Upstate Artist Seeks Spiritualism in Her Extensive Exhibition at the Collective
Upstate visual artist Amanda Compton will convey feelings of spiritualism through her dynamic exhibition -- Resonate -- at Artists Collective | Spartanburg Dec. 1-26.
This very extensive collection of 2-D and 3-D works will be free for public viewing Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, patrons are required to wear face masks and to stay six feet away from each other. On Thursday, Dec. 3, at 5:30 p.m., Compton will host a casual public reception without a formal program.
“This show covers a myriad of forms of spirituality,” the 31-year-old Wellford, SC, resident said. “My hope is that upon entering the viewer finds a piece that speaks to them on some level. I want a connection to the artwork, hence the title ‘Resonate.’” The subtitle to this exhibition is “The Beauty and Science of Ritual.”
“The inspiration for this exhibition was a combination of different things,” the artist said. “I had started meditating to get to a healthier place in my life, and I received training and certification in level 2 Reiki (Japanese palm healing). I was fascinated by the many beautiful, diverse illustrations on tarot cards, and I enjoyed learning more about the people in my life by asking about their spirit animals. I hope that people see a story in my work. My intention is for people to ask questions, contemplate, and relate to the various meanings and traits. It’s fun and fascinating to find characteristics of family, co-workers, and friends in things like spirit animals. This exhibit is a collection of meaningful and beautiful symbolism. These are things that speak to me, and I hope that they speak to the viewers.”
This exhibition will have about 80 works of art, including canvases, pendants, and stone sets. Compton’s work is vivid, whimsical, and engaging with intricate detailing and organic patterns. The artist’s media include mixed media, acrylic paint, stones, gourds, mirrors, clay, animal hide, wood, and wax. All of the work will be for sale, ranging in price from $15 to $325.
“I think people will find this exhibition very much on the side of spiritualism,” Collective Vice Chair Nancy Williamson said. “It seeks to enlighten, to expose a side of life that some of us find hard to see. The images make you wonder, think, and reflect. There’s so much energy in it, so much creativity. This show touches what we cannot touch. You won’t have to understand it to enjoy it, but in that enjoyment, you’ll probably see some things about yourself and the world around you that you didn’t know were there. The work is deep and beautiful.”
Compton has a bachelor’s degree in art studio with emphasis in graphic design from the University of South Carolina Upstate. She minored in art history. She also has an associate degree in commercial graphics with a minor in computer technology from Spartanburg Community College. In her artist’s statement, she said:
“I have attended art classes for most of my educational life. Even before school I would draw and doodle things I saw in fantasy and reality. I love exploring colors, textures, techniques, and viewpoints. I believe as artists our greatest assets are expanding our knowledge, defying our boundaries, and reaching out to our fellow artists. I have developed myself and my work thus far through formal education, self-taught education, and simple trial and error. I have learned many things, and ruined many carpets, clothes, and flooring. As an artist, my experience is never complete, only evolving.
“I currently work with mixed media layering paint, pencil, found items, anything that will complete my piece,” she continued. “I enjoy photography, and the functional use of digital media and graphic design. I have always preferred the kinetic quality of physical artwork, but right before college I decided that a degree in graphic design would be more practical. After college, my life and responsibilities lead to an unintentional hiatus from art. Now that I am learning and working on my pieces again, it feels like coming home. I now create under a work-residency with other wonderful artists at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg and design digitally as well. I am passionate about my work and I hope that it brings joy and inspiration to those who view it.”
The breadth of Compton's work can be seen online at DawkinsDesigns.weebly.com.
Compton has been a member of the Collective for six years. “I am thrilled to have finally taken the leap to do a solo show. I'm even more pleased for it to be at the Collective,” she said. “I have grown as an artist with a number of the members since my beginnings there, and sharing this with my art family is important to me. The Collective is my art tribe, and I'm happy to have this milestone within its walls.” She has also presented her work in the Collective’s New Member Show and various group shows.
“The definition of resonate is to relate harmoniously or to strike a chord,” she explained. “My goal for this show is just that. The pieces in Resonate: the Beauty and Science of Ritual are meant to be felt intuitively, and strike a chord with audience members. The viewers are encouraged to take in what resonates and leave the rest. There are so many facets of spirituality and the psi-sciences to explore and discover. Themes in the show include, but are not limited to auras, chakras, spirit animals, energy clearing instruments, twin flame, tarot, and runes. I really want to share a special space of transformation and serenity with people, and I hope my paintings reflect the process of that journey.”
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.