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New CCU art exhibit showcases Southern artists

July 1, 2010

"Transitive Geographies: Contemporary Visions Of An Evolving South," an exhibition featuring 21 works by four Southern artists has opened at Coastal Carolina University and continues through Aug. 27 in the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery. The show is free and open to the public.

A closing reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26. It is also open to the public.

Featured in the show are artists Annie Kammerer Butrus of Birmingham, Ala., Cynthia Farnell of Conway, S.C., Donna Mintz of Atlanta, Ga. and Michel Varisco of New Orleans, La.

The paintings, ink drawings, photographs and mixed media installations in the exhibit were selected by Shannon Morris, curator of the Georgia College and State University Museum, to illustrate certain ecological and cultural changes occurring throughout the Southeastern United States as the national population center continues to shift southward.

The exhibit premiered at Georgia College and State University Museum and will travel to venues in Birmingham and New Orleans.

The exhibition explores the effect of water on the history, the culture, the economy and the current cultural climate of four distinct areas. In Cynthia Farnells photographic imagery, the people of a bygone era of tobacco culture "peek through the foliage and emerge from the waters of the South Carolina low country."

Donna Mintzs collaged paintings and the relics of lives past that comprise her installation "Lighting the Sun" recall the 2007 Atlanta drought. Mintz recovered these pieces of broken glass and pottery shards when water levels in Lake Lanier dropped to record lows and the city of Atlanta faced a serious water shortage.

The dependence upon natural resources and the Souths history as an agricultural economy are addressed in Annie Kammerer Butruss translucent paintings in the series entitled "Peach Tree Trail." Butruss visually enticing tracings of the shadows created by the peach trees on Culp Farms near Birmingham record the path of the sun and the passing of the time over the course of the growing season. This work also alludes to the uncertain future of rural life. In her series, "Parade of Homes," Butrus provides a glimpse of what often lies ahead for farmlands.

Capturing the mysticism of Louisianas coastal region, Michel Variscos "Fragile Landscapes' series reveals the dogged determination of a people through the mystic beauty of the place they call home.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday through Aug. 6. For directions: www.coastal.edu/bryanartgallery.

The Bryan Gallery is supported in part by the Coastal Educational Foundation, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Friends of the Bryan Gallery. All Bryan Gallery programs are free and open to the public.

For more information contact Cynthia Farnell, gallery director, at 843-234-3466 or cfarnell@coastal.edu.