The Center for Visual Arts (CVA) at Clemson University presents the works of South Carolina contemporary artists from the State Art Collection Monday, Jan. 14 – Wednesday, Feb. 6 at the Lee Gallery, The Brooks for the Performing Arts art Clemson University and The Clemson ARTS Center of Clemson, S.C.
This exhibition entitled “Contemporary Conversations: Part I” showcases 95 mixed media works including wood, drawing, painting, photography, textiles, ceramics, mixed media and sculpture. The S.C. Arts Commission began assembling the collection in 1967 to depict relevant movements of contemporary art over the past 45 years with the oldest piece created in the early 1930s.
The exhibition is designed to suggest both the quality and diversity of the state’s cultural heritage.
“It was important for the Lee Gallery to acquire this exhibition due to its relevancy to the core initiatives at Clemson University,” said Denise Woodward-Detrich, Lee Gallery Director referencing the academic study emphasis areas of the University. “Artworks showcased in the exhibition address health, transportation, energy, environment, sustainability and community issues within their content.”
According to Harriett Green, the Director of Visual Arts for the S.C. Arts Commission, “From tradition and innovation, cultural heritage and global awareness, religion and spirituality to politics and social injustice, these artists provide powerful and lasting visual imagery that is an important record of South Carolina culture over four decades.”
Due to the scale of this exhibition, the Center for Visual Arts at Clemson University partnered with The ARTS Center of Clemson and Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University to showcase these works. At the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts a photograph of freedom marchers depicts the Civil Rights movement which speaks to the institution’s 50th anniversary and the integration commemoration of the first African American student at Clemson University, Harvey Gantt.
The “Contemporary Conversations: Part II” was showcased in the Lee Gallery at Clemson University two years ago. Currently, this exhibition can be viewed at the Greenwood Arts Center in Greenwood, S.C. through Friday, Jan. 31. Several artworks by Clemson University alumni were chosen to represent both exhibitions including Joseph Scott Goldsmith ‘87, Elizabeth Keller ‘92, Jeanee Redmond ‘81 and Linda Shusterman ’84 as well as current and former faculty members John Acorn (former art department chair), Sydney Cross, Robert Hunter and Sam Wang.
The public is encouraged to spend the evening with the “Contemporary Conversations: Part I” exhibition in the three viewing locations. There will be a reception held at the Lee Gallery Thursday, Jan. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring the band, Soul Stew and a reception held on the same evening at The Clemson ARTS Center of Clemson from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Patrons of the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts attending the “MOMIX: Botanica” performance that evening at 8 p.m. are encouraged to come early before the show to enjoy the exhibitions located in the foyer. In addition, patrons will be able to view the exhibit prior to all performances during the exhibition dates. Please check the calendar for all performances www.clemson.edu/brooks/events
The exhibition can be viewed Monday, Jan. 14 – Wednesday, Feb. 6. Lee Gallery at Clemson University hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University hours are Monday through Friday 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and The Clemson ARTS Center of Clemson hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday 10 until 2 p.m. Admission to the exhibition and receptions are free.
The exhibition was co-organized and originated by the 701 Center for Contemporary Art. It was curated by Eleanor Heartney, author and contributing editor to both Art in America and Artpress. This exhibition has been made possible with support from the Clemson University Center for Visual Arts, the Lee Gallery and the South Carolina Arts Commission.