Tri State Sculptors Association
Promoting public awareness and appreciation for sculpture in the VA, NC, and SC areas
We are excited to host the 44th Annual Tri State Sculptors Conference here at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC! This year’s theme, “The Shape I’m In,” was inspired by a stray lyric from a country-folk song. We like that it has many interpretations, from the fleshy forms we inhabit to our present mental and emotional states, from the architecture that surrounds us to our resistance to creative fatigue. When we also consider our two keynote speakers, Michaela Pilar Brown and Allan Wexler, the theme also refers to the limitless configurations we embody as artists and seekers navigating our way to the center of the mysteries that keep us going.
Programming will primarily take place in the lovely Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts, and the Goodall Environmental Studies Center in beautiful Glendale Shoals will be our host for the aluminum pour. Our Member exhibition will begin on August 31 and culminate with a reception during the conference. Come join us! Click on the links below to get more information about each opportunity and how to submit your proposals online.
*NEW* Speed Sculptshare!
Apply to present in the Speed Sculptshare, a Pecha Kucha style event where presenters show 5 slides in 5 minutes. This format is great for new members, college students, or anyone who wants to share a brief creative discovery. Everyone is welcome to apply by September 25th via this link, and the presentations are scheduled for Friday, October 7th, at 3pm.
Conference shirt designs are here! Custom design by Hitomi Kobayashi and Oscar Soto in a revival of 70's linear graphics. This design combines the classic Tri State Association logo with this year's conference logo. Stock is limited after September 15th so get yours today! These are 100% Cotton in unisex sizes.
The conference hotel is the Comfort Suites at Westgate Mall, Spartanburg, SC, about 10 minutes drive from Wofford College. Single rooms are $109/night and double rooms are $119/night, just ask for the Tri State Sculptors Conference rate when making your reservation, or book online through this link. Be sure to make your reservation before the cut-off date on September 23.
Comfort Suites - Westgate Mall
458 W Blackstock Rd
Spartanburg, SC 29301
The AC Hotel in downtown Spartanburg is a short 15 minute walk from campus. We did not hold any rooms at the AC Hotel for this conference, but if you are looking for a more expensive option for proximity to restaurants and nightlife, this is the place. The lobby boasts a permanent exhibition the Johnson Collection of Black Mountain College art, so it is worth a visit just to see the artwork. Don't miss the small Ruth Asawa piece by the elevators!
Camping is available at Croft State Park, located about 20 minutes drive from Wofford College. View rates and available campsites via this link. Reservations are required and campsites fill early.
Thursday, October 6
-Check-in & Registration
-Scratch block molds available
-Self-guided tour of Spartanburg Art
-6-9 PM: Opening Night Event at the studio of Ralph Pàquin
Friday, October 7
-Check In & Registration
-All Day Presentations and Demos
-3PM: Speed Sculptshare
-7PM: Keynote Speaker Michaela Pilar Brown
-8PM: Exhibition Reception
Saturday, October 8
-Check In & Registration
-All Day Presentations and Demos
-3-6PM: Aluminum Pour at Glendale Shoals
-7PM: Keynote Speaker Allan Wexler
Sunday, October 9
-9AM-Noon: Tri State Sculptors Member Meeting
The primary conference venue is the Rosalind S Richardson Center for the Arts, located on the main campus of Wofford College. The building is listed on Google Maps, and the GPS address for the building is 130 Memorial Drive, Spartanburg, SC.
The Keynote Presentations will take place in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building on the campus of Wofford College. This building is located directly across from the Arts Center, about 1 minute walk away.
The Opening Night Event from 6-9pm on Thursday is located at the studio of Ralph Pàquin. The building is listed on Google Maps as Pàquin Artworks, and the GPS address for the building is 102 W Cleveland St, Spartanburg, SC. The building is within a former textile mill complex with gated access, but a student will be at the gate to direct traffic.
Saturday from 3-6pm events will be held outdoors at the Goodall Environmental Studies Center at Glendale Shoals Preserve. Parking is very limited, so shuttles will be available to take you to the event and return to the Arts Center during the entire event. If you are a presenter and need to drive supplies, the building is listed on Google Maps, and the GPS address for the building is 351 Broadway St, Glendale, SC.
Michaela Pilar Brown is an image and object maker, a multidisciplinary artist using photography, installation and performance. She studied sculpture and art history at Howard University. Brown’s installations, collage and photographs address issues attendant to the black body. She uses nontraditional materials and their juxtaposition to each other, and or dissimilar objects to make statements about the body and its relationship to larger cultural themes of age, gender, race, sexuality, history, and violence. Her work considers memory, myth, ritual, desire and the spaces the body occupies within these vignettes. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions in North and South Carolina, New York, Georgia, Washington, DC, California, Germany and Canada, and participated in 2016 Satellite Art Fair, Basel Miami.
Brown was the 2011 Harvey B. Gantt Artist in Residence at the McColl Center for Art and Innovation, an artist Grant recipient at the Studio Center of Vermont, and an Artist Venture Grant recipient of the South Carolina Arts Commission. She is the 2016 Jasper Projects Artists of the Year, one of the six American artists selected to participate as a Resident Artist for OPEN IMMERSION: A VR CREATIVE DOC LAB produced by the CFC Media Lab, The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and and JustFilms | Ford Foundation, an Inaugural Resident Artist at the 2016 Sedona Summer Colony and a 2016 Artist in Residence, Kunstlerwerkgemeinschaft, Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Allan Wexler has worked in the fields of sculpture, architecture, and design for forty-five years. He works as an investigator using series, permutations, and chance rather than searching for definitive solutions. He makes buildings, furniture, vessels, and utensils as backdrops and props for everyday, ordinary human activity. The works isolate, elevate, and monumentalize our daily rituals: dining, sleeping, and bathing. And they, in turn, become mechanisms that activate ritual, ceremony, and movement, turning these ordinary activities into theater.
Allan Wexler is represented by Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York City and has exhibited, taught, and lectured internationally. Currently, he teaches at Parsons School of Design in New York. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, a Guggenheim Fellow, winner of the Chrysler Award for Design Innovation, and the Leir Prize from the Jewish Museum. His solo exhibitions include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, and the Jewish Museum. The installation Social Contracts: Choreographing Interactions was included in the 2021 Venice Biennale of Architecture. His monograph, “Allan Wexler: Absurd Thinking Between Art and Design” was published by Lars Muller Publications, Zurich in 2017.
Michaela Pilar Brown, She's Almost Ready, 2018
Allan Wexler, Interchange Chair, 2008