Feature Articles

January Issue 2002

Spartanburg County Museum of Art in Spartanburg, SC, Features Exhibition of Digital Art

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Jacquelyn Leebrick --------------------------- Jane Nodine --------------------------- Maggie Taylor

The Spartanburg County Museum of Art in Spartanburg, SC, is presenting an exhibition entitled, Digital Art (Times Three), featuring works by Jane Nodine, Jacquelyn Leebrick, and Maggie Taylor. The exhibition will be on view from Jan. 7 through Mar. 3, 2002.

That a great master may have worked in a particular way does not necessarily mean that it was the best way to realize his vision; it simply means that it was the best way that was available to him at the time. Art has always been partially driven by new technologies and it will continue to be.

A quick look to the history of oil painting can serve to illustrate this point. Oil paint itself was an innovation that expanded the capabilities of painting. It was the flexibility of oil that allowed paint to be applied to light fabrics stretched over wooden frames, rather that on the heavy, rigid wooden panels required by egg tempera. Before 1800, all brushes were "rounds". The invention of the metal ferrule, the collar that holds the bristles on the brush handle, led to the development of flat brushes which produce more vigorous brushstrokes. The development of thicker, pastier tubed colors allowed the artist to paint out of the studio and promoted more spontaneous approaches to art than were practical before.

One of the most dramatic changes in art came with the advent of photography. For most of man's existence, the artist has been the main recorder of visual information. Yet the camera can record greater detail than any painter has ever been able to achieve in a fraction of the time. Once this was understood, it not only enabled but also empowered the artist to interpret the world rather than simply to imitate it.

But these are examples from history. What is exciting today is that another such phenomenon is taking place before our eyes. Digital art is not a single thing. It may be completely generated on the computer, or it may be computer manipulations of traditional techniques. It may be developed to be used on a monitor as an interactive multimedia presentation, or it may be printed out, framed and hung in a traditional gallery setting. Who knows in which direction this technology will push creativity, or for that matter where creativity will direct this technology?

The Jan./Feb. exhibition at The Spartanburg County Museum of Art in Spartanburg, SC, will present the work of three artists, Jacquelyn Leebrick (Greenville, NC), Jane Allen Nodine (Spartanburg, SC) and Maggie Taylor (Gainesville, FL), who explore the possibilities of the digital medium.

For more information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings or call the Museum at 864/582-7616.

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