The Artside: Supensky's ceramic sculptures reveal artist's insight

For Aiken ceramics artist Tom Supensky, the creative process is not so much about a skilled hand; it stems more from insight and a philosophical viewpoint. He likes to make a distinction between producing an object and creating an object.


Since moving to Aiken some eight years ago, Supensky has found an appreciative audience for his intriguing sculptures that employ symbolic imagery and, at times, visual puns. An art professor emeritus at Towson University in Baltimore, he intends for his work to be thought provoking and invites viewers to look beyond the sculpted clay, the texture, color and clever titles.

Supensky has recently published a book, Looking at Art Philosophically: Aesthetic Concepts Fundamental to Being an Artist, and will be at Aiken Center for the Arts for a talk and book-signing from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. His work will be on display Dec. 3-29 in the Aiken Artist Guild Gallery at ACA. See Supensky art and philosophy at


ON THIS SIDE of the river, also on Thursday, a holiday art show sponsored by and benefitting the Westobou Festival will open with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 540 Telfair St., the old Academy of Richmond County. Artists Philip Morsberger, Tom Nakashima, Edward Rice, Brian Rust, Laura Spong and Mike Williams will be featured in the show, which will run through Dec. 6. Call (706) 755-2878 for details.


AT THE MORRIS Museum of Art, a major exhibit of American maritime and coastal scene paintings from the collection of Arthur Phelan remains on exhibit, while two new shows go up in early December. Shadows of History: Photographs of the Civil War from the Collection of Julia J. Norrell will open Dec. 8. Exploring how photography documented the Civil War, the exhibit features some 30 works by prominent photographers of the day and includes tintype portraits, rare photos of African-American regiments and images of the war’s devastation.

• One of the Morris’s strengths is the ability to produce small spotlight shows drawn from works in the permanent collection. Images of South Carolina: Block Prints by Edna Reed Whaley will bring just such a group of works out of storage. The show highlights both Whaley’s talent as an artist and the style of woodblock printing popular during the American arts and crafts movement of the early 20th century.

Rob Bledsoe will present the second in a series of lectures by Augusta State University art faculty at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. The lecture Arts and Issues in Northern European Culture is open free to the public.

• Next, the museum will stage a Merry Morris weekend Dec. 1 and 2. Saturday’s events will include a Tara Scheyer music jamboree and crafts in the galleries from 2 to 4 p.m. Artist Clay Rice will be doing silhouette portraits from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. by advance appointment only. Call (706) 828-3825. Sunday’s events will include a Music at the Morris concert, Christmas in the City, with pianist Tim Owings.

• Athens photographer Rinne Allen will present the Art at Lunch program Dec. 7. Allen’s images are featured in celebrity chef Hugh Acheson’s cookbook, A New Turn in the South, and a book-signing will follow the lunch. Paid reservations are due by Dec. 4.


THE LUCY CRAFT Laney Museum of Black History has scheduled several holiday events including a holiday open house and Festival of Trees auction from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. Visitors will also find the annual doll and quilt exhibitions on display.


GALLERY ON THE ROW will have a Christmas open house from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, with artist demonstrations and ornaments for children to decorate. The gallery will follow that up with a special First Friday event Dec. 7 featuring violin music by Angela Morgan, assistant concertmaster of Symphony Orchestra Augusta, who has chaired the fine arts and music departments at ASU and directed the ASU Orchestra. Margaret Hunt is the gallery’s artist of the month for December.


THE AUGUSTA JEWISH Community Center will hold an art auction and wine tasting Dec. 8 at 898 Weinberger Way in Evans. The preview will begin at 6 p.m. with the auction at 7:30. Tickets cost $25, with reservations due by Dec. 3. There will also be a next-day sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 9. Call (706) 228-3636 for more details.


ELIZABETH REYNOLDS is having open house at her pottery studio from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Dec. 1, at 820 West Woodlawn Ave., North Augusta.


AS PART OF its 75th anniversary celebration, the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art has issued the #GertrudeHerbert75 Instachallenge. Participants are asked to follow @
gertrudeherbert on Instagram, to capture images of any aspect of the institute, its programs or events, and upload them to Instagram before Dec. 3. Jurors will select 75 images for the Instachallenge Exhibition. The GHIA will reproduce prints for a benefit auction.


COLOR REVISION: The Work of Gary Hudson opens Saturday, Dec. 1, at Fire House Gallery in Louisville, Ga., with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Known as a lyrical abstractionist, Hudson’s work is in the collections of numerous American museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Diego Museum of Art and Georgia Museum of Art.

After he worked and taught in New York and abroad for many years, Hudson and his wife moved south in 1988 and settled in Madison, Ga., in 2001. He died of heart failure in Augusta in 2009. Visit for examples of his work. The exhibit will be featured through mid-January.


CHARMAIN ZIMMERMAN BRACKETT, whose byline often appears in The Augusta Chronicle, has released her second novel, Elyon’s Cipher, following the success of The Key of Elyon, a book she intended for a young adult audience, that has proved to have wider appeal. She will sign copies of her book (which has a cover design by her brother, artist Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman), during First Thursday festivities Dec. 6 at Midtown Market on Kings Way. Visit or


CONGRATULATIONS to Starkey Flythe, winner of the 2012 Sports Poetry and Prose contest sponsored by Winning Writers Inc. Flythe’s poem, State Champ shared honors with prose award winner Scott Winkler of Casco, Wis. Their entries were judged best among 288 submissions worldwide. See his poem and a video at Congratulations also to the winners in the 2012 Augusta Photography Festival. First Place winners are Gerald Woods, abstracts; Alan George, altered images; R. Ray Starcher, historic America; Michael Watts, nature; Jessica Morris, people; and Deborah Gamba, places. April Screven took best in show, and Karen Quick won the people’s choice award. A complete list with images can be found at augusta

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