Season Skeletons: The Pure Form

Upstate photographer Thomas Koenig spent several winters looking for and studying trees in their natural state – without the adornment of leaves – and then went back to those trees to photograph them. The result is his upcoming exhibition, “Season Skeletons: The Pure Form,” set for Dec. 6 through 31 in Gallery II of the Artists Collection | Spartanburg.

“I have constructed this exhibit around the idea of the beauty of trees in their basic form, without foliage,” says Koenig, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, who grew up in Germany. “This theme is mainly tied to the season of winter. It shows local trees and trees from as far as Germany in their natural given architecture and in context with their surroundings.”

Koenig, who has been an artist for more than 20 years and a member of the Collective since 2015, will host an artist’s reception on Dec. 10 and an artist’s talk on Dec. 15 as part of ArtWalk Spartanburg.

“This body of work is a collection spanning several winters or cold seasons,” he says. “Often, you find an interesting subject at the oddest moment. You must take record of it and then return with the camera. Weather is a big factor and sometimes it’s just luck. Beauty can be in the color or in the structure, and in this case, nature shows its design in the simplest and purest form. I want viewers to see the beauty of nature’s design and have an appreciation for the construct of nature as it happens every day.”

Koenig’s career as a communications and design professional spans more than 30 years and over two continents – North America and Europe. He spent his youth in Germany, where he earned a degree in prepress production from a traditional apprenticeship program and an academic diploma in communication design and photography from the University of Applied Science in Wiesbaden, Germany. He has done research in semiotics and practical semiotic applications at the University of South Carolina as part of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s graduate program.

He has lived in Spartanburg since 1997 and been the creative lead at AGE K Media LLC, a local communications agency. In 2009, Koenig had a solo art show at the Spartanburg Art Museum. In 2019, he received an art grant from the Chapman Cultural Center for a solo art show at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg. He has been in several group shows in both the United States and Germany. He and his camera have traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe.

“I became a member of ACS to explore creative collaborations and to go back to my craftsmen roots in print,” Koenig says. “ACS has given me opportunities to exhibit my work with close to no limitations or restrictions, and the support from the artists at ACS as a community has been priceless.”

The 25-plus works in the exhibition will be offered for sale, with prices ranging from $90 to $450.


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