Oil painter Carol Beth Icard, who lives in Landrum, SC, creates as a means of finding out who she is as a person. “My art making has been an exploration, not only for thoughts and experiences but to somehow lead me to a better self,” she says. “My art threads through many doorways searching for my essential self.”
The Gallery at Flat Rock will present a retrospective exhibition, Map of my Self: Carol Beth Icard 1999-2019, from Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, August 4. An opening reception will be held on July 11 from 5–7 p.m., and on Saturday, July 27, Icard will give an Artist Talk at 3 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
Visitors to the exhibition will see how the artist’s processes have evolved through the years. She now paints on board rather than canvas and she has made a distinct change in color choices. “Early work is fairly muted and earthy, while my newer work is brighter with varied colors,” Icard says. “They may also notice that there are more layers and depth in the recent work.”
Originally a basket maker, Icard returned to college to study painting in 1991, and after graduation traveled to Italy. Her early paintings convey her love for Italy. These days, inspired by life and introspection, her work is more metaphorical and abstract. “Everything goes into the pot,” she says. “After several years, I no longer think of ‘Italy’ as being any different from my ‘Self’. By incorporating my thoughts, observations and feelings, I gain a sense of satisfaction.”
Icard hopes that viewers, likewise, will tap into their own life experiences and find a sense of enrichment as they view the exhibition. “I’ve dealt with introversion and sensitivity all my life, as well as fear of letting myself be ‘known,’” she says. “As I’ve aged, I’ve grown in my ability to express myself in words and paint. It is easier now in the sense that I have more experience, yet it can also be harder because it takes more time and effort to satisfy my desire to make each piece the best it can be.”
She calls seeing her work gathered at The Gallery at Flat Rock an “extraordinary” experience. “I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to see two decades of work in one exhibition,” Icard says. “It is instructive, like a map, and affirms that I have been true to my nature in attempting to paint with personal meaning.”
The Gallery at Flat Rock is located at Flat Rock Square at 2702-A Greenville Highway, Flat Rock. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; or by appointment. To learn more, visit GalleryFlatRock.com or call 828.698.7000.