Season takes off with a flurry of shows
By JEFFREY DAY
It's hard to compete with 18th-century French paintings at the Columbia Museum of Art. And it's hard to compete with an Andrew Wyeth painting just purchased by the Greenville County Museum of Art for $1.5 million.
But there are other things going on, in this case a whole bunch of small art shows cropping up around the region.
Inaugural show at McMaster. The newest gallery in town opens Monday with an exhibit of ceramics.
The gallery in the McMaster Building, which houses the USC art department, has a large ceramics show as its inaugural exhibit.
Among the 14 artists in the exhibit are Ralph Paquin, Douglas Gray, Cynthia Howes and Mike Vatalero, coming from all over the state. This show aims to take in just about everything in clay, from tiny teapots to big sculptures.
The gallery is on the ground floor toward the back of the building at Senate and Pickens streets. Call (803) 777-7480.
Other exhibits coming up at there are a painting and drawing exhibit by Bruno Civitico of Charleston and a sculpture show by Norwood Viviano, who taught at USC last year.
City scenes from native son. David Yaghjian, who recently moved back to Columbia where he grew up, has a new exhibit of new paintings, most based on the architecture of the region including quite a few familiar scenes from around Columbia.
The show is at the Morris Gallery, 2515 Devine St., through Oct. 7. Call (803) 254-1640.
Digital imaginings. Roy Drasites and Gunars Strazdins, both longtime professors at USC, have a joint show, "Graphic Photographic," at Presbyterian College in Clinton. The exhibit is on display Thursday through Oct. 1, and the two artists will give a talk Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. Call (800) 476-7272.
Flowers at Hampton III. Tom Flowers, who was a longtime professor at Furman and a major force in the state's emerging contemporary art scene, has an exhibit at Hampton III Gallery in Greenville through September. Call (864)268- 2771.
Patterns from the land. Dee Hansen is showing her landscapes and patterned paintings at the Fine Arts Center in Camden. The 40 works in the show cover a 30-year period for the Columbia artist.
The show opens Thursday and is on display through Sept. 29. The center is at 810 Lyttleton St. in Camden. Call (803) 425-7676.
Charleston show. Several graduates of the College of Charleston are back for a show.
John Sarra, Jason Rucker and Joseph Burwell were standouts a few years back while working toward their undergraduate degrees at the school.
Since then all have gone on for advanced degrees: Sarra from Washington University in St. Louis, where he's teaching; Rucker got his master of fine arts from Yale University and is living in Philadelphia; and Burwell has settled in New York after finishing his graduate degree at Tulane University.
The three artists take very different approaches.
Burwell creates installations starting from one object and working out from there. Rucker's paintings are usually dark and expressionistic. Sarra paints very finely tuned, detailed still lifes and landscapes.
The show is up through September. The gallery is in the Simons Center at 54 St. Philip St. Call (843) 953-5680.
New paintings by Jackson. Bill Jackson of Aiken has a solo show at the CityArt Gallery opening Friday and running through Oct. 14.
His newest works are an outgrowth of some recent eye problems, dealing in a non-obvious way with it.
The show is on display through September. The gallery is at 1224 Lincoln St. Call (803) 252-3613.
Blackwell back at Benedict. "The Art of Tarleton Blackwell: Small Scale Works" at Benedict College features some familiar themes by the Manning artist. Blackwell is well known for his series of works based on the ordinary farm hog. He has had solo shows in museums, including the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte.
The gallery is in the Ponder Fine Arts Center at Benedict, 1600 Harden Street. Call (803) 758-4460.
Philip Mullen in Sumter. Philip Mullen, recently retired after about 30 years teaching painting at the USC, has a solo show at USC-Sumter. The exhibit is drawn from the collection of his daughters.
It opens Tuesday and runs through Oct. 26. An opening reception will be held at 6 p.m. Friday in the gallery and Mullen will give a talk. The show is in Anderson Library, USC-Sumter, 200 Miller Road. Call (803) 938-3727.
Rutenberg recognition. Brian Rutenberg, originally from Myrtle Beach and living in New York for about a decade, recently had a show in Dublin. It was connected to work he started in Ireland in 1997 while on a Fulbright Fellowship there. He also has a mid-career retrospective coming up in Ohio that had prominent mention in the recent Art in America.
A bit closer to home he's in a group show at the Hidell Brooks Gallery in Charlottes, along with Leslie Lerner and Todd Murphy. The show opens Friday and continues through Oct. 21. Call (704) 334-7302.
Opening night is also gallery crawl night in Charlotte, a good chance -- if you haven't had enough by that point -- to see even more shows.