LAURA SPONG: Swinging On A High Note & KATIE WALKER: Words I Like

if ART Gallery presents
Gallery 80808/Vista Studios
808 Lady St, Columbia, SC
LAURA SPONG: Swinging On A High Note
January 25 – February 5, 2013
Artist’s Reception: Friday, January 25, 2013, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Gallery Hours:
Weekdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
& by appointment
For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART:
(803) 238-2351 – [email protected]
if ART Gallery will present two simultaneous solo exhibitions, January 25 – February 5, 2013, at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street, Columbia, SC: Laura Spong: Swinging On A High Not and Katie Walker: Words I Like. The artists’ reception is Friday, January 25, 6 – 9 p.m.  Both artists are among South Carolina premier abstract and non-objective painters.
Columbia artist Laura Spong (b. 1926) will present new small and large paintings from the past 12 months. Those 12 months have been good ones, Spong says, which explains her exhibition’s title. “It’s a good time of my life. I see my work getting brighter and more energetic. When you get older there are a lot of things you used to worry about that you don’t worry about anymore. You don’t get upset about little things, realizing this too will pass. I think that that attitude frees you up, which makes your work freer.”
Greenville, S.C., artist Katie Walker (b. 1970) will present new paintings of up to eight by nine feet in size as well as some 400 small works on paper of six by nine inches. The small works are part of her ongoing “Journal Entries” series. Many of the small paintings, as well as some of the larger ones, include writing, either words and sentences written by Walker or parts of printed pages used as collage elements. Walker only recently has been showing her “journal entries.” 
“This body of work is a look at the daily “journaling” that goes on in the studio,” Walker says. “I try to create work that visually captures what I feel. A multitude of thoughts, words, cut outs, textbooks, poems, stencils, paint, newspapers, feelings and experiments gets catalogued visually.” 
“I don’t sit in a coffee shop thinking about what to paint but instead sit on the floor with 600 sheets of paper. Drawing, jotting down notes, words, numbers, pouring paint, quickly getting down an idea about shapes or lines or colors relating to one another. And recently I had the urge to show those small drawings, notes and words that have always been behind the scene.”
Walker was included last year in the South Carolina State Museum’s exhibition Abstract Art in South Carolina 1949 – 2012 and in the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial 2011 at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia. She has exhibited in the Greenville County Museum of Art, Spartanburg Museum of Art, Pickens County Museum of Art and History and the Columbia Museum of Art, all in South Carolina, and the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens. She was included in New American Paintings, Vol. 40, 2002, and the publication’s 2010 anniversary edition. 
Spong also was included in the State Museum’s historic overview of abstract art in South Carolina. In the past year, she has had solo exhibitions at the Spartanburg (S.C.) Museum of Art and Young Harris College in Young Harris, Ga., and a two-person exhibition with Carl Blair at the Florence (S.C.) Museum of Art. Since her 80th-birthday exhibition in 2006, the Columbia artist’s career has taken off with multiple solo exhibitions throughout the state, brisk sales, and the acquisition of her work by the South Carolina State Art Collection, the South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art. 

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