When the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum reopened Tuesday, June 16 after the COVID-19 closing, a brand-new exhibit joined the tribute to women which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.
Everything Will Be OK
Conway resident Yvette L. Cummings is what museum curator Liz Miller describes as “a figurative artist who explores the implied power of the gaze.”
The message in her work, which is colorfully patterned, is two-fold.
“The main theme is childhood sexual abuse, but it’s also about the adult looking back at that experience,” she explained.
The artist said girls’ bodies are “policed” in ways that boys’ bodies are not.
“There’s an inequity that occurs and is implied. Kids are just being kids, they’re not thinking in those ways, it’s the adults who do,” she said.
“I’ve created work in different ways to explore this, starting as an abstract artist to deal with the ways we internalize trauma.
“It wasn’t until the last 10 or 15 years that I’ve done figurative work that explores the gestures of the body, how we carry the body and the figures confronting it.”
Cummings’ work doesn’t show the implied violence, but instead entices the viewer with floral patterns and colorful images that meld into so much more that’s going on in the painting.
One of her newer works, “Mother Don’t Worry,” shows a child wearing a mask. That, the artist said, “shows the idea of hiding yourself, but being present also.”
Cummings and her husband Jim, also an artist and professor at CCU, live in Conway and have three daughters.
An assistant professor of Visual Arts in Painting and Drawing at CCU, Cummings said she “wants to be a voice for others who may have had trauma.”
She also wants to dialog with those who are impacted by her work, and explains that terminology matters. For example, thinking of oneself as a survivor instead of as a victim is important.
“I want to bring awareness and have those tough conversations,” she said.
On the museum’s website, Cummings said, “By making viewers aware of their discomfort, possibly even though similar or shared experiences, the works are intended to stimulate conversation and hopefully, inspire change.”
Visit the museum’s website, www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.org for details about an upcoming virtual lecture Cummings will offer.
Lisa Stroud, one of the four women featured in the Voice Lessons exhibit, was a journalist until about 15 years ago.
After attending an art workshop, she was, she said, “hooked from day one, and began to write my stories on canvass.”
Part of her Little Black Dress series includes the iconic fashion statement painted on the White House with the words, “Isn’t it about time?”
It was during lunch at a restaurant when Stroud overheard a table of women saying a woman does not belong in the White House.
“I went home and started painting that little black dress on the House of Representatives and Capitol Hill and the White House,” Stroud, who lives in Cary, North Carolina, said.
The works of Eli Corbin of Ashville, North Carolina, Fran Gardner of Heath Springs, and Beau Wild of Port Orange, Florida are also featured in Voice Lessons.
“Voice Lessons offers a view of empowerment for women, yet focuses on tolerance, empathy and compassion among women and men,” Miller wrote on the museum’s website.
Corbin has worked extensively in various media, but mainly uses acrylics, collage and mixed media,” Miller said, adding that Corbin incorporates pattern and symbolism to evoke the strength and power available to women through connecting with community, nature, spirituality and belief in self.
Fran Gardner’s work combines stitchery and oil painting and alludes to magic and conjuring to create, Miller explained, “complex collages that reference ways in which women have always protected, healed and advised.”
Beau Wild “uses the technique of masking to suggest the ways women reveal or obscure themselves as they deal with the world,” Miller said.
Explaining one of her pieces, “Dead Weight,” Wild wrote, “Have you ever felt that you were drowning – feeling so emotional that you cannot take your responsibilities for another minute…the rope that might save you from drowning is now fraying…”
The Power of She/A Permanent Exhibition Collection
Described by Miller as “an exhibition of nearly 40 works of art…featuring work created by, thematically representative of and/or commemorating women, femininity and girl power,” The Power of She includes work by Sigmund Abeles, Alice Ballard, Mary Lee Bendolph, Steven Bleicher,
Genevieve Willcox Chandler, Dixie Dugan, Linda Fantuzzo, Cassandra Gillens, Jonathan Green,
Betsy Havens, Elizabeth Keller, Jennifer Falck Linssen, Carolyn Magyar, Vera Manigault, Corrie Parker McCallum, Ellen Orseck, Kate Hooray Osmond, Scotty Peek, Alex Powers, Priscilla Sage, Ouida Salvo, Betty Anglin Smith, Martha Thomas, Sybil West and Herb Wiegand.
“Both visually stunning and technically impressive, this body of work is a wonderful way to experience the beauty and power of the collective ‘SHE,’” Miller said.
The Art Museum is at 3100 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach. The phone number is 843-238-2510.
Current hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The museum is closed Sunday and Monday.
Admission to the museum is free but donations are accepted.
Because of COVID-19, the museum’s mandatory health and safety guidelines include:
- Face masks are required
- No unnecessary physical contact
- No food or beverages
- Practice social distancing
- Wash hands as necessary
- Adhere to capacity signage in galleries and directional floor signage
If you are not feeling well, please postpone your visit.
Everything Will be Ok and Voice Lessons will be on exhibit through Sept. 13, and The Power of She until Aug. 30.