Nine Spartanburg area artists working in a variety of media will come together for “Interconnected: New Member Show” Jan. 3 through 28, 2023, at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg. The traditional showcasing of the newest members of the Collective will be held in Gallery II and Gallery III.
An artists’ reception and vocal performance by singer and participating watercolor artist Sandra Schindlbeck (“Sur.ruealistic”) will be held Thursday, Jan. 19, as part of ArtWalk Spartanburg.
Others participating in the exhibition will be Chris Belk, molten metal art; Katie Beatty, watercolor paintings; Kimberly Christopher Rodriguez, printmaking and photography; Logan Foster (“Divinity”), oil painting, acrylic painting/mixed media, photography and poetry; Jason Huffman, oil painting; Gale Roberts, acrylic paintings; Mack Smith, painting and graphic design; and Cat Williams, painting and graphic design.
Rodriguez, who is coordinating the exhibit, describes it as “an invigorating and varied presentation of art across disciplines and styles – painting, printmaking, graphic design, photography, sculpture, poetry and music. This is a cross-section of artists from throughout the Spartanburg area and a celebration of each of our unique views.”
Foster says, “This exhibition, for me, is a glimpse through the connection that is tied together by our own humanity. I felt that the title ‘Interconnected’ was naturally fitting, as it pertains to the unspoken truth that we are all one. We all came together through ACS in an effort to show that all art forms are equal and important to show in our community. I believe that artists shape the future.”
A Spartanburg native, Foster adds, “I am a painter among many things. I am inspired by love, life, spirituality and blackness. My art is centered around self-expression. I believe that every color communicates a feeling, an idea, and triggers an emotional response. Art is healing. To be an artist, is to have an intuitive understanding of this.” Foster hopes to “convey a sense of sincerity and compassion. I feel that our emotions and experiences are guides; I put that into my work. I would be grateful if I could even inspire one person to speak their truth, my art is a vessel for that.”
Belk, a graduate of Spartanburg Technical College (now Spartanburg Community College, with a certificate in welding and is a self-taught metal artist. “I love to weld, and I love art, so I combined my two loves to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art,” Belk says.
Beatty, who spent nearly 40 years in the deserts of southwest of Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico before moving to the Upstate, describes her art as “organic as watercolors blend and ask for a certain form to the lines that create shape. Watercolor is a found love that relates to my gardens. Within the joy and intricate detail of a butterfly or bird or flower, I find the inspiration and guide for my paintings.”
Huffman, originally from Arizona, is a lifelong artist. “In school, when the other kids were running and playing, I would find something, anything to draw on. Art has been a lifelong obsession; it is not an option. I have to create, whether it is a sketch, painting or sculpture.”
Roberts, mother of three, grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of four, began painting in earnest five years ago and describes herself as a “realist” in her art. “I paint from pictures I have taken and from pictures others have shared. I love painting old buildings, mills and bridges. I also paint things and people that put a smile on my face or make me feel good.” While she mostly uses acrylics, she is experimenting with other media. “I’m a senior citizen that wants to dive in and learn as much as I possibly can.”
Schindlbeck, who was born and raised in Bavaria, Germany, says, “My preferred art is music, specifically singing. The special charm of my voice lies in its flexibility and complexity. I sing pieces that require an opera-like falsetto as well as pop songs and heavy rock and metal bits. I pursue mastering the individual techniques and merging them together, always looking for new and interesting sounds to combine. Similar to that, my visual art is a fusion of fantastic colors and creatures. They occur to me intuitively and I love breathing life into them by elevating them out of their previous random shapes and colors with my mixed media technique.”
She continues: “I want to open people’s eyes for childish bliss and curiosity. You can get lost in the scenery of colors and shapes. After this exhibition, I encourage people to get out into the world and look for faces, creatures, wonders in the plentiful patterns that our daily life provides and take a step back, take a break from the serious and stiff structures that society lays on us. Keep on looking at the world through the eyes of a child.”
To Smith, who attends Converse University, “Art is a way for me to express my emotions and thoughts about my relationships with others, nature, life and death, the universe, and current events. I pull from personal experiences to create colorful, usually flower-filled, artworks that use strong symbols and emotions. Working mostly in digital, painting and drawing mediums, I'm able to convey emotions through color and subject matter. The human figure, especially the female figure, plays a large role in my work as a symbol of human connection.”
Rodriguez grew up exploring the woods of the Spartanburg area, finding a love for art, nature and learning at an early age. She studied a breadth of disciplines including ceramics, photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, art history, gallery studies and digital art at Clemson University before concentrating in printmaking to complete her BFA in studio art with honors. Her current practice focuses on printmaking, photography and sculpture. “Like a foggy morning spent exploring nature, my work aims to bring mystery, contemplation and quiet delight with an elusive simplicity that offers both serenity and a portal of curiosity,” she says. “My art explores the play between abstraction and realism, and I enjoy blurring the line of where they meet. I value the timelessness of black and white yet equally look to harness the beauty and expression of color. My inspiration rises from the natural world, language and literature, the body, spirituality and religion, and the rich heritage of artists and creators who came before me.”
Rodriguez says she and the other artists are excited to be introduced to the Spartanburg community through their show.
Foster adds, “I feel proud to be exhibiting with the artist as part of the new members show. Each of the artist are extremely talented, and I’m grateful to be able to show my work alongside each any every single one of them.
“The Artists Collective | Spartanburg has been wonderful place for me as an artist,” Foster adds. “I’ve been able to expand my knowledge as a young artist, and I’ve met so many amazing people in the process.”
The 30 pieces of artwork in the show will be offered for sale, with prices ranging from $22 to $3,132.