"...the most complete and experimentally-minded body of work we have ever produced ..."
For the first time since 2012 beloved Columbia-based artists Michael Krajewski and Lucas Sams are mounting a show together and opening it tonight at Grapes and Gallery on Taylor Street.
With no solo pieces – all collaborative work between the two artists – the show promises both new work and works that have not been shown in many years.
“We haven’t shown together in years and it’s been almost as long since we collaborated,” Sams says. “Michael suggested we get together for a collaborative show again and make new work. It’s an exhilarating creative process and it’s a lot of fun just to hang out together and make work, and it helps us out on our solo work to inject new ideas and take a break from working alone and plug our heads together.”
Krajewski adds, “It has been long enough that new people that have been turned on to our work and don't know that we have ever had a collaboration exhibition.”
When these guys get together we’ve learned to not only expect good and, sometimes experimental, art, but also good times. There is a joy that the two bring to the process of work, especially working with a beloved friend.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing people’s reactions to this work, both older standout pieces that haven’t had as much exposure or views, but more especially this new work,” Sams says. “I don’t want to give much away but I think it’s a hell of a show, definitely the most complete and experimentally-minded body of work we have ever produced. Those moments when we are able to really push the work and surprise ourselves are the best for me-making something that’s neither mine nor his, it sort of transcends the singular artist and becomes something greater.”
Krajewski adds, “Bouncing the most insanely, deep, idiotic, ironic, philosophical ideas off one another then trying to take that idea to another level or contort it into art,” is what excites him most.
“Plus,” he adds jokingly, “it’s the only way I can get him to hang out with me.”
Catch the opening of the show tonight from 6 – 9 at Grapes and Gallery. The show will be up all month.
You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful night on State Street last Friday when West Columbia threw their first ever Fall Back Festival. With the help of the shop owners on State Street, and a very strong influence from Frame of Mind owner Mark Plessinger, the night was warm and welcoming, full of music, food, drinks, and good and new friends.
Among the artists creating street art -- literally art on the asphalt paving of State Street -- were ten of Columbia's top creators, and you could tell they were having a great time creating art for art's sake. As one artist said, "It was nice to be able to just come out and make some art without having to abide by too many rules or fill out too many forms and applications." The artists, whose works are pictured above, included Alicia Leeke, Herman Keith, Sammy Lopez, Karl Larsen, Michael Cassidy, Dre Lopez, Tony Brown, BA Hohman, and Michael Krajewski and Lucas Sams who collaborated on their piece.
After 10 provided some great cover tunes, Pawleys food truck fed hungry bellies, and all the restaurants and bars had their doors open welcoming folks to come in and buy a drink to take back out on the street.
Frame of Mind featured an innovative art show by IRL couple artists Bohumila Augustinova and Barry Wheeler. ( Full disclosure: Barry Wheeler is the president of the board of directors for The Jasper Project.)
Art for art's sake. Answering the need to create and share that creation. Music in the air. A happy little buzz from a Friday night drink. Friends, old and new, clasping hands, slapping one another on humid backs, giving good deep hugs. Celebrating Friday, fall, art, and one another.
Keeping it simple. Preserving the joy.
Congratulations to Tamara Finkbeiner whose film Eva's Plug, won the Audience Award at Friday night's 2nd Act Film Festival sponsored by Jasper Magazine. Selected via audience ballot, the 2nd Act Film Festival Audience Award includes a check for $250, a First Draft editing program, and a one-of-a-kind trophy designed by Columbia artist, Matthew Kramer. According to film festival director Wade Sellers, "With any short film fest there are many films that could win an audience award, that was the same with this year's 2nd Act Film Fest. There is usually a film, however, that just connects with an audience in that room at that moment and that was the case with Tamara's film Eva's Plug. You could feel the energy and enthusiasm for the film build as it played. That experience is what 2nd Act is all about."
This was the second 2nd Act Film Festival (the first was in October 2013) which played once again to a capacity house at Tapp's Arts Center and included the films of 10 adjudicated filmmakers from South Carolina including Lucas Sams, Brian Harmon, Jason Stokes, Bessy Adut, Phyllis Jackson, Caletta Harris-Bailey, Bradley Wagster, Dustin Weibel, Jordan Young, and Tamara Finkbeiner. The selected filmmakers, who applied to participate earlier this season, were chosen over other applicants based on their abilities and the freshness of the voice the jurors thought they would bring to the project. Jurors included Lee Ann Kornegay, Lee Snelgrove, Caitlin Bright, Wade Sellers, and Cindi Boiter.
"This year we put more pressure on ourselves to assist the filmmakers," Sellers says. "We offered script notes, production advice and assistance, and editorial suggestions once the films were turned in. As a whole the films were more diverse in voice and just better as a whole than our first event." Sellers is the owner and director of Coal Powered Filmworks, a three-time Emmy nominated filmmaker, and the film editor for Jasper Magazine.
In keeping with Jasper's efforts to foster a multi-disciplinary arts community, both visual artists and musicians played a part in the festival and its presentation. Visual artist Michael Krajewski created an original painting which was used for the festival poster and program; visual artist Matthew Kramer created the Audience Award; and Pedro Ldv entertained festival attendees both before the event and during intermission. In addition, original music from several Columbia-based musicians, including Stan Gardner, Daniel Machado and more, was used as background music during the films themselves.
Columbia-based writer Don McCallister also served as a consultant on the first and third acts of the screenplay which was given to the filmmakers with the challenge that they write the second act and create a film, six minutes long or less, using all three acts. Participants in the 2013 2nd Act Film Festival including Ron Hagell and OK Keyes lent the knowledge of their experience to this year's filmmakers by consulting on films and screenplays.
In the aftermath of Columbia's devastating flood last week other artists including Michael Krajewski, Bonnie Goldberg, Kara Gunter, Nancy Marine, and Sean McGuiness voluntarily stepped up and offered the fruits of their labors to benefit flood victims through a silent auction which generated $1060 which will be delivered to the Central Carolina Community Foundation. Two large bins of children's arts supplies was also collected from audience members for distribution to children effected by the flood.
The festival staff would like to thank Precision Overhead Garage Door Service, the Mouse House, Coal Powered Filmwork, and Bourbon Columbia for their sponsorship funds and services.
"It was exciting to see these ten filmmakers create these films," Sellers says, "and it only makes us more excited for the future of the event."
Originality is the specter chasing down artists of all disciplines, and new work can often lead them down previously unimagined paths. Even the newest of beginnings, though, there’s often a twinge of the familiar lurking beneath the new surfaces.
This Thursday, September 3rd, at 6 p.m., Columbia artist Lucas Sams will be kicking off a new series at Frame of Mind eyewear boutique and art gallery in West Columbia that showcases fresh work from a familiar face. It's called, fittingly, "[Artist name's] Frame of Mind." For Sams, that means a bit of old mixed with a bit of new.
“The pieces are basically the first images I made after many months of not working on any new original work,” explains Sams. “[These paintings] are both a return to how I was working a few years ago and a new synthesis of modes of expression and forms of representation entirely.” He calls this collection "New Mythologies."
The show promises to build on the shoulders of Sams’ already established style. One of the works is a reimagining of an older piece, and ideas aren’t the only things being recycled at this show—Sams also painted over one of his older paintings for this series as well.
What better way to spend a Thursday night than perusing new work from a young and very talented local artist? The show begins at 6:00 p.m. and runs until 8:00 p.m. at Frame of Mind’s art gallery on 140 State St. in West Columbia. Check out the Facebook event for more information.
Dear Friends, A few things are coming up this week that might fall under your radar but you probably don't want to miss. Let's take a look.
On Tuesday night at the Art Bar, spoken word poet Kendal Turner -- yes, the same amazing lady who put together the All Woman Entourage for the release of Jasper #4 the Pink Power Issue last week -- will be presenting Poetic Awakenings. Here's what Ms. Turner posts about the event on Facebook:
"This is a place for everyone. To share, to listen, to write their next big masterpiece. This is where to go when you're not sure where to turn. A peaceful refuge in the back room of a bar that's been the safe haven for many weary wanderers. Join me for VerseWorks at the Art Bar for an open mic like no other. I invite you to share what's in your heart and open to the highest form of grace. Art is the backbone of the universe and we, we are the architects." -- K. Turner
To RSVP for this event and for more information click the magic button. And to read more of Ms. Turner's impetus for creating this event, look for a blog post in the next day or so.
On Thursday night, a new gallery space is opening in 5 Points and, as you know, Jasper is all about finding more and more walls for all the art being generated in our town. This is Virginia Scotchie's gallery and she's calling it Gallery V - Contemporary Art and Fine Craft. Her first show is called "10 Women in Clay" and it features work by Isabelle Caskey, Heyley Douglas, Laura VanCamp, Virginia Scotchie, Allison Brown, Frieda Dean, Katherine Radomsky, Emily Russell, Brittany Jeffcoat, and Kristina Stafford.
Gallery V (as in 5) is located just above Good for the Sole shoes at 631-D Harden Street in Columbia. Opening reception hours are from 5 until 8. For more info or to RSVP, your magic button is here.
We'd also like to plug the newest issue of the magazine, Jasper #4, in which Ms. Scotchie wrote the guest editorial. Turn to the back of the mag and give it a read, please.
Two fine arts events will be happening at the same time on Friday night -- a problem Columbia rarely used to have, but which we seem to be plagued with now. I complain about this a lot myself, but it's a purely selfish complaint. If we lived in NYC or Seattle or Boston, we would have long ago become accustomed to making choices of what arts events to attend on any given evening. This is something artists and arts lovers have to get used to if we're going to live in an arts hub like Columbia, SC. (For more on this, please refer to the recent Facebook exchange between myself and local poet Al Black that I have posted below.)*
At 7 pm on Friday, the USC Dance Company once again presents the Stars of the New York City Ballet at the Koger Center for the Arts. I've written a piece on this for the Free Times, so I'll leave you to read that on Wednesday. (And, by the by, big props to Free Times for taking home a boatload of awards from the SC Press Association -- the SCPA paid for a portion of my undergrad tuition so I am still a fan -- and especially to Corey Hutchins of the Free Times for being named SC Journalist of the Year.)
But in the meantime, please know that to say that Stacey Calvert, former soloist with the NYC Ballet, has changed the face of ballet in Columbia, SC is no exaggeration whatsoever. I am overwhelmed by the misinformation being tossed around out there concerning who knows what about ballet in this city. If anyone really wanted to know what the bottom line on professional ballet is, rather than asking those who try to preserve their ephemeral positions of authority simply by clinging to the long gone skirt-tails of long dead people, they would ask Stacey Calvert. Read about her on page 42 of Jasper #4 and be aware that if we don't keep this woman in Columbia by giving her a position of real authority in which she can use her talent and her connections to put Columbia on the map for professional ballet, then this will be a shameful and disastrous loss -- as well as a likely remnant of the internecine conflicts mentioned in * below.
Also on Friday night, The rock musical Passing Strange opens at Trustus Theatre. I hope you've been reading and hearing about this performance and the collaboration between Jasper and Trustus as we brought 10 local artists together to create the set of the musical. We previewed the art last Friday and were treated to another magnificent example of what happens when artists from different disciplines come together to cooperate and inspire one another. (See photo below.) Now you have the opportunity to see the art on the stage. The show opens on Friday night and runs through April 14th. For ticket info punch here.
On Saturday, March 24th, local filmmaker Wade Sellers will be premiering his new film Lola's Prayer at the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival in Spartanburg, SC. Mr. Sellers shared a guest blog with us previously. It's not that far to Spartanburg -- and if you're brave you can go early and eat at the Beacon. The festival starts at 7 and is only $5 -- but is expected to sell out, as well it should. I hope you'll join me in representing Columbia and supporting Mr. Sellers and his fine cast of Columbians who are in this film.
*Finally, here's a cut and pasted copy of the exchange between Mr. Black and myself from Facebook -- we'd love to know what you think, Columbia.
The first lines are from Al Black --
The more we share the faster our crop grows & spreads - the potential is endless not finite.
With Warm Regards,
Albee In Wonderland
.....as Jefferson Starship once sang, "Feed your head!"
You and 3 others like this.
Jasper Magazine - The Word on Columbia Arts At Jasper, we couldn't agree more. And not to get all socio-political on a perfectly pleasant Sunday afternoon, but there is something to be said for the theory that internecine competition once held our fine burg back -- too much energy spent hating and not enough invested in supporting our sisters and brothers in the arts. As we grow in numbers, we grow in strength and power and visibility. We can become an arts destination by growing our arts community exponentially and via multi-disciplinary patronage.
Thanks for reading this far. Have a great week in the arts, my friends.
REMINDER Jasper #4, our 1st annual All Women - All Art issue releases on Thursday March 15th with a spectacular release party at Vista Studios Gallery 80808 -- 808 Lady Street that evening. Women Only from 6 until 7 -- and then at 7 we'll open the doors to the gentlemen. Admission is free and we'll be enjoying the famed Jasper EconoBar as well as a
GIANT PINK CAKE!
Please join us.
A few days ago, we shared with you the exciting news about Jasper and Trustus Theatre's collaboration on The Art of Passing Strange. There's even more excitement in the air as the 10 selected artists (Thomas Crouch, Cedric Umoja, Alex Smith, Whitney Lejeune, Lisa Puryear, Paul Kaufmann, Lucas Sams, Michael Krajewski, David West, and Lindsay Wiggins) begin to complete their paintings and share them with us at Trustus and Jasper. So in the interest of fairness and generosity, we're sharing the images we receive with you, as we receive them.
Read on to see what lies in store for you if you attend the opening of The Art of Passing Strange on Friday night -- but while pictures are a great tease -- they're nothing like seeing the real thing. And remember, all the art is for sale -- we'll be conducting a silent auction throughout the run of the show with 100% of the proceeds going straight back to these artists who so often give of their creativity to various causes throughout the Columbia community. (And if you have your heart set on any one specific piece, each artist will be determining a BUY NOW price which will allow you to purchase the piece and take your selected painting out of the auction. You'll just need to pick it up at the end of the run of the show.)
Michael Krajewski is a self-taught artist whose work has appeared throughout South Carolina and locally at Anastasia AND FRIENDS, HoFP Gallery, Tapp’s Arts Center, Frame of Mind Gallery, the Columbia Museum of Art, and more. He was chosen to be the first artist featured as a centerfold in Jasper Magazine – the Word on Columbia Arts. Reach Michael at email@example.com.
David West has a BFA in Studio Art and a Masters degree in Art Education. He has worked professionally as a graphic designer for the last 13 years, while also creating and showing fine art in his free time. Though he still provides design services, he is currently transitioning into a teaching career. You can see some of his fine art at his studio in the Arcade on Main Street. Reach David at http://www.live2create.com/.
Lisa Puryear studied at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and the University of South Carolina under Philip Mullen, Roy Drasites and Ann Hubbard. Lisa is currently a member of the Trenholm Artists Guild in Columbia, SC and About Face at the Columbia Museum of Art. Reach Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Smith is an actor, director, and visual artist who returns to the Trustus stage (in the form of visual artist) after a 12 year hiatus since he painted the backdrop for the production of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, which he directed in 2000. He dedicates his work for Passing Strange to Jim and Kay Thigpen, whom he loves more than words can say. Reach Alex at email@example.com.
Cedric Umoja attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and studied in South Carolina under Tony Cacalano. He is a founding member of the artist collective Izms of Art, a recipient of a 2012 South Carolina Arts Commission grant. His influences are Dondi White, Max Beckmann, Hans Hoffman and Sam Keith. Reach Cedric at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- My story being done,
- She gave me for my pains a world of sighs;
- She swore, in faith 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange ;
- 'Twas pitiful. 'twas wondrous pitiful,
- She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
- That heaven had made her such a man.
- —Othello, the Moor of Venice, act 1, scene 3, lines 158–163
Those of you well versed in Jasper's mission know that we are all about bringing together artists and patrons from a variety of arts disciplines as a way of growing and sustaining Columbia's burgeoning arts community. So when Chad Henderson, director of Trustus Theatre's upcoming play, Passing Strange, approached us about collaborating on a project which would bring the visual and performing arts together for an extended run this spring, we were delighted to get involved.
Here's the deal, 10 local artists were invited to view a 2009 Spike Lee-directed film of the Broadway production of Passing Strange, a rock musical about a young man's journey into enlightenment via his travels in Europe. Then, each artist was given two four by four canvasses on which to create the art that the film inspired. Those 20 canvasses will be used on the set of the musical throughout its Trustus run. Simple and beautiful, right?
Now here's where you get involved.
Come to Trustus Theatre on Lady Street in Columbia's Vista on Friday night, March 16th for the opening of The Art of Passing Strange. There will be music and entertainment -- more on that below -- snacks, a cash bar, and most importantly, you'll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the 20 paintings newly created for the musical as well as the artists who created them. And the exciting thing is this -- the art is for sale. Throughout the run of the play, bid sheets for each painting will be available in the lobby and you'll be able to register your bid for your favorite art. There are two especially cool things about this.
One, the artist gets 100% of the sale of her or his work.
And two, each painting will also feature a "Buy Now" price at which you can purchase the painting, close all other bids, and know then that you'll be taking that art home at the end of the run of the show on April 14th.
For more information, read on below and visit The Art of Passing Strange's Facebook page.
So, come out on the 16th for the art show opening -- The Art of Passing Strange -- and then return to the theatre during the March 23 - April 14 run to see the art on stage and take in this Tony winning rock musical, with local musical groups like Day Clean and The Mobros opening up each performance with a a free pre-show concert for theatre ticket holders.
And yes, Friends, this is how our community continues to grow. Stay tuned for more of What Jasper Said about the artists and their art in The Art of Passing Strange.
Trustus Theatre and Jasper Magazine present
THE ART OF PASSING STRANGE - a one-night only event!
PASSING STRANGE is a one-of-a-kind rock musical charts a young musician's journey to find "the real" through an exploration of artistic voice and authenticity.
Trustus' pro...duction of PASSING STRANGE marks a new level of inter-disciplinary creation - mixing theatre, dance, music, and visual art together for an unparalleled artistic event. Local visual artists will be creating 20 brand new pieces inspired by the show that will serve as the scenic design, and local singer/songwriters will be performing during pre-show.
THE ART OF PASSING STRANGE is the grand unveiling of the new pieces created for the show. Get an intimate experience with each piece before they make their way onto the set. Also, enjoy music performances by Major 2 Minor and a dance performance by Vibrations Dance Company. You'll also get the chance to make your mark on the set - we will provide the paint, you bring the inspiration. The cash bar will be running - so join us at Trustus to celebrate a unique artistic collaboration in Columbia, SC!
Artists: Lisa Puryear, Michael Krajewski, Lindsay Wiggins, Cedric Umoja, Paul Kaufmann, Lucas Sams, Alex Smith, Thomas Crouch, Whitney LeJune, & David West
Admission is free!
(Please check out Jasper Magazine's Facebook page, and click on "Like," and please be sure to subscribe to What Jasper Said so you'll always be on top of the latest in Columbia's arts news.)