Feature Articles

February 2011

Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, Features African American Art and Pottery by Sasha and Tari Federer

Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, will present two new exhibits in its Art Gallery Series including: African American Art from the Collection of Cassandra Rush and Feather Pottery by Sasha and Tari Federer, on view in the Hyman Fine Arts Center Gallery, from Feb. 21 through Mar. 29, 2012.

Growing up in Williamsburg County, SC, between the Nesmith community and the town of Kingstree, Cassandra Rush does not remember viewing art in any form as a child. She could distinguish beauty from not-so-appealing objects, but the realization of art was not conceptualized until she was a student in the required Art Appreciation class at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD.

Rush kept her book from that class as a means to be face-to face with the many artists from Michelangelo to Andy Warhol, and the few African American artists that were included in the publication. The visual arts became ingrained in her and new ventures into visiting museums and galleries became a focus and a mission.

Rush became a dealer of African American art in 1990 with the main focus to accessorize her new home with the art she loves. In the process of meeting new artists and admiring their works, she became a collector of African American art. She collects works of-and-by African Americans.

Now, Rush sees art in all aspects of everyday life in the clouds, forests, gardens, architecture, fabrics, city skylines, and in all of her surroundings and changing environment. She tries to share these experiences with her children and grandchildren, and children of all ages. Her collection of art, dolls, Black Memorabilia, stamps, books, figurines, cookie jars, salt and pepper shakers, etc. will soon be finding a permanent home at the ‘Cassandra Williams Rush Center for African-American Arts & Culture’ in Kingstree at 200 Hampton Avenue.

Rush is the oldest of seven children of David and Edith Williams of Kingstree, SC. She earned a BS in Chemistry form Morgan State University and a MPH from the University of South Carolina. She has been employed as a chemist, Engineer, Adjunct College Faculty, and HBCU-UP Project and Data Manager. Currently, she manages the Williams Vineyard and Farm in Nesmith, SC, and will manage and curate the exhibitions at the new Cultural Center.

Rush is excited about the privilege to exhibit works of African American art from her collection.

Sasha and Tari Federer have been working with clay for over 35 years. Sasha, born in Prague, Czech Republic, moved to the USA in the early 70’s. He studied ceramic art in Washington, Wisconsin, and worked for three years as a professional potter in New Hampshire and served as artist-in-residence with the National Endowment for the Arts. Tari spent much of her life in the Southwest. She studied as an art major at Ventura College and the University of California Santa Barbara. Ten years ago she closed her studio in North Carolina and moved to Florence, SC, to marry and join forces with Sasha. Their joining has resulted in a creative collaboration in their quest to create objects of beauty and functionality in clay.

In addition to exhibiting at The Chameleon Art Gallery in Darlington, SC, Lowcountry Artists, Ltd. in Charleston, SC, and Interiors of Asheville, in Asheville, NC, Tari and Sasha have jointly made one of their artistic dreams come true by opening the Running Horse Gallery beside their studio and home in Florence, SC. Their artwork is one-of-a kind, hand crafted, using an array of firing techniques and surface decoration. Occasionally, the couple will work on the same piece. When this is done, it is signed Satari, a combination of both names.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call 843/661-1385 or visit (http://departments.fmarion.edu/finearts/gallery.htm).

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