"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.

chatsworth

 

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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.

jenna_sach

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.

........

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.

sean_mcguinness

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.

Godzilla

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!

aint misbehavin

 

Art + Community = Photos from Last Night

Art = good

Community = good.

Art + community = lucky Columbia, SC

Below are just a few photos from September's First Thursday Gallery Crawl last night. Inspiring art. Joyous faces. Friends. Family. A community of artists and arts lovers that grows in complexity, diversity, gifts, and talent with every event held.

Don't stay home. Don't be alone. Don't be apart from it all; be a part of it all.

Tonight -- Cola-Con 2011 featuring Talib Kweli at Columbia Museum of Art

And, First September Art Bar Improve Comedy Players at The Art Bar

And, Whiskey Tango Review CD Release party at 5 Points Pub with The Capitol City Playboys

And, Bey's Gays -- name says it all -- at Bey's 711 Harden Street

And tomorrow -- SC Pride 2011 Parade and Festival at Finlay Park

Next Door Drummers with Dick Moons and Lee Ann Kornegay

 

(L to R), Jasper webmaven Lenza Jolley, Jasper editor Cindi Boiter, Bonnie Boiter-Jolley and Coralee Harris

 

Natalie Starr Mudd and Terrell Rittenhouse (Terrell modeled for Linda Toro's show below)

 

Poster for Linda Toro's delightfully non-heteronormative photog exhibit at Frame of Mind

 

Maria Mungo and Ann Smith Hankins

(Maria and Ann -- Anastasia's Mom -- helped serve at Anastasia & Friends Gallery - glorious peanut soup prepared by Marvin Chernoff & vino courtesy of Roe Young)

 

Anastasia Chernoff and Roe Young

Art (Tapp's Arts Center) by Kirkland Smith

Artist David West & Baby Boy at Anastasia & Friends

 

Cindi (right) with Columbia Arts guru & dear friend, Jeffrey Day

Artist, Thomas Crouch in Tapp's Center window

From the Baboon and Wolf Series by Thomas Crouch

(possibly Baboon IV and, if so, now Cindi's)

From the Baboon and Wolf Series by Thomas Crouch

Tapp's Art Center Gang featuring Brenda Schwartz Miller

(More from the Tapp's folks, this time with Molly Harrell, and depicting more of the Crouch exhibit)

Jenny Maxwell with fodder for "Obsessions -- A Fine Line Between Collecting and Hoarding" - still on display at the Tapp's Arts Center, Main Street Columbia

SCA Group -- Abstractalexandra

SCA Group - - Joanne Crouch