"13th level of the 13th Pit," art by Linda McCune, is included in the exhibit.

“13th level of the 13th Pit,” art by Linda McCune, is included in the exhibit.
Image Credit: Linda McCune

CLEMSON — An exhibit celebrating the artwork of eight award-winning Upstate women is being presented at the Lee Gallery at the Clemson University Center for Visual Arts through Nov. 8.

The “Upstate 8: SC Fellowship Women Exhibit” is part of a larger endeavor to highlight artists during a yearlong 50th anniversary celebration of the South Carolina Arts Commission.

On June 7, 1967, Gov. Robert E. McNair signed legislation that established the South Carolina Arts Commission. This historic moment signaled a new era of public support for the arts.

The exhibition highlights the work of artists who were direct beneficiaries of this historic legislation through the support they received from competitive fellowships awarded to them by the South Carolina Arts Commission. These eight women are leaders in the arts, mentors through their creative research and contributors to the thriving cultural climate that the state of South Carolina now enjoys.

Students enrolled in an undergraduate Creative Inquiry program called Clemson Curates were charged to develop an exhibit that showcased the fellowship program. The students, advised by Lee Gallery director Denise Woodward-Detrich, reviewed all of the artists and made the final selections.

“We are honored to be chosen to curate such an important collection of women artists from the Upstate,” said Woodward-Detrich.

This piece by Patti Brady is in the exhibit.

This piece by Patti Brady is in the exhibit.
Image Credit: Patti Brady

The participating artists are Alice Ballard, Patti Brady, Diane Hopkins-Hughs, Terry Jarrard-Dimond, Ellen Kochansky, Linda Williams McCune, Jane Allen Nodine and Susan Wooten. Intersecting subject matter presented in the exhibition includes connections to nature through materiality, imagery and the capacity for symbolic meaning. Other related content includes the exploration of feminine forms and sensibilities associated with nature as an embodiment of the female, traditional feminine materials and processes through textiles, connections to family, place, the personal and the emotional.

This innovative art collaboration is part of the commitment of the Lee Gallery at the Clemson University Center for Visual Arts to support the university’s ClemsonForward strategic plan to provide educational activities that expose students to research through artistic means.

There will be an exhibit reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, and an artist panel discussion at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. The public is invited to attend the reception and the panel discussion exploring the artists’ creative processes, methodologies, work as women artists and the roles they embraced as mentors and educators. The exhibition, reception and panel discussion are free to the public.

This project is funded by First Citizens Bank, the South Carolina Arts Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Creative Inquiry – Clemson Curates
Clemson Curates is a Creative Inquiry course focused on developing visual arts exhibits for the Clemson campus. Students from a variety of academic disciplines research, coordinate and install visual arts exhibitions. Clemson Curates presents exhibitions that explore ideas and issues reflective of and intersecting with university research. Students gain experience by interpreting visual art, writing exhibit content, project management and exhibition presentations. Students also explore various media platforms necessary for marketing and communications while conducting studio visits with artists to make final selections for artwork to be included in exhibits.

The Lee Gallery at the Clemson University Center for Visual Arts
The Lee Gallery at the Clemson University CVA will be open for this exhibit 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays. It is located in 1-101 Lee Hall, 323 Fernow St. Visit www.clemson.edu/cva to learn about exhibitions in the Lee Gallery as well as other Center for Visual Arts activities and events.