For the first time in more than 10 years, the South Carolina WaterMedia Society’s annual Traveling Exhibit will come to Spartanburg in September and will be on public display at West Main Artists Co-Op.
“Actually, West Main Artists Co-Op is the only gallery in Upstate South Carolina where this most-noted statewide exhibit will be displayed,” Spartanburg watercolorist Dwight Rose said. Rose, a member of the Society, was instrumental in getting Spartanburg on the tour list. “The last time the exhibit came to Spartanburg was when the old Spartanburg Art Center was on Spring Street.”
This is the WaterMedia Society’s 39th year of sponsoring this annual exhibit that juries work from watercolor artists from throughout the state and beyond. This year there were 183 entries, from which 30 winners were selected by Canadian artist Marc Taro Holmes. Five of the winners are from the Upstate and Western North Carolina. They are Diana Carnes of Pendleton (Tsunami), Patricia Cole-Ferullo of Tryon (Dark Beauty), Monique Wolfe of Greenville (Between Concerts), Lori Solymosi of Pendleton (Looking Back), and Ann Heard of Pendleton (Blue House). More than $8,000 in prize money was awarded in the 2016 competition. The Best of Show winner is titled The Hands of a Fisherman by Lynda English of Florence.
Since 1977, the South Carolina Watermedia Society has promoted the artistic and professional interests of its members as well as providing visual arts programs to the public. The Society works towards achieving its goals by making the accomplishments of its members available to a broad base of South Carolinians. SCWS, the largest statewide visual arts group, is an active presenting organization. It nurtures and promotes South Carolina artists by providing exhibition opportunities, special programs to market their original works, and educational programs.
The exhibit will open on Sept. 6 and close on Sept. 30. A private pre-opening event for donors will be held Sept. 5, and the free public reception will be held Saturday, Sept. 9, 5-8 p.m. The exhibit can be viewed Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. There is no charge to see the exhibit.
Local Spartanburg artists Beth Regula and Louisa Coburn will have a featured visual art exhibit -- Lyrical Lines -- at West Main Artists Co-Op, Sept. 19-Oct. 14. Both artists will have two-dimensional and three-dimensional works on display. A free public reception will be held during the community's monthly ArtWalk, Thursday, Sept. 21, 5-9 p.m. The exhibit will be open for free public viewing Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Regula, the chair of West Main Artists Co-Op, is most well known for her abstract 3-D creations made from clay, paint, and unfettered mixed media. They often show complex and conflicting images working in harmony to convey social or emotional messages. Coburn, a past member of the Co-Op, will present a series of thematic non-representational paintings that utilize strong colors organizing along a horizontal plane.
Regula, 67, is reluctant to classify her work "because I feel that artists do not need to limit themselves to any particular media or style," she said. "By exploring all media, learning takes place. As an artist grows, they will use the media that works best for what they are trying to convey at any particular time. Maturity and learning helps the artists to develop their own recognizable style. Although I use a variety of media in my work, I think that my style is seen in all that I create."
Most of Regula's professional life was in teaching art and English in South Carolina schools. However, in the early 1980s, she was a Project Manager for Cox Cable Communications in Atlanta. In 1983, she became a full-time artist. She and her husband Dennis reside in Roebuck. Her work has been widely showcased throughout the Upstate, reaching as far away as San Diego, CA. In describing this exhibit, Regula said, "To me a lyrical line is a line that moves within space or dances across a page or canvas. As I look at the world around me, I see all objects as lyrical lines. They sweep upward, swirl, cross each other, sweep downward and in general dance. As they dance, they set up a rhythm or tension with other lines. The tension created, I relate to expressions of human emotions. The works in this exhibit express my visual interpretation to these human emotions. I have used lines of clay, string, paint and ink for this expression. Within the exhibit there are sculptures, 3-D wall hangings, paintings and pen and ink works. I wanted to set no limits on the materials used or the sizes of the pieces."
Regula will have 12-20 pieces of art in this exhibit, and they will be for sale, starting at $100. "This is my second time to be exhibiting with Louisa Coburn at WMAC," Regula said. "I met Louisa when she joined the Co-op. It has been a very rewarding experience to plan this exhibit with Louisa. Our work represents our two different views of the interpretation of Lyrical Lines."
Coburn is a former member of the Co-Op and a clay, watercolor, and mixed media artist. She is a native of the Hudson Valley, NY, but has deep southern roots and has lived in Spartanburg for the past 33 years. She has degrees in English and Child Study. She has worked as an editor for Educational Testing Service, and as a teacher in public and private schools. Her career as an artist began relatively late in life: She took her first studio art course in ceramics at the defunct Spartanburg Arts Center on Spring Street in 2000. Her fascination with water color began with her first class with Sa Smith at the Church of the Advent in 2004. She likes to "color outside the lines," she said. Her work is playful and expressive, non-traditional and non-representational. She will have 12-20 pieces in this exhibit.
"When I first started thinking about this show about 18 months ago," Coburn said, "I thought it would be called 'It's Lyrical,' and be a show that played off literal song lyrics that were meaningful to me. I really did not want to reveal that much information about myself. When Beth decided to exhibit with me, we settled on the title 'Lyrical Lines.' What I have learned from preparing for this show is that both 'lyrical' and 'line' in the arts have meanings different from what they might mean for me as an English major. Line implies movement in art. Lyrical implies deeply felt emotion. I had to find a way to approach this idea that made sense to me, and I did so by focusing on 'line' in a very basic way. I started thinking about the myriad ways lines control us from a very early age. We line up, toe the line, sign on the line, color within the lines, don't cross the lines, etc. All those rules! My next thoughts were about telephone lines, telegraph lines, airlines, lines of sight — all the ways lines might foster communication. Many of the paintings start with a horizontal line that divides the space. What happens in and around the line is what interests me."
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