From June 8-13, eight rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders from three states (Texas, Georgia and South Carolina) were on the Converse campus to take part in the college’s Visual Arts Workshop.
Under the tutelage of faculty artists who themselves have exhibited throughout the world, the students tried their hands at
• alternative drawing techniques using a variety of media
• silkscreen printmaking through direct drawing and photo emulsion processes
• digital possibilities as they applied to drawing and printmaking media
The students also visited Hub-Bub’s Showroom Gallery in downtown Spartanburg for a lecture and gallery talk with it’s new group of Artists in Residence and installed work in Converse’s Milliken Art Gallery for an end-of-the-week exhibition.
"I enjoyed every part of the workshop," said Ashley Pruitt, a rising senior at Dorman High School (Spartanburg, SC). "The intense drawing sessions at the beginning were amazing; they opened the flood gates and let the creativity flow, making me rather hyped about the rest of the week. The screen printing technique was also breathtaking; I had applied the technique to T-shirts at R. D. Anderson while taking my Introduction to Graphics class, and was amazed that it had a purpose in art."
Alex Motteler, a rising 10th grader at White Knoll High School (Lexington, SC), plans to pursue a career in art and appreciated the attention devoted to drawing in the workshop. "I’ve always drawn. I like the details I can recreate just by changing pencils from sharp to dull, changing the size of the lead, changing the stroke, changing the pressure, using a kneaded eraser or blending sticks to form shadows and highlights. I can take it anywhere and use it anytime. Some of my best drawings are done in the back of the car on long road trips. (During the workshop) I appreciated learning that there are ways of drawing that do not involve a pencil, like the cut paper drawings.
Workshop faculty was comprised of Converse Professor Andrew Blanchard who teaches printmaking and photography and is director of the Visual Arts Workshop; Brian Hitselberger, one of four inaugural Artists-in-Residence at the HUB-BUB Arts Initiative in Spartanburg; and Kathryn Boucher, Director of the Milliken Art Gallery.
In the last year, Blanchard’s prints have been showcased in over a dozen local, national and international exhibitions, including shows in London, Belfast and at the Museum of Modern Art in Wales. He earned his BA with an emphasis in printmaking from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000 and his MFA in printmaking from the University of Mississippi in 2004.
Hitselberger earned a BFA in painting and printmaking from Tulane University in New Orleans in 2005. During this eleven month residency with HUB-BUB, he worked with artist Leah Brown and the Spartanburg Area Conservancy to create the large-scale outdoor installation, the “Scarecrow Wedding,” located in the Cottonwood Trail wetlands, which received much media attention. He has exhibited widely throughout the southeast, garnering several awards in juried exhibitions, as well as participating in print exchanges in South Africa. His work has appeared in Locus Magazine, Roots newspaper, and t