“Requiem for Mother Emanuel” on display in Spartanburg

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — June marked one year since nine black church members were killed at Emanuel AME in Charleston. Now, a powerful series of artwork is on display in Spartanburg to honor their memory.

Batik artist Leo Twiggs created nine works for the “Requiem for Mother Emanuel.” The series shows the tragedy and the targeted attack, while also transforming to capture the forgiveness through faith.

“Art is a language of symbols,” Twiggs explained when 7 News visited his Orangeburg studio in June. “What you see in the painting depends on what the artist has in the painting and what you bring to the painting and somewhere in between that is meaning for you.”

The series is on display at the Johnson Collection Gallery in downtown Spartanburg. The final three pieces in the series are held by the Johnson Collection.

For Susu Johnson, seeing the nine works together was an emotional experience.

“I really cried the first time I saw them,” Johnson remembered. She says her family was struck by what happened and how South Carolina responded. “Everybody interprets art in a different way, which is the beauty of it, but for me, it really spoke so strongly to the experience and to what happened in the state.”

The series will be on display August 4 through October 28.

For more information on gallery times, click here.

An event is planned on October 11 at the Chapman Cultural Center, featuring Twiggs and other guest speakers.

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