“Packing up and moving across the country to a place where the people and culture are completely unknown can be intimidating. For some, it would likely be too daunting a task to consider. But for Jessica Christine Owen, it was a challenge willingly accepted. As an innovative photographer who grew up and attended school in New Mexico, the change was more about a new perspective and the opportunity to work with other women who created work completely different from her own. ...” – Deborah Swearingen For the full story and photos, check out page 26 of the magazine below:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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!