Crafting Memories: The Lasting Art of Carew Rice

My grandfather, Carew Rice, has not only influenced my own career as an artist but has also left a lasting imprint on the tradition of silhouette art in the Lowcountry and beyond.

Grandfather's Craft

Growing up, I was always surrounded by my grandfather's silhouettes—elegant black paper cuts that seemed to capture the soul of South Carolina landscapes and the spirits of its people. He had an incredible talent for looking at a scene or a person and translating that view into a simple, yet profound, piece of art. With just scissors and paper, he created detailed profiles and intricate landscapes that told stories of the places he loved.

carew rice wildfowl

The Art That Shaped Me

My grandfather's approach to art was mesmerizing. He worked swiftly and surely, without sketches or templates. I remember watching him set up at local markets or town events, where crowds would gather to watch him transform ordinary sheets of paper into extraordinary pieces of art. It wasn't just his skill that drew people; it was his presence—welcoming and warm. He would chat with bystanders as he cut, humming a tune or sharing a story, making each silhouette a personal and communal moment.

Continuing the Legacy

I've carried on the tradition of silhouette cutting, striving to keep the essence of my grandfather's work alive while infusing my own creativity into each piece. Like him, I use the simplest tools and techniques but aim to capture something complex and deeply resonant in the subjects I choose. His legacy is not just in the art he left behind but in the approach to life and creativity he modeled.

Why Granddad's Art Still Resonates

Granddad's silhouettes are more than just art; they are a celebration of our heritage, a reminder of our connectedness to each other and to the natural world. Each piece serves as a window into the past, yet remains timeless in its beauty and relevance. People who see his work today are often moved by its simplicity and power, the stark contrast of black and white that speaks volumes.

I am proud to continue what my grandfather started. In my own work, I strive to honor his memory and extend the narrative of our family's artistic legacy. Each cut I make is a nod to his influence and a continuation of our shared story.

To explore more about my grandfather’s remarkable contributions to the art world, I recommend reading the feature on him in Garden and Gun. This beautifully written piece delves into his impact on the Lowcountry and beyond, sharing personal stories and insights that have influenced collectors and admirers alike. For those interested in seeing how his work has been celebrated and continues to resonate with audiences today, the article is a must-read.