Feature Articles

April Issue 2000

City Art in Columbia, SC, Shows Work of Newberry Art Professor for Artista Vista

The City Art Gallery in the "Vista" area of downtown Columbia, SC, will present an exhibition of recent paintings by Newberry College art professor Bruce Nell-Smith. The exhibit will be on view in City Art's Main Exhibition Hall begin the evening of Artista Vista on Apr. 28 and continue through June 12, 2000.

Also showing, in addition to the exhibit in the Main Exhibition Hall, will be an exhibit of City Art's own, featuring many different artists in the Second Level Gallery. The side gallery will feature three-dimensional smaller sculpture and pottery as well as smaller paintings, original prints and photography. The Art Weekly Gallery will feature wonderful etchings by Yugoslavian artist Katarina Zaric.

Bruce Nell-Smith has been the Chairman of the Department of Art at Newberry College, located in Newberry, SC, since 1988. He was instrumental in the formation of the Arts Council of Newberry and President of the Newberry Arts Center from 1991-93. Nell-Smith received his BFA from the University of Georgia at Athens and an MFA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In talking about his work, Nell-Smith said, "I do not object to interpretations of my work that emphasize landscape or figurative elements, although such references are not my primary objectives. I recognize, however, that artists are influenced by their environments. I spend a lot of time on the coast, especially Edisto Island, where I have a summer home. These works reflect the strong light, brilliant color and twisted shapes of the oaks and creeks. Yet, as Henry Moore pointed out, selection plays a large role in our vision. In a brief essay entitled, Shells and Pebbles, Moore said that for several years running he returned to the same part of the sea shore and each year a new shape caught his eye, which was, of course, there is abundance the year before, but he never saw it. He stated: 'I choose out to see with excitement only those (forms) which fit in with my existing form interest at the time'".

"I thought about Moore's statement and my own repeated visits to the same part of the sea shore, and I realized that time is essential to adapt to new form experiences. In other words, I only fully experience those forms that I am currently working with in the studio. Cezanne claimed that the way to nature was through the Louvre and the way to the Louvre was through nature. Understanding this order, for me, meant that the paintings, drawings, and sculpture came first and the references to the coast were of secondary importance. However, once this relationship was discovered, I then felt free to encourage such a connection and I began to use titles such as Brave Coast, A River View, Blue, Ribbon, Resurrection, etc. I accepted that working in the state of South Carolina meant adapting to tactile, geographic influences, although these were never the catalytic motivations for the work".

Nell-Smith has had solo or group exhibitions at the Goodall Gallery at Columbia College and the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, SC; Spirit Square in Charlotte, NC; Gallant Art Gallery at Anderson College, Anderson, SC; and at the Ackland Museum of Art, Union Gallery and Allcott Gallery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Art Weekly Gallery, at City Art, will also be showing etchings by Katarina Zaric during Artista Vista. She was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, where she still lives today. Zaric first studied printmaking with Emir Draguli at the Fine Arts Academy in Belgrade. She continued through the masters programs and received a position as an assistant in the printmaking department. In 1999, she became an assistant professor at the Academy. Zaric has had her works featured in solo and group exhibit in Belgrade, Poland, Norway, Serbia, Italy, Japan, and most recently in New York City.

During the evening of Artista Vista, Apr. 28, from 5 to 9pm, City Art will present demonstrations and interactive activities between artists and viewers. City Art will have something creative for everyone to enjoy.

For more info check our SC Commercial Gallery listings or call 803/252-3613.

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