Art imitates life, and life is hard
There was a time I entertained the notion of pursuing art and going to an art college, but it was brief.
I had an art teacher in high school who suggested I try to go for an art school scholarship, in fact, but I laughed at him. I used to draw quite a bit as a youngster, including creating my own comic book characters and comic book stories, and in high school I painted and delved into print-making (but only in art class). I really didn’t fancy myself an artist, although I was interested in visuals and pop art. I was more interested in music as I got older.
But when college rolled around, I enrolled in a drawing class as an elective my first semester.
And that’s when I knew for sure that I didn’t want to be an art student.
Talk about time-consuming. I enjoyed drawing and painting, but when fraternity pledge brothers had to come drag me out of the studio because I was missing a key intramural flag football game, I knew that I wasn’t going to be an art major. I wasn’t about to major in anything that cut that deeply into my social life.
But I admire those students and artisans that make that type of commitment.
I’m certainly not an art scholar, either, but I have been to plenty of exhibitions and art openings, and I do have some favorite visual artists. They include: Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Salvador Dali, Leonardo da Vinci, M.C. Escher, Georgia O’ Keeffe, and some cubists, some Dutch realists and some illustrators from the Silver and Bronze ages of comic books.
Again, I’m not an art scholar or expert, but I know what I like when I see it.
And I highly respect people that make the plunge into the fulltime creation of artwork as a vocation - and you might be surprised that there are plenty of them around here in our so-called Redneck Riviera.
As that dubious nickname implies, Myrtle Beach is not outwardly known for its arts and cultural contributions.
But, there is a culture of working artists doing their thing, creating brilliant pieces of art, while toiling in relative obscurity.
But no more! It’s time for these visual artisans to shine.
You may have noticed in the last year, a series of advertisements in Surge featuring an Artist of the Year series hosted at Fresh Brewed Coffee House in downtown Myrtle Beach.
Now, that year-long project, organized by Grand Strand Arts, is culminating in Jan. 19’s 2012 Grand Strand Artist of the Year, a two-part event featuring an art crawl at Barefoot Landing, followed by a dinner and awards shindig at the House of Blues where the artist of the year will be revealed.
Grand Strand Arts?
What the heck is that - an oxymoron?
And where did they find 12 artists living along the Grand Strand for this competition?
O’ ye of little faith, we dispatched noted art-lover Paul Grimshaw to find out what Grand Strand Arts is, who is behind it, what the artist of the month/year is all about, and also provide mini-profiles of these artisans vying for the title, and you can read his report, which is this week’s cover story.
Also, there’s information on page 9 detailing how you can cast your vote for your favorite local visual artists that are the focus of the aforementioned contest.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that Surge is also having a best-of contest which needs your votes.
Make sure to click on the graphic for our Story of the Year contest for 2012 that’s on our homepage. Voting only takes a few seconds, and you can vote multiple times (but only once an hour) for multiple stories if you want to shower our merry band of freelance writers with some love.
Voting runs through Jan. 18, and the winner will be announced in our Jan. 24 edition.
How’s that for democracy?
Kent Kimes, Editor