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?
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
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
A vessel of exploration
Jasper Magazine – the Word on Columbia Arts debuts in print in
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