Feature Articles

December 2011

Pickens County Museum in Pickens SC, Features Works by David Detrich & Denise Woodward-Detrich

The Pickens County Museum of Art & History in Pickens, SC, will present the exhibit, David Detrich & Denise Woodward-Detrich: Dragonflies, Polka-dots, Whirly Gigs and Other Unusual Suspects, on view from Dec. 3 through Feb. 9, 2012. A reception will be held on Dec. 3, from 6-8pm.

Both artists are vital members of the Art Department of Clemson University; Denise as the Director of the Rudolph E. Lee Gallery and David as an Associate Professor and head of the Sculpture Department.

Woodward-Detrich is the Director of the Lee Gallery in the Department of Art at Clemson University. Before joining Clemson University, she served as a Master Instructor at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Prior to that she was the exhibitions coordinator at Clemson University. She received her MFA in Ceramics at the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University and has maintained an active exhibitions record having been invited to participate in many national exhibitions. Woodward-Detrich has given workshops in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida and has been included in publications such as Wheel Thrown Pottery by Don Davis, Best of Pottery, published by Rockport Publishers and Studio Potter magazine.

Speaking of her work Woodward-Detrich said, “Utility is paramount in my investigation as an artist. Inspired by mundane activities of the day to day my work focuses on functional objects. I strive to create objects whose purpose is elevated from a purely functional state to one that balances the functional, the visual and the tactile. The balancing of these relationships has operated as source inspiration for the creation of my work.”

Originally from East St. Louis, IL, David Detrich received his BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri and his MFA from Alfred University in New York. His teachers included Dale Eldred, Jim Leedy, Tony Hepburn and Wayne Higby. He has exhibited his sculptural works nationally and internationally including venues at the Tallina Kunstiulikool in Tallin, Estonia and at the American Cultural Center in Taipei, Taiwan. His work is also represented in public and private collections nationally. Outside of the field of art he has consulted with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Government of Jamaica and was involved in architectural collaborations with architect, Robert Miller including Nexus Press in Atlanta, GA, and the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, SC. Before his academic appointment at Clemson University he served on the faculties at Wichita State University in Kansas and at Alfred University. David is presently an Associate Professor and head of the Sculpture area in the Department of Art where he has been teaching since 1992.

Of his work David says, “From Hegel’s Theory of the Dialectic to evening TV sitcoms I have always been a sucker for irony and paradox. I identify most with a definition I found in one of my old dictionaries of the term “artist” as being a trickster that employs slight of hand. My work involves manipulating recognizable and conditioned elements of formal geometry, language/text, art about art and the socio-political in an open dialogue of opposition.”

David continued, “I feel my work is most successful when it poses a question rather than presenting an editorial on a subject. I also contend that ‘style and consistency’ are antithetical to the creative process. I am very curious about the potential of art making that can exist by recognizing a seemingly incongruous palette of concepts and contexts. The end accumulation may appear to be disparate but hopefully this approach has the capacity to represent a broader sense of who I am and how I reflect upon our current condition.”

The Pickens County Museum of Art & History is funded in part by Pickens County, members and friends of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings or call the Museum at 864/898-5963.


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