TGS high school students visited the Columbia Museum of Art in downtown Columbia on December 1. We saw an exhibit entitled Georgia O’Keeffe: Her Carolina Story, commemorating the artist’s 100th anniversary of working in S. C. Afterwards, we did a studio project in the educational wing of the museum.
Our docent Cameron Vogt joined us in the lobby and gave a short introduction to the amazing life and career of Georgia O’Keeffe before leading us into the gallery. The show is an in-depth look at the five months O’Keeffe spent in Columbia, S.C. where she experienced an artistic awakening that would inform her work to the end of her life. We saw a giant photo of O’Keeffe (taken by Alfred Steiglitz) and smaller abstract studies she did in in black and white. We learned that O’Keeffe began experimenting with abstraction while teaching at Columbia College and got affirmation from her friends in New York (including 291 Gallery owner Steiglitz) that she was on the right track. Ms. Vogt then let us look at 14 O’Keeffe works dating from 1915-1920 that illustrate the direction O’Keeffe took on the way to becoming one of the most important artists of the 20th century.
After the gallery tour, docent Jean Prothro got our group settled at tables in the museum classroom, then started us on a Georgia O’Keeffe-style landscape subject using oil pastels. She encouraged us to express how the place we chose to draw made us feel, using organic shapes and complementary colors. We were all sorry when it was time to head back to Georgetown. Thank you to Mrs. Patrick for organizing this field trip and to our chaperons Dr. Gates, Mrs. Parsley, Mrs. Kowalewski, Mme Gates!