Carolina Arts logo

Feature Articles

September 2011

Spartanburg Art Museum in Spartanburg, SC, Presents Works from USC Ceramic Art Studio

The Spartanburg Art Museum in Spartanburg, SC, is presenting the exhibit Studio Works, featuring selections from the Ceramic Art Studio at the University of South Carolina, on view through Oct. 1, 2011.

For thousands of years, clay has been at the heart of humanity’s primal need to create. Clay was, and still is, able to be molded and shaped as the potter wishes it to be. A very plain material, it can be fashioned into any form imaginable. This beautiful departure from pure function is what we see more of today, and what is shown here by USC Ceramics.

The art of ceramics is a complicated process, depending on heat and precision as well as skilled hands to create these objects. What is not complicated, however, is the beauty and uniqueness of their finished forms.

The general nature of this selection of works is sculptural rather than functional, and the result is astounding and delightful. Once upon a time, a pot was only needed to hold a substance; but here, the ceramics exist in order to please the eye. Freed from their once utilitarian purposes, pottery has expanded into artistic creation.

The Ceramics Studio of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, is known internationally for its research and development of such artistic works. Intriguing and wonderful, these ceramic pieces take innovation and imagination to the next level by creating another world where ceramic lends itself to an emerging face here, a new shape there, and greatness all around.

Clay, which is fired into ceramic, is too often thought of as only having a single, functional purpose, but USC Ceramics brings the medium to life and takes it back to its roots with this exhibition, shaping it into almost any form imaginable, breathing new life into it, taking away the function and replacing it with fun and captivating forms.

Leading the program is Virginia Scotchie, the head of ceramics at the University of South Carolina. In addition to holding a BFA in ceramics from UNC Chapel Hill and a Master of Fine Arts from Alfred University in New York, Scotchie has a lot of experience beyond the classroom.

Exhibiting her work throughout the United States as well as abroad and receiving many awards, she has also lectured internationally about her work. This experience makes Scotchie an excellent person to lead and guide the students in the program.

Scotchie’s goals also perfectly describe what the USC Ceramics Studio bring to fruition: “It is my intention that through the borrowing and reformation of objects the work might trigger one to look closer and find beauty and intrigue in the humble, ordinary and familiar objects that surround us.”

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 864/582-7616 or visit (


[ | September 2011 | Feature Articles | Carolina Arts Unleashed | Gallery Listings | Home | ]



Carolina Arts is published monthly by Shoestring Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc. Copyright© 2011 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright© 2011 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.