Posts Tagged ‘Coker College’

Student Art Shows Taking Place in the Pee Dee of SC – Not Forgotten

April 5, 2016

As usual, and I don’t know why, but who ever is in charge of publicity – students or staff – at these universities and colleges in the Pee Dee region of SC, we never seem to receive this info about year-ending student exhibits before our deadline goes by.

Students – we’re not forgetting about you at Carolina Arts. And, for most of you it may be the last time you’re mentioned in our operations – even if you are mentioned. Coker College didn’t even include names for students who would have work presented in their Senior show and in this case it may have been their own fault, but the buck stops with their instructors.


Senior Shows at Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery at Coker College in Hartsville, SC, opened on Monday, April 4, 2016. That show will continue through May 5, 2016.

Senior Shows are required of all studio art majors. They offer students an opportunity to share their works with friends family and the community.

Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 10am-4pm & Tuesday and Thursday from 10am-8pm while classes are in session. Summer hours are 10am-4pm.

Admission to all shows are free and open to the public. Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located on Coker College Campus inside the Gladys C Fort Art Building, 300 East College Ave. in Hartsville, SC, 29550.

For further information call the gallery at 843/858-7187, e-mail to ( or visit (


Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, Presents Senior Art Exhibition

Pivot is a senior art exhibition featuring Shaira K. Lowery, Elizabeth Carter, Zachary Nivens, Tomasha McIntyre, Cole Fenters, Jonathan LaCross, and Tony Lockhart, on view at the Hyman Fine Arts Center, from Apr. 6 through May 7, 2016.

The gallery will display works from a photographer, a painter, and five designers that cover a broad spectrum including: package design, textiles, social issues, imagination, and illustrations.

The Hyman Fine Arts Center is open Mon. through Fri., from 8:30am-5pm.

For further information call 843/661-1385 or visit (

The Coker College Art Program in Hartsville, SC, has been granted Associate Membership by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

June 17, 2015


“NASAD accreditation is an affirmation of both the quality of the program and the commitment of its faculty,” said Provost Tracy Parkinson. “In particular, the efforts and leadership of the program chair, Professor Jean Grosser, are at the heart of this outcome.”

According to NASAD, accreditation involves an evaluation that determines if an institution or specific program achieves educational objectives and meets established standards. Reviews focus on education quality, institutional integrity and educational improvements. Associate membership is granted based on a program’s ability to meet curricular standards as well as a substantial portion of all other standards of the association.

“National accreditation is a great achievement for the Coker College art program,” said Jean Grosser. “This milestone is a result of the collaborative efforts of the art faculty to create a top-notch program that provides opportunities for our students to excel.”

NASAD is an association of approximately 323 schools of art and design, primarily at the collegiate level, but also including postsecondary non-degree-granting schools for the visual arts disciplines. NASAD is the national accrediting agency for art and design-related disciplines. The association also provides information to the public. It produces statistical research, provides development for leaders of art and design schools and engages in policy analysis. For more information about NASAD, go to (

The mission of Coker’s art department is to teach students to think analytically and use art to express their ideas and demonstrate competencies in their major concentration. Students learn to communicate visually, orally and in writing. This mission is an essential component of the liberal arts. Students meld ideas from diverse areas of academe with their search for personal expression in their art production. Students who are engaged in art making as an extension of their total development are prepared for graduate study and multiple careers in the arts.

For further info call 843/383-8017 or visit (

Coker College Art Club in Hartsville, SC, to Feature Annual Student Competition

November 13, 2013


The Coker College Art Club’s annual student exhibition begins with a reception at 7pm, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, in Hartsville, SC. Merit awards and prizes will be presented at the opening, and light refreshments will be served. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

The “41st Annual Student Competition” will exhibit a selection of the best student work from the past year. The exhibition is open for viewing through Nov. 26, 2013.

Work by Kara Suttle

Coker’s annual student exhibition is designed as a competition and includes entries from beginning through advanced students. This year, the judge will be John Rise, a professional artist whose paintings are currently on exhibit in the Cecilia Coker Bell Gallery.

Rise will select the pieces to exhibit, assign places and award prizes that have been donated by art manufacturers and suppliers. Judges for these shows are given free reign regarding a show’s size and focus, and the resulting shows have ranged from large and inclusive to small, theme-oriented exhibitions. As with all independent judges, Rise’s choices may support the opinions of faculty and peers, but his choices may also run counter to some of those opinions. In either case, this selection process has always served as a stimulus for critical discussion.

Rise received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing from Arizona State University as well as a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico. While pursuing his master’s degrees, Rise taught drawing and painting classes at the University of New Mexico, first as a graduate assistant and later as an adjunct professor.
Since 2005, Rise has taught drawing at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he was awarded the 2010-11 Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award for his outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, student learning and campus life.

The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building on the Coker College campus. Gallery hours are from 10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday, while classes are in session.

Coker College upholds and defends the intellectual and artistic freedom of its faculty and students as they study and create art through which they explore the full spectrum of human experience. The college considers such pursuits central to the spirit of inquiry and thoughtful discussion, which are at the heart of a liberal arts education.

For more information about the gallery, contact gallery director and assistant professor of art Larry Merriman at 843/383-8156 or visit (

Jean Grosser and Jim Boden, Coker College Art Professors to Participate in “South Carolina Biennial 2013” Exhibition at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC

August 30, 2013

Revised 9/1/13

Two Coker College (Hartsville, SC) professors have been selected to exhibit their artwork in the “South Carolina Biennial 2013” exhibition, which opens with a reception from 7 to 9pm Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC.

Jean Grosser, professor of art and chair of the art department, and Jim Boden, professor of art, were two of the 25 artists selected from more than 120 applicants.

Work by Jean Grosser

“The inclusion of Jean Grosser and Jim Boden in the 701 Center for Contemporary Art “South Carolina Biennial 2013” indicates that they are among the artists in South Carolina producing some of the most exciting and best contemporary art,” said Wim Roefs, chair of the 701 Center for Contemporary Art’s board of directors. “Many of us who are well-versed in the South Carolina art scene already knew that, of course. After all, both Boden and Grosser have a long track record of producing first-class contemporary art, and both are widely and highly regarded in the state’s art scene.”

Roefs had selected Grosser and Boden as award winners in previous art competitions. He was pleased to see that the two out of state jurors for the biennial, who might be less familiar with South Carolina artists, felt that both Coker faculty members were among the best in the state and should be included in the “SC Biennial 2013”.

“Having Jean and Jim is a great credit to the Coker College Art Department, too,” added Roefs. “That speaks very well of the department.”

Work by Jim Boden

Grosser has been a Coker faculty member since 1985. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Barnard College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Alfred State College of Ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Ohio University. Grosser was awarded the Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the South Carolina Arts Commission and was a finalist for the Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowships in Sculpture.

Boden has been a member of Coker’s faculty since 1999. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in art education from the University of Minnesota. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Cecelia Coker Bell College Art Gallery; 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; the Florence Art Museum, Florence, SC; and solo exhibitions at the Rabold Gallery, Aiken, SC; and Black Creek Arts Council Gallery, Hartsville, SC. His awards include First Place at StateWide, Florence Art Museum, Florence, SC; and First Place and Purchase Award at Drawing From Perceptions – Biennial Drawing Exhibition, Wright State University, Dayton, OH.

For more information about the Coker College Art Department, contact Grosser at 843/383-8150 or e-mail to (

Coker College in Hartsville, SC, Hosts ‘Junk It Out’ Recycled Fashion Show – Apr. 13, 2013

April 8, 2013


The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery, the Coker College Art Club and the Art Department will host a recycled fashion show titled “Junk It Out” at 3:30pm, on Saturday, Apr. 13 in Davidson Auditorium in Hartsville, SC.

Contestants in the competition are required to utilize recycled materials to design an outfit that will be modeled and judged during the event. Materials may include such items as recyclables, discarded clothing, bags, outdoor objects and food containers.

Miranda Peebles, a first-year art major from Cassatt, SC.

“Although my schedule prevents me from contributing a design for ‘Junk it Out,’ I am very excited about seeing the show. I have worked with consumer discards for over two decades, and I love seeing how others utilize this resource” said gallery director and assistant professor of art Larry Merriman.

“Repurposing discards, as will be done in ‘Junk it Out,’ challenges the ingenuity and creativity of the participants. As an audience, it makes us think, but it also makes us laugh, which is a wonderful combination when talking about an important topic like how we use the earth’s resources.”

Ben Gupton will be announcing the models. Designers for the show include chair of art department and art club faculty supervisor Jean Grosser and student designers Sarah Shealy, Blythewood, SC; Tammaka Staley, Columbia, SC; Miranda Peebles, Cassatt, SC; Ashley Spell, Barnwell, SC; Jared Geizer, Montville, OH; Emily Shokes, Greer, SC; and Joshua Milligan, Hartsville, SC.

Four professors have been selected to judge the designs. Fashions will be judged on their visual impact, design concept, construction technique, creativity and best use of materials. Cash prizes ranging from $25 to $75 will be awarded to four winners.

A reception with light refreshments will follow the show prior to winners being announced.

For more information, contact Grosser at 843/383-8150 or e-mail to ( or contact art club president Ashley Gillespie by e-mail at (

Coker College in Hartsville, SC, Added to Office of Marketing and Communications

September 10, 2012

Norah Wofford and Seth Johnson have joined the Office of Marketing and Communications at Coker College in Hartsville, SC, Wofford serving as a publications and web designer and Johnson as an interactive media developer.

Previously, Wofford was a graphic design fellow at Coastal Living, a Time Inc. publication headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. She also consults through Waffle Studio, an art and design firm she created in 2011.

Originally from Georgetown, SC, Wofford earned a Bachelor of Arts in art with a concentration in graphic design from Coker College. While at Coker, Wofford worked as a junior and senior design intern over the course of two and a half years in the Office of Marketing and Communications.

An example of Wofford’s early work as a Coker staff member – a collaborative project with the Office of Student Affairs to design and create flyers, posters and banners to draw attention to the Student Covenant – is already having an impact on the campus environment.

“Our goal is for every student on campus to be able to quote the six tenants of the covenant,” said Dean of Students Jason Umfress.  “With Norah’s colorful, eye-catching design, I think our goal will be easily achieved.”

“Coming back to Coker as a full-time employee has been a wonderful opportunity,” said Wofford.  “Working in higher education has offered me so much more variety in my work and a personal, professional satisfaction that I haven’t experienced until now.”

A Hartsville native, Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in communications and art, concentrating in fine art, from Coker College.  Johnson has also completed coursework through Stanford University’s Digital Media Academy. His expertise in digital technology includes proficiencies in using Final Cut Pro 7, Adobe Photoshop, Live Type, Soundtrack Pro and DVD Studio Pro.

“I decided to apply for the position at Coker because I felt that the role of interactive media developer was the perfect job for me,” said Johnson. “It meshed very well with my interests and skill sets.”

In collaboration with Chris Dougherty, Coker’s manager of athletics media relations, Johnson has already produced a number of preseason videos for Cobra athletics.

“Working with Chris has been great,” said Johnson.  “Not only were my videos paired with his preseason stories, we were also able to get some of the footage on regional news broadcasts as well.”

For more information about Coker College, visit (




Sculptor Jim Collins to Give Talks at Coker College in Hartsville, SC – Feb. 24, 2012

February 24, 2012

Sculptor Jim Collins, whose exhibit, Absolutely Ambiguous, is currently on display in the Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery, at Coker College in Hartsville, SC, will give three gallery talks, which are free and open to the public, at 9am, 1pm, and  2pm, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, the final day of the exhibition.

Collins has an extensive exhibition record including numerous solo shows, invitational exhibits and competitions. Presently, he concentrates mostly on private and public commissions.

For his show at Coker he focuses on another large body of work consisting of collage and assemblage—the first term refers to a two-dimensional composition that uses found materials, while the latter refers to a three-dimension composition using that method.

“Jim Collins knows that every viewer brings unique experiences to the interpretation of art,” said Assistant Professor of Art and Gallery Director Larry Merriman.

“Consequently, the perceived message may vary from one viewer to another. While some artists find this discouraging, Jim Collins relishes the varied responses his colorful, nostalgic imagery elicits from his audience,” Merriman said.

Collins was a Professor of Art at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 1966 until 1983 when he resigned that teaching position to devote full time to his career as a professional artist.  He received a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University, a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Ohio University.

The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building on the Coker College campus.

For more on the gallery, go to (

Coker College Art Professor Jean Grosser in Hartsville, SC, Has Works in Show at Northern Kentucky University

February 2, 2012

Two pieces by Coker College Art Professor Jean Grosser in Hartsville, NC, have been selected for inclusion in Contextual: An Exhibition of Image and Word, an art show that will be on display Feb. 9 through Mar. 2, 2012, in the Northern Kentucky University Main Gallery.

The show, which explores the incorporation of written word or text with image, was curated by the Northern Kentucky University Department of Visual Arts gallery committee and will feature pieces by 13 artists. Grosser’s works for the show are titled, Fragments of Hate #3 and Health Kit for the Uninsured.

Fragments of Hate #3

“The committee selected the works from over a hundred images and looked for artworks that fit the theme,” said David Knight, Northern Kentucky University director of exhibitions and galleries.

“Some works have social or political commentary; some have very personal messages about the artist. Jean’s artwork was well received by the committee because of the strong messages she presents,” Knight added.

Convinced that the most effective way to transform hatred is to challenge it with honesty and humanity, Grosser has built a body of work that is inspired by political events and tackles global issues of human rights, religious freedom and free trade.
Health Kit for the Uninsured

In addition to the works she has created about health care inequities in the US and racial tension in the American South, Grosser is developing a series of pieces about being Jewish and coming to terms with ethnic and racial hatred spawned by the American Neo-Nazi movement.

“Jean Grosser’s Fragments of Hate Series is of the highest order, both conceptually and in execution,” said Wim Woefs, board chairman of the 701 Center for the Contemporary Arts in Columbia, SC.

Grosser, who joined Coker’s faculty in 1985, now chairs the department and is a member of the Coker College Board of Trustees. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Barnard College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Alfred State College of Ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Ohio University. Grosser was invited to show her work in Road to Equality: The 1961 Freedom Rides, a permanent exhibit at the historic Greyhound bus station in Montgomery, AL, that opened to the public on May 20.  Her piece, Fragments of Hate #6, was honored at the 2011 Pee Dee Regional Art Competition in Florence, SC.

The opening reception for Contextual: An Exhibition of Image and Word will be held from 5 to 7pm. Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, and is free and open to the public.

For more information about the show, please contact David Knight by e-mail at (

Analisa Smith’s Senior Show on View at Coker College in Hartsville, SC, has Been Extended to Dec. 9, 2011

December 3, 2011

Editor’s Note:I’ve gotten pretty cold-hearted when it comes to giving late press releases some exposure when we receive them long after our deadline. We received this one late in November and the show was only going to be up through Dec. 2, so I didn’t bother to include it in our Dec. issue. But now they extended the show – after our Dec. deadline and two wrongs don’t make a right, but right now, it’s either post this or wrestle with more Christmas lights. It’s too bad they didn’t get this to us by deadline for our Nov. issue – it looks like it is an interesting exhibit.

So here it is:

The exhibition of Coker College art student Analisa Smith’s senior show, an installation of light sculptures at the Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery, in Hartsville, SC, has been extended through Friday, Dec. 9, 2011.

Smith, who had originally been invited to show her works through Dec. 2, agreed to the extension after requests from colleagues and gallery visitors.

A view from the opening reception

“This is an exhibition of student work that rises to the level of a young professional,” said Professor of Art, and Smith’s senior studio advisor, Jim Boden.

“Analisa’s work is intellectually engaging and aesthetically pleasing,” said Gallery Director and Assistant Professor of Art Larry Merriman. “I sincerely appreciate her willingness to continue the exhibition for another week.”

Analisa Smith, Entanglement, wood, acrylic rods, fluorescent light, 53″ x 108″ x 6″

Senior exhibitions, a 43-year tradition at Coker, are required of graduating art majors and are intended to represent the culmination of four years of study. These shows also offer us a glimpse of what the artists may explore with their work following graduation.

The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building on the Coker College campus. Gallery hours are from 10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday, while classes are in session.

For more information, contact Merriman at 843/383-8156 or by e-mail at ( or visit the Gallery’s recently updated site at (

Coker College upholds and defends the intellectual and artistic freedom of its faculty and students as they study and create art through which they explore the full spectrum of human experience. The college considers such pursuits central to the spirit of inquiry and thoughtful discussion, which are at the heart of a liberal arts education.

Large-Scale Art Installation by Coker College Alumna Opens in Charlotte, NC – Sept. 30, 2011

September 21, 2011

Rhizome, Candice Ivy’s collaborative sculptural installation located in a vacant church in Charlotte, NC’s, Plaza Midwood neighborhood, will open on Friday, Sept. 30, 2011. The opening reception, which is public and free, will be held from 6:30 to 9pm at the church, located at 1201 Central Avenue in Charlotte.

View of the empty church

Rhizomeis a temporary site-specific installation that combines elements of local architecture and history to create a memorable experience for the viewing public. Born out of a collaboration between International Visual Artist Candice Ivy, Architect, Antonio Martinez, UNC Charlotte Students of Architecture, Logan Chambers, Cherish Rosas, Sean Wilson, Will Allen, John Winstead, and Faculty Advisor, Jennifer Shields, Rhizome was developed and realized over a span of 9 months.

Rhizome will be open to the public Saturdays and Sundays, from 2-6pm, Oct.1 -30, 2011.

Ivy has spent the last nine months collaborating with architectural students and faculty at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to construct the temporary installation. Located in what was formerly a central gathering place for the surrounding community, and a site of strong personal experiences, Rhizome is intended to reflect on both the history of the community and the ideas of transformation and growth.

A scale model from planning in April 2011

“I have long been drawn to working within spaces that are both architecturally and historically diverse,” explained Ivy.  “The challenge of working with students of architecture provided new perspectives on ways of organizing and constructing space, as well as how issues of culture, community, and history can be considered.

“A major goal for the project was to create a charged atmosphere that intimately considers the existing architecture, the history of the space, and the community.” said Ivy.

A multi-media artist born in Hartsville, SC, Ivy received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at Coker College and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston, MA.

“Her senior exhibition more than ten years ago was an installation of large clay and vine forms,” recalls art professor and chair of the department Jean Grosser.  “It has been especially gratifying to see that imagery evolve in her drawings and installation work over the years.”

Ivy’s works have been shown nationally and internationally including in the Old City Jail in Charleston, SC, as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and at the Sguardi Sonori Festival in Venice, Benevento and Frascati, Italy.  Her video work has been shown in such venues as GASP in Boston, Boston University’s 808 Gallery, the Massachusetts College of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Rhode Island International Film Festival in Providence, RI, and in the Berkeley Small Film Festival in Berkeley, CA.

Ivy received the Bartlett Award from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2006 and in 2010 was awarded an artist residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art.  In 2011 she was granted artist residencies from both the Taipei Artist Village in Taipei, Taiwan and ALTER-Auberge in Montreal, Canada. In the Spring and Summer of 2011, Ivy created the site-specific installation, A Sounding, for St. Ann’s Park in Montreal, Canada and her solo exhibition, Feral at TAV’s Barry Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan.

“The McColl Center for Visual Art, one of the primary sponsors of Rhizome, is an amazing promoter and nurturer of the arts in North Carolina,” said Ivy. “Through my relationship with the Center, I have experienced the kind of support that every artist dreams of having.”

The McColl Center for Visual Art is a nationally acclaimed contemporary art center dedicated to connecting art and artists with the community. The Center, a historic, neo-Gothic church in uptown Charlotte, houses nine artist studios and more than 5,000 square feet of gallery space.

For further info on this project visit (