Happy Birthday to Arts & Draughts AND The Whig!

  arts & d

The Columbia Museum of Art hosts the 21st installment of its Arts & Draughts series onFriday, August 14, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The CMA's quarterly night of beer, music, and art activities is also celebrating The Whig's 10th anniversary with tons of things to do. "Having a program still thriving and growing after five years says so much about how Columbia has responded to this idea, and we're excited to celebrate this milestone with the strongest installment to date," says Phil Blair, owner of The Whig. "We've got an incredible exhibit, paired with the most genuinely talented musicians and wonderful human beings we know in this all local lineup, and a beer we made ourselves with the first brewery to ever participate in Arts & Draughts. Without a doubt this is the way we want to recognize our long standing relationship with the CMA and our 10 years of being in business on Main Street."


  • Taste local food and drinks by The Wurst Wagen, Bone-In Artisan Barbecue on Wheels, Island Noodles, and Sweet Cream Co. The Whig's 10th Anniversary Ale brewed by Redhook debuts and a beer tasting of Kona Brewing Company's Big Wave Golden Ale is also featured.
  • Live music is provided by Jade Janay Blocker, Bologna Eyes, Mustache Brothers, and Say Brother.


The CMA is also going all out with DIY and creative activities inspired by the exhibition From Marilyn to Mao: Andy Warhol's Famous Faces. "There's a lot of art in this Arts & Draughts. We really wanted to celebrate Warhol - both his ideas and his aesthetic," says Adult Programs Manager Glenna Barlow. "At our DIY station you'll be able to make your own Warhol-style piece with a simplified printing process and contemporary celebrity faces. We want to explore the question 'Who would Warhol be depicting if he were still around today?' Beyond that you can make your own digital selfie with a screen printing app and take a picture in our photo booth inspired by Warhol's famous factory." Guests can also get their own "15 minutes of fame" as Multimedia Production Coordinator Drew Baron records candid personal responses to the exhibition.


The night also marks the opening of Identity in the Community Gallery. Identity, featuring works by Michaela Pilar-Brown, Ed Madden, Betsy Newman, Alejandro Garcia-Lemos, and each artist's chosen protégé. Artist groups are:


Betsy Newman

Betsy Newman

Alice Wyrd

O.K. Keyes


Michaela Pilar Brown


Michaela Pilar Brown

Ariel Flowers

Roni Nicole Henderson


Ed Madden


Ed Madden

Alexis Stratton


Alejandro Garcia-Lemos


Alejandro García-Lemos

Mary Robinson

Anna Velicky

Kyle Alston

Kaitlyn Shealy


Identity is a collection of collaborative works or installations that seek to answer the enduring questions posed by Warhol's themes of fame, celebrity, and the public persona.

Admission is $9; $5 for CMA members, or become a member that night and get in for free!

For more information, visit columbiamuseum.org

Expecting Something at the Expecting Goodness Film Festival, by Susan Levi Wallach

Friday night with Melinda Cotton in the hotel bar: Kari Jackson called us brave—“us” being the writers who submitted short stories (their darling lambs) to the Expecting Goodness Film Festival, where twelve of them, shorn, would premiere as ten-minute films.  OK, not shorn.  Massaged, tweaked, re-imagined, visualized.  Those characters that had gamboled through our minds?  About to be up on the David Reid Theatre screen, in Spartanburg.

Earlier this evening, I sat with Matthew Fogarty (whose reading of “Denouement” rocked) and found out that we have more in common than Columbia: Neither of us had seen the films that tomorrow will be shown to a sold-out house, and both of our filmmakers had ditched our titles. “Denouement” was now “Resolution”; my “Simon of the Dessert” had become “Grace” (Bunuel does have a lock on the film title).

No matter. This is “a writer’s film festival.” We all are expecting goodness—that’s the name of the festival, and Kari, the festival’s associate director, has us feeling optimistic and bold. But at the end of the reading, which none of our filmmakers attended, Matthew and I are wondering—in a good, expectant way—what we’ll see tomorrow.

Melinda Cotton, the remaining Columbia writer, is better than optimistic. Her filmmaker, Durham Harrison, kept her involved throughout the process. Even let her attend the shoot. “I told him, ‘Here’s my heart,’ ” she said, referring to her story “Grammy’s Keys.” (Her filmmaker, his filmmaker:  Writers can be possessive—anything for the illusion of control.)

Question:  What if the movie I had running in my head while writing the story is not the movie that Adam had in his when he wrote the script?

Answer:  It probably isn’t.  And it doesn’t matter.  Really, it doesn’t.

 The morning after:

The Expecting Goodness Film Festival was a feat of organization, from the “red carpet” photo opps for the filmmakers and writers to the stick-to-the-schedule precision that had a seven-or-so-hour event wrap just about on time.  Not that anyone attends a film festival for anything other than the films. All of them had merit; a few were exceptional. Among the standouts was “Pretty Pitiful God,” by Columbia’s Jeffrey Driggers and Drew Baron, based on a short story by Deno Trakas (and featuring two of the Almor brothers, Itai and Gaal). Not only did it win the Jasper’s Pick Award but also a shout-out from Paris MTN Scout. “Resolution” made it to the screen only as a half-finished music video; “Grace,” which had almost nothing to do with my story, was a fabulous, comic riff on love and obsession.

 The writer of the short story, Deno, with my favorite film makers Jeff Driggers and Drew Baron — with Deno Trakas, Jeff Driggers and Drew Baron in Columbia.

Besides the six Expecting Goodness participants already mentioned, filmmakers Ron Hagell, Shirley Ann Smith, and John Daniel Fisher (who won Best Emerging Filmmaker for “Remember, No Thinking”) also live in the Columbia area.  The Nick will show all of the films from the Expecting Goodness Film Festival at a special screening on May 21 at 5:30 PM.

~ Susan Levi Wallach

Sneak Peak at Jeff Driggers' new film -- The Cricket Trial -- premiering at Jasper release celebration

Here's a little something about Jeff Driggers' Southern gothic film -- The Cricket Trial --premiering Thursday night at the Jasper release event. The 12 minute long film will premiere at 7:30 in the Jasper Studios at the Arcade (Suite 75) with repeated showings beginning at 9:30.

Maddened by grief, Harold Honeycut forces Palmer Reynolds, the teenager he blames for the death of his daughter, to dig his own grave. Underneath the roar of the crickets in the cornfield, a trial is held that forces both participants to face unpleasant truths that lead to the worst day of both of their lives.

Town Theatre staple Scott Stepp and PCA theatre alum Trey King star in this 12 minute short that deals with grief, guilt, and the conflicting love that two men share for one person. The Cricket Trial was written and directed by Jeff Driggers, a filmmaker who developed a passion for filmmaking while he was a student at Richland Northeast High School, and the passion continued at the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a degree in Radio, Television,& Film. Driggers now runs his own videography company, Palmetto Pictures.

The Cricket Trial was produced by USC graduate Drew Baron who, along with O'Neal Peterson, founded Medianauts, an independent company dedicated to making works of passion instead of profit.

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!


*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.