As a child, Beth Regula always wanted to dance, as far back as she can remember, but lessons were not in the cards. So, the Spartanburg artist “learned to dance using paint and brushes. The results will be on display in her upcoming exhibition, “Dancing Through Life,” Oct. 3 through 28 in Gallery II of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg.
Dance will be included on Thursday, Oct. 19, during ArtWalk Spartanburg, when Kaleo Wheeler will share traditional Hawaiian Sacred Hula. An artist talk at 6:30 p.m. also will be part of the event.
“As a child, I wanted to dance. I felt this when I was happy and excited,” says Regula, chair of the managing board of ACS who paints and creates sculptures, both of which will be in the exhibit along with relief wall hangings. “I could not keep my feet still. It happened when I did not have the words to express how I felt about changes in the seasons especially – spring and fall. My senses were so overloaded that I could not contain how I was feeling. I wanted to dance with the flowers, the trees and the wind. It was my way of embracing the world. I wanted to hold it and say, ‘I love you. You are my friend.’”
Not having her desire for dance lessons fulfilled, Regula “danced” through her art. “My work has been described as lyrical, and I would agree that most of the work has a flowing expressive feeling about it.”
In the exhibition, Regula has divided the works into two categories: figurative, “my version of dancers – their arms and legs appearing to be in motion, setting up movement of lines and color in the spaces around them,” she says; and “scenes from nature,” inspired by her garden. “I love the wind, plants, sky and water. As I look at the flowers moving in the wind, they appear to be dancing.”
Some people describe Regula’s works as “other worldly.” She agrees. “I really do not talk about this often, but I do feel that images come to me sometimes from another place. I cannot explain this. I just accept it and relay these images in my art to the viewer. The viewer can see or feel whatever they want to about this work.”
Regula adds: “I recently came across a verb from Middle English – ‘balter’ – meaning to dance gracelessly, without particular art or skill, but perhaps with some enjoyment. This is what I wish for viewers. Find a way to balter.”
Her desire to illustrate her love for dance drew Regula to include Wheeler’s hula exhibition. “Kaleo will be sharing traditional Hawaiian Sacred Hula, and feels it is a perfect fit,” Regula says.
Wheeler adds: “Hula is an ancient form of storytelling through movement. With its roots going back to ancient times, hula is the history of the Hawaiian people and their system of ‘Living Aloha,’ that embodies a love and respect for yourself, your human family and the sacred land. It helps to bring you into kinship with nature and your place within it, interpreting the world that you occupy more fully and authentically in the way you move – dance – and perceive it.”
Regula, a native of South Carolina, earned a degree from Winthrop University. She has been an art educator in schools from the foothills of South Carolina to the coast. She briefly worked in Atlanta, using her art educator experience in designing computer-based manuals and training programs. In 1983, she married her husband, Dennis, and moved back to South Carolina, where she continued to pursue her career as a professional artist. Regula’s works can be found in private, corporate and museum collections. She has won awards in various regional juried competitions and has had solo and group exhibitions throughout the Upstate.
The 17 works on exhibit will be available for purchase with prices ranging from $300 to $3,000.