Emeritus College

Acorn, John

Headshot Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts, John Acorn
Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts John Acorn

JOHN ACORN, Professor Emeritus of Visual Arts, most current display was at the Anderson Arts Center from January 12-February 16, 2018 as part of Espana Conexiones de Arte (A Spain Inspired Exhibition) in association with the Anderson International Festival. See John’s description of the exhibition works below:  “The large low relief paintings are in honor of Joaquín Torres-García.  He was a Spanish artist who painted in the first half of the twentieth century.  When I visited Madrid about twenty-five years ago I saw his work in the Museum of Reina Sofía.  I enjoyed the everyday subjects and the directness of his work.  I purchased the exhibition catalog.

When Kimberly Spears (Anderson Arts Commission) asked me to exhibit art works that had a relationship to Spain I realized an opportunity to recognize Torres-García as well as Picasso. My connection to Spain is with a family whose daughter, Ana, lived with my family as an exchange student at Pendleton High School. 

The black and white relief paintings are titled Homage to Torres-Garcia.  I have shared his use of common objects with my interest in common objects.  I have also tried to use and share the structure of his paintings.

The steel sculpture in the exhibition is titled Homage to Picasso’s Guernica. The fish head is looking upward as bombs are being dropped on the City of Guernica in WWII by the Nazis.  The fish head was first made of wood with the intent of reproducing it in plate steel.  This was done locally by CSI, Consolidated Southern Industries in Anderson, SC. The large wooden sculpture is obviously a larger version of the fish head.  I have interest in having it reproduced in plate steel sometime in the future.”

John began his career as an assistant professor at Clemson University in 1961 and retired as Department Chair in 1998. Click HERE for more information about John and to see his works displayed at the Emeritus College Suite in Pendleton, SC.

Awards: Inducted into the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Hall of Fame on Friday, March 9, 2018, as a member of the second class of inductees