The Wyche Gallery, located upstairs in A Building, features work by local and regional artists. It offers an educational opportunity to our students and community through exhibitions, visiting artist lectures, and artist workshops. New exhibits are on view every six weeks during the Spring and Fall semesters. The Student Art Show, held each April, features work created by students in the studio courses during the academic year. Funding for the gallery is provided by the SCC Foundation.
Karen Paden Crouch, Metal Sculptor
Exhibition: August 20th – September 21st
Artist Reception: Tuesday, August 21 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
From the artist:
From my teen years forward I wanted to write. I attended colleges and graduate school with that goal in mind. Instead I found myself becoming a scholar, partly because I was afraid and partly because I was young and had little to write about. I left graduate school in the middle of my dissertation after my revered and well-meaning advisor praised a paper rich with analytical insight although sacrificing some of the spontaneity of my earlier writing. That did not seem to me, even at 25 or 26, to be a fair trade, and so I went to law school where, as I saw it then, I would have a more direct experience, an experience not derivative from another person’s art.
For more than 40 years I have successfully and passionately advocated for a client’s position. As a lawyer I am in the thick of things, but I am always safe behind the cover of advocacy. My plea, no matter how gutsy, is for someone else .Now I am sculpting and writing. Nothing I have done has been so frightening because this is about something directly from me. Whether it is good or bad, understood or misunderstood, trite or significant, it has come from within me. It is put out there for any passerby to embrace, ignore or dismiss. At 70 I am proud and excited to run new hurdles.
My metal sculptures are grounded in the structure and movement of living things. I began by welding found objects together with a small MIG welder in a borrowed corner of a friend’s welding shop. One day I ordered a sheet of bronze, cut into it, and began to shape two botanical panels for an arbor. With the first iris petal I knew where I wanted my art to go. I love the torques and curves and complex shapes that grow around us. I learned them as a child playing in the woods behind our house, following my mother around her garden, watching the fern fronds unfurl on our ditch bank. Bronze, shipped to me in flat sheets and unyielding rod, seems hard and industrial. My joy comes from bringing it to life. After cutting the shapes I heat them red-hot so they can be worked. With heat the bronze takes on a deeper cast and sometimes subtle reds, blues and greens appear. After annealing I hammer the bronze into organic forms which I weld into the sculpture’s form. Files, various abrasives and chemical patinas give the sculpture its final finish. Although I begin with a vision, the sculpture takes its own direction; if I will listen it will be a better piece. The found metal pieces grow from collected shapes. Sometimes I have an idea; sometimes I just start juxtaposing parts until an image emerges. My studio mate Marshall Milton once told me that sometimes the very piece that sparked the idea will be the piece that gets cut out as the sculpture evolves. That is true, even though it is always hard to make that choice. But I have always lived by instinct and, with assembled pieces, as well as the bronzes, the sculpture will tell me where to go if I am patient and listen.
My work is dedicated to the memory of Bill Thorp and in honor of Pat Webster. Over twenty years ago atop a high North Carolina mountain these two, my shamen, set me on the restless path to living. While I hope each sculpture stands on its own, every piece I make reflects some part of that precious experience.
Due to the impact to our area from Hurricane Florence, the college will be closed through Saturday, September 23. Updates will be communicated through the ReGroup messaging system, the college website and social media, and via area media outlets.
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 on 1:52 PMSee Alert History