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Open Studios…Vista Studio mentioned in article appearing in The State

From The State Newspaper, Sunday, April 27, 2008:

Studio tour offers inside look at artists’ workplaces

By JEFFREY DAY

For artists, the studio is a quiet, private place — except for the loud music and cursing.

But last year, about 60 artists around Columbia opened their doors to hundreds of strangers during “Open Studios,” part of the Columbia Festival of the Arts. It was such a success, it’s being offered again next weekend.

While some studios had only 15 or 20 visitors, about 400 people showed up at Vista Studios over the two-day event. Most artists greeted between 50 and 100.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Mike Williams, who makes paintings and sculptures in a converted auto repair shop in West Columbia.

“The people who came were people I had never met,” said Williams, a high-profile artist in the area for 15 years. “A lot were recent transplants who wanted to see who and what was around.”

Face jug-maker Ben Truesdale was happy with the response, too.

“I had a lot of people from the Upstate — the farthest away was from Las Vegas,” said Truesdale, who also works in West Columbia. “I sold a good bit of work, but it’s just fun to have people come out and wander around.”

The EBCO studio, above a store in Five Points, is one of several spaces with several artists under one roof.

“We were really impressed,” said Eileen Blythe. “We all had good sales as well. Plus, it was just fun.”

Chet Goff moved into EBCO (named for the old-fashioned water fountain in the common hallway) just before the first studio tour.

“It was a chance to meet people — I’d never done anything like it before,” he said. “I thought it would be people just meandering around, but they were really interested in talking about art, and they knew what they were talking about.”

Reach Day at (803) 771-8518.

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