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

 

Marauding Zombies, Playful Amphibians, and That Mofo With the Hat - What to See on Stage This Weekend

George Romero's low-budget, cult hit from 1968, Night of the Living Dead, was the granddaddy of all modern zombie stories. Zombies had been around before, but were usually depicted as corpses animated by some controlling voodoo master. Romero took the basic idea of hordes of the undead from Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend, made them less vampires and more corpse-like, yet still eager to chomp your flesh and turn you into one of them, and his world-view of a zombie apocalypse took off, influencing everything from the Resident Evil and Silent Hill video games, to director John Landis's classic video for the Michael Jackson song "Thriller," to the current hit comic book and cable tv series The Walking Dead. We're still fond of this exchange from the Joss Whedon-produced series Angel, written by Steven S. DeKnight (now the show-runner for Spartacus) : CONNOR (Angel's mortal son, who hates him): He looks dead.

ANGEL (the "good" vampire with a soul) : He is dead. Technically, it's undead. It's a zombie.

CONNOR: What's a zombie?

ANGEL: It's an undead thing.

CONNOR: Like you?

ANGEL: No, zombies are slow-moving, dimwitted things that crave human flesh.

CONNOR: Like you.

ANGEL: No! It's different. Trust me.

Zombies are all the rage in Columbia too, with an annual Zombie Walk (Crawl? Lurch?) each Hallowe'en. High Voltage Theatre is currently producing a stage adaptation of the original Romero film, running this weekend and the next, Friday and Saturday nights, through Sat. Feb. 15th, at the Tapp's Art Center on Main Street. For information or reservations, call: 803-754-5244. And you can read a review at the Free Times.

Over at Richland Mall in Forest Acres, Columbia Children's Theatre is opening their new production of A Year With Frog and Toad, the Tony-nominated (seriously!) musical by Robert and Willie Reale, based on Arnold Lobel's series of children's books. The cast includes local favorites such as Jerry Stevenson, Lee O. Smith, Bobby Bloom, Sara Jackson, Paul Lindley II (doubling as musical director) Toni Moore, and Elizabeth Stepp (who also choreographs.)

From press material:

Arnold Lobel's well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, the Theatre of Young Audiences version of Tony-nominated musical. This whimsical show follows two great friends -- the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad -- through four, fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding, and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in their differences that make them unique and special. Part vaudeville, part make believe, all charm, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons.

The show runs through Sun. Feb. 17th; contact the box office at (803) 691-4548 for information.

Meanwhile, down in the Vista, Trustus Theatre opens Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Motherf@*#&er With the Hat, directed by Chad Henderson, with a score by Preach Jacobs, scenic design by Kimi Maeda, and featuring Alexis Casanovas, Shane Silman, Raia Jane Hirsch, Michelle Jacobs, and Joe Morales.

From press material:

ADULTS ONLY PLEASE: language, nudity, sexual situations, & violence

"This sexy and modern show was nominated for Tony Awards, Drama League Awards, Outer Critics Circle Awards, and Drama Desk Awards – TRUST US, it’s more than the title that’s provocative about this show."

Struggles with addiction, friendship, love and the challenges of adulthood are at the center of the story. Jackie, a petty drug dealer, is just out of prison and trying to stay clean. He's also still in love with his coke-addicted childhood sweetheart, Veronica. Ralph D. is Jackie's too-smooth, slightly slippery sponsor. He's married to the bitter and disaffected Victoria, who, by the way, has the hots for Jackie. And then there's Julio, Jackie's cousin … a stand-up, "stand by me" kind of guy. However, when Jackie comes home with flowers to find a strange man’s hat by his and Veronica’s bed, these characters careen forward as Jackie goes in search of the hat’s owner. What follows is an examination of trust, lust, loyalty, and true love.

You can read an interview with director Chad Henderson here.  Contact the box office at (803) 254-9732 for ticket information.

Barefoot in the Park, Night of the Living Dead, Das Barbecu running this weekend!

Neil Simon's classic Barefoot in the Park runs another weekend at the Village Square Theatre in Lexington, this Friday, February 1st through Sunday, February 3rd. From press material:  Paul and Corie Bratter appear as different as they can be.  He's a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer, and she's a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. Their new apartment is her most recent find:  too expensive with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie's loopy mother, and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic Velasco, where everything that can go wrong, does. Paul just doesn't understand Corie, as she sees it. He's too staid, too boring, and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous, running "barefoot in the park" would be a start.

The show features the talents of Rachel Goerss as Corie Bratter, Michael Hazin as Paul Bratter, Gina Calvert as mother-in-law Ethel Banks, Dennis Kacsur as their eccentric neighbor Victor Valasco.  Harrison Ayer and Steven Nessel complete the cast.   For more information or tickets, contact the box office at (803) 359-1436.

 

 

 

 

 

Opening downtown on Main Street in the Tapp's Art Center on Friday, Feb. 1st is Night of the Living Dead, based on the 1968 film by George Romero.  From press material:  High Voltage Theatre, the Southeast’s premiere performance company dedicated to presenting classic and modern horror on stage, brings to Columbia the granddaddy of all zombie stories! The play is adapted and directed by Chris Cook and features Hollywood-level special FX make-up, stage combat,  firearms, and hordes of man-eating zombies! A true classic of American cinema is now the hottest theatrical event in Columbia of 2013! Reviving the edgy, off-beat, Chicago-style theatre that put High Voltage on the Midlands map in 2002.

Night of the Living Dead promises to shock, thrill, chill, and excite audiences currently on a steady diet of The Walking Dead. Yes, "We're coming to get you, Columbia!"

 

For reservations please call: 803-754-5244

Tickets: $15 per person

8 PM curtain for all the performances at the Fountain Room in the bottom of Tapp's Art Center.

Runs: Friday and Saturday February 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th!

 

 

Starring: (In order of appearance)

Mary Miles as "Barbara" Harrison Ayer/ Michael Layer as "Johnny" Marques Moore as "Ben" Chris Cook as "Harry Cooper" Jenna Sach as "Judy" Evelyn Clary as "Helen Cooper" Mazie Cook as "Karen"

Meanwhile, over on campus, Opera at USC presents: Das Barbecu by Jim Luigs and Scott Warrender on Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd at 7:30 PM, and Sunday February 3rd at 5:30 PM, at Drayton Hall.    "A re-telling of Wagner's Ring Cycle. This time set in Texas.”

Featuring Jared Ice (recently seen as Don Giovanni) Jasper Theatre Artist of the Year Finalist Shelby Sessler, Jordan Harper, Stephanie Beinlich (recently seen as Cendrillion) Stann Gwynn (recently seen as George in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf") and Christa Hiatt.

 

$5 - Students $15 - Seniors/ USC Faculty & Staff/ Military $20 - Adults

FOR TICKETS CALL (803) 777-5369

Rebecca Phillips, Conductor Ellen Schlaefer, Director Lynn Kompass, Musical Preparation Anna Dragoni, choreographer Teddy Moore, scenic designer Chet Longley, lighting designer

 

 

 

Jasper has been busy

Jasper has been busy and we'd like to take a moment to share what we've been up to with you, our loyal readers.

To start with, we released the inaugural issue of Jasper Magazine - The Word on Columbia Arts in print form last Thursday night at a lovely party, hosted by one of our favorite places for imbibing, Speakeasy on Saluda Street in Five Points. It was a grand night, and we were overwhelmed by the kindness and support of the arts community. Thank you all so very much for your kind words and your presence at our birthday party for Jasper. Thanks also to Speakeasy for hosting us and Josh Roberts for entertaining us.

Local Gallery Owner Lynn Sky checks out centerfold artist, Michael Krajewski.

The Jasper staff and family has been busy distributing magazines throughout the city. But if we haven't gotten to you yet, not to worry -- we're diligent and we still have more than half of our inventory on hand. That said, we're happy to take your recommendations of spots where you would like to see Jasper distributed. By week's end, we should be all over the Columbia metropolitan area, including Camden, Chapin, Prosperity, and Newberry. And soon, you'll be able to find us in Greenville and Spartanburg, as well.

Lenza Jolley, our web maven, has also been hard at work building our brand new website. If  you haven't had a chance yet, please visit us at www.jaspercolumbia.com. We hope to make jaspercolumbia.com an extension of the print version of Jasper Magazine. To that end, please find more music by Josh Roberts, more art by David Yaghjian, more poetry by all of our featured poets, well ... more of everything, we hope, at our new cyber home.

 

 

As you may know, Jasper comes out in print form once every other month on the 15th of the month. If the 15th falls on a weekend, then look for us on the Thursday prior to that date. Our next issue will release on Tuesday, November 15th, for example, but the following issue will release on Thursday, January 12th -- and yes, we plan to celebrate every single issue that hits the streets! But the reality is that Jasper wants to see his arts buddies more than just six times per year. That's just one of the reasons we will be coming to you on our off-print months with various projects and events.

  • On Wednesday, October 26th at 7 pm, please join us for our first ever Pint and Poem Walk. Look for more information on how to sign up for one of only 25 spaces on this one-of-a-kind walk in the coming week at jaspercolumbia.com.
  • On Monday, October 31st, Jasper will host our first ever Ghost Story Salon as part of 701 CCA's Halloween Night Costume Bash. We're busy gathering all the great tellers of tales of ghosts and ghouls from around town to entertain you, via candlelight and creepy tunes, upstairs in the Olympia Room at 701 Whaley CCA.
  • The first stage of our first ever Coalescence Project is well underway as photographers throughout the midlands are submitting their work to Jasper Magazine Coalescence Series - Volume 1: Photography and the Word (http://jaspercolumbia.net/blog/?p=357). October 15th is the deadline for photography and which point local writers will be invited to come try their hands at creating 500 word or less stories to "illustrate" the photographic images. The completed project -- Photography and the Word -- will be unveiled in December.

Finally, we have moved into our studio office downstairs at the Tapp's Arts Center on Main Street and we are in the process of tidying up and making pretty. Please join us for a little open house on Thursday, October 6th as Jasper Magazine happily becomes a part of the First Thursday Arts Crawl community. We'll get back to you before then with more information on the treats we'll have in store as we welcome you to our new creative home.

Until then, thanks for reading Columbia. And thanks for giving us so many good works to write about.

Cheers!

 

 

 

(Photos courtesy of Jasper associate editor Kristine Hartvigsen)

"Collecting" At Its Best?

Last week’s First Thursday exhibition at Tapp’s Arts Center featured artist and writer Alex Smith reading from Matt Bell’s moving chapbook “The Collectors,” a fictionalized true story about reclusive brothers Homer and Langley Collyer, whose deaths in their beyond-cluttered Manhattan brownstone in 1947 became apparent only after the stench of their remains wafted into neighboring spaces.

Though the reading was nearly an hour long, I sat riveted, alternately feeling horrified, mesmerized, enchanted, disgusted, melancholy, and, ultimately, thoughtful. If you didn’t catch Smith’s reading, you really missed out. And if you haven’t before heard the story of the ultra-hoarding Collyer brothers, you should read about it. Plenty has been published on the case. In addition to Bell’s manuscript, there’s Ghostly Men by Franz Lidz, and Homer and Langley: A Novel by E.L. Doctorow.

Able to get into the home only through an upstairs window, police literally had to bail thousands of pounds of debris for two hours before discovering the blind invalid Homer’s body. Although Langley’s decomposing body was only 10 feet away, it was not located until two weeks later due to the vast accumulation of junk, which Langley had navigated through bobby-trapped tunnels that are believed to have inadvertently collapsed on him, leading to his death. The paralyzed Homer, with his dead brother unable to care for him, dies several days later, slowly, of hunger and thirst.

All of New York City watched as officials, gagging from the stink, removed more than 130 tons of refuse stacked floor to ceiling from the filthy dwelling: items such as farm tools, musical instruments, newspapers, books, and magazines, old stacked furniture, weapons and ammunition, dressmaker mannequins, old medical equipment, a sewing machine, baby carriages, skeletons of small animals, and even a nearly intact Ford Model T. Newspapers at the time featured photos of the rubbish being set on the curb outside the notorious home.

Author Bell takes exquisite liberties in telling the Collyers’ sad story, artfully setting the scene and communicating what each of the brothers must have been thinking and feeling as their final hours unfolded:

Homer experiences the lack of guideposts, of landmarks, of bread crumbs. He knows his brother is dead or dying and that finding him will not change this, but even though he wants to turn around he’s not sure how. He tries to remember if he climbed the stairs or if he crawled upwards or if he is still on the first floor of the house, just twisted and turned inside it. He tries to remember the right and the left, the up and the down, the falls and the getting back up, but when he does the memories come all at once or else as just one static image of moving in the dark, like a claustrophobia of neurons. He wants to lie down upon on the floor, wants to stop this incessant, wasted movement.

He closes his eyes and leans against the piles. His breath comes long and ragged, whole rooms of air displaced by the straining bellows of his lungs. He smells the long dormant stench of his sweat and piss and shit, come shamefully alive now that’s he’s on the move again.

Somewhere beyond himself, he smells, if he sniffs hard enough, just a hint of his orange peels, the last of their crushed sweetness.

Homer opens his eyes, useless as they are, and points himself toward the wafting rot of his last thousand meals. He holds his robe closed with his right hand, reaches out into the darkness with his left. He puts one foot in front of the other, then smiles when he finally feels the rinds and tapped ash begin to squish between his toes.

He slips, and falls, and crashes into the tortured leather of his favorite chair. He pulls himself up. He sits himself down. He puts his heavy head into his hands.

Smith’s dark, dramatic reading was complemented by photographic slides from the 1947 excavation along with haunting music from William Christopher on keyboards and sound effects from Lucas Sams.

Tapp’s window displays featured artists who assembled various “collections” for public perusal. Among my favorites were Billy Guess’s Barbie-themed dolls and mannequins, Jorge Holman’s assortment of superhero action figures and iconography, and Jenny Maxwell’s collection of old hand-held fans from funerals. Perhaps best of the best, however, was Lyon Hill’s mind-blowing 3-D sketches arranged into a diorama of the Collyer residence accompanied by a looped animation film using dioramic images to dramatize scenes from the brothers’ desperate lives. These can be found in the inside foyer window at the Main Street-facing entrance to Tapp’s.

As the exhibition’s theme says, there is a “Fine Line Between Collecting and Hoarding.” I, too, am a “collector” of numerous odd items, including neckties, blazers, and books. So many books. But the collection I love the most is my art collection, which includes oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings, sculptures, batiks, handmade ceramic platters and vessels, and mosaics by both local and non-local artists. I probably started collecting art because my father collected. I have paintings he purchased while our military family was stationed in Europe. I have a nearly 50-year-old California redwood tree trunk table my dad bought back in the 1970s. So much stuff, and I won’t part with any of it. Does that make me a collector … or a hoarder?

Many of my friends are artists. Some have neat, organized studios. Others work in complete disarray. I’ve found no rhyme or reason in the working spaces of creative people. More and more, found objects are material fodder for art. A great example of that is Kirkland Smith’s amazing portrait assemblages.

Among the many, many books in my personal “collection” is Southern Writers, published by USC Press in 1997. Page 49 presents a black-and-white photograph of the late James Dickey sitting at his desk surrounded by piles of books all around him, on the desk, the floor, the credenza. I could imagine him trying to peer over the great wall of books to greet a visitor. He had to know the photographer was coming to shoot the picture for the book that day. Was the result of his tidying up? It makes me curious. Was Dickey a book hoarder?

Well, anyway, I digress. And I apologize for the length of this blog entry. Writing can be a lot like “collecting.” Sometimes you just don’t know when to stop.

NOTE: The collectors/hoarders window exhibit is still up at Tapp’s for the next couple of weeks, so check it out. If you’d like to read The Collectors, you can download it for free in pdf at http://www.mdbell.com/collectors/.

Six Days until Jasper Magazine debuts in print!

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