From Columbia to Camden and Back - Visual Artist Laurie Brownell McIntosh

Laurie Brownell McIntosh   

Laurie Brownell McIntosh


Visual Artist Laurie Brownell McIntosh is one of those artists who is always up to something. By something we mean something that will challenge her; something she will learn and grow from as an artist. Never one to churn out the same old same olds on canvas after canvas, it’s always fascinating to touch base with Laurie and just get her to talk about her work. The listener is sure to learn something.

Jasper caught up with Laurie recently to do just that – hear what’s going on in her world and head and at the end of her brush. Read on to see what we found out.




Laurie: In 2015 my husband and I moved to Camden to begin renovations on a dilapidated, old Queen Victorian we had fallen in love with. For the next year and a half I continued my studio work at Vista Studios but there were many transitions going on there so I began to consider my options in this beautiful, historic town I was calling home. My Dad always said “be where you live” so I took this to heart.  In November 2016, after a great deal of searching, I found a large, fully north lit studio space right in the heart of downtown Camden and opened Northlight Studio.  

Columbia is only 25 minutes from here so I’m in and out of Columbia all the time. I still meet with my critique group, shop at City Art, use my framer in Irmo, visit my pals at Vista Studios and around town, and work on attending as many cultural events as when I lived on Gervais.  Camden is pretty much the same commute from Chapin and Blythwood to the downtown Columbia area, but without all the bumper to bumper traffic. 


Jasper:  You have several projects coming up. We know that you usually move through projects as a way of challenging yourself to become a better artist. What is going on with your latest project?

Laurie: In 2012 I began working on a body of work I called “Pages.” “Pages” was an ongoing series of large, deconstructed paintings created with multiple layers of calligraphic marks and grounds and then reassembled to create new visual relationships between the images. During the transitional summer and fall 2016 - moving into a newly renovated house and then a new studio - I began to feel a strong pull to reintroduce more subjective shapes into my work. Shapes that were representative of objects that are part of the present and shifting world around me. After producing several pieces with this influence I realized the shift was strong enough to warrant the new signature, “Environmental Abstractions,” to identify this body of work. 


Stable as Change  22x30  Acrylic and paper

Stable as Change


Acrylic and paper

In Stable Condition  84” x 60  Acrylic on Canvas

In Stable Condition

84” x 60

Acrylic on Canvas

Another fun thing I’m going to do in the next few weeks is open Northlight Downstairs, a temporary, contemporary gallery, in my space in the heart of Camden. All of my new work will be showing at City Art so I decided I’d try and do something fun with my empty walls in this cool little downtown. I’m such a believer in the strong ties between the arts and economic development so I’m going to put this belief to work. Northlight Downstairs will feature small to medium work from SC artists such as Jan Swanson, Eileen Blyth, Louanne LaRoche, Brucie Holler, Lynn Parrott, Cat Coulter, Lisa Adams, Laurie Isom and more.

It’s well worth the short drive from Columbia to come check this out, as well as Rutledge Street Gallery, the Fine Arts Center, Books on Broad (our truly independent book store,) ....and of course one would need a fresh, salty beverage from Saluds to quench one’s thirst before checking out Camden’s antique and handmade furniture scene. Can you tell how much I love this town? 

Northlight Downstairs will open Saturday, November 25 thru Saturday, December 9, 10 am - 5:30 pm at 607 Rutledge Street, Camden, SC... right across the street from the big clock tower.

There will also be a reception... that looks, acts and taste more like a party... on Sunday, December 3 at 3:00 pm. Also, I will be open later on December 9 for the Annual Tour of homes.


Jasper: How do you feel about the way your aesthetic has responded to these most recent challenges?

Laurie: My abstracted works involve some recognizable objects from my life that is split between South Carolina’s Midlands and the coast —a fishing lure here, a sleeping dog there and what appears to be a piece of horse tack in another—each one is like a remnant of a dream. In these fleeting images I hope to stir memories and emotions, creating more questions than answers for my viewer. Connecting their memories and prompting them to put together what they see into their story. My work is intentionally open to interpretation.


Jasper: And when will the public get to see the results of this project? 

Laurie: On Thursday, November 16, a solo show of "Environmental Abstractions" will open during Vista Lights at City Art on Lincoln Street. The opening reception will be from 5-9 p.m. The Environmental Abstraction show runs through January 27, 2018. City Art is open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


Jasper: Tell us about your workspace out in Camden.

Laurie: In December 2016, I moved my studio into a space by myself in the heart of downtown Camden, SC. After seven wonderful years I hated to leave the community and support of Vista Studios in Columbia, but things were changing there as well, and I wanted more space and less commute. My new studio is a painter’s dream with the exception of the enormous flight of stairs it takes to get up here. Heart pine floors and beams, 12 foot ceilings, brick walls and nine, 7-foot high, north facing windows make up the physical character of this space. It is large enough to work on several large canvases at the same time and keep all my sketches tacked up to study while working. The icing on the cake is it is located directly over Rusty Davis’s guitar shop and studio, where he teaches blues and rock and roll all day long. If you were here right now you would be listening to a hell of blues set going on down there


Northlight Studio

Northlight Studio

Jasper: How would you compare the Camden arts culture to Columbia’s arts culture? Besides you, who else is getting good work done out there?

Laurie: I’ve had my head down in the studio for the past year so I’m not a very good source on this question. What I do know is there is a vibrant cultural community in Camden. The Kershaw County Fine Arts Center is always buzzing with activities in the performing arts. Rutledge Street Gallery carries many national and regional acclaimed contemporary artists. Books on Broad is a real, honest to God, independent book store featuring events and promotions on a regular basis. Camden is home to political cartoonist-Robert Ariail, sculptor-Maria J. Kirby-Smith, Abstract Painter - Patton Blackwell, National columnist-Kathleen Parker and The Buckley School of Public speaking founded by Reed Buckley... just to scratch the surface.




Environmental Abstractions by Laurie McIntosh:

A Holiday Solo Exhibition at City Art Gallery.

November 16, 2017 - January 27, 2018

Opening Reception during Vista Lights, November 16, 5pm-9pm

1224 Lincoln Street. Columbia, SC



Northlight Downstairs

Saturday, November 25 - Saturday, December 9, 10 am - 5:30 pm

607 Rutledge Street, Camden, SC right across the street from the big clock tower.


Holiday reception, that looks, acts and tastes more like a party, on Sunday, December 3 at 3:00 pm



Kershaw County Fine Arts Center

Solo Exhibition Spring 2018

April 12 - May 4, 2018




Tish Lowe exhibition, Claire Bryant & Friends concert in Camden

Two of Jasper's favorite artists, painter Tish Lowe and cellist Claire Bryant, are featured tonight at the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, in downtown Camden.  Lowe, whose work was profiled in the Jasper 003 cover story, will be on hand for a reception from 5:30 to 7:00 PM to kick off her exhibition "Contemporary Classics" in the Bassett Gallery.   From press material:
Letitia "Tish" Lowe is an award-wining American artist whose work is represented in private collections in Europe, Canada and the United States.  Trained at the Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, Lowe specializes in portrait, still life, and figurative oil paintings in classic realist style.
Lowe captured the Chairman's Choice Award for her still life, "The Pram," at the International 2007 ARC Salon, competing with over 1600 entries, and won Best of Show for her "Portrait of a Young Woman" in a citywide competition in Florence, Italy. She took an Award of Merit for her painting "Spanish Bowl" at the 2011 South Carolina State Fair and was recently invited to participate in an exhibition in Leipzig, Germany.

"A classic realist, I seek beauty in all things and paint to help people see and appreciate that beauty," says Tish. "The human  spirit and the natural world inspire my art. I view outward appearances as expressions of the spirit and strive in my paintings to reflect the essence of the subject that makes it unique."



The exhibition will be on display through November 30; details can be found at:

Then at 7 PM, Claire Bryant & Friends will perform with the Danish String Quartet.

In its fourth season, Claire Bryant and Friends is an exciting collaboration between communities, campuses, health care facilities, and arts organizations across the United States and some of New York City's most sought-after professional young artists.  South Carolina native and Artistic Director, Claire Bryant, and fellow alumni from The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute, offer innovative and collaborative community and campus residencies through Chamber Music with the intention of deepening societies' relationship with the arts and music education. These musicians are dedicated to the importance of community connection, through work in the public schools, retirement communities, health-care facilities, departments of disabilities, community centers and other venues that make up the core of our society.

Camden native and cellist Claire Bryant (featured in Jasper 004) is joined by violinist Owen Dalby, both from the newly minted and acclaimed NYC chamber music society, The Declassified.

Friday, October 19th at 7:00 p.m. will be the main-stage event at the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County. Claire and her friends from NYC and Denmark will culminate the week’s residency with a full-length chamber music performance, featuring an all-romantic program from Eastern Europe with works by Ernő Dohnányi, Leoš Janáček, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  Audiences will be transported by the Hungarian folk-styles of Dohnányi’s "Serenade" for string trio, experience passion and pain during Janáček’s “Kreutzer Sonata” for string quartet, and finally, will be enveloped in the Italian sights and sounds of Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s blockbuster for string sextet, "Souvenir de Florence."  Details are at:


The Making and Celebrating of Jasper #3 - What to Expect

When we started planning Jasper #3 we looked at the date the magazine was due and thought -- really? Would anyone really be interested in a new issue of an arts magazine so early in the year -- so close to Christmas? Having increased the size of Jasper #2 by 8 pages we thought that maybe we should ease back for #3 and go back to our original 48 pages. We also thought it would be a good idea to make the issue somewhat literary heavy, given that so many folks would still be in that holiday state of mind in the middle of January, and not much would be going on in the performing or visual arts. So we thought.

It didn't take long for us to realize that there was way too much going on to reduce the pages of the magazine -- in fact, we increased them even more. Jasper #3 will be 16 pages longer than Jasper #1. But the fascinating thing about putting together a magazine that is reflective of the arts community it represents is how organic the whole process is. For example, our choices of cover artist and centerfold artist easily gave way to our choice of venue for the celebration of the release. Our Jasper Reads story led us to our choice for Guest Editorial. An essay written by an esteemed visual artist on how social service can act as a muse for creation directed us to another story on a local theatre troupe that we quickly made room for and wrote. Our story on Columbia's choral arts scene suggested an obvious choice for entertainment at our release event. Things like that.

The other thing that surprised us was just how much would be going on in the performing and visual arts community this early in the calendar year.

This week has been packed already with an abundance of diverse and stimulating art. Tuesday night we had the opportunity to visit Tom Law's Conundrum concert hall and sit in on Jack Beasley's The Weekly Monitor, which hosted Elonzo, Magnetic Flowers, and Henry Thomas's Can't Kids.

Magnetic Flowers blew us away, by the way, and we've listened to their new CD 4 times in the last 24 hours. For more on Magnetic Flowers, read Kyle Petersen's story in Jasper #3. We were also pretty charmed by the raw almost 80s sounding tunes of the Can't Kids. I look forward to hearing what Kyle has to say once he gets a chance to listen to their new CD.

Wednesday night saw us attending the opening reception for Thomas Crouch's new show in the Hallway Gallery at 701 Whaley. We're pretty big Crouch fans already, and it was great to see some of his new work and to meet his mom, duly proud of her boy. Kudos to Lee Ann Kornegay and Tom Chinn for making blank wall space meaningful. We  hope to see more and more businesses do the same. There is no shortage of art to hang on Columbia's walls.

Which brings us to Thursday night -- the celebration of the release of Jasper #3 as well as Night #1 in Columbia Alternacirque's 3-Night Festival of Doom. We hate missing this first night of the only kind of circus we're ever interested in seeing, but we're reassured that there are two more nights of awesomeness we can avail ourselves of AND Ms. Natalie Brown -- the mother of the tribe -- will be visiting us down at the Arcade as soon as she's off the boards at CMFA Thursday night. For more on Natalie Brown, read Cindi's article on her in Jasper #3.

Much like this issue of the magazine our release event scheduled for Thursday night has grown far beyond our initial intentions. Rather than being a quiet evening of acoustic music and intellectual conversation, as we thought it might be, it has turned into a multi-disciplinary arts event.

Here's what to expect:

  • 7 - 7:15 -- a performance from the balcony of the Arcade Building by the Sandlapper Singers (Read Evelyn Morales's piece on them and the rest of the choral arts scene in Jasper #3)
  • 7:15 - 7:30 -- Kershaw County Fine Arts Center will perform three of your favorite songs from the musical Chicago
  • 7:30 - 7:45 -- the NiA Theatre Troupe will perform
  • 7:45 - 8 and throughout the evening, a young acoustic guitarist named David Finney will play classical guitar
  • then, starting about 8 pm rock 'n' roll time, Tom Hall has arranged for the nationally known and esteemed Blue Mountain band featuring Cary Hudson to perform
  • Chris Powell's The Fishing Journal will follow them up (See Jasper #2 for a little ditty on the Fishing Journal)
  • and then, the Mercy Shot, with Thomas Crouch from Jasper #2, will play.
  • In the meantime, Michaela Pilar Brown will be displaying her most recent work in the Arcade lobby, and
  • street artist Cedric Umoja will be demonstrating his work (Read more about Michaela in Jasper #3 as well as Alex Smith's article on Cedric), and
  • all the galleries of the Arcade Mall will be open -- including those of our Cover artist and Centerfold!
  • Throughout the evening we'll have the return of our famous EconoBar with cheap beer, decent wine, and big spender craft brew at $2, $2, and $4 respectively, and
  • a nice little cheese spread courtesy of our friend Kristian Niemi and Rosso, as well as
  • a sampling of delicious roasted coffees from SC's own Cashua Coffee, and
  • the Krewe de Columbia-ya-ya will be on hand to school us all on the importance of parades, beads, beer, and dogs.
  • And, of course, there will be the release of Jasper #3.

Not a bad night for free, huh?

Please join us in the historic Arcade building on Main and Washington Streets, Thursday night, January 12th from 7 until 11 pm as we celebrate the art that makes us all get up in the mornings. The afterparty is at the Whig. We hope to see you both places.

Thank you for your support, Columbia.

-- Your Friends at Jasper