"It's like he's found ways to transcend the Columbia living experience."- Shige Kobayashi Endorses Andy Smith

 andy shige

I've gotten into several conversations that sound like this:

"Do you have something to say about Andy Smith at the Nickelodeon Theatre? He is running for Columbia City Council."

"I don't know who that guy is."

My friend will then go on to say nice things about the movie theater. The marquee sign on Main Street looks awesome. It only makes sense to have a beer while watching a movie. They have a friend who hosted a scary movie night at the Nickelodeon, and another friend who hosted a variety show, and it's like they've found ways to transcend the movie-watching experience.

Andy Smith has been at the head of the Nickelodeon during all these experiences. If he has not been visible, it's because he surrounds himself with energetic people who like to build things.

That is exactly what we need in a city leader.

Andy Smith also founded the Indie Grits Festival and has been at the center of its growth and expansion. He's given artists of all disciplines more opportunities to show their work. The festival has highlighted whole city blocks and sections of Columbia. It's brought tourists to town, added to area businesses, and found uses for undiscovered spaces around our city.

Again, imagine this sort of cultural growth on a city-wide level.

This has helped me professionally. I work at Camon, a small, quiet Japanese restaurant on Assembly St. We serve those who are hungry, literally and figuratively, for authentic cultural experiences. I also own P-Bug Goods, which sells t-shirts that proudly proclaim "Columbi-yeah!" The Tapp's Arts Center, where I am Program Manager, showcases the visual and performance art talents of regional creators.

All of these organizations have seen benefits from the collaborative mindset of Andy Smith.

It's not because Smith goes and puts a billboard of advertisements in front of the Nick. It's because he knows that our city becomes richer when he puts together an efficient organization that relies on the talents of exciting and excited people. You can find his specific plans at the Andy for Columbia website.

It's like he's found ways to transcend the Columbia living experience.

If you don't know who Andy Smith is, but you like the work that he has supported, you have a great reason to elect the guy. If you do know who Andy Smith is, you know you have no excuse. Find a neighbor and go vote together on Tuesday 11/3. Make an experience out of it.

Shige Kobayashi is the part-time leader of Columbia-focused organizations Camon Japanese Restaurant, P-Bug Goods, and FRANK Comics. Kobayashi curated WATCH PAINT in 2014 and is the Program Manager at Tapp's Arts Center. He has spoken at TEDx, PechaKucha, Richland Library, and Columbia-area high schools.

Get Osamu Kobayashi While You Can - Thursday night at 80808

Osamu Kobayashi  

The process of painting is a power struggle. I take my paintings one way; they want to go somewhere else. And when they go somewhere else; I drag them in another direction. In the end, the paintings usually wins.

My work is reductive in form, often compositionally centered, and employs a spontaneous and intuitive array of colors, shapes, and textures. Using these elements I create visual dualities: chance vs. control, organic vs. geometric, warm vs. cool, large vs. small, etc.

Like a good story, the elements that comprise each work push and pull off of each other, creating a unified structure that stays contained--but never becomes subdued--within its own parameters.

The aim is to create work with a sensation similar to that of a clear thought: the idea has its bases covered; there’s no room for argument. In reality, however, these paintings can never be clear thoughts; they are much more open than that. They are more of a confrontation: between what I desire to know and what I can never know entirely. -- Osamu Kobayashi


If you read the most recent issue of Jasper you know how proud we are of our native son Osamu Kobayashi whose visual arts career has already lifted off the launch pad, sparks flying, smoke roiling, and is making that last almost slo-mo ascent into space. Right now, we can shade our eyes against the brightness, but soon he'll be another one of those star-like satellites in the sky that we can identify by its placement and history, but no longer actually touch. (Unless we sneak in a visit with him when he comes home to see Shige and the rest of his family on one of those rare, super-artist holidays.)


Watch this video by Brian Harmon starring Columbia Museum of Art chief curator Will South as well as Osamu's very proud brother Shigeharu Kobayashi to learn more about Osamu's upcoming exhibit this Thursday, December 12th at Vista Studios Gallery 80808 at 808 Lady Street.

Don't miss a chance to meet and chat with Osamu while he's in Columbia.

See you Thursday night at this free Columbia arts event.

Read more about Osamu here.

In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 4: The Art of the Meal - Camon Chef and Owner Shigeru Kobayashi

"Camon chef and owner Shigeru Kobayashi was born in Tokyo in 1951. He began his cooking career there, working in a ryokan, a food-focused traditional Japanese inn. He also worked at the original Benihana restaurant in Tokyo, training under chef Yunosuki Aoki, before moving to the US. Chef Kobayashi opened Camon on Assembly Street in May 1985, making it not only one of Columbia's first Japanese restaurants, but also one of the city's longest-running restaurants in any category. Jasper sat down with Chef Kobayashi and with his son, Shigharu Kobayashi, who translated our conversation. ..." - Jonathan Sharpe, words and photos

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

Art of the Meal