Feature Articles

March 2014

The McClellanville Arts Council in McClellanville, SC, Offers Exhibit& Performance Focused on Loss

The McClellanville Arts Council in McClellanville, SC, will present Ode to…, on view at the McClellanville Arts Center, from Mar. 15 through Apr. 26, 2014. A reception will be held on Mar. 15, from 6-8pm. A film by Kristi Ryba will begin at 6:30pm with a dance performance by Annex Dance Company to follow. The exhibition includes artworks by Mary Walker, Kristi Ryba, Linda Fantuzzo, and John McWilliams.

The theme of the exhibition is loss: All the pieces will be dedicated to lost mentors, loved ones, and friends. Each person in the group has recently lost an important person in their lives and is enthusiastic about honoring that special person in the Ode to… exhibition/performance.

“A year ago, I decided to do a print series Ode to Jim dedicated to my friend (Jim Innes) who on his deathbed left me his printing press,” says Mark Walker. “I thought that the McClellanville Arts Center would be a wonderful place to have the exhibition. I realized that my series would not fill the space. I thought of other artists whom I have worked with closely, whose work I admire, and who have recently lost someone significant to them. The idea jelled into including four artists, a dance performance and a short animated film.”

“The movement vocabulary for Annex Dance Company’s Ode is my interpretation of Mary Walker’s images,” says Kristin Alexander, artistic director/choreographer, Annex Dance Company. “Mary often sketches rehearsals, so this was a unique opportunity to reverse the role and have her see her work through my eyes. The shapes in both solo form and how they intersect within the print influenced the choreography and composition of the piece. As the dancers enter and exit the space I imagine people slipping in and out of each other’s lives, and we are left with just one who has been imprinted by the others.”  

“Loss, the theme of the exhibit, Ode to… is a common thread throughout my work as I use memory as my resource to explore and reveal my ideas about grief, longing, humor and nostalgia, about home, family, motherhood and gender roles,” says Kristi Ryba. “The questions I ask myself are, How do we make sense of a life, our parents and now ourselves, as we age and physically decline? How did our childhood and family of origin shape our choices? Inspired by vintage photographs from my birth family I make images, vintage style clothing and stop motion videos.”

“I decided to use a dry brushed oil technique in the making of my drawings for this exhibition,” says Linda Fantuzzo. “My thoughts for loved ones, whom I wish to commemorate in these drawings, were not clearly formed in my mind and this method enabled me to work in a manner of stream of consciousness. The tools and personal items these individuals held dear, surfaced in the imagery and came to represent the person I wish to honor.”

“Things change,” says John McWilliams. “We are born and we age and then we die. Our hopes and fears are vibrations like a breeze that passes. Our tears pass and nourish other things. Death is nothing. The essence of everything is eternal, the atoms. What once was is refigured. In our lives we spend much time coming to terms with death. As artists we are sometimes trapped into justifying our existence and manifesting our ego. The wonderful irony is that as death is nothing so is the ego.”

“We share this passing with everything on this earth. With this exhibition and collaboration we each share our own interpretation of this passing and celebrate it,” adds McWilliams.

The McClellanville Arts Council is a nonprofit organization chartered in 1977 to enhance the quality of life in the Seewee to Santee area of Charleston County, SC, with arts, cultural, and educational programming, and to record, preserve, and publicize the unique culture of McClellanville and the surrounding countryside.

For more info check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call 843/887-3157 or visit (www.mcclellanvilleartscouncil.com).

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