The Artside: Painting series is nod to nature

As August heats up, so does the arts community with several new exhibits opening ahead of the fall rush.


At the Morris Museum of Art, The Gladness of Nature: Paintings by Honor Marks has its official opening Thursday, Aug. 8, with a 6 p.m. talk by Rudy Mancke, host of the television series NatureScene. A reception with the speaker and the artist will follow. The event is free for museum members and $5 for others.

Marks grew up in Charleston, S.C., where she remembers childhood expeditions through the lowcountry marshes with her family, searching for rare wildflowers. Through the years, they photographed hundreds of flowers all over the South. Having majored in both English and Fine Arts at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., she finds her work is influenced by favorite writers as well as botanical and natural history painters.

After working as a commercial artist in Athens, Ga., she returned to Charleston where she has devoted herself to oil painting. She has won numerous awards including best in show at the 2003 Piccolo Spoleto exhibit and the 2005 Griffith Lowcountry Artist Award. In 2009, she was commissioned to create a series of five paintings of medicinal plants, now on permanent display in the new GRU Cancer Center. See more of her work at

• Another new exhibit at the Morris features a sculpture by two of the South’s leading contemporary glass artists, husband and wife Richard Jolley and Tommie Rush. Jolley studied at Tusculum College and George Peabody College, were he earned a B.A. degree, and continued his studies at the Penland School of Crafts. His work has been shown in more than 70 exhibits and he is represented in collections around the world.

Rush earned a B.F.A. degree at the University of Tennessee and did further study at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Her work is also in numerous public and private collections. In 2011, the two artists were featured in a retrospective exhibit at the Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama. They live and work in Knoxville, Tenn.

Selected examples of their artistry go on exhibit Aug. 9 in the west lobby gallery at the Morris Museum, where an abundance of light allows for good close-up views of the glass works.


A RECEPTION is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at Aiken Center for the Arts, where the South Carolina Watermedia show is up in the main galleries and works by Ron Buttler are featured in the Aiken Artist Guild Gallery there.

Each year the South Carolina Watermedia Society holds a juried competition among its members, with the top 30 images selected to tour museums and galleries around the state.

It’s a show that always draws attention to the variety of styles and subjects that can be created by South Carolina artists working in watercolors.

Buttler, an Aiken Artist Guild member, has been painting since his elementary school years. Growing up in upstate New York, he continued to produce art, but began to devote his full attention to painting when he retired to Aiken a few years back. Buttler’s medium of choice is oil, but he also has worked in acrylics and pastels. He says his paintings often tell stories or invite the viewer to pause and wonder.


SATURDAY, AUG. 10, brings a couple of art events to the area. It’s Second Saturday at the Jim Harrison Gallery in Denmark, S.C., where the featured guest artist will be woodturner Gary Dickey. Harrison’s studio will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the event that will include refreshments and a drawing for one of Dickey’s works.

Dickey began woodturning on a lathe at age 13, and it has been an avocation throughout his life. A former Washington, D.C., speechwriter, he turned to full-time woodturning after retiring from government service in 1997. He is an author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles and several books including Jim Harrison: His World Remembered.

He has served as an editor at several magazines including American Woodturner, the journal of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) and was the founding president of Palmetto Woodturners, an affiliate chapter of the AAW in South Carolina. He attended the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and has taught courses in woodturning at the John C. Campbell Folk School as well as classes in his studio, The Turnery, near Lexington, S.C.


THE FIRE HOUSE GALLERY in Louisville, Ga., reopens after summer break with Back in the Day: New Paintings by Allen Innman. The opening reception will be from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.

A painter from Oxford, Miss., Innman graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2006 with a B.F.A. degree in Studio Art and an emphasis in graphic design. From 2007-2012 he worked as a visual resources specialist in the Department of Art at the University of Mississippi. He is now pursuing an M.F.A. degree in drawing and painting at the University Of Georgia.

Innman focuses on still-life and figurative work with elements of nostalgia and popular culture. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and is represented in collections in Italy, New York, California and throughout the South. For examples of his work, visit


SUNDAY, AUG. 11, is the date for the opening reception honoring New York artist Brittany Fields at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, where her installation in the museum’s Women’s Art series will be on display through the end of August. The reception runs from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Fields will also be the speaker for the Laney senior luncheon Aug. 14. For reservations or information, call (706) 724-3576 or visit


PAT WARREN is the featured artist for August at Gallery on the Row, 1016 Broad St. One of the founding partners of the gallery, Warren has had work on view there for more than a decade. She has also been featured in exhibits at the Aiken Center for the Arts, Sacred Heart Cultural Center and Columbia County Library.

A versatile artist, Warren does representational paintings in watercolor, acrylic and oil as well as working in an abstract impressionist style to explore how light falls on form. Gallery on the Row is also showing “Put a Face on It,” a juried exhibit of face-themed sculptures by members of Clay Artists of the Southeast.


DEADLINES: Aug. 8 is the deadline to make reservations for the Morris Museum’s workshop on block prints and cut paper silhouettes. Led by Chad Tolley, an assistant professor of printmaking at GRU, the workshop will take place Aug. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Aug. 18 from noon to 2 p.m.

• Aug. 14 is the deadline to reserve a seat for the Art at Lunch program at the Morris on Aug. 16. Guests will enjoy a catered lunch and meet Chef Marcel Biró of Edgar’s Grille, who will discuss his career, cookbooks and Emmy-winning cooking show that aired on PBS. Call (706) 828-3867 to register for Morris Museum programs.


THE RUSSELL JOEL BROWN performance benefitting the Jessye Norman School of the Arts will be held Aug. 18 at the Maxwell Theater for the Performing Arts at GRU, beginning at 5 p.m. Titled Broadway and Beyond, the show brings the multi-talented Augusta native back home for his first concert here in eight years. The singer-actor-dancer has performed in national and international tours of such musicals as Smokey Joe’s Café, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Disney’s The Lion King.

In addition to special guest dancers and singers and students from the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, the event also includes an exhibit and auction of artwork created in tribute to Brown. Tickets are available online at or and at the Maxwell box office.