The Morris Museum of Art is putting the spotlight on fine art prints with two exhibits, a variety of related events, and the always-popular print fair. The weekend celebration opens Thursday, Jan. 23, with a talk by artist-printmaker-musician Phil Garrett at 6 p.m.
Garrett founded King Snake Press in 1998 in Greenville, S.C., and since that time his studio has produced prints with numerous well-known artists. Garrett’s studio grew out of his devotion to monotypes, one-of-a-kind prints he had been creating since the mid-1980s. After working with several master printers, he began encouraging other artists to join in the collaborative process of creating unique prints, and King Snake Press was born.
The exhibit titled King Snake Press: A Fifteenth Anniversary Overview includes nearly three dozen unique prints by artists who have worked with Garrett in his studio. A second exhibit, Blues Haiku and New Monotypes highlights the Garrett’s own work. He studied at the University of South Carolina and the Honolulu Academy of Arts and earned a B.F.A. degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1974.
He lived and worked in the Bay Area until 1979 when he returned to South Carolina. His own paintings and works on paper are in public and private collections including the South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art. He has taught workshops on acrylic painting and printmaking throughout the United States and abroad.
Blues Haiku represents a new direction in his work, featuring a series of seven linocuts honoring Piedmont blues artists and their songs. He will talk about the process of making “painterly prints” during the Jan. 23 lecture. The program is free for museum members and $5 for others.
The museum’s print fair will open with a champagne preview party from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24 where guests will be able to meet the artists and vendors. The evening is free for members of the Morris Collectors group and costs $15 for other members and nonmembers.
The print fair opens to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, offering a wide range of relatively affordable art. Admission is free and visitors may browse the displays of prints and ask questions about the artists. That same afternoon, visitors can make their own screenprint, woodblock print or etching in the activity room.
For a more in-depth experience, artist Kent Ambler will conduct a workshop on woodblock printing from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. Call (706) 828-3867 to register.
LOOKING AHEAD to the end of the month, a highlight will be Antiques in the Heart of Aiken, the annual fundraiser that benefits the Aiken Center for the Arts and supports its community cultural partnerships. The event begins with a patrons’ preview party from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. Tickets are $50 for ACA members and $60 for others.
The antiques show and sale will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 2. A $10 ticket includes admissions to all three days. The ACA is located at 122 Laurens St. in Aiken. Call (803) 641-9094.
ALSO ON Feb. 1 is the eighth annual Heritage Gala benefit for the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History. Keynote speaker will be architect Zena Howard, whose award-winning projects include the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, N.C. A native of North Carolina, she is a principal with the Freelon Group in Durham, N.C.
The formal evening begins at 6 p.m. and includes dinner, live music and a silent auction. Tickets are $75. Call (706) 724-3576.
AROUND THE AREA: There are a couple of notable exhibits at the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.
Hanging Correspondence explores a collaboration between visual artist Sam Messer and award-winning author Jonathan Safran Foer, focusing on aspects of communication and experience. Messer is associate dean of Yale University School of Art, and Foer is author of bestselling novels Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
A second exhibit there is Bob Snead: Means of Production. Snead lives in New Orleans, where he works on installations using industrial debris and materials. Both exhibits will be on view through Feb. 21.
• At the Fire House Gallery in Louisville, Ga., Isaac Powell, assistant professor of art at Eastern Kentucky University, will open a solo exhibit Feb. 5. There will be a closing reception Feb. 22. See more about the artist at isaacpowell.com.
COMING UP: TM Sisters, Miami-based multimedia artists Monica and Natasha Lopez de Victoria, are the jurors for the 2014 Georgia Regents University juried art competition open to currently enrolled GRU students. Artwork for consideration must be brought to campus on Feb. 5, and works accepted for the show will be announced by the TM Sisters at the end of their artist talk Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. in University Hall. The show will open Feb. 20. For details, contact Mary S. Byrd Gallery director Liselott Johnsson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 667-4888.
• Photographer Kelly Anderson-Staley will be at the Morris Museum Feb. 6-9 for an Art Now lecture and demonstrations of the 19th-century wet-plate collodion tintype process. To be a model in the demonstrations and receive a digital copy of the completed tintype portrait, call (706) 828-3867 to reserve a time.
LITERARY NOTES: Jan Epton Seale, Texas poet laureate, author of seven volumes of poetry, two books of short stories, two nonfiction books and nine children’s books, will speak Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. at the Etherredge Center at the University of South Carolina Aiken. The free program is part of the university’s James and Mary Oswald Distinguished Writers Series.
• A Writers Weekend at Summerville will be held Feb. 6-8 at GRU with more than a dozen visiting writers. The 2014 conference honors Dr. Lillie B. Johnson. The opening event will be a talk by Bronwen Dickey, journalist/essayist and daughter of the late poet and novelist James Dickey, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6. For details, visit http://gru.edu/colleges/pamplin/efl/writersweekend or contact Anna C. Harris at email@example.com.