Feature Articles

November 2013

Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County in Camden, SC, Offers German Exchange Exhibition

The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County in Camden, SC, is presenting International Exchange: The Columbia-Kaiserslautern Connection, on view in the Bassett Gallery, through Nov. 29, 2013.

Curated by Wim Roefs of if ART Gallery in Columbia, SC, the exhibition will feature two large murals that are the result of an artists’ exchange between Columbia, SC, and its German sister city, Kaiserslautern. In addition to the murals, the show will present individual art works by some dozen Columbia and Kaiserslautern artists.

The artist exchange started in 2000 with the shipment of a steel palmetto tree sculpture from Columbia to Kaiserslautern. Since then, seven Kaiserslautern artists have worked and exhibited in Columbia, and ten Columbia artists have been to Kaiserslautern. The tree was created by Meg McLean as part of that year’s Palmetto Tree Project, sponsored by the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties. In 2001, McLean and Britta Cruz, a German artist then living in Columbia, went to Kaiserslautern. The mural project involved joint work by artists from two countries and revealed different approaches that required give and take. Differences became clear immediately in 2012, when Kaiserslautern artist Germans Klaus Hartmann and Silvia Rudolf visited Columbia, to work with Columbia artists Stephen Chesley, Jeff Donovan, Mary Gilkerson, Tonya Gregg, Peter Lenzo, Laura Spong, Mike Williams and David Yaghjian on a joint mural.

After the mural was exhibited in Columbia, it traveled to Germany. Artists of the Künstlerwerkgemeinschaft Kaiserslautern artists group (KWG) were to exhibit it there, then rework the mural and send it back to Columbia. Early 2013, a group of German artists held meetings about what to produce, but in the end decided they could not cover up the mural and in its stead, produced a new, second mural. Steinmacher held meetings. Both murals where shipped back to Columbia, where they were on view during April’s Artista Vista. The exhibition is sponsored by First Community Bank.

The Fine Arts Center is funded in part by the Frederick S. Upton Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by the City of Camden, Kershaw County, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina along with donations from businesses and individuals.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call Jane Peterson at 803/425-7676 ext. 305 or visit (www.fineartscenter.org).

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