Today owner of downtown Charleston's Neema Gallery
, Meisha Johnson, announced that one of the gallery's artists, Tyrone Geter
, has accepted an invitation to a residency at Yaddo, an artists' retreat
The prestigious retreat in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has hosted everyone from John Cheever to Langston Hughes to Sylvia Plath — the list goes on and includes 74 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Fellowship recipients, 68 National Book Award winners, and one Nobel Prize winner. Geter is currently represented by the Neema Gallery and is an artist, illustrator, and educator; he recently retired from his role as associate professor of art at Benedict College in Columbia.
The Neema Gallery, which opened at 3 Broad St. in December, features original works of art by both established and standout emerging African-American artists who are from or currently reside in South Carolina.
In a press release, owner Meisha Johnson says, "Tyrone consistently and unequivocally produces groundbreaking work that affirms, uplifts, challenges and reveals, consequently creating a path to racial and social healing. We look forward to seeing what works Tyrone is inspired to create as a result of his experience at Yaddo."
Geter received his master's of fine art from Ohio University in 1978; in 1979 he moved to his deceased wife's home country of Zaria, Nigeria, where he spent seven years drawing and painting among the local people. Geter has described that period of his life as one that "taught him to understand the nature of life in a society where life was nature and both hard and cruel."
Geter moved back to the U.S. in 1987, where he took a teaching position at the University of Akron. Since then, Geter's work has been exhibited in the Columbia Museum of Art, Florence Museum of Art, Charleston's City Gallery, Boston's Museum of Fine Art, and more.
Director and curator of the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Edmund Barry Gaither, has described Geter's work: "Tyrone Geter creates compositions that indisputably speak of black realities from black perspectives, while they are also profoundly American. Through pathos, humor and acidic commentary, Geter’s art presents a new visual vocabulary for America’s intractable problems of racial justice, social acceptance, and collective healing."
Geter himself has said that his work "is not supposed to allow you to walk past and not feel. ... Mine was to make us feel like we are one with the human race."
Geter's residency at Yaddo takes place from Feb. 21-March 13, during which he will be able to, as Yaddo states in their mission
"work without interruption in a supportive environment."