The City of North Charleston’s Cultural Arts Department is pleased to present a display of works by local artist Setsuko Lawson and Charlottesville, VA, artist, Mary Jane Nichols, at the North Charleston City Gallery. The concurrent solo exhibitions will be on view from November 1-30, 2014, with a free public reception hosted by Lawson on Thursday, November 6, from 5:00-7:00pm.
In Landscaped Memories Setsuko Lawson presents oil paintings and charcoal drawings that capture both the beauty of nature and the simplicity of the day-to-day. Her landscapes are considered traditional and very realistic, but are also inherently poetic and contemplative. “The nearby parks and woods are so familiar to me, yet each time I visit they show their different faces and give me a new appreciation towards nature,” she explains. The pieces featured in the exhibition seem to portray moments when Lawson became lost in the light and total quietness of her surroundings. The dreamlike scenes are calm and inviting, prompting viewers to tap into their own pleasant memories and experiences of the natural world.
Born in Kobe, Japan, Setsuko Lawson came to the United States to study art after graduating from Mukogawa Women’s University in Hyogo, Japan, with a degree in American Literature. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing & Painting from Illinois State University in 1988, then moved to Alabama to teach art at Auburn University. She relocated to South Carolina 22 years ago and has continued to teach fine art and design courses at a variety of colleges and universities. Lawson is a member of the Charleston Artist Guild and her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the southeast. She currently resides in Goose Creek, SC, and teaches Drawing, Design, and Color & Composition courses at Trident Technical College. To learn more about Lawson, visit SetsukoGallery.com.
Greetings from the South – Works by Mary Jane Nichols
Mary Jane Nichols’ exhibition, Greetings from the South, features oil paintings on canvas and panel that serve as a reflection on growing up in the south. “After living in New York City for over a decade, I found myself thinking of a landscape as a vertical, blocky, compartmentalized space with only a suggestion of sky,” she explains. She realized that it was only through recalling memories of her youth in Rock Hill, SC, and vacations away from the city that she was reminded of the joys in an unbroken landscape. Scenes from Nichols’ hometown of Rock Hill are prevalent in the exhibition, as well as images from the surrounding counties and views from trips to the beach. “After completing this series, my recent decision to move back south was certainly made easier,” she says.
Mary Jane Nichols received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, in 2002 and studied portrait painting under Marvin Mattelson at the School of Visual Arts in New York City from 2008-2010. For the majority of her artistic career she has mainly worked on commission, accomplishing a large number of oil paintings for private clients. Nichols sites The Hudson River School of painters as the greatest visual influence on her work, and aims to juxtapose a harmonious relationship between humans and nature in her paintings while capturing the awe-inspiring beauty of America. She recently left New York City after 11 years for Charlottesville, Virginia, where she now lives and works.
The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in the common areas of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free during regular Convention Center operating hours, 9:00am – 5:00pm daily. The gallery is staffed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only. Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website.