Lineage: A Legacy of Art was a Flowers family art exhibition held at the Thompson Art Gallery at Furman University last Oct-Nov ’18
From the program: “In LINEAGE: Tom Flowers & Family Lineage: A Legacy of Art, we honor the creative spirit that has grown through three generations and inspired six visual artists, all connected through family ties. Tom Flowers taught art at Furman University from 1959 through 1989. This exhibition showcases his work alongside works by his son, daughter, daughter-in-law, grandsons, and granddaughter-in-law.”
November 19, 2018
Thank you, Ross, Marta, your staff, and the Furman University Art Department for the opportunity to feature our creative family members and honor Tom Flowers in his 90th year.
Bob Chance contacted me last spring with the idea of Kristy and I have an exhibit with dad during alumni weekend. We embraced the concept and proposed to build on that to include four more family artists. Seven artists agreeing on one idea is an event in itself.
As I look for common themes in this show Lineage: A Legacy of Art, I see that we are all storytellers. Some stories are based on observation and preserving a moment. Some stories are of visual poetry. Some are to evoke experience, some are reflections of social issues, and others are telling stories of fantasy beyond reality.
Here is one story about of how talent can lead to influencing a family:
Tom Flowers graduated from Furman and returned as a professor from 1959 to 1989. Throughout his career, he garnered art awards and accolades. He was a prominent figure in the South Carolina art scene in the ’60s and ’70s.
As a son of Tom Flowers, I was not taught art. It was Dad’s artistic example that influenced me. Art was hung all over the house, we visited other artist’s homes and studios, and we went to many exhibitions.
My first job as a student at the University of SC, arranged by Dad, was to manage the art department’s gallery. The person who signed my weekly time card was an art major. Her name was Kristy Higby. (She continues to sign my time card:)
In a familiar refrain, our sons, Carson and Morgan often complained that even when we went on vacation, we went to an art show. They too were shown the way via example.
Carson has a keen eye for abstract composition and form via images from San Francisco streets. (Both boys were talented art students of ours at Mercersburg Academy.) Morgan earned his BFA from SAIC and then met Virginia at Alfred University. They completed their MFA’s in Sculpture and New Media. They now have a young daughter, Hazel who will no doubt benefit from this exposure.
Last comes Tia, who just graduated from SCAD with a BFA in Animation. She has watched all of us choose this path, which became a natural one for her.
We owe this creative connection to Tom, Dad, Father-In-Law, Grandfather, Grandfather-In-Law, and now Great Grandfather. He will say that he didn’t set out to do this, but for those family members that were paying attention to his example, he offered us a path to live a creative life. For that we are grateful.