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Carl Blair Exhibition at Greenville County Museum of Art

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Carl Blair (1932 – 2018) was born in Kansas and earned a bachelor of arts from the University of Kansas and a master of fine arts from the Kansas City Art Institute. An exhibition honoring his work is open through May 20th.

Carl was a beloved member of the Greenville arts community and a recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. He taught art at Bob Jones University for more than forty years.

Blair’s painting varied stylistically, but landscape was his preferred subject. Late in his career, he turned his focus to polychromed sculpture, creating comical barnyard animals of pine and plywood and combining them with simple found objects. Colorblind, Blair said of his working process, “It’s like taking an unplanned trip. I never know how it’s going to come out until it’s finished.” Blair referred to his style as “neither realistic nor abstract. I refer to my work as visual poetry.” Blair did not discover he was color-blind until he was an art student at the University of Kansas; when asked to do a self-portrait, he painted himself green. He once called his color-blindness an asset because he was “not hindered by color combinations.”

In 2005 Blair was awarded the Verner Award for Lifetime Achievement, the highest award given by the state of South Carolina in the arts. In 2013, the Greenville Metropolitan Arts Council (MAC) created the Carl R. Blair Award for commitment to Arts Education, an award given annually to a Greenville arts educator.[ In 2016, MAC honored Blair with the exhibition “Artists Touched by Carl R. Blair,” which featured the work of 55 Upstate artists who he had influenced and motivated. In the exhibition catalog, a fellow artist described Blair as “challenging, encouraging, helpful, witty, and inspirational to all his students.”

Visit gcma.org/carl-blair/ for additional information.

(Copy partially provided via Wikipedia.)