Feature Articles

September 2013

West Main Artist Cooperative in Spartanburg, SC, Features Works by Beth Regula and Teresa Prater

The West Main Artist Cooperative in Spartanburg, SC, will present Twining Spirits - Traveling Sisters, featuring works by Beth Regula and Teresa Prater, on view from Sept. 19 through Oct. 12, 2013. A reception will be held on Sept. 19, from 5-9pm, in conjunction with the Spartanburg monthly Art Walk.

Regula and Prater are two unique artists who share a studio-gallery space at the West Main Artist Cooperative. Their shared love of material exploration made for a perfect match in combining their works in their studio-gallery and for the upcoming exhibition Twining Spirits - Traveling Sisters which harkens to their friendship and their shared interest in spiritual journeys. Regula will be exhibiting relief and free standing sculptures and Prater will be exhibiting new encaustic paintings.

Regula is a South Carolina native. She has been an art educator in schools from the foothills to the coastal regions of South Carolina. Since marrying her husband Dennis, she has pursued a career as a professional artist. Most days will find her working in her home studio.

Prater is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Studio Art in the Department of Art and Design at Converse College in Spartanburg, where she is responsible for teaching classes in painting, drawing, design, and book arts. She received her BFA from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and her MA and MFA in painting and drawing from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Regula will be exhibiting new works made by using various mixed media techniques. The works are three-dimensional relief wall hangings and free standing sculptures. From earliest memory she has always liked to make things by mixing many materials together. Over the past several years she has explored many new ways to use polymer clay. Not satisfied with traditional methods of working with this clay, she has developed techniques which allow her to incorporated other materials into the works of clay. Other materials may be string, metal, wood, glass etc. The works then become “canvases” on which she paints.

Regula states, “As I work with the clay, I allow the clay to show me in which direction it wants to go. I may start off with an idea or a sketch of what I want to accomplish but in the end, it is always about the clay and how the other materials added to the clay want to travel together. When their ‘journey’ together gets to an end, it is up to me to become a painter and travel with them to complete the piece.”

Prater will be exhibiting new encaustic wax paintings. She says of her work; “I have always enjoyed discovering and exploring new media. Over the past five years I have explored the encaustic wax method of painting and enjoy its ability to create ethereal visual effects through its transparency and layering process.”

In addition to direct painting Prater experiments with a variety of photography, collage, and transfer methods within the encaustic wax. Her newest work explores the inclusion of oil medium within the layers of wax. Linear elements are created through incisions and scratches on the soft surface in which oil is captured.

“Visually the new works are meant to be playful dream-like worlds in which birds, boats, ladders, and horses are the methods in which to move from one place to another. My work explores the concept that our entire life is nothing but a constant journey,” says Prater.

WMAC is funded in part by the Art Partnership and 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 Co-op at 864/804-6501.

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