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Thursday, October 25, 2012

CU MFA Candidate, Carly Drew, Featured in Glimpse Magazine's Fall 2012 Issue

"Queen Anne’s Lace is the story of a plant that came over from
England as an ornamental for the English garden, a way for people
to remember their homes (left panel). Later, farmers used it as a
companion plant for crops such as tomatoes, to draw the pests away
(center panel). Today, Drew says, modern agriculture has
made the old ways almost irrelevant (right panel). The letters
are part of the genetic code of a commercially grown tomato plant,
Drew says."

"Carly Drew grew up on the red clay of South Carolina but
spent her summers on a family farm in the community
of Indiana, a rural borough in western Pennsylvania. A
couple of years ago, after her grandparents died, Drew’s relatives
began to feud over family land, she says. At the same time, energy
companies were moving into the region with renewed interest,
probing the bedrock for natural gas.

"Drew began to see the landscape in new ways. It could still be
personal and lovely, but now there was also conflict, powerful new
technology, and layers of documentation: data sets and scientific
symbols, lines on maps. Online, she found gas-company records
that listed people by latitude and longitude, “transposing personal
relationships into another, more rigid structure,” she says.

"It was this counterpoint of old and new, personal and technical,
that began to shape her work and open up what she calls “the
cabinet of curiosity,” an allusion to eclectic Renaissance collections
of artifacts, specimens from natural history, and objects
of art tailored to the curator’s history and identity. She grew
interested, she says, in “the topographies of ideas.”
"As a child, Drew was constantly drawing on sketchpads made
of leftover paper from her grandfather’s printing press. She
still works mostly on paper, using watercolor washes in muted
earth tones, incising them with charcoal or graphite symbols
and patterns—topographic lines, blocks of terms or data, cursive
quotations, snippets of code. Here and there, lines from nature
converge and blend with the symbols of technology.

"Drew has been influenced by her teachers and by artists such
as Anselm Keefer and Walton Ford, but her father remains her
first critic. An accomplished designer and craftsman, he also
makes frames for her work. “If he can look at a piece and really get
into it, then I kind of know that I’m on the right trail,” she says.
Carly Drew is working toward a master of f ine arts degree at
Clemson. Her major professor is Todd McDonald, a painter and
associate professor of art. Drew has exhibited her work in the Kentucky
National Juried Biennial, the McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition
in Louisiana, the annual upstate visual arts exhibition in Greenville,
and at the Hub-Bub Showroom Gallery in Spartanburg, South Carolina."

— Neil Caudle