West Main Artists Co-Op

Three New Exhibitions Open at West Main Artists Co-op!

Plein Air – “Art By Sight”

Artists Who Paint Outdoors Bring Their Work to Co-op

West Main Artists Co-op will host in July a group exhibit by plein air artists, showcasing a large collection of artwork that was created outdoors in Upstate South Carolina. The exhibit — Art by Sight — will run July 3-27 in the Venue, the facility’s largest gallery. The public can view the work Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at no cost. The exhibit’s reception will be Thursday, July 19, 5-9 p.m. during the city’s monthly ArtWalk.

The participating artists are all part of an informal and less-than-one-year-old group of retired teachers who gather to paint in the classic French tradition of plein air, which by definition is work created on location and outdoors. The group is still in the formative stages and includes core members Jessica Barnes, Shannon Patrick, Doris Turner, AK McMillan, Cynthia Link, and Shelba Cook.

“Through my association with various Upstate artists, I had heard about this group of artists who were gathering to do plein air,” said the Co-op’s chair of Venue Exhibits Dwight Rose, who is an established watercolorist. “I thought having them exhibit at West Main would be a good way to give them exposure and to bring in some of the community’s most respected artists who practice plein air. It takes a bit of understanding to truly appreciate plein air,” Rose said. “Most of the time artists work in their studios, but plein air artists work in the field, using natural light and often times dealing with a changing environment. They have to work fast, and sometimes they come back to a location to finish the work. Normally, I’d say, the work is spontaneous, in the moment, and less detailed than studio work. But each artist is different with different styles and techniques. The trick is applying your style and technique to working outside in the open spaces.”

Each of the six artists will provide at least seven paintings, most of which will be for sale, starting at $50.

“I like the immediacy of the process. Looking at the scape and responding to it in an immediate way,” Barnes said. “It is not overworked. It is much like our heroes paintings in the impressionist world.

“Our backgrounds are different in that some are potters, fabric designers and mixed media artists,” Barnes continued. “All of us have been art teachers. That alone shows that we have a streak of bravery in our makeup. Sometimes it is intimidating to sit and paint an almost finished work in public. The Co-op is gracious to share its space with us. Between us, we have 351 years of experience in appreciation and of making art. The oldest member is a native of Spartanburg. The others came from Massachusetts, North Carolina and Georgia. We all enjoy painting.”

“First you look. You search for your composition. Or you sit, observe and find a composition that feels right and interesting,” Turner said. “The view and surroundings become yours. This position can be outside in the fresh air or inside. It can be comfortable, blazing hot or numbing cold. Being up close with the experience has its rewards. Perhaps the extremes or pleasantness will show and really make your art relevant, especially when you view your painting and relive the moment. Observers may get a feel or an identity with your expression.”

“The process of painting never really took hold of me during most of my life.  I wasn’t passionate about it,” Link said. “As an artist I am more of a maker of things, not so much a painter. The images in my head that push me to work are always three-dimensional and the process and intricacies of how it will be constructed is the main challenge. That is until I travelled with two friends to a plein air watercolor workshop to Tahiti. I was hooked. Now, I love to paint, mostly outside on a sunny warm day. The experience of the outside is a draw as well as looking for the lights and darks, working fast and being spontaneous. The biggest draw though is sharing the experience with by painting buddies. It is such a pleasure to go paint with friends. We laugh, share and see how each person paints the same area completely different.”

Simple Pleasures

Spartanburg Artist Exhibits After Hiatus

After stepping away from the hustle-and-bustle life of a professional artist to care for his aging parents, Garry Turpin will exhibit his latest works — Simple Pleasures — at West Main Artists Co-op, July 19-Aug. 15, 2018. The reception for this collection of 12 oil paintings will be Thursday, July 19, 5-9 p.m., which is during the city of Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk.

Routinely, the exhibit can be viewed by the public at no cost Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the non-profit gallery/studio, 578 West Main Street, Spartanburg, SC.

For 15 years, Turpin was the owner of GT Graphics Studios in Spartanburg. In 2000, he changed directions to devote his time and efforts to be a full-time artist. However, in 2013, his life changed again when he was needed to devote most of his energies to caring for his aging parents. “When I took on this responsibility along with other family situations, I decided to curtail my painting and other creative activities for a while,” he said. “These new directives kept me close to home and focused on family matters. When I was offered an opportunity to have this exhibition, it became a combination of focusing on family members and creating art that had a simple subject appeal. Simple Pleasures is a collection of paintings that hopefully reflect the title.”

Many of the works in this collection are of people, places, and things, which are realistically represented with a style of soft simplicity and emotional calmness. “The response I get most often from viewers is a kinship to my feelings, a viewing pleasure,” he said. “I have a representational style that reflects my love and admiration for the natural elements that make life on this earth so wonderful and ever changing.”

These 12 oil-on-canvas paintings took about a year to produce and each will sell for $45 to $1,250.

Turpin was one of the Co-op’s founding members, however, he left its membership in 2013 because of family duties. “It’s always a pleasure to be involved with West Main Artists Co-op,” he said. “It is a great group of people fulfilling a need for artists to grow with their craft and enjoy new works by ongoing and emerging artists with the facilities available to make this possible.”

A resident of Moore, SC, Turpin, 68, is a graduate of Mars Hill College with a bachelor’s degree in studio art. Born in Whittier, NC, he spent his early years in Oklahoma, but returned to North Carolina at 6 years old and has remained ever since. As the Creative Director for a commercial agency, he has won many awards for his work, including illustrations and photography. His work in the fine arts has been exhibited extensively throughout the Carolinas from 2005 to 2016. He was also a founding member of the Artist Guild Gallery of Greenville, SC, holding a leadership position from 2007 until 2009.

 “My studio is in a barn that my father and I built in 1990 on our small country farm,” he said. “It is located adjacent to my home, where my wife and I have lived for 46-plus years. My medium of preference is oil paint. I prefer painting on stretched canvas. On occasion, I will try producing works in the area of pottery and printmaking.”

In explaining his process and inspirations, Turpin said, “I am inspired by something I see and wish to share with others, and seeing other artists’ work and how they approach painting similar subjects. My process is when I see or experience something that motivates me to gather resource materials, which I will translate into a fairly detailed drawing on the canvas. I will then stain the canvas usually with a burnt sienna and begin painting from there.

Turpin’s work can be seen extensively online at his website: GarryTurpin.com.



Street Artist to Exhibit at Co-op in Sparkle City

TheMadddArtist — Roderice Cardell — will exhibit his pain at West Main Artists Co-op July 19-Aug. 11, and he wants everyone to feel it.

“The Color of Sound” will be his first public exhibit, consisting of about 20 works described as “abstract street art.” The work will be open for free public viewing Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. His reception will be Thursday, July 19, 5-9 p.m. during the city of Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk.  He will also present a live performance at 8:00pm on the downstairs stage.

“I want people to feel my pain through color,” the 30-year-old Moore native said. “I use music to create, to fight depression and anxiety. I want people to know they aren’t alone. I want people to paint through whatever they are going through, to use their emotions to guide them along with the music.”

TheMadddArtist is an abstract expressionist, performance artist, and street artist, who creates two-dimensional works with acrylics, spray paint, pastels, and mixed media.  He was inspired to have this exhibit because of his “limited resources and fighting through poverty,” he said and added that he “feels the need to speak up, to be the voice of the people. I want everyone to know we are all connected and our experiences can help each other through life’s obstacles. Colors connect us: They shouldn’t make us different.”

He said it has taken him his entire life to make these works of art. When people see his work, he wants them to “feel hope. They should feel enlightenment. They should feel love. They should experience what it takes to be a fighter in this world.

The Winthrop University graduate describes himself as a “triple-threat artist that is on a mission to save the world through art. As a rising emerging artists, Roderice has spent his career telling his story of overcoming dyslexia and fighting anxiety using art as an outlet.”

The M.A.D.D.D. in his professional name stands for Making Art Diverse, Daring, and Distinguished.

His creative process usually begins “with random brush strokes of color, or he slings paint onto the canvas to create violent and uncontrolled responses to the music,” according to his promotional material. “The work’s unpredictability creates movement to the rhythm of the music and emotional connection he has with the content of the music. He connects sound to emotion, and he sees colors when he hears the music. The music gives him a sense of direction when he creates.”

Cardell started off as a young ambitious student who suffered from dyslexia and anxiety. Twenty years later while studying at Winthrop University, he branded himself as “a triple threat artist.” But it wasn’t until a near-death experience in 2015 that he dedicated his life to his passion of art.

Born in Spartanburg in 1987, Cardell was reared by his grandparents, alongside his mother and father who played a role in his creativity. He started producing paintings and capturing art with photography in 2013. He was mainly influence by Michel Basquiat and Ryan King. His style can be best described as abstract subliminal imagery. Cardell wishes to tell stories with his art to help people get through rough times. “It can either mellow you out or hype you up,” he said. He also creates relevant New Age music.

“Nothing is ever planned!” he said.  “I guess it takes the fun out of creating. Most of my most recent work has be influenced by taking big risks and finding new combinations that I’ve never done before. It excites me to see my experiments come alive.

“Sometimes I think my paintings have a mind of their own,” he continued. “The way they speak to me while meditating. I listen and the vibrations of the music in the room help me connect to my abilities and allow me to surrender to the canvas and become one with the art. As a musician, everything I create is full circle. When I create, life makes way more sense.

“I want people to see that we all have a voice,” TheMadddArtist said. “Are you willing to listen?”

For more details about TheMadddArtist, find him — Roderice Cardell — online on most major social media outlets @THEMADDDARTIST.

West Main Artists Co-op is a nonprofit and all-volunteer arts agency on Main Street Spartanburg. It is housed in the old West Main Baptist Church and is continuously renovated by its members who are 50-plus strong. It provides affordable work spaces for more than 30 artists in the 20,000-square-foot building. In addition, the Co-op has the largest collection of locally made art for sale with extremely diverse buying options, including pottery, jewelry, paintings, sculptures, quilts. Each month, the Co-op hosts three new exhibits by its members and nonmembers, some of whom enjoy regional and even national recognition.

Normal Business hours are TUE- SAT 10-4, and 10-9 during Art Walk Thursday.  For more information please visit http://www.westmainartists.org and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/westmaincoop/