UPSTATE Gallery on Main



September 6  –  November 3, 2018
Reception: Thursday, Sept. 20, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Artist Talk: Thursday, Sept. 20, 7:00 p.m. 


” I am a link.
My work is a process of exploring the cyclical relationship between ideas and things.” – Leah Mulligan Cabinum

UPSTATE Gallery on Main  is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition by South Carolina artist Leah Mulligan Cabinum. emerge, a sculptural installation and spatial experience exhibition, opens September 6 and continues to November 3. An artist talk and public reception will be held on Thursday, September 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. during Spartanburg Art Walk.

Cabinum creates immersive installations, sculptural objects, and drawings made from diverse materials not necessarily associated with art. Holding degrees in metalsmithing, sculpture and drawing, she uses a variety of techniques that support a cyclical theme, which is pervasive throughout her work. Inspired by the cyclical, interconnected nature of human experience and perception, Cabinum’s organic abstractions celebrate the complexity of both the growth process and our intuitive understanding of inevitable change. Using effervescent color and playful biomorphic forms as visual conduits for emotive discovery, her pulsating, sculptural installations gently challenge the viewer to find their own center in our ever changing universe. Often derived from repurposed objects that link the physical to the conceptual, her materials are chosen for their inherent attributes. Cabinum’s practice is in the vein of Arte Povera, the radical Italian art movement from the late 1960s whose artists explored a range of unconventional processes and nontraditional ‘everyday’ materials.

“I am a link”, said Cabinum. “My work is a process of exploring the cyclical relationship between ideas and things. Sculptural objects, installations, mark-making, performance and video are the product. The combination of touching a thing and looking beyond its surface (or vice versa), enables me to discover connections. Media and materials range from trash to gold and are chosen for their corporal and conceptual value alike. Often, the subtlety of a thing is what lures me in, like an inaudible whisper that can only be felt. I link the tangible with the intangible.”

Of the emerge exhibition the artist says, “This emotive body of work was created as a response to my personal journey. My perspective continues to evolve from one of reckoning to one of reveling. Biomorphic, curvaceous, voluptuous, and bulging forms made from a variety of materials mimic the visceral and link my physical and psychological beings. In keeping with established personal practice, this exhibition relies upon natural references, such as flora, fauna, and physiology to symbolize various phases and emotions that I have experienced in my youth until the present.”

“This exhibit will intrigue and surprise guests when they visit our Main Street location.” said University Gallery Director Jane Nodine. “Leah will be joining the USC Upstate art faculty this fall to teach three-dimensional design and painting so this is an opportunity to introduce her to the community.”

Leah Mulligan Cabinum (born 1967, USA) creates installations, sculptural objects, and drawings made from diverse, often untraditional materials. Cabinum received her Master of Fine Arts from Winthrop University and Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia. Born in Athens, Georgia her work has been widely exhibited, including nationally at the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park and Marin MOCA. Often derived from repurposed objects that link the physical to the conceptual, her materials are chosen for their inherent attributes. She lives in upstate South Carolina’s rural countryside where she works in her studio and shares her passion with her art students.For more information about Leah Mulligan Cabinum, please visit:

The UPSTATE Gallery on Main is the newest addition of the Upstate Carolina University’s three gallery spaces. Located at 172 E. Main Street in Spartanburg, it is a dedicated art space that presents rotating exhibitions of regional and national artists. The gallery also houses and periodically displays the university’s permanent art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Jerry Uelsmann, Jack Tworkov, and Beatrice Riese. The gallery is primarily staffed by students as part of an ongoing internship program where they learn how to display, research, and promote the work on exhibit in the gallery. It is open to the public five days a week (Tuesday-Saturday) from 12 noon until 5 pm. More about the UGoM can be found on its Facebook page-UPSTATE Gallery on Main or by calling Jane Nodine, Gallery Director at (864)-503-5848.



Jane Nodine, Gallery Director
Mark Flowers, Gallery Coordinator
University of South Carolina Upstate
Visual Arts Center 125
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
P: 864-503-5848
F: 864-503-5835