Robert Ariail

"Editorial Cartoons"

March 7 - March 30, 2013

Opening Reception March 7, 5 - 8 pm

City Art Gallery is proud to present a body of work by Robert Ariail, the recent recipient of the 2012 Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts for Individual Artist. This award is the highest honor bestowed upon a SC artist and richly deserved by Robert Arial. For this exhibit, City Art will include as many of Arial’s originals as the Main Gallery will hold. This will be your chance to own an original Robert Arial editorial cartoon. An opening reception for the artist will be held on March 7, 2013 from 5 – 8 pm. The exhibition will be open for viewing through March 30, 2013. Let’s hear from Arial himself as he talks of his talent for his particular idiom:

Artist Statement

My goal as editorial cartoonist is to create concise, powerful and, when possible, humorous visual commentary on current social and political issues. My tools are brush, pen, ink, paper and a vivid imagination. My inspirations come from the day's news stories and the ever looming deadline. I do this five or more times each week, or as it's called in the newspaper business, “working live” for the next day's edition.

I believe a well-rendered drawing is an essential element of a successful cartoon, but it is the idea that is paramount. If the idea is vague or not well thought out, no amount of artistry can help convey the intended meaning.

Good editorial cartoons should say something interesting about the news and challenge the reader to look at an issue from a different perspective. A good cartoon will always evoke some kind of reaction and serve as a reference point for readers to discuss the issues of the day.

These are some of my favorite cartoons from my 28 years in the news business. I hope you find them to be interesting, amusing, thought provoking and worthy of discussion.


Robert Ariail was the editorial cartoonist for The State newspaper from 1984 until 2009. He now works for the Spartanburg, S.C. Herald-Journal and his work continues to be published in over 600 newspapers through United Features/Universal Uclick syndicate. Robert has won numerous awards for his work including:

The National Press Foundation's Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award – 2012

The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts – 2012 (The annual Verner awards, established in 1972, are the highest honor the state of South Carolina presents in the arts.)

The South Carolina Press Association award for cartooning – 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007

The United Nations Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Award – 2009 (Ariail is the first American to win this international award from a field of over 1500 entries. He also won an Honorable Mention/Citation for excellence in 2011, 2010.)

The Society of Professional Journalists' Green Eyeshade Award – 2007, 2004, 2001, 1997, 1991 ( Ariail has also won over a dozen second and third place awards in this 11 state Southeastern regional competition.)

The Overseas Press Club's Thomas Nast Award – 1997 (He's also won a second place, a third place and an honorable mention.)

The National Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award – 1992

The National Headliner Award – 1990 ( He's also won a second place and a third place.)

A South Carolina Gold Addy Award – 1990 ( For a cartoon poster that helped raise thousands of dollars for hurricane Hugo relief operations.)

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize – 2000 and 1995

Ariail is a Columbia, S.C. Native and University of South Carolina graduate. In 1985 he was given the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the University. In 1992 Ariail was honored with the Ambrose Hampton Award for distinguished service to The State. He appeared in and drew cartoons for Hemdale Motion Picture's The Boyfriend School filmed in Charleston, S.C. in 1990. Ariail has published three collections of cartoons. The most recent, Ariail!!!, was one of Columbia's best selling books in 2001.

Robert Ariail speaks frequently throughout South Carolina and lends his time and talent to many community and charitable organizations. He served two terms on the executive board of The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County and currently serves on the board of trustees for the Historic Camden Foundation. Robert and his wife and 17 year old daughter live in Camden, S.C.