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




Jasper Goes to the Library - Tuesday with Laurie McIntosh!

Laurie  Starting in December at the Richland Library and six of its branches, don’t be surprised to smell turpentine in the circulation department or hear singing in the stacks because Jasper is going to the library!

Jasper Goes to the Library is a new outreach program presented in a partnership between Jasper Magazine and Richland Library. Once a month for six months and at six different library branches, artists from six different arts disciplines will present an hour long program of performance and demonstration.  Disciplines include dance, theatre, the literary arts, music, visual arts, and film.

It was a brainstorm that originated with Heather Green, manager of Richland Library Wheatley. “I had really begun thinking about how Richland Library could partner with our community artists to have the biggest impact on our community,” Green says.  “Although we are considered a metropolitan area, many of our residents do not have access and exposure to the many arts resources we have right here in Columbia. I decided to contact (Jasper editor) Cindi Boiter to get the ball rolling on a Richland Library/Jasper partnership. My initial ideas were small – that Jasper could come to Richland Library Wheatley, which is my location, and present something arts related. Cindi blew my small ideas wide open suggesting that Jasper and the Library collaborate for a series of presentations – from performing arts to visual arts. So in one afternoon meeting, my little idea grew into a wonderful partnership.”


Local visual artist Tim Floyd is also one of the six selected artists and arts groups to participate in the inaugural program and is scheduled to present and demonstrate on January 7th  in 2014 at the Ballentine branch of Richland Library. For Floyd, who will be talking about creative solutions and demonstrating how to make an encaustic painting, it makes perfect sense for an arts magazine like Jasper to design a series of arts events which will allow working artists to share their talents with their community in free and public spaces.  “Libraries are the knowledge hub of a community. Showing original art and process is important for the encouragement of others,” Floyd says. “Maybe one person will get a spark and go out and create something.”


The programs will all take place on the first Tuesday of the month starting on December 3rd  with visual artist and writer Laurie McIntosh who will be talking about and reading from her art book, All the In Between – My Story of Agnes, at the Wheatley Branch. McIntosh’s book is an annotated catalogue of an art series she completed commemorating the life and death of her mother. Other presenters include the musical duo of Todd Mathis (guitar) and Cully Salehi (viola) who will perform at the North Main Branch on February 4th, films from The 2013 2nd Act Film Festival presented by Jasper Magazine on March 4th at Richland Library Northeast, Columbia City Ballet Company on April 1st at the Southeast branch, and the South Carolina Shakespeare Company on May 6th at the Cooper branch.


“Columbia has so many wonderful resources. We should all be partnering more to maximize our message that all residents/communities deserve to have quality education and information—no matter their socioeconomic standing,” says Green. “I am so excited that Richland Library and Jasper are partnering up to further promote the arts in Columbia. Six months of Jasper artists in our libraries? That sounds pretty awesome to me!”  






Schedule for Muddy Ford Press at the SC Book Festival

MFP final logo

Muddy Ford Press

at the

SC Book Festival



Saturday, May 18th


11 – 12:30 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Don McCallister will be signing Fellow Traveler

11:20 – 12:10 in Lexington Meeting Room A

Cindi Boiter will sit on the USC Press Panel for State of the Heart with Aida Rogers, Pat Conroy, Ken Burger, Billy Deal, and Sandra Johnson. Signing will follow.

2:30 – 4 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Alejandro Garcia Lemos and Cindi Boiter will be signing Red Social:  Portraits of Collaboration


4:10 – 5 in Lexington Meeting Room B

Don McCallister, Janna McMahan, Aida Rogers, and Kristine Hartvigsen will present a panel on The Limelight – Highlighting Columbia’s Artist Community, moderated by Cindi Boiter. Signing will follow – all Limelight contributors are invited to join the panel for signing following the presentation


Sunday, May 19th


12 – 2 Muddy Ford Press Booth #16

Kristine Hartvigsen will be signing To the Wren Nesting


1:15 – 2:05 in Lexington Meeting Room B

Cindi Boiter will sit on a panel for Collections of the South:  Anthologies Celebrating Writers in Community with Curtis Worthington and Brian Carpenter

2 – 3:30 Muddy Ford Press Booth #416

Laurie Brownell McIntosh will be signing All the In Between:  My Story of Agnes

2:20 – 3:10 in Lexington Meeting Room A

Cindi Boiter will sit on a panel on Short Stories with Cliff Graubart, Stephanie Powell Watts, moderated by Michelle Maitland





Announcing the Jasper Salon Series

In our ongoing mission to help lodge the various arts disciplines, their theories and histories and ways of understanding them, just a little deeper into the hearts of everyone in the greater SC Midlands, Jasper is pleased to announce our new project -- The Jasper Salon Series.

The Jasper Salon Series will consist of a series of intimate gatherings of artists and arts lovers who want to learn more about the arts and experience the arts, both visual and performing, in a manner that offers even greater engagement between artist and patron, and artist and artist. We'll be offering everything from lectures and demonstrations to exhibitions, readings, and performances. And always -- ALWAYS -- the opportunity for discussion because, at Jasper, we fully believe that it is through civil and enlightening discourse that we best practice the art of humanity.

Most events in the Jasper Salon Series will be held either upstairs in the Jasper Studios at the Arcade at 1332 Main street, or downstairs in the common Arcade area. Sometimes attending the events will require a modest ticket price, but most times, the events will be free. (Although Jasper may operate our Econobar in an effort to defray costs and rental fees -- and we always welcome your kind donations via the Jasper Guild..)

Take a look at what we have coming up in the Jasper Salon Series between now and Christmas.



Jasper Salon Series Calendar

Thursday, October 18th 7 pm – Dracula: Behind the Magic with Columbia City Ballet -- join us as we learn about behind the scenes special effects of CCB's Dracula - Ballet with a Bite, including make-up, music, flying bats, splattering blood, and more -- with William Starrett, Robert Michalski, Lauren Michalski, and other surprise guests. Free.

Wednesday, October 24th 7 pm – Local visual artist and author Laurie Brownell McIntosh comes to the Jasper Studios at the Arcade to talk about her new exhibit and art book, All the In Between, (releasing from Muddy Ford Press on October 19th at Vista Studios 80808, with a reading and signing on Sunday, October 21st, also at Vista Studios.) Free.

(Thursday, November 1st 7 pm – Book Launch, Fellow Traveler by Don McCallister -- this is not a part of the Jasper Salon Series, but we're sneaking the news in here so you'll be sure to put it on your calendars.  Join the staff of Jasper, the Artists of the Arcade Studios, and local author Don McCallister as we celebrate the launch of his newest novel, Fellow Traveler, published by Muddy Ford Press.) Free.

Wednesday, November 7th 7 pm – Reading, Don McCallister (see above) reads from Fellow Traveler and discusses his process and what inspired his story concept. Free.

Thursday November 29th 7 pmHow to Watch the Nutcracker with Columbia City Ballet -- learn about the story of the Nutcracker, how it was adapted to become a ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petipa, as well as some basic terminology and ballet movements and positions that will help you become a more engaged audience member and make the ballet experience more meaningful for you. With William Starrett and Pat Miller. Free.

Thursday December 6th 5 – 7 pm – Beer Tasting:  Christmas Brews – Start your First Thursday off with a tasting of holiday beers. Dr. Bob Jolley (aka the Bier Doc) will assemble a generous variety of Christmas beers for your drinking pleasure and talk about the art of brewing and what makes a holiday brew a holiday brew. Paid registration will be required for this event which will be limited to 25 attendees who will each take home a limited editorion Jasper pint glass.  

Wednesday December 13th 7 pm – this event is currently being confirmed.


Who and What do you want to know more about?

 What do you think would lend itself well to an intimate discussion by a group of people who want to know more about the art that surrounds them?

We'd love to hear your ideas for the Jasper Salon Series events.

Send them to or respond below.