‘The Artist Collects’ exhibit now showing at Arts Council

June 19, 2014

UNION — People collect everything from bottles to baseball cards … from thimbles to Beanie Babies. Some people also collect art.

The Union County Arts Council is featuring a new exhibit “The Artist Collects” containing 55 pieces from the eclectic art collection of Susanne Floyd Gunter, Ed. D. Dr. Gunter has been collecting art for 35 years after trading pieces of her work to friends who were fellow art students in her college days.

“It was in college that I realized that collecting student works and friends’ works were important to my own growth as an artist and teacher,” said Gunter. “The first artwork that I purchased was ‘The Filter House’ by Leroy Marshall. I paid thirty-five dollars for it, which was a lot of money back then. I imagine the piece is worth much more now but, even if it’s not, the use of cigarette filters for the logs appealed to the tobacco farmer’s daughter in me.”

This will be the first show at UCAC since re-opening after extensive repair and remodeling of the gallery on Main Street in Union.

“Showing Dr. Gunter’s collection is a wonderful way to reopen our gallery,” said UCAC president Bennie Giles. “I don’t think that we could have found another exhibit that would showcase such a variety of art. We’re very proud to have these works to help us ‘show off’ our new building.”

A highlight of the exhibit will be a lecture by Dr. Gunter at the show’s closing reception. She will talk about how to put together a collection of art “on a budget.”

“Artists, or anyone else, tend to collect things that speak to them,” explained Gunter. “This is a pretty valuable collection that shows how anyone can put a collection together without spending a lot of money. Another benefit of a collection like this one is that I can still enjoy the company of friends who are no longer with us.”

Dr. Gunter earned her doctorate degree in Art Education from the University of South Carolina and did additional graduate study at Winthrop, Clemson, Lander and Coastal Carolina. As a classroom art teacher for 21 years she received five “Teacher of the Year” awards and authored a number of publications in the fields of art education and general education history. She is also on the Editorial Board for the journal “Art Education” and serves as the SC Art Education historian. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Converse College and as the Graduate Art Education Program Coordinator. She also is a practicing artist who exhibits locally and regionally.

“The Artist Collects” will run through Aug. 15 with the closing reception Aug. 10 from 2-4 p.m. at the UCAC gallery on Main Street in Union.

For more information about UCAC’s programs or workshops, call 864-429-2817 or email ucac@bellsouth.net.