Alice Hirt and Jo Bearse Endowed Art Exhibition to Open at YHC Campus Gate Art Gallery

Friday, February 17, 2012

Author: Kyle Huneycutt
Media Contact: Krystin Dean
(706) 379-5310,

Alice Hirt and Jo Bearse Endowed Art Exhibition to Open at Young Harris College Campus Gate Art Gallery
Features Paintings by Laura Spong

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College’s Campus Gate Art Gallery will host the Alice Hirt and Jo Bearse Endowed Art Exhibition featuring “Laura Spong: Paintings,” a collection by the abstract expressionist artist. The exhibition opens Thursday, March 1, with an opening reception at 6 p.m. in the Campus Gate Art Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through Friday, March 30. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public.

At 85 years of age, Laura Spong is among South Carolina’s most prominent non-objective painters. The Columbia artist’s style is nonrepresentational, not meant to call any particular object to mind. Spong’s paintings are steeped in the tradition of abstract expressionism, and she has developed an arsenal of marks, shapes, forms and scribbles that make up her visual language.

“Laura Spong’s work engages the viewer not only by the elements of form, composition and paint application, but also in conversation,” said YHC Associate Professor of Art Dawn Dickins. “Her work takes you on a journey. It’s not a landscape or a figure—it’s whatever you want it to be: an object, an emotion, a memory, a story.”

In the last few years, Spong has dramatically increased her reputation in her state and beyond with a series of solo exhibitions and several group shows, including a retrospective at the University of South Carolina’s McMaster Gallery. Spong’s recent leap forward in acclaim has renewed interest in her work from the 1950s and 1960s both among private collectors and in the museum world.

For more information about Spong’s work, visit

Campus Gate Art Gallery is located at 5149 College Street on the Young Harris College campus. Regular gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information contact the Campus Gate Art Gallery at (706) 379-5114 or

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. Long known for nurturing students during the first two years of college, Young Harris College received accreditation in 2008 to grant bachelor’s degrees. The College currently has approximately 900 students across four divisions—Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 148-bed, apartment-style residential village. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. For more information, visit

“Why?” by artist Laura Spong.