A lifetime of work by one of Spartanburg’s most celebrated artists – the late Mayo “Mac” Boggs – is being retrospectively exhibited at West Main Artists Co-op through June 16 to celebrate 43 years of international recognition and acclaim. This extensive collection of sculptures and 2-dimensional works-of-art — “Mac Boggs: A Retrospective” — can be seen at no charge Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 578 West Main St., Spartanburg, in the Co-op’s Venue gallery.
“A Green Season: The Activation of Space”
“This [is] West Main’s most important exhibit for the year,” Venue Committee Chair Dwight Rose said. “There is probably no other Spartanburg artist who has achieved as much recognition and respect as Mac Boggs. His work is literally around the world.” Boggs’ widow, Dr. Ansley Boggs, worked with Rose to curate this retrospective exhibit at the Co-op.
Boggs passed away in 2014, at the age of 71. At that time, he was retired from teaching art at Converse College, where he retained the distinction of professor emeritus of art.
The exhibit will include many abstract and non-representational metal and bronze sculptures, for which he is most known. However, the exhibit will also have marble constructions, paintings, computer graphics, prints, photographs of commissioned art, sketches of proposed sculpture, awards, newspaper articles, models of proposals, and letters from students and colleagues.
“I hope that people appreciate Mac’s amazing versatility and creativity, as well as sense his inspiration, enthusiasm and passion for creating art and teaching,” Ansley Boggs said.
Mac Boggs was born and raised in Ashland, Ky. He earned a bachelor’s in art from the University of Kentucky and a master’s of fine arts (sculpture) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 1970-2013, Mr. Boggs was the professor of sculpture at Converse College in Spartanburg. He received numerous awards and honors, and in 1991, he was named Honorary Artist of Spartanburg by proclamation of the Mayor. In 2000, the Mayor proclaimed a “Mayo ‘Mac’ Boggs Day.” In 2008, he was selected to serve as a Technical Collaborator for the Lynne Streeter Art and Marble Stone-carving Summer Workshop of Pietrasanta, Italy. In 2010, Mr. Boggs was honored by Converse College, Wofford College, and USC-Upstate with a 40-year retrospective exhibition on each of the three campuses. And in 2013, he received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, South Carolina’s highest arts award.
Mac Boggs receives the Verner Award from then-Speaker Bobby Harrell in 2013.
He was best known for his metal sculptures in steel, stainless steel, and bronze. His work is in the presidential libraries of former U.S. presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and can be found internationally in permanent collections of numerous corporations. In addition, he has received sculpture commissions for public parks, libraries, college campuses, schools, local businesses, and private residences, two of which were for the home of the author, Lillian Jackson Braun. Mr. Boggs also carved marble and soapstone, and exhibited his photography and digital art. He frequently participated in local, regional, national, and international exhibitions. Also, he often served as a guest speaker for lecture-demonstrations.
All the work in the Co-op exhibit will be on sale, ranging in price from $125 to $2,500 and all proceeds will be donated to the development of the Mac and Ansley Boggs Travel Scholarship Fund for Converse College art and education majors who do not have the financial means to travel. Mr. Boggs believed strongly in the importance of travel to a student’s art and life, Ansley Boggs said.
For more information about the Mac Boggs retrospective art exhibit at West Main Artists Co-op, please visit WestMainArtists.org.