Juried Art Exhibition at the Avery Research Center 

By Invite Only: An exhibit at the Avery reaches wide

If there's one MOJA event that shows the wide reach and encompassing nature of the festival, it's the Juried Art Exhibition. Twenty-five artists are participating in this year's invitational exhibit, juried by local textile artist Arianne King Comer.

Participants include Susan Gregory, whose solo show recently wrapped at the City Gallery at the Gaillard; Lynda English of Florence, who creates colorful decorative art; and Amber Axton-Carmichael, best known for her figurative and body art.

click to enlarge Alex Palkovich's sculpture "Ashley"
  • Alex Palkovich's sculpture "Ashley"

Columbia-based Eileen Blyth specializes in assemblages with found objects. There's a seashore theme to much of her art. In her installations you might find gloves growing on a tree; in her assemblages, fish navigate metal waves and light fixtures illuminate the moon.

Susan Lenz, also from Columbia, uses thread and through-stitches to explore her own being. Judging by her past work, her inner self is complex, reflective, and comprised of many tiny pieces of yarn.

click to enlarge "The Gift" by Eileen Blythe
  • "The Gift" by Eileen Blythe

Pastel artist Ben Nita McAdam is a North Carolina native who now lives in Mt. Pleasant. She manages to capture the attractive hues of the Lowcountry light with a nominal range of pastels. There's a photorealistic quality to some of her images and a soft impressionist edge to others.

Dorothy Montgomery is a quilter living in Charleston. She has used fabric and acrylic paint, ink, embroidery floss, dye sticks, crayons, and appliqués to illustrate her songs, poems, and stories inspired by African-American music. The South Park-size characters on her quilts help evoke a storybook quality that makes them immediately identifiable, drawing the viewer into the narrative. Montgomery uses well-known objects and symbols (a pulpit, a fishing boat, hay bales) to tell her widely resonant tales.

With other strong artists like Lese Corrigan and Julie Lawrence participating, this is a stimulating, eclectic show that proves you don't have to be a traditional painter to capture the diverse essence of the Lowcountry. —Nick Smith

The Juried Art Exhibition is on display through Oct. 30 at the Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture. 125 Bull St. (843) 953-7609. Free.


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