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Eye-catching Art in the New

and Renovated Myers Hall

By Lynn Conley

The Gadsden GAB is a monthly publication that’s written by BG residents, for BG residents. Every two weeks, we’ll feature an article from the GAB on the Bishop Gadsden website. To read more, you can read the entire January edition here.

  Once again Bishop Gadsden’s leadership team has teamed with Art Expressions, BG’s vendor partner, to locate and select eye-catching art for the new and renovated Myers Hall. Each of the unique pieces was carefully chosen for a specific space in the expansive, beautiful residence. When entering the main reception area, one’s eyes are immediately drawn to the hand-thrown clay pieces above the mantel on the right side. The distinctive pieces are by Debra Steidel. Debra has more than 45 years of experience working with clay. Debra throws each piece individually on the potter’s wheel using a porcelain stoneware blend of clay. Additions are initially sculpted in clay; some are then cast in lead crystal glass. Through heat and time, the marriage of simple earth elements of clay, oxides, and silica creates a canvas of color and crystal patterns that are as singular as a fingerprint. Nature has been Debra’s constant source of inspiration. The plasticity of clay with its endless possibilities has kept her inspired over her entire artistic career. Continuing down the hallway, still in the reception area, is a striking, colorful, and large abstract glass and metal art creation prominently displayed on the wall. This magnificent installation is by Bonnie Hinz, a former interior decorator who took one glass-blowing class and became fascinated with the art form. In 2004, Bonnie became a full-time glass blower, and also began to develop her skills in metalworking. Bonnie is mesmerized by the way dissimilar materials work in harmony with one another. The fragile, organic nature of glass is a counterpoint to the industrial, durable strength of the metal. As a former interior designer, she has a natural affinity with color; therefore, her designs swirl with layers of bright and arresting colors. Her inspiration comes from diverse organic shapes such as leaves, flowers, pods, and the curving lines of grasses. There are also many new giclées (a French term meaning “to spray”, referring to a technology for fine art or photograph reproduction using a high-quality inkjet printer to make individual copies) in Myers Hall from well-known artists. Two of the artists are local – Thomas Hamm and April Moffatt. Thomas Hamm is a native Charlestonian who now lives on James Island. He is not only an accomplished artist but also a photographer, graphic designer, and watercolorist. His giclée in Myers Hall is of the iconic Ravenel Bridge; however, it is not the usual painting or photograph of the bridge. Thomas’ work shows the bridge in the distance with a vast, incredible, yellow and blue sky reflected in the river below. This giclée, presented on canvas, is breathtaking in its beauty and serenity. His art is generally very photo-realistic, drawing much of his subject matter from nature and wildlife, and often incorporates the use of iridescent powders, washes, glazes, and unexpected additives to achieve a certain look or feel. Thomas is an exhibiting member of the Charleston Artist Guild and the Folly Beach Art Guild. He was a founding member of the Island Art Gallery on James Island. He has earned many awards from exhibitions and juried shows. Professionally, Thomas works in communications and marketing for the Medical University of South Carolina. Another now local artist is April Moffatt who lives in Summerville, South Carolina. April grew up in a small rural town in California, and, although as a child she wanted to be an artist, life and family responsibilities delayed her dreams. Finally, when her youngest child was in high school, she had an epiphany and decided it was time to try to paint. Now after selling many paintings, April believes she is still learning every day. She has stated that she plans to be a perpetual student of painting, always learning, and never having arrived. April is influenced by the classical impressionists, but strives to bring about elements of expressionisms as well into her paintings. She uses color fearlessly and strives to “capture the light.” “I want my paints to invoke the emotions of my subjects and especially the wild feelings of being out of doors surrounded by the beauty of nature.” April’s giclée on paper displayed in Myers Hall does indeed capture the light. The work is of a meandering stream through the marsh. What is captivating about this particular giclée is the use of color – the fantastic sky and its reflection in the stream. When gazing on this splendid artwork, it is easy to agree that April has achieved her goal – the feeling of being out of doors surrounded by the beauty of nature. There are many more lovely pieces of new art by talented artists on display in Myers Hall: porcelain leaves and a ceramic wall sculpture by Amy Meya; several giclées on paper, all very vibrant, by Jennifer Black and some beautiful pieces by Brenda Peake. All of the art beckons Bishop Gadsden residents to pay a visit to Myers Hall, when time permits, to view the art at an enjoyable leisurely pace.

Click here to read the full January GAB!