The Artside: Galleries showcase golf, Western art

With April just a week or so away, golf is starting to outrank pollen as the hot topic of conversation in Augusta. This year, visitors will find a variety of golf-related exhibits to see, if they venture beyond the golf course.


The Morris Museum of Art will celebrate its newest exhibit, Fore! Images of Golf in Art, with a “Fore the Love of Golf” party at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 22. The evening will include azalea cocktails, Arnold Palmers, pimiento cheese sandwiches, putting greens and special art projects. Patrons will also be able to visit with several of the artists whose works are in the show. The cost is $5 for members and $10 for others. For reservations, call (706) 724-7501.

The exhibit includes a variety of golf-related images by Timothy J. Clark, Ray Ellis, Lucy McTier, LeRoy Neiman, Will Barnet, Linda Hartough, Frank Christian and Philip Morsberger, among others. It will remain on display through April 15.

Sunday, March 25, Clark will present a discussion about his own career and how artists throughout history have connected golf with art. The program begins at 2 p.m. in the Morris Museum’s auditorium, and a coffee reception will follow. There is no cost for the lecture, and the museum is open free on Sundays.

• Golf from another angle is the focus of an exhibit at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History: Epochs of Courage: African American Golf Exhibition. The show will open April 2 with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Regular admission fees apply. The exhibit includes historical photographs, memorabilia, publications and documents illustrating the impact and contributions that African-Americans have made to the sport of golf.

• And at the Augusta Museum of History, Celebrating a Grand Tradition, the Sport of Golf traces the evolution of golf and its history in the Augusta area, including the four oldest golf clubs: Palmetto Golf Club, Augusta Country Club, Forest Hills Golf Club and Augusta National Golf Club. In the museum rotunda are life-size bronze sculptures of golf greats Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.


BEYOND THE WORLD of golf, another exhibit opens Saturday, March 24 at the Morris Museum of Art. Window on the West: Views from the American Frontier presents some 60 objects from the collection of Arthur J. Phelan. Included are works by well-known artists such as Frederick Remington, Samuel Colman, Alfred Jacob Miller, Karl Bodmer and John Frederick Kensett, as well as lesser-known artists who recorded their observations of a newly-settled West.

Phelan, a banker and native of Maryland, visited the West for the first time in the early 1950s. Later, as a military historian at March Air Force Base in California, he renewed his interest in the landscape of the West. In 1967 he made his first purchase of Western American art, and that collecting focus has continued through the years. Phelan was chairman of Government Services Savings and Loan Inc., and is the retired chairman of an oil tanker company now headquartered in Texas.


NOTABLE: The Art Career Project Web site includes the Morris in the “30 Must-See Art Museums in the U.S.” Augusta’s gem of an art museum is in good company; with the National Gallery of Art, the Frick Collection and other obvious big names heading the list. That’s certainly a nice recognition, and another reason to celebrate the museum’s 20th anniversary this year.

AT THE AIKEN CENTER for the Arts, there will be a closing reception from 6 to 8 p.m. March 29 for Lindy Crandell’s exhibit in the Aiken Artist Guild’s gallery. Next up is a solo exhibit of photography by D.S. Owens. Going on exhibit in the main galleries will be works by John Fort, Gwen McDonald and Joanne Evans. Mark your calendar for the opening reception April 5 from 6 to 8 p.m.


AIKEN ARTIST GUILD member John Glave Jr. will be the featured artist for April at the Hitchcock Center in Aiken. Glave became interested in photography while an art student at SUNY in Buffalo, N.Y. He continued his technical pursuits in photography while serving in the U.S. Navy, and after retiring in 1986, began experimenting with digital photography while in New Mexico and southeast Idaho.


A PAINTING by renowned South Carolina artist Jim Harrison has been donated to USC Aiken by the Aiken Junior Woman’s Club. The painting was commissioned by the club for the cover of a children’s picture book about the historic house, Banksia. The book will include works by 17 regional artists and will be written by Monica Wells. Prints of the Harrison cover image are available. Call (803) 215-7902 for more information.


AT THE GERTRUDE Herbert Institute of Art, Murmurations by Amelia Grace Brooks continues in the Creel Harison Community Gallery.

The GHIA has also announced the winners of the 33rd annual Agnes Markwalter Youth Art Competition.

Alix Walburn of Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School won best of show. First place winners were: Sasha Hammarlund, Westminster Schools, grades K-2; Jack Berman, Westminster, grades 3-5; Myles Neloms, Davidson, grades 6-8; and Summer Barfield, Westminster, grades 9-12. More than 100 students participated in the competition, and award winners represented a dozen schools in a five-county area. The show will close March 23.


DEADLINE: Artists Row is accepting applications through March 30 for art scholarships to be awarded to two graduating seniors who plan to pursue a degree in art at an accredited institution. See www.artists for application forms and details.


IF THE ABUNDANCE of spring color has piqued your interest in art classes, there are numerous opportunities to explore. Check out the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, the Aiken Center for the Arts, and the McCormick Arts Council at the Keturah for offerings that range from figure drawing to calligraphy, pottery, digital photography and mixed media.