Sumter Artists’ Guild Exhibition 2023

Sumter Artists’ Guild Exhibition 2023

Opening Thursday, 22 June with opening reception from 5:30PM-7:30PM

On June 22nd we open our most popular exhibition, the annual Sumter Artists’ Guild Exhibition and opening reception 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The winners will be announced at the opening reception.

Sumter is home to many talented artists working in all mediums – paint, clay, fiber, metal, wood. The Sumter Artists Guild was founded in 1966 by some of Sumter’s most prominent artists. Its membership has always included amateur and professional artists. Its 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 was instrumental in founding the Sumter County Gallery of Art in 1969.

The Sumter Artists’ Guild is one of the most active Guilds in the state. Led by a hard-working Board of talented artists, long time President Laura Cardello, Jennifer Franklin, Treasurer Vicki Hagner, Erin Duffie and Lisa Melton. This group has been together for several years and provides continuity to the Guild as it continues to add new members. At the beginning of the year, the Guild unveiled their new logo designed by Erin Duffie.

We are very pleased to have as the 2023 judge nationally renowned artist Philip Mullen. Mullen was born in 1942.  He earned a PhD at Ohio University and began teaching at USC in 1969.  In 1975 his work was included in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial of Contemporary Art.  He is the only artist ever to be included in the Whitney Biennial while living in SC.  In 1976 he had the first of 14 solo exhibitions at the David Findlay Galleries in NYC. His work has been shown in many museums including the Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Greenville Museum of Art, Columbia Museum of Art, Gibbes Museum of Art and the Johnson Collection.

Mullen is a prolific artist known for large acrylic paintings, some as wide as fifteen feet. Throughout his works, you can see the use of color, texture, and shape to explore the juxtaposition of light and air. Mullen, now retired from USC and Distinguished Professor Emeritus, says his art is meant to be in transition, not to capture a frozen moment. “An artist should never be afraid to change a painting, although some good paintings may be ruined several break-through paintings have a chance of being made. If an artist is not failing at times, they are not pushing themselves hard enough to try new things.” In 2020 Mullen received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.

SCGA curator Eric Lachance notes: “The Sumter County Gallery of Art welcomes all to familiarize themselves with our galleries and the many creative artists within the community. Our special relationship with the Sumter Artists’ Guild spans decades–so participate this year by casting a vote for “People’s Choice” as we celebrate the expression of our local artists. If you are interested in art or simply appreciate the arts, the annual Sumter Artists’ Guild exhibition guarantees something for all tastes. Come be inspired, and remember, you can always join the Sumter Artists’ Guild and see your work on our walls!”

Karen Watson, SCGA director adds: “We look forward to seeing visitors in our space socializing and enjoying a sip of wine. Come join us and meet many of the exhibiting artists who will be in attendance and have conversations about their work. The Sumter Artists’ Guild exhibition is also an excellent opportunity for collectors to add to their collection and support local artists by purchasing fine art at reasonable prices.”

The Sumter Artists’ Guild Exhibition will be up through August 25th.

All of this would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors: Jane G. Collins, Heart of Sumter Neighborhood Association, Synovus, Black River Electric Cooperative, and Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home and Crematory. Flowers are courtesy of Azalea Garden Club & the Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter. Special Thanks to the Sumter Artists’ Guild for generously catering the opening reception.

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