Kent Ambler: Into the Wood

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 12, 7 – 8:30 pm 

Artist Talk: Thursday, March 12, 6:30 pm 

Exhibition: March 12 – April 26, 2020 

Admission: Free; $5 suggested donation  

701 Center for Contemporary Art 

701 Whaley St., 2nd Floor, Columbia, SC 29201 


Allison Cicero Moore, Executive Director 

(803) 319–9949 | [email protected] 

In March 2020, 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., will open a solo  exhibition of Greenville, S.C., artist Kent Ambler, presenting woodcuts, related sculptures,  and architectural installation of woodblocks. The exhibition, entitled Into the Wood, will run  from March 12 – April 26, 2020. The opening reception is Thursday, March 12, 7:00 – 8:30  p.m., preceded by an artist’s talk at 6:30.  

Ambler is one of South Carolina’s most prolific and successful woodcut artists. His work  impresses art professionals and more casual art lovers alike. Ambler’s surroundings  provide his subjects, whether they are birds, dogs and goats; trees, mountains and  neighborhoods; ice cream; or beer and bananas. His approach is intuitive and aesthetic  rather than conceptual.  

The exhibition will be Ambler’s largest solo exhibition to date, with his largest-ever three dimensional component. The show will present three dozen woodcut prints, 20 woodcut collage house sculptures, and an installation of a shed-sized house structure built from  old, carved wood blocks.  

“My work is autobiographical,” Ambler says. “It is derived from my life and surroundings,  my observations. It usually starts with an observation or a quick sketch. While the imagery  in my art is generally subject- or object-oriented, the visual appearance of each piece is  of most importance to me. I try not to overthink or over-plan my work. I generally do my  best work when my brain is ‘turned off’, so to speak. I am inspired by the simplicity of idea  and image addressed by genuine folk artists.” 

Hammond, Indiana, native Ambler (b. 1970) has been a full-time artist since 1997. He has  had dozens of exhibitions, including solo shows in Alabama, North Carolina, South  Carolina, Massachusetts, Maryland, Tennessee, New York, Michigan and Virginia, as well  as Taiwan. Ambler is represented by eight galleries throughout the country and sells his  work at high-end art fairs throughout the Southeast and beyond. He received a BFA from  Indiana’s Ball State University in 1992 and did graduate studies at Clemson University in  2001-2002.

“Kent is an interesting case as an artist who is deeply respected by his peers for the  quality and breath of his work and at the same time appeals to a very wide audience,” said  701 CCA board chair Wim Roefs, who curated the exhibition. “The everyday nature of his  subject matter certainly helps with this appeal since it provides easy entry points into the  work. But at the same time, Ambler often presents an interesting take and surprising angle,  the latter literally and figuratively. And there’s a good bit of humor in the work, too, both in  the imagery and in his use of text. The work has a lot of energy and movement, and shows  mastery of the woodcut medium — giving the work a raw quality, too.” # 

701 CCA’s mission is to promote understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of  contemporary art. With a gallery and live-work space for an Artist-in-Residence program,  the Center provides artists with resources to develop, create and exhibit visual arts in  conjunction with performing, literary and media arts. 701 CCA also offers year-round  cultural programming, including contemporary art exhibitions and events that are free and  open to the public. 

For further inquiries or high-resolution images, contact Allison Cicero Moore, Executive  Director, at [email protected] or (803) 319-9949.  

Please check for additional information on the exhibition and associated  events.  

701 CCA is located at 701 Whaley Street, 2nd Floor, Columbia, SC 29201. During  exhibitions, hours are Weds-Sat, 11–5; Sun, 1-5. 

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