Innermost Barriers: Linda McCune


The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art is pleased to present recent works by Linda Williams McCune in the Main Gallery January 5-February 16, 2024. The opening reception is January 5 from 5-7pm and free to the public.


For me, it is strength to provide countless personal generosities, more than is behooved of the occupation alone that forms the soul of what it means to be an artist. My sculptures and drawings relate to a strong sense of place, reconstitution of memories, the intricacies of moral virtue, and the relentless passage of time causing disquietude, illness, and death.

Gratification in the joy of the physical making of art generates a steady escape into a restorative “flowing time” experience for me. Thinking in Series titled Ede, Family Portrait, Natural and Theological Virtues, Covid, Stress, Obsession, and Levels of Pit are crucial for habitual questioning. The emotional, physical and the analytical powers of art serve as an unwavering push to move forward in my shop.

Separation from my extended family and the West Tennessee landscape has led to a heart-felt need to preserve rural recollections integral to my being. These memories provide me with visual sustenance while in my out of place current state of constant city transience. The embedded visuals in my work are inherent in the property, personalities, struggles, faith, and deep strengths of these families. Along with my longing for them, I seek to honor and memorialize. My sculptures and drawings about this sense of place are therefore ligatures with each observed detail resting in a repository of latent unspoken conversations.

The details are not for casual but meant for contemplative encounters, as they are intended to convey a specific message or poignant quality and not solely, though they can be, viewed as ornamentation. These visual narratives have an even richer abstract metaphorical language inherent in the specific choice of the forms and materials and in the messages of the crafts used to produce them. As objects, they have a familiar formal and informal ritual base. Combinations of commonly used items (a hope chest or mourning fan in earlier works and a coffee table or flower press in current ones), enhanced by aged surfacing and underlying message, offer the most possibilities for personal consideration and communicating the difficult  expressions of the heart. The interrelated presence of form, substance, and written parts make the emotive whole accessible. I believe associations are drawn between my work and communal experiences found within the interactions of many families, especially in the South.

My studio efforts in a negative sense remain like an ancient punishment of pouring water in a container with holes, expiatory, and documentary, but continually retaining their urgency and vitality for me because of this attachment to, and concern for, the preservation of life issues personal and familial. My art presents sympathy for the settled generations past conjoined with the emotional and ethical struggles of a very forceful, uncertain, and transient present. These combine and give support even in this separation. Both my past and present works magnify the continuity of the leveling collective effects of generational time on me who longs for an everlasting reunion.



McCune’s home place and continuing family ties to rural Tennessee greatly influence her multiple media sculptures and drawings constructed in the Greer Community of South Carolina. She has been featured in numerous exhibitions across the U.S, and internationally and is in many private and public collections including the South Carolina State Art Collection, Columbia Museum of Art, Bank of America, Regions Bank, Hunter Museum of American Art, and the Asheville Museum of Art among others. Her work has been reviewed by Atlanta Art Papers, the Artists and Critics Forum, Emory University’s Southern Experiment, the Southeastern College Art Association, the American Cultural Society, ETV’s VERVE, Positively South Carolina, South Writ Large and as Millennium Magazine’s featured educator. Mrs. McCune was nominated for the National AVA Awards, has won SC State Artist Fellowship, the Carl R. Blair Award for Commitment to arts education, Elon College’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities grant and Metropolitan Arts Council’s Project grant. She was honored by the SC Arts Commission 100 years 100 Artists’ Views from the Edge of the Century Project, and as a founding board member, by the Mountain Makin’s Festival, a four time Southeastern Tourism Society Top 20 Designation and a “New York Times” Tennessee top festival. Linda holds a BFA, MFA and has held Academic Program Director and Lead Professorships in art history, fine arts, and art education in the Department of Visual Arts of Greenville Technical College winning Professor of the Year and the National NISOD Award for college teaching excellence. Mrs. McCune maintains great enthusiasm for her student’s successes, her exhibitions, and studio practice.

For more information about the artist, please visit

Friday, January 5, 2024 - 5:00pm to Friday, February 16, 2024 - 5:00pm
Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art