Renewal and Synthesis: Lucas Sams’ Frame of Mind Series

Sams by Jasper intern Ami Pulaski

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.

Darling Dilettante: Starbucks Art

haleyvic By Haley Sprankle

Throughout the year and throughout my writing, I’ve been forced to consider art and my appreciation for it. Certain disciplines I never truly understood in my youth, whether it was my lack of experience with it or lack of information about what is or isn’t considered “art.” Younger Haley might see more modern art pieces, like the post-grad work displayed at Tapp’s and question their validity as “art,” whereas now I am in awe at the creativity and vulnerability of those same pieces.

This called to question: Is art an acquired taste? Can someone who is younger consider and enjoy art the way a more “seasoned” adult might? Is art like coffee? Are more basic wonderments with art sweet and sugary like frappucinos, while more complex considerations of it are like a more pragmatic cup of black coffee?

Last week, I was fortunate enough to spend the day with one of my favorite 15-year-olds, and adoptive little sister. As her “cool college” friend, I wanted to make sure I gave her the trendy tour of Columbia. (Disclaimer: She doesn’t really think I’m that cool.) In the midst of eating fantastic smoked salmon sandwiches at Crepes and Croissants and political discussions over Starbucks, we went to the Columbia Museum of Art.


I was thoroughly thrilled to finally walk through the Andy Warhol exhibit that’s been up (and will remain up through September 12).

“Is it always this quiet in here?”

I began to realize that I wasn’t entirely sure of the etiquette in art exhibits myself, and hoped that she would enjoy the museum as much as I normally do.

Growing up, I always learned to read the text accompanying each piece to better my understanding of what I’m seeing, so I did just that. Thinking I would be the nerd holding us up, I was surprised to see her follow suit and read them as well. We walked on, recognizing familiar faces and discussing the idea of fame.


“Oh my god, glitter!”

I chuckled to myself as I listened to her commentary throughout the rest of the pieces. Growing up with the wonderful parents she did, she was able to consider and discuss more controversial and educational ideas prompted by each portion of the exhibit, interspersed with her early teenaged nuances and silliness.

I was thrilled to see she enjoyed the more contemporary pieces and hoped the excitement carried throughout the classic section in the upstairs of the museum.

I’ve always found the classics to be intriguing, and often even comical at times. The way the influences in art evolved over time from being more religiously-centered to featuring portraits of the more wealthy to more abstract and aesthetically driven pieces is exemplified here so well.

“This dude looks like peanut brittle.”

As we walked through, we shared many laughs at some of the more silly-seeming portraits and interesting ceramics (Why do some of these people look so drunk?), appreciate classics like Monet, and stand in awe at the chandelier of Salviati.


At the end of the day, we giggled about the plethora of cute businessmen on Main Street, we ate great local food, and I got to share a little bit of my interests and passions with her. She went home to her dad, probably with more liberal ideas that I’m willing to admit trying to instill in her mind, and a smile on her face.

That day, I learned that art transcends age. Sure, the level of appreciation and understanding may be different. A 15-year-old might be excited about Superman with glitter (and as was I, who are we kidding?), whereas a 30-year-old might be more intrigued at the political statement that may or may not have been made by depicting Mao.

Regardless, art is still talked about. Art is still appreciated. Art is still relevant.

One appreciation is not better than the other, but instead, understanding and information grows.

So, young art-lovers, you pursue and appreciate your frappucino art. I’m just making my way to a macchiato myself, and might not ever get to taking it without cream or sugar.

(And yes, I am being a coffee elitist.)

Haley Sprankle

In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 4: Kathleen Robbins: Photographing the Most Southern Place on Earth

"Some part of photographer Kathleen Robbins permanently exists in the flat, rural, alluvial plains of the Mississippi Delta. Her family has farmed cotton there for six generations, so the soil has practically entwined itself into her DNA, creating the need to visit often and record the changing landscape of the place itself, but also a vanishing way of life. Cotton fields are being replaced by soy and corn, and communities that grew up around the cultivation of cotton are dispersing. ..." - Kara Gunter

In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 4: Ashley Concannon - Through The Dancer's Eyes

"Any given day finds 25-year-old Ashley Concannon crouching in the corner of the Columbia City Ballet studios between rehearsals. Usually she is sewing ribbons onto a pair of pointe shoes, taping her toes, stretching, exercising, or completing one of the many tasks demanded of her by her profession, but when she can find the time she sneaks behind the lens of her Canon Rebel T3i to capture a glimpse of life in the dance studio from another artistic perspective--that of a photographer. ..." - Bonnie Boiter-Jolley For the full article and photos, check out page 46 of the magazine below:

In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 4: Maria Fabrizio's Wordless News

"A newspaper article detailing the death of a Pentecostal snake handler may not normally bring art to mind, but for Maria Fabrizio, the headline is one of many she's been inspired to transform into visual art. For the past year, the local Columbia artist has taken popular news stories and put them into simple digitized illustrations and posted them on her blog, Wordless News, 'One headline per day, vowel and consonant free.' The blog and its creator has garnered significant attention over the past few months. Though Fabrizio wouldn't name much of her own work 'art' in the classic scene, her creativity and talent are making waves in Columbia's art community and beyond. ..." - Joanna Savold For the full article, check out page 42 of the magazine below:

In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 4: Motherboards + Matrixes: A Look at Runaway Runway designer Jesse Cody

"Artist, photographer, and veteran Runaway Runway designer Jesse Cody, 23, knows who her favorite artist is: it depends on when you ask her. 'Ask me when I wake up--it's Rene Magritte,' says Cody, comfortable in a faded Punisher movie t-shirt. 'Lunch time rolls around--it's Ryan Murphy. The sun starts to go down--it's Marilyn Manson.' 'But you know, I can't say that I can think of any one artist that has influenced my work,' says Cody, motioning towards the remnants of her Runaway Runway 2012 design. 'I believe it is, like most of my work, the love child of any and all artists in my mind, including myself.' ..." - Giesela Lubecke

For the full article and photos, click through the screenshot below:

Motherboards Screenshot

In Jasper No. 3, Vol. 3: Artists + Poets Collaborate in Columbia Broadside Project

"'Getting 30 people to work together is a bit of a logistical nightmare,' laughs Darien Cavanaugh, coordinator for the Columbia Broadside Project, an ambitious venture pairing South Carolina writers and artists in collaborative projects. But if all goes as planned, the Columbia Broadside Project show will open at Tapp's Art Center on January 17, with an impressive range of original and collaborative writing and art--a type of collaboration, Cavanaugh says, that we haven't seen before. ..." - Ed Madden For the full article, artwork, and centerfold, view the magazine here:

In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 3: The Art of the Meal w/ Terra's Mike Davis

"Chef and owner Mike Davis opened Terra in West Columbia in 2006. Back then few of Columbia's independent restaurants listed ingredients from local farms on their menus. The idea of being concerned about food origins was still relatively new here. It would be another year before the Columbia chapter of the Slow Food USA movement would be established in 2007, and a couple of years after that when City Roots would have its groundbreaking ceremony in 2009. ..." - Jonathan Sharpe For more, check out the rest of the article on page 18 of Jasper here: