The Sumter County Gallery of Art will present Deane Ackerman: Radiant Expressions and Terrell Clark: EYES of Havana from Thursday through Jan. 12, 2018, at the gallery, 200 Hasell St. (adjacent to Patriot Hall).
The opening reception will be held at the gallery from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday with Clark giving an artist talk from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Both artists will be in attendance.
Ackerman, a native of Illinois and a Sumter resident since 1965, attended Northwestern University for one year and continued her college work as a sculpture major at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She is a charter member of the Sumter Artist's Guild, which was founded in 1972. She worked almost exclusively as a sculptor until 1980, producing many pieces found in private collections across the country. Though she has worked in a variety of mediums, her focus for the past 30 years has been colored pencil drawing, for which she has won numerous awards.
In 1993, Ackerman became a member of the newly founded Colored Pencil Society of America. The original organization, started by a small number of artists working exclusively in colored pencil, has now expanded to include approximately 1,800 members, with chapters in 10 other countries. Each summer, the CPSA has an international exhibit in a different city in the United States, and this year marked her 11th time being juried into the annual exhibit and her third time as an award winner.
In January 2005, the Sumter Gallery of Art presented a Deane Ackerman Retrospective with the emphasis on Ackerman's sculptural works. Sumter County Gallery of Art Executive Director Karen Watson and Curator Gardner Cole Miller are both enthusiastic about revisiting Ackerman's work, this time with an emphasis on her colored pencil drawings.
Ackerman's artist statement
My interest in art began in early childhood. Moving from one medium to the next, I first discovered sculpture in my high school art class. I found the three-dimensional form fascinating, and it has continued to be apparent in most all of my work throughout the years. After years of working as a sculptor, I had the desire to move toward color and also back to the basics of all art, drawing; pencil on paper. When I discovered colored pencil about 30 years ago, it was just by chance, browsing through a bookstore. Seeing the colorful spine of a book titled "Colored Pencil," I knew before I had pulled it from the shelf that I had found "IT"! That was the starting point of a very exciting and challenging journey that I have been on ever since.
A lot of thought goes into my decisions on subject matter and composition because I know it will be an investment of months of time. I'm always looking for "the light," because between light and dark is the drama of the piece. Objects that are transparent or reflective are particularly fascinating to me, especially those elements that are viewed through glass and water. Being able to examine and capture that special moment, in time and light, with all of its intricate depth and detail, is what I find so satisfying and colored pencil drawing offers me just that.
Reflecting on what has held my interest and driven me to express myself as an artist over almost all the years of my life, I really cannot say. All I know is that my passion for it has never diminished. I have always had some art project going on; if not already in progress, then in my head, observing my surroundings. Maybe it's somewhere in my DNA, but wherever it springs from, I am most grateful.
A native of Meridian, Mississippi, and a resident of Atlanta, Clark is a photographer who possesses the rare ability to capture those precious moments in life that would otherwise be missed and forever lost. Clark's beginning in photography was in ninth grade when he built a pinhole camera from a Maxwell House coffee can. To this day he still has his first picture, which was taken with the pinhole camera.
In addition to crisscrossing the United States, his camera has taken him to different parts of the world, including various countries in Africa and Europe, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas-U.S. Virgin Islands, Tortola- British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Grand Bahama Island and recently Cuba.
His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and publications, and online publications including The Meridian Star, Huffington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gulf Scapes Magazine, Season Magazine and Loft Life Magazine. Past exhibitions include Mason Fine Art; Arnika Dawkins Gallery; Photography Center of Atlanta; Sewanee: The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee; Georgia State University, Atlanta; The Hub, Atlanta; Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina; and Clay's Gallery in Atlanta. Corporate clients include Renaissance Waverly Hotel, General Electric, Jennings Holdings, Java Vino, Sip The Experience Coffee Shop, Blue Linx, Marquette University, Life University, Khoshnood Law Firm and Health Plus Wellness Center.
In 2009, Clark's first monograph, EYES OF UGANDA, A Sociological Perspective, was released. In December 2015, three of his large-scale pinhole works were part of a group exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (Atlanta), his first museum showing. In 2016, Clark's catalogue, "EYES of Havana, Chromatic Life" was published in a limited edition. The Sumter exhibition comprises the images from his time spent in Havana. Also included will be Clark's black-and-white photographs.
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is closed Sunday and Monday.