Gallery West Presents Captured 2: The Photography of Seven -- June 3 - July 23, 2015

Artist - Dalvin Spann  

Gallery West, located at 134 State Street in West Columbia, will host an exhibition of seven photographers whose work covers a diverse range of subject matter.  The original 2015 exhibition was cut short due to flood damage in the prior gallery space. This new version of the exhibition will run from June 3 through July 23, 2015. All are welcome to attend a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception in the gallery on Friday, June 3, 5:00-8:00 PM.

The subject matter in Captured 2: The Photography of Seven is in fact so diverse that it feels as if there are seven separate exhibitions under one roof. Each photographer has their own distinct vision and focus, yet share the common goal of asking the viewer to observe and enter the world through their eyes and lens.

Participating photographers include Frank Baker, Jim Hoyle, Russell Jeffcoat, Katie Purnell, Dalvin Spann, Francis Schanberger, and Olaf Wegner.

Frank Baker, a Columbia native, though long intrigued, only turned seriously to photography four years ago. He became fascinated with the Great Blue Heron and other fantastic birds who live near to and depend on coastal and lake water. His intimate shots capture these birds when they reveal themselves only to those who have the utmost patience to wait for the moment.

Jim Hoyle, based in Greensboro, NC, uses the camera as a means of self-expression. His work "exists solely for the joy of creating it." His stunning exhibition series brings together the three subjects he is most inspired by - the outdoors, still-life, and the nude.


Katie Purnell of Columbia SC is an internationally published portrait, lifestyle, and fine art photographer. Her current work explores the presence of color and light and the surprising weight of small experiences.

Russell Jeffcoat's subject matter ranges from classical portraits to luminous nudes. Based in Columbia, SC, his art is renowned, appearing in museums and galleries both in the US and around the world. The richness of his work reflects his expert use of vintage cameras and film, an art form lost to many today.

Francis Schanberger began collecting parts of native trees upon his move to Dayton, OH from the California coast. This past-time became the focus of a photographic project. Nineteenth century naturalists recorded their researches in photogenic drawings. Some 170 years later Schanberger returned to their photographic investigations using his gatherings, scanning the specimens and creating images from them using the historic Vandyke Brown Print process.

Born and raised in Columbia, SC, Dalvin "Mustafa" Spann has been exploring the world of art from an early age, graduating with honors from the Governor's School for the Arts and later from the Savannah College of Art and Design. As a founding member of the artists' collective, Izms of Art (IOA), Spann has participated in the tri-state area with other members and was recently part of a featured exhibition at the Columbia Museum of Art. His exhibition series "Enlightenment" explores his subjects' physical expression of a deeper search for their own spirituality.

W. Olaf Weger of Columbia, local "artisan/creative," is best known for his work in sets and props for TV, short films, and theater and dance. His craftsmanship in copper bar and counter tops, tables, and ceilings can be seen in many familiar and popular restaurants in the area. A byproduct of his work with copper became the "Macro Copper Patina" series, photographs of the unseen world of color and texture within a small area of the oxidized copper. Though the configurations were "accidental," each natural design is expertly captured and offered to us from thousands of images in what appears as both abstract and repetitive design.

CMA Curator & Frequent Jasper Contributor Will South to Exhibit Work at Gallery West

Gallery West, located at 134 State Street in West Columbia, will host a special exhibition of recent work by artist Will South from January 26 through March 13, 2016. A wine and hors d'oeuvres Opening Reception will be held at the gallery on Tuesday, January 26 from 6:00-9:00 pm.
Will South, a frequent contributor to Jasper Magazine, has become known on the Columbia scene over the past four years for his work at the Columbia Museum of Art, but also for his role as a painter in his own right. Wearing two hats, in Will's view, is fine "as long as the hats fit." As a museum curator, Will is known for making art accessible, whether in writing, on the wall, or in public talks. He shares his passion for art freely, and sees museum work as an ongoing opportunity for public service. Back in the studio, however, he reverts to the artist who has made art his entire life, only now one who has learned a great deal from art history.
In a number of his most recent paintings, the influence of art history is out in the open. One painting features a lounging cat with a painting by the great Italian modern Modigliani in the background. The Modigliani is interrupted by a floral spray, and the entire image is in a blurred, smoky light. There is no specific message here (or in any of the work, according to the artist) other than the poetry of the moment. The Modigliani in question sold recently for 170 million dollars, but the cat sharing its space is completely unconcerned. The atmosphere is one of quiet and detachment, where, for the artist, what is depicted supports the mood first and foremost.
In addition to oils on canvas, Will is a prolific draftsman and a number of recent figure drawings will be featured. His attitude toward figure work is unabashedly selfish: "The world doesn't need any more figure drawings, but I do, and so that's why I make them. There is a world of difference between hearing someone sing and singing yourself. Happily, in the shortness of life, we get to do both."

Gallery West – Call for Submissions “Selfies, Real or Imagined: An Exhibition of Visual and Literary Art"

  Call to Artists

Gallery West is currently accepting submissions for its exhibition, Selfies: Real or Imagined, which will be held in late April of 2015. This exhibition will present a broad range of contemporary art and literature using all media in one, two or three-dimensional works. The exhibition is organized by Sara Cogswell, Director of Gallery West, and will include works by both emerging and established artists, internationally and from across the United States.

Social media and the mobile web have given rise to a strange phenomenon called the selfie. What is a selfie? A portrait of yourself, visual or written, usually shared on a social networking website. There are many selfie styles, and numerous psychological factors that might drive any specific person to create a selfie and share it.

This exhibition will explore the wide arena of selfies, either from the perspective of the artist or writer themselves, or an alter ego, as if from another person, animal, mythical or fantasy character…anything the artist or writer can imagine. Writers might share their visions of themselves in poetry or short verse.



  • Only unique, one-of-a-kind works of art and literature will be accepted. These may include drawing, painting, collage, prints, photography, sculpture, fiber, and ceramics. Multiples are not accepted.
  • A literary component has been added to expand the scope of this exhibition. Flash fiction, poetry, or prosetry, 500 words or less, will now be accepted. Accepted submissions in literature will be compiled into a chapbook, which will be edited by Susan Levi Wallach and Ed Madden, and published in limited edition by Muddy Ford Press.
  • A literary prize in the amount of $250 will be awarded to one writer. All writers whose work is accepted and included in the chapbook will receive two copies of the publication. Additional chapbooks will be published for purchase.


  • Artworks selected for inclusion in the exhibition must be suitably framed and/or made ready for installation, no exceptions.
  • All artworks must be for sale. A “Price on Request” designation is not acceptable. 
The submission of and entry to “Selfies: Real or Imagined” will constitute agreement by the entrant to all conditions set forth in this prospectus.
  • All submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 16, 2015. Materials received after January 16 will not be considered. Gallery West assumes the responsibility of insuring and caring for works of art selected for exhibition at the gallery. The artist will cover shipping costs, arrange for transportation of art works to and from the gallery, and insure works while in transit. After works are selected for exhibition, the gallery reserves the right to photograph and reproduce images of selected entries for publication, education, and publicity purposes.Each artist may submit up to five jpeg images on CD (200 dpi or larger at 1024 x 768 pixels) to the Gallery West address, or via email ( Writers may submit up to five pieces, each 500 words or less, via email to (, or by mail to the Gallery West address below.Artists will be notified of their status by mid-February, 2015. A contract will be sent when participation is confirmed.
  • All images must be of works made within the past two years (between 2012-2014), and must be accompanied by a checklist of the works submitted for review, including title, date, materials, dimensions and price. Slides are not accepted.
  • Up to 5 images of recent work in jpeg format
for visual artists
  • Up to 5 submissions of written word, each 500 words or less
  • Detailed image list (including title, year, media, dimensions, and price)
  • Current resume or C.V. (please include mail and email address)
  • Artist statement


All submissions must be received by 5pm, January 16, 2015.

Please address submissions to:


Sara Cogswell, Director

Gallery West

118 State Street

West Columbia SC 29169



Will South Show continues at Gallery West through November 16th - by Rachel Haynie

Being surrounded all day by notable fine art neither intimidates nor saturates Will South. He leaves Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) where he is surrounded by notable works of art daily, yet when he wraps up, he goes home to paint in his studio for several more hours an evening. “I love painting and look forward to getting back to it each day, just as I enjoy studying and interpreting it, talking and writing about it in my job as curator at Columbia Museum of Art. I don’t think I can remember a time when I wasn’t making art; certainly I have never stopped trying to paint and draw, but I find I am at a time and place in my life now where I can fully enjoy both being an artist and being a curator. I learn more about creating art from art history than I have ever learned in an art class. ” South says: “There is no substitution for work,” meaning his tenacity at his easel ultimately pays off, and the result of this pleasurable labor is currently on view at Gallery West, 118 State Street (former Café Strudel location.) This show, in which South’s recent work shares exhibition space with the ceramics of Douglas Gray, Francis Marion University art professor, is up through November 16: Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sundays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This show marks the first opportunity for Metropolitan Columbia to see evidence of South as an artist. All of South’s pieces for this show have been painted or drawn in the months since he arrived in Columbia to assume curatorial duties at CMA so have not been exhibited previously. “Simplicity is a virtue,” says South, and that philosophy is notable in the works in this show. To him, “what is enduring about an image is the sensuality of color, the refinement of shape, the human intelligence contained in a line. I challenge myself to edit out all but the essential and, of course, the problem is in knowing what the essential is.”

Spare and lean are words that surface when looking at these pieces, both the oils and the charcoal drawings. One Ahh! moment elicits from the ethereal Back in Blue, oil wash over charcoal. A playful note, revealing something of the artist’s drawing side, is the label for Self Portrait as Pencils, an oil on canvas. Wake Up in New York, an oil and charcoal on linen, may conjure up a bit of déjà vu for this artist who honed some of his skills at the Art Students League in New York. He had come to the city for PhD studies at the Graduate Center of the City University in New York following a Master’s degree in art history and an undergraduate studio art degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

In co-exhibiting with Doug Gray, South and his work provide textural contrast. Gray’s interest in color and surface are evidence in the pieces selected for this show. -- Rachel Haynie


For more information, call 803-207-9265.


James C. McMillan's Art-Life Itself at Gallery West by Rachel Haynie

  Four Dream Builders by James C. McMillan

Gallery West’s current exhibition of James C. McMillan’s career-spanning work – Art – Life Itself, will conclude in a way most appropriate for this venerable artist and teacher – with his paintings, drawings and fine art prints sharing space with local art students.

To cap off the McMillan exhibition, Gallery West plans September 30 as an evening on its back terrace featuring the young African American urban jazz musician known as Dubber. And on the gallery walls, McMillan’s work will be joined by works of two art students from Benedict; the students’ work will remain on view a view weeks beyond McMillan’s show - Art – Life Itself - which ends October 1.

Although McMillan’s work, currently on view at Gallery West, 118 State Street in West Columbia, is not presented as a retrospective, the North Carolina native and octogenarian said the pieces gallery owner Sara Cogswell chose for Art - Life Itself span many of his creative and artistic iterations. When he arrived for his own show, to see for himself how the work had been hung, he sauntered through the connected gallery spaces as though he was perusing a review of his life.

A ground-breaking arts educator and college professor, having retired in 1988 from Guilford College where he became the Art Department’s first African-American chair, after teacher earlier at Bennett College, McMillan nurtured many fledging artists during four decades of teaching. At his Gallery West show, he reminisced about the art teacher who first validated the artist in him.

“The first time I had real art materials in my hands, they were given to me by an art teacher who had bought them and brought them back from New York, so the way she presented them to me articulated that this was special. I was special; she saw promise in me,” McMillan recalled. “They were charcoals, and I began to realize you could do different things with different materials. I was just a kid then, only in the eighth grade.”

Yet the realization that an art teacher could have such impact on an inspiring young artist remains with McMillan still, and he has taken great care, and felt great responsibility throughout his career as a teacher – to protect and nurture creativity. “Because I was encouraged by teachers as well as my parents, who were educators before me, I sensed a particular obligation to encourage curiosity, creativity’s doorway.”

Having begun college at only 15, McMillan had barely completed three of his undergraduate years at Howard University when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and he was drafted, with one year remaining before he would have earned his degree. His early service in the U.S. Navy took him back to the Pacific, to the very place where WWII was ignited for America. After armistice the G.I. Bill allowed him to continue his education at Skowhegen School in Maine. Visiting artists to the revered school, from Europe and America’s cultural centers, became McMillan’s mentors.

Little Annie with Mother by James C. McMillan

He recognizes that his own art was “still blooming when I began teaching. I felt that teaching came with the requirement to continue learning, growing, experimenting, and that I must take care of my own creativity as I was coaxing it out of my students.”

Before Gallery West officially opened Art-Life Itself, McMillan was welcomed to Columbia one day early by Friends of African American Art and Culture. This show, in mediums ranging from painting and drawing to printmaking, represents work created before and during his time in Paris, carrying through to the Civil Rights Movement, and now into McMillan's most recent work that captures the "movement" of North Carolina’s landscape, from mountains to sea, created from the 1940s to the present.

"Body of Work: Faces and Figures" opens at Gallery West Tuesday, July 8

Just as any vibrant summer gathering should be, Gallery West’s fast-forthcoming show is destined to take on qualities of a reunion and a first meeting of new friends – referring to both art and patrons. For a reunion with the past, work - created over three centuries - grace the walls at 118 State Street in West Columbia. New friends will show up as new work in all media; featured will be new work by outstanding Columbia artist Pat Callahan. Patrons will converge for the show opening Tuesday, July 8 with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception hosted from 4 to 8 p.m. Pat Callahan, "Side Light", pencil and conte

Many Columbians are already familiar with the sensitive and beautifully-crafted figure drawings by Pat Callahan. On view for this summer exhibition will be a selection of Pat's work that showcases her refined viewpoint and poetic drafting skills. Callahan comes to art and to craft through graphic design. Perhaps to balance her computer-based career, Callahan draws a classical subject - the body - in traditional drawing media. She works from life, capturing beauty and strength embodied in her subjects. With descriptive line and gesture she captures exquisitely bodies of weight, ruled by gravity and time.

Among the many other highlights in Body of Work is a small, elegant photograph by internationally acclaimed photographer Edward Weston. This intimate, wistful portrait of Weston's friend, Mary Buff, is contrasted by a large, flashy oil on canvas by New York society portrait painter, Mabel Hatt. Hatt's painting of Evelyn Siegel looks like a direct descendent of John Singer Sargent, and for good reason - Hatt's father was a student of Sargent's. More contemporary is a brightly-colored painting by well-known South Carolina artist Jonathan Green of a family enjoying the beach.

In addition to paintings and photographs, there are numerous works on paper in Body of Work. Of note is a haunting etching by nationally-acclaimed printmaker and former head of the Yale University Art Department, William Bailey. A forceful graphic note is struck in Sigmund Abeles and his print of a mother and child. Among the most geometric works in the show is a large original print entitled, Builders, by renowned American artist Jacob Lawrence.

Jacob Lawrence, "The Builders (Family)", 1974, silkscreen

Side-by-side with these well-known artists will be paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and sculpture by artists of great talent. Gallery visitors will note a 1930s portrait of a young girl by Elsie Budd, an astonishing wood engraving by Alfred Tinayre, or the whimsical sculpture of Tom Soumalainen.

Gallery West has quickly become characterized by its director’s innate talent for unearthing affordable treasures and spotlighting them evocatively in the gallery. Several area artists are also featured in the exhibition, including Russell Jeffcoat, Philip Hultgren, and Bonnie Goldberg.

The exhibition remains on view through August.  Gallery West is located at 118 State Street in West Columbia.  For more information, call (803) 207-9265,  e-mail , or visit their Facebook page.


~ Rachel Haynie