Five Days Out from an Experiment on You.

Jay 2014 graphic  

At Jasper, we're five days away from an experiment we hope you'll help make successful.

When we started Jasper over three years ago, we set the policy that we would always celebrate the release of a new magazine with a large, free, multi-arts party that usually includes a variety of performances.  We've had concerts from both new and established rock 'n' roll bands, films, readings, opera singers singing from the balcony, gallery exhibits, excerpts from local theatre -- you name it, we've either done it or it's in our plans to do. The point was twofold: to bring artists and arts lovers from various disciplines together to help foster community and collaboration, and simply to celebrate the fact that another issue of Jasper was coming out when we said it would, like we said it would.

By now I hope we've earned your trust and that you look forward to these celebrations as much as we do.

As most readers know, Jasper is a labor of love and only made possible because more than 20 artists of various disciplines go home after their day jobs, and work to plan, write, photograph, and design this magazine by the midnight oil. Like all artists who go home from offices and commercial endeavors to their studios and stages, their guitars and cameras and pads of paper to the work that makes life a little more meaningful, we don't have to do this. We do it because we want to.

This will be the 20th time we've done this, in fact. And we want you to help us celebrate it.

Join us this Friday night, November 21st, as we announce and celebrate our third class of Jasper Artists of the Year (JAYs) in dance, theatre, music, and literary and visual arts, and celebrate the publication of the 20th issue of Jasper Magazine.  We wanted to do something special to mark this occasion, and start a tradition of honoring the artists of the year, so we decided a gala or party of sorts was in order. Not one of those parties though in which no working artist could afford to attend. We asked around and found out that $25 for an evening of entertainment complete with delicious snacks from one of the best caterers in town and an open bar of wine and beer seemed like a good and fair deal. We asked Vicky Saye Henderson to help us with the entertainment, along with Terrance Henderson who will serve as our emcee. Richard Durlach and Breedlove will be on hand both to dance, demonstrate and be honored. The illustrious Scott Hall agreed to grace us with his culinary skills. And we're putting together a bar that we hope you'll be talking about for days.

Our research question is this:  Will members of the Columbia arts community come out once a year and pay for entrance to an event they usually come to for free as a way of showing support to Jasper and honoring our 2014 Jasper Artists of the Year?

We hope you'll make our experiment a success by answering Yes and clicking here.

~~~~~

Seven Things You May Not Know about

Jasper Magazine

1.  In its 4th year of publication Jasper Magazine has provided unmatched coverage of the greater Columbia arts community, and has inspired collaboration and growth both between and within artistic communities including dance, film, literary arts, music, theatre, and the visual arts.

2. Jasper has covered more than 1000 artists in its pages and hundreds more in its daily blog What Jasper Said.

3. Jasper Magazine is distributed for free in almost 100 locations throughout Columbia, as well as in select locations throughout South Carolina, is available online in its entirety, and in every branch of the Richland Library system.

 

4. Via its highly active website and dynamic blog, Jasper endeavors to bring Columbia arts news and opportunities into readers’ homes on a daily basis.

5. In June 2014, Jasper collaborated with the University of South Carolina Press, Richland Library, and One Columbia for Arts and History to launch to critical acclaim the newest literary journal in the southeast, Fall Lines – a literary convergence.

 

6. In May, 2014 Jasper editor Cindi Boiter was awarded the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts for her work with Jasper Magazine.

7. As a no-profit labor-of-love, Jasper eschews advertorial financial support in favor of artistic integrity, relying solely on advertising dollars, reader support, and the kindness of members of the Columbia arts community at large.

Jasper would like to thank our sponsors for the

2014 JAY Awards ~ Big Apple Swing

City Art

Burt Pardue and Site-Image Website Design

HoPF

Jodi and Jeff Salter

Wade Sellers and Coal Powered Filmworks

Billy Guess

Pura

anonymous

Kristian Niemi and Bourbon

Krewe De Columbi-Ya-Ya Kaptains Tom Hall and Kristian Niemi on parades, the blues and beheadings

 

With Mardi Gras Columbia a mere 2 days away, Kristian Niemi can barely contain his excitement.

“The parade! The bands! The food! The drunken shenanigans!” said Niemi. “Dress for the occasion—the crazier the better!”

Niemi, along with Tom Hall, Emile Defelice and Eric McClam, are the original “Kaptains” of the Krewe De Columbi-Ya-Ya, who organized Mardi Gras Columbia parades and festival the past two years. This will be the third annual Mardi Gras Columbia organized by the Krewe.

The first Mardi Gras Columbia, raised money for Wil-Moore Farms after a fire destroyed their barn. Organized in 3 weeks, the 2011 Mardi Gras Columbia managed to raise $2500. Last year’s Mardi Gras Columbia had an even bigger turnout, attracting over 4,000 people and raising money for the Animal Mission of the Midlands.

This year, the Krewe de Columbi-Ya-Ya will again raise funds for the Animal Mission through a pet parade.

“Fortunately, no local farmers have had losses,” said Tom Hall. “Also, an animal parade is fun.”

“We're all animal lovers and we like the idea of people dressing their dogs up for the parade,” said Niemi. “Soni [Jim Sonefeld, president of Animal Mission] is a good friend and they needed another fund-raising avenue, so it was a natural fit.”

Registration for the pet parade, which costs $5, begins at 10 a.m. at City Roots. Pet owners walking in the pet parade are encouraged to dress up their pets in the best Mardi Gras attire. Prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed pups.

The pet parade will be led by King Bud Ferillo and Danielle Howle, as well as Grand Marshall Larry Hembree, managing director of the Trustus Theater.

Hall said he is “looking forward to the coronation of the new King and Queen during the parade, which will be presided over by Drink Small. Born in Bishopville, S.C., “Blues Doctor” Drink Small has sung dirty blues and gospel music for nearly 6 decades. Drink Small will also perform live during the festival.

Last week, King Bud Ferillo jokingly called for Hall’s decapitation should he fail to deliver during his musical performance with the Plowboys. Hall responded to His Majesty’s threat:

“I cannot let down the King, so if I don’t kick ass, I deserve beheading. I hope my kids aren’t there then.”

 

Krewe de Columbi-Ya-Ya - "What we lacked in organization we made up for in sheer audacity ..."

 

 

_____

 

I can't begin to tell you how much fun we had last year, but maybe the photo above will help you understand.

Yes, that's me, chief instigator at Jasper Magazine on the far right, and to your left you see the be-stogied Kyle Petersen, grad student and USC English instructor as well as music editor for the magazine who, in lieu of a drum is appropriately banging on an empty panettone tin with relish. Continuing left and behind Kyle is Ed Madden, literary arts editor of Jasper, poet and one of USC's most beloved professors. Further left is Bob Jolley, aka the Beer Doc, Muddy Ford Press publisher, ER physician, and general founder of the feast out in our neck of the woods and, beside him, our eldest, Annie, grad student, USC instructor, political junkie, and newly the queen of distribution for Jasper Magazine. (Had she not been dancing out in Seattle, our youngest Bonnie, would most assuredly been in this photo as well.) In keeping with the family affair, my sister-in-arms, Kristine Hartvigsen, associate editor of Jasper, photographer, and the voice of experience around here, is pictured below arm-in-arm with the boy we wish were our little brother, local artist Michael Krajewski. And below that, Ed is pictured with his beloved, Bert Easter, antiques-meister and an integral part of university students' first year experience.

 

 

The day started early at City Roots Farm as we rolled up to a small but growing crowd of friends and soon-to-be friends dressed in their finest purples, greens, and golds with assorted costumes that ranged from a crawfish to a local artist who had fashioned a boa from discarded plastic grocery store bags.

What we lacked in organization we made up for in sheer audacity, and before we knew it, we were parading down Rosewood Boulevard to the beat of the Next Door Drummers. We lit our stogies and passed our flasks of the finest adult beverages. We sang, we chanted, we threw beads to shocked but delighted onlookers. In the vernacular of the 1960s we seriously let it all hang out. Returning to our starting point at the farm, we feasted and drank and listened to good music as the night wore on.

All this happened as a result of a few weeks preparation.

Well, folks, we've been working on Mardi Gras 2012 for a year now and, Sisters and Brothers, this year we are blowing it out of the water!

With close to 20 bands on board already,  a food truck rodeo, a much larger marching contingency that includes some of your favorite local artists and Columbia's own Alternacirque and more, the addition of a canine parade as well, this year's Mardi Gras Festival hosted by the Krewe-de-Columbi-ya-ya is sure to go down in history.

So this I posit to you: If you are reading this blog you are either a lover of the arts and Columbia's arts community or you are a friend of this magazine. Either way, you are a perfect candidate to attend this year's festivities either as a reveler, as one of the smart folks who grabs one of the last spaces to become a member of the original and hosting krewe, the Krewe de Columbi-Ya-ya, or by starting a krewe of your own!

And starting your own krewe is decidedly easy-breezy -- we have very few rules & all we ask for is $50 to offset parade costs and that you have at least 10 folks in your krewe. 

Are you listening folks at The Whig, Trustus, Art Bar, Tapp's Arts Center, Town Theatre, Workshop Theatre, The Betty Page Turners, Jam Room, Hunter Gatherer, 701 CCA, and every freaking department or program at any of Columbia's universities? What better way to bond and let off steam and show your city spirit than by representing yourselves proud and loud at Mardi Gras?

We roll on Saturday, February 18th and this year our theme is "Going to the Dogs" which means we also have a canine contingency in our walking parade. You can register and walk your pup in the parade and we'll donate the $5 registration fee to  The Animal Mission. Other proceeds will go to benefit Doku Farms.

Come on out, Friends and Neighbors -- we're growing large and one of these days you'll be so happy to look back at the beginnings of what is sure to be a great Columbia tradition and know that you were a part of the start of it all.

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler, Columbi-Ya-Ya!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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