Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Just Don't Quit Your Day Job.....

Portions of this post are included on the GoUpstate Blog, Culture Aplenty, 9/14/15

I have been an artist most of my life and  have had an active studio practice since the mid 1970's. During the 1980's my focus was on design and manufacturing of fashion and art jewelry in a business known as Jane Nodine Hardwear. The fashion business is exciting, exhilarating, and hi-energy, but it is also stressful, risky, and competitively exhausting. Trends change over night and as many of you may remember, that mood ring that was so much in demand last month is deader than a doornail the next month.

In the early 90's I began employing student interns in my business and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed my teaching in grad school. Little by little I began to gravitate toward education and in 1995 I accepted a full-time position at the University of South Carolina Upstate as an assistant professor of art and gallery director. Since that time I have taken over as coordinator of the art program and Assistant Chair of Fine Arts and Communication Studies, all while still directing the gallery and exhibition programs.

As professor of Art and Gallery director at University of South Carolina Upstate, I enjoy working with talented colleagues and eager students in the visual arts. I feel fortunate that we have received support from administrators that allowed us to develop a vital program producing qualified designers and art educators who serve this region and beyond.

As a metropolitan university, a major component of our role is to interact with the community and to create opportunities that engage business and industry with students and residents in an effort to encourage lifelong learning.

Installing work by sculpture Bob Doster on Upstate Campus.

One of the most effective ways our art program can reach beyond the campus grounds is through our gallery events that are free and open to the public. USC Upstate sponsors three exhibition spaces and a collection of monumental sculpture. This effort supports not only our academic mission to students, but has brought many visitors to campus. Being located at the crossroads of I-85 and I-26 has allowed for travelers to stop by and see the outdoor sculpture that decorates our campus and is accessible 365 days per year. 

The Curtis R. Harley Gallery, named for the late well-known Spartanburg artist Curt Harley, is located in the Performing Arts Center and sponsors regional and national exhibits with lectures and receptions from August through May each year. The FOCUS Art Education Gallery located on the second floor is our teaching model for pre-service teachers. This space provides an area where art teachers in K-12 schools from Spartanburg and surrounding counties can exhibit student work with lesson plans. It also allows K-12 students to be paired with an Upstate Art Education student for mentoring opportunities.

Curtis R. Harley Gallery in the Performing Arts Center at USC Upstate.

UPSTATE Gallery on Main, located at 172 E. Main Street, downtown Spartanburg, is our newest space. The gallery opened in January and is focused on contemporary original works of art that may veer from the conventional, while also supporting exhibits of our permanent collection that include work by Andy Warhol, Jerry Uelsmann, Beatrice Riese, Jack Tworkov and Will Barnet. By making our collection available for public viewing, students and scholars are free to utilize the works for scholarly research and the community is free to visit. Our focus on contemporary and non-conventional exhibits allows us to offer opportunities that are typically not available in our area. The overall response to the new location has provided several new opportunities to students to include internships with the gallery operations, participation in the monthly Spartanburg Art Walk and presenting the Annual Portfolio Review, where design seniors can display their work for potential clients and employers. Direct experiential learning is emphasized in the Upstate curriculum and we engage our students in all aspects of the operations and management of our gallery program. In addition to the displays and educational offerings, the space is also available for rent for receptions and meetings.

Installation by Shannon Lindsey, UPSTATE Gallery on Main, 172 E. Main St.

We are here to offer our events to Spartanburg and we invite you to take advantage of the activities that now run throughout the year. The UPSTATE Gallery on Main is open from 12 – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Curtis R. Harley Gallery and FOCUS galleries located on the USC Upstate campus are open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All USC Upstate gallery events are free and open to the public. 

Shannon Lindsey working on her installation.

Detail view, Shannon Lindsey Installation.
Shannon Lindesy's installation is on view from September 7th to October 30th, 2015. Public receptions will be held during monthly Art Walk on September 17th from 5–8 PM and October 15th from 5–8 PM. Events are free and open to the public.

Details on the galleries can be found on Facebook: UPSTATE Gallery on Main and Curtis R. Harley Art Gallery or by contacting Jane Allen Nodine, gallery director at 864-503-5848 or email: .