What’s it like to be a practicing artist with your work on public display? For a full month this spring, sculpture students from the College’s Department of Studio Art are learning the answer to that important question.
Seven students who were enrolled in two different sculpture classes this past semester, including recent graduate Danielle Lewis ’17 (featured in video above), have pieces they created on display through May 2017 as part of the recent North Charleston Arts Fest. According to sculpture professor Jarod Charzewski, these students are enjoying a rare opportunity to garner insights into what it’s like to work as a practicing artist.
“Early in the semester, I encouraged the students in my public art course to submit proposals to the festival’s directors and almost all of them did,” Charzewski explained. “We’ve done this for a few years now, and it provides an exceptional opportunity for students to get exhibition experience and visibility for their work.”
Students in Herb Parker’s Sculpture III course also submitted work. According to Charzewski, each of the students’ submissions weren’t just simple plans and sketches. The students also had to construct scale models of their proposed installations. The ones whose works were selected to participate in the Public Art Installation of the festival received formal commissions and financial support to create the work.
Aliah Fickling ’17, a recent graduate in studio art, created Southern Couture, a series of pieces on display at Palmetto Gardens Park. Her works were inspired by the phenomenon of church hats worn by women in many Southern congregations. She says her installation pays homage to the culture and pageantry of the extravagant church hat.
Madison Bailey’s installation, Lion by the Sea, is a steel frame that depicts a large-scale skeleton of Pterois, commonly known as a lionfish. This invasive species has been wreaking havoc on other populations of fish in the Atlantic and Bailey – a junior majoring in arts management – created the piece to bring awareness to this environmental issue. It is on display on International Boulevard near the North Charleston Convention Center.
Concrete Jungle is an installation created by business administration major Welles Worthen. Like many of the students in this class, he worked late nights to finish his piece in time for the festival. This particular sculpture, which is a hollow concrete structure resembling a tree, stands 12 feet tall. Its branches sprout large “leaves” that serve as planters housing a variety of live plants and flowers. Worthen says his piece is intended to play on the relationship between the natural and the artificial.
The festival also hosted a National Outdoor Sculpture Contest, and the College’s own studio manager and alumnus Jordan Fowler ‘15 created a piece expressly for this contest. Fowler’s work, Conductor, was installed at Riverfront Park.
The North Charleston Arts Fest concluded on May 7, but all of these works are on display through the end of this month.