The halls of the Sumter County Art Gallery will soon be decorated with works by talented local artists for its annual exhibition on Thursday.
The Sumter County Art Gallery will open its most popular exhibit, the Sumter Artists Guild Exhibit, on Thursday evening.
Sumter’s most prominent artists founded the Sumter Artists Guild in 1966 to make room for amateur and professional artists as well as art enthusiasts.
“Its mission is to promote, support and foster interest in art and to create an opportunity for our community of artists to engage in cooperative artistic endeavors and to be more active in supporting a variety of activities associated with art education, art education and art appreciation in our community,” said Karen Watson, director of the Sumter County Gallery of Art. not only succeeded in its mission, but exceeded it. The guild was instrumental in founding the Sumter County Art Gallery in 1969.”
As one of the most active guilds in the state, the Sumter County Artists Guild is led by a board of talented artists such as Laura Cardello, President, Vicki Hagner, Treasurer, Jennifer Franklin and Lisa Melton .
Gallery curator Eric Lachance shared his excitement at the idea of presenting the Guild exhibition for the first time.
“It is a pleasure for me to lead the Sumter Artists’ Guild exhibit installation for the first time as a curator in our space and to see the artistic merits of our neighbors on display,” he said. “Thank you to the Artists Guild for another opportunity to show your best in Sumter.”
As the 2022 Sumter Artists Guild Exhibition begins, Kyle C. Coleman, former director of art education at the gallery, has been chosen as this year’s judge.
Coleman, originally from Colombia, is an arts administrator, art historian, visual arts educator, graphic designer and writer. He studied graphic design and art history at Howard University in Washington, DC, and Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama, before earning a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Winthrop University at Rock Hill. Coleman is in his third year of a doctoral program for learning and organizational change at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
He is the fine arts manager for the Lake City ArtFields collective and facilitates all aspects of the annual ArtFields visual art competition.
Watson described the guild exhibition as “a great opportunity” for enthusiasts to enrich their collection and support local talent by purchasing artwork at reasonable prices.
As the guild grows, so do the number of rewards and prize money. The People’s Choice Award was added in 2014, followed by the Best of Show award in 2020; Watson said this is how the guild recognizes and rewards local talent.
“We look forward to seeing visitors in our space socialize and enjoy a sip of wine. Come join us and meet many of the exhibiting artists and have conversations about their work,” Watson said.
She pointed out that the exhibit would not have been possible without Jane Collins, Heart of Sumter Neighborhood Association, Black River Electric Coop., CRW Insurance and Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home and Crematory.
The opening reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on June 30 at the gallery, 21 Hasel St. Winners will be announced at the reception. The exhibition will be open from June 30 to August 31. 26. Admission is free and masks are optional but strongly encouraged.