The Cheraw Arts Commission featured the work of artist and Cheraw native Taylor Chestnut in an exhibit opening reception at the Burr Gallery June 4.
The exhibit featured a wide array of work from the young artist including watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings photographs, ceramics, leather work and metalcraft.
The recent graduate of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the arts and humanities will attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York in the fall and intends to major in accessories design. Chestnut said her time at the Governor’s School helped her to expand her horizons.
“It’s really been a great experience,” said Chestnut. “After starting off with Miss Gloria Turner and painting, I went more into three-dimensional work after experiencing 2-D while I was here in Cheraw. The Governor’s School really opened me up to a lot of different other artists.”
Chestnut said the school gave her the opportunity to learn about other arts including drama, music and creative writing.
“I really formed an appreciation for all of the arts in general,” she said. “It’s really been a great experience overall.”
While at the school, Chestnut said she learned to produce other forms of art aside from painting, such as metalwork and photography. These pieces are also on display at the Burr Gallery. She credits her newly discovered passion for accessories design.
“I think without having a metals concentration and without having that 3-D experience, I wouldn’t have found that I wanted to do accessories design for a college career,” said Chestnut. “I did do metals at the Governor’s School which is where I learned that I wanted to do fashion, like functional work such as jewelry. I wanted to see if accessories is really the path I wanted to take, so I went to New York and I took a class and I ended up really enjoying that.”
Chestnut said the hardest part of the Governor’s School was balancing academic work and her artwork. She said she feels that learning to balance the two has helped to prepare her for her collage career.
Chestnut said she is excited to begin her first semester in New York.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here and my time in Greenville,” she said, “and I am ready for a new experience.”
Chestnut said she began painting at around age 9 with art teacher Gloria Turner.
Turner expressed pride in her former pupil at the gallery.
“It’s wonderful!” Turner said. “It’s so exciting, I am so happy for her. I knew when she was a little child that she had this special gift. She had this desire to create and paint. She’s a pleasure to work with. I feel like we will all know her name one day.”
Chestnut’s work will continue to be on display throughout the month of June at the Burr Gallery.
Reach reporter Randy Garner at 843-537-5261 and follow him on Twitter @CherawChronicle.