Smithsonian Artists Displaying Work at The Reserve at Lake Keowee

Sunset, South Carolina, UNITED STATES

Potters Rosa and Winton Eugene serve as Guest Artists through February 24

Meet the Artists reception planned for January 22

Open to the Public

SUNSET, S.C., Jan. 12, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Craft magazine calls Rosa and Winton Eugene "a marriage of making". The Smithsonian Institute in New York calls them members of the African-American Design Archive (AADA). And The Reserve at Lake Keowee residents and collectors Sam and Gail Glenn just call them "amazing".

These self-taught potters from Cowpens, S.C., have, over the course of 25 years, carved out their own niche in pottery that Lynn Robertson, director of the McKissick Museum in Columbia, S.C., calls "unique and distinguishable from other Southern potters", and will, on March 26, 2011, participate with other master craftsmen at Washington, D.C.'s James Renrick Alliance Spring Craft Weekend and benefit auction, held directly across the street from The White House.

In the meantime, Rosa and Winton Eugene's work – known as Pottery by Eugene – is on display in The Hill House Gallery at The Reserve at Lake Keowee until February 24. The gallery is open to the public every Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and every Friday by appointment. Those interested in seeing Pottery by Eugene should call ahead of their visit – (864) 481-4010. Hill House Gallery is located at 534 Pine Grove Church Road in Sunset, S.C., approximately 20 minutes' north of Clemson University of Highway 133.

A Meet the Artists reception honoring the Eugenes will be held at The Hill House Gallery on Saturday, January 22, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. and is also open to the public. To attend, please RSVP to Kathryn Gravely at (864) 481-4010. In the event of inclement weather, the rain date for the event will be the following Saturday, January 29, at the same time.

"We are ecstatic to have the Eugenes as Guest Artists over the next couple of months. We've been planning this for over a year and couldn't be more excited to expose this nationally-recognized work – and these incredibly accomplished local artists – to our Members and the greater community," said Kathryn Gravely, executive director of The Reserve at Lake Keowee Community and Charitable Foundation. The Community Foundation is sponsoring the Guest Artist and has historically been responsible for The Reserve community's annual Artist-in-Residence Program.

Rosa remarks in the couple's Artist Statement, "Winton loves design and I am captured by shapes and colors. In our creative dance, we combine these passions so that the final product moves with balance and harmony. It starts with clay and ends with glaze, and the design and shapes are tested by fire. The endless love of clay, the imagination and the passions of creating will always make 'Fire'."

The story of Pottery by Eugene is as grassroots and authentic as any you will likely hear. In 1986, Winton Eugene retired at the age of 45 and, as his wife Rosa puts it, "needed a hobby". Rosa, her son, and her daughter gave Winton a potter's wheel and kiln, bought from an architect in Atlanta, on Christmas of that year. In six months' time, Winton had read copious books on pottery and had amassed a garage-full of pieces of greenware. While he had a knack at the creation, his weakness was in the finishing touches: glazing, foremost among those. Enter Rosa. Rosa was a natural at glazing and agreed to glaze all of Winton's pottery, "so long as I got to choose the color," Rosa recalls.

And the rest is, as they say, history. The Eugenes sold their first pieces at Greenville's Freedom Weekend Aloft that first year, earning $300 for their wares. They soon went on to befriend other crafters and attend up to 36 craft shows per year at their height. They now only exhibit at the most profitable and well-attended shows – six, in total, each year.  The couple enjoys a successful retail, mail order, and commission business.

The Glenns, Reserve members for only a year, encountered the Eugenes more than 15 years ago at a Waterford, Va.-based craft show. Gail Glenn, a former antique shop owner, was immediately drawn to the reliefs carved into the sides of Pottery by Eugene, one of the signature elements of the artists' technique. "When we moved to The Reserve," Gail recounts, "I realized that Cowpens wasn't very far, so I looked up the Eugenes. Rosa called me back, and we visited them in their gallery. I purchased several pieces, and we commissioned a platter from them. The platter has our home at The Reserve carved into it. When I learned about the interest The Reserve's Foundation has in local artists, I introduced them to the Eugenes' work and said it'd be great if, one day, we could get them here."

To learn more about the Eugenes and their work, read the recent feature in American Craft magazine, visit their work on display at The Reserve, or make an appointment to visit their gallery, located at 176 Wilkins Avenue in Cowpens, S.C., by calling (864) 463-4217. The gallery is open each May and December, and otherwise by appointment only.

Jamie Prince | FLOURISH Integrated Communications | (864) 248-0255 |

About The Reserve at Lake Keowee

The Reserve spans 30 miles of shoreline on Lake Keowee with convenient access to Greenville, Asheville, and Clemson University, and more than $100 million in completed family amenities including a 200-slip Marina and Village Center, Guest House, Pool Complex and Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.   The community has approximately 650 members from 30 different states.  Members and their extended families—including parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren – enjoy club privileges under the new, multi-generational Legacy Membership program.  The Reserve was created in 2000 by Greenwood Communities and Resorts, and features 3,900 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains including 1,400 acres of parks, preserves, trails and green space. Homesites begin in the $100,000s.  To learn more, call 877-922-LAKE (5253), visit, or read the official community blog at

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The following files are available for download:

wkr0001.pdf Press release_Smithsonian Artists Display Work at The Reserve
[Image] Rosa and Winton Eugene
[Image] Pottery by Eugene_1
[Image] Pottery by Eugene_2
[Image] Pottery by Eugene_3
[Image] The Reserve at Lake Keowee logo