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September 2011

Pickens Co. Museum of Art & History in Pickens, SC, Offers Three New Exhibits

The Pickens County Museum of Art & History in Pickens, SC, will be presenting three new exhibitions including: The Fine Art Ramblers: Totally Safe Art & Music; Masks of the Cherokee: The Blumer and Smith Collection; and The Stuffits: ART DOLLS, on view from Sept. 10 through Nov. 10, 2011. A reception will be held on Sept. 10, from 6-8pm.

The Fine Art Ramblers is a Post-Modern String Band made up entirely of visual artists. The band plays a little bit of old-time, a little bit of blues, a little swing, and some great old tunes with a few Post-Modern surprises thrown in for good measure. The members of Fine Art Ramblers are: Patti Brady, Jim Campbell, Bob Chance, Phil Garrett, David McCurry and Joel Wilkinson; all well known visual artists.

Patti Brady’s paintings, prints and hand-painted books have been exhibited nationally and reviewed by the New York Times. She is currently the Working Artists Program Director for Golden Artist Colors, Inc. Brady has lectured and taught on the use of Golden acrylics at a number of universities and art schools around the globe and is also the author of Rethinking Acrylic: Radical Solutions For Exploiting The World’s Most Versatile Medium.

Multi-talented in the media of drawing, painting, sculptural work and printmaking, Jim Campbell is also a teacher at Greenville County’s Fine Arts Center. A Greenville native, he received his BFA in graphic design from the University of Georgia. For the past few years he has been interested in creating art related to the Piedmont area and mill villages. Intrigued by the changes within the area and culture, Campbell’s work represents what is happening as the area transitions into modernity.

Bob Chance is a potter and ceramic artist teaching since 1988 in the Art Department at Furman University. He has been making and exhibiting work for longer than he cares to admit and has been included on numerous national and international exhibitions including 100 Years/100 Artists at the South Carolina State Museum, USA: Portrait of the South at Palazzo Venezia in Rome, Italy, and a plethora of other group and solo exhibitions.

Phil Garrett is among his native South Carolina’s most prominent artists. In addition to his paintings, he is known as a printmaker. Garrett studied printmaking at the Honolulu Academy and received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he also did post-graduate studies in print making. In 1998, Garrett founded King Snake Press in Greenville, where he has produced monotypes with dozens of artists.

David Scott McCurry is an interdisciplinary artist who works primarily in traditional mediums and found object assemblage. His life and work experience traverses the United States and extends to the African continent where he has lived in The Gambia, Malawi and Namibia. McCurry has studied drawing & painting with Miguel Angel Argüello (a student of Antonio Lopez Garcia) as well as with the Kay Chiromo, and stone sculpture with Berlings Kaunda in Malawi.

Joel Wilkinson is a professional painter and studio operator who also manages the gallery at Greenville’s Michael McDunn Studio & Gallery. A Greenville native, he is a 1976-1977 alumni of Greenville’s Fine Arts Center and has participated as an artist as well as advisor in the continued development of Greenville as a fine arts destination. Wilkinson’s drawings, paintings and graphic works have been commissioned as illustrations in hundreds of corporate communications and magazine articles across the country.

The Mask continues to be an important part of Cherokee culture. The Cherokee use masks during dance to request help with a hunt, celebrate the harvest, storytelling for adults, children, and during special prayers.

The exhibition, Masks of the Cherokee: The Blumer and Smith Collection, is composed of over sixty masks in the private collections of Thomas J. Blumer and Robert P. Smith from twenty-four outstanding contemporary Cherokee artists. Museum visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy masks made by the notable Native artists: Davy Arch, Darin Bark, Rocky Brady, Virgil Crowe, William H. Crowe, Jr., Bernadine George, Ben Groenewold, II, David Hornbuckle, Paul Hornbuckle, Kirk Lossiah, William Lossiah, Tom Lossie, Fred McCoy, Roy McCoy, Joel Queen, R. Queen, R.A.M., Steve Ricker, Marvin J. Taylor, Ned Taylor, Ricky Joe Taylor, Stan Tooni, Jr., Billy J. Welch and John Wilnoty, II. These artists use a diversity of materials, including various woods, furs, gourds, barks and clay for creation of their masks.

On display will be a variety of Clan Masks representing the seven clans of the Cherokee (Blue, Long Hair, Bird, Paint, Deer, Wild Potato, and Wolf). There will also be a wide representation of Booger Masks which originally represented the faces of Indian tribes who were the enemies of the Cherokee. Later the Booger Masks began to appear with large eyebrows, mustaches, beards, and bald heads, similar to the appearance of Europeans.
Visitors will also see Cherokee Medicine Masks, Bear Mask, and even a Death Mask. There is also a rare opportunity for viewers to see a Booger Dance Mask made from a hornets’ nest which some say represents those who contacted smallpox.

The Stuffits: ART DOLLS exhibit is composed of over 85 cloth art dolls from members of “the Stuffits” cloth doll making club that includes Marie Atherton, Lois Bro, Jean Anne Cooper, Elizabeth “Betsy” Dunkle, Barbara Geno, Adrea Hughey, Judy Kline, Eunice Lueck, Erika Meriwether, Judy Perry, Elizabeth “Betty” Pickelsimer, Sara Rawlins, Jeannette Schmeichal, Marge Silkwood, Silvia Small, J. Peggy Taylor, Kate Walter, Rachel Waymire and Susan West.

There is great variety in this art doll exhibit with some inspired by story-books and others representing trolls and the fantasy world; there are some designs of amazing beauty, and others simply of pure whimsy. Each doll is unique and completely hand made, with details that are best described as exquisite.

The cloth doll artist’s club, “Take This Doll and Stuff It” is composed of about 30 members and 20 associate members from coast to coast. Started in 1993, their name has evolved into “Stuffits”. The members enjoy sharing their doll making skills in numerous publications, classes and workshops; four members have taught doll making classes at the prestigious John C. Campbell Folk School at Brasstown, NC. Several of the members have had soft sculptures in art exhibitions that traveled all over the country.

The Stuffits currently have their monthly meetings in the Pendleton Branch Library on the third Wednesday of each month at 10am. Visitors are welcome. Stuffits member, Betsy Dunkle, describes the group as “so encouraging and friendly as we learn the wonderful art of doll making. It is just delightful”. For more information about the Stuffits group or to attend one of the monthly meetings, contact Betsy Dunkle at 864/654-5662.

The Pickens County Museum of Art & History is funded in part by Pickens County, members and friends of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings or call the Museum at 864/898-5963.


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