Brandi Wylie ’24, student intern
The Tri State Sculptors Association’s five-week exhibit at Wofford College’s Richardson Family Art Museum will conclude with its annual fall conference the weekend of Oct. 7.
Michael Webster, Wofford assistant professor of art and studio art coordinator, has attended almost every conference the association has offered in the past five years, and he is excited to bring the event to Wofford.
“This will be the first art conference that the college has hosted,” Webster says. “It’s showing that our new studio art program has reached a regional presence.”
Oscar Soto, Wofford’s studio art manager, and Webster have planned the conference and anticipate an estimated 100 guests at the college for the weekend.
Webster tells guests to expect interactive activities and demonstrations in ceramics and woodworking, as well as artist talks, including keynote speakers Michaela Pilar Brown, an artist based in Columbia, South Carolina, and Allan Wexler, a New York City artist who has worked in architecture, design and fine art.
Wofford students will also host various workshops throughout the weekend.
“Our big (interactive) event will be on Saturday morning at Glendale Shoals,” Webster says. “That’s where we’ll be aluminum casting.”
The association has approximately 200 active members, with 50 of these sculptors each displaying one piece of work at the exhibit.
Seven of these artists are Wofford students who have recently become Tri State Sculptors Association members, which is typically something students wait to do until their graduate studies or career has started.
These student members include studio art majors Maggie Genoble ’24, Annie Heisel ’24, Yasmin Lee ’23, Carrie Metts ’23 and Kate Timbes ’23. Also included are alumna Olivia Williams ’22 and studio art minor Jeanae Escobar ’24.
Lee’s piece uses hot glass blowing techniques and is a straw-stained, glass-blown pitcher. She describes her piece as emotion-evoking, as having both horror and class.
She first learned this skill during her time at a Penland School of Crafts workshop in North Carolina this past summer.
“I joined the association because I wanted to showcase what Penland had to offer,” Lee says. “It would be selfish to keep my work to where only I could see it. I see this as being the last level of my Penland experience; presenting the glass and showing what I can do, even though I just learned how to do it.”
Escobar’s piece tells a similar story. Titled “yūgen,” it means “a mysterious and eerie feeling.”
“It definitely embodies themes that are a lot darker than other pieces I've created,” Escobar says.
“I'm really proud of how experimental of an experience it was creating it.”
Both Escobar and Lee place much importance on how other people view or think about their pieces, with Lee recognizing feedback as a part of the art piece itself.
“I can’t be in front of my piece all the time to ask anyone who sees it (what their opinions are),” Escobar says. “I remind myself that even if I don't know what people think, they are still taking away something after seeing my work.”