With Strings Attached

Beth Regula

Upstate artist Beth Regula loves to experiment with her art – different materials, different combinations, creating sculptures or paintings or both. All the pieces for her upcoming exhibition at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg have one thing in common – there’s a string attached in some way.

The exhibition, “With Strings Attached: Mixed Media,” will be held May 3 through June 18 in the Solomon Gallery at ACS. A gallery talk will be held at 7 p.m. May 19 during the Spartanburg ArtWalk. An artist demonstration will be held June 16.

“This exhibit is the result of a lifetime of experimentation,” says Regula, the chair of the management board of ACS. “This is the way I work. I experiment with just about any material that comes to hand. I use various materials in my work as I seek to find that right combination to express myself in a visual way. I do not consider myself as a sculptor or painter but a combination of both.

“The work in this exhibit consists of wall hangings and free-standing sculptures, all constructed of various materials,” she continues. “They all have a one thing in common. There is ‘string’ attached in some way.”

Regula, a South Carolina native and graduate of Winthrop University, says the exhibit “is who I am – a little quirky, passionate about nature, passionate about how all the races must learn to live and help each other, curious about life beyond our now, and, most of all, hopeful.

“My greatest desire is that people will be drawn to the work because they find it interesting, either because of the materials from which it is made or because of the subject matter,” she says. “With this exhibit, a statement about each piece will be hung beside the work. The statement will give the viewer a hint about what I was thinking as I created the work.”

She adds, “This exhibit is the result of being fascinated about how lines cross and intersect. I have always liked to draw, but when I started drawing using string it had a different feel about it. I could layer the lines to make sculptures, I could paint the resulting form and watch how the

string absorbed the paint. One experimentation has led to this exhibit of 60 pieces. It is all mixed media work with string somewhere in each piece. Some are colorful but others are more somber in tone.”

Regula has been an art educator in schools from the foothills of South Carolina to the coast, and 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, and since has pursued a career as a professional artist. “My work can be found in private, corporate and museum collections, and I have won awards in various regional juried competitions. I also have had solo and group exhibitions throughout the Upstate.

“I cannot remember a time that I did not make ‘stuff,’” Regula says. “My hands have always been busy twisting wire, tearing paper and in general just making things. I come from a family of people who used their hands to build houses, work gardens and make clothes. I never really had an art lesson until I went to Winthrop, but I knew that I wanted to major in art and learn everything they could teach me. It was while in college that I met professional artists and realized that this was what I wanted – to be an artist. After college, I always worked on my art, mostly pen and ink, but to survive I had to find a job. Teaching was the obvious choice. This left me with very little time and energy to pursue my dream of a professional artist. It was not until I married an understanding man, that my dream began to come true.

“Since 1983 my real life began,” she continues “This exhibit is dedicated to my husband, Dennis Regula. He has made it possible for me to be me.”

Most of the works in the exhibition will be available for purchase, with prices ranging from $250 to $3,000.


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