Feature Articles

December 2011

Sumter County Gallery of Art in Sumter, SC, Features Works by Alice Ballard & Richard Stenhouse

The Sumter County Gallery of Art in Sumter, SC, is presenting two solo exhibitions including Alice Ballard: A Walk Remembered and The Art Of Richard Stenhouse, on view through Jan. 6, 2012.

The Sumter County Gallery of Art is proud to present the ceramic sculptures and installation works of Alice Ballard. Ballard received both her BS in Design and MA in Painting from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. She has extensive teaching experience, including as a ceramics Instructor at Penland School of Craft and recently retired as an Instructor of Ceramics at the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC. Ballard’s work was included in the prestigious Southern Arts Federation traveling show, Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern Craft & Traditional Art that was shown at the Sumter County Gallery of Art in September 2009. Her work can be found in the collections of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC, Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC, and the South Carolina State Art Collection, Columbia, SC.

Ballard’s exquisite surfaces, finished in an ancient Greek method called terra sigilatta, a very fine slip with a subtle sheen, and delicate forms, are derived from the natural world around her as observed on daily walks around her studio in upstate South Carolina.

SCGA Curator Frank McCauley states: “It’s an honor to be able to highlight Alice Ballard’s work here in Sumter, she is truly a master of her medium. Her meticulously hand-built forms communicate such personal moments that are at once private and universal at the same time. The care she takes when impressing textures of flowers and leaves, to the precision in her application of airbrushed glazes speaks to the overwhelming detail we are surrounded by daily in the natural world”

Elizabeth Keller states: “Elegance is the key word I associate with Alice Ballard’s ceramic works. Ballard’s treatments of natural and organic forms transform the common and familiar into eloquent explorations of form and design. Her work exhibits a keen mastery of her chosen material with a refined sense of craftsmanship.”

Ballard offers the following statement about her works: “My art is a reflection of my relationship with natural forms. It is often the metamorphosis of Nature’s forms, as they change from season to season, that attracts me to that universal world in which differing life forms share similar qualities.”

The Sumter County Gallery of Art is also proud to present the work of Richard Stenhouse. A native of North Carolina, his fascination with art began in childhood and fully ignited in his mid twenties. After working for five years in the field of architecture, he began to study art formally. He studied architecture at the North Carolina State University School of Design, and received a BA in Visual Arts from UNC-Charlotte. Stenhouse continued his studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he received his MFA.

Stenhouse is constantly striving to grow as an artist, and to enrich his knowledge and appreciation of art as a foundation for personal creativity. In pursuit of this goal he has, over the past thirty years, spent countless hours in some of the finest galleries and art museums of fourteen countries.

Stenhouse has participated in over 100 group and solo exhibitions, establishing a regional and national following. Included among these are exhibitions at the Duke University Museum of Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, the Asheville Museum of Art, and the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, Italy. In 1996, Stenhouse was honored with a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Grant.

SCGA Curator Frank McCauley states: “Stenhouse creates amazingly luscious surfaces and an ethereal atmosphere pervades many of his oil paintings on canvas as well as his works on mylar. There is a mystery in much of his work. A contemplative quietness pervades, evoking a sense of calm, but what lies beneath? These images can seem to pose many questions, are these lone houses places of retreat, or have they been long abandoned? What secrets might they hold? This search for answers is what gives these works such a lasting impression.”

“Stenhouse works with oil on canvas as well as oil crayon and pastel on translucent mylar to create haunting and compelling images, which are extremely controlled but not cold or rigid. For almost two decades, Richard Stenhouse has been making drawings that evoke the soft luminescence that lies like a veil over the fields, forests and cities of the Carolinas. Stenhouse’s work possesses a certain psychological edge and mystery regardless of subject,” says Jerald Melberg, of Jerald Melberg Gallery in Charlotte, NC.

The Art of Richard Stenhouse is shown in conjunction with Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the gallery at 803/775-0543 or visit (www.sumtergallery.org).


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