Karl Larsen's Untethered, Opening Friday at Frame of Mind, Challenges Preconceptions and Invites Discourse

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 “I was looking at the art and I realized that I was Untethered,” Columbia-based artist, Karl L. Larsen, describes the title of his upcoming exhibition, “… it’s a free for all in there.  Untethered means to literally separate myself mentally and physically from the things that I think are plaguing society.”


Local artist, Karl L. Larsen, dives into his inner being and views the world through a fresh perspective in his upcoming show, Untethered, opening October 5th at Frame of Mind, with a reception from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  With topics that are meant to be mind-boggling and controversial, this show will offer not only originality, but opportunity for discussion on topics that deserving of discourse.


The 33-year-old Columbia native will be showcasing art that posits a question that is faced in everyday society but is often avoided: Why do we believe what do believe?  A question that revolves around this broad idea of thinking for oneself.


Larsen shows his art through new eyes, by creating in a manner that involves him “taking off the lenses,” and showcasing pieces that dwell in his own thoughts, leaving breadcrumbs behind for the viewer to pick up, and make what they will from; hopefully exploring their own views.


“Over the last year or so, I’ve been going through a transition, and I like to use the, you know, ‘taking off the lenses’ that I’ve been wearing my entire life … I finally got brave enough to take those off and detach from things, and to step outside of my boundaries,” Larsen explains on the idea behind this intriguing collection, “…  So, a lot of these are mixed up in some very interesting conspiracies with politics, and amongst other things, but once I took these glasses off, I began looking at everything with fresh eyes … it gave me inspiration but it allowed me to create in this undisciplined, just go at it; no rules.”


With art that explores a multitude of different media and style, the artist hopes that his work will create dialog through the vision that he has created from his own ideas; a vision that isn’t corrupted by the media.  With only two pieces that come from a personal side of Larsen’s life, each opposing piece contains different content that is embodied with a rabbit hole of possibilities for each individual to explore, asking questions such as, why do you look at the world the way that you do?  


“I do kind of want to have those discussions with people who want to talk about this kind of stuff and they are curious,” the artist says, “and when you take those glasses off a beautiful world emerges.”


Larsen has been creating art for 5 years now, however, his show Untethered isn’t about creating beauty from his external view - it is about creating work from an internal perspective.


The artist debates the idea that society is consumed with what we are getting from the media and believing everything we are told without taking in our own perspectives, which is what one needs: to be challenged and to have their mind stimulated.


“It’s really about thinking for yourself, and even though this stuff is strange and it may be a little offensive to people, I think they need it,” Larsen continues his exploration into the creation of his work, “Artist have to tell the truth, because nobody else is telling the truth.”


Through this collection, Larsen is not only providing a new perspective on the strange things in the world around us, but he is opening opportunities to learn more about the things that are really processing in the viewer’s own mind.  “So, the fun thing about it is that, not only can you gain a new perspective on things, you learn more about yourself,” Larsen explains.


The artist Karl Larsen

The artist Karl Larsen

Along with this thought driven collection, Larsen will also display fashion that he designed via individuals at the event and his popular painted couch, which has circulated Columbia, at opening night.


One should come into this show with an open-mind, expecting the unexpected and be willing to dive into their own ideology through the ideas of another.  Larsen has no intention of this show portraying what his previous show offered, but instead is providing a whole new chapter of work.


“I want to always test myself … and as long as I stay like that, every time that I show is going to be wildly different then the last,” Larsen describes on what to expect, “And I think that’s what artist have to do in order to challenge themselves.”


Untethered will be displayed for two months, closing on November 30th.  To view more of Larsen’s work, you can purchase tickets to an event that he will be featured at, Collectively Supported Art, on November 9th (tickets available at the opening reception of Untethered) or find him painting at the West Columbia Fall Back Fest on November 2nd.


Columbia is lucky to have an artist who breaks boundaries and challenges not only himself, but his audience; one who explores controversies through a new, clear perspective.


“… that’s what art should do. Art should bring people together. It should be challenging people,” says Larsen, “Artist have to tell the truth about themselves because if they don’t - or what they’re trying to portray - then what are they doing?”


-Hallie Hayes

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5 Questions for Thomas Crouch

He's Back...

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Artist Thomas Crouch is a native of Columbia, SC artist who has paintings in private collections on five continents. Having studied figurative oil painting, figurative drawing, and art theory at the Lorenzo De Medici School of Art in Florence, Italy, Thomas obtained a BA in Art Studio from the University of South Carolina in 1997. Jasper has had the honor of featuring Crouch’s work both on the cover of the magazine as well as in a number of articles. After having been MIA from the Columbia art scene for a bit, Crouch is back in town and we caught up with our friend to get the scoop on where’s he’s been and where he’s going. 


Here are 5 questions for Thomas Crouch.


Jasper: So, you've been painting out west and up north for the past little bit -- tell us where you've been and what you were up to.

Crouch: Yes I had been looking in to residencies and other opportunities to further my painting for a couple years. In 2016 I was invited to participate in the first Sedona Summer Colony in Sedona Arizona, by Sedona Arts Council Director Eric Holowacz.  Eric was an old friend from High school days and invited lots of artists from around the world that he knew and I’d worked with over the years. So we were kind of the first test to see how it could work.

They are in their third year now. Many artists like Max Earnst, Georgia Okeefe, etc worked in the area and I believe had stayed at the same campus we used. So it was nice to be in such a beautiful historic and art centered place.

After a month I moved to the Hudson Valley area to Millerton NY to attend another residency. That residency moved to Hudson NY and was a bit far for me so I just got a job on a farm and rented a small house from my sister who lives in Brooklyn. My brother in law is a sculptor so we share a studio space there. I showed in some galleries in Massachusetts and NYC which are close to Millerton. I spent the first winter there and got a job at a nice restaurant that was co-owned by Jasper Johns when the farm closed. This past winter I was accepted to Con Artist Winter Residency in Lower East Side NYC so I’ve been living and working there since November.

Thomas Crouch bear.jpg

Jasper:  Can you talk about some of the ways you've grown or changed as an artist during this time

Crouch:  In Millerton there’s not much to do but it’s very beautiful so I don’t mind it all. I wanted to concentrate on my painting so it’s the perfect spot. Working at Con Artist in the city was great in a polar opposite way. Working with other artists forced me to explain my work more and having access to galleries and museums was very rewarding. The fast pace loosened my work up a bit I think. My work is becoming more mixed media based and drawing plays more of a role in making the image.

Meeting new artists has open up doors too. I’m still a member at Con Artist and can still show at their exhibits and use the space. Showing at Art Basel Miami at the Con Artist Booth is a good example of opportunities available. Also I did some pieces for Insta Fame Phantom Art which is sort of a guerrilla street art project in the subway trains. So I’ve definitely been exposed to new methods of showing art. 

Jasper:  What about some of the ways you've stayed the same?

Crouch:  Hmmm, I still like southern food. It’s nice being from SC and explaining it to people. Charleston cuisine is a big topic and is very popular now. I made a lot of barbeque at the restaurant I worked at. And explaining boiled peanuts is always fun. 

Jasper: What is the main lesson you've learned?

Crouch: If you go for it 100% success is easier to find. And to constantly look at other artist’s work and talk to them about it. 


Jasper: Now, what are you bringing back to Columbia?

Crouch: The work at Frame of Mind is all of the remaining work I did at Con Artist in Manhattan. Three pieces sold so the remaining 14 are on display plus three that I did in Millerton.  The opening is 6-9  at 140 State St. in West Columbia on Friday 2/16. (That’s tonight!) 

Caustic Bucolic –

These pieces are from my work at Con Artist Collective in Lower East Side Manhattan, NY from November 2017-January 2018. Working in a shared studio space, I expanded my use of blueprints, animals, and current events by working alongside other artists. This allowed my work to more succinctly articulate a metaphorical investigation of human nature.


People relate to animals in a variety of ways. With figures of speech, they use animals to explain mundane occurrences of everyday life. In instances of self-identification, people use animals as a source of spiritual power. The first civilizations depended on animals for agriculture, sustenance, and protection. In ancient mythologies animals are used to represent deities. In religious texts a God may take the form of an animal.


This work encapsulates this progression of thought. Caustic Bucolic invites the viewer to consider their natural world. 


A show at Loft At 115 (115 S. Palmer Street, Rideway, SC) is up through February and showcases work I did in Sedona as well as more ravens. Two pieces have sold and I’m excited to show that work as it has never been exhibited outside of Arizona. 


I’m also working on a window at Tapps. My idea is to transform the window into an aquarium. I got the idea from the pieces I did for Insta Fame Phantom Art in NYC where I painted Octopus on the add inserts on the subway cars. 


West Columbia Brought the Magic to Friday Night's Fall Back Festival 2017

Alicia Leeke

Alicia Leeke

Tony Brown

Tony Brown

Michael Cassidy

Michael Cassidy

Sammy Lopez

Sammy Lopez

BA Hohman

BA Hohman

Dre Lopez

Dre Lopez

Karl Larsen

Karl Larsen

Herman Keith 

Herman Keith 

Michael Krajewski & Lucas Sams collaboration

Michael Krajewski & Lucas Sams collaboration

You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful night on State Street last Friday when West Columbia threw their first ever Fall Back Festival. With the help of the shop owners on State Street, and a very strong influence from Frame of Mind owner Mark Plessinger, the night was warm and welcoming, full of music, food, drinks, and good and new friends.

Among the artists creating street art -- literally art on the asphalt paving of State Street -- were ten of Columbia's top creators, and you could tell they were having a great time creating art for art's sake. As one artist said, "It was nice to be able to just come out and make some art without having to abide by too many rules or fill out too many forms and applications." The artists, whose works are pictured above, included Alicia Leeke, Herman Keith, Sammy Lopez, Karl Larsen, Michael Cassidy, Dre Lopez, Tony Brown, BA Hohman, and Michael Krajewski and Lucas Sams who collaborated on their piece.

After 10 provided some great cover tunes, Pawleys food truck fed hungry bellies, and all the restaurants and bars had their doors open welcoming folks to come in and buy a drink to take back out on the street.

Frame of Mind featured an innovative art show by IRL couple artists Bohumila Augustinova and Barry Wheeler. ( Full disclosure: Barry Wheeler is the president of the board of directors for The Jasper Project.)


Mandala by Bohumila Augustinova

Mandala by Bohumila Augustinova

Converge Above the Plane by Barry Wheeler

Converge Above the Plane by Barry Wheeler

Art for art's sake. Answering the need to create and share that creation. Music in the air. A happy little buzz from a Friday night drink. Friends, old and new, clasping hands, slapping one another on humid backs, giving good deep hugs. Celebrating Friday, fall, art, and one another. 

Keeping it simple. Preserving the joy. 

Censored Art Exhibit: An Interview with Amanda Ladymon By: Mary Catherine Ballou  

censored Opening on Friday, June Third at Frame of Mind Gallery, Censored showcases pieces by local artists inspired by social media’s impact on body image.  Curated by visual artist Amanda Ladymon, in conjunction with photographer Jim Dukes, Censored challenges and questions the influence of technology-drenched culture on body perception, revealed through various mediums and perspectives.  Contributing artists include Jarid Lyfe Brown, Jim Dukes, Diana Farfan, Alejandro Garcia-Lemos, Jennifer Hill, Julie Jacobson, Michael Krajewski, Amanda Ladymon, and Whitney LeJeune.  Ladymon, a local artist, educator, writer, parent, and owner of Ladybug Art Studios, kindly agreed to share her insight on the motives behind Censored.


Jasper: What was the impetus for creating the Censored exhibit?

Ladymon: “Some photos of my semi-nude three-year-old daughter were reported by an unknown Facebook friend, which temporarily shut down my account.  I was shocked and confused by this (because let's face it - children all look exactly the same from the waist up when they're that young - we all have nipples and a belly button) - but also quite amused! … While my photos were not in violation of the [Facebook] policy, it left me really puzzled, why are Americans so uptight about the human body?!  And even further, why are Americans so uptight about things that they may not relate to or understand?!  My friend and fellow Artist Jim Dukes and I immediately started messaging and talking with each other about what had happened and the spark for a group art exhibition happened … Together we compiled a list of artists we had either exhibited with previously or artists I had worked with on exhibitions … I have the great privilege of knowing so many amazing artists and it was easy to find a handful of willing participants whom would appreciate our vision.”


Jasper: What role does Jim Dukes play in the event?

Ladymon: “He's sort of my right hand man.  He helped me construct the mission statement for the show, he has brainstormed frequently with me, done some photo shoots, and created the fantastic Exhibition Image for Facebook.”


Jasper: How do you think people will react to this exhibit?

Ladymon: “I anticipate it's going to be a mixed bag - some may be shocked, some might laugh, and some might be disgusted.  Overall I just hope it makes people stop and think about how social media has controlled and shaped our way of thinking in the 21st century.”


Censored highlights the different perceptions regarding the human body.  Ladymon reflects on the “veil over everything”, connoting ubiquitous filters and Photo-shopped images.  An exhibit that one will not likely forget, Censored forces viewers to question their own perspectives as well as prevailing societal norms. It also confirms the universal impulse to explore, highlight, and celebrate the wonders of the human form.  Censored will be available for viewing at Frame of Mind, 140 State St., West Columbia, through the last week of July, with tentative plans for a closing reception and panel discussion.  Free and open to the public, this event is restricted to an 18 and older audience.

Renewal and Synthesis: Lucas Sams’ Frame of Mind Series

Sams by Jasper intern Ami Pulaski

Originality is the specter chasing down artists of all disciplines, and new work can often lead them down previously unimagined paths. Even the newest of beginnings, though, there’s often a twinge of the familiar lurking beneath the new surfaces.

This Thursday, September 3rd, at 6 p.m., Columbia artist Lucas Sams will be kicking off a new series at Frame of Mind eyewear boutique and art gallery in West Columbia that showcases fresh work from a familiar face. It's called, fittingly, "[Artist name's] Frame of Mind." For Sams, that means a bit of old mixed with a bit of new.

“The pieces are basically the first images I made after many months of not working on any new original work,” explains Sams. “[These paintings] are both a return to how I was working a few years ago and a new synthesis of modes of expression and forms of representation entirely.” He calls this collection "New Mythologies."

The show promises to build on the shoulders of Sams’ already established style. One of the works is a reimagining of an older piece, and ideas aren’t the only things being recycled at this show—Sams also painted over one of his older paintings for this series as well.

What better way to spend a Thursday night than perusing new work from a young and very talented local artist?  The show begins at 6:00 p.m. and runs until 8:00 p.m. at Frame of Mind’s art gallery on 140 State St. in West Columbia. Check out the Facebook event for more information.

Celebrating Mark

Mark Plessinger Any other First Thursday evening for the past several years, if you were walking down Main Street and someone mentioned the name Mark, most anyone would know who you were talking about.

"Have you been to Mark's yet?"

"I just saw her at Mark's"

"What did Mark have to say about that?"

You wouldn't have to  use his last name, because anyone who knows anything about the arts in Columbia would know you were talking about Mark Plessinger, owner of Frame of Mind optics shop, and one of the founders and certainly the sustainer of the First Thursdays on Main arts crawl.

First Thursday got started back in the day when Mark Plessinger partnered with Mark Pointer who once ran a magazine called undefined. I met Mark (Plessinger) through Mark (Pointer) and we became instant friends. Like a lot of you reading this, Mark (Plessinger) and I share this sense of getting personal validation out of trying to make our immediate environment a place where we really want to live. We're selfish that way. I was lucky enough to watch Mark as he took over the undefined series and made it the FOM series, finally turning it into First Thursdays on Main.

I got to see Mark delve into areas of diplomacy that I'm sure he never thought would come with the job of doing something for the better good. I saw him negotiate with business owners, empower emerging artists, and bend over backwards to make sure that whoever wanted to share their creative gifts with the community were allowed to -- often on a stage he built himself. I don't know how many times I saw Mark reach into his own pocket to pay for security or publicity or any of the other errant expenses that accompany sustaining a major monthly arts event often on one's own. There is no telling how many things he ponied up for that no one knows about. And while he did it for himself, because it made him happy and because it felt good to him to be able to do so, he did if for a city and an arts community that desperately needed his specific contribution at the specific time he offered it.

Despite, or maybe because of his generosity, Mark is not a wealthy man. When circumstances with his Main Street shop and studio changed, he made the incredibly difficult decision to relocate his shop across the river, sadly leaving the business home he had opened for so many artists on Main Street. He will not be in his old space tonight -- though, happily, the precedent he set is being continued and Ivan Segura's art will be there.

Mark did what he was driven to do. He was brave. And he made Columbia a far better place than those of us who sit back and complain that our city isn't as perfect as we would like it to be.

Who knows how many people were impacted by the gracious generosity of time and spirit that Mark Plessinger gave to our city and our arts community. I'm guessing thousands.

Tonight, a few of us will gather with Mark to express our love and appreciation to him for all that he has done for us. We'll be at One Columbia about 6 pm, if you'd like to stop by. If not, and you see this tall, lanky dude on the street with a goofy smile and arms big enough to wrap around the world, you'll know its Mark. Because people will be repeating his name on Main Street, and throughout Columbia, for a very long time.

-- Cindi Boiter

TONIGHT! FOM features Alicia Leeke and Darlene Fuhst blog by Jasper Intern Caitlyn McGuire

FOM lost During tonight’s monthly celebration of the arts, First Thursdays, one exhibition is bringing a new meaning to “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”- metaphorically speaking. Artists Darlene Fuhst and Alicia Leeke have created “Lost and Found,” and exhibition that not only turns junk, random parts, and antiques into interesting works of arts, but also a visual tool for guests to learn a little something about wastefulness.  The duo says they have gathered these parts as a metaphor for just how much consumer goods are cycled through our lives, encouraging viewers to follow the three “R”s-reduce, reuse, recycle.


The artists are hoping that guests stop and take a closer look, not only at the art compiled of figurines, oil paintings of neon signs, and nostalgic antique items, but take a closer look in their everyday lives and use even a pile of trash as a reminder of the impact of a consumer society.


“Lost and Found” will be on display at Frame of Mind, an appropriate place to look at things a little differently. Frame of Mind is the home of Mark Plessinger, one of the kick-starters of First Thursdays. Mark anticipates tonight’s festivities will be a huge success especially since the growth and popularity of the art celebration has increased dramatically over the past few months. He added that more surprises, street vendors, and blocks of artistic expression, will result in a large amount of movement from one end of Main Street to the other.


So as you wander through the blocks of Main Street, through musicians and street vendors, stop into Frame of Mind to take a closer look of the everyday consumer life.


Lost and Found will be open for viewing tonight at Frame of Mind located at 1520 Main Street, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will be on display until September 29.

-- Caitlyn McGuire

"The Journey Home" - a guest blog by Jenna Sach

When the pilot announces that we are 30 minutes to our destination, I stare out the window.  I watch the country below slowly become visible through the grey clouds.   The land is a beautiful patchwork of varying hues of green.  The houses and cars slowly come into view as we get closer.  The wheels touch down, I’m filled with excitement.  I am home. "Grand Canal of Venice" - photography by Jenna Sach

I began taking photos when I was 16.  My high school offered a darkroom course.  The smell of the chemicals, the look of film, the whole art behind photography drew me in.  Ever since then, whenever I traveled, a camera came with me.  Though all I had at the time was a little 35 mm point-and-shoot, I spent most of my time viewing Europe through a lens.  After the first few trips, my mom mentioned the lack of photos of family; it wasn’t until we were visiting Venice together that she stopped mentioning it.

For years, the only people who saw my photographs from my adventures were those who came into my Mom’s house.  She adorned her walls with images from England, Rome, and Venice.  I decided last September that I wanted to showcase photographs from England.  After running the idea by Mark Plessinger, we set up a show at frame of Mind.  My family and I were heading off the England, specifically North Derbyshire for two weeks, and it lined up perfectly.  So I lugged my camera equipment across the Atlantic Ocean and bought tons of film.  We had a few places outlined of where we were going, but I had no preset notions of what exactly I wanted to photograph.

The first few days there, I drew a blank.  However, when we went to visit Chatsworth, a stately home, something clicked.  From that point on, I was always behind the camera.  My mom and stepfather put up with me randomly asking to pull off the road, so that I could jump out and snap a few shots.  Everyone was so understanding when I wanted to spend a few extra minutes at a location, or climb up a hill to get a different vantage point.  And somehow the weather worked out perfectly, though I did stand in a shower or two to grab a shot.




I wanted to illustrate to everyone the beauty of the English countryside and the personal meaning it holds for me.  Each photograph in this show holds a story behind it (which I am always willing to tell.)  I have been in inspired by England for years, and I am hoping to  inspire others who view my work.

~ Jenna Sach


"The Journey Home" is the featured exhibition at Frame of Mind (located at 1520 Main Street, Suite 1e, right across from the Columbia Museum of Art) as part of this month's First Thursdays on Main.

Jessica Ream, Sean McGuinness, Jenna Sach, Jessica Christine Owen, and James and Michael Dwyer featured at First Thursday on Main Street

Charleston has Spoleto, and Jasper is bringing you day-by-day, event-by-event coverage, but let's not forget about Columbia's own monthly celebration of the arts, First Thursdays on Main.  Festivities officially run 6-9 PM this Thursday, June 6th.  Below are some facts, figures and images taken from assorted press material: You Must Eat (Food Is Medicine) - artwork by Jessica Ream

Jessica Ream is the featured artist at Wine Down on Main (located at 1520 Main Street,  Suite 1B.) She was born in Columbus, Ohio, early in the year 1990, but was raised south of the Mason-Dixon line, in Carolina suburbia. She is a jack-of-all trades artist, and incorporates her knowledge of painting, photography, print and sculpture into her mixed media pieces. She began her studies at Columbia College but transferred to Savannah College of Art and Design where she graduated with honors, with a BFA in Painting. She returned to Columbia shortly after graduation, and currently works for the Columbia Art Museum while continuing her work as an artist.

Expectations Are The Only Option - artwork by Jessica Ream


Skeletons Make Uncomfortable Lovers -m artwork by Jessica Ream

A couple of doors down, at 1520 Main Street, Suite 1e, Frame of Mind is delighted to announce the return of one of Columbia's favorite daughters and artists to the FOM gallery, Jenna Sach, a familiar face and vital fixture among the Main Street community. For this FOM Series, she is sharing images close to her heart and taking us all on "The Journey Home." Sach says:

For this show I wanted to ‘bring it home.’ Though I have always taken photographs on my journeys to Europe, I've never displayed them (unless you count my mom’s walls). With this series I maintain my style, keeping the rich blacks in contrast to the cool whites. All the photos are taken from North Derbyshire, which is located in the East Midlands of England. A large portion of the Peak District National Park is within this county, as well as part of the Pennines. Within this region, there are various stately homes, castle ruins, gardens, caverns, and the beautiful rolling hills, for which it is so well known.

During a recent two week visit home, I traveled around North Derbyshire with my camera, occasionally making my family pull off to the side of the road, just so I could jump out and capture the landscape to share with you! For putting up with my artistic endeavors on this, and many others trips, I dedicate this show to them. Places featured include Buxton, Chatsworth Stately Home, Bolsover Castle, Tideswell, Castleton, Peveril Castle, Hardwick Hall and Haddon Hall.


Born in Southampton, England, Jenna Sach immigrated to South Carolina in 1990. Ever since she was a young girl, she has shown a fondness for art. However, it was not until she was 16 that she began her passion for photography. Jenna’s high school offered a darkroom course; it was her first experience developing film, and she fell in love. Over the years Jenna took pictures of the places she visited, but it was not until she arrived at the University of South Carolina that she began to formulate her style. There, she connected with her mentor and darkroom professor, Toby Morriss. Under his guidance, she perfected her printing and found her style. Morriss taught Jenna how to combine her two passions, photography and psychology. She obtained her B.A. in Experimental Psychology and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Jessica Christine Owen is featured in "A Study of Self and Others"  at S&S Art Supply (located at 1633 Main Street.) Owen is an innovative photographer who uses herself as the subject matter. Through physical alteration as a performative aspect of the final photograph, her works are beautiful and eerie, funny and disturbing, all rolled into one. DJ B will be out front spinnin' some awesome family-friendly tunes as well!

Her artist statement reads:

The term grotesque has the contemporary definition of being something strange, fantastic, ugly or disgusting. The grotesque has formed an attachment to other terms proliferated to describe aspects of experience, among them, the abject. The abject is something that exists between the concept of an object and of the subject. The abject becomes a reaction to the threatened breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of distinction between subject and object or self and other. My intention is to create an emotional bond with the viewer through a combination of unlike things that challenges established realities or constructs new ones. By altering physical form through self-inflicted acts or complete physical alteration, the viewer is meant to see the blurred lines of what we perceive to be self and what is other.

photography by Jessica Christine Owen

Owen received her BFA in Photography and BA in Art History with honors from New Mexico State University in 2010. She currently resides in Columbia, South Carolina where she is pursuing her MFA in Photography at the University of South Carolina.

Anastasia & Friends (located at 1534 Main Street) is presents "Color Movement," an exhibition which features paintings by father and son, James Dwyer and Michael Dwyer, who have spent a combined nine decades creating abstract paintings, rooted in Modernism, with color as a primary focus.

artwork by Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer:

I grew up in a home in which both parents were artists and paintings by them and their friends always hung on the walls. Although my mother mostly put aside her professional art career to raise a family, my father was an energetic and accomplished painter all the years I knew him, only giving up his studio work at the age of eighty-seven to care for my mother. My father also taught painting and drawing at Syracuse University for thirty-some years, including while I was there as an undergraduate. I never took a class with him, but I learned a great deal from my Dad, whether it was during dinner conversations or trips to museums. Probably, most of what I learned was just from the long-term exposure of having his paintings around the house.

As a kid, I loved to draw from the time I could pick up a pencil and I received enormous encouragement and support from both parents. Sometimes I’d visit my Dad’s studio and make little drawings while he painted. Once, when I was seven or eight, my father stretched a small canvas for me to work on (my first abstract painting!) while classical music played on the radio and he worked on a large canvas. The scale of his paintings – often seven or eight feet - made an early impression, too.

A few years before my father’s death in 2011, we had a couple of conversations about how we might be able to put together a two-man show, but we were never able to make that happen during his lifetime. Before he died my father shipped me about thirty of the paintings he’d made over the past few years. That shipment has allowed me to finally, and very happily, assemble this exhibition.


A sense of movement has been an important element in my work for a long time. Earlier pieces often conveyed a feeling of forms drifting in space. Then, there was a shift toward using linear composition to create direction. I wanted the viewer’s eye to move along a variety of circuits and have experiences along the way. I also found from my earlier collage work, that I like the crisp, definitive edges that result from cutting shapes with scissors, so I began using masking tape for a similar effect.

Recent works often have a sequential aspect that comes partly from a fascination with similarities between visual art and music. Thinking of musical composition as one note followed by another, and so on, I wondered if this might be a basis for a painting. Ultimately, I’m always after that transcendent moment when abstract elements come together in a way that‘s thrilling and somehow right.

Dwyer also provides this artist's statement from his father James Dwyer:

Since space is the fundamental characteristic of drawing, painting, sculpture, and architecture, I have long understood that eloquence in those forms is to be achieved through the structuring of space. Within the past ten years or so, I have stumbled my way into a style based on low relief as its principal component.

In low relief I have discovered that I can offer variable visual and tactile experience controlled only in part by me. The viewer is invited to share in control through physical viewpoint. Elements within a work change, or are perceived as changing when seen from different angles. This, I believe, can bring about an especially intimate and creative communication.

artwork by James Dwyer

"Color Movement" will open as a part of the First Thursday art crawl on Main on June 6th, from 6 PM to 9 PM and run through June 28th.  Special thanks to Maria Kennedy Mungo for preparing delicious food for this very special opening.

Tapp's Art Center, located at 1644 Main Street, is home to several dozen artists' studios, as well as changing exhibitions inside and in the display windows on Main and Blanding Streets.  Included in those window exhibits is Sean McGuinness, aka That Godzilla Guy:

This will be a big event, marking Godzillafications all up in your grill, so to speak! I will have my largest window display ever, and I will also be in the Tapp's Courtyard selling my artwork. If that isn't enough, my art will also be hanging inside the Tapp's Arts Center as part of a charity event benefiting local police canines. Last year I held my first-ever "Meet Godzilla @ Tapps". The presence you guys helped me create got noticed by all the local merchants, and started me on the path to becoming "That Godzilla Guy" [in retrospect, it was like you helped lodge some shrapnel in my chest, so I could go on to build a wicked suit of armor in a cave with a box of scraps!] Please come visit, and be part of the magic.


And if there is any question as to the meaning of the term, McGuinness has helpfully provided a definition:

Godzillafications [noun] God-zill-a-fi-ca-tions (g d-zɪlə-f -k sh n):   An artwork or consequence growing out of That Godzilla Guy’s [Sean McGuinness] unique vision to interject his Godzilla Collectibles into established works of art, photographs, or concepts. It ranges from serious gravitas to social and political satire, yet always centers around a deep love of the kaiju [giant monster] eras of past, present and future. The purpose is to not only spread the love of Godzilla and his eternal, relevant messages, but to also connect people with art who would not normally appreciate traditional arts or even Godzilla himself.

Godzillafications are crafted through non-traditional means using kaiju collectibles, digital photography, Photoshop, and artwork covered and/or homaged under the Fair Use Act. If available, permission of the original artist is obtained. Godzillafications can also consist of inserting a kaiju into a photo with no digital manipulation at all. The artwork is then printed out on high quality cardstock or matte polypropylene, then sealed to a wood plank or inserted into a recycled frame. Godzillafications are also a movement, inserting themselves into art shows, galleries, window displays, street performances, internet videos and webcomics.

Use in a sentence: Art Appreciation Through Godzillafication.


Also, the cast of the upcoming Trustus Theatre production of Ain't Misbehavin' will be giving a sneak-peek performance at 7 PM in the courtyard, next to Tapp's!

aint misbehavin


FOM Series presents Happy Holidays, Mother Earth! Featuring Kirkland Smith and Chris Carney for Mingle & Jingle

FOM has never been SO green! Get ready to enjoy this two-month FOM Series focused on how an artist has turned consumer waste into fine art! These items destined for landfills have found new life in 3-D paintings. And, we’ve never been SO blue. What lies beneath will fill our gallery for your viewing pleasure. Water…everywhere!
Inside:  Columbia artist, Kirkland Smith, will present a two-part exhibition of work created almost entirely from post-consumer materials collected from friends and family.
During the December FOM Series, she is asking the community to participate in an assemblage she will create by donating eyewear that they no longer need. She plans to unveil the new work as a part of the January FOM Series during First Thursdays on Main.
Kirkland Smith, a classical painter, began creating contemporary Assemblages from post-consumer materials when she entered an environmental art contest in 2008. Using discarded objects as her “paint,” she found an evocative way to deliver the message of the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Her work offers an entertainment value, but also reveals the impact consumerism is creating on our environment. “Each Assemblage is a little piece of our history. It is the story of us today. What we throw away says a lot about who we are, but what we choose to cherish and protect says even more in the end.”
Without this determination to cherish and protect our community, our state, our nation, our planet by reducing, reusing, and recycling, we won’t be able to enjoy the waters which refresh and sustain us. So, as a fitting complement to Kirkland’s recycled art, Frame of Mind is proud to introduce you to the work of one of Columbia’s favorite alternative performers and renowned local grower of coral, Chris Carney. He describes his plans for this two-part FOM Series this way, “There is another world beneath the skin of the ocean. A place that covers more than half of our planet still remains a mystery. This is what I strive to capture. Vignettes of a place many will never see with their own eyes and few will be able to describe. These are not glass boxes; these are snapshots to a world I love, a place I’d like you to know. Dive in, explore.”
A graduate of the University of South Carolina’s Marine Sciences program, Chris owns A Fish Store, a full-service fish and aquarium shop specializing in saltwater fish/aquariums, freshwater fish/aquariums, corals, ponds, design/fabrication/installation/maintenance services. He is also an assistant SCUBA instructor with Wateree Dive Center. For the FOM Series installations and exhibits, he plans to showcase mostly tank-raised livestock/corals. His work will be available for purchase, but custom options are available as well.
OutsideFor our outdoor entertainment, we’re so proud to feature Columbia’s own DJ Deft Key of Entropy Studios, Raymond Howard. Deft Key’s shows are full of the energy and sounds of global beats and dubstep, and this month, we get to hear some holiday themed tunes, as well! For a sampling, check out his music onhttp://soundcloud.com/deftkey
. His CD is available for purchase at our December event. Entropy studios is a recording/production studio that was founded in the fall of 2011 by Raymond Howard, Timothy Miller, and Jeramie Conrad. A unique type of studio with services ranging from simple recording/tracking to full production including song creation, adding audio to film, voice overs and foley, their mission is to provide a fully operational studio capable of facilitating any and all audio needs for musicians, film producers, theatrical directors, and voice actors both regionally and internationally. Their menu of services include: recording, tracking, mixing, mastering, voice-overs, composition, songwriting, foley, DJ services, live sound/lighting, post-production audio for film and video, album art, logo design, photography services, merchandise design, band photos, business cards, and flier design. Please visit Deft Key on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deft.key.3?fref=ts or Entropy Studios on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheEntropyStudios?fref=ts .
blog post courtesy of FOM

“Kindred Harvest” -- new works by Amanda Ladymon

kin·dred   [kin-drid]  noun or adj:

a person's relatives collectively; kinfolk; kin.

b.group of persons related to another; family, tribe, or race.

har·vest   [hahr-vist]  noun:

5. the result or consequence of any act, process, or event.


Local artist Amanda Ladymon will be showing some interesting new works during Mingle and Jingle on Main Street this week, though not at her home gallery at S & S Art Supply. Ladymon's work can be found down the street as an exciting installment in the FOM series at the Frame of Mind optical shop.

The new exhibition is composed of mixed media paintings on wood panel and on paper. Ladymon used a new photo transfer method in incorporating old photographs, dating back to the early 1920's through the 1980's. Incorporating biological drawings, she creates a metaphorical dialogue between the event or person in the photo and what is being implied through form and line. While it ranges from subtle to obvious, the shapes are consistently referring to reproductive processes in the female body, starting from the cellular level.

Upstairs at FOM, a special mixed-media assemblage and found object installation occupies part of the loft space.

According to Ladymon, life in so many ways, is much like a game of parcheesi. So many decisions, mistakes, or unexpected encounters happen with just the "toss of the dice." Each decision one player makes will inevitably affect the other players. Ladymon writes that she feels that life parallels this "game" in that, for every action, there is an effective chain of events that lead to everything else, whether we win or lose.

Over twenty-five altered cigar boxes, hang suspended and glowing from the inside. Each box contains photographic images layered with maps and other images, revealing an important clue as to where the photo was taken, or perhaps what memories are tied with that person or specific event taking place in the photo. Some of the boxes are connected with a line of string to different areas on the game board, signifying the connection between not only the people, but the events themselves.

For a better understanding of what brought Ladymon to this work, please read her artist statement below --

“Having recently tied the knot, my husband and I are weaving a new path and creating our own family, which makes me reflect back on my family and its many generations of strong women who held it together. This body of work investigates the many complexities of family and the roles played within those relationships. The mother and child bond and reproductive process is one strong influence on this work. Our upbringing affects us all, especially in determining what kind of person we turn out to be. Within this body of work, there are many photographic images used to reflect on my family’s past – all the photographs and drawings were acquired directly from my family albums. The many shapes and organic drawings interspersed amongst the photographic images represent the connective energy between each person, whether it was the memory of loving or possibly more of a longing. The use of circular forms continues to symbolize the connective relationship we have with one another in a biological or conceptual sense.

 “Another theme I have touched on is the idea of how each moment and decision in life affects another. While I generally feel repulsed by the images and ideas of war, I cannot deny the fact that if WWII hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t exist. World War II was a monumental turning point in America, in which millions of families were created due to strangers meeting and falling in love. My grandparents had such a story. They met while he was recovering from a broken back after his plane crashed.  He was a southern boy from Georgia and she was an adventurous, strong-willed California girl. With every little decision, mistake, and circumstantial event, they met and created a family. This sequence of events eventually lead to my birth and the strong influence their marriage continued to have on me throughout my adolescence and early adulthood.”