Michael Krajewski and Lucas Sams - Together Again!

"...the most complete and experimentally-minded body of work we have ever produced ..."

Lucas Sams (left) and Michael Krajewski

Lucas Sams (left) and Michael Krajewski

For the first time since 2012 beloved Columbia-based artists Michael Krajewski and Lucas Sams are mounting a show together and opening it tonight at Grapes and Gallery on Taylor Street.

With no solo pieces – all collaborative work between the two artists – the show promises both new work and works that have not been shown in many years.

“We haven’t shown together in years and it’s been almost as long since we collaborated,” Sams says. “Michael suggested we get together for a collaborative show again and make new work. It’s an exhilarating creative process and it’s a lot of fun just to hang out together and make work, and it helps us out on our solo work to inject new ideas and take a break from working alone and plug our heads together.”

Krajewski adds, “It has been long enough that new people that have been turned on to our work and don't know that we have ever had a collaboration exhibition.”

When these guys get together we’ve learned to not only expect good and, sometimes experimental, art, but also good times. There is a joy that the two bring to the process of work, especially working with a beloved friend.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing people’s reactions to this work, both older standout pieces that haven’t had as much exposure or views, but more especially this new work,” Sams says. “I don’t want to give much away but I think it’s a hell of a show, definitely the most complete and experimentally-minded body of work we have ever produced. Those moments when we are able to really push the work and surprise ourselves are the best for me-making something that’s neither mine nor his, it sort of transcends the singular artist and becomes something greater.”

Krajewski adds, “Bouncing the most insanely, deep, idiotic, ironic, philosophical ideas off one another then trying to take that idea to another level or contort it into art,” is what excites him most.

“Plus,” he adds jokingly, “it’s the only way I can get him to hang out with me.”

Catch the opening of the show tonight from 6 – 9 at Grapes and Gallery. The show will be up all month.


Lenzo Peter & Joe,jpeg

The breakthrough for the ceramic sculptures for which Columbia artist Peter Lenzo now is known nationally came in 2000 from his then four-year-old son Joe. Lenzo was making face jugs steeped in Southern tradition when his son asked whether he could stick all kinds of stuff into Lenzo’s ceramic heads. He could and in the process set his father on a course that would result in highly embellished, at times frightening ceramic figures and faces adorned with found and created objects sticking in and out of bodies and faces that are at times unrecognizable as the face jugs from which they originate. The adornments range from ceramic shards to found or purchased porcelains dolls, animals, pipe heads, trains, shoes, roosters or Virgin Mary statues and snakes, leaves, sticks and other things that Lenzo makes himself. For its June exhibition, if ART Gallery will show 22 ceramic sculptures that Lenzo and his son, the now 19-year-old Joe Scotchie-Lenzo, created together in 2000–2002. The exhibition, Peter Lenzo & Joe Scotchie-Lenzo: Origins 2000–2002, will open June 5 and run through June 27. The opening reception is Friday, June 5, 6 – 9 p.m. A gallery talk by Lenzo and Scotchie–Lenzo will be Saturday, June 20, 2:00 p.m. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue.

“I made my dad famous,” Scotchie-Lenzo used to say about his dad.

“He started saying that right away,” Lenzo says. In truth, Lenzo already had a considerable reputation with other kinds of work – cabinet-like altarpieces filled with found objects and personal mementos. But in the late-1990s, Lenzo no longer could make such pieces as brain damage from a bicycle accident in his youth had caught up with him, and he increasingly suffered from seizures. Working with a table saw and other power tools to create the altars was an accident waiting to happen. As a result, Lenzo had switched to clay exclusively, making Southern-style face jugs. While Lenzo loved making traditional face jugs, he also worried about abandoning the fine art world from which he came. The new work inspired by his four-year-old bridged the gap. “Working with Joe gave me a direction to go in when I didn’t know where to go. I wouldn’t say Joe made me famous, but he made me sane.” Peter Lenzo (b. 1955) is a widely recognized ceramic sculptor with a national profile. The New York City native, who grew up in Detroit, was selected for the 1995 and 1998 South Carolina Triennial exhibitions at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia; the 2011 exhibition Triennial Revisited and the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial 2011 and 2013, all at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia; and Thresholds, a 2003 exhibition of Southeastern art dealing with religion and spirituality that traveled extensively throughout the Southeast. Lenzo’s work is in several museum collections, including at the South Carolina State Museum, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., and the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. His solo exhibitions include those at the Spartanburg (S.C.) Museum of Art, the European Ceramic Work Center in Den Bosch, The Netherlands, Great American Gallery in Atlanta and Ferrin Contemporary gallery in Massachusetts.

Press Hard - You Are Making Seven Copies by Peter Lenzo & Joe Scotchie-Lenzo

Lenzo and his work have been featured in numerous books, exhibition catalogues and articles about ceramic sculpture and Southern art. They include the Threshold catalogue, 500 Figures In Clay (2005), Robert Hunter’s Ceramics in America (2006) and Poetic Expressions of Mortality: Figurative Ceramics From the Porter–Price Collection (2006). He holds an MFA from Wayne State University in Detroit and used to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Joe Scotchie-Lenzo (b. 1996) has been making and selling ceramic sculptures off and on since he was four years old, although he hasn’t produced any in three years. One co-production with his dad is in the collection of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. One of his individual works is in the South Carolina State Museum collection. Scotchie-Lenzo is a native and resident of Columbia, where he is a business major with an interest in retail and clothing at the University of South Carolina.

June 5 – 27, 2015

Artist’s Reception: Friday, June 5, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Gallery Talk: Saturday, June 20, 2:00 pm

Gallery Hours: Weekdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; & by appointment

For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART: (803) 238-2351 – wroefs@sc.rr.com

if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia, SC 29201


"Body of Work: Faces and Figures" opens at Gallery West Tuesday, July 8

Just as any vibrant summer gathering should be, Gallery West’s fast-forthcoming show is destined to take on qualities of a reunion and a first meeting of new friends – referring to both art and patrons. For a reunion with the past, work - created over three centuries - grace the walls at 118 State Street in West Columbia. New friends will show up as new work in all media; featured will be new work by outstanding Columbia artist Pat Callahan. Patrons will converge for the show opening Tuesday, July 8 with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception hosted from 4 to 8 p.m. Pat Callahan, "Side Light", pencil and conte

Many Columbians are already familiar with the sensitive and beautifully-crafted figure drawings by Pat Callahan. On view for this summer exhibition will be a selection of Pat's work that showcases her refined viewpoint and poetic drafting skills. Callahan comes to art and to craft through graphic design. Perhaps to balance her computer-based career, Callahan draws a classical subject - the body - in traditional drawing media. She works from life, capturing beauty and strength embodied in her subjects. With descriptive line and gesture she captures exquisitely bodies of weight, ruled by gravity and time.

Among the many other highlights in Body of Work is a small, elegant photograph by internationally acclaimed photographer Edward Weston. This intimate, wistful portrait of Weston's friend, Mary Buff, is contrasted by a large, flashy oil on canvas by New York society portrait painter, Mabel Hatt. Hatt's painting of Evelyn Siegel looks like a direct descendent of John Singer Sargent, and for good reason - Hatt's father was a student of Sargent's. More contemporary is a brightly-colored painting by well-known South Carolina artist Jonathan Green of a family enjoying the beach.

In addition to paintings and photographs, there are numerous works on paper in Body of Work. Of note is a haunting etching by nationally-acclaimed printmaker and former head of the Yale University Art Department, William Bailey. A forceful graphic note is struck in Sigmund Abeles and his print of a mother and child. Among the most geometric works in the show is a large original print entitled, Builders, by renowned American artist Jacob Lawrence.

Jacob Lawrence, "The Builders (Family)", 1974, silkscreen

Side-by-side with these well-known artists will be paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and sculpture by artists of great talent. Gallery visitors will note a 1930s portrait of a young girl by Elsie Budd, an astonishing wood engraving by Alfred Tinayre, or the whimsical sculpture of Tom Soumalainen.

Gallery West has quickly become characterized by its director’s innate talent for unearthing affordable treasures and spotlighting them evocatively in the gallery. Several area artists are also featured in the exhibition, including Russell Jeffcoat, Philip Hultgren, and Bonnie Goldberg.

The exhibition remains on view through August.  Gallery West is located at 118 State Street in West Columbia.  For more information, call (803) 207-9265,  e-mail gallerywest.sara@aol.com , or visit their Facebook page.


~ Rachel Haynie

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


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


























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/.



S&S Art Supply Pays It Forward with 3rd Annual Silent Auction & Fundraiser


Artwork up for auction from Nancy Marine

Continuing to pay it forward, S&S Art Supply on Main Street is hosting its 3rd annual fundraiser this coming Sat.urday, July 13th, benefiting Palmetto Place Children's Shelter.   Free and open to the public, there will be a silent auction of over 100 works of local art and other items from local businesses to bid on, all starting at just $25!

Artwork by Lisa Puryear

This is a family friendly event, so bring the kids.   Preach Jacobs will be DJ'ing, plus  The Plowboys will be playing live outside.    With an open bar and catered hors d'oeuvres  provided courtesy of The Whig and Rosso,  the motto for the day is Eat, Drink, Bid!

Artwork up for auction from  Jarid Lyfe Brown

Since 1977, Palmetto Place has been a safe haven for children of all ages in need of a place to call home.  Whether the child was abandoned,  abused, or neglected, Palmetto Place has been there for them.  The mission of Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for these abused and neglected children, offering them a broad range of services that encourage and promote healing through positive and healthy choices. The shelter is open 24 hours each day of the year and provides medical and mental health care, crisis adjustment/transitional counseling, after-school tutoring and recreational and social activities in addition to food, clothing and shelter. Visit http://palmettoplaceshelter.org/ for more information.

"Poppies" - Acrylic on wood panel - artwork up for auction from Barbie Smith Mathis

Sponsors for this event include: Ladybug Art Studios, Jasper - The Word on Columbia Arts, The Columbia Star, The Whig, Rosso, and Professional Printers.  Currently over 50 different artists are participating; also up for grabs are donated tickets from Nickelodeon Theatre, Trustus Theatre, Columbia City Ballet, and other goodies from local businesses. Best of all, the event is free and open to the public!

Artwork up for auction from Sean McGuinness, aka That Godzilla Guy

For more information, e-mail Amanda at lily581@hotmail.com.  The "event" page on Facebook is here.  S&S Art Supply is located at 1633 Main Street, just down from Mast General Store and the Nickelodeon. The event runs from 2-6 PM this Saturday, July 13th.

"Pimp Lyfe" -  mixed media on wood panel - artwork up for auction from Faith Mathis



"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.




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.


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.


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.


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


The Art Room Queen: Nancy Marine on the Runway

“My name is Ms. Marine! I am the Art Room Queen!” Nancy Marine awes the crowd with her fashion creations.  A competitor in the Columbia Design League’s annual fashion contest, Runaway Runway, Marine is a featured guest at this year’s “Meet the Designers: Runaway Runway” event, held at the Columbia Museum of Art. Tapping her boot on the stage, Marine demands that the technical assistant click to the next slide.

“Hit it,” says Marine, flicking her fuchsia-dyed bob with the back of her hand.  In the photographs, Marine is dressed as an art room warrior, pacing on a runway and roaring battle cries. Her warrior’s helmet sports a paintbrush Mohawk, and her mace is spiked with Elmer’s Glue-All caps.

Marine, 48, is an art teacher at Killian Elementary School in Richland County. Marine is single, and her only children are her art students. When she isn’t teaching, Marine enjoys urban line dancing, painting murals in her house and constructing outfits recycled from art supplies.

This will be Marine’s third consecutive year entering Columbia’s fashion competition  Runaway Runway, sponsored by Palmetto Clean Energy and held April 6.

The Event

Participants in Runaway Runway create and model outfits made from recycled materials to win prizes. The Columbia Design League’s official website states that Runaway Runway is intended to broaden the local community’s understanding of design and prove that environmentally-conscious clothing “can be fun, fabulous, fashionable and funky, too!”

Since 1992, Runaway Runway has grown, and in 2011, the show moved from 701 Whaley St. to a bigger venue at Columbia’s Township Auditorium. The Columbia Star reported that last year’s Runaway Runway, its 10th anniversary, attracted a crowd of over one thousand people.

This year’s lavish Runaway Runway after-party is funded by high-dollar sponsors, which range from Companion Global Healthcare, Inc. and Skirt! Magazine to organic alcohol companies American Harvest Distilling and Fetzer Vineyards.

The First Catwalk

Marine, a semifinalist in the last two Runaway Runways, lets loose her creativity at home. Her house is every bit as eccentric as she. A wooden zebra nests between the azalea bushes in her front yard, and the main hallway of her home features a collection of costume hats and dresses hung from nails.

Harry Potter trading cards line the baseboards of the walls.  Marine points to a full-length mirror painted as the Mirror of Erised. The mirror, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, shows a person his or her deepest desire.

She pushes the coats on her coat rack aside and points at the mirror’s reflection of the Sorcerer’s Stone, which she painted on the opposite wall.

“You can see it, but you can’t get to it,” says Marine.

Runaway Runway 2011 was not spared from Marine’s artistic frenzy.  Marine made a flapper’s outfit, complete with matching hat and purse, entirely out of Juicy Fruit wrappers. She decorated her shoes with chewed bubble gum that she retrieved from students.

“I heard about Runaway Runway, and I went to the last one at 701,” says Marine. “I was like, ‘this is cool—I can do this.’”

Marine hadn’t expected such a high level of craftsmanship from the other entries, such as first-place winner Miles Purvis’ Mad Hatter outfit, made from re-purposed cans, curtains and peacock feathers.

“I was blown away by how good they were,” says Marine. “I wasn’t even top three in my dressing room.”

Marine went on to wear her Juicy Fruit outfit to several Columbia Museum of Art events later that year.

“She was wearing the foil wrapper necklace and carrying the Juicy Fruit box purse for a members-only reception,” says Shirley McGuinness, a friend of Marine. “That's what I love about Nancy. She puts full passion in creating her work. That kind of passion is really rare, and it's great to see it on the runway and beyond.”

Juicy Fruit


Two for Two

Marine entered two outfits for Runaway Runway 2012: the art room warrior, which Marine christened AMortinka, and a woven paper dress called “Crayola64.”

AMortinka’s outfit, which Marine modeled herself, was made from leftover art supplies from Marine’s classes.  An Amazon-inspired chest piece featured a cone bra made from crayons.

“I’m very trial and error so I made, like, three sets of just the tits,” says Marine. “One was too small, one was too big, and being a schoolteacher in the summer, I would work for two or three hours in the morning, and then I could just put it away.”

Marine set the outfit aside for three months to refresh her creativity, then picked the project up again in fall 2011. She constructed an alter ego and back-story for her outfit. Her alter ego, AMortinka, was a warrior princess cursed for stealing a red Crayola crayon.

AMortinka, according to Marine, was her most time-consuming piece.

“It just grew and grew,"  says Marine. “When she has a name, now she has to have a font and has to have a logo, and she has to have a story, and it just grew and grew and became so in-depth that she’s really a real-life character, very real to me.”


Taking Project AMortinka to the next level wasn’t Marine’s decision.

“It took me,” says Marine. “It just took me there. I’m surprised I didn’t get a tattoo, to be honest.”

Marine’s alter ego graces the posters for Runaway Runway 2013.  Pictures of the snarling AMortinka are taped inside store windows throughout downtown Columbia’s Five Points and the Vista.

“Crayola64,” Marine’s second entry, was modeled by friend Karen Corbett. The two-piece outfit was made from student art projects, which Marine cut into strips and wove together. She melted crayons to create a neck piece and glued together empty crayon boxes and Crayola Classic marker caps to form a belt.

All three of Marine’s past entries have been featured at “Runaway Runway: Meet the Designers” events.

Third Turn

Marine will display her new alter-ego, PrismaGleana, on the Runaway Runway stage. A rainbow fairy, PrismaGleana, late in choosing her own fairy color, was left with white, says Marine. Being resourceful and environmentally conscious, PrismaGleana decided to collect and use the wasted bits of color left behind by other fairies.

PrismaGleana’s outfit features a bell skirt made from a patio umbrella, a handmade paper bodice studded with brass fasteners and a tiara of umbrella spokes and crayons. Marine is just as dedicated to this year’s design, and has made business cards, gifts of crayon jewelry, and a reliquary to advertise PrismaGleana.

Marine also made a reliquary for AMortinka. Inside the reliquary is a false bottom, holding the red crayon AMortinka was cursed for stealing and a folded piece of paper.

“Only the keeper of it knows the secret of it,” says Marine. She leans forward, her voice lowering to a whisper.

“AMortinka is not real. She is a legend. I created her.”

~ Giesela Lubecke, Jasper Intern






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!



Tish Lowe exhibition, Claire Bryant & Friends concert in Camden

Two of Jasper's favorite artists, painter Tish Lowe and cellist Claire Bryant, are featured tonight at the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, in downtown Camden.  Lowe, whose work was profiled in the Jasper 003 cover story, will be on hand for a reception from 5:30 to 7:00 PM to kick off her exhibition "Contemporary Classics" in the Bassett Gallery.   From press material:
Letitia "Tish" Lowe is an award-wining American artist whose work is represented in private collections in Europe, Canada and the United States.  Trained at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, Lowe specializes in portrait, still life, and figurative oil paintings in classic realist style.
Lowe captured the Chairman's Choice Award for her still life, "The Pram," at the International 2007 ARC Salon, competing with over 1600 entries, and won Best of Show for her "Portrait of a Young Woman" in a citywide competition in Florence, Italy. She took an Award of Merit for her painting "Spanish Bowl" at the 2011 South Carolina State Fair and was recently invited to participate in an exhibition in Leipzig, Germany.

"A classic realist, I seek beauty in all things and paint to help people see and appreciate that beauty," says Tish. "The human  spirit and the natural world inspire my art. I view outward appearances as expressions of the spirit and strive in my paintings to reflect the essence of the subject that makes it unique."



The exhibition will be on display through November 30; details can be found at: http://www.fineartscenter.org/events/2012/10/19/tishlowe/

Then at 7 PM, Claire Bryant & Friends will perform with the Danish String Quartet.

In its fourth season, Claire Bryant and Friends is an exciting collaboration between communities, campuses, health care facilities, and arts organizations across the United States and some of New York City's most sought-after professional young artists.  South Carolina native and Artistic Director, Claire Bryant, and fellow alumni from The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute, offer innovative and collaborative community and campus residencies through Chamber Music with the intention of deepening societies' relationship with the arts and music education. These musicians are dedicated to the importance of community connection, through work in the public schools, retirement communities, health-care facilities, departments of disabilities, community centers and other venues that make up the core of our society.

Camden native and cellist Claire Bryant (featured in Jasper 004) is joined by violinist Owen Dalby, both from the newly minted and acclaimed NYC chamber music society, The Declassified.

Friday, October 19th at 7:00 p.m. will be the main-stage event at the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County. Claire and her friends from NYC and Denmark will culminate the week’s residency with a full-length chamber music performance, featuring an all-romantic program from Eastern Europe with works by Ernő Dohnányi, Leoš Janáček, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  Audiences will be transported by the Hungarian folk-styles of Dohnányi’s "Serenade" for string trio, experience passion and pain during Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata” for string quartet, and finally, will be enveloped in the Italian sights and sounds of Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s blockbuster for string sextet, "Souvenir de Florence."  Details are at: http://www.fineartscenter.org/events/2012/10/19/claire2012/


Vino & van Gogh? Yes, please.

This past Friday, my parents and I went to Greenville to a place called "Vino & van Gogh." Essentially, Vino & van Gogh is a place where an individual could go to drink wine (or another beverage of choice) and paint with acrylic on canvas. Usually there is a theme each night, so each person in the class would paint the same subject. The theme for the night we visited was "Starry Night Greenville." Vincent van Gogh is one of my absolute favorite artists and his "Starry Night" is by far my favorite painting, so naturally this was right up my alley. What could be better than wine, van Gogh, and "Starry Night"?

As I was painting my Greenville-style "Starry Night," I started chatting with the owner, Marquin Campbell, and began to wonder why Greenville has two places like this -- Design with Wine and Vino & van Gogh -- while Columbia has none. This makes no sense to me.

Columbia has an active arts community yet little that actually allows people to create even modest works of their own for fun. Sure we all love going to art openings and seeing art by individuals we all know and love, and even art by those we do not know. So why not have something that allows people to express themselves on a blank canvas with things they love -- drinks, good friends, and paint? One doesn't even have to know how to paint or be good at painting to enjoy this.

So when is Columbia going to offer an experience similar to the one I had at Vino & van Gogh?

--Lenza Jolley


Lenza's mom, Kim Jolley, is pictured with her work in progress

For more of Jasper Magazine visit our website at


For more info on Vino and van Gogh, visit vinoandvangogh.net.

Jasper says, "Arms be bound with rope and shame"

One thing about Jasper, he gets his hands dirty. Sometimes he comments about the art he sees and hears, but sometimes he’s got his hands down in it, making something. So sometimes we’ll write about what we’re doing.

So: I’ve been cutting up Jesus. Will I go to hell for this?

I’m working with a collaborative of artists –visual artists, filmmakers, performance artists—on a show called Saint Sebastian: From Martyr to Gay Starlet. The one-night-only gallery show will be Sept. 1 at Friday Cottage Artspace downtown (1830 Henderson). (Yes, we know, we know: same night as First Thursday.) The event was planned in conjunction with SC Gay Pride on Sept 3; the idea was to add an art element to the week of events.



The show, conceived by Alejandro García-Lemos and Leslie Pierce, explores the quirky iconography of Saint Sebastian, martyred twice (the first time didn’t work—Saint Irene pulled all the arrows out), his eyes always raised to heaven but his body writhing across this history of Western art in masochistic ecstasy. How does a Christian martyr become a gay icon? What is it about his story, his image, the representations of his martyred body? (The publicity art—which juxtaposes a male pin-up with stained glass, by Leslie Pierce—captures, I think, some of the weirdness of this icon.)

There’s a great image of Sebastian in the Columbia Museum of Art. The Virgin and Child are pure Byzantine, blue and gold and flat, but Sebastian is looking over the Virgin’s shoulder like the Renaissance, naturalistic, a real body, the cords of his strong neck.

The Sebastian show will include visual art, performance art, photography, film, a small souvenir chapbook of original art and poetry, a DJ, a cash bar, and a couple of boys standing around with arrows.

I’ve been writing poems about Sebastian—some about the image and history, some responding to specific works by the other artists. The interactions and collaborations have been rich and rewarding. (Note to self: there should be more interdisciplinary artist collaborations. Such a great way to generate new work.) A film visually responds to a poem which responds to a print, the film incorporating a voiceover of the poem and the imagery of the print. A photo documents a performance art piece which uses a poem which responds to a print (the poem projected—performance art into film—onto a male body).

I was asked to turn a small room into a poetry chapel. I’ve got icons, prayer cards (with a prayer to Sebastian.) Among other things, I wanted some prayer banners. My partner found some huge folk religious art canvases at a local auction—interesting because the artist was painting traditional Christian images, but clearly had a special interest in the textures of men’s bodies—the veins on arms, the carefully painted chest hair on an apostle. (And that carefully draped loincloth across the fisher of men, looking so like a wardrobe malfunction about to happen, the hand of Jesus so carefully positioned there, as if he’s about to rip it off.)

So for the banners I cut up bodies—Jesus, apostles, thieves on crosses. Something wicked and vaguely erotic about it. Disembodied arms. An arrow (real arrow) in the side. Wrists bound with golden rope. A prayer. “Arms be bound with rope and shame.”

-- Ed Madden