Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lake Marion Artisans

Lake Marion Artisans

Summerton, South Carolina is near the Santee Cooper Lake System. In the early 1940's a large part of this area was flooded to make two of lakes. Lake Marion alone covers 177 square miles. A damn was built to provide hydro electric power and a recreation area for boaters and fishermen. It is the 50th largest lake in the United States and the largest lake in South Carolina.

(Pottery by April, my sister in law, and a member of Lake Marion Artisans)

Summerton is a small rural town that once had a thriving lumber and cotton mill. Once the rail road ended the town began to slowly die out. There are many towns throughout the South that are like Summerton. There are lovely old brick buildings and sidewalks, even old schools, but many are empty. As an artist all I see is studios!!!! All the space an artist needs to work and have display areas too. I see art villages and art towns, place that could be alive again.

A small group of artistic minded individuals came together to start an art group. Starting any venture is difficult with different ideas and opinions that a variety of people may have. How do you get a building, how to pay electric bills, or get someone to keep the store open. This group is no different, but they are surviving and growing. Below are photo's of some of the artists work.
Judy, a retired art teacher from New Jersey, is pictured below with a stained glass window she and some other artists are working on for the Episcopal Church in town. Judy also built and designed the heron bowl above.

There are a number of clay artist in the area with differing styles.

The mosaic gallery sign is lively and fun. Summerton could not have a gallery, nor people who care about art. It could be one of many little towns where people do not value the arts, but someone cared, some one made a difference and the community is stronger for it. Positive influences have a tendency to ripple out and touch many.
This piece is by John, a potter who has interesting shapes and glazing techniques.

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