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TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2009Printer-Friendly
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Exhibition celebrating some of the state's finest artisans to open April 18 at the Pickens County Museum


   The Pickens County Cultural Commission is pleased to announce that the "Pickens County Museum's Thirtieth Annual Juried Artist's Exhibition" will open to the public with reception and awards ceremony on Saturday April 18, from 5 until 8 p.m., and will continue through June 11, 2009.


   Jay Williams, the Gary R. Libby Curator of Art at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, FL will serve as juror for this year's competition. He received his B.A. in Art Education and Printmaking in 1971 and his M.A. in Art Education in 1974 from the University of South Florida in Tampa. In 1994 he received an additional M.A. in Art History from Vermont's Norwich University.


   Born 1949 in Richmond, Kentucky and now living in Palm Coast, Florida, Williams has held numerous prestigious positions including Curator at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Georgia; Chief Curator of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina; Curator for Edison College's Gallery of Fine Art in Fort Myers, Florida and Head of Education and State Services at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.


   During his career Williams has curated a plethora of fine exhibitions including "The Songs of Maybelle Stamper," "Myth, Memory and Imagination, Universal Themes in the Life and Culture of the South," "Realist Paintings by Bryan Leboeuf" and "Tom Nakashima: Two Decades."


   Williams spent the day of April 6 looking at, and contemplating 421 works of art representing 223 South Carolina artisans. The vast array of paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, ceramics, fiber and other mediums made for the difficult task of selecting works for, and eliminating works from, the final show. The impressive final selection of 130 works of art represents 124 individuals currently creating visual art in this state.


   About the jury, Mr. Williams said, "This Thirtieth Annual Juried South Carolina Artists Exhibition represents an important aspect of Pickens County Museum of Art and History's objective, to ‘tell the stories of Pickens County and the Carolina Upcountry.' Like our earliest ancestors who expressed themselves in the visual arts, South Carolina's artists still express their most important values through their chosen media. Our artists think deeply about the world and their place in it." He continued, "...the artist in society has not changed much during the thousands of years of human history, since the earliest known artists represented the relationship between human culture and the natural world in their depictions found on the surfaces of caves and rock outcroppings. Their works of craft also quickly transcended the realm of pure functionality and became expressive."


   To summarize his role in this endeavor, Williams said, "To see and appreciate the Thirtieth Annual Juried SC Artists Exhibition is not just a matter of enjoying its entertainment value. It may be enjoyable, but it is much more than that. These artists have poured their hearts and souls into their works of art. As I juried the exhibition, I was overwhelmed by their collective curiosity and creativity, their psychological, philosophical, and in some cases, religious understanding, and their ability to synthesize a complex variety of thoughts and feelings into a painting, photograph, drawing, print, basket, or piece of furniture."


   Thanks to the kind sponsorships of Pickens County & the Pickens County Cultural Commission along with the museum's 2008-2009 exhibition season sponsors, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, Pickens Savings & Loan and Upstate Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center, Cornerstone Bank, First Citizens Bank, ING Financial Partners-Sam Head, Liberty Family Pharmacy, Richard & Laura Powers, Pumpkintown Community Club, Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Robinson & Family and the Rozelle Stone Company and the additional sponsorships from Mr. & Mrs. J. Connie Bowers, Mr. & Mrs. Philip Hendricks and Mrs. Shirley Sarlin, cash and purchase awards will be presented at the April 18 Opening Reception. The Pickens County Museum of Art & History is funded in part by Pickens County, friends and members of the museum and a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.


   No matter where your individual taste in art may lead, you will find satisfaction in this exhibition. The variety of work represented is a generous reflection of the community of artists presently at work in South Carolina.


   Located at the corner of Hwy. 178 at 307 Johnson Street in Pickens SC, the museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free but donations are welcomed. For more information call the museum at (864) 898-5963.


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