Exhibition of Floral Drawings by Bob Nugent to Open

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Aug. 22, 2012 – The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery will present “Palimpsest,” an exhibition of drawings by artist Bob Nugent, beginning Monday, Sept. 24.

Nugent will be present for the opening reception to talk about his work and answer questions.  The reception, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.  The show will continue through Oct. 19.

Most of the drawings in Nugent’s show are executed on handmade cotton paper, which he salvaged from a damaged book of botanical drawings. Using watercolor, and a variety of other drawing materials, he creates colorful drawings that reflect both his fascination with the Amazon River and with a method of working that establishes links between past and present.

“The Amazon River is an apt metaphor for the act of churning up remembered objects and sights, gathered while traveling along its rough course,” Nugent said.  “In its flow, the river boils an object to the surface only to swallow it up again to resurface later.”

“Palimpsest, the show title, is a term that refers to the ancient practice of reusing valuable writing materials, such as parchment or paper, by scraping or erasing the old writing,” explained Gallery Director and Assistant Professor of Art Larry Merriman.  “With this method, previous writing remains barely legible. Scraping and writing anew may happen two or three times creating layers of information that convey a history of use and thought.

“Nugent expands on this idea with his flora drawings. Rather than scraping or erasure, time and deterioration are the agents of change in his drawings. Nugent consciously retains the printed information on his found prints. By adding his renditions of Amazon plant life, he seeks to establish relationships between old and new that can only be achieved by superimposing one upon the other. Nugent calls to mind his ‘churning Amazon’ and reminds us that, like the river, we are neither at the beginning or end of things, but part of the flow of time.”

A professor emeritus at Sonoma State University, Nugent has participated in over 100 solo exhibitions and 580 group exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. Since receiving his Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1971, he has been awarded numerous grants and awards including a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship, a Tiffany Foundation fellowship, a Fulbright travel grant and a California Arts Council grant for his work in Brazil.

The Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is located in the Gladys C. Fort Art Building on the Coker College campus, at 300 East College Ave. 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, contact Merriman at 843-383-8156 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit http://cokerartgallery.wix.com/ccgb.

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.


Images from top:

Flora Brasiliensis #150, 2011. Watercolor, gouache, conte, pencil, ink, and 1870 botanical illustration, handmade paper. 19.5” x 12.5”

Flora Brasiliensis #158, 2011. Watercolor, gouache, conte, pencil, ink, and 1870 botanical illustration, handmade paper. 19.5” x 12.5”




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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