FLORENCE – The Francis Marion University Art Gallery Series will exhibit three artists in campus galleries from Feb. 29-March 31.
Featured in the Hyman Fine Arts Center Gallery, which is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. are the exhibits “Messages” by sculpture by Jean Grosser, and Susannah Sigaloff’s paintings, “The Glamour of the Dark Myth: Short Dictionary of Misunderstood Women.”
Grosser is professor of art and chairman of the art department at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. She is a political activist and a member of Amnesty International.
"As an artist, I am interested in using visual expression to explore issues of social and political conflict. These interests stem from a family tradition of political activism. My grandfather was a conscientious objector during World War I. His experiences in military prisons (Alcatraz and Leavenworth) between 1918 and 1921 have been the subject of my artwork in the past.”
Grosser began her work by creating sculptures inspired by the plight of political prisoners, constructing duplicates of each art work so she could mail one to the offending government and exhibit the other. She continues to create artworks that focus on social conflict and prisoners of conscience, but does not limit herself to individuals identified by Amnesty International.
“In ‘Southern Gentlemen’ I explore the cultural conflicts stemming from the legacy of slavery and the Civil War, which are still very much alive in the American South,” she says.
Sigaloff, a Triennial ‘98 artist, was born in Kiev, Ukraine, in December, 1971. Her family immigrated to the United States after a brief stay in Italy and Austria, and after several moves from state to state, the family came to South Carolina during her high school years. In her sophomore year, Sigaloff attended the S. C. Governor’s School for the Arts, and then The Fine Arts Center in Greenville, S. C. She recently graduated from Clemson University with a degree in civil engineering.
Her paintings, “The Glamour of the Dark Myth: Short Dictionary of Misunderstood Women, ” she says, come from her ideas about the role of women in society, founded in her Russian childhood and the American media. Several artists were influential to this series, she says, in particular those that worked in the period between the two world wars.
“I especially admire the work of two artists, Max Beckman, with his intense, immediate colors and mythological allegories; and Oscar Kokoschka, who used urgent, insistent lines in his graphics ad paintings. The heroic sweep of America muralist and painter Thomas Hart Benton’s figures and his sense of myth making and portraiture are very important to me.”
In addition, she says, she studied the covers of 30's and 40's pulp novels and “film noir advertising posters and their sanguinary, dramatic depiction of women."
On exhibit in the Smith University Center Gallery, Feb. 29-March 31, will be “Woven Drawings” by Kit Loney. The gallery is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
"For the drawings I choose, as subjects, statues from past eras: ancient Greece and Egypt, Romanesque. The images are battered (by time, by circumstance), often missing an arm, legs or head. I am interested in how these fragments still evoke the sensitivity and depth of human identity,” she says.
Loney received her B.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts in 1978, studied at the Penland (N.C.) School of Crafts in 1984 and received her M.F.A. from the University of South Carolina in 1991. She has been teaching art at Fort Johnson Middle School in Charleston since 1997 and has extensive teaching experience, including artist residencies, in Charleston, Greenville, Sumter, Horry and Darlington counties and in Lewiston, N.Y.
Loney most recently was the subject of a one-person exhibit, entitled “Woven Drawings,” at the Spartanburg Museum of Art. She has exhibited in museums, galleries and crafts shows throughout South Carolina, the United States and in Iceland. Her work has been featured in various publications.