Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist



Something to Look At: Robert Ariail’s cartoons at City Art Gallery

Posted 3/26/2013 12:19:00 PM

One of the most recognizable names to us news junkies in South Carolina is Robert Ariail. The fearless editorial cartoonist has been making Palmetto Staters giggle, snort and scoff since 1984, when he started working for The State newspaper. Now a staff member of The Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Ariail’s work is syndicated throughout 600 newspapers in the United States. His work has caught on in the rest of the world, as well, as he has been awarded prestigious prizes on several occasions, including the United Nations Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Award.

“Good editorial cartoons should say something interesting about the news and challenge the reader to look at an issue from a different perspective,” Ariail says in his artist statement. “A good cartoon will always evoke some kind of reaction and serve as a reference point for readers to discuss the issues of the day.”

By this definition, Ariail has certainly achieved his goal, as readers have found his analyses to be useful jumping-off points for coffee conversations for 29 years. As a recipient of the 2012 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts for Individual Artist, it is clear that South Carolinians will treasure his work for years to come.

You don’t have to mangle your newspapers with scissors and excato-knives to have a framed version of Ariail’s cartoons anymore, though. Right now City Art Gallery in Columbia is hosting an exhibit of the Pulitzer Prize finalist’s work, which will be available for purchase. The show will be on view through March 30.

For more information about the exhibit, please click here.