Coker Presents 39th Annual Faculty Art Show

For more information
, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – December 23, 2011 – Coker College’s 39th Annual Faculty Show opens at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 with a public reception in the Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery.

In the month of January, for the past thirty-eight years, the Coker art department has mounted an exhibition of works produced by its faculty. These presentations offer the college and Hartsville community the opportunity to see the faculty’s most recent work and Coker’s art students a chance to see their professors practicing what they teach.

“Historically, the interest in recording day-to-day life is one common to many artists,” said Assistant Professor of Art and Gallery Director Larry Merriman. “In my art, I am looking for ways to balance the demands of daily life with the need to create art.”

In addition to Merriman, professors Jean Grosser, Jim Boden and Ken Maginnis will exhibit works in the show.

Professor of Art Jean Grosser, who joined the faculty in 1985, now chairs the department and is a member of the Coker College Board of Trustees. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Barnard College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from Alfred State College of Ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Ohio University. Grosser was invited to include show her work in “Road to Equality: The 1961 Freedom Rides," a permanent exhibit at the historic Greyhound bus station in Montgomery, Ala., that opened to the public on May 20.

Assistant Professor of Art Larry Merriman joined Coker’s faculty in 1988.  He received a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Miami University.  Merriman’s art in recent years has primarily involved large-scale temporary sculptures made of found objects, which allow him to create pieces that suggest complex relationships between and among formal concerns of such things as volume, weight and sculpture and cultural references to our consumer-oriented society.

Professor of Art Jim Boden joined the faculty in 1999 and received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science in art education from the University of Minnesota. His work was included in recent group exhibitions at the Cecelia Coker Bell College Art Gallery; 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y.; the Florence Art Museum, Florence, S.C.; and solo exhibitions at the Rabold Gallery, Aiken, S.C.; and Black Creek Arts Council Gallery, Hartsville, S.C.  In 2001, he was awarded First Place in the Grand Prix International Drawing Biennale in Melbourne, Australia.  Among other numerous awards in the U.S., Boden has won First Place at StateWide, Florence Art Museum, Florence, S.C., and the First Place and Purchase Awards at Drawing From Perceptions - Biennial Drawing Exhibition, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.

Associate Professor of Art Ken Maginnis joined the Coker Faculty in 1999.  He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Philadelphia College of Art and his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Tennessee–Knoxville.  At Coker, Maginnis’ work focuses largely on graphic design, typography, photography and interactive, web-based technologies. Maginnis’ design career, although rooted in a modernist foundation, has centered on his love of typography rather than on any single style or art movement.

The reception for the 39th Annual Faculty Show is free and refreshments will be served. The exhibition will continue through Jan. 27. All art faculty members will be present for the reception to answer questions about their artwork.

The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building on the Coker College campus. For more on the gallery, go to

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.


PHOTO: Professor Jean Grosser works on the large drawing “Creative Credo No. 71” from the series titled “Fragments of Hate.”


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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