An exhibit showcasing artwork by nine Swiss artists is being displayed in the Harper Center for the Arts until Feb. 5 to Feb. 22.
The exhibit is entitled “From Bourg to Burg,” which references the Swiss city Fribourg, where all the artists hail from, and the original location of the exhibit, Spartanburg.
All nine artists belong to the same artists guild, and it was thanks to the efforts of Hafis Bertschinger, the group’s eldest member, that the exhibit was able to come to South Carolina.
“Lisa Anderson, a former professor at USC Upstate knew Hafis Bertschinger, from early on…they came up with this idea of bringing this exhibit to Spartanburg,” Gallery Director Ann Stoddard explained during a tour.
They turned to “wemakeit,” the Swiss version of Kickstarter, to raise funds “to ship their artwork to the Spartanburg art museum,” Stoddard added.
The artwork is as varied as the artists themselves. The youngest, 25 year old Karin Kurzmeyer, is a conceptual artist, while 81 year old Bertschinger is an abstract painter.
“His [Bertschinger’s] work is the freest,” Stoddard said. “He likes to take paintings and hold it up to the wind.”
The exhibit is not limited to just conceptual art or abstract painting. It also features striking photography by Francesco Ragusa, surreal paintings by Olivier Zappelli, and dreamy landscapes by Catherine Liechti. Magdolna Rubin and Cornélia Patthey work in the unusual medium of reclaimed materials, like vinyl from construction sites and discarded couch foam.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to bring an international exhibit to Harper Gallery…and an opportunity for students to see contemporary art from another country,” Stoddard said.
To further enhance the experience, on opening day, PC students had the rare chance to speak to some of the artists via Skype. French Professor and Director of International Studies Patrick Kiley acted as a translator.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for me and the PC community to chat with such a diverse and talented group of artists from Switzerland this past Wednesday,” Kiley said. “I’m always happy to participate in any event that might help us better internationalize the campus of PC and the city of Clinton.”
Presbyterian College has been given a unique chance to host an international art exhibit. Any student who has the opportunity to and even a passing interest in art should give the exhibit a thorough visit.