A REVIEW

Support local artists at this year's show

BY JANE COLLINS
Special to the Sumter Item
Posted 7/1/18

A number of years ago there was a quirky western called "Support Your Local Sheriff." This is the time of year for an even more important admonition: "Support your local artists."

This year's Sumter Artists' Guild Show offers a great variety of …

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A REVIEW

Support local artists at this year's show

Posted

A number of years ago there was a quirky western called "Support Your Local Sheriff." This is the time of year for an even more important admonition: "Support your local artists."

This year's Sumter Artists' Guild Show offers a great variety of styles, materials and artistic vision.

One of the best attended Sumter Gallery events, the exhibit recognizes the diverse local talent and pays tribute to two artists who sadly have passed away - David Sanders and Glenna Robertson. They join the growing list of other important community artists whose time and energy have added so much to Sumter. The three winners reflect the eclectic nature of the current guild show.

"Calm Evening," first-place winner Genevieve Rath's watercolor on paper, is consistent with her technique of using delicate, intricately executed strokes. The serenity of the boats on the water is reinforced by the almost pastel halo surrounding the setting sun. The effect creates a feeling of romantic realism. Her other entries reflect her eye for detail and soft, flowing technique.

"Finding America," second-place winner Myra Barton's oil on paper, is more abstract. The linear flow of objects, the leaves of blue, yellow and white and the general impact of recessed blocks of color create depth and encourage reflection. Her photograph, "Splash of Lights," uses the impact of blue, turquoise and magenta to create an emotional impact.

"About Face," third-place winner Denise Greer's mixed media, highlights her ability to combine objects, paint and pun into clever compositions. Another of her entries, "In The Dark No One Can Hear You Scream," is a departure in technique and composition. The torture of the face is reinforced with circles of black, purple, olive yellow and gray and a circle of ringlets that seem to spell "ooooooo."

One Honorable Mention award goes to Jim Wade for his "Chair," an acrylic on canvas. Also impressive is his whimsical sculpture "Stick Family." Another Honorable Mention goes to Randy Abbott for his dramatic "Points of Stress," a painting layering black and turquoise to enhance the impact of the blue eyes. Abbott confesses that he realized that all of his work seems to result in creating faces. Honorable Mention also goes to Dominique Hodge for the acrylic "The Beginning of the End," a composition using three heads, revolving planets and symbols to evoke an aura of mysticism and visual commentary. Hodge's other entries seem consistent in style but emphasize that these artists are not just one-piece wonders.

There are other impressive entries. J. Michael McGuirt's larger canvases like "Congaree Fireflies" showcase his love for expansive compositions. His "Gathering Courage" is a delicate layering of intricate acrylic strokes to create feathers on the bird poised to move out. There is a balance of space and the solidity of the bird, a contrast of the blue-gray form with the dark background. Even more important is the artist's determination to focus on the basics of painting in order to help him become even stronger in manipulating his work into more abstract pieces. Alana Bergstrom Power's large acrylic canvas, "Framed," successfully utilizes vertical lines, diagonals and dots of color against a vast white, gray and taupe background. Dot Goodwin manipulates flows of black, white and a spot of burnt orange to create a sense of movement in "Thaw."

Carole Shoemaker Swartz' "Terror in Vegas," the blue figure grabbing its shoulder while the hair flairs out Medusa like, emanates an aura of horror. Dennis Snell's purple tree in "Entry Oak," Constance Brennan's layers of colorful faces and butterflies, Shima Patel's consistent sense of form and pattern in works like "SC 1000 year Flood Miracles the Water" and Mark Duffie's photograph "Salutations" - the spidery web focusing on the central figure - add to the exhibit's diversity.

There are several other pieces - ceramics, gourds and fibers - by artists like Laura Cardello, Morgan Edwards, Eric Burress and Sylvia Pickell who show constant guild support and talent. Wonderfully there are some "wow" (unexpected) surprises as well. Marjorie Hooks' "Metamorphosis" is a small 3-D piece in the entry hall. The female form moves through space, her twigs sprouting energy. Vicki Hagner's "Not Dorothy's Ruby Red" stilettos are deliciously vampish, and Rhonda Simon's "Bananas!" and "Bananas!!" are delightful, even if you have not seen the "Despicable" movies.

Support and enjoy your local artists. Entry is free. The exhibit runs through Aug. 31. Sumter County Gallery of Art hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (803) 775-0543 for more details.