During the past century Spartanburg has produced an abundance of world-class visual artists and dispersed them across the world. At the same time, the city has become a magnet for painters, sculptors, ceramicists, and more who have converged here in the South Carolina piedmont to create a vibrant... show more
During the past century Spartanburg has produced an abundance of world-class visual artists and dispersed them across the world. At the same time, the city has become a magnet for painters, sculptors, ceramicists, and more who have converged here in the South Carolina piedmont to create a vibrant and diverse arts community. Seeking to give the Spartanburg visual arts community the attention it deserves, Edward Emory and Stephen Stinson developed a plan in the summer of 2008 to create photographic portraits of scores of Spartanburg artists. Stinson shot the photographs, and Emory, who operates Spartanburg s Carolina Gallery, printed the colorful images on large, gallery-wrapped canvases. Month by month, they built a virtual army of artists, displaying them in downtown storefronts. Two years later, they decided it was time to make a book that would celebrate and pay tribute to the people who have shaped, and are continuing to shape, a remarkably robust art community. Artists Among Us highlights the Hub City s citizen-artists those whose civic spirit has helped build the local arts community through regular participation and association with such institutions as the Spartanburg Art Museum, the Spartanburg Artists Guild, HUB-BUB, the West Main Co-op, our public schools and colleges. What s startling about this group of artists is how widespread their backgrounds are. They have settled here from the Kentucky coal country, the Illinois prairie, rural Ireland, the countryside of France, the industrial Midwest, the wild swamps of Louisiana, and all points in between. Others are homegrown, blossoming after finding their way to master teachers at our local schools and colleges. This book itself is a snapshot in time, a sampler of what Spartanburg has to offer as we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century. These creative citizens are carrying the torch for the monumental artists and art-lovers of Spartanburg s past: Margaret Law, Josephine Sibley Couper, Peggy Gignilliat, Helen Dupre Moseley, August and Irma Cook and others. They are your neighbors, your teachers, and your co-workers, offering up their personal stories as well as some of their favorite artwork. This book is presented with gratitude for the spark and the beauty they have brought to Spartanburg.