Cindi Boiter is a six-time winner of the SC Fiction Project, winner of the Piccolo Fiction Project, the Porter Fleming Award for fiction, and the 2014 recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts. She is the founder and editor of Jasper Magazine, The Limelight volumes I and II, A Sense of the Midlands, Art from the Ashes, and Marked by the Water, co-editor and founder of the literary magazine Fall Lines – a literary convergence, author of Buttered Biscuits, and literary author of Red Social. She currently sits on the boards of directors of Girls Rock Columbia, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities Midlands Advisory Committee, The University of South Carolina Women’s and Gender Studies Partnership Council, the Deckle Edge Literary Festival Steering Committee, One Book One Community, the Midlands Anchor Advisory Board and the planning committee for the Midlands Arts Conservatory, after previously sitting on the boards of directors for the Columbia Classical Ballet, Columbia City Jazz, and Trustus Theatre. Cindi is the executive director of The Jasper Project.
Phillip Blair is a lifelong Columbia resident and has been an active part of the Main Street revitalization since opening The Whig bar and restaurant in 2005. He coordinates a number of Main Street and other community events including Jam Room Music Festival, Arts & Draughts, First Thursdays on Main, and Indie Grits. When he isn't working at The Whig or on an upcoming event, you can find him hanging out with his three big dogs. Phill is the vice president of the Jasper Project board of directors.
J. Britt is PMP (Project Management Professional) certified and has helped over 50 businesses and organizations in all phases of development both as a private contractor and CEO of his own company – Magnolia Development. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies such as Whole Foods Market, and all sizes of business down to small non-profit organizations. Most recently he was Director of Operations at the USC Technology Incubator where he assisted countless technology start-ups and hosted events such as Google StartUp Weekend. He has decades of IT experience with high level software development methodologies including Agile and Scrum. He is also is a licenced real estate broker, and is broker-in-charge of Central Real Estate Services. A graduate of the USC Darla Moore school of business, he serves on the executive board of Trustus Theatre, Tapp's Arts Center, and is 2018 President of the Columbia Vista Guild. His current role is as Project Director for Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) and guiding them toward an August 2018 opening.
Sara Kennedy is a Columbia native and former Columbia Museum of Art employee turned web developer. Following an eight year career in nonprofit administration and event planning, she attended a coding school and graduated in 2014 from the Front End Engineering program. Sara currently works on a User Experience Team developing websites for Unum and Colonial Life. For the last two years she has worked with 100 Girls of Code Columbia empowering young women in the Columbia area to become makers of technology. In her free time, besides doing freelance work, she enjoys spending time with her dogs, traveling and trying new restaurants.
Kyle Petersen is the Assistant Editor of Jasper Magazine and a regional freelance arts and culture writer. Petersen does healthcare writing by day at the South Carolina Hospital Association and embraces the life of the critic at night. He has a Masters degree in English from the USC, the coursework from an unfinished PhD, and a great idea for a book-length treatise on Kanye West. Four writing partners (a dog and three cats) help him out occasionally, while his wife is responsible for most of the smart things that end up in his stories. Follow him on Twitter if you want to hear lots of snark about awards shows and political theater.
Lee Snelgrove is the Executive Director of One Columbia for Arts and History. Since taking the position, he's overseen the establishment of a process for commissioning public art and the installation of seven new pieces, the creation of a cultural passport program to grow Columbia’s audiences, the establishment of the position of a City Poet Laureate, coordinated the development of a strategic plan for the Congaree Vista’s formal cultural district designation, and has been a leader of multi-organizational city-wide events including the Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Burning of Columbia and the upcoming Solar Eclipse in August 2017.
Barry Wheeler is an IT professional and a Columbia, SC artist, concentrating his work in digital media. He is a graduate of the South Carolina Honors College (BS, Chemistry) and the University of South Carolina (MA, Media Arts). His background in science and computers motivates his practice, which explores the relationships between technology, digital process, information design, and art. Barry’s work has been featured at various exhibitions and shows in the Midlands, including Artista Vista, Vista Lights, Indie Grits, Anastasia and Friends, City Art, Colonial Life, the Koger Center, and Tapp's.
Originally from Lexington, South Carolina, Brian Harmon has been involved in photography and media production for most of his life. He has exhibited photographs in South Carolina, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, India and Switzerland. He served as executive producer for a reality TV program in New Zealand and China. Upon his return to South Carolina, he completed a Master of Media Arts at USC where he concentrated on documentary film ethics and production. He continues to work on a Ph.D in Rhetoric & Composition while working as the marketing coordinator at Historic Columbia. He continues to produce documentary films most recently on the Ark of Taste and the revival of heritage foodways in South Carolina. He lives in Blythewood with his wife, 2 dogs and 2 goats.
Jennifer Bartell received the MFA in Poetry from the University of South Carolina. Her poetry has been published in Callaloo, PLUCK!, Blackberry: a magazine, decomP, As/Us, Fall Lines, The Raleigh Review, the museum americana, Scalawag, and Kakalak, among others. She is a Fellow of The Teachers Guild, Callaloo, and The Watering Hole. She teaches at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.
Karl L. Larsen is an author and artist based out of Columbia, South Carolina, his birthplace. Since the release of his keystone literary publication (W a n t., 2011), a steady array of visual art has followed. At the age of 25, Larsen ditched the corporate ladders of retail management to enter an unknown and unforgiving landscape: his mind.
In October 2015, with many successful printings under his belt, the re-launch of W a n t. brought something unheard of. To commemorate the darkest scene in his book, Karl unveiled what’s known to be the world’s first and only all-black book. Only one run of ten of the rare edition was made available to the public. Today, his book has remained self-published and have shipped around the world.
Aside from his book, Larsen is largely known locally for the facilitation of multiple Before I Die Walls.The first of which was unveiled on Columbia’s Main Street in 2013. These giant interactive public art installations gave way to more abstract public projects. As Columbia’s Famously Hot New Year marquee artist for three consecutive years, his goal is to go bigger every year. His most recent installation, Channel-Surfing Couch Potatoes, 2017, drew thousands, wowing revelers a contemporary twist to 2016’s strangest events while also paying homage to the artists, musicians, athletes and movie stars lost during the calendar year.
Aiming to offer an experience to those who view his art, Larsen draws most of his inspiration from graffiti and street art and the profound effect it can have on one stumbling into art unexpectedly. With the use of vibrant colors, inanimate object, placement and often subliminal messages, he’s able to manipulate any public space for interpretive consumption, often by inviting the public to interact with his work.
Larsen’s influences range from the contemporary works of muralist and South Carolina native, Shepard Fairey, Brooklyn-based musician, artist and fashion designer, Trevor (Trouble) Andrew to Australian gender-fluid performance artist, Illma Gore. Both individually and collaboratively, Basquiat and Warhol as well as Picasso and Dalí have all provided creative sparks for Larsen over the years. His recent travels have played a major role in the direction of the Odometer Collection, his most recent collection of artwork.
Currently, Karl works as a studio artist at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 and organizes and curates a local monthly art show in downtown Columbia. His artwork has exhibited in many local venues including West Columbia’s Riverwalk, Columbia’s Main Street, Richland County Library, Frame of Mind, Tapp’s, 701 Whaley, Gallery 80808 and the Kershaw County Library. In 2016, Larsen exhibited at Riker Studio in Brooklyn, NY.