Sid Smith ~ Hope Overcoming Memory
Written by Anne Feldman
rt house openings are relatively new to the Lowcountry, although the setting for fine contemporary art is well established. It’s a concept that works well, where art patrons are encouraged to gather and linger, and enjoy art in a personal setting.
Contemporary art in an informal setting is an opportunity to explore new artists and mediums in a casual manner, which many of us are not accustomed to. For gallery owner Judith Costello of jcostellogallery, it’s a natural extension for art exhibitions, presenting international and nationally known artists in an intimate setting.
J Costello Gallery introduces the art house opening with Distant Places, a group showing of contemporary artists, including Julio Garcia, Evangeline Moore Gezcy, Sumiyo Toribe, Maggie Evans, Keith Cardwell, Daniel E. Smith, and Sid Smith. The array of artists represent an international landscape in compositions of oil, photography and printmaking, from the Lowcountry to Morocco, Budapest, Kyoto, Latin America, and Provence.
Distant Places opens on Thursday, August 13th with an art reception from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at a private luxury home in Rose Hill Plantation. Jazz strains will waft through the warm August evening as guests gather at 5 Marsh Palms Place for the opening, doors thrown open in welcome. The estate side home overlooking the Colleton River is a natural backdrop for the collection, the home itself a masterpiece of fine lines set amid the gorgeous panorama of marsh and water views.
The show has an easy flow through the waterfront home, on view by agent Terry Burke of Weichert Realtors Coastal Properties. “Working together with Terry, we were able to find the right setting for this exhibition. A series f spaces for large scale works to hang quietly, without distraction,” Costello explained.
The intention of the gallery since 1999 has been to introduce contemporary artists of extraordinary talent to the community, “Our primary focus are the mediums of painting, sculpture, fine art photography and printmaking,” Costello said.
The gallery’s main office is located within the Weichert Building, located at 1038 William Hilton Parkway. Artwork is shown at the Sea Pines and Moss Creek locales. “We find the relationship between art and architecture to be inherent in the beauty of your home, a natural partnership within the Lowcountry landscape,” said Karen Ryan, co-owner of Weichert Realtors Coastal Properties. In The Uncomfortable Part of Taking Off, Cuban-born artist Julio Garcia is taken by the beauty and vibrancy of the landscape, seen on his travels to and from Latin America. Guided by his background in printmaking, Garcia’s work merges traditional mark-making techniques found in etchings and engravings with experimental processes using a variety of synthetic materials. “Julio explores the relationship between natural and man-made environments and how developed areas have altered the face of modern landscapes,” said Costello. Garcia’s work is widely exhibited and held in private collections.
International artist Evangeline Moore Geczy follows the tradition of the early modernist painters: De Kooning, Dienbenkorn and Joannie Mitchell, where paint, composition and color are the vital components to the piece. “I view my life as a fascinating journey winding through different environments and places. Art tells me who I am,” Geczy said. The artist splits her time between Taos, New Mexico, Budapest, and Hilton Head Island. Geczy has lived and exhibited all over the world, and extensively in the United States.
Paintings by contemporary artist Sumiyo Toribe, from Kyoto, Japan, reference images of Japanese customs and landscape, the culture and land of her origin. She paints compositions that often include Shinto and Buddhist imagery. “In Japan there is a blend of these two forms of worship, which has certain complexities and beauty. They represent all the great history, sights, natural beauty and places I have visited with my family,” Toribe said. Her large format canvases invite exploration.
Artist and jazz musician Maggie Evans also works from memory, her smoky charcoals on stretched paper rendering impressions and improvisations. “Initial strokes define the background the same way a chord progression creates the structure of a song. Like an improvised solo, the drawing begins with the overall intent in mind, but evolves spontaneously,” Evans said. For Costello, “Maggie’s compositions are rhythmic. There’s a relationship to the interiors of places she’s performed, you can almost smell the smoke; hear the music.”
For this reason, Costello invited Evan’s jazz combo, Silver Lining, to perform at the opening. Her distinctive jazz vocals and prowess on bass guitar make Evans a standout on the regional jazz scene, adding another layer to the conversation and collection of contemporary viewing. British photographer Keith Cardwell has been a frequent featured artist of the prestigious Black & White Magazine. “I love black and white, the soft beautiful tones. It’s so unreal, like a separate world,” reveals the photographer, whose work has been widely exhibited and published internationally since 1978. His most well known series include The First African Baptist Church of Savannah held in the Telfair Museum’s permanent collection; children of Shanghai, China; and rhythms of the island of Cuba. Recent trips to Morocco and Ireland’s Aran Islands capture wild horses galloping across austere landscapes, a solitary guide leading his camel across the sandy deserts of Morocco.
Contemporary artists, brothers Daniel E. Smith and Sid Smith, share a general sense of calm and peace, inviting viewers to linger and visit each piece. The paintings draw you in, the feeling of space and place reflecting physical and visual landscapes that brings one to those places.
Dan’s work makes more use of a palette knife. “Dan’s ability to recreate on canvas the nature of the marsh never ceases to surprise and delight. When living with this work you find that it is ever changing, as in nature, light comes across the canvas and a new layer of beauty is revealed,” Costello said.
Sid Smith’s work employs more brushstroke. An expanse of calm washes over Hope Overcoming Memory, large oil on canvas, a many layered palette of blue skies, green scenery awash in light. “My intent in creating is to have poetic expression through the physicality of painting,” Sid said. Sid and Dan are widely collected in private collections, corporate and museum collections. For online viewing visit jcostellogallery.com.
To attend the art house exhibit, rsvp judith@jcostellogallery.
com for gate pass or (843) 298-4894.