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Gallery - Taylor Books of Charleston, WV

Eliot Dudik – Broken Land and Still Lives

October 1, 2018 – November 10, 2018

Artist reception: October 13, 6pm

Broken Land – The idea of history repeating itself generally means that recognizing mistakes of the past prevents their recurrence.  Current political and cultural polarization in the United States seems to have blinded us to the effects of our terrible historical schisms—divisions that led to the horrific and devastating events of the American Civil War and which, having not been recognized and resolved, seem determined to repeat themselves.  The current political divide in this country is not dissimilar to that of mid-nineteenth-century America.  And once again, political leaders today, as before, appear incapable of lasting and effective resolutions.

Perspectives on the Civil War and contemporary culture are many and are deeply engrained in our heritage.  Prying open and examining viewpoints objectively is exceedingly difficult, but it is nevertheless an essential responsibility for all citizens if we are to recover any possibility of cultural and political cohesion.  My goals are to create landscapes that come alive with the acts of war, and cause, at least, contemplation of the nature of being American, to allow understanding, communication, and cooperation with fellow citizens.  These photographs are an attempt to preserve American history, not to relish it, but recognize its cyclical nature and to derail that seemingly inevitable tendency for repetition.

Still Lives – Born of ill-informed misconceptions about the motives behind reenactments of the American Civil War during the 150th anniversary, my interest developed in the mentality of the weekend actors who caravan a web of routes to re-perform the actions of war on surrogate battlefields.  My initial contact with a re-enactor involved driving through woods on a golf cart, while the driver wept and recounted the stories of all his ancestors killed or wounded in conflicts dating to the Civil War.  I have since learned that the motivations compelling re-enactors are incalculably complex, but generally address themselves to the preservation of history and appropriate honor for the fallen.

My deeper curiosity and exploration began after hearing a re-enactor say “I don’t die anymore.” I learned that he invoked this privilege on the strength of his years of service in the community.  But the idea of controlling one’s death, choosing when and where to perform and re-perform one’s demise, says something powerful about our relation to historical representation—about our need for it, and about its conditions and limitations.  These portraits provide a sense of the diversity of actors existing in this community, many of whom devote their lives to this performance, and strive to immortalize them in a fabricated state of tranquility as they hover above the ground they fight for.

eliotdudik.com

 

Charles C. Scott – A Ceramic Retrospectivecsscott

October 1, 2018 – November 10, 2018

Artist Reception: October 19, 6pm

Charles Christie Scott

In 1931, I was born in Athens, West Virginia, the fourth child of John Irving and Annie Christie Scott who taught in Mercer County and whose roots date back several generations in the area.

Upon graduation from high school in 1949 I joined the Army.  I am a disabled veteran, having served in a rifle squad of the First Platoon, C Company, Thirty-Fifth Infantry Regiment, Twenty-Fifth Infantry Division during the Korean War, 1950-51.  On September 27th, 1950, I was wounded by an enemy hand-grenade and hospitalized in Tokyo, Japan, until my return to active duty with my unit in November.  Upon my return to the United Sates in 1951 I was stationed at the Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia.

On June 7th, 1952, I married Janet Worley of Athens who was a senior at Concord College majoring in Math, Business and English.  We started housekeeping in Benning Hills, a suburb of Columbus, Georgia.  When I was discharged from the Army on August 22nd, 1952, having served three years, two months and twenty-one days, we returned to Athens, West Virginia.

I enrolled in Concord College for the fall semester and graduated in the summer of 1955 with B.S. and A.B. degrees.  Janet taught Math and English at Beaver High School in Bluefield, West Virginia, while I attended Concord.  Mr. J. Arthur Butcher, Head of the Art Department, was a Glenville State College graduate and had classes to my Aunt Margaret Christie who taught at Glenville State College in the late 1930s.  Upon graduation from Concord, Mr. Butcher urged me to continue my education at Ohio University.

In the fall of 1955, we moved to Athens, Ohio, where I enrolled as a graduate student in the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University.  I graduated in the summer of 1956 with an M.F.A. degree in Painting and a minor in Art History.  Upon graduation, several job offers were extended to me in the Ohio school system but I opted to teach at McAdory High School in McCalla, Alabama.

In the spring of 1957, Mr. Butcher phoned to tell me about a position in the Art Department at Glenville State College for the summer and asked if I was interested.  The next day Dr. Somerville, the Dean of the college, phoned and I accepted the position.  During the last term of summer school, Dr. Somerville informed me of a position in the Marshall College Laboratory School for which I was interviewed by Dr. D. Banks Wilburn, Dean of Teacher Education.

While teaching at Marshall, I was also employed by the Huntington Art Galleries to teach ceramic classes to adults on Wednesday nights and to children for a half day on Saturdays.   After teaching two years at Marshall and the summer sessions at Glenville, President Harry Heflin wanted me to teach full-time at Glenville.

Nelson Wells of the Education Department spoke to me about coming to Glenville at the spring meeting of the West Virginia Education Association hosted by Marshall College.  Although I enjoyed teaching and living in Huntington, I decided it was better to be employed twelve months a year than nine as Dr. Heflin had informed me he would no longer employ me for the summer sessions only.  Dr. Wilburn was not pleased when I resigned my position at the Marshall College Laboratory School.  However, some years later when he came to Glenville State College as President, he exhibited no hard feelings toward me.

The support I have received during my forty year tenure in West Virginia Higher Education and the encouragement from various agencies of state government have provided every opportunity and incentive to develop professionally as an artist and teacher.  A few highlights provided in my career have been involvement in arts and crafts fairs, apprenticeship training, artist in residence programs for county school children, workshops at Cedar Lakes, pottery demonstrations at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, Pogues in Cincinnati in 1968, Travel Show in Washington, DC in 1971, Arts and Buyers Convention at Astrohall in Houston, Texas, in 1972, Painting on Location Workshops at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1974 and 1979, a sabbatical leave to study pottery in China, Korea, and Japan, and to visit museums, artists and craftsmen around the world in 1980, and the Fulbright Teacher Exchanges to England (Southport College of Art and Design in 1985-86 and Anglia University in 1990-91).  These and many other opportunities too numerous to mention have made my tenure both taxing and enjoyable.

My philosophy of education is simple:  “It takes masters to make masters.”  Likewise, my philosophy of teaching is simple:  “Do I care?  Am I fair?  Do I want to share?”  I must ask myself these questions everyday as I enter the classroom/studio.  You cannot teach an absentee.

My students who have proven themselves professionally have learned what I meant when I said, “Winners never quit and quitters never win” and “Good enough is not good enough”.  It is not what I do that is important but what my students do as my success depends on them.  If I have achieved any success over the past forty years, I contribute it to my students who have given me their best efforts and to those who have come to study ceramics with me from many parts of America if only for a short time who are referred to as part of the “Glenville Connection”.  Many of my students have established themselves as professional sculptors and art educators.

There was a time when there were only a few places in West Virginia where one could sell or gain recognition in the arts but now there are numerous places – the latest being Tamarack.  I am delighted when I visit Tamarack and see the work of many of my former students including those who are part of the “Glenville Connection” or when I visit their studios or consult with them for technical help.

I am indeed grateful to my wife, children, grandchildren, parents, brothers, sister and many others who have believed in and supported me as an artist and teacher.  I am grateful to my superiors in the military:  M/Sgt. James R Mills, M/Sgt. Richard Pretzer and Captain Bonnie Pannell.  I am also indebted to my superiors in education:  Professor J. Arthur Butcher of Concord College, Professors Irving Shechter, David Hostetler, Dwight Mutchler and L. C. Mitchell of Ohio University, Presidents Dr. Harry Heflin and Dr. D. Banks Wilburn, Dr. Somerville, Dean of the College and Dr. A. T. Billips, Professor of Education of Glenville State College.

One has said and I concur, “A good character is the best tombstone.  Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when the forget-me-nots are withered.  Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.”

Sincerely,

Charles C. Scott