Opening Reception • Thursday, September 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The opening reception is held in conjuction with the Vista Guild's Third Thursday Art Night
The exhibition includes highlights from the later years of Spong’s career, including her large-scale signature piece, Big Red, last exhibited in 2015.
Recognized as one of South Carolina’s leading abstract painters, Spong began painting in the 1950s, quickly receiving awards in local and state art exhibitions. Through the years Spong continually worked and exhibited while raising her family, but it was not until the late 1980s that she committed to being a full-time artist and embarked on a period of enormous productivity and growth. During these later years, Spong moved from her earlier more angular compositions to the organic, complex oil paintings that defined her mature style. In 2015, Spong commented on her work with these words, “First of all, I like to paint – it’s my passion. I move around shapes, forms, textures and colors until the components fall into place, like a child on the floor arranging and rearranging blocks.”
Spong’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia with pieces acquired for the permanent collections of the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art as well as many private collections. Spong was the 2017 recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award Governor’s Award for the Arts for Lifetime Achievement, presented annually by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Spong continually painted, completing works until shortly before her death at 92 in 2018.
Noted artist Mark Flowers wrote about the visual impact of seeing Laura Spong’s work, “The colors dance, the line penetrates, the scale encompasses my vision, and the experience rewards.”
The Koger Center for the Arts Upstairs Gallery is located inside the Koger Center at 1051 Greene Street in downtown Columbia. Gallery hours are 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and during Koger Center events. The Upstairs Gallery is free and open to the public with group tours available upon request.
For more information about the Laura Spong: A Retrospective or future exhibits at the Upstairs Gallery, please call 803-777-7500 or email email@example.com.