"A newspaper article detailing the death of a Pentecostal snake handler may not normally bring art to mind, but for Maria Fabrizio, the headline is one of many she's been inspired to transform into visual art. For the past year, the local Columbia artist has taken popular news stories and put them into simple digitized illustrations and posted them on her blog, Wordless News, 'One headline per day, vowel and consonant free.' The blog and its creator has garnered significant attention over the past few months. Though Fabrizio wouldn't name much of her own work 'art' in the classic scene, her creativity and talent are making waves in Columbia's art community and beyond. ..." - Joanna Savold For the full article, check out page 42 of the magazine below:
A ‘heart-filled’ performance is coming to the Art Bar this Saturday night: American Gun’s annual “A Heartbreak Valentine’s” show. The Columbia-based band has been hosting this event for the past seven years. It’s a cocktail of live music and specialty drinks, and the perfect scene to celebrate Valentine’s Day for singles, couples, and rock fans alike. Originally, American Gun’s early songs of love and loss fit the February holiday too easily to pass up; now, while the band’s themes have changed over time, they still keep the tradition and draw people from across Columbia to the yearly show.
Previous Heartbreak Valentine’s showcased roller derby girls serving jello shots and even a kissing booth, but the main attraction is always the music. Todd Mathis of American Gun says the band usually introduces its new songs during this performance to kick off the new year: “Out with the old, in with the new.” The unique venue also offers the band a chance to showcase its rock and roll style to a new audience, since the Art Bar event draws both regular fans and new listeners. In addition to their own performance, American Gun always strives to bring in excellent local talent for its openers, and this year will be no different. This Heartbreak Valentine’s show’s lineup includes Prairie Willows, Zach Seibert, and Youth Model, an eclectic all-local set – from ukuleles to pop/rock – that is sure to rock the house. American Gun will, naturally, close for the event.
The night of heartbreak and killer tunes starts around 9:30 this Saturday, February 15th, at Art Bar on Park Street. The doors open at 8, and it’s recommended you get there early for the best experience.
USC’s Department of Theatre and Dance is always striving to provide unique and challenging performances, and the department’s Lab Theatre – set in the intimate “black box” theatre space on 1400 Wheat St. – has a lineup this fall that is no exception.
This weekend the Lab will be presenting Yellowman. The Dael Orlandersmith play revolves around the romance of Alma and Eugene, two youths who grew up in rural South Carolina. USC undergraduate students Brandon Byrd and Raven Massey will be portraying the lighter-skinned Eugene and the darker-toned Alma, respectively. The characters will, through Orlandersmith’s poetic lines, confront the internalized racism and discrimination in their community and themselves. But these issues are not confined to the performance; Director Patti Walker is sure the play will compel the audience to look inward as well and – in realizing harbored prejudices – enable real change.
The department admits that the simple act of staging a production that requires African American cast and characters is a vitally important step towards giving students representation in the artistic community. Walker also chose to alter the number of cast members in the play, in a conscious effort to give more African American actors opportunities through the Lab production. The originally two person cast now counts in at ten, with eight talented undergrads besides Byrd and Massey who will play characters in the protagonists’ community: Tiffany Failey, John Floyd, Jalissa Fulton, Natasha Kanunaido, Eldren Keys,Jon Whit McClinton, Tiera Smith and Olander Wilson.
Yellowman will open October 10 and run through to Oct 13, showing nightly at 8 pm. Tickets are $5 at the door, and seating is first-come, first-serve, so get there early for the best spots in the house.
This isn’t all the Lab Theatre has to offer this year; on November 22 and 24, students from across campus will be performing original acts created in the time-starved intensity of a play festival. Under the supervision of Robyn Hunt, this unique project will follow in the improvised footsteps of other play festivals, such as Paula Vogel’s creation at Brown University and the Sandbox One-Act Play (SOAP) Festival in Seattle. Within a week before the first performance night, interested students will ‘draw’ or be randomly assigned roles in the performances; actors, directors, stage managers, and playwrights will all be determined by chance. And then the fun begins. Participants will have only a short window of time to create a script, set a scene, and rehearse before finally performing their original shorts for a live audience. After the Friday night performance, they’ll do it again! A host of brand new acts will accompany the second night of the festival, offering audiences two unique nights with new plays by students each night.
Hunt says the goal of the festival is to create “brand new theatre,” to have performances that are completely fresh and different from what theatre-goers have experienced before. Like the festival’s title, whose words all ears took captive, the acts will capture the audience in the excitement of something just invented. Hunt looks forward to seeing students collaborate on the project, which is open to USC students of any major, grad and undergrad.
whose words all ears took captive will also be $5 at the door and is scheduled to start at 8 pm on November 22 and 24. Neither will be a night to miss!
For more information on the Lab's productions or USC's theatre program, visit the Department of Theatre and Dance's website: http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/thea/
-- Joanna Savold, Jasper Intern
A barn turned workshop and toy box, a collection of gliders from the 1940s, a shower mosaic based on Matisse’s The Dance, a seventeen-year-old cat named Mouse. This is the home of South Carolina artists, Lee Malerich and Glenn Saborosch. The two have been together for four years, both of them having grown up in the Midwest before ending up in the Palmetto State. Malerich and Saborosch have an interesting back story since they both went to the same high school, dated temporarily in college, and then went on to live separate lives, marry other people, and have successful art careers before meeting again years later. They found each other through their art; Saborosch, widowed, found an online profile for Malerich, then divorced, and they began a letter correspondence. Months later, they met in person in an art show in Iowa. Both recount with amazement how – even later in life – a second chance at romance turned them into twenty-somethings in love. They got married in Rome in 2009, “and not Rome, Georgia,” Malerich clarifies, laughing. They now live in Neeses, with Saborosch’s son Garrett, their cat Mouse, and a collection of art as dynamic as the couple who created it. Though they share a love for the arts and sweet green tea, their styles, the mediums they use, and the stories behind their art are unique.
For most of Malerich’s artistic career, she has been in textiles. She learned sewing out of necessity when she was young, but loved the process. When she discovered that she could use the beauty in fabrics and thread for more than just clothes – for art – Malerich was hooked. The Midwestern grown artist received two studio art degrees from Northern Illinois University before moving to South Carolina to teach. In NIU she met Renie Breskin Adams, who Malerich says inspired many of her views regarding textiles. Adams, a professor teaching in NIU, had graduated from Indiana University with a group Malerich describes as treating a “stitch as a brushstroke.” Their cloth and thread was their art, not merely their craft, a frustrating limitation often applied to textiles. Malerich also recalls that Adam’s work was “overwhelmingly personal,” a characteristic inherent in Malerich’s textiles as well.
Holding one of her older pieces, Malerich points to one image – a person with cancer scars curled up in a circle – created by the stitching over a background of fabric, saying, “Well, it’s me.” The majority of the images in her textile works are beautiful, intricate representations of herself. However, Malerich says she is moving away from this vulnerability in her art. In fact, she is moving away from her previous style in many ways. Her newer work is not only less vulnerable; it is also fabric-less. Malerich has branched into three-dimensional art alongside Saborosch; her medium, window frames.
Her first ventures into windows are tile mosaics in simple wooden frames, with an amount of detail similar to her textiles. She explains that her prior motto had been to “build in as much detail as possible” before the piece “falls apart,” but now she is more interested in “thinly orchestrated” and simple patterns. Her most recent window frames have empty spaces, pieces of the glass panes leftover without obstructing the view of what’s through the window. The frames are often stacked on top of each other, giving a surprising depth to the thin wooden beams. Attached objects range from metal coils to seashells to painted faces, all materials that incorporate her love of the flea market into her art. Beyond living frugally, her chosen materials help convey meaning in her work; Malerich believes her art should always hold meaning or express an emotion. Ceramic figurines of red cardinals, the Illinois state bird, rest on a window frame piece she is working on now, a tribute to the place where both Malerich and Saborosch were raised.
Like Malerich, Saborosch also discovered his medium at a young age, learning to weld in a high school sculpture class and loving it. He studied for two years at Lindenwood University in St. Charles Missouri, though he says he struggled in school while he excelled in art. After receiving a critique in a show that he focus on one genre, he decided to dedicate his time to sculpture, specifically metal work. Saborosch ended up taking a twenty-year hiatus from sculpting due to family and his work; Saborosch was a truck driver. However, he would not be kept away forever, and had started entering shows again before he and Malerich reunited.
Malerich calls Saborosch’s style “describing masses out of lines.” Steel strips and wire form animals, people, scenes frozen in time. In one sculpture, a ballerina bends her head back, leg lifted, hands crossed in front of her. Saborosch notes how expressive hands are in a sculpture that lacks a face. Another sculpture, a leaping runner, is harder to identify at first glance, but the motion created by a few simple lines of metal is easily apparent.
Recently, though, Saborosch has also found his style changing. His newer pieces are abstract, and his materials now include spare agricultural tools. Rather than plan ahead what shape the pieces will take, as he did with his representative work, Saborosch says he “plays” with the newer pieces, letting them take on a form of their own. He stops “if it starts to look like an animal,” he asserts. He wants the pieces to be abstract. Unlike Malerich, Glen doesn’t set out with a message or emotion in mind. He creates art for the aesthetic of the shape, whether in a steel representation of a leaping horse or an abstract sculpture made from tractor parts.
Both Malerich and Saborosch are quick to add that the materials chosen his more recent works do not have any bearing on the interpretation of the pieces. The repurposed tractor parts aren’t meant to be recognized as repurposed tractor parts; the positive and negative spaces they create are what speak for the piece. His use of thrown out agricultural equipment is perhaps just another way that Malerich’s love of reusing waste has rubbed off on him.
The couple agrees that both their work changed after they got married. Through the changes in their styles, mediums, and personal views on art, Malerich says living together is a of “moving toward the middle.” They celebrate the different art styles and skills each brings to the table. Malerich proudly calls Glen “the real deal” when it comes to artistic talent, while she is the one with more experience and formal training. They help each other through these strengths; Malerich writes Saborosch’s bios and Saborosch helps Malerich if one of her newer projects requires a special tool or heavy lifting. While Malerich does exclaim, “It’s not fair!” regarding needing Saborosch’s help with her own pieces, both artists appreciate living with another artistic mind. Saborosch says it’s nice having someone there to critique one’s work and provide ideas.
When asked if they ever collaborate on projects, there is some minor discussion and laughter. In short, no, they work separately. Saborosch says, “We’re in our own little worlds together,” Malerich adding that their work is like “parallel play.” They feed off of each other – inspiring, advising, learning – without crossing the line into the other’s art pieces. Both of them, however, seem happiest when discussing their significant other’s work. They are quick to praise, describe, and enthuse over the other’s art. Malerich encourages Saborosch to talk about his Cinderella sculpture, a success he takes much pride in. This piece was commissioned by Disney and is currently on display in Disney World in Tokyo, part of a series of “story beats” telling the Cinderella story though different art genres.
However, both artists are finding it difficult to show and sell their newer work. They sell from their home rather than any one established place, and have had some of their newer pieces rejected from art shows. Saborosch says that he may return to figure work to see if that sells better, but both Malerich and Saborosch are not worried about the situation. The couple is retired and don’t need to work to live comfortably. Malerich says coming to a place where you no longer need money is an interesting experience, leading her to question her motives for her art. She wants to continue to create art that makes her happy, regardless of how it is accepted.
Malerich is a part of the group, Cats on a Leash, artists who have been together for over thirty years and show periodically. Beyond that, Malerich and Saborosch will be selling and doing commissions from their Neeses home. She discusses and displays both of their artworks, as well as her love of living “on the cheap,” in her blog “Waste as a Way of Life.”
Malerich may also be showing this fall, though nothing is set in stone yet, in the Pickens County Museum exhibit “Fiber Art: Connecting Concept and Medium,” which will run from September 7 through November 14.
-- Joanna Savold, Jasper intern
On Sunday evening a monstrous display will take place in the Giant Warehouse on Catawba Street. Machine-like props and computer-like performers will take to the floor of the open building, accompanied by original music and video, in an attempt to combine these incongruent pieces and bring life to a new kind of performance. Its creators call it Byte House.
Jon Prichard’s Byte House, an interdisciplinary ensemble performance, draws inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and will examine the ways in which dissimilar parts can be brought together in one being. The performance will have dancers acting like computers as well as seemingly inanimate objects acquiring lives of their own, blurring the line between human and inhuman in this more modern take on the constructed monster. While Prichard has directed some of the routine, the dancers will also be improvising during the performance, though whether they turn into a collective monster or a friendlier creature remains to be seen.
The components of this performance, with its assortment of homemade props, variety of performers, and a mixture of music and sound, make it a worthy Frankenstein creation in and of itself. Prichard’s dance troupe Sinergismo, a Charlotte based performance art group that will also have members in the performance, calls itself “a group of dancers, artists, poets, and musicians using collaboration as a means to produce choreographic works.” All of the talent involved in Byte House is just as diverse. University of South Carolina music professor Greg Stuart wrote the musical overture for the production, 701 Center for Contemporary Arts organized it, and a cast from multiple backgrounds will be presenting it.
The performers who came to the open call auditions certainly didn’t originate in the same body either; they are members of Sinergismo, students in universities and Richland One schools, and professionals from the Columbia community. Samantha Elkins, who will play a role opposite to Prichard on the set, is a theatre teacher at A.C. Flora High School. How else could dancers of such varied backgrounds become one performing group except through the workings of some mad scientist, or in this case Prichard's technology-filled, dance-driven, sunset spectacle, Byte House?
The potentially disproportionate performance will be held Sunday, June 2nd, at 600 Catawba Street, Columbia, SC, in the Giant Warehouse located behind 701 Whaley and next to the Pacific Park baseball field. It starts promptly at 8:00 pm and will last until approximately 9:30. Also, viewing is free, so anyone and everyone are invited to participate in this artistic endeavor to create something wonderfully and horribly alive.
Entire ensemble: Jon Prichard, Samantha Elkins, Patrick Calhoun, Hannibal Davis, Wanda Jewell, Shannon Jones, Nancy Marine, Shirley McGuiness, Rosetta H. Penny, Patrick Rosenfeld, Anna Sykes, Alex Webster, Gretchen Jax, Alex Zsoldos, Amelia Binford, Brittney Prichard, Gene Bledsoe, and Abby Peltier.
by Joanna Savold, Jasper Intern