Beaufort has seen art transformation

newsroom@islandpacket.comJune 27, 2014 

It was with a bit of a smile that I read the June 20 Lowcountry Life piece entitled, "Forgotten Art: Beaufort History Museum looks back on the art of the 1960s and 1970s."

During that period I lived in Columbia, refining my skills and technique in what is known as "hard-edge" art, loosely defined by Webster as "abstract painting characterized by geometric forms with clearly defined boundaries."

After moving to Beaufort in 1979 I joined the Beaufort Art Association and entered three of my paintings (that was the limit then) in its annual show at what was then called the Greene Street Gym. Arriving at the show's reception, I was surprised to find all three of my pieces hung next to each other in the far corner of the gym with the shadow of the basketball goal across them.

When I inquired as to why it was so, it was explained that the hanging committee thought that my work was so strong it would be unfair to anyone else whose work was hung close to mine.

I thought to myself, "Isn't this supposed to be a competition?" and walked away.

I'm happy to see that what was once the somewhat stifling heart and soul of watercolor country has grown culturally to embrace the world of 21st century art. One need only visit the Beaufort Art Association gallery on Bay Street or ARTworks at Beaufort Town Center to see the transformation.

Art never sleeps.

Bob Bender

Port Royal

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