Rosewood Arts Festival -- by Deborah Swearingen

rosewood 2013 “Let’s start an arts festival.” These simple words came in the form of a bold proposal over drinks by local writer Arik Bjorn and Rockaways owner Forest Whitlark a little over three years ago. Out of this, a day filled with affordable artistic fun evolved.

The third annual Rosewood Arts Festival will be held Saturday, September 28th at 2719 Rosewood Drive, on the grounds of Rockaways, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Co-hosted by the Trenholm Artists Guild (TAG) and Rockaways Athletic Club, the festival features art in a variety of forms, including but certainly not limited to painting, jewelry, ceramics, and fabric art. As the festival has grown, more eccentric forms of art have been introduced. This year’s addition? Garbage art.

“Our vision has always been to have a neighborhood festival that benefits the artist,” said Bjorn, co-founder of the festival. For this reason, the Rosewood Arts Festival is affordable for vendors and free of charge for attendees.

Entertainment has always been integrated into the day, and this year, South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra Musicians, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company, Tonya Tyner & Friends, Tom Hall & the Plowboys and several student groups are performing, along with a variety of other acts.

tom hall at rosewood

Competitions are held each year; one for best art and one for best booth but arguably the most well known – the Paint-A-Cheeseburger challenge. $150 is the going prize for the artist who can create the most impressive cheeseburger. In years past, painted cheeseburgers have been the only art form competing for the prize, but both gourd and ceramic cheeseburgers will be entering the mix this year.

The festival is sponsored by the City of Columbia, The State, Pepsi, US Foods, First Citizens Bank and Beverage South.

To find out more, visit “Rosewood Arts Festival” on Facebook.

-- Deborah Swearingen, Jasper Intern

Dropped into the Middle of a Major Arts Month - What to Do Today, Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday

Hello Columbia Artists and Arts Lovers! I just got back a few hours ago from London and Ireland where the Bier Doc and I sucked up every last morsel of art we could cram into the two weeks we were there -- Five plays, three art museums including the very cool Hugh Lane in Dublin which houses the actual studio of Francis Bacon, three guided walks (Irish literary, history, and trad music), over 30 pubs, most with music - all with brew, and more sights and sounds and cliffs and sheep and ancient neo-lithic sites than I ever thought possible.

Francis Bacon standing in front of his Triptych

Yes, we got home exhausted, which is unfortunate, especially given the line-up of art and art experiences that April has in store for all of us. We're going to try to keep you posted via our Facebook page and this blog - What Jasper Says, but you should also pay close attention to the listings at One Columbia as well as at Indie Grits which kicks off Friday night with a smokin' hot  Block Party.

indie grits

Tonight, we recommend you join Yours Truly as I help out at the USC Art Auction at the Campus Room of the Capstone Building on the campus of USC. The auction starts at 7 with a lovely reception at 6.

(This guys knows not what he's doing and neither will I)

On Wednesday, we recommend you schedule yourself for the Closing Reception for Painted Violins from 5 - 8 at Gervais and Vine at 620 Gervais Street which benefits our beloved SC Philharmonic.

"She Used to Play the Violin" by Wayne Thornley

On Thursday, the highly successful (blushing) Jasper Salon Series returns with a presentation and discussion by local poet, author, and creativity coach, Cassie Premo Steele. We'll start out about 7 pm with drinks and chatting, then at 7:30 sharp, Cassie will begin the program.

Cassie Premo Steele

We'll be posting more sneak peeks at all the cool stuff going on this month just as soon as we unpack and get a day's work done. I'm looking forward to seeing you all where you ought to be -- smack in the middle of the Southeast's newest and hottest arts destination, Columbia, SC!

Cheers,

Cindi

(note: not sure what happened to the previous version of this post which was missing most of its text. Oops & sorry!)

 

A Little Bit of Snark and a Good Deal of Praise -- Jeffrey Day's Art Year 2011 Review

 

Although the economy still sucked the arts community in Columbia just seemed to say “Screw it” and kept going.

For his last few years in the Governor’s office, when he wasn’t on the Appalachian Tail, Mark Sanford tried to zero out the budget for several state agencies, including the S.C. Arts Commission. The General Assembly never let him get far with it until his final year when some sort of deal had been struck. Then an uprising about the cuts rose up – mostly through Facebook – and legislators got an earful from art supporters all over the state. Not surprisingly, the new governor, Nikki Haley, brought out the knife as well, and she got it knocked out of her hand as well.  Made The New York Times. But expect the same fight this year.

The arts on Main Street started to coalesce after a couple of years. A gallery crawl – and all kinds of additional frills like music, theater and fire-eating – is now being held on Main Street EVERY SINGLE MONTH! That’s damn exciting especially when hundreds of people show up for all of them.

The art being shown is still  inconsistent, but there has been lots and lots of good art on display at all the locations (Frame of Mind, Anastatia and FRIENDS, S & S Art Supply, the Arcade, Tapp’s Arts Center) at one time or another. One of the best things has been the window installations at Tapp’s, but beyond the windows, the Tapp’s Art Center is still trying to figure things out. The director said earlier in the years that the upstairs studio spaces would be rented to artists who were juried in, but instead these have been turned into little “galleries” some jammed with work by a dozen artists or so.

The first South Carolina Biennial of contemporary art ran in two parts with about 25 artists at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art. The first show was terrific in every way, the second was rather messy, but had some of the best artists in it. The way the show is selected needs some fine turning. Whatever the shortcomings, the show fills the huge gap left when the Triennial was killed off a few years ago. The center also needs to spend as much time and effort (or even a third as much) getting the word out about its art shows as it does about its parties and openings.

The long-time director of the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, Andy Witt, has left the building. Neither Witt nor the Council are even vaguely familiar to many in the arts community, but the council still raises about $200,000 a year for distribution to arts groups and that’s an important chunk of change in these times.  It’s time for the council to take a good hard look at itself and figure out what it’s going to do other than tread water.

I’ll go against conventional wisdom here and declare that the Columbia Museum of Art is more important than the Mast General Store to Main Street. It’s actually kind of hard to keep up with everything the museum does because it does so much – from big touring exhibitions, to small shows by locals, to concerts.

The museum is closing off the year and starting the new one with a big show of Hudson River school paintings. My first walk through I thought “Wow there’s some really hackneyed stuff in here” and actually a couple other people said the same to me. Then I went back. Yes, there are sentimental things and a few pieces that are high-end tourist art, but most of it is really truly wonderful.  Except for the fact that all the paintings have glass on them.

The museum started the year with “Who Shot Rock and Roll,” a photography exhibition documenting the history of rock ‘n’ roll.  I figured it would be a door buster without much substance. Instead it was a nearly perfect show that melded documentation, a wide approach to the medium and the music, and a crazy mixed up population of big stars and unknowns. And the show was just the right size – big enough to provide real range and small enough that it wasn’t repetitious. The only thing that didn’t work for me was the huge images of David Lee Roth right by the exit.

Sandwiched between was the show of Michael Kenna’s haunting and technically-dazzling photos of Venice. This year the museum managed to have a bit of everything without stinting on quality.

The Conundrum Music Hall in West Columbia has provided an outlet for all kinds of new music – from improv jazz to contemporary classical to the plain old weird and self-indulgent. One of the highlights was a chamber group from the S.C. Philharmonic. Half the audience had never been to an orchestra concert and the other half had never been to West Columbia. And about 50 people were turned away because it was sold out.

Phillip Bush, the Columbia-based pianist with a rich resume, made his first appearance with a local orchestra, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major. He and the young players sounded great.

The second concert of the season by the S.C. Philharmonic was all Mozart and all of it good. A seasoned pro playing the clarinet concerto, two teen-agers taking on a piano concerto, and a wonderful wrap-up with the “Jupiter” symphony.

Trustus Theatre founders Jim and Kay Thigpen plan to retire this spring and in the fall Jim Thigpen directed “August: Osage County” as his swan song. What a way to go out: one of the best productions at the theater during the past two decades.

As usual the Wideman-Davis Dance Company provided more surprises and depth with one more new work “Voypas.”

Many people seemed to be excited about the return of installation art to Artista Vista – and so was I since I put the show together. This is not a completely self-congratulatory note. All I did was pick artists who were good and competent and pretty nice. They did the rest. Well I did wash the windows and sweep. It was one of the best experiences of my life.