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May Issue 2010

Artists' Guild of Spartanburg in Spartanburg, SC, Features Works by Annette Giaco

The Artists' Guild of Spartanburg will present the exhibit, A Tyger River Sampler, featuring works by Annette Giaco, on view at the Guild Gallery located at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, from May 4 - 28, 2010.

For this exhibit, Giaco, who works primarily in acrylic and oil on canvas, board and cradled art panels, has captured the South Tyger River area and the people who live there.

"I am currently working on many versions of the Tyger River, which borders my property," says Giaco, who has only recently returned to painting fulltime after leaving a 20-year career in corporate newspaper publishing.

The decision to relocate to rural South Carolina from Washington, DC, was spurred by her desire to leave behind a stressful career and focus once again on creating art. Though she looked at many beautiful places in the Piedmont, the graduate of the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design found that the land in Pauline that she discovered on the Internet provided a perfect setting in which she could renew her creativity.

"Many of the paintings show various versions of the river and land because it changes every day and is the source of my inspiration," Giaco says. "The trees along the river's edge reach into the water with their roots, and the swift moving current creates the unsettling sense that 'beings' are spying back." Giaco calls the leafless trees in her paintings "skeleton trees" because they are so mysterious, some even resembling crosses, as if they are marking graves.

The artist's favorite piece in the exhibit is one of the smallest, Ghost River, a 5' x 5' acrylic on a cradled panel. Using a complementary palette of only two colors, she created a composition that she says "captures the spiritual heart of this place."

Though her focus in the beginning was on the land, she found that the people were so much a part of the environment that she had to capture them as well. "Some of the paintings are their reflections and a testament to the blessings most of us take for granted and the hardships we know little about," the artist says of her fascination with the people who are so much a part of the cycles that take place on the land, "like the animal bones recycling themselves, the changing river, or the dancing trees struggling to position themselves for the sunlight in crowded forests."

Giaco's work shows the influence of both impressionism and abstract expressionism with, she says, "a little bit of fauvism thrown in for arbitrary color and line." Giaco has always painted, but until recently her work was mostly commissioned landscapes and portraits. Finding the perfect property gave her the push she needed to return completely to painting. "So I took a huge leap of faith to let go of the stress and pursue what I love to do," Giaco says.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings or call Laura Pinkley at 864/764-9568.

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