Raised between the red clay of South Carolina's Blue Ridge mountains and my Grandparent’s farm in western Pennsylvania, I spent my childhood constantly traveling back and forth through the heart of Appalachia. This instilled a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of the region and a fascination with the heavy industries of mining, farming and natural gas that dwell there. I'm still inspired by my surroundings and make drawings about issues that impact my family, rural life and the landscapes I admire. My work examines our ever changing relationships to place through the layers of personal history, industrial changes to the terrain and the rich American landscape painting tradition. The reason drawing is my media of choice, is that it parallels these layers by always holding evidence of decisions made during the working process and showing changes in the work that have taken place over time. In using this direct connection of media and concept I work to layer past, present and unseen aspects of a location. By weaving each of these threads into a single image, the end result becomes a small compression of the history, ideas and our personal connections to the land.
Carly Drew holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Clemson University, a BFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Converse College and a BA in Art History. She's had solo exhibitions at Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia and Morganton City Hall in Morganton, NC. Drew's work has been included in several group exhibitions, most recently in "The New South" at Kai Lin Art in Atlanta, GA, "SCOPE: The Southern Landscape" at Visual Art Exachange in Raleigh, "Art if the South" at the University of Memphis and "Ley Lines: Connecting Media, Process, Imagery & Process Across Contemporary Drawing" at Jacksonville State University. In 2014 she helped co-curate "Art of the Hunt" at Greenwood Arts Center and the upcoming "Drawn South" group show at Riverworks Gallery in Greenville, SC. In 2015 she received a travel stipend from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for the "Picturing the Americas" Exhibit and International Symposium. Her work received top honors this year from juror Chad Alligood at Drawl Gallery's "The Gun Show" in Little Rock, she has also received a Director's Award at the 2016 LaGrange Southeast Regional, the John Acorn Award for Studio Art from Clemson University and is a three time winner of "Best in Show" at the annual Greenwood Festival of Flowers Juried Exhibition. Drew has been published in Glimpse Magazine, 1000 Artists’ Books: Exploring the Book as Art by Sandra Salamony and has work in both national and international collections. She teaches design and drawing at Greenville Technical College and Clemson University, while living and maintaining a studio in Travelers Rest, South Carolina.