REVIEW: Creativity at heart of Guild Show


Each year for the Sumter Artist's Guild Show some of the same vocabulary words emerge: fortunate, missing, variety, medium, genre and dedication. These words reflect the unwavering tradition of the works and artists represented in the exhibit.

Sumter is fortunate to have an active and talented group of artists, especially in a town of Sumter's size. Even though it is not an art colony like Taos, New Mexico, Sumter can boast more than its fair share of artistic creativity. At the same time, it is often frustrating to see the names of other very exceptional people absent from the event's collection. Regardless of those missing, however, the local recognition exhibit affords attendees an opportunity to enjoy the skill and progress of many local artists - both professional and "amateur."

"Lost in Thought," first place winner by Randy Abbott, reaffirms the concept of variety so prevalent in the Guild. Abbott achieves depth and movement by the unexpected contrast of the intense, dark background with the almost luminous lime greens in the man's face, adding extra intensity to the figure's eyes. At the same time, his other two entries afford a look at Abbott's own versatility, geometric design and a light, more abstract quality.

Second place "Protocol," a wood and mixed media sculpture by David Sanders, emphasizes his ability to combine forms within forms, manipulating texture and movement. Even the small face at the top of Sanders' winning entry contrasts the overall broad scope of technique with his ability to create minute, detailed shapes.

Carole Carberry, no stranger to local art lovers, appears to transition from her lighter, more translucent swan figures to the darker and harsher drawn lines of her pelicans in "Supper At Caf Marsh." Even though her technique seems somewhat different, her ability to counter balance shapes - three birds and four reed clumps against the slightly separated bird on the left - is consistent with her sense of satisfying composition.

"Jeans #7," honorable mention acrylic by D.J. Hatcher, uses light and shade to fuse and highlight the reclining figure against the monochromatic background. Another honorable mention award, Trisha Roman King's photograph, "I'll Follow You," gains interest with its captured moment of a young girl trying to emulate the movements of the bronze statue at Swan Lake. The picture manages to focus on the girl's intensity and the different texture of her living form with the bronze boy's.

Great variety within each artist's work is evident in several entries. Denise Greer's marvelously painted "Medicine Woman" contrasts her use of intricate detailing in the woman's face and the ascending doves with the almost wet water-coloring effect of her dress. Constance Brennan also offers a range of genre and mediums. Her life-size sculpture "Angel of Hope" combines intricate beading with flowing swirls of wings and designs. Her intent to encourage viewers to sign tags for peace is just as sincere as the realistic white bird in the woman's hand.

Myra Barton also presents a variety of techniques and genres in her entries. Her collage "Splash" takes decals to emphasize movement and design, contrasting the angular brown arms and legs with the bright turquoise, blue and purple forms which sweep across the lower portion of the composition and gain added energy from the green fish.

Terrance McDow's "Dragon Leopard" with its dark shapes and more realistic forms contrasts his technique with the flowing, almost surreal format of his complex "Human Plants," a mixed media on paper contrasting the delicately painted pastel flowers and the partial form with a fantasy theme. Artist Marjorie Hooks' entries underscore her ability to take "found" objects and create a variety of content and form. In "In the Corner of My Mind" she manages to catalogue a plethora of objects, cataloging and placing them in a lockable container, giving them a personal significance with a message borrowed from Frida Kahlo: "I used to think I was the strangest person in the world ."

There are many other contrasts within the artists' own work. Michael Broadway's "Plastic Dreams" and "Dryad" differ in intent from his abstract "Third Eye." Bobbi Adams' small floral pictures differ from her more abstract collage on paper "A Froggy Went a Wooing." Rose Metz contributes the gentle floral painting and her asymmetrically balanced acrylic "Asian Abstract," its emphatic orange at the top contrasted with the mingled black, ochre and blue-gray tones at the bottom and the arcing lines on both sides. Susan Allen's handling of her two horse heads differs from the impact of "Karen," a tribute to her mother, artist Karen Starke. In "Karen" she reduces her color choices, forming impact from both the elongated body shape and the black and white almost ethereal feel of the shape.

Each year the Sumter Artist's Guild Show reminds the Sumter community how fortunate it is to have such a strong artistic base, sharing individual visions and talents.

Sumter Artist's Guild Show

11 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday, through Aug. 29

Sumter Gallery of Art

200 Hasel St.

(803) 775-0543