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February Issue 2005

Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, Features Works by Howard Frye, Kathleen Pompe, USC Ceramic Students, and James Meekins

Drawings by Howard Frye, digital images by Kathleen Pompe, and sculptural/functional clay works from the University of South Carolina's ceramics program will be on display as part of Francis Marion University's Art Gallery Series through Feb. 17, 2005, in the Hyman Fine Arts Center galleries. Paintings by James Meekins will be exhibited in the Smith University Center Gallery at FMU through Mar. 17, 2005.

Howard Frye is an assistant professor of art education at FMU. "I've always been attracted to the expressive qualities of line and so I have a natural affinity for drawing," Frye said. "Looking at a drawing, you get a glimpse of the artist's thought process in its most direct form; you can see where the artist paused, and which parts of the drawing he or she gave the most attention."

Kathleen Pompe's exhibit is titled, Reorganization of Space. "The digital images are narratives of landscapes that only partially exist," Pompe said. "They represent views of places that are personal, surreal, and a product of my imagination. Although I present views of places as they exist today, I can't resist creating personal, imagined places." Pompe is a professor of photography at FMU.

The clay exhibition will highlight the creative research from the University of South Carolina's ceramics program within the Department of Art in Columbia, SC. The ceramics program has received national attention through its dynamic program, which is headed by Professor Virginia Scotchie. Scotchie has headed the program for the past 11 years and has exhibited her work on an international scale.

The graduate students in USC's ceramics program come from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Korea. The work includes a variety of hand-built and wheel-thrown forms exploring new directions in the ceramic arts.

James Meekins began to draw and paint very early in life due to the influence of two older sisters. They taught him to read and write at an early age and, as they were also talented at drawing and painting, they taught him those arts as well.

His first drawings were of horses, cattle and simple landscapes, as Meekins was born on a Texas ranch where working animals dominated family life.

Meekins attended many schools and had personal instruction under many leading artists. He studied color and composition under Thelma De Goede Smith, and attended many workshops in France, Holland and Germany in both design and portraits. Meekins never abandoned the Western influence in his work, although he did a "Renaissance" series that won many awards, and does commissioned portraits as well.

His great, great grandfather, Jonathan Meekins, was an early settler in the old Cheraws, which later became Marlboro County, SC. Jonathan Meekins' sons and daughters moved to several of the surrounding counties, where James Meekins has acquired land that once belonged to his family. His studio, once a school and lodge known as the Dalcho School, was built by Masons in 1874 and has itself survived through many changes in fortune.

Meekins came to South Carolina in 1989 seeking his roots and he found them through the help of many people in Dillon, Marlboro and other surrounding counties in SC. Soon after he arrived, the Florence Museum invited him to exhibit his work, together with portrait artist Lorna Shanks. The show launched his art in the area.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call 843/661-1385 or at (www.fmarion.edu/famc/gallery.htm).

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