Senior Exhibition to Feature Portfolios of Art Majors


HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Apr. 5, 2014 – Coker College’s Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery presents the senior exhibitions of Ashley Gillespie, Catherine Busby, and Matthew Hicks beginning Apr. 7 and running through May 7.

The senior exhibitions will open with Gillespie’s exhibition of photographs Apr. 7, followed by Busby’s exhibition of design work Apr. 21 and Hick’s exhibition of oil paintings Apr. 28. All receptions are from 7 to 8 p.m. on opening nights and are free and open to the public. Each senior will host her or his reception and light refreshments will be served.

Gillespie, from Gaston, S.C., is interested in installation, performance art and photography. For her show she chose to concentrate on photography and produced a series of large-scale photographs. Although Gillespie is the subject in the majority of these photographs, she does not consider them self-portraits. Rather, she sees herself as a model or actor in a staged scenario. In this regard, her use of lighting, color, space, gesture and expression are intended to evoke emotional states common to all humans. Her show will close on Apr. 18.

Busby, from Sterling, Mass., will show a series of designs displayed as posters. She said, “many of these designs are personal explorations of her phobias.” Her method of design, for the phobia series, is one that is commonly referred to as information graphics. This method of visualization uses graphic elements to present data in visually compelling formats intended to allow a quick and engaging grasp of data driven concepts. Busby’s show closes Apr. 25.

Hicks, from Turbeville, S.C., will exhibit oil paintings. Hick’s artwork is inspired by a close connection to his grandfather. He will show a series of highly textured oil paintings in which he combines depictions of objects and spaces he associates with memories of his grandfather’s farm. Matthew considers this series “a tribute to his grandfather and the agrarian way of life.” Matthew’s show closes on May 7.

Every spring, the Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery completes the exhibition calendar with senior shows.  This final show has been a requirement since the art program was established as a major in the late 1950s. While the seniors may choose to focus on one medium for their shows, they are expected to draw on four years of studio work in a variety of media and art history. These shows also reflect their intellectual engagement with the broad range of subjects that are part of their liberal arts education.

The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building, on the Coker College campus, in Hartsville, S.C. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, while classes are in session.

For more information about the gallery, visit or contact Larry Merriman at 843-383-8156 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Release written by Larry Merriman, the director of the Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery and assistant professor of art.

Coker College upholds and defends the intellectual and artistic freedom of its faculty and students as they study and create art through which they explore the full spectrum of human experience. The college considers such pursuits central to the spirit of inquiry and thoughtful discussion, which are at the heart of a liberal arts education.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

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Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  /  Office: 843-383-8017

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