| Special to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal
As an artist recognized for her Southern landscapes and nature-based still-lifes, Carol Story normally uses a lot of green oil paint on her canvases. But the color green will be hard to find in her latest collection of work — Sans Verde — that is on exhibited this month at Artists Collective | Spartanburg, 578 W. Main St.
“Being mostly a landscape painter, I naturally use a lot of the color green. Tiring of this, I challenged myself to explore other color palettes,” the Georgia native said. “I put away every tube of green oil paint for the last nine months, and the few greens I have used in this exhibit have been mixed from other colors.”
The exhibition of 18-20 works will be open for free public viewing from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, exhibition hours may change without notice, and the public should refer to the facility’s website — ArtistsCollectiveSpartanburg.org — for the most current information. There will not be a reception for this exhibit, and the Collective is currently not participating in the city’s monthly ArtWalk.
However, the Collective supports the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Bringing Back the Burg” initiative and abides by all COVID-19 precautions. The public is invited to see this exhibit by staying socially distant from each other (6 feet apart) and wearing a required face covering.
Despite the lack of green, Sans Verde (Spanish for “without green”) will showcase a wide variety of subject matter — rural scenes, travel memories, sunsets, florals, animals, marshes, and mountain vistas — presented in her characteristic representational style that leans toward impressionism.
“I seek to represent what I see, as well as my response to it,” she said.
All of the work in Sans Verde was created during the past year, much of it during the pandemic when social distancing has been strongly advised. Story hopes patrons experience “the beauty and variety of color in things seen and remembered… an appreciation of the variance and beauty of color in both nature and created things.” All of the art will be for sale, ranging in price from $175 to $450, depending on the size and framing.
This will be Story’s third exhibition at Artists Collective | Spartanburg. To continuously display her work, she has a personal studio at the facility. “It is a privilege to have a studio for display and be able to have a solo show in the facility,” Story said. “This is my third show, and each has challenged me both to produce a body of new work and to learn from the total process.
“We have a wonderful mix of talented artists, both professional and amateur,” she said about the agency. “It has been a great joy to get to know people whose paths I would not have crossed otherwise and learn from them.”
She has been a member of the Collective since 2015.
Story, a 40-year resident of Spartanburg, came late to painting. While her father headed art departments at two Georgia colleges, she didn’t have an interest in art herself. Graduating from the University of Georgia with an education degree, her life’s work has been in teaching, writing, and community service.
Her first art instruction was oil painting classes with Claire Miller Hopkins at the Spartanburg Art Museum. She has since taken workshops with various artists and mentoring classes with plein air painter Jim Carson in Saluda, N.C.
“I believe that both teachers and artists are born, not made,” she says in her artist’s statement. “There is an inner calling that prompts one to create… whether it is through the visual arts, writing, or even cooking. There are elements of painting that both educate and express emotion.”
Artists Collective | Spartanburg is the only studio art co-operative in Spartanburg County, housed in a 20,000-square-foot building that was originally a Baptist church. The mission of the nonprofit and membership-based agency is to create a community of artists where members mentor and support one another. In addition, it provides affordable studio space, galleries, and stages to established and emerging artists.