20 Years of Art
A diverse and intriguing show opened at the State Museum presenting selected works of all media by South Carolina artists. The juried show contains over 122 contemporary works from well-known and new artists chosen by Lia Newman and Brian Rutenberg as part of the State Museumâ€™s 20th Anniversary.
By Judit Trunkos
The jurors had a difficult task of selecting the Palmetto Stateâ€™s best pieces due the surprising number of entries.
â€œWe anticipated between 250 and 300 artists, but instead we had 500 enter two pieces each, so instead of 500 works of art we had 1,000,â€ says Paul Matheny, curator of the exhibition.
Indeed, there is an overwhelming number of works on display from all over the state, including Aiken, Newberry, Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hartsville, Orangeburg, Seneca, Barnwell, Santee, Clover, Greenwood, Camden, Winnsboro and Conway.
â€œWe were also very pleased at the diversity and range of subjects, media, and of the geographic distribution of the artists. Whatâ€™s not a surprise, however, is the high quality of this art,â€ Matheny says.
Representing Columbiaâ€™s artists among others are Mana Hewitt, Laura Spong, Lee Sipes, Gene Speer and Peter Lenzo.
The selected and exhibited pieces do not have anything in common other than the artists living and working in South Carolina. The artworks are made of a variety of media including wood, copper, fiber, acrylic, water color, oil and even â€œfound objects.â€
The styles differ just as much as their media. Well-known Columbia artist Laura Spongâ€™s abstract oil on canvas titled â€œOn the Saludaâ€ is exhibited as well as Lee Sipeâ€™s â€œVessel No. 60â€ made of copper wire, a work that earned the S.C. State Museumâ€™s Purchase Award. There are also more figurative works, depicting every day scenes from our lives in the Palmetto State such as Spartanburg native Isabel Forbesâ€™ â€œMorning Newsâ€ or James St. Clairâ€™s â€œFunction at the Junction,â€ which received an Honorable Mention from the jury.
Those expecting an exhibition of only paintings and sculptures will be surprised to find works like Mana Hewittâ€™s â€œManpowerâ€ made of etched copper and brass.
To see this great variety of South Carolinian artists and artworks, visit the State Museumâ€™s Lipscomb Gallery until September 7.