Upstate Photographer to Showcase His Bird Work, Along with Drawings at the Collective.
Spartanburg artist Pete Harding will present his extensive photography and drawing exhibition of birds -- Feathers -- at Artists Collective | Spartanburg Dec. 1-26.
Feathers will be on public display Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there is no cost to see it. However, in the interest of public safety, patrons are required to wear face masks and stay socially distant from each other. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gallery will not have a reception for this exhibition. The Collective is one of Spartanburg’s leading art centers with three galleries, 30 studios, and more than 50 members.
“Pete’s work is so beautiful, especially if you are a bird lover,” Collective Vice Chair Nancy Williamson said. “He has a wonderful reputation for top-quality photography, and, now, we’re seeing that he is gifted in drawing as well. As a creative professional, Pete is topnotch. He takes bird watching to the next level.”
“For years I have been an avid bird lover and began to photograph them a few years ago,” Harding said. “Last year, not content to just photograph, I began to draw birds using my photographs as a reference — all varieties, including coastal wading birds, raptors, and backyard songbirds. I want people looking at my work to get an appreciation of the real beauty that birds bring into our lives.”
There will be between 20 and 25 photographs and drawings in this exhibition, which took Harding about a year to create. The drawings were made with graphite, soft pastels and colored pencils. The photography is digital. Most of the work will be for sale, ranging in price from $90 to $250.
Harding, 65, is a self-taught artist, living on the east side of Spartanburg. He and his wife, Shannon Patrick, an artist and retired art teacher, have three adult sons. He has been a member of the Collective since 2018. “I love being a member of ACS,” he said. “It is a wonderful artist community that provides a sense of place, and a supporting and learning environment for all of the members.”
In the past two years, Harding has been in three art shows: one in Tryon, NC, and two at the Collective. He’s had a solo show at Canon’s Elementary School, and his work has been accepted into juried shows at the Collective and the Blue Ridge Art Center in Seneca, SC.
Born in England, Harding has an academic degree in electrical engineering from Leicester Polytechnic, and he had a 35-year career with a US company. In 1995, he moved to Spartanburg from Canton, Ohio. After retiring, he returned to his love of nature photography and is a member of the Carolina Nature Photographers Association.
In Harding’s artist’s statement, he said: “ Growing up in England my mother would take me for walks across the local fields and tell me about all of the wild flowers, birds, insects, and wildlife we would chance upon. I marveled at the wonders that might be found on a blade of grass or under a petal or leaf, in a tree top or flying through the blue sky, and as I grew up and began to travel and hike across the UK I fell in love with the majestic landscapes there.
“This is the inspiration for my photography, the desire to bring all the splendor and majesty of nature back from wherever I travel. I aspire to capture nature in unique ways that will lead the viewer into a world of nature that they may not have experienced before. All of my photographs are taken digitally and are minimally edited as I strive to bring nature to the viewer as it really is.”
Harding’s website is PeterHardingPhotography.com.
Artists Collective | Spartanburg is a membership-based and member-focused organization, providing low-cost studio space to more than 30 working artists. Its membership is more than 50. The Collective is housed in what was once a three story Baptist church. Each month, the Collective hosts art exhibitions showcasing its members and guest artists. It has two galleries and the once-sanctuary now serves as a large gallery space, as well as a venue for performance art. For more info, please visit online: ArtistsCollectiveSpartanburg.org.