It’s been some time since I’ve talked to the Summerville Artist Guild (SAG). Since Jan Dalton was president, they have had Denise Jacob and now Artist Jan Kelley as head of the group.
The purposes of the guild are to bring together people who love art and creative artists of all skill levels working in all mediums for individual and group betterment, to exhibit their works, to stimulate broader interest in fine arts in the community, and to provide scholarships to graduating students through Summerville Rocks.
SAG had its 43rd Annual Judged Exhibition in November at the North Charleston City Gallery where Artist Charlotte Holman was selected as “Best of Show”. SAG’s Annual “Meet & Greet” was held on Jan. 18 at the Stallsville United Methodist Church on the Stallsville Road where they have regular meetings. SAG has nearly 100 members. Jan’s own ink work has been compared to early modernist Marc Chagall. She can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regan: How did you get involved with SAG? Outline SAG’s meetings?
K: When I became a member, I volunteered to help get sponsors and paint a rocking chair for Summerville ROCKS silent auction to help fund our Scholarship fund for students where donations are welcomed. I set up demos and presentations and then set up workshops. In May of last year, I became SAG’s President. SAG meets the 1st Thursday of the month at the Stallsville United Methodist Church. Our social is from 6:30-7 p.m. followed by a short business meeting, art demo or presentation. On Feb. 22, Katherine Dutremble will conduct a monotype workshop. In March, Kyle Stuckey will paint an oil portrait. On April 2, Mary Villon de Benveniste will do an art demo on pastels. In May, Margaret Hoybach will lead a watercolor demo. Our free Tuesday Paint is from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon each week for artists of all levels. It’s fun and offers fellowship to all. The Art Forum meets the third Monday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon at ART on the Square at Nexton. Field trips are offered on occasion. SAG Exhibiting artists have a chance to exhibit their work at Toast, The Goose Creek Community Center, and at the St. George Library.
Regan: Which meetings are open to the public? How have SAG members grown over time?
K: The SAG monthly meeting, workshops, field trips, and our Tuesday Paint are open to the public.
We do ask that a person joins SAG after two meetings. Through SAG events, myself and others have formed friendships, shared experiences and ideas, and worked to become better at what it is we do as artists, as art lovers and as people. We’ve talked, laughed, volunteered, created art, and helped to keep the SAG and the Summerville Scholarship Fund for Art students going.
Regan: Tell us about your own work. You have pieces ranging from India ink, watercolor, and gouache to that of oil, acrylic, pastel, alcohol inks, and a mixed media combination. What is gouache?
K: I love to work with ink, watercolor, gouache, and other mediums as well. To me, creating art is a blessing and sometimes, if you are lucky, you get to see and feel the joy of others as they experience what you love to do which is priceless. Gouache is like a watercolor paint with additives to make it opaque. White pigment or chalk is added to natural pigment, water, and a binding agent (usually dextrin or gum Arabic) and sometimes inert materials in order to make it opaque.
Regan: Artist Marc Chagall once said, “Great art picks up where nature ends. If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.”-What are your feelings on that?
K: While I create what’s in my heart because I’m inspired by things I love, I also create what’s in my mind. It’s when the two meet and become entwined that I feel I do my best work.
R: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
K: I would say to do what you love, be who you are, and be thankful for everything. Draw, create, learn, try to find your balance in life, love, family, friends, and community. Enjoy the journey.
R: What’s on tap this year for SAG?
K: Our SAG All Members Show is in March. SAG has a booth at the Flowertown Festival from April 3 to 5. Our SAG 44th Annual Judged Exhibition in September will be at the North Charleston City Gallery.
R: What do you enjoy most about SAG’s offerings and learnings?
K: I enjoy the people the most--the laughter, the working together for a good cause, art, the demos, workshops, and the field trips, as well as knowing that we may make a difference in someone else’s life.