Focus on JAY Finalists - Don McCallister for literary arts

We're chatting with the 2017 JAY Awards Finalists as we enter the last few days of voting and preparing for the JAY Awards (& Retro Christmas party!) coming up on December 5th

 

Don McCallister - photo by Forrest Clonts

Don McCallister - photo by Forrest Clonts

Jasper: What made the past year so great for you as an artist, how have you grown, and to what do you attribute that growth? 

Don: Becoming my own publisher after many years of submitting and freelancing offered new challenges and opportunities to expand my base of knowledge. It’s also opened up new avenues of creativity as I work on the PR side of the game. I’ve even begun designing some of my own graphic materials, which I had experience doing in the past for my small retail clothing business.

 

Jasper: How have you seen your arts community grow over the past few years and to what do you attribute that growth? 

Don: I’ve noticed and admired so much growth in our arts scene that I wrote a novel about it called Let the Glory Pass Away! (see excerpt at bottom)

 

Jasper: Why is art so important right now? 

Don: Art is never-not important, perhaps especially so as humanity struggles to pierce through an emergent veil into next-stage consciousness. Look to the artists for guidance. They’re ahead of the curve—always.

 

Jasper: What role does art play in your life? 

Don: My current body of work already offers a cohesive literary vision, and as the next few books come out this corpus will take on added dimensions of connection in terms of character and plot, but also in a thematic sense. Achieving what will ultimately be the ten or twelve book world of “Edgewater County” has turned into a longterm art project, and at this late stage in the process, I couldn’t imagine living any other way.

 

Jasper: Who have been your major influences? 

Don: Major adolescent influences were heavy-hitters of the day like John Irving, Vonnegut, Updike, Stephen King and hardcore sci-fi on the pop side of the equation. Lately I’ve been digging Norway’s Karl Ove Knausgaard and his autobiographical “novel” series My Struggle. Not everyone would, though. It’s a writer-to-writer thing in my case with Knausgaard.

 

Jasper: Who are some of your favorite local artists from an arts discipline other than your own? 

Don: Our community as a whole enjoys a high per-capita rate of remarkably talented and incisive artists, across all disciplines. Visual artists, mixed-media artists, musicians, writers, actors, filmmakers, hybrids, young people striving to break through into new forms—we have it all here. Too many individuals to name.

 

Jasper: Is there anyone you’d like to thank for their support of your arts career? 

Don: I’ve had ample support from the community and family and friends, but my wife deserves particular citation for supporting me through the years of intensive art-life concentration and effort it took to have achieved my modest but satisfying publishing successes. The literary arts are a lonely, often non-lucrative trade, and having a life partner to provide and manage things proved crucial to my success.

 

Jasper: Why should folks come out to the 2017 JAY Awards and Retro Christmas Party? 

Don: What’s not to love about a party? And in the case of the Jasper crew, one may expect the retro-holiday cheer served up with a sense of artistic style, a dash of zest, a feeling of accomplishment and grace.

 

---

 

EXCERPT FROM LET THE GLORY PASS AWAY:

[Narrator Cort Beauchamp, charged with convincing a reclusive rock star to participate in a public ceremony honoring his superstar career, has taken a weekend beach getaway that will get him in close proximity to his prey.]

 

As I clambered down the other side of the mossy, slick groin and headed for the spit, somehow I didn’t hear the heavy footsteps running across the beach toward me—perhaps the pounding of Mahler’s timpani and the wind cutting across my ears had something to do with it. With my prey so close, now only twenty yards away and striking his yoga poses, I had myopia like a camera lens irising to a small round circle amidst an endless field of black. 

DD. 

In my sights. 

“Duncan! Duncan Devereaux—it’s me, it’s Cort Beauchamp, it’s—”

Oof—a massive force from behind, a blackout, my wind knocked out; my face, slamming into the rough hard sand and sliding a foot or so to a stop. I tried to cry out, but my words had no wind beneath their wings, only a mouthful of gritty, salty sand.

A pressure in the small of my back—a knee. A voice belonging to the knee, sonorous, a vibration traveling down the length of my aching body. “Sir—I’m going to release you, now, real slow and easy and we all real cool. No sudden movements. Me and sudden movements don’t get along.”

Upon the lifting of the knee, my back, cracking in a fine and thorough manner the likes of which I’ve not enjoyed since I last hit the chiropractor, now over a year ago.

“Gah,” I managed to say. “Blargh.

“Mister, you’re trespassing on private beachfront right now—”

Another edgy voice from behind me, urgent and upset. “What the hell are you doing, Reynaldo?

The pressure on my back eased.

“Let him up.”

And disappeared.

Relief.

I took a tentative, deep breath; much additional crackling ensued, and a modest but sharp flurry of shooting pains.

My nose and cheeks mudded with gray Sedge Island sand, I rolled over to see a looming security goon as substantial as a small mountain. Alongside the olive-skinned man with forearms like Popeye and backlit by the blazing light of the morning sun over the Atlantic crouched a middle-aged man into whom a once chubby, longhaired rock star had transformed: now reed-thin, gray-faced and wrinkled, but still a version of none other than my old interview subject. The eyes never lie, and his intense, probing marbles shone with recognition.

Duncan’s expression of concern turned to chagrin. “It’s—you.”

“It’s me.”

DD and his bodyguard offered hands that helped me to my feet. I squinted around for the sunglasses that the security guard knocked off my head. I suspected I’d hurt for weeks—the last time I took a spill from the mountain bike I ride around the hilly, rural roads of Cypress Creek, I limped for three months with a sore knee that didn’t want to heal.

I glared at the thug that’d put my dingus into the wet sandy earth. “What is the meaning of this violence? You almost broke me in half.”

“You’re trespassing, sir—this—this is—” 

“Enough.” Duncan, grabbing me by the arm. “This man, he’s a friend. One who’s been trying to get in touch with me for over a month now. Haven’t you, Cort?”

My face, hot as an oven. I could barely meet his eyes.

“So I guess you finally got me.” His smile, genuine. “Might as well join us for breakfast, eh?”

Relieved, I could but agree. And so, for the second time in as many decades, Duncan Devereaux allowed me a glimpse, however brief, into the private life of a rock legend.

 

VOTE at http://jasperproject.org/jays

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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 ....

 

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Tamara Finkbeiner wins Audience Award at Jasper's 2nd Act Film Festival

Tamara Finkbeiner  

Congratulations to Tamara Finkbeiner whose film Eva's Plug, won the Audience Award at Friday night's 2nd Act Film Festival sponsored by Jasper Magazine. Selected via audience ballot, the 2nd Act Film Festival Audience Award includes a check for $250, a First Draft editing program, and a one-of-a-kind trophy designed by Columbia artist, Matthew Kramer. According to film festival director Wade Sellers, "With any short film fest there are many films that could win an audience award, that was the same with this year's 2nd Act Film Fest. There is usually a film, however, that just connects with an audience in that room at that moment and that was the case with Tamara's film Eva's Plug. You could feel the energy and enthusiasm for the film build as it played. That experience is what 2nd Act is all about."

This was the second 2nd Act Film Festival (the first was in October 2013) which played once again to a capacity house at Tapp's Arts Center and included the films of 10 adjudicated filmmakers from South Carolina including Lucas Sams, Brian Harmon, Jason Stokes, Bessy Adut, Phyllis Jackson, Caletta Harris-Bailey, Bradley Wagster,  Dustin Weibel, Jordan Young, and Tamara Finkbeiner. The selected filmmakers, who applied to participate earlier this season, were chosen over other applicants based on their abilities and the freshness of the voice the jurors thought they would bring to the project. Jurors included Lee Ann Kornegay, Lee Snelgrove,  Caitlin Bright, Wade Sellers, and Cindi Boiter. 

2015 2nd Act Filmmakers

"This year we put more pressure on ourselves to assist the filmmakers," Sellers says. "We offered script notes, production advice and assistance, and editorial suggestions once the films were turned in. As a whole the films were more diverse in voice and just better as a whole than our first event." Sellers is the owner and director of Coal Powered Filmworks, a three-time Emmy nominated filmmaker, and the film editor for Jasper Magazine.

In keeping with Jasper's efforts to foster a multi-disciplinary arts community, both visual artists and musicians played a part in the festival and its presentation.  Visual artist Michael Krajewski created an original painting which was used for the festival poster and program; visual artist Matthew Kramer created the Audience Award; and Pedro Ldv entertained festival attendees both before the event and during intermission. In addition, original music from several Columbia-based musicians, including Stan Gardner, Daniel Machado and more, was used as background music during the films themselves.

Columbia-based writer Don McCallister also served as a consultant on the first and third acts of the screenplay which was given to the filmmakers with the challenge that they write the second act and create a film, six minutes long or less, using all three acts. Participants in the 2013 2nd Act Film Festival including Ron Hagell and OK Keyes lent the knowledge of their experience to this year's filmmakers by consulting on films and screenplays.

In the aftermath of Columbia's devastating flood last week other artists including Michael Krajewski,  Bonnie Goldberg, Kara Gunter, Nancy Marine, and Sean McGuiness voluntarily stepped up and offered the fruits of their labors to benefit flood victims through a silent auction which generated $1060 which will be delivered to the Central Carolina Community Foundation. Two large bins of children's arts supplies was also collected from audience members for distribution to children effected by the flood.

The festival staff would like to thank Precision Overhead Garage Door Service, the Mouse House, Coal Powered Filmwork, and Bourbon Columbia for their sponsorship funds and services.

"It was exciting to see these ten filmmakers create these films," Sellers says, "and it only makes us more excited for the future of the event."

Art from the Ashes Final Event - Readings by the Literary Artists Tuesday Night

art from the ashes jpeg Tuesday night, join us for part three of Jasper's Art from the Ashes project -- a reading of the works in the monograph by the writers themselves.

7 pm at Tapp's

Readers include:

Betsy Breen - winner of the Best in Book Award, sponsored by Historic Columbia

Al Black

Jonathan Butler

Debra Daniel

Rachel Hainey

Ed Madden

Don McCallister

Tom Poland

Susan Levi Wallach

Cindi Boiter

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

 

Schedule for Muddy Ford Press at the SC Book Festival

MFP final logo

Muddy Ford Press

at the

SC Book Festival

______

 

Saturday, May 18th

 

11 – 12:30 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Don McCallister will be signing Fellow Traveler

11:20 – 12:10 in Lexington Meeting Room A

Cindi Boiter will sit on the USC Press Panel for State of the Heart with Aida Rogers, Pat Conroy, Ken Burger, Billy Deal, and Sandra Johnson. Signing will follow.

2:30 – 4 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Alejandro Garcia Lemos and Cindi Boiter will be signing Red Social:  Portraits of Collaboration

 

4:10 – 5 in Lexington Meeting Room B

Don McCallister, Janna McMahan, Aida Rogers, and Kristine Hartvigsen will present a panel on The Limelight – Highlighting Columbia’s Artist Community, moderated by Cindi Boiter. Signing will follow – all Limelight contributors are invited to join the panel for signing following the presentation

 

Sunday, May 19th

 

12 – 2 Muddy Ford Press Booth #16

Kristine Hartvigsen will be signing To the Wren Nesting

 

1:15 – 2:05 in Lexington Meeting Room B

Cindi Boiter will sit on a panel for Collections of the South:  Anthologies Celebrating Writers in Community with Curtis Worthington and Brian Carpenter

2 – 3:30 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Laurie Brownell McIntosh will be signing All the In Between:  My Story of Agnes

2:20 – 3:10 in Lexington Meeting Room A

Cindi Boiter will sit on a panel on Short Stories with Cliff Graubart, Stephanie Powell Watts, moderated by Michelle Maitland

BOOK FESTIVAL SPECIAL

ANYONE PURCHASING A MUDDY FORD PRESS PUBLICATION THIS WEEKEND WILL RECIEVE A FREE COPY OF

JASPER READS:  DOWNLOAD

A CHAPBOOK OF EROTIC POETRY EDITED BY ED MADDEN

The Next Big Thing by Don McCallister

 

Don McCallister talks about his Next Big Thing

 

 

 

 

What is the working title of your book?

Fellow Traveler

What is the genre of your book?

Literary

Where did the idea come from?

My experiences as a literal follower of the 60s rock band Grateful Dead, though through the lens of a latter-day, second- (or even third-) generation Deadhead.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Following the 1997 death of 60s music industry icon Rose Partland, two friends and acolytes of her Dead-like band, Jack O’Roses, must rebuild their lives.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Starting in late 2000 and for the next five years, I had a number of false starts and occasional abandonments of this project. I would go on to finish a first draft only after finally completing another novel that felt important enough to pursue, in 2005. For the next  seven years I wrote five other novels and a couple of dozen stories, but I’d occasionally re-visit Fellow Traveler, which was close to my heart, and eventually got it right enough to seek publication.

Who or what inspired you to write it?

The death of Jerry Garcia, my own last, disastrous Dead show (July 2, 1995 at the Deer Creek Music Theater outside Indianapolis), and the general curiosity I had about the sociological and multi-generation following that through the decades of their career grew and flourished around the band.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book is in print via Muddy Ford Press, available at their website, on Amazon and B&N.com. In addition to the print version there’s also a Kindle edition.

What other books would you compare this book to within your genre?

That’s a tough question. I will leave it up to readers to tell me what other novels the book recalls for them. From my own perspective, Fellow Traveler seeks to meld a Conroy-esque southern family drama and search for personal identity by the protagonist with a kind of didactic work aiming to enlighten laypersons about what is clearly a version of that complex and interesting Grateful Dead scene, in which at one extreme people abandoned entirely their straight lives to live on the road, while others, like me and the characters in the book, ‘worship’ their band in their own way, have sociological stratification, have ritual, have grief and pain over the loss of their musical icon. That’s a longwinded way of saying I don’t necessarily feel that Fellow Traveler is sui generis, but I think from that mix readers may see what a difficult proposition it is to pigeonhole FT as being like any other particular novel.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Maybe it’s because I just watched The Master, but I see Joaquin Phoenix as Aston Tobias Zemp, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Brian ‘Nibbs Niffy’ Godbold, and Amy Adams as Aimee Pressgrove.

The Next Big Thing - by Cindi Boiter

I feel a little guilty using What Jasper Said to post my answers to The Next Big Thing, the hot new meme going around our community in which writers tag one another and ask that they write about their newest projects. But given that my newest project was published by Muddy Ford Press and that MFP underwrites Jasper Magazine, there's a sweet symbiosis to it that I cannot deny. Here's how it works -- after having been tagged (my thanks to Cassie Premo Steele for tagging me), the newly tagged author is required to self-interview, answering 10 pre-determined questions. After having answered these questions, she tags another five writers to do the same.

Here goes.

What is the working title of your book?

The Limelight -- A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists, volume 1

What is the genre of your book?

Essay collection

Where did the idea come from?

Columbia, SC is a city that is reeling with a multitude of artists from different genres, particularly the literary arts. We have an inordinate number of professional writers here, yet we don't really have a sense of ourselves as a writing community -- though we are. I'd love to play some part in helping us to form a more unified community of writers. I want Columbia to be known as a "writers' town." To that end, I invited 18 local writers to contribute first person narrative essays about another local artist -- writer, visual artist, musician, dancer, theatre artist, whatever -- who had influenced them in some way.  I had the pleasure of editing the essays.

Clearly, one volume is not enough to represent the artists and authors we have here, so I decided to serialize the compendium with the plan of publishing it on an annual basis.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Columbia, SC essayists sing the praises of Columbia, SC artists.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I issued the call for essays in the summer of 2012 with an autumn deadline. We went to press in February 2013.

Who or what inspired you to write it?

The community of Columbia artists.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My book was published by Muddy Ford Press.

What other books would you compare this book to within your genre?

I don't really know of any other books with the same model.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Well, there are 36 "characters" if we include both the contributors and the subjects of their essays.

The essay I wrote was about the artist Blue Sky, so, naturally Clint Eastwood would play Blue. For me? Lisa Kudrow or Terri Garr.

Ed Madden would be played by Jon Cryer and James Dickey by Jon Voight.

Jeffrey Day? Woody Allen, of course. James Busby would be played by Channing Tatum (that's right, I said it.)

I'd like to cast Christopher Walken to play someone, but I'm not sure who ... a much older Chad Henderson, maybe? Just for kicks?

Patrick Wilson would play Kyle Petersen with Sheryl Crow playing Danielle Howle (though I like Danielle's voice far better).

Billy Murray would play the part of Stephen Chesley and the part of Susan Lenz would be played by Julia Louis Dreyfus.

Vicky Saye Henderson would play herself.

What else about your manuscript might pique the reader's interest?

Some of the first lines are spectacular. For example, poet Ray McManus opens his essay about Terrance Hayes with this, "When you're a boy growing up in rural South Carolina, and you want to be a poet, you should first learn to fight."

And ballet dancer Bonnie Boiter-Jolley's first line about her mentor Stacey Calvert is brutally honest when she says, "When I first met Stacey Calvert over a decade ago, she explained to me how being a dancer is a very selfish thing."

And there are 16 more.

~~

That's the end of the interview and I have to admit that it was fun. In an effort to share the fun and keep this meme going I'm tagging Aida Rogers, Don McCallister, Debbie Daniel, Kristine Hartvigsen, and Susan Levi Wallach. And I'm inviting them all to post their answers to me so I can share them with our readers. I think there's something about Wednesdays and deadlines also as I was tagged on a Wednesday and told to blog on the next Wednesday. So, by next Wednesday, I hope to have even more Next Big Things to share.

Thanks for reading,

Cindi

 

 

 

First Lines -- an invitation from Jasper

"As she sat stunned in her car on Charleston's rickety old John P. Grace Memorial Bridge, trapped precariously 150 feet above the swift-moving waters of the Cooper River, ..."

~

"When you're a boy growing up in rural South Carolina, and you want to be a poet, you should first learn to fight."

~

"It was a Tuesday night in the spring of 1988 and I decided to head down to Pug's in Five Points for the weekly jam session."

~

"This essay is not an act of revenge."

~

"Bastille Day 2001, personal date of independence."

~

"It's a particularly hot summer day, even for Columbia, when I parallel park my car on Washington Street and notice a tall, lanky gentleman as he moves stiffly to reposition an over-sized canvas by the curb."

~

"It began with a gift."

 Ahh, first lines.

Every literary adventure you've ever been on began with one.

Please join the Jasper and Muddy Ford Press family today as we celebrate the first lines above and more than a dozen more when we launch our newest book,

The Limelight – A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists,

volume 1,

with a launch party from 5 – 8 pm at Tapp’s Arts Center on Main Street in Columbia.

The $15 admission to the event includes a copy of The Limelight ($18 after 2/24/13), music, food, and the opportunity to gather signatures from authors and artists in attendance at the launch. For couples wishing to share a book, admission is $25.

There will be a cash bar.

The Limelight, published by Muddy Ford Press, LLC, is the first volume in a serialized collection of 18 first-person, narrative essays written by professional Columbia authors and artists about professional Columbia authors and artists. It is the sixth book to be published by Muddy Ford Press since February 2012.

Edited by Jasper Magazine founder and editor Cynthia Boiter, The Limelight – A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists, Volume 1 is a serialized collection of first person narrative essays written by Columbia, SC writers and artists about Columbia, SC writers and artists. As the Southeast’s newest arts destination, Columbia is bursting with visual, literary, and performing artists whose work has caught the attention of the greater arts world at large, and these essays tell the stories of how the influence of these artists has spread. New York Times best-selling author Janna McMahan, for example, writes about spending a day touring Beaufort, SC, the hometown of literary giant Pat Conroy, with the writer himself. Poet Ed Madden writes about the disconcerting words of advice he received from dying poet and professor James Dickey when Madden took over teaching the last academic course of Dickey’s career. Music writers Michael Miller and Kyle Petersen share insights on saxophone great Chris Potter and contemporary singer-songwriter Danielle Howle, respectively, and poet Cassie Premo Steele writes about the inspiration stemming from her friendship with nationally-known visual artist Philip Mullen.

These 18 essays include works by and about poets Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Marjory Wentworth, Ray McManus, Cassie Premo Steele, Kristine Hartvigsen, Colena Corbett, and Ed Madden; visual artists Philip Mullen, Gilmer Petroff, Blue Sky, James Busby, Stephen Chesley, and Susan Lenz; musicians Chris Potter and Danielle Howle; dancers Stacey Calvert and Bonnie Boiter-Jolley; actors and directors Robert Richmond, Greg Leevy, Chad Henderson, Vicky Saye Henderson, Jim and Kay Thigpen, and Alex Smith; and writers and editors James Dickey, Pat Conroy, Janna McMahan, Aida Rogers, Michael Miller, Jeffrey Day, Kyle Petersen, Robbie Robertson, Don McCallister, Robert Lamb, August Krickel, and Cynthia Boiter.

For more information or to order online please go to

MuddyFordPress.com.

 

 

Jasper Calendar (Salon Series & Release Events) January thru March 2013

Last October, Jasper began a series of Salon events in which we invited local artists to give a brief and informal presentation on their work to a small group of fellow artists and arts lovers. Our Salon subjects have ranged from authors to artists to artistic directors with the size of our group ranging from a half dozen to more than 40. Every single one of the events has been a success. Attendees leave more engaged with the arts, better educated and informed, and with a greater sense of community. There have traditionally been no fees to attend, (though we usually have the Jasper Econobar open and, this year, we’re adding an unobtrusive donation box for folks who’d like to throw in a buck or two to help pay the rent.) We’re delighted to announce the Salon schedule for the first couple of months of 2013. Please check back soon though – the schedule is rapidly evolving as we all get a handle on the fact that the new year has started whether we were ready for it to or not! All of our events are also offered publicly on Facebook, too, so please try to RSVP there when you can.

Thanks for all your support and happy New Year from all of us at Jasper!

January

Thursday 1/10 at 7pm in the Jasper Studios at the Arcade, Author Janna McMahan  talks about her new book, Anonymity, published January 2013

 

Tuesday, 1/15 at 7pm at the Tapps Arts Center, Jasper Release Party for Jasper vol. 002, no. 002 – Our 1st Photocentric issue with photography from the Jasper staff photographers and their choices of some of the best local photographers in town.

Thursday 1/17 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade, Trustus  “The Trustus ‘Motherfu**ers : Looking Under the Hat” – Jasper invites members of the cast and crew of "The Motherfu**er with the Hat" to give you a behind the scenes look at the new Trustus play, opening on February 8th.

 

Thursday 1/24 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade presents “The Dark Side of Snow White with Columbia City Ballet featuring William Starrett” as Starrett shares his new vision of the ballet Snow White.

 

Tuesday, 1/31 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade -- Jasper’s book club, Jasper’s Nightstand, is up and running again and, by popular demand we’re reading Don McCallister’s new book, Fellow Traveler with discussion led by a surprise reader and Fellow Traveler author himself, Don McCallister.

 

February

Tuesday, 2/12 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade, USC Vagina Monologues director Alexis Stratton will talk about the history of the Vagina Monologues and this year’s edition. Plus, you’ll get to hear a reading of one or more monologues from the play.

Tuesday, 2/19 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade – Lecture and discussion “Patriarchy & Gender Roles in The Dry Grass of August: The Good Old Days? Sister, Please!” USC Women's and Gender Studies Adjunct Instructor and Jasper editor Cindi Boiter will lead discussion on the social constructs in this year's One Book, One Columbia selection, The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew.

Sunday, 2/24, time and location TBA, Book Launch – The Limelight: A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists, Volume 1 published by Muddy Ford Press.

Thursday, 2/28 at Jasper Studios at the Arcade  Jasper’s Nightstand – The Dry Grass of August 8:30 or immediately following the author Anna Jean Mayhew's presentation at the Richland Library one block away.

 

 

March

Thursday, 3/7 at 7pm at the Jasper Studios at the Arcade -- Panel Discussion with Authors from The Limelight: A Compendium of Contemporary Columbia Artists. More information to come.

Friday, 3/15 at 7pm location TBA -- Join us as we celebrate the release of Jasper vol. 002, no. 003 -- The Women's Issue!

Announcing the Jasper Salon Series

In our ongoing mission to help lodge the various arts disciplines, their theories and histories and ways of understanding them, just a little deeper into the hearts of everyone in the greater SC Midlands, Jasper is pleased to announce our new project -- The Jasper Salon Series.

The Jasper Salon Series will consist of a series of intimate gatherings of artists and arts lovers who want to learn more about the arts and experience the arts, both visual and performing, in a manner that offers even greater engagement between artist and patron, and artist and artist. We'll be offering everything from lectures and demonstrations to exhibitions, readings, and performances. And always -- ALWAYS -- the opportunity for discussion because, at Jasper, we fully believe that it is through civil and enlightening discourse that we best practice the art of humanity.

Most events in the Jasper Salon Series will be held either upstairs in the Jasper Studios at the Arcade at 1332 Main street, or downstairs in the common Arcade area. Sometimes attending the events will require a modest ticket price, but most times, the events will be free. (Although Jasper may operate our Econobar in an effort to defray costs and rental fees -- and we always welcome your kind donations via the Jasper Guild..)

Take a look at what we have coming up in the Jasper Salon Series between now and Christmas.

~~~

 

Jasper Salon Series Calendar

Thursday, October 18th 7 pm – Dracula: Behind the Magic with Columbia City Ballet -- join us as we learn about behind the scenes special effects of CCB's Dracula - Ballet with a Bite, including make-up, music, flying bats, splattering blood, and more -- with William Starrett, Robert Michalski, Lauren Michalski, and other surprise guests. Free.

Wednesday, October 24th 7 pm – Local visual artist and author Laurie Brownell McIntosh comes to the Jasper Studios at the Arcade to talk about her new exhibit and art book, All the In Between, (releasing from Muddy Ford Press on October 19th at Vista Studios 80808, with a reading and signing on Sunday, October 21st, also at Vista Studios.) Free.

(Thursday, November 1st 7 pm – Book Launch, Fellow Traveler by Don McCallister -- this is not a part of the Jasper Salon Series, but we're sneaking the news in here so you'll be sure to put it on your calendars.  Join the staff of Jasper, the Artists of the Arcade Studios, and local author Don McCallister as we celebrate the launch of his newest novel, Fellow Traveler, published by Muddy Ford Press.) Free.

Wednesday, November 7th 7 pm – Reading, Don McCallister (see above) reads from Fellow Traveler and discusses his process and what inspired his story concept. Free.

Thursday November 29th 7 pmHow to Watch the Nutcracker with Columbia City Ballet -- learn about the story of the Nutcracker, how it was adapted to become a ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petipa, as well as some basic terminology and ballet movements and positions that will help you become a more engaged audience member and make the ballet experience more meaningful for you. With William Starrett and Pat Miller. Free.

Thursday December 6th 5 – 7 pm – Beer Tasting:  Christmas Brews – Start your First Thursday off with a tasting of holiday beers. Dr. Bob Jolley (aka the Bier Doc) will assemble a generous variety of Christmas beers for your drinking pleasure and talk about the art of brewing and what makes a holiday brew a holiday brew. Paid registration will be required for this event which will be limited to 25 attendees who will each take home a limited editorion Jasper pint glass.  

Wednesday December 13th 7 pm – this event is currently being confirmed.

 ~~~

Who and What do you want to know more about?

 What do you think would lend itself well to an intimate discussion by a group of people who want to know more about the art that surrounds them?

We'd love to hear your ideas for the Jasper Salon Series events.

Send them to editor@JasperColumbia.com or respond below.

Jerryfest XI -- A Guest Blog by Bentz Kirby

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been ...

 

Long, long ago in a universe far, far away there were two marching band nerds who lived in Lugoff, SC.  The young girl loved the Beach Boys and harmony singing.  The young man loved movies.  They played in the Lugoff-Elgin High School Marching Band and were friends, but had no idea of the journey they would make together as they grew into adults. Certainly they had no idea of what it would lead to this weekend.  This Saturday, September 29, there will be a celebration of 20 years of Loose Lucy’s which will take place at the eleventh Jerryfest at Utopia Food and Spirits.  So come out to 3830A Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC to celebrate with Jenn and Don and their friends.

Although Jenn and Don McCallister had been friends in high school, it was after graduation when they both discovered their love for the Grateful Dead and the music of Jerry Garcia.  As is the case with a number of their peers, this led to traveling on the road to see the Grateful Dead at various locations like Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Boston, Philadelphia, and the like.  A visit to Loose Lucy’s (named after a Grateful Dead song) at 709 Saluda Avenue in 5 Points will show you they may not be on the road any more, but they are faithful to the friends and style they learned along the way.  The store is jammed with merchandise with a message.  You can always smell the sweet incense as you approach the store and hear the sounds of the Grateful Dead music playing inside.

Loose Lucy’s was started in Hilton Head and grew out of the vendor culture around the Dead tours.  Don and Jenn did not participate in that part of the origin of Loose Lucy’s. However, they did recognize what the shop meant to the culture and people who understood the music of the Grateful Dead.  They began as customers, moving to employees and to store owners in short order.  It was not what either was looking to do with their life and time, it just seemed to be the thing to do to help carry on the spirit of the larger Grateful Dead family.  When Mickey Hart spoke at Jerry Garcia’s funeral, he said it was up to the individual Dead Heads to carry the spirit back to their communities and keep it alive.  Owning and managing Loose Lucy’s has allowed the McCallisters to keep that spirit alive for twenty years now.

Being small business owners is not an easy life. Although Jenn and Don work hard at keeping the store in business, it also has allowed them the freedom to express their creativity in many ways.  They have at least three envelopes they decorated in the Grateful Dead archives.  (The Dead must be hoarders.)  Don has authored a published novel, Kings Highway and another novel, Fellow Traveler, is slated to be published by Muddy Ford Press this year.  Additionally he has a number of award winning short stories which have been published, including one in a Grateful Dead anthology.  Jenn has written songs with one of her bands, Stillhouse.  She is in another band, Jellyroll and Delicious Dish, with her friends, Bentz and May Kirby, which will be recording an album soon.  In her free time, she is a certified Zumba instructor who helps others keep fit in a fun way.

So, it seems logical that Jenn McCallister would be the driving force behind Jerryfest.  It is a celebration of the life and music of Jerry Garcia.  Jerry was the lead guitarist and one of the song writers for The Grateful Dead but he cast a much wider musical net.  He was a proficient player of both the pedal steel guitar (think Teach Your Children by CSNY) and the banjo.  He covered bluegrass and gospel music styles with the Jerry Garcia Band and Old and In the Way.  He also was, despite his denials, the spiritual leader of the Grateful Dead.  Jerryfest is a time for local musicians to pay tribute to Jerry’s music and influence, and Jenn certainly is the flame keeper of Jerryfest.  The origins of Jerryfest in Columbia go back to Kevin and Kelly Webb.  They formerly owned a bar in 5 Points named Minglewood (also named for a tune the Dead played).  In 2002, when the bar was only four months old, they realized that August 1, 2002 would have been Jerry’s 60th birthday.  They decided to invite a few bands in to celebrate, printed up some posters and took them to Loose Lucy’s and Jerryfest was born.  This phase of Jerryfest lasted for three years.  Then it was obvious to them Jerryfest had outgrown Minglewood.  The Webbs sold the business in 2005 and passed the torch on to Jenn.

Since then it has been held at Headliners, the old Utopia, and The Art Bar. This year the celebration returns to Utopia.  The event is from 4:00 P.M. til 11:30 P.M. on Saturday, September 29th.  There is no cover charge.  The music begins at 5:00 with 5 Star playing a bluegrass tribute to Jerry.  They are followed at 6:30 by Jackaroe Acoustic.  Next up is Alien Carnival at 8:00.  Finally, the evening is topped off at 9:30 when Stillhouse with Bitteroot sends another Jerryfest down the road.  On the “no” list are pets and coolers.  Do not bring either of these.

Come on out everyone and celebrate twenty years of Loose Lucy’s and Jerryfest XI.  The spirit is alive and so are you.  The trip continues so get on the bus!

--Bentz Kirby

(Bentz Kirby is an older child who practices law and loves to play music.  He has the most wonderful wife and family and is in general a lucky man. Reach Bentz at bocelts@yahoo.com.)

Line-up for Jasper Volume 002, Number 001 Release Event this Thursday

If you've been hearing about the big shindig Jasper is planning to celebrate the release of the first magazine in VOLUME TWO of our little publication, then you know how excited all of us on the Jasper staff and in the Jasper Family* are. The event is this Thursday night at the Arcade Studios on Main and Washington Streets in downtown Columbia -- we'll start about 7 and proceed through the night with food, fun, adult beverages, and all kinds of art.

Here is a rundown of what to expect and when to expect it.**

7:00 -- Doors Open -- Open house in Jasper Studios #75 upstairs

7:30 -- World Premiere Film, THE CRICKET TRIAL, starring Scott Stepp and Trey King, directed by Jeff Driggers; Drew Baron, producer (Jasper Studios #75)

8:00 -- Don McCallister will be reading from his new novel, Fellow Traveler, coming in October from Muddy Ford Press   (Jasper Studios #75)

8:00 -- Countertenor Danny Jenkins will perform in the Arcade Atrium (Washington Street side)

8:30 -- Centerfold signing by surprise artist (Jasper Studios #75)

8:30 -- Marshall Brown performs (Arcade Atrium, Washington Street Side)

9:00 -- Don McAllister second reading (Jasper Studios #75)

9:30 -- THE CRICKET TRIAL second showing with repeat showings throughout the remainder of the evening (Jasper Studios #75)

9:30 -- Devils in Disguise band performs (Arcade Atrium, Washington Street Side)

Throughout the Arcade, please visit the following Arcade Studio Artists who will have their studios open at times of their own discretion during the evening:

Blue Sky     Bonnie Goldberg     Tish Lowe     Eileen Blyth     Beth West

Mike Spotts     Payton Frawley     Leah Avery     Walton Selig

Martha Thomas     Suzi Shealy     Page Morris

Bryce Dixon     Whitney LeJeune     Veronica Jeffcoat

Guest Artists from the September issue of Jasper will also be on hand showing samples of their work.

Chef Joe Turkaly will be serving up the results of the fine art of BBQ ($).

The Jasper EconoBar will be in full swing with cheap beer $3, decent wine $4, and big spender craft brew $4***

Paradise Ice will have their cart of cold sweet yumminess ($).

Artisanal jewelry and candles will be available via LA Ti Da and Southern Baked Candles.

Learn about upcoming arts events from Trenholm Artists Guild and the Rosewood Arts Festival, Columbia City Ballet, and more.

And here's one more thing --

Against the likely good advice of our friends and family, Jasper has decided to continue to put together these lovely celebrations free of charge. It's important to us that everyone be able to get in the door and experience this fascinating amalgam of performing and visual arts that we get to write about and photograph for Jasper Magazine on a daily basis.

At the end of our first year, we are delighted that issue No. 001, Volume 002 is the first issue that has paid for itself (before paying out commissions and honoraria to our talented staff of writers, photographers, and our heart-of-gold designer). We've come a long way in a year and we're very proud of the work we do.

That said, it's a labor of love.

If you love our labor and would like to pitch 10 cents or 10 bucks into the pot to help Jasper continue to grow healthy and strong, we'd like to help you do that -- and we'd like to publicly give you credit for having done so!

Please visit the Jasper Studios in the Arcade upstairs in suite #75 Thursday night and see one of our staff members about publicly supporting the arts magazine that supports your city's arts. We won't be able to put your name in lights, but we can put it in print. 

We're calling it the Jasper Guild and you can learn more about it Thursday night.

See you then!

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*We're an affectionate bunch. And sometimes when we meet another arts organization, or even an advertising client, that shares our mission of nurturing Columbia as the Southeastern arts destination it was born to be, we get all chummy with them. They become "Family."

**Please keep in mind that these times are represented (rather than in EST or DST) in CAT (Columbia Artists' Time). Our artists keep a chronograph all of their own making -- and Jasper loves this about them.

***The Jasper EconoBar is a fundraising arm of Jasper Magazine -- all prices are suggested donations. Please be prepared to show ID to partake of adult beverages.