Yvette L. Cummings: Uncovered

Contemporary Art Inspires Conversation. Conversation Inspires Change. ­­­­


701 Center for Contemporary Art’s exhibition, Uncovered, is certainly a stimulus for conversation, and hopefully, change. Uncovered, opens on July 12 with an Artist’s Reception from 7 - 9 p.m., and runs through August 26, 2018. 701 CCA provides the time and place for conversations and reflection as viewers ponder the original paintings and hand cut paper collages of their 701 CCA Prize 2016 winner, Yvette L. Cummings -- images that transition between her memories of child abuse, the dynamics of motherhood, as well as “the complicated path of youth, beauty and femininity.”


We Strive , 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas, 48” x 60”

We Strive, 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas, 48” x 60”

The 701 CCA Prize, organized by 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., is an art competition and exhibition for South Carolina artists 40 years old and younger. The project identifies and recognizes young professional South Carolina artists whose work is exemplary in its originality, shows awareness of artistic developments and is of high artistic merit. As the 701 CCA Prize 2016 winner, Cummings received a six-week paid residency and solo exhibition at 701 CCA. This exhibition will feature work created during her residency, which she completed in May of 2018.

Vibrant colors transmute into images that were powered by Cummings’ findings that “1-in-4 girls and 1-in-6 boys are sexually assaulted as children, so, what I am referencing in the work resonates with a lot of people, whether they have had experiences of abuse, harassment or objectification public.” Her process includes annexing children book illustrations, “presenting them in a way that has you bring your adult experiences to innocent play.”

“The goal of the work,” says Cummings, “is to create a non-confrontational presentation of tough, current and ongoing subject matter that makes viewers aware of their discomfort,” as they possibly relate to similar or shared experiences.

Her technique and medium are a dedication to discernment. “I use pattern as a way to visually flatten the space, often referring to memory,” says Cummings. “When multiple patterns are layered in a piece, a camouflaging occurs that mimics the way we live our lives in the open, but we often cannot see through the layers to the traumas.” The artist uses damask and floral patterns to flatten the spatial aspects of the work. These very traditional, elegant patterns create a visual abstraction and represent the confusion that occurs over time and space.

The work is evolutionary as she finds ways to give broader meaning and sensitivity to her own experiences and the experiences of so many others. “As this body of work builds over time,” she says, “I have expanded beyond my experiences of trauma and am becoming more focused on how women (in particular) are objectified, shamed and abused from an early age.”

Stacked , 2018, mixed media installation, dimensions variable

Stacked, 2018, mixed media installation, dimensions variable

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Yvette L. Cummings, MFA, University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP) is Assistant Professor of Painting/Drawing at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, and recipient of the 701 CCA Prize 2016 for South Carolina artists under 40. Additional awards include: Recipient of the Wolfstein Travel Fellowship to Spain, and while an instructor with the University of South Carolina’s Department of Art instructor, the 2011 Stephen J. Dalton Teacher of the year. A past Director of the 840 Gallery, and intern at the Contemporary Art Center of Cincinnati, Cummings has exhibited in multiple group and solo exhibitions throughout the South and Midwest. Her work can be found in both public and private collections, and has been featured in the 701 Center for Contemporary Art 2015 South Carolina Biennial in Columbia, SC, as well as Contemporary South at Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC

701 CCA is a non-profit visual arts center that promotes understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary art, the creative process and the role of art and artists in the community. The center also encourages interaction between visual and other art forms. 701 CCA is located at 701 Whaley Street, 2nd Floor, Columbia, SC 29201. During exhibitions, hours are Wed-Sat 11–5; Sun 1-5. For more information, visit www.701cca.org.

Yvette L. Cummings: Uncovered 

Exhibition: July 12 – August 26, 2018

Artist’s Reception: Thursday, July 12, 7-9 p.m.

Reception Admission: Members, free; non-members, $5 suggested donation

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