In the almost ten years since the Visitors Center opened at Swan Lake Iris Gardens, I have never stopped being amazed by the number of people who come in to explore our wonderful park during even the fiercest heat wave. It goes to show what a jewel of a place this is, that people are willing—even excited—to come from out of town and brave the 100+ degree heat index to admire our flora and fauna.
But there are also those who want to explore Sumter without dealing with the blistering heat. One of our most extraordinary cultural offerings is the Sumter County Gallery of Art, with its classes, art camps, and of course the changing exhibits. Thursday, July 12, brings the opening of the Sumter Artist’s Guild Show, featuring our community’s premier artists.
Founded in 1966, the Sumter Artist’s Guild is a group of professional and amateur artists (along with art enthusiasts), working in media including watercolor, photography, metalwork, fibers, sculpture, oils, acrylics and more. Forty-six years ago, they sponsored their first exhibition in the basement of the Sumter County Courthouse. Since then, have been instrumental in the founding of Sumter’s first public gallery (at the former Elizabeth White house on North Main Street) and continuing to foster interest and participation in the visual arts.
In addition to shows, the Guild participates in such events as the Sumter Iris Festival, the annual “Art in the Park” event at Memorial Park, and the Sumter Winefest “Sip and Stroll.” Guild meetings can be lively affairs as well—a recent one featured origami lessons from a young student. The Guild Show is one of the most popular and well-attended of the Gallery’s many exhibitions. This year, there will be several new artists featured, in addition to the quality work of those whose reputations are long established.
The 2012 Sumter Artist’s Guild Show opens on Thursday, July 12, 2012 with an opening reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For Gallery members, there is no charge; the general public is welcome to attend for a $5.00 donation. At all other times, admission is free of charge. The exhibition will remain until August 31.
For more info, please contact the Sumter County Gallery of Art, 200 Hasel Street, at (803) 775-0543 or online at www.sumtergallery.org. Interested in becoming a Guild member? They are online as well, at www.sumterartistsguild.org.
Here’s your chance to get out of the heat and enjoy the beauty that the Sumter community has to offer…on the inside!
Images courtesy of the Sumter County Gallery of Art.