University of South Carolina

Continued: Cultural calendar

Aug. 8 – Jan. 23 --- “Southern Satire: The Illustrated World of Jak Smyrl.” Jak Smyrl, from Camden, served as the illustrator and artist for “The State” newspaper from 1949 - 86. During his 37-year career, Smyrl created hundreds of caricatures of leading political and community figures, illustrations for magazine covers, and portraits for “The State” newspaper and “The Columbia Record” (a former afternoon newspaper). Smyrl masterfully understood the region in which he lived and connected with readers through personal reflections and an awareness of Southern culture and history (North Gallery, second floor).

Aug. 22 – Jan. 9 --- “The Biennial Department of Art Faculty Exhibition.” McKissick Museum hosts the department of art’s faculty exhibition. This biennial exhibition features works created by art faculty and a wide range of mediums including painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, digital arts, computer graphics, textiles, drawing, and film presentations (South Gallery, second floor).

Aug. 15 – Jan. 16 --- “Urban Archaeology in Columbia, South Carolina.” Archaeology has the task of understanding human behavior through the material remains left behind by past people. It examines the people with and without a written history. This exhibition will present the fundamentals of urban archaeology in South Carolina and how it has been applied at Columbia’s historically significant properties under the stewardship of the Historic Columbia Foundation (third-floor lobby gallery).

Feb. 13 – May 8 --- “Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art.” “Grass Roots” traces the parallel histories of coiled basketry in Africa and the United States. The exhibition tells the compelling story of the survival of African-American basketry over 300 years. “Grass Roots” focuses on the coastal town of Mount Pleasant, across the Cooper River from Charleston, where basket makers have taken control of their craft as independent entrepreneurs. The exhibition features baskets made by contemporary American and African basket makers as well as historic examples, some dating to the early 19th century, from Lowcountry rice plantations and African villages (North & South galleries, second floor).

May 22 – July 17 --- “Spring for Art! McKissick Museum Annual Fundraiser Exhibition.” An annual invitational exhibition of works by local artists who express the importance of the natural environment that constitutes the South Carolina landscape. Works include painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics and more. This annual event is sponsored by the McKissick Museum Advisory Council. “Spring for Art!” provides an opportunity for audiences to explore the ever-changing landscape of South Carolina as well as the wealth of talented artists throughout South Carolina. Gala event and reception will be held May 21, 2009 (South Gallery, second floor).

May 29 – Aug. 15 --- “Order Now! Decorating the Modern Home.” “Order Now” will explore the symbiotic relationship between trade catalogs and decorative arts. Emphasis will be placed on how the objects were advertised as a method to define status and influence personal taste (North Gallery, second floor).

July 31 – Dec. 18 --- “A Celebration of the World’s Barrier Islands.” Mary Edna Fraser creates colorful images that, while seeming abstract, are accurate depictions of the South Carolina coast. Her dyed silk hangings and lithographic prints combine science and art. They are technically masterful, and the size of the largest works make them physically impressive. A licensed pilot, Fraser takes the views of the South Carolina coast she sees from her plane and converts the imagery into studies of the land and atmosphere (South Gallery, second floor).

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