FUERZA! New exhibit explores reality of domestic violence through art

Fuerza poster  

There’s something that goes on everyday, around the world, country and right here in Columbia. It happens next door, down the street and for some in their own homes. It’s what Palmetto Luna Arts board member Alejandro Garcia - Lemos refers to as “a serious and complicated issue.”

That issue is domestic violence.

The Columbia Museum of Art has teamed up with Palmetto Luna Arts, which promotes Latin arts around the State, to bring a one of a kind exhibit to museum visitors during Latin Month. ¡FUERZA! meaning strength, force, and power in Spanish, Artistas Latin@s in South Carolina, is the effort of Dre López, Sammy López, and Robert Chambers of the Piensa Art Company as well as Lemos, Ashley Berendzen, and Mariángeles Borghini.  Together, the team created panels of art to convey the struggles of domestic violence, specifically in minorities around the country. Aside from the CMA, this group of artists teamed up with the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, which is compiled of 22 sexual assault programs in the state.

Artist - Alejandro Garcia-Lemos


The exhibit, which will be located in the Carolina Guignard Community Gallery of the CMA will open on Tuesday, September 23, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will feature music, dance and a lot of meaningful art to take in.

Garcia-Lemos is proud that this art is not solely for the purpose of entertainment, but to bring a necessary awareness to the community.  As an issue close to all the artists in the Latin American community, Garcia-Lemos hopes he can make a difference through this art and bring much more awareness to this often-occurring issue in South Carolina, as well as the entire U.S.

As an issue that can effect any population, gender, race or person, the artists, SCCADVSA and the CMA calls on all members of the community to get a better understanding of domestic violence through a unique form of artistic expression. Opening night of ¡FUERZA! is free to the public and will be on display until November 30., giving guests ample opportunity to experience the heartfelt strength, force, and power.


-By Caitlyn McGuire

Show Preview: Washed Out Plays Benefit Show for Aaron Graves at the Columbia Music Farm by Caitlyn McGuire

Washed Out Band Photo. Ernest Greene pictured. To the dreamers, the explorers, those who sink their minds fully into what’s coming out of their headphones and let the music take them to an entirely different place, we’ve got the soundtrack to your life. The music of Georgia-based artist Ernest Greene, who records under the name Washed Out, is a unique blend of soothing vocals and flowing rhythms along with cool electronics and the sounds of almost unrecognizable instruments.  The title of Washed Out’s most recent effort, Paracosm, references an imaginary world that’s created inside one’s mind, takes listeners on a full journey to escape reality. It’s an appropriate allusion given the immersive effects of the music contained within.  Although each song is brilliantly different than another, the theme of escaping is apparent in every carefully written lyrics and tune, allowing the listener to continuously drift away. Even the music video for their single “Weightless” maintains this aesthetic, allowing listeners to completely disconnect from the real world and delve into the one created by Greene.

And if we haven’t obsessed over Washed Out enough, his upcoming show on September 16 at the Music Farm Columbia is full of additional good local vibes and connections. Greene and his live band, which features Columbia musicians Chris Gardner (bass), Cameron Gardner (drums), and Dylan Lee (guitar), is paired with the quirky indie folk-pop of Those Lavender Whales and the sly singer/songwriter Keith Mead, two of the city’s finest young talents. The show is also for a good cause as well. Earlier in 2014, Those Lavender Whales front man Aaron Graves was diagnosed with a grade 2 brain tumor, causing the Columbia music scene to band together to help Graves and his family. All the proceeds from Tuesdays show will go to Tumor-Schumor, Graves’ effort to raise funds and support for his life-threatening illness. On tumorschumor.com, fans and friends can keep track of Graves’s progress through his blog, donate and learn more about the cause. If there’s one show to go see at the Music Farm in the near future, this is probably it. Good music plus a great cause is reason enough to see these musical minds in action.

Tuesday’s show is at the Music Farm, 1022 Senate Street. Tickets are $15-$20, doors open at 8 p.m. and anyone 16 years and older is welcome.

To donate to Tumor-Schumer or follow along with Aaron Graves’ journey, please visit tumorschumor.com

--Jasper Intern, Caitlyn McGuire