It’s January, and post-holiday cabin fever is taking over in Sumter. The Sumter County Gallery of Art provides the perfect getaway with two perennial exhibitions: The 42nd annual “South Carolina Watermedia Society Traveling Exhibition” returns this year, and the “Sumter Artists’ Guild Winners Show”. The South Carolina Watermedia Society (SCWS) is the largest statewide visual arts group with a mission to promote South Carolina artists by providing exhibition opportunities, special programs to market their original works and coordinate educational programs. In addition, our goals include public outreach and participation in the arts. Since 1977, the SCWS has been promoting the artistic and professional interests of its members as well as showcasing the accomplishments of its members to a broader South Carolina audience.
The juror for the 2018 SCWS show was West Virginia artist Laurie Goldstein Warren. She observes: “I have been painting watercolors for seventeen years. Art has always been a part of my life. When I moved to West Virginia in 1998 I went back to one of my first creative loves, visual art. After many years of studying the art of watercolor with some fantastic teachers and mentors, I have been so fortunate to be successful in this field. My artwork has been shown all over the United States as well as Canada, China and Japan. I now enjoy teaching workshops and jurying exhibitions around the country.”
This year’s Winner of the Best of Show award is “Through The Eyes of a Child” by Lynda English. Second Place Winner was Anne Hightower-Patterson, “Wading Out”, and Third Place went to Suzanne Accetta, “Unspeakable Praise”. Karen Watson, director of the Sumter County Gallery of Art states that “The South Carolina Watermedia Society show is one of the most popular shows the gallery presents each year; it has been presented by the gallery for over thirty years. This show has a wonderful selection of diverse work by artists, with a little something for everybody. The variety of imagery and subject matter is stunning; from abstract works to more traditional representational work including landscapes, figural, and still life compositions. The SC Watermedia Society Show showcases the incredible talent of South Carolina artists.”
The Sumter Artists’ Guild continues its growth under president Laura Cardello – a multi-talented artist who works tirelessly to expand the Guild’s artistic presence in Sumter. She is supported by a core of hardworking officers, Vicki Hagner. Jennifer Franklin, Erin Duffie, and Lisa Melton. SCGA director Watson notes, “This years Sumter Artists’ Guild Winners exhibition is particularly exciting because the work for the 2018 Sumter Artists’ Guild Show was so strong and the People’s Choice Winner gave visitors a chance to get involved”. Accomplished watercolorist Genevieve Rath’s breathtaking painting, “Calm Evening” won first place (her second first place win in two years!), Myra Barton won second place with her monoprint “Finding America” and Denise L. Greer took third place with her mixed media collage, “About Face”. Honorable Mentions include – Randy Abbott, Dominique Hodge and Jim Wade, “Chair”. J. Michael McGuirt’s brave little bird “Gathering Courage”, won the 2018 Sumter Artists’ Guild Show People’s Choice Award. The work of all seven of these artists will be on display in the Sumter Artists’ Guild Winners exhibition.
As with all of the gallery’s exhibitions, this popular show would not be possible without our community partners: Synovus, Covenant Place Continuing Care Community and the Sumter Artists’ Guild, which does the wonderful reception. Flowers courtesy of Beverly Johnson, Poinsett-Bland Garden Club & the Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter.