Jasper had a great time last night at two wonderful events supporting the arts in Columbia. We started our evening at 5 pm by arriving at the Columbia Museum of Art to select the Jasper Magazine State of the Art award for the Contemporaries Artist of the Year event. Many thanks to Jeffrey Day and Chris Robinson for serving on the panel of judges. It was not an easy choice. But after much deliberation we chose Doug McBee's Clara, pictured below, for its sense of elegance and fun.
Other stand out pieces included Jacob Olsen's Beginning to Understand II, pictured below. We loved the execution of this piece but were disappointed in its presentation. Chris was helpful in pointing out that a solid white piece of this style and size should be presented in pristine condition. Unfortunately Jacob's piece was marred in a few places and showing a bit of wear.
Chris was also impressed by the technique exhibited in The Sleeper, by Margaret Rose Smith, pictured below.
And, having just gotten turned on to the work of local artist David West, I was very much taken by his piece Disconnect below.
We might also mention that at least one of us from Jasper happily took home the piece below by Michael Pope and we look forward to installing it in our new pub room at Muddy Ford where the living room used to be.
After closing down the CAY event at 10, we had the pleasure of heading over the The Hunter Gatherer's 2nd Annual Arts Commission Fundraiser, magnanimously organized by local musician and service industry pro Henry Thomas. The house was packed with arts supporters and artists and there were some really fantastic auction items. (Jasper took home passes to Indie Grits, tickets to the SC Arts Gala, and two signed books by Pat Conroy.)
And a good time was had by all!
Dear Friends, A few things are coming up this week that might fall under your radar but you probably don't want to miss. Let's take a look.
On Tuesday night at the Art Bar, spoken word poet Kendal Turner -- yes, the same amazing lady who put together the All Woman Entourage for the release of Jasper #4 the Pink Power Issue last week -- will be presenting Poetic Awakenings. Here's what Ms. Turner posts about the event on Facebook:
"This is a place for everyone. To share, to listen, to write their next big masterpiece. This is where to go when you're not sure where to turn. A peaceful refuge in the back room of a bar that's been the safe haven for many weary wanderers. Join me for VerseWorks at the Art Bar for an open mic like no other. I invite you to share what's in your heart and open to the highest form of grace. Art is the backbone of the universe and we, we are the architects." -- K. Turner
To RSVP for this event and for more information click the magic button. And to read more of Ms. Turner's impetus for creating this event, look for a blog post in the next day or so.
On Thursday night, a new gallery space is opening in 5 Points and, as you know, Jasper is all about finding more and more walls for all the art being generated in our town. This is Virginia Scotchie's gallery and she's calling it Gallery V - Contemporary Art and Fine Craft. Her first show is called "10 Women in Clay" and it features work by Isabelle Caskey, Heyley Douglas, Laura VanCamp, Virginia Scotchie, Allison Brown, Frieda Dean, Katherine Radomsky, Emily Russell, Brittany Jeffcoat, and Kristina Stafford.
Gallery V (as in 5) is located just above Good for the Sole shoes at 631-D Harden Street in Columbia. Opening reception hours are from 5 until 8. For more info or to RSVP, your magic button is here.
We'd also like to plug the newest issue of the magazine, Jasper #4, in which Ms. Scotchie wrote the guest editorial. Turn to the back of the mag and give it a read, please.
Two fine arts events will be happening at the same time on Friday night -- a problem Columbia rarely used to have, but which we seem to be plagued with now. I complain about this a lot myself, but it's a purely selfish complaint. If we lived in NYC or Seattle or Boston, we would have long ago become accustomed to making choices of what arts events to attend on any given evening. This is something artists and arts lovers have to get used to if we're going to live in an arts hub like Columbia, SC. (For more on this, please refer to the recent Facebook exchange between myself and local poet Al Black that I have posted below.)*
At 7 pm on Friday, the USC Dance Company once again presents the Stars of the New York City Ballet at the Koger Center for the Arts. I've written a piece on this for the Free Times, so I'll leave you to read that on Wednesday. (And, by the by, big props to Free Times for taking home a boatload of awards from the SC Press Association -- the SCPA paid for a portion of my undergrad tuition so I am still a fan -- and especially to Corey Hutchins of the Free Times for being named SC Journalist of the Year.)
But in the meantime, please know that to say that Stacey Calvert, former soloist with the NYC Ballet, has changed the face of ballet in Columbia, SC is no exaggeration whatsoever. I am overwhelmed by the misinformation being tossed around out there concerning who knows what about ballet in this city. If anyone really wanted to know what the bottom line on professional ballet is, rather than asking those who try to preserve their ephemeral positions of authority simply by clinging to the long gone skirt-tails of long dead people, they would ask Stacey Calvert. Read about her on page 42 of Jasper #4 and be aware that if we don't keep this woman in Columbia by giving her a position of real authority in which she can use her talent and her connections to put Columbia on the map for professional ballet, then this will be a shameful and disastrous loss -- as well as a likely remnant of the internecine conflicts mentioned in * below.
Also on Friday night, The rock musical Passing Strange opens at Trustus Theatre. I hope you've been reading and hearing about this performance and the collaboration between Jasper and Trustus as we brought 10 local artists together to create the set of the musical. We previewed the art last Friday and were treated to another magnificent example of what happens when artists from different disciplines come together to cooperate and inspire one another. (See photo below.) Now you have the opportunity to see the art on the stage. The show opens on Friday night and runs through April 14th. For ticket info punch here.
On Saturday, March 24th, local filmmaker Wade Sellers will be premiering his new film Lola's Prayer at the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival in Spartanburg, SC. Mr. Sellers shared a guest blog with us previously. It's not that far to Spartanburg -- and if you're brave you can go early and eat at the Beacon. The festival starts at 7 and is only $5 -- but is expected to sell out, as well it should. I hope you'll join me in representing Columbia and supporting Mr. Sellers and his fine cast of Columbians who are in this film.
*Finally, here's a cut and pasted copy of the exchange between Mr. Black and myself from Facebook -- we'd love to know what you think, Columbia.
The first lines are from Al Black --
The more we share the faster our crop grows & spreads - the potential is endless not finite.
With Warm Regards,
Albee In Wonderland
.....as Jefferson Starship once sang, "Feed your head!"
You and 3 others like this.
Jasper Magazine - The Word on Columbia Arts At Jasper, we couldn't agree more. And not to get all socio-political on a perfectly pleasant Sunday afternoon, but there is something to be said for the theory that internecine competition once held our fine burg back -- too much energy spent hating and not enough invested in supporting our sisters and brothers in the arts. As we grow in numbers, we grow in strength and power and visibility. We can become an arts destination by growing our arts community exponentially and via multi-disciplinary patronage.
Thanks for reading this far. Have a great week in the arts, my friends.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
- 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.)