Arts and Culture 2011

Amy Holtcamp



Farewell to Artisphere

Posted 5/13/2012 12:21:00 PM

Well, Artisphere ends today. I have just about enough time to head down Greenville's Main Street for one final stroll through Artists Row before I head back home. A lot of my favorite pieces are a little out of my price range (like Andy Kearney’s beautiful wooden furniture), but we’ll see if I can resist heading home with a print of one of Xavier Nuez’s mesmerizing photographs or Sharon McLean’s ocean-inspired necklaces.

I also want to make sure to check in on Shawn McCann’s progress. For the past two days, McCann has been using chalk to recreate the 2012 Artisphere poster image on the sidewalk by the Reedy River.

The original poster image is a piece by Daryl Thetford from Chattanooga. His work is extraordinarily complex. Thetford begins by photographing different textures and ephemera – signs, painted walls, graffiti, newsprint, etc. He then begins an extensive cut and paste process, combining photos and images to achieve a stunningly layered and nuanced work.

The piece that was chosen for the poster design began with a photo of a discarded department store mannequin. Among the layers of texture are photos of The New York Times and a Tibetan prayer flag.

The rich textures of Thetford’s work mean an extra challenge for chalk artist McCann, who told me that he wanted to head up to Artists Row and ask Thetford, “Why did you have to use newsprint!?” It may be presenting a challenge, but McCAnn’s reproduction is stunning.

McCann works across the country (and the world) with Art for After Hours, creating 2-D reproductions of famous works of art and 3-D murals. He’s also a noted children’s’ book illustrator.

Aside from the challenge of recreating the intricate poster image, McCann has one more obstacle to confront: the threatening grey skies over Greenville this morning. As soon as the rain sets in, his masterpiece will be washed away. Which means I had better get a move on!