Supper Table Spotlight: Lee Ann Kornegay and Jordan Mullen Honor Eartha Kitt and Mary McLeod Bethune

We’re featuring the artists from the Supper Table project throughout the summer. This is the 11th in our series on Supper Table Artists

Filmmaker Lee Ann Kornegay

Filmmaker Lee Ann Kornegay

Both Lee Ann Kornegay and Jordan Mullen have special roles in the Supper Table as they are 2 of 12 filmmakers who are making 60-90 second short films on one of the 12 honored women at the table. Both artists have and continue to offer their skills to the project in additional ways.

Kornegay is our official project filmmaker and, as such, she has attended almost every project meeting and event to record the activity associated with the creation of the Supper Table. Kornegay has gone to the artists’ homes to record them while they created their place-settings, and will create a feature length film on the Supper Table demonstrating the process behind the project from inception to realization.

Mullen is our Kickstarter filmmaker. The main video on our Kickstarter was designed, filmed, and edited by Mullen, who continues to help us film and photograph additional Supper Table events.

Filmmaker Jorden Mullen

Filmmaker Jorden Mullen

Jordan Mullen is a recent Media Arts graduate from the University of South Carolina and has an Art Degree from White Knoll High School. She is known around the city for her remarkable work with animation having won Best in Show for her experimental film, “There’s A Monster In My House”.  

Mullen is using her unique animation style to create a film honoring Mary McLeod Bethune. Bethune was an American educator and civil rights activist best known for developing Bethune-Cookman University and co-founding UNCF. She was a national adviser to president Franklin D. Roosevelt who referred to her as "The First Lady of The Struggle" because of her fight for the African American community.


Lee Ann Kornegay also graduated from the University of South Carolina with a media arts degree and started working immediately as Broadcast Production Manager for Chernoff/Silver and Associates. In 2000, she took a chance and left this successful career to create L.A. Kornegay, Media Productions, pursuing a life-long goal to direct, shoot, and edit documentaries. Kornegay has won numerous national and local awards including Best Documentary at the Colossal Film Crawl for her film Boloba. This film, as well as many of Kornegay’s other documentaries, have aired on SCETV. Since 2008, she has served as Marketing/Public Relations Director for 701 Whaley.

Kornegay is creating a film on the powerhouse South Carolinian Eartha Kitt. She has recently been conducting research by traveling to Kitt’s hometown (near North, SC) and exploring it for herself. Kitt was a singer, actress, and dancer known for her still loved Christmas song "Santa Baby" and her role as Catwoman in Adam West’s Batman. Kitt was also a social activist who was never afraid to speak her mind and stand up for anyone who she felt was discriminated against, even if it meant taking putting herself in harm’s way.

Kornegay and Mullen’s films will premiere in September, but right now our Kickstarter has a limited opportunity to become a Film Sponsor. As Film Sponsor, you will be listed as the exclusive producer for the film of your choice. For only $300, you get this plus two tickets to our Harbison installation & show as well as a dedication to the SC woman of your choice to be included in the book, Setting the Supper Table..


These premiums are not only going fast – Kitt’s film has been sponsored while Bethune’s film is available – but the Kickstarter has less than 24 hours before it closes out.


To sponsor Mullen’s film on Bethune or one of the other 8 available films, click on the following link no later than noon tomorros (Wednesday, July 31st) Jasperproject/the-supper-table?ref=user_menu

Supper Table 1x.png

Meet the 2nd Act Filmmakers - pt. 2

2nd act multiple cams We're taking the time leading up to the debut of Jasper's first ever film festival to introduce you to our filmmakers and let you in on a few of the behind the scenes machinations that go into putting on a film festival.

We've had a ball, but it hasn't all been easy.

We started out with 30 potential filmmakers who were interested in being a part of the festival. We gave them all specific instructions on what they should send us to let us -- and our jurors -- know they were ready to participate in a festival of the caliber we were hoping to create.  We were overwhelmed by the applicants! Luckily, we brought in some big guns to make the very difficult decisions of who to invite to participate -- Lee Ann Kornegay, Simon Tarr, Bradley Powell, Caletta Baily, and Janell Rohan.

Film editor and festival director Wade Sellers and I were so happy to have these guys in the studio so that we didn't have to make the cuts. It was a long and (sometimes) tense Saturday afternoon. But when the work was done and the finalists were all accounted for, we knew we had a special group.

Meet two more of our awesome filmmakers below.


Michael McClendon



We hope you're as excited as we are about this new young group of independent filmmakers who call Columbia, SC their home. There's some extremely impressive talent here.

Please help Jasper support these filmmakers and the growth of their community by joining us on our Kickstarter campaign. There are some pretty nifty prizes available -- including reserved seats at the festival.

2nd act kickstarter

Move to Kickstarter by clicking here. Thanks!


Journey to Japan -- Part I in a Series of Guest Blogs by Columbia Filmmaker Wade Sellers

Jasper loves it when the work of local artists takes them away from Columbia--as long as they come back home and are generous enough to share their adventures with us while we're waiting on them.

Local filmmaker Wade Sellers' newest project has taken him to Japan where he'll be working for the next ten days. Lucky for us, Wade has agreed to post a series of blogs detailing his journey and his work while away. Below, you'll find an introduction which will help you frame the parameters of Wade's project, as well as the first two installments in this series of posts.

We're looking forward to traveling vicariously via Wade and hope you'll visit with us regularly so you don't miss a minute of his journey.


Introduction to the Project

Three years ago I was approached by Jeff Wilkinson, reporter for The State newspaper, about video taping a couple of interviews with World War II veterans from South Carolina. Two other Columbia based independent filmmakers, Lee Ann Kornegay and Heidi Lanni, had helped Jeff with a few interviews at that point and neither was available for a taping in Greenville.

The project had been resurrected by Elaine Freeman, then Executive Director of the ETV Endowment of South Carolina, and John Rainey. At that time there were no plans of what to do with the footage. John stated "our mandate should be to interview as many of these men as we can before they leave us."

To date we have interviewed 157 veterans from South Carolina. We had plans for a one hour show. After that hour aired we made a commitment for two more. After the second aired a total of seven hours was requested.

Every once in a while we run across a veteran we dub a "rock star". He or she has a story so incredible that you can only think it would exist in a movie. Moffat Burriss was the first. He is from Chapin, and was portrayed by Robert Redford in the film A Bridge Too Far. We followed Moffatt back to Holland on his 90th birthday to celebrate the 65th anniversary of his company's capture of the bridge at Nijmegen.

Charles Murray was our second rock star. He received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions at Kaysersberg, France. We followed him as he traveled back to Kaysersberg and Berchtesgaden, Germany along with fellow members of the 3rd Infantry Division, to be honored by those respective cities.

From this footage, two half-hour biography shows were created entitled Man and Moment. One focused on Charles Murray and the other on Moffatt Burriss. During the time that we traveled to Europe, following these heroes back to their battlefields, we had been asking a third gentleman if he would like to return to the site of his greatest battle. That gentleman was Ted Bell.

Ted Bell lives in Columbia. He is 93 and prefers a quiet life with his wife. He doesn't like to be recognized for his service. He was a company commander on Okinawa and commanded a daring night raid on Ishimi Ridge. Leading 225 men, his company engaged Japanese soldiers for three days. In the end, they secured the ridge. He returned to his base with only 25 men from his company surviving the fight.

For the next ten days we are following Mr. Bell, and his son Teddy, back to the site of this battle. This will be his first time returning to Japan since he left in 1944.


Journey to Japan, Part I

I have been making my living as a filmmaker for many years. My work stretches from documentary to commercial work. The one consistent feeling I always have, when a project is completed and viewed, is the sense of amazement that the idea that seemed so simple in the beginning has been completed. When the film is first screened, I also feel nauseous. This is always from nerves. The realization that an idea that has grown to be very personal through many months of living with it is about to be seen by others.

With these posts I want to share my experiences as I go through a crucial period of production on a current project.

I have been involved, as director and editor, on a documentary series entitled South Carolinians in World War II. As an extension of this series we have produced two half hour programs titled Man and Moment. These shows focus on veterans with extraordinary stories during their service in World War II. As part of the first two shows we followed two veterans of World War II back to the areas of their greatest achievements in Europe. To complete the series we asked Ted Bell, a veteran of the Pacific, to return to the site of his greatest battle--Okinawa, Japan.

After two years of asking, he finally agreed.

We approach the Man and Moment shows very honestly. We never start with a script. Footage is captured, an outline is created and the story of their life and service is shaped based around the one critical moment of their service during WWII. With the first two shows, the veterans were returning to Europe as part of an invitation. Ted's return to Okinawa is different. We asked him to go back. We simply want to follow Ted, and his son, as he travels back to Okinawa for the first time since he fought a courageous and heart-breaking battle--the last he would fight during World War II.

Hopefully these posts will give an insight into some behind the scenes moments during production of a documentary piece. MW.



Production-Day 1

The “sun came out and all I could see around me were dead bodies.” -- Ted Bell

We flew to Los Angeles from Charlotte last night. After an hour and half plane delay and waiting a bit for the baggage, we got into our hotel at 12:30am (3:30am back home). Sunday was originally planned to be a day of rest for Ted before a fourteen hour plane ride to Okinawa.

A quick production note--we began planning for this trip six weeks ago. With all of the logistics involved in coordinating with the Bell's, the US Army in Okinawa, and requesting shooting permits around the island of Okinawa, this was not the optimal amount of time. So, when during the pre-production process we came in contact with an enlisted man named Joe Casillas, who served under Ted Bell at Okinawa and who happened to live just north of Los Angeles, our day off became a great opportunity to reunite these two men.

Ted Bell had never personally met Joe Casillas. Ted was Joe's commanding officer. He had probably seen his face, but doesn't remember him from Okinawa. Joe contacted Ted a number of years ago in an effort to reconnect with living members of the 77th Infantry Division. Joe and Ted are the only known living members of the 77th Infantry that fought at Okinawa.

We organized a reunion for the two men. Joe arrived at our hotel, with many members of his family, and the two began immediately talking about the war. We captured all of this on video.  After an hour or so of introductions we brought Joe back to our suite to interview him about his experiences during the war. His story was one of an enlisted man, a replacement, who was introduced to one of the most brutal battles on Okinawa. From a filmmaking perspective there is always a point when we know someone has “made the movie”. Joe's was when he explained how after three days of intense fighting the “sun came out and all I could see around me were dead bodies.” This is what we have to look for. We interview these men to help us paint the picture.

Tomorrow morning we hop on a Nippon Airlines flight bound for Okinawa.


(Wade Sellers is an independent filmmaker and commercial producer living in Columbia, SC. He owns and operates Coal Powered Filmworks, an independent film production company.)

Bullets & Bandaids: Behind the Eyes of Combat War Veterans

On January 31, 2012, local artists will showcase works inspired by combat veterans’ stories at Bullets & Bandaids, an art show honoring local war veterans, from 6 – 10 p.m. at 701 Whaley in downtown Columbia, SC.

Robert LeHeup, PIENSA: Art Company’s resident writer and a combat war veteran himself, organized this art show to give audience members an introspective view on the impacts of war told through visual interpretations of the stories of those who have lived them.

Bullets & Bandaids will feature a collection of war veterans’ stories depicted by local Columbia artists including Robbi Amick, Alex Coco, Thomas Crouch, Michael Krajewki, Whitney Lejeune, Dre Lopez, Sammy Lopez, Nikoai Oskolkov, Adam Schrimmer, Jonathan Sharpe and Kiril Simin.

“My hope is that these talented artistic pieces will give a unique and intricate interpretation of the experiences of our veterans and how they’ve reacted to those experiences,” said LeHeup.

Films screening at Bullets & Bandaids include: Soldier Girl: South Carolina Female Veterans, a short documentary about women veterans dating back to WW II, a largely undocumented but ever expanding segment of our military population share stories of their trials and triumphs, hopes and dreams in provocative and inspiring interviews, produced by Cathy Brookshire and edited by Lee Ann Kornegay; and Spent Rounds, a short film about the internal struggle of a combat war veteran suffering from PTSD entering back into civilization, written and directed by Robert LeHeup. Also, there will be the music video "Quiet" which deals with a vet's struggle with PTSD, done by Atlanta-based recording artist Dirty Dickens who himself is an Iraq war veteran.

Ticket sales and 30 percent of art sales will be given to Hidden Wounds, a non-profit organization dedicated to the treatment of combat veterans who suffer from PTSD. Hidden Wounds was founded by Columbia native Anna Bigham in honor of her brother, Marine Lance Cpl. Mills Palmer Bigham, who committed suicide suffering from PTSD inflicted by war trauma. Marince Lance Cpl. Bigham’s story is featured in Bullets & Bandaids.

Admission for Bullets & Bandaids is $5 for entry; $10 for entry and a copy of Spent Rounds; or $20 for entry, a copy of Spent Rounds, and a Hidden Wounds T-shirt.

The event will be held on the first floor of 701 Whaley on 701 Whaley St. in downtown Columbia, SC. For inquiries contact Robert LeHeup by calling (864) 216-1492 or via email at

Bullets & Bandaids is brought to you by PIENSA: Art Company in partnership with 701 Whaley, Hidden Wounds, the local veterans who have shared their stories and the local artists who have honored those stories through their respective pieces.



Wikipedia: lay definition: to beat or strike down with force.

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


The Art of Africa tonight and "First Weekends?"

So many wonderful arts events are going on in the city of Columbia tonight. Has it occurred to anyone else  that First Thursday may be outgrowing the 3 or 4 hours it's been allocated on Thursday nights? Could there possibly be a First Friday, as well? Or maybe even a First Weekend? Some of us who love our First Thursdays were chatting yesterday and the subject came up. With the arts community as buzzing as it is these days, it's not an exaggeration to speculate that Columbia may be on the way to becoming a Southeastern arts destination. Certainly, the introduction of a First Weekend Series could make that happen. Start on Thursday as usual, but continue with gallery hours -- even openings -- and performances on Friday night, Saturday afternoon panel discussions and symposia, Saturday evening soirees, Sunday morning choral performances over brunch? If not every month, then what about seasonally?

Let's talk about this, OK?

In the meantime, one of the exciting events scheduled for tonight is a multi-disciplinary arts endeavor at Anastasia & Friends Gallery on Main Street called, The Art of Africa. In addition to the visual arts in Anastasia's gallery, videographer Lee Ann Kornegay will show images from her various trips to Africa on a constant loop while the Next Door Drummers perform outside.

Can you say, "Sensory Explosion?"

We could talk more about the event but A & F provided Jasper with a lovely and informative press release. Let's just take a look at it below, shall we?


What do Anastasia Chernoff and Lee Ann Kornegay have in common when it comes to Africa?

Inspiration and a love of the culture, people and art.

Together with visual artists Rodgers Boykin, Michaela Pilar Brown, Wendell Brown, Tyrone Geter, Arianne Comer King, and Keith Tolen.

And performances by Abou Sylla, Next Door Drummers, and Sufia Giza Amenwashu.

Art that comes from Africa, is created by artists with African roots and that has been inspired by Africa. The exhibition will be a combination of paintings, sculpture, film, music, mixed media and textiles.

An explosion of color, texture and emotions, The Art of Africa brings connection to the culture and gives a perspective from many sides.

“My trip to Botswana, South Africa and Robben Island in 2005 changed my life.” says Anastasia.  “I was overwhelmed by the warmth of the people and their respectful co-existence with the animals and nature surrounding them.  When my guide spoke to me about the trials of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, my heart was stung with an even deeper love for these beautiful, forgiving people. I thought to myself, if only the world could subscribe to this policy of understanding and be able to live in harmony WITH each other and not AGAINST each other … how would that look? And to be able to fully understand the importance/impact of forgiveness, not just for others, but for self, too?  For me, it was a thunderbolt of enlightenment from these simple, yet wise people who lived in the bush. The inspiration was so empowering, that I immediately began to sculpt (for the first time in my life) when I returned home.  This show honors that initial influence.”


Kornegay, traveled to Guinea in 2000 & 2002 to study and film the cultural arts and between 2003 and 2005 went to Ivory Coast and Nigeria on work assignments. “I wept the first time I flew in over Africa.  It was a powerful feeling, a visceral reaction. My trips to Guinea put me in the company of some the best West African musicians and dancers of our time.  I was and still am humbled by that.

One of those musicians, Abou Sylla, master balafonist and Jeli will be performing at The Art of Africa.  A singer, storyteller and doyen, Abou is a treat for the ears.


Wendell Brown, a fiber artist feels family history “forced me as an artist to use my work as a platform to look at the acculturation of African slaves in the United States. What survived of African culture in America?  What is it today? “

In search for answers, I looked at the Congo, Nail Fetish Sculptures (nkisi nkondi), and the masks of West, and Central African. Studying these objects revealed to me the stitch that united the African Art forms with African American quilts. “


Arianne Comer King indigo artist says:


“It took going to Oshogbo to lock in my pathway

I am an indigo child

Osun Ronke

A Native Daughter

I celebrate my blessing

a messenger through the magnificent world of creating

Looking at waters, beautiful southern skies and ancient trees

I humbly yet joyously live to create through all the senses

All the elements of the arts

No limitations

Just be

A vessel of exploration

Ashe Gon!”


Jasper Magazine – the Word on Columbia Arts debuts in print in

Two Weeks!

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