It is no secret that Sumter is home to many talented artists working in all mediums. The Sumter Artists Guild was founded in 1966 by some of Sumter’s most prominent artists. Its membership includes amateur, professional artists and art enthusiasts. It’s mission is “to promote, support and foster interest in art and to create an opportunity for our community of artists to engage in cooperative artistic enterprises and to be further active in supporting a variety of activities associated with art education, art instruction and art appreciation in our community.” The Guild has more than succeeded in its mission. The Guild was instrumental in founding the Sumter County Gallery of Art.
The Guild holds monthly meetings upstairs at the Sumter County Gallery of Art, September through May. Guild meetings are interesting and lively and include artist demonstrations, lectures, “show and tell” and fellowship. You can keep up with Guild happenings by following the Sumter Artists’ Guild on Facebook. Guild President Laura Cardello, along with a committed core group that includes Treasurer Vicki Hagner, Secretary Lisa Melton and Amanda Cox work hard to maintain the energy and enthusiasm of the Guild. And their efforts have paid off – In recent years the Guild has attracted many “new” and younger artists with lots of energy and new ideas.
Several Guild members have recently been recognized for their outstanding art. Vicki Hagner won one of the major awards – the 3D Peoples’ Choice award, for her mosaic shirt “Mr. Brooks” at ArtFields. ArtFields in Lake City, SC is the most prestigious art event in South Carolina that features over 400 entries by artists from 12 Southern states. Carole Carberry, Sumter Artist Guild Past President won Honorable Mention at the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Artists Exhibit. Carberry has been juried in to this exhibit for 21 years. Former SCGA Art Education Director and last year’s Guild Show first place winner Amanda Cox was recently accepted into the competitive Soda City Market in Columbia, SC. These are just a few examples of the high level of talent in the Sumter Artists’ Guild that will be on display in the exhibition.
This year’s exhibition will be bittersweet as the Sumter Artists’ Guild remembers and honors two long time Guild members who recently passed away, David Sanders and Glenna Robertson. They will be missed.
Karen Watson, Director of the Sumter County Gallery of Art notes that the Sumter Artists’ Guild Show is the most popular and well-attended exhibition the gallery presents. Last year’s exhibition was attended by over 150 people! The influx of work by new artists, coupled with the high quality work by long time guild artists results in a fresh and diverse Sumter Artists’ Guild Show – a treat for art lovers in Sumter and surrounding areas. The Guild Show is a “judged” show, not a juried show, so every piece of artwork entered will be displayed. This will be the fifth year for the popular Peoples’ Choice Award. The Sumter Artists’ Guild Show also provides a great opportunity to purchase high-quality art at reasonable prices.
The 2018 judge is renowned artist Tyrone Geter. In a career that spreads across two continents, Tyrone Geter has built an international reputation as a world-class artist, painter, sculptor, illustrator and teacher. He recently retired as Associate Professor of Art at Benedict College in Columbia, SC and Director of The Ponder Gallery at Benedict. Geter grew up in Anniston, Alabama, during a time defined by strict segregation laws and social injustice. He received his MFA from Ohio University in 1978 with an emphasis on painting and drawing. An exceptional draftsman, his portraits are sensitive, timeless and masterfully executed. In 1979, Tyrone Geter relocated to Zaria, Nigeria, a move that proved to be a turning point in his development and growth as an artist. For seven years he lived, drew and painted among the Fulani and local peoples of Northern Nigeria. He describes the experience as an experience that taught him ”to understand the nature of life in a society where life was nature and sometimes hard and cruel.” He experienced “ a lesson in the creative process that no art school would ever teach me.”
His work has been exhibited in a major exhibition “Enduring Spirit” at the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC. Other major exhibitions include Florence Museum of Art, Florence, SC, WaterFront Gallery, Charleston, SC, Butler Institute for American Art, Youngstown, OH; Hampton Institute College Museum, Hampton, VA; Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA, and Sumter County Gallery of Art. Geter is also an illustrator of children’s books and has illustrated a number of important books for young readers. He has just completed a children book on the life of James Earl Jones.
As with all of the exhibitions at the Sumter County Gallery of Art, this is truly a community effort – especially since this show features all local artists. This would not have been possible without the support of The Heart of Sumter Neighborhood Association, First Citizens, FTC, Black River Electric Cooperative and Zaxby’s. This is the third year that the Heart of Sumter Neighborhood Association (HSNA) has sponsored the Guild show. This year the first place winner will receive a free booth at Art in the Park, September 22nd, Memorial Park, courtesy of HSNA. Flowers courtesy of Azalea Garden Club & The Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter.