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Heimat/Home:  The 2019 Columbia–Kaiserslautern Artists Exchange

September 30, 2019 @ 8:00 am - October 11, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Columbia Development Corporation, Columbia, SC

Columbia World Affairs Council, Columbia, SC

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Washington, DC

Goethe-Institut, Washington, DC

if ART Gallery, Columbia, SC 

Lewis + Clark Studio, Columbia, SC

Stormwater Studios, Columbia, SC



The 2019 Columbia–Kaiserslautern Artists Exchange

Featuring a collaborative public artwork, talks, a panel, performances & an exhibition

September 30 – October 11, 2019

For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART:

(803) 238-2351 – [email protected]

Between September 30 – October 11, four German artists from Kaiserslautern and six Columbia artists will be creating a permanent public Gesamtkunstwerk, a collaborative work of art, on and for the grounds of Columbia’s Stormwater Studios. The artwork is one component of an elaborate program under the moniker Heimat/Home that commemorates both the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Bauhaus, the enormously influential art school in Germany.

Aside from the creation of the Stormwater artwork, the program will present lectures about Bauhaus, contemporary German art and Germany before and after the fall of the Berlin wall; an artists’ panel about the benefits of international exchange between artists; an unveiling of the public artwork with performances by artists, poets and musicians; and an exhibition of current and past exchange participants at if ART Gallery. For a full program, see below.

“These artist exchanges always create great energy,” said if ART Gallery owner Wim Roefs, one of the event’s organizers. “The interaction between artists from different cultures triggers fruitful conversation and new ideas and results in great art. The mural-size paintings that came out of the exchange a few years ago are one example of that, and I can’t wait to see how the collaborative sculpture for Stormwater will turn out. Moreover, the Kaiserslautern artists are among the best in their region. They also work a lot as a group and organize art events almost non-stop. They combine excellence with organizational skills, which sets a great example for Columbia artists.”

The project is a partnership between the Columbia Development Corporation (CDC), the Columbia World Affairs Council (CWAC), if ART Gallery, Lewis + Clark Studio and Stormwater Studios, all in Columbia, and the German Embassy and Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC. Funding is provided by the Goethe-Institut, CDC and CWAC. The funding from the Goethe-Institut is part of the organization’s nationwide initiative, Deutschlandjahr USA/Year of German-American Friendship, under the slogan Wunderbar Together/Germany and the U.S.

The Columbia artists working on the public artwork are Eileen Blyth, Michaela Pilar Brown, Stephen Chesley, Clark Ellefson, Mike Williams and David Yaghjian. The Kaiserslautern artists are Jörg Heieck, Reiner Mährlein, Silvia Rudolf and Angelica Steinmacher. Columbia artist Janet Orselli and Columbia poet Al Black will be presenting performances and poetry readings by themselves and other Columbia poets and musicians. 

(East) German native Mirjam Gerlach of Columbia architect firm Quackenbush Architects + Planners, Peter Chametsky of the University of South Carolina School of Visual Arts and Design, Gerald McDermott of the university’s School of Business and Agnes C. Mueller of the university’s Global Studies Program will present lectures and talks. 

The artists exchange between Columbia, S.C., and its German sister city Kaiserslautern started in 2000 with the shipment of a steel palmetto tree sculpture from Columbia to Kaiserslautern. Since 2001, some two dozen Columbia and Kaiserslautern artists have visited and worked in each other’s cities. Most recently, in 2016, Columbia artists participating in an exhibition, an outdoor installation project and a multi-disciplinary performance in Kaiserslautern included Blyth, Brown and Wideman-Davis Dance. In 2014, Columbia’s Congaree Vista Guild brought Mährlein and his Kaiserslautern colleague Klaus Hartmann to Columbia to create the public sculpture at the tunnel at Lady and Lincoln Streets. In 2012 and 2013, artists from both cities created two mural-size paintings that were exhibited in Columbia and Kaiserslautern.


September 30 – October 11, daytime 

Creation of public artwork at Stormwater Studios at Pendleton and Huger Streets.

Tue., October 1, 7:30 p.m.

The Fall of the Wall, talks by Agnes C. Mueller, director, University of South Carolina Global Studies Program, and Gerald McDermott, professor of international business, University of South Carolina School of Business

Where: if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St.

Co-sponsored by the USC Global Studies Program

Wed., October 2, 7:30 p.m. 

100 Years Bauhaus: Its Influence on Art & Architecture Then & Now, talk by Mirjam Gerlach, Quackenbush Architects + Planners, Columbia, SC

Where: if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St.

Fri., Oct. 4, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Artists’ Reception for Heimat / Home, an exhibition of current and past participants in the Columbia – Kaiserslautern Artists Exchange.

Where: if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St.

Tue., Oct 8, 7:30 p.m.

Benefits of International Artists Exchange, panel discussion with artists participating in the Columbia–Kaiserslautern Exchange.

Where: if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St.

Wed., Oct. 9, 7:00 p.m.

Since 1989: New Art in a Multicultural Germany, talk by Peter Chametsky, art historian, University of South Carolina School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD)

Where: SVAD, McMaster College, Room 239, corner of Pickens & Senate Streets, 

Co-sponsored by the USC Global Studies Program

Fri., Oct. 11, 6:00 p.m.

Presentation of collaborative public artwork, performances & poetry, followed by artists’ reception.

Where: Stormwater Studios & Lewis + Clark Studio, Pendleton & Huger Streets


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