Calming blue skies, storm clouds brewing above a skyline, mountain peaks arching over green valleys, and lakes reflecting a line of pine trees beneath the clouds: these are just a few of the landscapes featured in the exhibit Fiber, Paper, Scissors, on display at the Greenville Center for Creative Arts (GCCA) from June 7 through July 24. The exhibit showcases the works of four Greenville artists—Douglas Piper, Meredith Piper, Mark Mulfinger, and Sarah Mandell—whose emphasis on their chosen medium celebrates the beauty of cloud formations and South Carolina’s landscapes.
From 2-D fiber “paintings” to block prints, from oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings to encased textiles, the exhibit features the light, colors, textures, and patterns of the natural world. Together, these works harmoniously express the artists’ appreciation of nature across South Carolina.
“The emphasis on cloud formations and South Carolina landscapes was generated more so from the artists and their proposals and less so from a curatorial standpoint,” says Benjamin Tarcson, GCCA gallery manager and program assistant. “These artists find the majesty of natural formations as a driving force behind their art practice.”
Exhibitions at GCCA are determined through a proposal process and voted on by a committee. “In this instance, the overall aesthetic between the four artists and two proposals harmonized well together. In essence, there are two separate bodies of work that come to form the overall show,” says Tarcson.
Showcasing whimsical block prints by Douglas Piper, moody oil and watercolor paintings and prints by Mark Mulfinger, and colorful acrylic paintings and fiber weavings by Meredith Piper, the “Amongst the Clouds” arm of the exhibition highlights clouds and their formation, telling a narrative of how clouds are intrinsically woven into each of their artistic experiences.
The second part of the exhibit features Sarah Mandell’s body of work, “100 Days, 100 Fibers,” which consists of 100 small fiber paintings completed over the course of 100 consecutive days. In this series, she depicts South Carolina landscapes and landmarks such as Edisto Beach State Park, Table Rock, Liberty Bridge and the falls, water towers near Swamp Rabbit Grocery, Issaqueena and Raven Cliff Falls, Gervais Street Bridge in Columbia, Furman’s bell tower and lake, and many more. From a distance, Sarah’s fiber art could easily be mistaken for traditional oil paintings. “My series of needle-felted wool landscapes featuring scenes from all over the state was a great excuse to research, and in some cases, visit all these beautiful places in my new home state,” Sarah says.
“What makes this exhibition special is the fact that it is completely comprised of local artists who are rooted in both the art scene of Greenville and the idea of South Carolina,” says Tarcson. For the observer, this translates into a journey across the natural beauty of the state, transposed into an immersive, visual and textural experience . . . all in one place.
Fiber, Paper, Scissors opens at the Greenville Center for Creative Arts, in the Brandon Mill at 101 Abney St, on June 7, with an opening reception from 6–9 pm, and remains on exhibit until July 24. Additionally, there will be an ARTalk on July 16, 6–7 pm For more information, visit artcentergreenville.org.