ed.). Zimany, a chair and associate professor at Clemson, is a decorated ceramicist who was awarded her fellowship from the SCAC for FY2020.
 

Jason Rapp

Spartanburg Artists Collective announces 2nd juried show

Call for art from artists in Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee

Submission deadline: Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

Artists Collective Spartanburg will host its second annual juried exhibition Tuesday, Sept. 15, through Saturday, Oct. 17, and invites all established visual artists in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee to apply in competition of winning cash prizes for as much as $2,500 for first place.

All work must be original and created within the past three years. The window of opportunity to enter online is Saturday, July 4, through Saturday, Aug. 1.

“At this time, mid-May, we are still planning to have this exhibition,” Collective Chairwoman Beth Regula said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are discussing accommodations that may need to be made for safely accepting and returning artists' works and deciding what the awards ceremony will look like. What we know is that artists still need to make art and continue to need affirmation of the quality of their work, and most can use the prize money. We also know there will be a new normal for a while and are committed to putting safety first as we begin to reopen our doors. We are hoping for an in-person awards ceremony with a big reception; however we will consider alternate ways to honor our winners even if changes to the ‘old normal’ must be made, perhaps with social distancing. Our first juried show was a huge success. We had nearly 250 artists to apply, and 66 of them were admitted into the show. This year, we hope to attract more artists and once again bring to Spartanburg a quality exhibition by local and regional artists.”


Last year, first place was taken by Cindy Shute of Lockhart, South Carolina, for her oil-on-linen painting Peacemaker: Hrair Balian. Second prize of $1,000 was taken by Gordon Dohm of Greenville, South Carolina, for his photograph Fungi Fantasy. Third-place of $500 was won by Tracey M. Timmons of Spartanburg for Manacle of Justice, a bracelet made of vitreous enamel, copper, silver, brass, and photography. Seven merit awards of $100 and $250 were also given.


The 2020 prize money will total a minimum of $4,500.

Most 2-D and 3-D visual arts are acceptable to this show and include painting, pastels, drawing, sculptures, ceramics, glass, photography, fiber arts, original hand pulled prints, jewelry, weaving, basketry, wood, and mixed media. The $35 entry fee allows the artist to enter up to three pieces of art for consideration. Online registration will take place on the agency’s website: ArtistsCollectiveSpartanburg.org/2020-exhibition through Saturday, Aug. 1. Notification of acceptance will be via email on Saturday, Aug. 15. For complete details and a downloadable prospectus, please visit the website.


This year, the jurors for the show will be Alice Sebrell and Connie Bostic.

Sebrell is the program director for the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville. She is a native of Charlotte and earned her master’s degree in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design and her bachelor’s degree in fine art from the University of Delaware. Sebrell has written and spoken about Black Mountain College many times and has curated many exhibitions at the museum. She is also a practicing artist whose photography and mixed media work have been exhibited internationally and are in many public and private collections.

Bostic began her art career as an adult in 1970 when she moved to Asheville and enrolled in her first drawing class. Unsure of her abilities, she did not pursue an academic degree until 1989. In 1990 she finished a master’s degree at Western Carolina University. Since then, she has had 28 solo exhibitions and work featured in 44 group shows. Active in the Asheville arts community, she has curated many exhibitions in that community. In 1991 she opened a contemporary gallery in downtown Asheville. Since 2000 she has devoted herself to painting, teaching private students, and maintaining her deep involvement in the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center.


Artists Collective Spartanburg provides private and affordable studios to local artists. The once-Baptist church has 32 studios, three public galleries, a ceramic studio, a printery, and two performance stages. The collective has more than 50 members and the largest collection of for-sale art in the county. Normally, it hosts three temporary exhibits each month. Slated for this fall, this juried show will take place in the 2000-square-foot Solomon Gallery within the venue.

[caption id="attachment_34666" align="aligncenter" width="563"] The world-famous Hub Calls for Art Megaphone.[/caption]

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Spartanburg artists ‘open for business’

Arts agency launches online exhibitions and sales


In reaction to COVID-19 and the demand for online art exhibitions and sales, Artists Collective | Spartanburg has launched a new website, Shops.ArtistsCollectiveSpartanburg.org, that features the work of local artists.

“This is something we have wanted to do, and COVID-19 pushed us to quickly develop and bring online a website that showcases the work of our members and gives the public an easy way to make purchases,” Collective Chair Beth Regula said. “We have more than 50 members and all of them have been invited to ‘set up shop’ on this website. It’s one of their membership benefits. Plus, it’s a great benefit to the patrons of the arts, giving them an online way to see the work and purchase it, avoiding possible coronavirus exposure.”

Normally, the art venue is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., however, it is now closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new website is set up so that each artist has his or her own “shop.” When visiting one of these shops, the patron can see photos of art by the artist. In addition, there is information on pricing, materials, availability, shipping, and the artist. Currently, the website features jewelry, glass fusion, miniatures, mixed media, paintings, and photographs. Payment can be made by credit or debit card.

All members have the option to have a free shop on the website, and so far several have established their presence with more expected to go virtual as the site gains popularity.

“It’s a very user friendly website,” Regula said. “By word of mouth so far, people are already visiting the site and buying art, which absolutely thrills me. Artists Collective | Spartanburg is focused on the artists of this community. We try very hard to provide private and affordable studio space, public galleries with current exhibitions, the community’s most extensive gift shop for locally made art, and now this new website. We are always looking for ways to help artists and to make art more available to the general public.”


Artists Collective | Spartanburg is one of the leading not-for-profit art agencies in Upstate South Carolina. It is a membership-based agency with more than 50 members, most of whom live and work within driving distance of Spartanburg. The venue is located at 578 West Main St. in a converted three-story Baptist church. Normally, it hosts three public and free art exhibitions each month, but the venue’s galleries are now closed to the public because of the pandemic until further notice. For more information about the Shops at Artists Collective | Spartanburg, please visit online: ArtistsCollectiveSpartanburg.org.