“Art in the Life of Joan” is the title of well-known artist Joan Templer’s featured exhibit at the Beaufort Art Association (BAA). Her work will be highlighted from October 31st to January 7, 2017 at the BAA Gallery at 913 Bay Street in Beaufort. An opening reception will be held at the Gallery on Friday, November 4th, from 5 to 7:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served. There will also be on exhibit the work of 65 other local artists, who are members of the Gallery. The public is invited.
A native of South Africa, Joan Templer and her husband John and their two daughters emigrated to the U.S. in 1969, when John entered Columbia University in New York City to complete his PhD in architecture. Joan took art classes there, as well. But she had already made a name for herself as an emerging artist, having won the prestigious Oppenheimer painting award, as well as a commission to create a large enamel mural for the international airport in Johannesburg. Eventually, the family moved to Atlanta where John took a teaching position at the architecture school at Georgia Tech. Joan won the Atlanta mural competition and became an art teacher in Georgia Tech’s architecture program. She continued to win many art awards at shows throughout the country, and continued to receive glowing reviews from critics at her New York exhibitions.
Joan Templer draws from her subconscious mind for subject matter when painting her abstracts; however, she is painting more realism these days. The influences in her work come from natural phenomena and from her life experiences in Africa and America.
“With my commission to do a large mural in the Johannesburg airport,” she says, “they wanted it to have something to do with air. So, I went to a physics lab and saw how they blew smoke around the aircraft to test the resistance. That’s what I based my mural on.”
Templer lived in South Africa during apartheid, and her early work depicts her disagreement with that regime. “We weren’t allowed to speak out in opposition,” she says. “Some of my friends went to jail for that. My art allowed me to speak out in a different way. I did work depicting faces with no mouths, and one with a woman with a Band-Aid over her mouth.”
The Templers retired from teaching and moved to Beaufort in 1999. Joan says the ever-changing light and beauty of the Lowcountry have influenced her later paintings. Those paintings show varied styles that combine her earlier abstracts with added technical interest and experience she gathered from teaching art at Georgia Tech.
Templer says she is a bit different from many artists who work on developing a particular technique. “I’m the opposite,” she says. “I like to jump from one technique to another. I always say Picasso had a lot of different styles, too.”
Chartered in 1957, the Beaufort Art Association is a tax-exempt membership organization. Currently, there are around 175 local artists who are members, 65 of whom exhibit in the Gallery. To find out more, call (843) 521-4444, or go to our website at www.beaufortartassociation.com.