Final Award from “Carolina’s Got Art!” Competition and Exhibition Held in Charlotte, NC, was Given to Tyrone Geter

Carolina’s Got Art! (CGA!), North and South Carolina’s most anticipated juried art competition, awarde$26,000 in cash and prizes to winners at opening receptions at Elder Gallery, in Charlotte, NC, held during May and June, 2015. Mediums including paintings, photography, sculptures, weavings, drawings, glass and ceramics were included. CGA! continues to build on the success of its past competitions and attracted just under 3,000 entries this year.For those not selected by this year’s juror for the main exhibit of Carolina’s Got Art!, a second show, chosen by Larry Elder, owner of Elder Gallery, where 125 pieces were exhibited during the month of June.
Tyrone Geter of Columbia, SC, was selected as the “People’s Choice” award winner in Carolina’s Got Art!Salon 2015 competition. His powerful drawing on torn paper entitled “Backache” won him a cash award of $500.

Backache by Tyrone Geter
In 2009, as a reaction to the economy’s impact on local artists, Charlotte gallery owner, Larry Elder, brought Carolina’s Got Art! to life to provide financial support to Carolina artists. Now in its fourth year, Carolina’s Got Art! has emerged as the pre-eminent competition, exhibition and sale for Carolina-based artists and will have awarded over $60,000 in prizes since its inception.
“When I founded Carolina’s Got Art! in 2009, I wanted to create a competition that would support local artists and help showcase the amazing talent within our two-state area,” says Elder. “For many artists, juried competitions are an important part of launching and sustaining successful careers. Our goal is to continue to offer opportunities to support their livelihood and to encourage their creative process.”

An Important Headline

The art of Tyrone Geter extends the most important 20th century development in African American visual arts—the emergence of a black figurative tradition. Whereas caricature and stereotypic distortions of black physiognomy defined black iconography early in the 20th century, African American artists rejected the depictions and strove to create a positive, empathetic image of black Americans. Meta Warrick Fuller, Augusta Savage, Archibald Motley and others pioneered sympathetic portrayals of blacks and black life in art. The generation that followed—Lois Mailou Jones, Hale Woodruff, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Herman “Kofi” Bailey, and John Wilson—soon produced a robust figurative tradition that elevated how black people saw themselves. By the third quarter of the century, black representation had become effectively humanized and greatly broadened in its purview. Within Geter’s own generation, muscular figurative expression blossomed with the work of artists such as Calvin Jones, Jon Lockhard, Pheoris West, Paul Goodnight and Barkley Hendricks.
As American art inclined toward various modes of abstraction and conceptual formulations over the century, a significant segment of African American artists remained doggedly committed to figuration and made it their modernistic response. As the Euro-American art community made abstraction via Cubism its revolt against the dominance of Renaissance/Baroque representationalism, African American artists made figuration their revolt against the stereotypic distortions of black imagery that abounded in American fine and popular arts. Proponents of black figuration rescued the soul of black people from distortion and created a context that would support an infinitely wider visual vocabulary for articulating African American experiences.
CITY GALLERY AT THE WATERFRONT - February to March, 2015, Charleston, SC
The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents Drawing from the Lifeline at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park from January 24 – March 1, 2015, featuring mixed media work by Tyrone Geter. Marking the City Gallery’s first exhibition of 2015, Drawing from the Lifeline assembles a selection of new and recent work by Tyrone Geter curated by Frank McCauley, Chief Curator at the Sumter County Gallery of Art. The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, January 23 from 5 to 7 pm. In addition, the public is invited to attend an artist’s talk by Tyrone Geter on Saturday, February 21 at 2pm. Both events are free and open to the public.
Tyrone Geter has forged a unique artistic practice spanning multiple media platforms including drawing, painting, and sculpture. His ongoing series entitled “Purgatory Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues” is most often executed with the most basic and humble of mediums, charcoal on paper. These initial compositions are then torn, cut, collaged and layered, creating works that generate a powerful dialogue questioning the slippery and illusive aspects of identity, race, and power in contemporary culture today.
Using imagery culled from memory and imagination, as well as close observations of everyday life, much of the inspiration for Geter’s work comes from his reactions to, and interpretations of, the events unfolding around him on the personal, as well as on the national and more universal level. He tackles vast emotional and political issues, culling images from events and experiences that he has witnessed himself and through the myriad media outlets available to us today. His immediate surroundings – family members, students, friends and acquaintances often serve as the jumping off point for his visual lexicon.
Whether contoured, cut or pasted, his incremental layering of line produces the evidence of time and labor.  In much of his work, Geter exploits the non-verbal, and communicative power of a plethora of physical characteristics. Facial expressions, and the nuance of line, are tools that Geter uses to explore notions of identity, power and history. His works are emotional, evocative, confounding, and incredibly inspiring, bringing an unassuming medium to the forefront in a powerful and mesmerizing culmination of process, action, and figuration.