Only a few times in his distinguished career has artist Edward Rice turned his astute eye to the exploration of a single image through multiple variations. In 1989, his closely examined subject was a fig tree that flourished outside his studio window. This time, it was – not surprisingly – the image of a structure that sparked his creative interest.
The new series will debut Saturday, May 4, in a show titled Edifice Complex at the Fire House Gallery, 605 Mulberry St. in Louisville, Ga. There will be a reception from 7 to 9 p.m.
Rice said there are 37 paintings in the series, all depicting the same motif – the ruins of Fort Frederica at St. Simons Island, and more specifically the old barracks, built of tabby, a mixture of oyster shell, lime and sand. Although Rice is known for painting American, and primarily Southern, architecture, he sees the Fort Frederica image with its castlelike details as more of a symbolic or universal motif.
In keeping with that expanded concept, he says he has broadened his approach to the subject. In his fig-tree series, all the paintings were square, and in a small series of barn paintings he did for a show at the Morris Museum of Art, all the paintings were 11-by-14 inches. But over the past 10 months, he has painted the fort image on small and large canvases, in acrylics and in oils.
Rice has used the same brand of paints in the same palette for many years, but as an exercise, he bought four colors based solely on their names: Egyptian violet, Persian rose, Indian yellow and cinnabar green, and made a painting using only those colors. In another, he used only secondary colors. After spotting a blue-and-white bowl in an antiques shop, he did a painting using just ultramarine blue and white, and another was inspired by the colors of a photograph in a 1950s Field & Stream magazine.
He also varied the scale of the image to work within the format of the canvas. What did not vary was his attention to structure and detail, as he kept elaborate logs recording the recipes and medium for each painting and each day’s work.
The exhibit will remain on display through May 25. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to
Visit www.galleryafire.com for more information.
SCULPTOR AND printmaker Jonathan Brilliant will be featured in Art Now, the Morris Museum of Art’s contemporary artist series, Thursday, May 2. His 6 p.m. talk will be followed by a reception with music by DJ Ryan Davis. A selection of his two- and three-dimensional artwork created with found objects will be on display in the museum’s education gallery through May 19. The show is titled Crates and Impressions 2009-2012.
ALSO ON THE calendar for Thursday, May 2, is the opening reception for the Aiken Artist Guild members’ show at Aiken Center for the Arts. Awards will be presented during the 6 to
8 p.m. event, which is free and open to the public.
The juror for this year’s show is Anne Hightower-Patterson White, award-winning artist and teacher who lives in Saluda County, S.C. As a child, she studied with Charleston artist Virginia Fouché Bolton, and later earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in education. She teaches classes and conducts workshops throughout the Southeast.
Aiken Artist Guild member John Bradley will be featured during May at the AAG Gallery within the Aiken Center for the Arts. A clinical psychologist, Bradley uses his background in observing people to enhance his skills as a portrait painter.
FIRST FRIDAY in downtown Augusta will include an opening reception for Ryan Davis at Artists Local 1155 as well as extended hours and openings at many of the Broad Street galleries. Cathy Tiller is the featured artist for May at Gallery on the Row.
A SERIES of mini-shows spotlighting Georgia Regents University art department’s graduating seniors will conclude with receptions for Keaton Sanders, from 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at Sutherland Mill; Shannon Smith, from 6-9 p.m. Friday, May 3, at Tire City Potters; and Sheldon M. Eastman, from 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 3, in Walker Mackenzie Hall at the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art.
ARTWORK CREATED by North Augusta students will be on exhibit May 2-17 at the Arts and Heritage Center, with a free reception and awards ceremony from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3.
THIS WEEKEND will also include the popular Loft Tour sponsored by Historic Augusta. The event offers a look inside historic buildings in the Augusta Downtown District from 6-9 p.m. Friday, May 3, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Maps and tickets will be available during the tour outside 1002 Broad St. Call (706) 724-0436 or visit www.historicaugusta.org to purchase advance tickets.
PAINTINGS BY Marianna Williams will go on exhibit May 9 at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, with a reception from 5-7 p.m. A native Augustan, Williams studied at Brown University and received a fine arts degree in painting from Rhode Island School of Design. She will participate in The Arctic Circle Residency Program in the fall. See her work at mariannawilliams.com.
COLUMBIA COUNTY ARTS will present Art in the Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11 at the Columbia County Amphitheater in Evans. The festival highlights the visual and performing arts in Columbia County. Visit
THE GERTRUDE Herbert Institute of Art has announced the call for entries for its 33rd annual juried fine art competition, A Sense of Place. The juror for the competition is Don Kimes, the artistic director in visual arts for the Chautauqua Institution in New York, and a professor of art at American University in Washington, D.C.
The competition is open to artists in the U.S. who are 18 and older. Works must be original, not previously exhibited at the GHIA, and completed on or after June 1, 2011. Entries may be submitted in painting, drawing, mixed media, printmaking, photography, ceramics and sculpture. Film and video works are not accepted. A full prospectus can be found at www.ghia.org. The deadline is May 31.