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Koger Center for the Arts

The Project: A 2021 Call for Art


The Project: A 2021 Call for Art
Exhibition - May 19, 2022 - August 2022


Opening Reception - Thursday, June 16 • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Congratulations to Mary Robinson, winner of The Project: A 2021 Call for Art from the Koger Center for the Arts!
The exhibition will begin on Thursday, May 19th with an opening reception to follow on Thursday, June 16 at 6:00 p.m. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Mary Robinson is a Professor of Art and Head of Printmaking at the University of South Carolina. She received her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Colorado, and MA in Art History from University of Wisconsin, and an MFA in Printmaking from Indiana University. Her work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and art centers throughout the Uninted States as well as Australia, Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

Artist's Statement - Aggregate
I first started working with a pattern of ovals in 2003 when I heard pianist and friend Marina Lomazov play a quick, sweet, fleeting, Chopin etude as a concert encore. Each note existed individually as well as blending with others, and then quickly lost vibration. I began to see a resonance between a musical note and a human life. Through studying Buddhism and practicing yoga for many years, my recognition of the ephemerality of human nature has expanded to encompass all living beings and the interconnectedness among us. Humans are indeed part of, not separate from, nature. I visualize this condition of creation and destruction as a tapestry, with stretches of sustained rhythm as well as moments of ruptures and mends. The driving question in my artmaking is: how can I visually present both the euphoria and horror I experience in the 21st Century as we humans savor, destroy, and attempt to mend life on Earth?

Throughout printmaking I draw, carve, etch, print and layer marks to present my experience of being part of a larger life aggregate. I often cut, tear, smother, tangle, weave, glue and stitch the paper and fabric to reflect the ruptures that occur in the aggregate. My concurrent practices of weaving and dyeing fabric with patterns influence (and are influenced by) my printmaking.

The Project: A Call for Art from the Koger Center for the Arts is an annual artistic competition that supports the work of South Carolina visual artists. Each year, one chosen artist will receive a $500 stipend, gallery space, and staff support resulting in a free public display in the Upstairs Gallery of the Koger Center.

History of The Project:
The Project began as The 1593 Project: A Call for Art from the Koger Center for the Arts, during the national shelter-in-place situation due to COVID-19 in 2020. Inspired by the theatre closures that London faced during the bubonic plague in the year 1593, The Koger Center's Call for Art was created to support artists as they endured the devastating effect of the COVID-19 shutdowns. In 2020, we encouraged submissions from South Carolina artists and received a diverse array of artwork reflective of the state's vibrant arts and cultural talent from over 55 entrants.