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September 2011

Black Creek Arts Council in Hartsville, SC, Features Works by Jim Stratton and His Students

The Black Creek Arts Council in Hartsville, SC, will present the exhibit, Jim Stratton and Friends, featuring works by Jim Stratton and three of his private students, on view in the Jean & James Fort Gallery, from Sept. 1 through Oct. 21, 2011. A reception will be held on Sept. 1, from 5:30-7pm.

This exhibition will showcase the amazing works of art from Stratton and three of his private students. This exhibition is a celebration of oil painting. It is a portrait of learning and an exposé of finding one’s own style and method of painting.

Stratton has been painting in oils continuously since his introduction to the medium in his Hartsville High School art class taught by Jeri Mixon to whom he honors with this collection of his own works and the works of his private students, Mike Norwood, Rheda Howle, and Gayle Morrison.

Stratton’s work in oils began in 1965, and he has completed over 2,000 paintings. He has been teaching classes and seminars in painting, drawing, and color for over 35 years.

Mike Norwood started taking classes from Stratton some 14 years ago. He loves western themes, is retired from Sonoco, and lives near Darlington, SC, with his wife Brenda.

Rheda Howle began her work with Stratton almost 5 years ago. She paints mostly landscapes and loves to interject fantasy. Howle is a prolific artist with her own studio and gift boutique in Pine Ridge, SC. She and her husband Butch live in Pine Ridge.

Gayle Morrison has been doing private lessons about 2 years and also loves to do landscapes. She often works spiritual themes into her work. Morrison lives in Hartsville with her husband, Scott.

As you will see when you compare the works of the students to the teacher, the students have gradually moved away from the style of the teacher and have begun developing more and more mature brushwork, styles, compositions, and imagery that labels their work as uniquely their own.

The mission of Black Creek Arts Council is to promote and foster the Arts in Darlington County. BCAC’s offices are housed in a state of the art 10,000 square foot facility in Hartsville. BCAC offers a variety of programs including art classes of all styles, after-school activities, pre-school aged programs, private music lessons, and various types of gallery exhibits. BCAC also offers assistance with arts management, funding, education, and program coordination to arts and cultural organizations in Darlington County.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call Allison Pederson, Executive Director at 843/332-6234 or e-mail to (


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