The University of South Carolina Beaufort Center for the Arts is currently exhibiting the work of five local artists, each with distinctive styles and mediums: Rebecca Davenport in oils, Jo Dye in collage, Linda Sheppard in pastels, Donna Varner in photography, and sculptures by Caroll Williams. The exhibit will run through December 19, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public is invited to celebrate these local talents by attending an “Artists’ Reception” on Thursday, September 29, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the lobby.
The Center for the Arts is located at 801 Carteret Street in Beaufort. For more information, please contact Bonnie Hargrove at Bhargrov@uscb.edu.
Rebecca Davenport graduated with a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from the University of North Carolina. She has been painting professionally for the past 30 years. Her paintings are in many private and public collections throughout the country, including the National Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Jo Dye has painted in oils, acrylics, pastels, and scratchboard; crafted pen and ink drawings; worked with printmaking, collage, and papermaking. Her experimentations with art forms continue to change, as does her life. A native of South Carolina, Jo is a well-known wildlife artist whose award-winning wildlife scratchboards having been featured in numerous national shows and East Coast galleries. After many years of detailed and realistic expression, Jo is exploring collage, mixed media, and abstraction.
Linda Sheppard is an experienced professional artist who exhibits in some of the nation’s most prestigious venues, including the Pastel Society of America, the American Artists Professional League, the National Academy of Design, and the Connecticut Pastel Society. She has held over 25 solo shows in galleries around the country and her work was featured by the Phoenix Symphony in their “Feast of Art, Music, and Nature.” She completed a two-year, full-time commission painting life on a ranch in Colorado. Her work hangs in public and private collections throughout the United States. She teaches portrait drawing classes using “Old Master Techniques” as well as conducts painting workshops and classes in drawing, oil, pastel, and watercolor.
Donna Varner is an artist with a camera and an imagination. Her process of creating photographs is analogous to that of a creative writer. Her documentary images and still life compositions of the artifacts of life and culture suggest a story, recall memories, prompt thought and perhaps, and coax a grin. Her work challenges the viewer to look at the world differently, seeing from her vantage point. Varner’s formal education is in business with an MBA and PhD from Ohio State University. She learned photography as an adult through workshops books and experimentation.
Caroll Williams grew up all over America as well as in Germany and Taiwan as a military daughter. After marriage and graduation from college, Caroll and her husband (soon accompanied by two daughters) continued to lead a very mobile existence courtesy of Mobil Pipeline Company, which landed them in Libya, and other oil rich locations in the U.S. In the late 70s, she began the study of graphic design, leading to a satisfying 30-year career. After her husband’s retirement to Hilton Head Island, and her own semi-retirement, she finally had the time to experiment with making art from the kinds of materials she always loved and collected: peeling and painted boards; rusty objects, scraps of weathered posters and yellowed papers with spidery handwriting, as well as the occasional freshly-minted magazines. With her collections and her graphic design background, she has developed a new and eclectic creative voice.