‘Simple Pleasures’ begins July 19

By: Special to The Union Times
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Carolina Sunrise

SPARTANBURG — After stepping away from the hustle-and-bustle life of a professional artist to care for his aging parents, Garry Turpin will exhibit his latest works — Simple Pleasures — at West Main Artists Co-op, July 19-Aug. 15, 2018. The reception for this collection of 12 oil paintings will be Thursday, July 19, 5-9 p.m., which is during the city of Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk.

Routinely, the exhibit can be viewed by the public at no cost Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the non-profit gallery/studio, 578 West Main Street, Spartanburg, SC.

For 15 years, Turpin was the owner of GT Graphics Studios in Spartanburg. In 2000, he changed directions to devote his time and efforts to be a full-time artist. However, in 2013, his life changed again when he was needed to devote most of his energies to caring for his aging parents. “When I took on this responsibility along with other family situations, I decided to curtail my painting and other creative activities for a while,” he said. “These new directives kept me close to home and focused on family matters. When I was offered an opportunity to have this exhibition, it became a combination of focusing on family members and creating art that had a simple subject appeal. Simple Pleasures is a collection of paintings that hopefully reflect the title.”

Many of the works in this collection are of people, places, and things, which are realistically represented with a style of soft simplicity and emotional calmness. “The response I get most often from viewers is a kinship to my feelings, a viewing pleasure,” he said. “I have a representational style that reflects my love and admiration for the natural elements that make life on this earth so wonderful and ever changing.”

These 12 oil-on-canvas paintings took about a year to produce and each will sell for $45 to $1,250.

Turpin was one of the Co-op’s founding members, however, he left its membership in 2013 because of family duties. “It’s always a pleasure to be involved with West Main Artists Co-op,” he said. “It is a great group of people fulfilling a need for artists to grow with their craft and enjoy new works by ongoing and emerging artists with the facilities available to make this possible.”

A resident of Moore, SC, Turpin, 68, is a graduate of Mars Hill College with a bachelor’s degree in studio art. Born in Whittier, NC, he spent his early years in Oklahoma, but returned to North Carolina at 6 years old and has remained ever since. As the Creative Director for a commercial agency, he has won many awards for his work, including illustrations and photography. His work in the fine arts has been exhibited extensively throughout the Carolinas from 2005 to 2016. He was also a founding member of the Artist Guild Gallery of Greenville, SC, holding a leadership position from 2007 until 2009.

“My studio is in a barn that my father and I built in 1990 on our small country farm,” he said. “It is located adjacent to my home, where my wife and I have lived for 46-plus years. My medium of preference is oil paint. I prefer painting on stretched canvas. On occasion, I will try producing works in the area of pottery and printmaking.”

In explaining his process and inspirations, Turpin said, “I am inspired by something I see and wish to share with others, and seeing other artists’ work and how they approach painting similar subjects. My process is when I see or experience something that motivates me to gather resource materials, which I will translate into a fairly detailed drawing on the canvas. I will then stain the canvas usually with a burnt sienna and begin painting from there.”

Turpin’s work can be seen extensively online at his website: GarryTurpin.com.

West Main Artists Co-op is a leading non-profit arts agency in Spartanburg, providing affordable studio and gallery space to local artists. It has more than 50 members, of which more than 30 have studio space at the facility that was once a Baptist church. It has three small galleries and one large one. Each month, it has at least three exhibits: two by members and one by a guest artist. Exhibits are always free for public viewing. In addition, the Co-op has workshops and the most-extensive collection of for-sale locally made artwork in the city. For more information, please visit online: WestMainArtists.org.

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Special to The Union Times