Gardens of the Carolinas & Other Pursuits

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The Goodall Gallery at Columbia College is pleased to kick off its 2019-20 season with “Gardens of the Carolinas & Other Pursuits” featuring mixed-media artworks by Greyson Smith. The exhibition opens Monday, August 19 and runs through Friday, October 11, 2019. A reception will be held on Thursday, August 29 at 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. in the Goodall Gallery of the Spears Center for the Arts, free and open to the public.

“Gardens of the Carolinas & Other Pursuits” is an exhibition showcasing a variety of works on both paper and canvas. The bulk of the exhibition highlights works originating from public gardens in South Carolina and North Carolina. After traveling to and photographing nearly a dozen public gardens, Smith has incorporated the photographs in his mixed-media works to bring the imagery to life through the use of drawing and painting. With his unique mark-making, the work expresses a personal experience at each location, incorporating seasonal botanicals and site-specific architecture. His hope is to share with viewers his personal delight for these public spaces and the creative inspiration that emerges at the intersection of visual art and the natural world.

Featuring nine gardens, this solo exhibition is a survey of public gardens spread throughout the Carolinas. These botanical treasures are all members of the American Public Gardens Association, the leading professional organization for the field of public horticulture. Its mission is to serve public gardens and advance them as leaders, advocates, and innovators. The Association defines a public garden as “an institution that maintains collections of plants for the purposes of public education and enjoyment, in addition to research, conservation, and higher learning.” For nearly 80 years, this organization has been committed to increasing awareness and cooperation among gardens. Today, these spaces serve as living collaborators in Smith’s depictions of the Carolina landscape, alluding to themes of conservation, history, memory, and sensory experience.

The gardens highlighted in this exhibition cover many regions of the Carolinas, from the Lowcountry to Appalachia. The majority of the gardens in the exhibition are located in South Carolina, with two situated in the capital city of Columbia. These two public gardens include Riverbanks Botanical Gardens and the gardens of four Historic Columbia properties. Others include the Moore Farms Botanical Garden in Lake City, Magnolia Gardens in Charleston, and Kalmia Gardens of Coker College in Hartsville. In North Carolina, featured gardens include the JC Raulston Arboretum of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden in Kernersville, and Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.

As a complement to the Gardens of the Carolinas series, the exhibition also includes some of Smith’s other artistic pursuits that display the development of his signature style. The works investigate the principals and elements of design and illustrate his exploration of line and color.  Consisting of nonobjective monotypes and works on canvas, these creative pursuits show Smith’s artistic growth and are a precursor to his Gardens of the Carolinas series.

Greyson Smith is a practicing artist residing in the Central Rosewood neighborhood of Columbia, South Carolina. His artistic areas of focus are drawing, printmaking, and painting. Since 2010, he has exhibited at Winthrop University, ArtFields, Vista Studios / Gallery 80808, 701 Whaley, Arts Center of Greenwood, Columbia City Hall, North Charleston Arts Fest, Arts Council of York County Center for the Arts in Rock Hill, Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, and more. He has received numerous awards, including Best in Printmaking at the Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibition at City Gallery, and an award at the South Carolina Festival of Flowers Juried Art Show recognizing his art piece “Garden Room Design,” which depicts imagery from the Moore Farms Botanical Garden. In addition to being an actively exhibiting mixed-media artist, he works in arts administration at the University of South Carolina as Business Manager of the School of Visual Art and Design. He formerly worked as Accountant at the South Carolina Arts Commission and served on the Board of Directors at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting, from Winthrop University.

About Goodall Gallery:

Goodall Gallery is located inside the Spears Center for the Arts at 1301 Columbia College Drive in downtown Columbia off North Main Street. Gallery hours are from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday–Friday and 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information concerning exhibits please contact Morgan Hoffman, Gallery Director, at (803) 786-3899.