South Arts Spotlight: Herb Parker of South Carolina

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Herb Parker
Herb Parker, Highlands Dialogue, Created for the Bascom Center for the Visual Arts. The work consists of 20 tons of earth over a ferro-cement dome bordered by large stones and covered with indigenous plants. There are two seating elements inside offering a quiet place for reflection or communication.

Herb Parker was the South Carolina state finalist for the Southern Prize, a new visual arts prize given by South Arts. A sculptor, site-specific landscape artist, and  since 1991 a College of Charleston art professor, he has created over 50 site-specific works since the early 1980s, including those at botanical gardens, a Japanese temple, urban centers, universities, rural landscapes and museums.
Parker earned his BFA in 1978 at Eastern Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He served in the Marines and then the Peace Corps in the Grenadines, before returning to Eastern Carolina University to earn his MFA in 1983. He credits the Marines with providing him with the ability to focus his attention, and for developing self-discipline that has helped him maintain his art career.
Parker has created his nature-based installations in Italy, Japan, Sweden and around the U.S. His work was featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2009.  His work revolves around ideas of time, movement, history, culture, community, dialogue, spirituality, entropy and regeneration. His sculptures reference a cultural and historical involvement with the landscape, and incorporate the notion of passage, both the physicality of traveling through the work as well as the transcendental concept, involving time and materials.
FRONT right side good 200
I-PARK DIALOGUE, wood, reeds, stone, steel. 12′ x 18’ x 7’

Herb Parker
Herb Parker, Highlands Dialogue, [Detail interior seating elements] Created for the Bascom Center for the Visual Arts. The work consists of 20 tons of earth over a ferro-cement dome bordered by large stones and covered with indigenous plants. There are two seating elements inside offering a quiet place for reflection or communication.

Herb Parker
Herb Parker, OLYMPIA DIALOGUE, detail interior, constructed on the grounds at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art, in Columbia, South Carolina. Architectural structure with labyrinthine walkways and two wooden seating elements facing across the central space under skylights.

Herb Parker
Herb Parker, LAESO LABYRINTH, A golden rectangle inside a golden rectangle within a labyrinth. This is a permanent work created at the Laeso History Park on Laeso Island, Denmark as a winner of the LAND-SHAPE International Competition for North Jutland, Denmark.

Herb Parker
Herb Parker, LAESO LABYRINTH, [Detail of corridor walkway] A golden rectangle inside a golden rectangle within a labyrinth. This is a permanent work created at the Laeso History Park on Laeso Island, Denmark as a winner of the LAND-SHAPE International Competition for North Jutland, Denmark
Herb Parker
Herb Parker, LAESO LABYRINTH, [Detail interior room] A golden rectangle inside a golden rectangle within a labyrinth. This is a permanent work created at the Laeso History Park on Laeso Island, Denmark as a winner of the LAND-SHAPE International Competition for North Jutland, Denmark
STUDIO #2 @ 200
STUDIO 2017 @200
These are shots from inside Herb Parker’s studio. In this other body of work Herb Parker uses these objects to explore social and political situations.

Herb Parker
Herb Parker, HIGHLANDS PASSAGE

Herb Parker
Herb Parker, GEUMGANG LANDSCAPE #2

Herb Parker
Herb Parker, Circular Labyrinthe