Columbia College to feature:
Wanderlust, a Visual Travelogue by Virginia Saunders
September 1 to October 11, 2011
Artist’s reception: Thursday, September 15, 5:30-7:00pm
Goodall Gallery, Spears Center for the Arts
The Goodall Gallery at Columbia College is excited to kick off its 2011-2012 season with a solo exhibition entitled, Wanderlust, a Visual Travelogue by Virginia Saunders, featuring photography and photomontage works by the South Carolina based artist. A reception for Saunders will be held on Thursday, September 15, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the Goodall Gallery. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
Over the past several years, Virginia Saunders has spent time traveling around Europe and Asia, always with her camera in tow. Throughout these travels, Saunders developed a passionate eye, utilizing the camera as a tool to record parts and places of the natural, figurative, and architectural world around her; “I am a forager searching for bits and pieces of the physical world that speak to me,” says Saunders. Back in her studio, Saunders studies and weaves elements of these collected images to create works that are of a dreamlike nature. The result is a collection of photography and photomontage works that fuse rich layers of meanings, images and techniques that embody the essence of these travel experiences and beyond.
A native of Rochester, New York – and now a resident of Hopkins, South Carolina – Saunders’s training includes an undergraduate degree in studio art and a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking and drawing. After receiving her MFA, Saunders shifted her creative focus towards graphic design where she took advantage of early developments in computer technology and software. Saunders’s design aesthetic and technical skill developed along with the progression of the industry. With an affinity and attraction to working in the ever-evolving design world, Saunders developed a career in advertising and graphic design that lasted for twenty years. She specialized in creating complex montage images for both print- and web-based communications.
After two decades in commercial design, Saunders was presented with increasingly frequent opportunities to travel. The chance to trek globally became irresistible, and for Saunders the camera was an essential tool for recording and compiling images that were reflective of her unique travel experiences. Saunders is quick to point out, however, “although my imagery is based in photography, I am not a photographer, nor do I pretend to be.”
Back home in South Carolina, Saunders organizes and evaluates her collection of images, relying on her aesthetic and technical expertise to begin a process of extended exploration and manipulation. Her method of building, layering, and weaving imagery naturally mimics her training and intuition as an artist and designer to create complex, rich images of photography and photomontage. For Saunders, the creative process is a “journey of discovery.” Though the process and the work is very personal, for Saunders, it leads to the creation of images “that have extended meaning” and accessibility.
Saunders’s current works have been shown widely in national and international competitions and exhibitions, winning numerous awards. Most recently, her work has been recognized in internationally renowned competitions and exhibitions that include the PX3 Prix de la Photography, Paris, FR; IPA/Lucie Awards, Los Angeles, USA; London International Creative Competition, London, UK; International Color Awards Photography Masters Cup, London, UK; The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards, York, UK; The Photographic Society of Singapore, SG; and Photographer's Forum Magazine, USA. Closer to home, Saunders work has been included in numerous group exhibitions that include: The Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO; Vermont Photography Workplace, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT; Fraser Art Gallery, Washington, DC; Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, IL; Atlanta Photography Group Gallery and Atlanta Arts Center, both in Atlanta, GA; and Anderson Arts Center, Anderson, SC. In addition to Saunders’s show at Columbia College, her work will be featured in upcoming solo shows at the Spectrum Gallery at Lumiere Photo in Rochester, NY and the SRO Photo Gallery at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. For more information about Virginia Saunders and her work, please visit her website at www.virginiasaunders.com.
The Columbia College Goodall Galley is located inside the Spears Center for the Arts at 1301 Columbia College Drive in downtown Columbia off of North Main Street. Gallery Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm. For further information about exhibits please contact Jacqueline Adams, Gallery Coordinator, at 803. 786.3899.