Alexander Wilds and Colin Dodd Show New Works at Vista Studios / Gallery 80808

New paintings by Colin Dodd and sculpture by Alexander Wilds are featured at a new exhibition opening Thursday, March 14 at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 (located in the heart of the Vista at 808 Lady Street.)  There will be an opening reception Thursday night from 6 to 9 PM, and the show will run through Tuesday, March 19; the gallery will be open every day from 1 to 7 PM. Wilds and Dodd are both educators, the former at Benedict College, the latter at Midlands Technical College.  If those names sound familiar, both have shown work at Vista Studios previously.   Wilds was featured as the cover artist in the November issue of Jasper -The Word on Columbia Arts, while Dodd may be best known as the artist who created the huge, striking portrait of Kafka in Goatfeathers. Jasper also wrote about the show Wilds did with his wife, Yukiko Oka, last year here.

You can learn more about Dodd's career  here and here, and more about Wilds here  and here.  Both gentlemen are not only talented, but outgoing, and fascinating to talk with.  Jasper looks forward to this exhibition, and hoes to see everyone out at the reception tomorrow night at Vista Studios!



Strata - An Exhibition by Katie Baehler, at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808

Jasper - The Word on Columbia Arts  is always happy to plug, brag on, and otherwise promote the work of up-and-coming talents in the art world. We note therefore with great antici......... pation a new show by a new artist, opening later this week at Vista Studios / Gallery 80808 (located in the heart of the Vista, at 808 Lady Street.)  Katie Baehler isn't entirely new; she has lived in Columbia since 2006.  A native of Spearman, Texas, she studied Printmaking and Art History at USC, graduating in 2011.  Her work was featured in the BFA exhibition Devil in the Details at the McMaster student gallery in 2011, the Ink & Paper exhibition at the Columbia Museum of Art in 2011, the Union County Arts Council Competition in 2011, and received the 1st place undergraduate award at the USC Student Art Exhibition in 2011.  While at USC Baehler also received the Ed Yaghjian student award in 2010, and was President of the Ink & Paper club.  You may know her from her day job as gallery assistant at if Art Gallery, where she has been a gracious hostess for any number of openings and exhibitions over the last year.  Now she gets a chance to show off her latest series of carved acrylic paintings in her new show, "Strata."   

Carved, you may ask?  Yep - these works are created using 30 or more layers of paint, then carved to show the layers of paint, much like a crosscut of geologic strata.  Baehler’s oil paintings will also be featured; these are created using a more traditional technique, but still display the same types of intricate patterning. As she asks in a press release, "Have you ever wondered how the Aztecs might have designed a circuit board, or what crop circles would look like if aliens had a taste for Art Deco?"   We can't wait to discover the answer!

Strata will be on display Thursday, June 7th through Tuesday, June 12th at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 (located at 808 Lady Street in the Congaree Vista.) The exhibition will be open to the public weekdays 11-7, Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 11-3.  An opening reception for the artist will be held June 8, 2012, from 5 to 9 PM.

David Yaghjian's Everyman Conjures a Connection


While gazing last night at repeated depictions of the central character in David Yaghjian’s wonderful new exhibit, “Everyman Turns Six,” I kept thinking that somehow I knew this bald, pot-bellied, middle-aged man who preferred being naked or wearing only his underwear. Everyman is a loose cannon, that’s for sure. He’s the scary neighbor who is sometimes funny, sometimes dangerous. The one you hear talking to himself while he’s unfolding cheap lawn furniture. Tom Waits’ “Buzz Fledderjohn.” Mike Cooley’s “Bob.” No, wait a second. I’ve got it: He’s Charles Bukowski.


Bukowski was the heavy-drinking, womanizing waster who scribbled poems between (and during) sessions in the seediest bars of Los Angeles. He lived in flophouses and flea-bit hotels. His best friends were winos and prostitutes. He was the Everyman of poets. Like Yaghjian’s creation, Bukowski could have easily fired up a leaf blower in the front yard while wearing nothing but his tighty-whiteys. I can hear him now, screaming a verse over the leaf blower to a passing girl on the sidewalk, “Your swagger breaks the Eiffel tower, turns the heads of old newsboys long ago gone sexually to pot; your caged malarky, your idiot’s dance, mugging it, delightful --- don’t ever wash stained underwear or chase your acts of love through neighborhood alleys!” (From “Plea to a Passing Maid,” 1969)



For years, academics have panned Bukowski’s work, but regular folks who like an occasional verse or two, have found his poems honest and refreshing, as well as disgusting and titillating. I’m no art critic, and my association of Bukowski with Everyman is certainly not derived from some deep understanding of Yaghjian’s thought-provoking paintings. The connection was simply triggered by physical similarity and a shared artistic weirdness I sensed from the paintings.


That’s one of the things great art can do: Dust out the back corners of your mind and help you make creative connections you might not have otherwise. “Everyman Turns Six” runs through Sept. 6 at 80808 Gallery in the Vista.


Here’s another (R-rated) Bukowski poem to be going on with, one called “Drunk, ol’ Bukowski, Drunk.”


I hold to the edge of the table with my belly dangling over my belt

and I glare at the lampshade the smoke clearing over North Hollywood

the boys put their muskets down lift high their fish-green beer

as I fall forward off the couch kiss rug hairs like cunt hairs

close as I’ve been in a

long time.


--Mike Miller

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