Feature Articles

May 2013

Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg (SC) Features Works by Tom Rickis and Roy McBee Smith, Jr.

The Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg will present Variety, Visions and Values, featuring an exhibit of works by Tom Rickis and Roy McBee Smith, Jr., on view in the Guild Gallery located at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, from May 1 - 28, 2013. A reception will be held on May 3 (artist talk at 7pm) and May 16, from 6-8pm.

Tom Rickis joined the Board of Trustees of the Guild this past year and will be serving as our new President starting July of 2013. He initially started as a self-taught painter in 1972 and showcases his natural talent with his exhibit of watercolor-collage paintings.

Rickis grew up and attended college in Connecticut, with a major in business administration and art. He worked for more than 34 years with a Fortune 100 insurance company while painting part time and is now a full-time artist after taking an early retirement in 2003. Rickis has studied art at the Hartford Art School - University of Hartford and Central Connecticut State University and is currently working with watercolor and oil collages, as well as mixed media. His exhibit demonstrates instinctive talent with abstract compositions and traditional landscapes made up of sharp contrasting colors. Rickis has several memberships in art organizations and relocated to Roebuck, SC, in 2011. His art work is in collections throughout the United States.

Rickis shows how to transform a traditional two dimensional painting surface into a visual three dimensional masterpiece. By layering 300 pound cold-press painted watercolor paper, he brings the paintings to life-like form. After 40 years of painting, watercolor is still Rickis’s favorite medium. He states his most popular landscapes are of “barns in winter scenes as I like to contrast the warmth of barn board siding with the cool contrast of snow and its shadows. My objective creating art is to present visual interpretations of objects I see and imagine based on my experiences and impressions.” One of his more abstract paintings, Neapolitan, will be on display, inspired by the mixtures of colors from the classic chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream combination.

Roy McBee Smith, Jr. also joined the Guild’s Board of Trustees this past year and serves as Chairperson of our Publicity Committee. He is a resident and artist in Spartanburg and works at USC Upstate in technologies while promoting his works both locally and throughout the southeastern United States. Having grown up in a family of artists, Smith began drawing at a very young age and has continued to make the creation and study of art an integral part of his life. He formally studied 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional arts in college, and currently attends workshops and continues to collaborate with and learn from other artists.

Smith has been commissioned for portraits, has donated works to various non-profits and charities within the community, painted murals, and has been invited to show in galleries throughout the southeast. Many of his current works are of the impressionistic style, and he enjoys presenting a variety of works using different painting techniques.

Smith will be presenting a mixture of oil and watercolor paintings in this exhibit. The subjects of this exhibit will be presenting how the contrast of light and dark can emphasize the miracles of nature. He says, “Many of my works of art are inspired by sudden inspirational experiences like the sun rises I’ve experienced on our unique South Carolina beaches, or the early morning mist just before it rises with the sun. This exhibit will include several coastal scenes, several Upstate nature scenes, and a special 3 part work that portrays highlights of our community’s unique history. Watercolors and oils present the power a person experiences when witnessing a brilliant sunrise or sunset in unique ways and I hope to convey that power using both mediums.”

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call Robin Els at 864/764-9568 or visit (www.artistsguildofspartanburg.com).

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