Marble Castle is a group exhibition of works by Joey Hart, Katie Scarborough, Camille “Camiwips” Cater and Jacob Boland. In this showcase there are select works inspired by the Augusta Richmond County Municipal Building, it’s architecture and design, its employees, and a bit of its history, with collaborative works between Jacob Boland and Joey Hart as well as Joey Hart and Camiwips.
The Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building, designed by Scroggs & Ewing and with additions by Kuhlke & Wade, is a 125,642 square foot, nine-story, reinforced concrete structure with marble skin constructed in 1957. Hence the nickname of “Marble Castle” gifted by downtown Augusta residents.
When built, the Municipal Building also served as a fallout shelter, a monumental testament to the Cold War era. The building includes two courtrooms on the second ﬂoor, commission chambers on the eighth, many city offices and departments and now the City Gallery in the ground level lobby area. With the exception of window replacements and roof improvements in 2008, the building has remained untouched since 1957. This can be seen in the clean mid-century lines and sleek design both within and without the structure.
Artist Joey Hart, especially, was inspired by the sleek line work in of the Municipal building. The large window next to the secondary waiting area and its bold, black framing, along with the faux ceiling grids and sharp turns and corners can be seen implemented in his works, along with elements of the Cold War fallout shelter history involved with the Building’s origins. Joey’s works often incorporate elements of video game design into what some would see as a dream-like vision. His works can be seen as a graphic re-hashing of a forgone digital age.
Artists Katie Scarborough, Camiwips and Jacob Boland focused more on the hustle and bustle of the Municipal Building’s staff and visitors. The notion of employees burdened under a heavy city work load and the hierarchy of bureaucratic agencies reminiscent of a royal court alongside their implied stress-induced-nightmares, as seen by an artistic outsider, can be seen depicted in several of their art works.
Katie Scarborough’s works can be seen as a colorful, whimsical object depictions. Taking a single subject and creating a hyper, vivid version. Whether it is a friend tied up in a phone call or deck or an old school computer, they are alive in color. Katie’s use of, almost sickly, greens and grays in her works for this showcase display the taxing day-to-day of the office environment. Her untitled work of a stack of playing cards is reminiscent of stacks of paperwork in an inbox; ready to be processed.
Camiwips also utilizes bright color in her neo-psychodelic-folk translations of day-to-day life. Camiwips often portrays characters in a relatable way, often using elements from her own lived-story. An avid boarder herself, her works can be seen painted on upcycled skate boards. While many of Camiwip’s pieces display her own stylings outside of this showcase, her callborative piece with Joey Hart stands out. Her meditating figure starkly contrasts Joey’s graphically linear clouds. It gives a sense of the need for a work-life balance.
This all is in contrast with Jacob Boland’s use of bold black and white as he uses ink pens to draw fantastical, emotive characters. His creatures present on the page in a way that is reflective of the human experience while under pressure. His work can be described as an illustrative, whimsical re-interpretation of a darker reality. For this showcase, Jacob collaborated on a work with Joey Hart around the idea of the history of the Municipal Building as a fall-out shelter.
From one artist to the next, this body of work on display in Marble Castle displays a perfect blend ideas, themes and styles. For this showcase, local artist and Arts Council Gallery Director Heather René Dunaway wanted to feature 4 emerging, Augusta-based artists with similar qualities in artistic process and product, giving them room to grow and develop a showcase as a team. To produce new independent and collaborative works that grew within whatever theme developed, becoming Marble Castle, along with featuring older works that would highlight the artist’s own styles. A quick meeting and tour of the space sparked many conversations about what this show could become, which lead the artists down their own paths, some of which merged to create wonderful collaborative art works.
So, if you find yourself on an extended lunch break or got off work a little early, consider supporting the local arts by visiting the Marble Castle exhibit in the City Gallery. Located in the ground level lobby of the Augusta Richmond County Municipal Building at 535 Telfair St. in downtown Augusta, GA. Don’t worry, you’ll see the glistening marble façade from a few blocks away. You can’t miss it.
For more information on this exhibition please visit the Greater Augusta Arts Council website at www.augustaarts.com/galleries .
Marble Castle will be shown from July 7th – August 17, 2022 with an artist’s reception August 12th from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM.