Laura Spong | American Artist
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Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Additional studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia College, and the Richland Art School at Columbia Museum of Art
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
Dream Fragment at Sarratt Gallery, Vanderbilt University, 2001
Carol Saunders Gallery, Columbia, SC, 2000
USC at Sumter, Sumter, SC, 2000
USC at Lancaster, Lancaster, SC, 1997
Carol Saunders Gallery, Columbia, SC, 1997
Sumter Gallery of Art, Sumter, SC, 1996
Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC, 1995
Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC, 1993
Bachman Gallery, Columbia, SC, 1990
Siebels-Bruce, Columbia, SC, 1989
Cumberland Art Center, Cookville, TN, 1989
Selected Juried Shows:
South Carolina State Fair, Columbia, SC, 1987-2000
South Carolina State Fair Traveling Show, 1999-2000
Southern National, Florence, SC, 1994-1999 (Honorable mention in 997)
NBSC Oil Painters Invitational, Sumter, SC, 1993-1998 (3rd place in 1996)
Hilton Head Art League Show, Hilton Head, SC, 1994-1995
Piccolo Spoleto Juried Show, Charleston, SC, 1994
8 at 80808, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC, 2000
3 x 6, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC, 2000
Against the Grain, Blue Pony Gallery, Charlotte, NC, 2000
Against the Grain, USC Lancaster, Lancaster, SC, 1999
Against the Grain, USC Aiken, Aiken, SC, 1999
Against the Grain, Francis Marion University, Florence, SC, 1999
Women’s Views, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, 1999
Art for NOW, Gallery 80808, Columbia, SC, 1998
Women’s Commitment to Art, Columbia College, Columbia, SC, 1998
Six Women Beyond Tara, Columbia, SC, 1995
I paint because I love to paint; I’ve always liked to paint. Every spring, when I was growing up, I got the job of painting the front porch gliders because I loved the smell of paint and turpentine, the feel of the paint covering the rust on the foils and seeing the new look of the fresh paint over the old.
I paint because it is the most comfortable way that I have found to gain some understanding of myself and the world. My work is about unmasking. My unconscious mind is always ahead of my conscious mind.
I understand my dreams and my work best when looking back and suddenly realizing…”oh, that’s what that means”--- not in a prophetic way, but in a new awakening of perception.
I paint because I love the process: the layering of the paint, the solving of the composition, the relationship of the color, the building up of texture. The understanding and revelation that can come are a bonus. I would continue to paint even if I had no further revelation — ever.
My goal is to portray visually, in a non-objective manner, my own inner journey as I search for meaning and purpose in life. My hope is through my work, a connection will be made between me and those on a similar journey. One of my tools is the use of symbols because of their universality, both ancient and modern. I like to use them in an attempt to make “the unknown, known.” Circles, triangles, spirals, crosses, X’s and forms from nature have all been in use for decorative and symbolic purposes since the earliest times of humankind. My vision is that everything is connected. All is part of the whole. From a magnificent landscape to a few blades of grass, each is part of the whole and as equally important. My artworks are fragments of that whole that catch my eye, emotions or imagination.
I am like a child on the floor with blocks.
Delighting in the shapes, forms,
Until the components fall into place
And create a pleasing visual pattern.
I use ancient symbols and phosphenes
To connect with the world in time.
I use bits of forms and shapes I see around me
to connect with the world in space.
But, mostly I play with color.
- Laura Spong