About the 2017 JAY Finalists

2017 JAY Finalists in Visual Art

Nicole Kallenberg Heere * Sean Rayford * Cedric Umoja

Nicole Kallenberg Heere   Through December 2016, Nicole’s painting "Mommy's Little Helpers" was used by Theatre Lazina Nowa to advertise the play  All About My Mother  on billboards and posters in the city of Krakow, Poland. She continues to be an Artist in Residence at Tapp's Art Center in Columbia, South Carolina where her artwork was presented at "Figure Out" art exhibition in 2016. Her work was included in the Columbia Artists Guild inaugural show, "Our Art: A Celebration of Life and Creative Freedom," at City Art gallery in Columbia. In October 2016 she was selected as the cover artist for the fall issue of  Jasper Magazine  and was featured along with magazine editor Cindi Boiter on ArtsWACH for WACHFox news. From October 2016 - May 2017, Nicole showed with French Art Network at Galerie Rue Toulouse: New Orleans, LA and was honored at an artist meet and greet at Galerie Rue Toulouse in December. In January 2017, she enjoyed a solo show at Kershaw County Arts Center in Camden, SC and in February 2017 she was featured in  French Quarterly Magazine , New Orleans, LA. In April 2017, she had a solo show at Patriot's Hall Performing Arts Center (Formerly Jasper John's High School) in Sumter, SC, and from May 2017 – present she has been represented by Mitchell Hill Gallery in Charleston.   

Nicole Kallenberg Heere

Through December 2016, Nicole’s painting "Mommy's Little Helpers" was used by Theatre Lazina Nowa to advertise the play All About My Mother on billboards and posters in the city of Krakow, Poland. She continues to be an Artist in Residence at Tapp's Art Center in Columbia, South Carolina where her artwork was presented at "Figure Out" art exhibition in 2016. Her work was included in the Columbia Artists Guild inaugural show, "Our Art: A Celebration of Life and Creative Freedom," at City Art gallery in Columbia. In October 2016 she was selected as the cover artist for the fall issue of Jasper Magazine and was featured along with magazine editor Cindi Boiter on ArtsWACH for WACHFox news. From October 2016 - May 2017, Nicole showed with French Art Network at Galerie Rue Toulouse: New Orleans, LA and was honored at an artist meet and greet at Galerie Rue Toulouse in December. In January 2017, she enjoyed a solo show at Kershaw County Arts Center in Camden, SC and in February 2017 she was featured in French Quarterly Magazine, New Orleans, LA. In April 2017, she had a solo show at Patriot's Hall Performing Arts Center (Formerly Jasper John's High School) in Sumter, SC, and from May 2017 – present she has been represented by Mitchell Hill Gallery in Charleston.

 

Sean Rayford   Sean Rayford is a freelance photojournalist and commercial photographer working during the last year with  The New York Times, The Washington Post, Getty Images, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the Associated Press  and more. His commercial clients include the ACLU, Chernoff Newman, and the Columbia Visitors Bureau. Sean produces  The Angry Whale , a photography webzine focusing primarily on local narratives with a heavy emphasis on the local music scene, along with national stories including a look at street protests in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. He won the Best Photo Story from the South Carolina Press Association in 2016 and the Atlantic Institute Peace and Dialogue Award: Media and Communication in 2017. He enjoyed a Solo exhibition called “Documents” at Anastasia and Friends, a book release,  Inundated , and was named one of 51 Instagram Photographers to Follow in the US by Time Magazine, all in 2016. He won the  Free Times  Best of Instagram Honorable Mention, in 2017. In 2016 Rayford had extensive coverage of rioting in Charlotte, NC for Getty Images, and Hurricane Matthew in the Carolina’s for  The New York Times , Getty Images and The European Press Agency. After the election of Donald Trump Sean’s storylines have often intersected with the resulting protest movements including contentious congressional town hall meetings.

Sean Rayford

Sean Rayford is a freelance photojournalist and commercial photographer working during the last year with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Getty Images, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the Associated Press and more. His commercial clients include the ACLU, Chernoff Newman, and the Columbia Visitors Bureau. Sean produces The Angry Whale, a photography webzine focusing primarily on local narratives with a heavy emphasis on the local music scene, along with national stories including a look at street protests in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. He won the Best Photo Story from the South Carolina Press Association in 2016 and the Atlantic Institute Peace and Dialogue Award: Media and Communication in 2017. He enjoyed a Solo exhibition called “Documents” at Anastasia and Friends, a book release, Inundated, and was named one of 51 Instagram Photographers to Follow in the US by Time Magazine, all in 2016. He won the Free Times Best of Instagram Honorable Mention, in 2017. In 2016 Rayford had extensive coverage of rioting in Charlotte, NC for Getty Images, and Hurricane Matthew in the Carolina’s for The New York Times, Getty Images and The European Press Agency. After the election of Donald Trump Sean’s storylines have often intersected with the resulting protest movements including contentious congressional town hall meetings.

Cedric Umoja   Cedric Umoja has enjoyed the following exhibitions over the past year: Afrofuturism (a group exhibition) at 4th Wall Gallery in Charleston SC, as part of the Spoleto Arts Festival; "WE BLEED TOO!" a solo exhibition at the Goodall Gallery in Columbia; "Libation," a three person exhibition at Charleston City Gallery in Charleston SC; and, the MOJA African American / Caribbean Arts Festival. Cedric has completed a number of murals including "The space I'm in" in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA and "23 Million miles" on Millwood Avenue in Columbia. He has performed live art at MOCAD (Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit) and performed in the film,  Bridge (Refrain)  as an actor/co-producer, and music supervisor, shot in Columbia. He has also completed commission work for Radio Krimi, Experience Columbia, LuLu Lemon, USC, and Coach Michael and Chantal Peterson.

Cedric Umoja

Cedric Umoja has enjoyed the following exhibitions over the past year: Afrofuturism (a group exhibition) at 4th Wall Gallery in Charleston SC, as part of the Spoleto Arts Festival; "WE BLEED TOO!" a solo exhibition at the Goodall Gallery in Columbia; "Libation," a three person exhibition at Charleston City Gallery in Charleston SC; and, the MOJA African American / Caribbean Arts Festival. Cedric has completed a number of murals including "The space I'm in" in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA and "23 Million miles" on Millwood Avenue in Columbia. He has performed live art at MOCAD (Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit) and performed in the film, Bridge (Refrain) as an actor/co-producer, and music supervisor, shot in Columbia. He has also completed commission work for Radio Krimi, Experience Columbia, LuLu Lemon, USC, and Coach Michael and Chantal Peterson.

 

*****

 

2017 JAY Finalists in Theatre

Chris Cockrell * Mandy Applegate Bloom * Bakari Lebby

 

Christopher Cockrell   Christopher Cockrell is both a musician and actor, with most of his musical contributions being offered to the theatre. In July, 2016 Chris musically directed the Trustus season opener  American Idiot , nominated for the  Free Times  Best Theatrical Production award.  In October 2016, after 15 years of playing Riff Raff, Chris musically directed  The Rocky Horror Picture Show  which won the  Free Times  award. In December he was the sound guy for the  Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical . And in February 2017 he musically directed the  Love is Love  cabaret. During March 2017 he was the artist in residence at Hammond School and musically directed  Into the Woods .  In May he competed in the Vista Queen Pageant as Raven Black for which he won the Judge’s Choice award. He reprised his role in July for the Jasper Summer Lovin’ Lip Sync Battle and won.  June 2017 saw him musically directing  Rock of Ages .

Christopher Cockrell

Christopher Cockrell is both a musician and actor, with most of his musical contributions being offered to the theatre. In July, 2016 Chris musically directed the Trustus season opener American Idiot, nominated for the Free Times Best Theatrical Production award.  In October 2016, after 15 years of playing Riff Raff, Chris musically directed The Rocky Horror Picture Show which won the Free Times award. In December he was the sound guy for the Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. And in February 2017 he musically directed the Love is Love cabaret. During March 2017 he was the artist in residence at Hammond School and musically directed Into the Woods.  In May he competed in the Vista Queen Pageant as Raven Black for which he won the Judge’s Choice award. He reprised his role in July for the Jasper Summer Lovin’ Lip Sync Battle and won.  June 2017 saw him musically directing Rock of Ages.

Mandy Applegate Bloom   Mandy offered a burlesque performance featuring a body positivity, sexuality, and autonomy talkback at Hoechella Music Festival in August 2016, and was presented in an article and podcast with Auntie Bellum on Burlesque in August 2016. She also taught the Burlesque Beginners Dance Class Series at Tapp’s Arts Center in October 2016. Mandy was a singer and performer in the PALSS Torch Cabaret Benefit at CMFA October 2016 and was choreographer/movement coach for  The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical  at Trustus Theatre in December 2016.  Her most outstanding performance though was the dual leading roles in (and choreographer for)  Grey Gardens  at Trustus, March 2017. Mandy also judged the annual Vista Queen Pageant at Trustus Theatre this year.

Mandy Applegate Bloom

Mandy offered a burlesque performance featuring a body positivity, sexuality, and autonomy talkback at Hoechella Music Festival in August 2016, and was presented in an article and podcast with Auntie Bellum on Burlesque in August 2016. She also taught the Burlesque Beginners Dance Class Series at Tapp’s Arts Center in October 2016. Mandy was a singer and performer in the PALSS Torch Cabaret Benefit at CMFA October 2016 and was choreographer/movement coach for The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical at Trustus Theatre in December 2016.  Her most outstanding performance though was the dual leading roles in (and choreographer for) Grey Gardens at Trustus, March 2017. Mandy also judged the annual Vista Queen Pageant at Trustus Theatre this year.

Bakari Lebby   In August 2016 Bakari was inducted as a Trustus Theatre Company Member where, the month before he had performed as Gerard in  American Idiot . He is an actor, sound designer, and writer for The Mothers Sketch Comedy troupe. He ran projection and did video design for  Hand to God  at Trustus Theatre, directed, did sound design, projection design, and graphic design for  some girl(s)  at Workshop Theatre, assisted with costume design for  Sex on Sunday  at Trustus Theatre. Bakari was also selected to direct  One Another  (Jon Tuttle) for Syzygy: Eclipse Plays.  His podcast,  Soda City Sessions , boasts more than 70 interviews online, and his band, Sandcastles, released the album,  Die Alone , in 2016.

Bakari Lebby

In August 2016 Bakari was inducted as a Trustus Theatre Company Member where, the month before he had performed as Gerard in American Idiot. He is an actor, sound designer, and writer for The Mothers Sketch Comedy troupe. He ran projection and did video design for Hand to God at Trustus Theatre, directed, did sound design, projection design, and graphic design for some girl(s) at Workshop Theatre, assisted with costume design for Sex on Sunday at Trustus Theatre. Bakari was also selected to direct One Another (Jon Tuttle) for Syzygy: Eclipse Plays.  His podcast, Soda City Sessions, boasts more than 70 interviews online, and his band, Sandcastles, released the album, Die Alone, in 2016.

*****

2017 JAY Finalists in Music

Those Lavender Whales * Fat Rat * Tyler Matthews

Those Lavender Whales   The group was mainly focused on releasing and supporting their second full length "My Bones Are Singing" (which came out in April) which garnered some national and international press, a  Free Times  cover story, and a good amount of touring up the east coast and around the southeast. Before the release of their album, they played an Arts & Draughts last fall, a special stripped down set with upright bass and electric guitar at the Nickelodeon for a Magic Hour in January with Valley Maker, and a songwriter event at Deckle Edge literary festival earlier this year.   

Those Lavender Whales

The group was mainly focused on releasing and supporting their second full length "My Bones Are Singing" (which came out in April) which garnered some national and international press, a Free Times cover story, and a good amount of touring up the east coast and around the southeast. Before the release of their album, they played an Arts & Draughts last fall, a special stripped down set with upright bass and electric guitar at the Nickelodeon for a Magic Hour in January with Valley Maker, and a songwriter event at Deckle Edge literary festival earlier this year.

 

Tyler Matthews   One of Tyler Matthews’ goals for the last 12 months was to gain music coverage beyond state lines. Producing his first full-length album in the form of the soundtrack for Exit 8 achieved just that — generating positive reviews, commentary, and interest from music blogs across the country. Along with scoring Exit 8, he served as the video editor for the film which gave him the opportunity to create a film trailer. This led to scoring and producing an additional composition which subsequently went on to receive a Gold Addy Award for Original Music at the Addy Awards. Tyler was one of 2 freelancers to win a gold award out of 250 professional entries. He was recognized by the American Advertising Federation of the Midlands as the member of the year for the video he volunteered to make promoting the Addy’s.  He was a selected filmmaker for the 2nd Act ( Mr. Wonderful ) Film Festival in October 2016, which involved creating original music for the film as well as tapping into music industry contacts Skylar Spence and Niilas who gave me the green light to use their music for  Mr. Wonderful . He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to submit  Mr. Wonderful  to the short film festival circuit, and supported other musical artists and organizations around the community through video and audio production. He played shows around Columbia for Jasper, Scenario Collective, and miscellaneous house parties. However, the vast majority of his music work was done in the studio setting on a Macbook Pro - Writing, Recording, Engineering, Mixing, Mastering, etc.  He was the producer of Insanity Podcast and was selected “Who to Stream” by  Cola Daily , after being named New & Noteworthy on iTunes earlier in the year. He produces the music and all multimedia for the podcast.   

Tyler Matthews

One of Tyler Matthews’ goals for the last 12 months was to gain music coverage beyond state lines. Producing his first full-length album in the form of the soundtrack for Exit 8 achieved just that — generating positive reviews, commentary, and interest from music blogs across the country. Along with scoring Exit 8, he served as the video editor for the film which gave him the opportunity to create a film trailer. This led to scoring and producing an additional composition which subsequently went on to receive a Gold Addy Award for Original Music at the Addy Awards. Tyler was one of 2 freelancers to win a gold award out of 250 professional entries. He was recognized by the American Advertising Federation of the Midlands as the member of the year for the video he volunteered to make promoting the Addy’s.  He was a selected filmmaker for the 2nd Act (Mr. Wonderful) Film Festival in October 2016, which involved creating original music for the film as well as tapping into music industry contacts Skylar Spence and Niilas who gave me the green light to use their music for Mr. Wonderful. He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to submit Mr. Wonderful to the short film festival circuit, and supported other musical artists and organizations around the community through video and audio production. He played shows around Columbia for Jasper, Scenario Collective, and miscellaneous house parties. However, the vast majority of his music work was done in the studio setting on a Macbook Pro - Writing, Recording, Engineering, Mixing, Mastering, etc.  He was the producer of Insanity Podcast and was selected “Who to Stream” by Cola Daily, after being named New & Noteworthy on iTunes earlier in the year. He produces the music and all multimedia for the podcast.

 

FatRat Da Czar   As South Carolina’s godfather of hip hop, Fat was the Invited speaker/panelist at 2017 Charleston Music Confab and a performer at Charleston Music Confab (Charleston Music Hall). He was named the  Free Times  Best Hip Hop Artist and the 2017 Free Times Writers Pick for Best Annual Event or Festival for Love, Peace & Hip-Hop Festival, which he previously founded. He established a hip-hop headquarters at Tapp’s Arts Center on Main Street, and was an invited participant in EdVenture’s 100 Men Who Cook for Kids fundraiser. He executive Produced hip-hop artist Cole Connor’s album: SODA (Sometimes Our Dreams Align) and was an invited speaker at Richland Library’s Music Entrepreneur Seminar: Find Your Voice. Fat released the album,  RailRoad , co-authored the book  Da Cold Warrior , released the Cold Warrior double CD, performed at Freeway Music Festival (at the Music Farm Columbia) and performed at the Indie Grits opening party.                                                      *****                              2017 JAY Finalists in Literary Arts                        Al Black * Nicola Waldron * Don McCallister

FatRat Da Czar

As South Carolina’s godfather of hip hop, Fat was the Invited speaker/panelist at 2017 Charleston Music Confab and a performer at Charleston Music Confab (Charleston Music Hall). He was named the Free Times Best Hip Hop Artist and the 2017 Free Times Writers Pick for Best Annual Event or Festival for Love, Peace & Hip-Hop Festival, which he previously founded. He established a hip-hop headquarters at Tapp’s Arts Center on Main Street, and was an invited participant in EdVenture’s 100 Men Who Cook for Kids fundraiser. He executive Produced hip-hop artist Cole Connor’s album: SODA (Sometimes Our Dreams Align) and was an invited speaker at Richland Library’s Music Entrepreneur Seminar: Find Your Voice. Fat released the album, RailRoad, co-authored the book Da Cold Warrior, released the Cold Warrior double CD, performed at Freeway Music Festival (at the Music Farm Columbia) and performed at the Indie Grits opening party.

 

                                                 *****

                           2017 JAY Finalists in Literary Arts

                    Al Black * Nicola Waldron * Don McCallister

Al Black   Al Black is a northern born Southern poet who is trying to make up for 50 years of hiding his poetic life beneath a layered costume of respectability. He publishes in journals, online blogs and anthologies, most recently in  Fall Lines  2017. He organizes and hosts a weekly poetry venue called Mind Gravy and three monthly poetry venues called Magnify Magnolias, Poems: Bones of the Spirit, and Blue Note Poetry as well as two monthly poetry workshops, in addition to organizing and hosting a monthly lyric singer/songwriter event called Songversation. Al co-founded the Poets Respond to Race Initiative with the poet, Len Lawson in May 2015 on which Len and Al continue to tour organizing and hosting readings and events connected with the initiative and, in February 2017, they co-edited,  Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race  published by Muddy Ford Press.   

Al Black

Al Black is a northern born Southern poet who is trying to make up for 50 years of hiding his poetic life beneath a layered costume of respectability. He publishes in journals, online blogs and anthologies, most recently in Fall Lines 2017. He organizes and hosts a weekly poetry venue called Mind Gravy and three monthly poetry venues called Magnify Magnolias, Poems: Bones of the Spirit, and Blue Note Poetry as well as two monthly poetry workshops, in addition to organizing and hosting a monthly lyric singer/songwriter event called Songversation. Al co-founded the Poets Respond to Race Initiative with the poet, Len Lawson in May 2015 on which Len and Al continue to tour organizing and hosting readings and events connected with the initiative and, in February 2017, they co-edited, Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race published by Muddy Ford Press.

 

Nicola Waldron   Nicola Waldron has enjoyed a number of essays being accepted for publication or published in nationally-recognized magazines and websites this year, including "Ictus, or 1984 Redux" which was shortlisted for the Proximity personal essay prize in July 2017; “If Plan 'A' Don’t Work Out”: in  About Place ; and “Containing the Chaos: Spiral Form in Memoir” in  Assay . “Spill” which was published in  Marked by the Water  in October, 2016 was performed as a staged oration at Tapp’s Art Center as part of the Marked by the Water commemoration of the first anniversary of the 1000 year flood. An excerpt from her book,  River Running Backwards,  was published in  Fall Lines , summer 2017, and she was selected as a playwright for the Syzygy: Eclipse Plays project in spring 2017 for which she wrote the play  Visitation . Her poems “Dream” and “Birthday in October” were published in in  California Quarterly,  July 2017; “Walking the Sawmill” in  California Quarterly,  in fall 2016, and “Crawlspace” and “After a Flood” were published in  Marked By The Water , 2016. (“Crawlspace” was also published in  Jasper , October 2016.) Nicola also participated in Bones of the Spirit, Mind Gravy, and Magnify Magnolias.

Nicola Waldron

Nicola Waldron has enjoyed a number of essays being accepted for publication or published in nationally-recognized magazines and websites this year, including "Ictus, or 1984 Redux" which was shortlisted for the Proximity personal essay prize in July 2017; “If Plan 'A' Don’t Work Out”: in About Place; and “Containing the Chaos: Spiral Form in Memoir” in Assay. “Spill” which was published in Marked by the Water in October, 2016 was performed as a staged oration at Tapp’s Art Center as part of the Marked by the Water commemoration of the first anniversary of the 1000 year flood. An excerpt from her book, River Running Backwards, was published in Fall Lines, summer 2017, and she was selected as a playwright for the Syzygy: Eclipse Plays project in spring 2017 for which she wrote the play Visitation. Her poems “Dream” and “Birthday in October” were published in in California Quarterly, July 2017; “Walking the Sawmill” in California Quarterly, in fall 2016, and “Crawlspace” and “After a Flood” were published in Marked By The Water, 2016. (“Crawlspace” was also published in Jasper, October 2016.) Nicola also participated in Bones of the Spirit, Mind Gravy, and Magnify Magnolias.

Don McCallister   Over the past year, Don began his own indie publishing company, calling it Mind Harvest Press, to publish his own backlog of material including  Let the Glory Pass Away  which launched in February 2017. His short story, “Eye of the Vandal” received an Honorable Mention from the  Short Story America  Fiction Contest and his short story, “Ruby in the Dust,” was published in  Fall Lines 2017.  In addition, his papers from the publication of  Fellow Traveler  were selected for the Grateful Dead Archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz.   Don teaches creative writing at Midlands Technical College. 

Don McCallister

Over the past year, Don began his own indie publishing company, calling it Mind Harvest Press, to publish his own backlog of material including Let the Glory Pass Away which launched in February 2017. His short story, “Eye of the Vandal” received an Honorable Mention from the Short Story America Fiction Contest and his short story, “Ruby in the Dust,” was published in Fall Lines 2017. In addition, his papers from the publication of Fellow Traveler were selected for the Grateful Dead Archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Don teaches creative writing at Midlands Technical College. 

*****

Vote

Jasper Artists of the Year

2017

http://jasperproject.org/jays

 

Then join us on Tuesday, December 5th at 7 pm in the 701 Whaley Market Space for the

2017 JAY Awards & Retro Snow Ball

and

Caroling with Those Lavender Whales

Retro Family Photos

Pop UP Art Show & Silent Auction by Thomas Washington

Silent Auction of Original Christmas Ornaments Created and Donated by Columbia-based Fine Artists in Support of Jasper Magazine

Cash Bar by The Whig

and more ....

 

2017 JAYS.jpg

The Jasper Project presents ARTS101 - A 6-Part Arts Appreciation Lecture Series

arts101 mary Ever wanted to take that art history class you neglected in college or revisit some of the stories of arts greats you may have snoozed through way back when? The Jasper Project is making it easy to brush up on your cultural literacy and we’re doing it in intimate settings with folks you already know and admire.

The Jasper Project presents ARTS101, a series of presentations by Columbia artists of stature about the great artists who have gone before us and influenced the world of art. All events are informal, free and open to the public and all start at 7 pm at Tapp’s Arts Center.

Please join us.

 

September 23, 2015 Mary Bentz Gilkerson talks about John Constable

October 28, 2015 Stephen Chesley talks about Edward hopper

November 18, 2015 Tish Lowe talks about Antony Van Dyck

January 27, 2016 Kirkland Smith talks about John Singer Sargent

February 24, 2016 Mike Dwyer talks about Richard Diebenkorn

March 23, 2015 Cedric Umoja talks about Dondi White

Cedric Umoja's Millwood Mural Project - by Jessica Blahut

Before ( unfinished mural from years ago) After (Mock up of the finished collaborative piece)

 

For years, an abandoned, unfinished mural has stood near the intersection of Millwood and Gervais, a reminder of the obstacle that urban communities everywhere face. However, a group of three artists in partnership with One Columbia hope to bring the mural and community back to life by refinishing the wall with a mural that will speak to the optimistic future of the community.

 

“I was just driving I saw the wall that needed some finishing,” says local artist Cedric Umoja.  “I just wondered if it was ever going to get done and who started it and that type of thing.”

 

From there Umoja and others at One Columbia gathered information about the existing mural and how to transform the existing wall into something new and fresh for the community.  Umoja contacted fellow artists Brandon Donahue (Nashville, TN) and Karl Zurflüh (Charleston, SC) to collaborate on this project and a shared vision of growth and revitalization was born.

“We came together and said that this was really about the idea of community, but what does that mean?  What does that word mean to you, visually speaking?” said Umoja.

For Umoja, community cannot exist without the promise of the future.  His portion of the mural is a commentary on the necessity of helping the public grow and prosper now to ensure that it can continue. Zurflüh took a different approach, coming from a graphwriting background, he broke up the word “community” into “commune” and “unity” in order to break it down into its purest definition.  Donahue used the imagery of an insect from African folktales, taking the perspective of growth and rebirth.

This mural, which will bridge that gap between high art and street art, has the potential to be a jumping off point for the visual arts community of Columbia; there has been a growing trend in cities around the country of holding “open walls” and inviting street artists to create murals to enhance the existing urban landscape.

“It’s happening everywhere except Columbia, and I think there’s a lot of wall space for it to happen and grow the city in the right way,” says Umoja of Columbia’s potential to follow in the footsteps of other cities.

“I think that it’s going to elevate the quality of life for people that live there, not just the city, but in the community too,” says Umoja “I think that is what we as artist try to do, a lot of us are trying to make people think but we are mostly just trying to enrich people’s lives and educate them from different perspectives.”

Though One Columbia initiative is funding a portion of the project, it does not cover the entire projected cost of the mural.  The artists are also responsible for prepping the wall, supplying their own materials, and other logistical expenses.  In addition to the labor costs of the three muralists, a filmmaker and photographer who will be documenting and archiving the process will also need to be compensated.  Unfortunately, these factors are getting in the way of this project being realized.

Those interested in supporting the Millwood Mural Project can make a contribution at www.gofundme.com/millwoodmural.

 

Art from the Ashes Book Launch and Gallery Opening on February 1st at Tapp’s - A JASPER Project

art from the ashes jpeg  

Over the course of four evenings in the summer of 2014, more than two dozen literary, visual, and musical artists gathered in the Jasper Magazine office with experts on the February 17th, 1865 burning of Columbia. The artists immersed themselves in the events that took place the night of the burning as well as the days and nights leading to and immediately following it. Six months later, their inspirations have come to fruition in a multi-disciplinary series of arts events – Art from the Ashes.

Art from the Ashes cover

 

Art from the Ashes: Columbia Residents Respond to the Burning of Their City is a collection of poetry, prose, and even a screenplay by some of Columbia, SC’s most dynamic writers, including Ed Madden, Tara Powell, Ray McManus, Susan Levi Wallach, Tom Poland, Al Black, Jonathan Butler, Rachel Haynie, Debra Daniel, Will Garland, Betsy Breen, and Don McCallister. Edited by Jasper Magazine’s Cynthia Boiter, it is a publication of Muddy Ford Press and the first in the press’s new series, Muddy Ford Monographs.

 

In concert with the book launch, Art from the Ashes: The Gallery will open on the same evening, also at Tapp’s, and will run throughout the month of February. Participating visual artists include Susan Lenz, Kirkland Smith, Christian Thee, Michael Krajewski, Jarid Lyfe Brown, Whitney LeJeune, Mary Bentz Gilkerson, Cedric Umoja, Michaela Pilar Brown, Alejandro Garcia-Lemos, and Kara Gunter.

artist - Kirkland Smith

 

Join us as we celebrate the book launch and gallery opening from 5 – 7 pm. Visual artists will be on hand to answer questions about their work and literary artists will be signing and reading from their writings. Musician Jack McGregor, who created a three movement musical composition in response to the burning, will premiere his work as well.

artist - Jarid Lyfe Brown

artist - Kara Gunter

artist - Michael Krajewski

artist - Christian Thee

 

Additional events include a Visual Artists Panel Presentation on Thursday, February 5th at 7 pm and a Reading and Book Signing on February 17th at 7 pm, followed by a concert by Columbia-based musical artist, the Dubber.

 

All events take place at Tapp’s Arts Center on Main Street and are free and open to the public

 

The Freshniz: Volume 2 -- Saturday Night!

“Live magazine” sounds a bit oxymoronic.  Whether proactively or reactively, magazines expose, summarize, analyze, and/or relate events; but rarely, if ever, are they events in and of themselves.  Saturday at Conundrum, southeast-based art cooperative the Izms of Art will blend these two aspects of spectacle and journalism into “The Freshniz: Volume 2.”

The Izms of Art, like many of the organizations Jasper features, “strive[s] to push the boundaries of expression.”  In order to do so, members and affiliates fuse a variety of artistic media (including, among others, visual art, graphic design, tattooing, and music production) and instill in the public a more complex understanding of and appreciation for art.

Izm’s multifaceted approach to creative pursuit is a product of the multitalented individuals that comprise it; each member possesses an impressive resume indicative of trans-genre capability: certified audio engineer DJ B (aka B Sam) boasts an extensive knowledge of music, audio, and video production; Carl “Fahiym” Jones engages in various forms of creative writing, including fiction, poetry, and hip hop; Dalvin "Mustafa" Spann offers expertise in graphics, photography, videography, and web design; Tahirah Spann explores “the blurry line between an art form and a craft”; Uncle Vic contributes as a painter, illustrator, graphic designer, and MC; barber, tattoo artist, and founding member of hip hop group The Shaaw Brothers, Jarrett “Un” Jenkins also expresses himself on canvas, paper, and cardboard.

According to Izms painter, illustrator, and writer Cedric Umoja, Freshniz is an opportunity for the community to “come out and enjoy the arts on different levels.”  He emphasizes that when we think of art, we often think of visual arts.  We forget that acting is art, writing is art, cooking is art.  The Freshniz allows for artists to expose the arts that are too infrequently identified as such.

Cedric admits that the concept of a live magazine did not originate at Izms.  He notes that they’ve been “occurring here and there throughout the country,” popping up sporadically and providing speakers with around five minutes each.  But Izms wants to bring consistency and depth to these intriguing events.  Saturday’s event will feature four speakers from various fields of art.  Speakers will be given twenty to twenty-five minutes to showcase themselves, their unique experiences, and their creative processes.

The Freshniz: Volume 2 will include presentations by: visual artist Infamous JeanClaude; producer, director, and videographer Betsy Newman; music producer Midi Marc; and producer Sufia Giza Amenwahsu of REEL Black Pix.  Conundrum’s doors will open at 6 PM, and tickets will be sold for $5 on arrival.

For more information about the Izms of Art, its members, or its events, visit their website (http://izmsofart.wordpress.com) and Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/Izms.ofArt).  Izms plans to organize two more live magazines this year, so keep an eye out for volumes 3 and 4 of The Freshniz.

-- Austine Blaze, Jasper intern

The Art of Passing Strange -- Blog #2 with Krajewski, West, Puryear, Smith, and Umoja

REMINDER Jasper #4, our 1st annual All Women - All Art issue releases on Thursday March 15th with a spectacular release party at Vista Studios Gallery 80808 -- 808 Lady Street that evening. Women Only from 6 until 7 -- and then at 7 we'll open the doors to the gentlemen. Admission is free and we'll be enjoying the famed Jasper EconoBar as well as a

GIANT PINK CAKE!

Please join us.

~*~

A few days ago, we shared with you the exciting news about Jasper and Trustus Theatre's collaboration on The Art of Passing Strange. There's even more excitement in the air as the 10 selected artists (Thomas Crouch, Cedric Umoja, Alex Smith, Whitney Lejeune, Lisa Puryear, Paul Kaufmann, Lucas Sams, Michael Krajewski, David West, and Lindsay Wiggins) begin to complete their paintings and share them with us at Trustus and Jasper. So in the interest of fairness and generosity, we're sharing the images we receive with you, as we receive them.

Read on to see what lies in store for you if you attend the opening of The Art of Passing Strange on Friday night -- but while pictures are a great tease -- they're nothing like seeing the real thing. And remember, all the art is for sale -- we'll be conducting a silent auction throughout the run of the show with 100% of the proceeds going straight back to these artists who so often give of their creativity to various causes throughout the Columbia community. (And if you have your heart set on any one specific piece, each artist will be determining a BUY NOW price which will allow you to purchase the piece and take your selected painting out of the auction. You'll just need to pick it up at the end of the run of the show.)

Michael Krajewski is a self-taught artist whose work has appeared throughout South Carolina and locally at Anastasia AND FRIENDS, HoFP Gallery, Tapp’s Arts Center, Frame of Mind Gallery, the Columbia Museum of Art, and more. He was chosen to be the first artist featured as a centerfold in Jasper Magazine – the Word on Columbia Arts. Reach Michael at krajewski101@hotmail.com.

~*~

David West has a BFA in Studio Art and a Masters degree in Art Education. He has worked professionally as a graphic designer for the last 13 years, while also creating and showing fine art in his free time. Though he still provides design services, he is currently transitioning into a teaching career. You can see some of his fine art at his studio in the Arcade on Main Street. Reach David at http://www.live2create.com/.

~*~

 Lisa Puryear studied at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and the University of South Carolina under Philip Mullen, Roy Drasites and Ann Hubbard.  Lisa is currently a member of the Trenholm Artists Guild in Columbia, SC and About Face at the Columbia Museum of Art. Reach Lisa at lisa_puryear@yahoo.com.

~*~

Alex Smith is an actor, director, and visual artist who returns to the Trustus stage (in the form of visual artist) after a 12 year hiatus since he painted the backdrop for the production of Gross Indecency:  The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, which he directed in 2000. He dedicates his work for Passing Strange to Jim and Kay Thigpen, whom he loves more than words can say. Reach Alex at alex@whatartmademedo.com.

~*~

Cedric Umoja attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and studied in South Carolina under Tony Cacalano. He is a founding member of the artist collective Izms of Art, a recipient of a 2012 South Carolina Arts Commission grant. His influences are Dondi White, Max Beckmann, Hans Hoffman and Sam Keith. Reach Cedric at umoja.artofficial@gmail.com.

~*~

 

The Art of Passing Strange - Blog #1

My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs;
She swore, in faith 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange ;
'Twas pitiful. 'twas wondrous pitiful,
She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man.
Othello, the Moor of Venice, act 1, scene 3, lines 158–163

 

Those of you well versed in Jasper's mission know that we are all about bringing together artists and patrons from a variety of arts disciplines as a way of growing and sustaining Columbia's burgeoning arts community. So when Chad Henderson, director of Trustus Theatre's upcoming play, Passing Strange, approached us about collaborating on a project which would bring the visual and performing arts together for an extended run this spring, we were delighted to get involved.

Here's the deal, 10 local artists were invited to view a 2009 Spike Lee-directed film of the Broadway production of Passing Strange, a rock musical about a young man's journey into enlightenment via his travels in Europe. Then, each artist was given two four by four canvasses on which to create the art that the film inspired. Those 20 canvasses will be used on the set of the musical throughout its Trustus run. Simple and beautiful, right?

Now here's where you get involved.

Come to Trustus Theatre on Lady Street in Columbia's Vista on Friday night, March 16th for the opening of The Art of Passing Strange. There will be music and entertainment -- more on that below -- snacks, a cash bar, and most importantly, you'll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the 20 paintings newly created for the musical as well as the artists who created them. And the exciting thing is this -- the art is for sale. Throughout the run of the play, bid sheets for each painting will be available in the lobby and you'll be able to register your bid for your favorite art. There are two especially cool things about this.

One, the artist gets 100% of the sale of her or his work.

And two, each painting will also feature a "Buy Now" price at which you can purchase the painting, close all other bids, and know then that you'll be taking that art home at the end of the run of the show on April 14th.

For more information, read on below and visit The Art of Passing Strange's Facebook page.

So, come out on the 16th for the art show opening -- The Art of Passing Strange -- and then return to the theatre during the March 23 - April 14 run to see the art on stage and take in this Tony winning rock musical, with local musical groups like Day Clean and The Mobros opening up each performance with a a free pre-show concert for theatre ticket holders.

And yes, Friends, this is how our community continues to grow. Stay tuned for more of What Jasper Said about the artists and their art in The Art of Passing Strange.

 

Trustus Theatre and Jasper Magazine present

THE ART OF PASSING STRANGE - a one-night only event!

PASSING STRANGE is a one-of-a-kind rock musical charts a young musician's journey to find "the real" through an exploration of artistic voice and authenticity.

Trustus' pro...duction of PASSING STRANGE marks a new level of inter-disciplinary creation - mixing theatre, dance, music, and visual art together for an unparalleled artistic event. Local visual artists will be creating 20 brand new pieces inspired by the show that will serve as the scenic design, and local singer/songwriters will be performing during pre-show.

THE ART OF PASSING STRANGE is the grand unveiling of the new pieces created for the show. Get an intimate experience with each piece before they make their way onto the set. Also, enjoy music performances by Major 2 Minor and a dance performance by Vibrations Dance Company. You'll also get the chance to make your mark on the set - we will provide the paint, you bring the inspiration. The cash bar will be running - so join us at Trustus to celebrate a unique artistic collaboration in Columbia, SC!

Artists: Lisa Puryear, Michael Krajewski, Lindsay Wiggins, Cedric Umoja, Paul Kaufmann, Lucas Sams, Alex Smith, Thomas Crouch, Whitney LeJune, & David West

Admission is free!

(Please check out Jasper Magazine's Facebook page, and click on "Like," and please be sure to subscribe to What Jasper Said so you'll always be on top of the latest in Columbia's arts news.) 

 

The Making and Celebrating of Jasper #3 - What to Expect

When we started planning Jasper #3 we looked at the date the magazine was due and thought -- really? Would anyone really be interested in a new issue of an arts magazine so early in the year -- so close to Christmas? Having increased the size of Jasper #2 by 8 pages we thought that maybe we should ease back for #3 and go back to our original 48 pages. We also thought it would be a good idea to make the issue somewhat literary heavy, given that so many folks would still be in that holiday state of mind in the middle of January, and not much would be going on in the performing or visual arts. So we thought.

It didn't take long for us to realize that there was way too much going on to reduce the pages of the magazine -- in fact, we increased them even more. Jasper #3 will be 16 pages longer than Jasper #1. But the fascinating thing about putting together a magazine that is reflective of the arts community it represents is how organic the whole process is. For example, our choices of cover artist and centerfold artist easily gave way to our choice of venue for the celebration of the release. Our Jasper Reads story led us to our choice for Guest Editorial. An essay written by an esteemed visual artist on how social service can act as a muse for creation directed us to another story on a local theatre troupe that we quickly made room for and wrote. Our story on Columbia's choral arts scene suggested an obvious choice for entertainment at our release event. Things like that.

The other thing that surprised us was just how much would be going on in the performing and visual arts community this early in the calendar year.

This week has been packed already with an abundance of diverse and stimulating art. Tuesday night we had the opportunity to visit Tom Law's Conundrum concert hall and sit in on Jack Beasley's The Weekly Monitor, which hosted Elonzo, Magnetic Flowers, and Henry Thomas's Can't Kids.

Magnetic Flowers blew us away, by the way, and we've listened to their new CD 4 times in the last 24 hours. For more on Magnetic Flowers, read Kyle Petersen's story in Jasper #3. We were also pretty charmed by the raw almost 80s sounding tunes of the Can't Kids. I look forward to hearing what Kyle has to say once he gets a chance to listen to their new CD.

Wednesday night saw us attending the opening reception for Thomas Crouch's new show in the Hallway Gallery at 701 Whaley. We're pretty big Crouch fans already, and it was great to see some of his new work and to meet his mom, duly proud of her boy. Kudos to Lee Ann Kornegay and Tom Chinn for making blank wall space meaningful. We  hope to see more and more businesses do the same. There is no shortage of art to hang on Columbia's walls.

Which brings us to Thursday night -- the celebration of the release of Jasper #3 as well as Night #1 in Columbia Alternacirque's 3-Night Festival of Doom. We hate missing this first night of the only kind of circus we're ever interested in seeing, but we're reassured that there are two more nights of awesomeness we can avail ourselves of AND Ms. Natalie Brown -- the mother of the tribe -- will be visiting us down at the Arcade as soon as she's off the boards at CMFA Thursday night. For more on Natalie Brown, read Cindi's article on her in Jasper #3.

Much like this issue of the magazine our release event scheduled for Thursday night has grown far beyond our initial intentions. Rather than being a quiet evening of acoustic music and intellectual conversation, as we thought it might be, it has turned into a multi-disciplinary arts event.

Here's what to expect:

  • 7 - 7:15 -- a performance from the balcony of the Arcade Building by the Sandlapper Singers (Read Evelyn Morales's piece on them and the rest of the choral arts scene in Jasper #3)
  • 7:15 - 7:30 -- Kershaw County Fine Arts Center will perform three of your favorite songs from the musical Chicago
  • 7:30 - 7:45 -- the NiA Theatre Troupe will perform
  • 7:45 - 8 and throughout the evening, a young acoustic guitarist named David Finney will play classical guitar
  • then, starting about 8 pm rock 'n' roll time, Tom Hall has arranged for the nationally known and esteemed Blue Mountain band featuring Cary Hudson to perform
  • Chris Powell's The Fishing Journal will follow them up (See Jasper #2 for a little ditty on the Fishing Journal)
  • and then, the Mercy Shot, with Thomas Crouch from Jasper #2, will play.
  • In the meantime, Michaela Pilar Brown will be displaying her most recent work in the Arcade lobby, and
  • street artist Cedric Umoja will be demonstrating his work (Read more about Michaela in Jasper #3 as well as Alex Smith's article on Cedric), and
  • all the galleries of the Arcade Mall will be open -- including those of our Cover artist and Centerfold!
  • Throughout the evening we'll have the return of our famous EconoBar with cheap beer, decent wine, and big spender craft brew at $2, $2, and $4 respectively, and
  • a nice little cheese spread courtesy of our friend Kristian Niemi and Rosso, as well as
  • a sampling of delicious roasted coffees from SC's own Cashua Coffee, and
  • the Krewe de Columbia-ya-ya will be on hand to school us all on the importance of parades, beads, beer, and dogs.
  • And, of course, there will be the release of Jasper #3.

Not a bad night for free, huh?

Please join us in the historic Arcade building on Main and Washington Streets, Thursday night, January 12th from 7 until 11 pm as we celebrate the art that makes us all get up in the mornings. The afterparty is at the Whig. We hope to see you both places.

Thank you for your support, Columbia.

-- Your Friends at Jasper