The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents Common Language, Unique Voices at City Gallery, located at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Waterfront Park November 19 through December 18, 2016, featuring the works five artists from the middle and upstate of South Carolina who have previously not exhibited in the Lowcountry. The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, November 18 from 5 to 7 pm, with an artists’ talk following on Saturday, November 19 at 2pm. Both events are free and open to the public.
Common Language, Unique Voices includes the work of Patti Brady, Michael Brodeur, Diana Farfán, Jeff Donovan, and Kevin Isgett, and is an interpretation of the topical, social, political and cultural environment of South Carolina, where they live and work. It’s a collective artistic journey, with a common language and discourse that plays off a shared vernacular, yet a personal passage that gives each artist a unique voice. Elements of color, texture, rhythmic relationships, balance, and interpretations of spatial interactions are organized and weighted so that the viewer can experience the common themes of the artists, perhaps even hearing murmured conversations between the works of each artist and the works of the others.
A sense of humor of various levels permeates the work of all five artists through titles, forms, tongue-in-cheek observations, and subjects. Each has embraced an ironic stance that is one aspect of the Post Modern. But what unites all five artists is a common language of, and a commitment to, artistic integrity. This mutually shared honesty compels decisions about content and substance over the easily accessible and saleable. For them, high standards of labor-intensive technical mastery are more important than glibly executed numerous works, and the sincere connection between their work and their life resonates within the viewer.
About the Artists
Patti Brady received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her paintings, prints and have been exhibited nationally: at the Brand Library, Glendale, CA, Arch Gallery, Chicago,IL, Mills College, Oakland and U.C. Berkeley, California. In 1994, her paintings were reviewed in the New York Times. She was the recipient of the South Carolina Arts Commission Fellowship Award for 2006. Solo shows include the Pelter Gallery, Greenville, SC, Lander College and Francis Merion College, SC and USC in Spartanburg, SC. She is the Director of Education for Golden Artist Colors, and has lectured and taught on the use of acrylics at numerous universities, art groups and retailers. Patti currently manages 140 national and international artists for the Golden Working Artist Program. She has trained artists in the US, Canada, France, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Slovenia, the Netherlands and South America, and has lectured at Universities in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Japan.
Michael Brodeur is Associate Professor in Art at Furman University, Greenville SC. Mr. Brodeur has exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group shows including 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC, From America, Museum of Contemporary Art, Minsk Belarus, Mostra, Cortona Italy, The South Carolina Triennial 2001, From the Studio at the Greenville County Museum of Art, Lessedra Gallery in Sofia Bulgaria and most recently in the Decades exhibition at Woodward Gallery in New York City. His work has appeared twice in New American Paintings, editions #58 and #100. Among the public institutions that hold his work are Columbia College in Columbia SC, LaMar Dodd Art Center at LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA, the South Carolina Arts Commission, The South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art. Mr. Brodeur moved to Greenville in 1999 to create and chair the Visual Arts Department at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.
Columbia, S.C., painter and ceramicist Jeff Donovan has been a fixture on the Columbia art scene for more than three decades. He has exhibited widely throughout the Carolinas, including at the Spartanburg Museum of Art and the Columbia Museum of Art, which in 2009 acquired his sculpture Dream Boater. His work also is represented in the Mark B. Coplan Collection of South Carolina Art, the Ron Porter – Joe Price Collection and other private and corporate collections. Donovan’s 2010 retrospective, Jeff Donovan: Three Decades/Twenty Years, organized by Columbia’s if ART Gallery and accompanied by a catalogue, presented close to hundred paintings, drawings and sculptures. His 2014 solo exhibition Inner City Series was at if ART Gallery and his 2011 solo exhibition Gray Matters, at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in Columbia. Donovan was included in 2012 in 100 Southern Artists, a book about artists in seven Southeastern states.
Diana Farfán is a full time artist and cultural agent. She was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her fondness for ceramic sculpture goes back to her childhood, when the pre-Columbian figures and colonial architecture were her focus of interest. In 1999 she received a BFA in Ceramics and Printmaking at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, Colombia; and in 2010 she obtained a MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture at University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA. She currently lives, works, and teaches in Greenville, South Carolina, USA. Diana is an art coach for Hispano-Latino Artists. She serves as member of the board of directors of Palmetto Luna Arts, a non-profit that promotes Hispano artists and Latin Culture in South Carolina, USA.
Kevin Isgett earned a B.S. degree in Art Education from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina in 1998. In December of 2013, Kevin completed a M.F.A. degree from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco focusing on abstract painting. Kevin is active in the local art scene in upstate South Carolina. Over the last 10 years, he has won several awards for his paintings and has been included in many private collections. In 2015 he won 1st place in Artisphere’s Artist of the Upstate Juried Exhibition in Greenville, South Carolina. In 2011, he had his first one-man show Color Mouths Meaning at Art and Light Gallery in Greenville. He had a second one-man show of his expressive male heads at USC Upstate in September entitled Other Selves. Kevin currently lives in Taylors, South Carolina with his wife and two daughters. He is in his twelfth year of teaching art on the faculty of Bob Jones University where he is Head of the Studio Department.
About City Gallery
City Gallery, located at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Waterfront Park, is owned by the City of Charleston and operated by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, presenting an annual program of exhibitions and events featuring the finest contemporary art from local, regional, national and international artists, with a focus on the Lowcountry. City Gallery provides access to the visual arts for everyone in Charleston, SC, visitors and residents alike, by offering exhibits that are all admission-free. City Gallery is located at 34 Prioleau St. in downtown Charleston, SC, and gallery hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 10 am until 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday, noon until 5 pm. For more information and holiday closures, visit www.charleston-sc.gov/citygallery or call 843-958-6484.
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