Mari Pressley

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — A recent exhibition at the Gettys Art Center, “Sketching a Lineage,” featured sketch portraits from three generations of Winthrop University artists who came together to acknowledge the handing down of skills from artist to artist.

The artists — Seymour Simmons, Seth Rouser and Stephen Crotts — met with friends and colleagues Sept. 8 for the exhibition’s reception.

Seth Rouser, the foundations coordinator for the Winthrop Department of Fine Arts, said it was a unique experience to work with both his former teacher and student.

“Well it kind of came out of the fact that Seymour (Simmons) had taught me and Stephen (Crotts) was a student of mine at one point. It was a handing down of one generation to the next and appreciation for the appreciation that translated those techniques,” Rouser said.

The sketches featured spanned from 1970 to the present, revealing generational differences in sketching techniques.

“I’m most touched by the fact that the mentor, the student and now the student has become the mentor. That is such a beautiful relationship,” Karen Oremus, interim dean of the Winthrop College of Visual and Performing Arts, said.

Crotts, who is an active member of the Rock Hill art community, said he was pleased to display his work alongside his former professor Rouser and new friend Simmons, a professor emeritus at Winthrop.

“Simmons was also at the school (when I attended Winthrop). He was kind of a legendary old guard of the faculty, and I did not have him as a teacher, but I went out painting with him in the field. We would go out and paint,” Crotts said.

Simmons said, although all three artists are from different generations, they each had an influence on each other.

“One of my early students in an advanced drawing class was this guy named Seth Rouser and Seth looks pretty much like he does now, except he had a little more hair,” Simmons said.

A description of the exhibit, on the Friday Arts Project website, states that Rouser’s work ranges from “a broad array of media,” but he admits his admiration for the sketching techniques of both Crotts and Simmons.

“Watching how they move through the world is an inspirational and a teaching moment for me, and I think for others,” Rouser said.