Jonathan Brilliant: Compression, Tension, Suspension; Cliffton Peacock: What Then I Was; Edward Rice: Modern Relics

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Jonathan Brilliant: Compression, Tension, Suspension

Edward Rice: Modern Relics

Cliffton Peacock: What Then I Was

August 31 – October 27, 2017

Jonathan Brilliant Artist Talk & Opening reception, Thursday,

     August 31st, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

 The Sumter County Gallery of Art, in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the South Carolina Arts Commission is honored to be one of 15 venues throughout the state selected to present artists who have been awarded SC Arts Commission Fellowships.

The three Fellowship recipients SCGA Curator, Gardner Cole Miller and SCGA Director, Karen Watson chose are Jonathan Brilliant, originally from Charleston, now residing in Raleigh, Edward Rice of N. Augusta and Cliffton Peacock, a professor of art at the College of Charleston. The exhibition dates are August 31 – October 27, 2017.

Jonathan Brilliant: Compression, Tension, Suspension, creates large-scale installations using wooden coffee stirrers and coffee lids. He is nationally known for these installations. He has having created installations in Richmond, VA (2011), Queensland, Australia (2012), NC Museum of Art (2012), Fresno State, CA (2012), Invited artist, ArtFields (2013), and invited artist, ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI (2017).

But it all began in Sumter, SC in 2007, when Brilliant created the Sumter Piece out of 60,000 coffee stirrers in the lobby of Patriot Hall as part of Accessibility. He has a special place in his heart for Sumter and he is looking forward to returning to Sumter to construct a new site-specific installation and exhibition designed to activate and respond to the architecture of the Ackerman Gallery at The Sumter County Gallery of Art. Brilliant writes, “My construction materials are the to-go coffee cup and all its accoutrements. The resulting work was both ironic and labor intensive with a traditional craft based sensibility. Central to these works are my woven stir stick installations. The Woven stick installations are created entirely on-site using only tension and compression to create a sculptural environment. In my work there is a real enthusiasm for the inherent qualities of a material and the extent to which I can exploit it for making art. Rather than relying solely on intuitive approaches, I have a set of systems I apply to the materials at hand.”

Brilliant will be on-site – at the gallery – constructing for 8 days. During this time, beginning August 25th, the gallery will be open to the public and we encourage people to come and watch Brilliant weave his coffee sticks.We hope teachers in Sumter School District will bring their classes in to watch Jonathan work and ask him questions.

Edward Rice: Modern Relics. Edward Rice was born in 1953 in Augusta, GA and raised in North Augusta, SC. He was protégé of Freeman Schoolcraft from 1972-1979 and Director/Artist in Residence at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta from 1979-1982. The artist is the recipient of a South Carolina Arts Commission Artist Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts / Southern Arts Federation Regional Fellowship, and the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner Governor’s Award.

Rice grew up with the architecture of the South running through his veins. Rice sees the history of Southern heritage emulated in the architectural features of its stately homes and architectural forms that he refers to as “our temples.” His rich painterly treatment of a cornice, an icehouse, a smoke house, a weaving house and a barn immortalizes this by gone era in our nation’s rich history. Many of his buildings have personality beyond their architectural characteristics. They have a human, in-your-face quality that stares out at the viewer. The recognition of this human quality may serve as a springboard for his current figural work – antique dolls, women from a bygone era or Minoan goddesses. We are excited to include several of these new figural pieces in the Sumter exhibition. Says Rice of his work, “My goal has always been simple enough: to take ideas rooted in the past and make them relevant to our own time.” Collectors of the artist’s work include: The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, The Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia and the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina. The Sumter County Gallery of Art is pleased to be working with Greg Thompson Fine Art in Little Rock, Arkansas and two private collectors, who made it possible to include  some of Rice’s best architectural pieces in this exhibition.

Cliffton Peacock:  What Then I Was. Cliffton Peacock has been a professor of Painting and Drawing at College of Charleston since 1993.He received his M.F.A. degree from Boston University in 1977 where he studied with James Weeks, John Wilson and Philip Guston. He has received numerous distinctive awards, including three National Endowment for the Arts grants, three Massachusetts Artist Fellowship awards, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Peacock has exhibited his paintings nationally at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the Greenville Museum of Art, Greenville, SC, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC. His work is in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Hood Museum of Art, among others. Mark Sloan, Director and chief curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art notes, “Peacock is a gifted painter with a fresh approach to figuration. His paintings infer rather than describe their subjects.” The gallery is excited to present some of Peacock’s most recent work.

Of his work and technique, Peacock says, “I paint without reference to photographs or models. My reason for working this way is because of what I find unavailable in painted images that rework traditional means of representation. There is something inextricable in great painting that defies explanation. So, in a way, to find the image I have to forget about it. Otherwise, the image I paint is a disappointment of familiarity. The physician and author Siddhartha Mukherjee observed that we learn to dream to see the world. To paint the world, I can’t lose my capacity to dream if I’m to reimagine it.”

The exhibitions open Thursday, August 31st. Jonathan Brilliant will give an artist talk the night of the reception. As with all that we do, these exhibitions would not be possible without the support of our community and business partners: EMS-CHEMIE (North America) Inc., The Glenmore and May Sharp Trust, Sub Station II, South Carolina Arts Commission and the Sumter County Cultural Commission. Flowers are courtesy of Gail Turnmeyer, Azalea Garden Club & The Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter.



*Gallery will be open during regular business hours (11-5 pm) beginning Thursday, August 24thto observe and interact with Jonathan Brilliant

*Opening Reception

Thursday, August 31st

  Jonathan Brilliant Artist Talk: 5:30 – 6:30 pm

  Opening Reception: 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Edward Rice and Cliffton Peacock Artist talk – Face to Face,  21 September 2017, 6-7:30PM.  

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