Feature Articles

April Issue 2000

Cameo Fine Art Gallery in Columbia, SC, Features Images of Lake Murray

A one man show by South Carolina artist, Jamie Blackburn, will be on display at Cameo Fine Art Gallery, in Columbia, SC, from Apr. 28 through May 19, 2000. An opening reception on Apr. 28 kicks off the annual Artista Vista celebration in the historic Congaree Vista area. This exhibit will be Blackburns' first one man show and it will consist of approximately 30 works of oil on panel, oil on illustration board, acrylic on canvas and oil on canvas.

Blackburn was born in Columbia, and has lived on Lake Murray since 1974. He attended Irmo High School and then went on to receive a BA in Fine Art from Lander University in Greenwood, SC. Blackburn has worked as a free lance artist for the last fifteen years. He was just recently selected and recognized as one of the 85 artists participating in the Palmetto Tree Project, a public art project which will distribute 85 palmetto trees created by various artists throughout Columbia. The project is similar to one done in Chicago which resulted in artistically decorated fiberglass cows scattered throughout that city.

Blackburn vigorously spends many hours of photographing and studying landscapes and other subject matter which supplies the inspiration to create his masterfully skilled paintings. This incredible body of work depicts the tranquility and serendipitous moods of Lake Murray. The hues in the paintings consists of the richest of blues and the vibrancy of orange with a touch of some traditional earthy tones. His brush strokes shift from being very tight and controlled to more loose and playful.

In some of these works Blackburn reveals relics of war, lake life and even death hidden in the murky waters of the lake. In addition to these, the artist will present new paintings that are inspired by the beautiful lake shore line, various wildlife, and breathtaking sunsets.

Blackburn began painting this series about Lake Murray after having a dream in 1997. In the dream, Blackburn saw the five intake towers above and below the water of Lake Murray. Amazed by the design and structure of the towers, he began painting the first of what would become a series of paintings entitled, Lake Murray's History Beneath the Waves.

Construction on Lake Murray began in 1927 with the clearing of approximately 100,000,000 board ft. of lumber and the removal of three churches, six schools, and 193 graveyards consisting of 2,323 graves. At the time of the construction, the dam was the largest earthen dam in cubical content created for power purposes in the world. The dam covers around 99 acres. Approximately 636,000 bags of cement, 122,012 tons of stone and gravel, 62,000 tons of sand, 3,987 tons of steel plate, 329 tons of reinforced steel and 1,407 tons of structural steel went into the construction of the pen stock and intake towers. Each of the reinforced towers is 30 feet in diameter and 223 feet in height, The dam itself is 208 feet high and 1 and 1/2 miles long.

Today Lake Murray covers 78 sq. miles and covers approximately 50,000 acres of land. Its widest point is 41 miles long and 41 miles wide, providing storage for 763 billion gallons of water. Before its completion in 1930, the lake was named in honor of William S. Murray, chief engineer of the project.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings or call the gallery at 803/799-8869. For further info about Lake Murray call the Lake Murray Country Visitors Center at 803/781-5940.

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