Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts

Richardson Family Art Gallery


Siendo mujer: a short study of the female experience in South America

The Richardson Family Art Gallery features Siendo mujer: a short study of the female experience in South America until December 20, featuring the recent works by Lydia Estes.

As the 35th Presidential International Scholar, Lydia Estes attempted to uncover the visual representation of la mujer, or the woman, in the South American countries of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru. Siendo mujer means “being a woman”, and this exhibition represents the conversations she shared with resilient, creative women for whom art plays a significant role in their female experiences and vice versa–for whom the female experience plays a significant role in their art.

It is further a collection of their artwork, also including her own photographs of them, their spaces, and moments which contribute to the story each is trying to tell through their work.  Her research revealed more questions like, how are women stereotypically portrayed in their societies? How are female artists confronting these images through their own artwork, and how are the mediums they work in an aspect of their protest? And lastly, how will art change the female experience in future South American societies?  Please join us for a reception and gallery talk with Lydia Estes at 7 pm on Thursday, November 21. 


Richardson Family Art Museum

The Richardson Family Art Museum in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts features Southern Gothic: Literary Intersections with Art from the Johnson Collection, Props: Personal identities in the Portrait Photography of Richard Samuel Roberts and LaToya Ruby Frazier and “The Notion of Family” until December 14

Southern Gothic: Literary Intersections with Art from the Johnson Collection

With works drawn exclusively from the Johnson Collection, Southern Gothic illuminates how nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists employed a potent visual language to transcribe the tensions between the South’s idyllic aura and its historical realities, including themes such as horror, romance, and the supernatural. While academic painters such as Charles Fraser and Thomas Noble conveyed the genre’s gloomy tonalities in their canvases, Aaron Douglas and Harry Hoffman grappled with the injustices of the modern world. Collectively, these images demonstrate that definitions of the Gothic are neither monolithic nor momentary, inviting us, instead to contemplate how the Southern Gothic legacy continues to inform our understanding of the American South. Please join us for a reception and gallery talk with curator Elizabeth Smith on Thursday, October 17 at 7 p.m.

Portrait Photography of Richard Samuel Roberts

Richard Samuel Roberts was an African-American artist who opened a photography studio in Columbia, SC in 1922. In his portraits of Columbia citizens, the subjects wear carefully-chosen clothes and often hold or appear next to important objects or props. The term “props” brings to mind the objects used in the theater that help establish the meaning of a scene. In this show, we can analyze the way that the props—presumably objects chosen by the sitters themselves—tell us something about the self-identity of the sitters. “Props” is sometimes used as a slang term, meaning “proper respect,” and the objects seen in these photos, including the clothing choices, often highlight the respect due the sitters for their attainments. But the intentionally-selected objects and apparel also give insights—in an otherwise very formulaic genre—into the inner desires of the sitters. Props thus can do two very different things: underscore socially-agreed upon ideals, or, perhaps conversely, help us see beyond the surface of an image.

The Notion of Family

Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier was looking at a history of her hometown of Braddock, PA, and noticed that the book omitted African-Americans entirely. Her 2014 series of photographs “The Notion of Family,”  from which the three works in this show are taken, is her resistance to the “continued omission, erasure, invisibility and silence surrounding African-American sacrifices to Braddock and the American grand narrative.” Frazier’s photography points out the way America has scaled back the understanding of family to apply only to biological connectedness, to the detriment of us all. Wielding her camera, as she says, as “a weapon” of change, performing and collaborating with her family and her community, Frazier resets a narrative and retells a history, actively. Please join us for a reception and gallery talk with Spelman College Curator of Collections Anne Collins Smith on Wednesday, November 6 at 6:00 p.m.


The Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts is located at 130 Memorial Dr., Spartanburg, SC 29303, and includes three gallery spaces that feature several exhibitions from a range of various artists. The current museum and gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday: 1-5 p.m; Thurs.: 1-9 p.m. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. For more information, please contact Miriam Thomas at 864-597-4940 or