Spartanburg, S.C. – Curtis R. Harley Gallery, sponsored by the University of South Carolina Upstate, is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition by Columbia-based artist, Mana Hewitt. “Persistence” will open January 11 and continue through February 15. A public reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 4:30 p.m. in the gallery located in the Performing Arts Center.
Rooted in metalsmithing and jewelry, Mana Hewitt’s work varies in media, scale and execution, including sculpture, painting, and wearable objects. Hewitt holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of South Carolina where she teaches in the School of Visual Arts and Design, and serves as director of Undergraduate Studies. Hewitt has been awarded grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission, was named Visual Arts Craft Fellow in 2006, and has exhibited her work throughout the southeast. As former director of the McMaster Gallery at USC in Columbia, Hewitt has curated numerous exhibitions and continues to serve as judge for competitive art exhibitions.
“Though my thoughts may offend, they are the foundation of these works,” says Hewitt. “Females learn when they are very young society’s lessons of place. My introduction to societal gender norms came in elementary school. Girls weren’t allowed to be bus patrols or run the projector; that was a boy’s job. Girls could sweep and clap the erasers, and eating dust became a metaphor for being left behind. These little insults fester, they reside in the psyche throughout our lives. But as my life progressed, an idea percolating deep within my thoughts was unleashed. I wanted to recognize women and their struggle to be heard. Historically men have received medals for service and bravery. I have chosen to create a series of commemorative medals in recognition of the courage and perseverance of women who have challenged societal perceptions and worked to improve conditions for all. They are intended familiarize and instruct, lest we forget the women that have forged a path to give us voice today.”
Upstate Gallery Director Jane Nodine stated, “I am pleased to present the work of Mana Hewitt whom I have known and respected for many years. Mana has a keen interest in materials and processes that she merges with content and meaning. The ‘Persistence’ series will interest all types of visitors to the Harley Gallery with a focus on historical female figures in well-crafted brooch-like medals. It is a great example of history, commemoration and art converging.”
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About USC Upstate
The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional comprehensive university offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and education. Located along the I-85 corridor in Spartanburg between Greenville and Charlotte, USC Upstate is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #2 among Top Public Schools. It serves as a major talent producer for the region, with more than 6,000 students, approximately 1,300 new graduates a year, and nearly 30,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the state. The USC Upstate Spartans compete in 17 NCAA Division 1 sports as a member of the Big South Conference. For more information, visit www.uscupstate.edu.