Two Related Local Artists Exhibit Together
Two local artists who are related by marriage and creativity will exhibit their separate works in side-by-side galleries at West Main Artists Co-op March 3-31.
Co-op member Andy Donnan will exhibit a collection of acrylics, pastels, and oils on canvas depicting branded condiments, other food-related items, and his work as a physician’s assistant. His aunt-in-law Susan M. Hopps will exhibit her collection of mostly watercolors, depicting plants, animals, and landscapes. Together, the co-exhibits are titled “Auntie and Andy.”
“I have always been impressed with my wife’s Aunt’s creative abilities,” Donnan said. “When I heard that if we showed and there was space you could invite someone, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been painting for years, and I felt like this was a great opportunity to show with someone I really respect as an artist and person.”
“My nephew Andy is a member of WMAC. He had the idea for us to exhibit together, since he was able to invite a guest artist,” Hopps said. “I was delighted to have this opportunity to show with him.”
Both exhibits will be open for free public viewing Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A free public reception will be held Thursday, March 21, 5-9 p.m., during the city’s monthly ArtWalk, a public event when most art museums and galleries stay open late to showcase new exhibits. A third exhibit at the Co-op will be “Pye Pond--A Memoir” by Danielle Fontaine who works in encaustics. Normally, West Main Artists Co-op has three exhibits each month: two by members; one by a guest artist.
A native of Maryland, Donnan, 59, has been a member at WMAC since 2015 and is a citizen of downtown Spartanburg, after spending 30 years in Georgia. He has been a physician’s assistant for 35 years and has painted for nearly 20 years. His exhibit will have 15 to 20 pieces of original art. “Mostly, people will see 20x16 (inch) acrylics of still lifes, mostly in the impressionistic style. There will be a few painting of landscapes, which have special meanings from trips I’ve made.
“Most of the painting I’ve done are for my children, particular the still lifes of condiments,” he continued. “I paint to escape from my daily life and to create. As a healthcare provider, everything I do is transient and doesn’t last. I paint to create something that lasts and, if by chance it’s here 100 years from now, that would be great. Two pieces that will be in the exhibit have previously been hung. They are of Michael Roberts and myself, while we are operating on a cardiac surgery patient and waiting for them to come off bypass. I spent many hours with him in that position, waiting. Dr Roberts died 20 years ago, and this is my little thank you for all he taught me.”
Donnan’s artwork will be for sale, ranging in price from $300 to $850. It took him about nine months to assemble this exhibit, although some of the paintings are several years old.
In artistic and style contrast, Hopps’s work is representational with a few abstracts. Although the Spartanburg native is not a member of WMAC, she has exhibited throughout the region with Artists’ Guild Spartanburg; in Union, SC; and in North Carolina’s Tryon and Hendersonville. This will be her first exhibit at WMAC. Her 20 to 25 pieces of artwork will be for sale, ranging in price from $175 to $575. Most of the works in this exhibit were created during the past two years.
“I hope to convey the beauty of nature on this earth, the wonderful shapes and colors of this earth’s plants and animals, sometimes humorous and unusual relationships,” Hopps said. “People will see primarily watercolors depicting my sense of wonder at the natural world, as well as interesting people and places and events that make me smile. I hope the paintings make viewers smile, too. I hope they think about earth’s precious animals and plant resources and care for them. It’s a chance to call attention to the natural world, to appreciate the colors, shapes, and variety of life forms that all exist together on this earth.”
By profession, Hopps was a teacher for 31 years in Spartanburg County School District 7. After retiring in 2004, she became an art student and experimented with various media, eventually using watercolors as her primary medium. Most of her work is based in nature, and she has received several regional awards in juried shows. She now lives at Lake Bowen in Inman, SC.
“It’s a great chance for Andy and me to show our art together,” she said. “We both love creating, although our styles differ and we prefer a different medium, our subject matter often relates to nature , the earth and its beauty.”
“WMAC is wonderful place to work as an artist,” Donnan said. “The leadership is incredible and has made this place where artists want to come and work. Fellow members are very supportive of each other, are excited to see each other, and interest in your progress. WMAC is a great resource for Spartanburg, because of the members, leadership, and what we have to offer the tourist industry. A great place to visit at no cost.”
West Main Artists Co-op is one of Spartanburg’s leading art agencies with a membership of more than 50. It is housed in a converted church and has about 30 studios, three galleries, two stages, a printery, and a ceramics studio. Also, it has the largest collection of locally made for-sale art in the city and county. Soon to be 10 years old, WMAC is a nonprofit agency with a mission to support local artists and to provide art to the local community. For more information, please visit online at WestMainArtists.com
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