Grapes & Gallery Showcases Artists at Open House + Wine Tasting on First Thursday

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Grapes & Gallery, located at 1113 Taylor Street (just around the corner from Mast General Store and the Columbia Conservatory of Dance, between Main and Assembly Streets) will spotlight three artists who will be leading classes/sessions at their popular downtown location.  Featured at the open house (and wine tasting!) are works by Allison Fowler, Channing Powers Anderson, and David Robbins. Drop in any time between 5 PM and 9 PM, during the monthly First Thursday gallery crawl (on Thursday, August 1st) and meet the artists, browse the artwork, taste some wine, and enjoy some music. All artwork will be for sale. ALLISON

Channing ANDERSON

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Grapes & Gallery combines the chance to paint with the opportunity for fun and socializing.  Arrive at the gallery with your wine or beverage of choice. With the paint and canvas that is provided, the presenting artist will demonstrate stroke by stroke the painting selected for the session. In this relaxed social atmosphere, you will enjoy the exploration of your inner artist, meet new friends, and leave with a work of art that is all your own.  For more information, call (803) 728-1278, e-mail  social@grapesandgallery.com, or visit http://www.grapesandgallery.com/.

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"The Journey Home" - a guest blog by Jenna Sach

When the pilot announces that we are 30 minutes to our destination, I stare out the window.  I watch the country below slowly become visible through the grey clouds.   The land is a beautiful patchwork of varying hues of green.  The houses and cars slowly come into view as we get closer.  The wheels touch down, I’m filled with excitement.  I am home. "Grand Canal of Venice" - photography by Jenna Sach

I began taking photos when I was 16.  My high school offered a darkroom course.  The smell of the chemicals, the look of film, the whole art behind photography drew me in.  Ever since then, whenever I traveled, a camera came with me.  Though all I had at the time was a little 35 mm point-and-shoot, I spent most of my time viewing Europe through a lens.  After the first few trips, my mom mentioned the lack of photos of family; it wasn’t until we were visiting Venice together that she stopped mentioning it.

For years, the only people who saw my photographs from my adventures were those who came into my Mom’s house.  She adorned her walls with images from England, Rome, and Venice.  I decided last September that I wanted to showcase photographs from England.  After running the idea by Mark Plessinger, we set up a show at frame of Mind.  My family and I were heading off the England, specifically North Derbyshire for two weeks, and it lined up perfectly.  So I lugged my camera equipment across the Atlantic Ocean and bought tons of film.  We had a few places outlined of where we were going, but I had no preset notions of what exactly I wanted to photograph.

The first few days there, I drew a blank.  However, when we went to visit Chatsworth, a stately home, something clicked.  From that point on, I was always behind the camera.  My mom and stepfather put up with me randomly asking to pull off the road, so that I could jump out and snap a few shots.  Everyone was so understanding when I wanted to spend a few extra minutes at a location, or climb up a hill to get a different vantage point.  And somehow the weather worked out perfectly, though I did stand in a shower or two to grab a shot.

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I wanted to illustrate to everyone the beauty of the English countryside and the personal meaning it holds for me.  Each photograph in this show holds a story behind it (which I am always willing to tell.)  I have been in inspired by England for years, and I am hoping to  inspire others who view my work.

~ Jenna Sach

 

"The Journey Home" is the featured exhibition at Frame of Mind (located at 1520 Main Street, Suite 1e, right across from the Columbia Museum of Art) as part of this month's First Thursdays on Main.

Jessica Ream, Sean McGuinness, Jenna Sach, Jessica Christine Owen, and James and Michael Dwyer featured at First Thursday on Main Street

Charleston has Spoleto, and Jasper is bringing you day-by-day, event-by-event coverage, but let's not forget about Columbia's own monthly celebration of the arts, First Thursdays on Main.  Festivities officially run 6-9 PM this Thursday, June 6th.  Below are some facts, figures and images taken from assorted press material: You Must Eat (Food Is Medicine) - artwork by Jessica Ream

Jessica Ream is the featured artist at Wine Down on Main (located at 1520 Main Street,  Suite 1B.) She was born in Columbus, Ohio, early in the year 1990, but was raised south of the Mason-Dixon line, in Carolina suburbia. She is a jack-of-all trades artist, and incorporates her knowledge of painting, photography, print and sculpture into her mixed media pieces. She began her studies at Columbia College but transferred to Savannah College of Art and Design where she graduated with honors, with a BFA in Painting. She returned to Columbia shortly after graduation, and currently works for the Columbia Art Museum while continuing her work as an artist.

Expectations Are The Only Option - artwork by Jessica Ream

 

Skeletons Make Uncomfortable Lovers -m artwork by Jessica Ream

A couple of doors down, at 1520 Main Street, Suite 1e, Frame of Mind is delighted to announce the return of one of Columbia's favorite daughters and artists to the FOM gallery, Jenna Sach, a familiar face and vital fixture among the Main Street community. For this FOM Series, she is sharing images close to her heart and taking us all on "The Journey Home." Sach says:

For this show I wanted to ‘bring it home.’ Though I have always taken photographs on my journeys to Europe, I've never displayed them (unless you count my mom’s walls). With this series I maintain my style, keeping the rich blacks in contrast to the cool whites. All the photos are taken from North Derbyshire, which is located in the East Midlands of England. A large portion of the Peak District National Park is within this county, as well as part of the Pennines. Within this region, there are various stately homes, castle ruins, gardens, caverns, and the beautiful rolling hills, for which it is so well known.

During a recent two week visit home, I traveled around North Derbyshire with my camera, occasionally making my family pull off to the side of the road, just so I could jump out and capture the landscape to share with you! For putting up with my artistic endeavors on this, and many others trips, I dedicate this show to them. Places featured include Buxton, Chatsworth Stately Home, Bolsover Castle, Tideswell, Castleton, Peveril Castle, Hardwick Hall and Haddon Hall.

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Born in Southampton, England, Jenna Sach immigrated to South Carolina in 1990. Ever since she was a young girl, she has shown a fondness for art. However, it was not until she was 16 that she began her passion for photography. Jenna’s high school offered a darkroom course; it was her first experience developing film, and she fell in love. Over the years Jenna took pictures of the places she visited, but it was not until she arrived at the University of South Carolina that she began to formulate her style. There, she connected with her mentor and darkroom professor, Toby Morriss. Under his guidance, she perfected her printing and found her style. Morriss taught Jenna how to combine her two passions, photography and psychology. She obtained her B.A. in Experimental Psychology and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Jessica Christine Owen is featured in "A Study of Self and Others"  at S&S Art Supply (located at 1633 Main Street.) Owen is an innovative photographer who uses herself as the subject matter. Through physical alteration as a performative aspect of the final photograph, her works are beautiful and eerie, funny and disturbing, all rolled into one. DJ B will be out front spinnin' some awesome family-friendly tunes as well!

Her artist statement reads:

The term grotesque has the contemporary definition of being something strange, fantastic, ugly or disgusting. The grotesque has formed an attachment to other terms proliferated to describe aspects of experience, among them, the abject. The abject is something that exists between the concept of an object and of the subject. The abject becomes a reaction to the threatened breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of distinction between subject and object or self and other. My intention is to create an emotional bond with the viewer through a combination of unlike things that challenges established realities or constructs new ones. By altering physical form through self-inflicted acts or complete physical alteration, the viewer is meant to see the blurred lines of what we perceive to be self and what is other.

photography by Jessica Christine Owen

Owen received her BFA in Photography and BA in Art History with honors from New Mexico State University in 2010. She currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina where she is pursuing her MFA in Photography at the University of South Carolina.

Anastasia & Friends (located at 1534 Main Street) is presents "Color Movement," an exhibition which features paintings by father and son, James Dwyer and Michael Dwyer, who have spent a combined nine decades creating abstract paintings, rooted in Modernism, with color as a primary focus.

artwork by Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer:

I grew up in a home in which both parents were artists and paintings by them and their friends always hung on the walls. Although my mother mostly put aside her professional art career to raise a family, my father was an energetic and accomplished painter all the years I knew him, only giving up his studio work at the age of eighty-seven to care for my mother. My father also taught painting and drawing at Syracuse University for thirty-some years, including while I was there as an undergraduate. I never took a class with him, but I learned a great deal from my Dad, whether it was during dinner conversations or trips to museums. Probably, most of what I learned was just from the long-term exposure of having his paintings around the house.

As a kid, I loved to draw from the time I could pick up a pencil and I received enormous encouragement and support from both parents. Sometimes I’d visit my Dad’s studio and make little drawings while he painted. Once, when I was seven or eight, my father stretched a small canvas for me to work on (my first abstract painting!) while classical music played on the radio and he worked on a large canvas. The scale of his paintings – often seven or eight feet - made an early impression, too.

A few years before my father’s death in 2011, we had a couple of conversations about how we might be able to put together a two-man show, but we were never able to make that happen during his lifetime. Before he died my father shipped me about thirty of the paintings he’d made over the past few years. That shipment has allowed me to finally, and very happily, assemble this exhibition.

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A sense of movement has been an important element in my work for a long time. Earlier pieces often conveyed a feeling of forms drifting in space. Then, there was a shift toward using linear composition to create direction. I wanted the viewer’s eye to move along a variety of circuits and have experiences along the way. I also found from my earlier collage work, that I like the crisp, definitive edges that result from cutting shapes with scissors, so I began using masking tape for a similar effect.

Recent works often have a sequential aspect that comes partly from a fascination with similarities between visual art and music. Thinking of musical composition as one note followed by another, and so on, I wondered if this might be a basis for a painting. Ultimately, I’m always after that transcendent moment when abstract elements come together in a way that‘s thrilling and somehow right.

Dwyer also provides this artist's statement from his father James Dwyer:

Since space is the fundamental characteristic of drawing, painting, sculpture, and architecture, I have long understood that eloquence in those forms is to be achieved through the structuring of space. Within the past ten years or so, I have stumbled my way into a style based on low relief as its principal component.

In low relief I have discovered that I can offer variable visual and tactile experience controlled only in part by me. The viewer is invited to share in control through physical viewpoint. Elements within a work change, or are perceived as changing when seen from different angles. This, I believe, can bring about an especially intimate and creative communication.

artwork by James Dwyer

"Color Movement" will open as a part of the First Thursday art crawl on Main on June 6th, from 6 PM to 9 PM and run through June 28th.  Special thanks to Maria Kennedy Mungo for preparing delicious food for this very special opening.

Tapp's Art Center, located at 1644 Main Street, is home to several dozen artists' studios, as well as changing exhibitions inside and in the display windows on Main and Blanding Streets.  Included in those window exhibits is Sean McGuinness, aka That Godzilla Guy:

This will be a big event, marking Godzillafications all up in your grill, so to speak! I will have my largest window display ever, and I will also be in the Tapp's Courtyard selling my artwork. If that isn't enough, my art will also be hanging inside the Tapp's Arts Center as part of a charity event benefiting local police canines. Last year I held my first-ever "Meet Godzilla @ Tapps". The presence you guys helped me create got noticed by all the local merchants, and started me on the path to becoming "That Godzilla Guy" [in retrospect, it was like you helped lodge some shrapnel in my chest, so I could go on to build a wicked suit of armor in a cave with a box of scraps!] Please come visit, and be part of the magic.

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And if there is any question as to the meaning of the term, McGuinness has helpfully provided a definition:

Godzillafications [noun] God-zill-a-fi-ca-tions (g d-zɪlə-f -k sh n):   An artwork or consequence growing out of That Godzilla Guy’s [Sean McGuinness] unique vision to interject his Godzilla Collectibles into established works of art, photographs, or concepts. It ranges from serious gravitas to social and political satire, yet always centers around a deep love of the kaiju [giant monster] eras of past, present and future. The purpose is to not only spread the love of Godzilla and his eternal, relevant messages, but to also connect people with art who would not normally appreciate traditional arts or even Godzilla himself.

Godzillafications are crafted through non-traditional means using kaiju collectibles, digital photography, Photoshop, and artwork covered and/or homaged under the Fair Use Act. If available, permission of the original artist is obtained. Godzillafications can also consist of inserting a kaiju into a photo with no digital manipulation at all. The artwork is then printed out on high quality cardstock or matte polypropylene, then sealed to a wood plank or inserted into a recycled frame. Godzillafications are also a movement, inserting themselves into art shows, galleries, window displays, street performances, internet videos and webcomics.

Use in a sentence: Art Appreciation Through Godzillafication.

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Also, the cast of the upcoming Trustus Theatre production of Ain't Misbehavin' will be giving a sneak-peek performance at 7 PM in the courtyard, next to Tapp's!

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J. Spencer Shull at First Thursday

 

There are many fine parts to the puzzle that makes First Thursday on Main Street the delightful experience that it is. Here's a look at just one of the happenings being presented on Thursday, October 6th at S & S Arts Supplies on Main Street.

This October's First Thursday on Main event is sure to be filled with thrills, chills, and cute n' creepy creatures! This amazingly talented local artist has a HUGE show in store for you! In addition to the crazy fun artwork inside, there will be many more surprises as well! You can dance the night away on Main street to the musical stylings of DJ Dr. Scott Padget, or play dress up and get your photo taken with Red Road Portraits photo-booth!

J. Spencer Shull is a self taught artist born and raised in South Carolina. His style incorporates aspects of cartoon illustration, pop surrealism, and lowbrow art. Along with his wife Kelly Shull, J. Spencer runs Jellykoe, an art collective. The husband and wife duo specialize in making one of a kind plush monsters as well as original 2-D artwork. Together, they have exhibited their work at art shows, festivals, and conventions in over eleven states. You can view more of their work at: jellykoe.com.

(Thanks to Amanda Ladymon for the above post.)

 

The Art of Africa tonight and "First Weekends?"

So many wonderful arts events are going on in the city of Columbia tonight. Has it occurred to anyone else  that First Thursday may be outgrowing the 3 or 4 hours it's been allocated on Thursday nights? Could there possibly be a First Friday, as well? Or maybe even a First Weekend? Some of us who love our First Thursdays were chatting yesterday and the subject came up. With the arts community as buzzing as it is these days, it's not an exaggeration to speculate that Columbia may be on the way to becoming a Southeastern arts destination. Certainly, the introduction of a First Weekend Series could make that happen. Start on Thursday as usual, but continue with gallery hours -- even openings -- and performances on Friday night, Saturday afternoon panel discussions and symposia, Saturday evening soirees, Sunday morning choral performances over brunch? If not every month, then what about seasonally?

Let's talk about this, OK?

In the meantime, one of the exciting events scheduled for tonight is a multi-disciplinary arts endeavor at Anastasia & Friends Gallery on Main Street called, The Art of Africa. In addition to the visual arts in Anastasia's gallery, videographer Lee Ann Kornegay will show images from her various trips to Africa on a constant loop while the Next Door Drummers perform outside.

Can you say, "Sensory Explosion?"

We could talk more about the event but A & F provided Jasper with a lovely and informative press release. Let's just take a look at it below, shall we?

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What do Anastasia Chernoff and Lee Ann Kornegay have in common when it comes to Africa?

Inspiration and a love of the culture, people and art.

Together with visual artists Rodgers Boykin, Michaela Pilar Brown, Wendell Brown, Tyrone Geter, Arianne Comer King, and Keith Tolen.

And performances by Abou Sylla, Next Door Drummers, and Sufia Giza Amenwashu.

Art that comes from Africa, is created by artists with African roots and that has been inspired by Africa. The exhibition will be a combination of paintings, sculpture, film, music, mixed media and textiles.

An explosion of color, texture and emotions, The Art of Africa brings connection to the culture and gives a perspective from many sides.

“My trip to Botswana, South Africa and Robben Island in 2005 changed my life.” says Anastasia.  “I was overwhelmed by the warmth of the people and their respectful co-existence with the animals and nature surrounding them.  When my guide spoke to me about the trials of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, my heart was stung with an even deeper love for these beautiful, forgiving people. I thought to myself, if only the world could subscribe to this policy of understanding and be able to live in harmony WITH each other and not AGAINST each other … how would that look? And to be able to fully understand the importance/impact of forgiveness, not just for others, but for self, too?  For me, it was a thunderbolt of enlightenment from these simple, yet wise people who lived in the bush. The inspiration was so empowering, that I immediately began to sculpt (for the first time in my life) when I returned home.  This show honors that initial influence.”

 

Kornegay, traveled to Guinea in 2000 & 2002 to study and film the cultural arts and between 2003 and 2005 went to Ivory Coast and Nigeria on work assignments. “I wept the first time I flew in over Africa.  It was a powerful feeling, a visceral reaction. My trips to Guinea put me in the company of some the best West African musicians and dancers of our time.  I was and still am humbled by that.

One of those musicians, Abou Sylla, master balafonist and Jeli will be performing at The Art of Africa.  A singer, storyteller and doyen, Abou is a treat for the ears.

 

Wendell Brown, a fiber artist feels family history “forced me as an artist to use my work as a platform to look at the acculturation of African slaves in the United States. What survived of African culture in America?  What is it today? “

In search for answers, I looked at the Congo, Nail Fetish Sculptures (nkisi nkondi), and the masks of West, and Central African. Studying these objects revealed to me the stitch that united the African Art forms with African American quilts. “

 

Arianne Comer King indigo artist says:

 

“It took going to Oshogbo to lock in my pathway

I am an indigo child

Osun Ronke

A Native Daughter

I celebrate my blessing

a messenger through the magnificent world of creating

Looking at waters, beautiful southern skies and ancient trees

I humbly yet joyously live to create through all the senses

All the elements of the arts

No limitations

Just be

A vessel of exploration

Ashe Gon!”

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Jasper Magazine – the Word on Columbia Arts debuts in print in

Two Weeks!

Until then, visit us at www.jaspercolumbia.com

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