Posts from February 6, 2007 until March 7, 2007

Wednesday March 7, 2007

if Art International presents Leamon and Thornton

if ART, International Fine Art Services
presents at

Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady St., Columbia, S.C.

Deanna Leamon: Shroud & H. Brown Thornton:

Great Sea Creatures & the Earth on the Back of the Giant Turtle

March 9 – 20, 2007

Artists’ Reception:

Friday, March 9, 5 – 10 p.m.

Opening Hours:

Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sundays, 1 – 5 p.m.; and Weekdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and by appointment

For additional information contact Wim Roefs at if ART: (803) 238-2351 or call the gallery at (803) 252-6134 or visit the Gallery 80808/Vista Studios website:

For its March exhibition at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in Columbia, S.C., if ART, International Fine Art Services, presents solo exhibitions by Deanna Leamon and H. Brown Thornton. Leamon will exhibit mixed media works on paper. Thornton will show mixed media paintings. Both artists are represented by Columbia’s if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St., (803) 238-2351.

Leamon is a professor at the University of South Carolina art department. Her graphite-driven works on paper have received great critical acclaim. Leamon only sporadically shows in Columbia, and this show will be her first local solo exhibition in a commercial gallery. Leamon’s work was in “Thresholds: Expressions of Art & Spiritual Life.” The exhibition was curated by New York art critic Eleanor Heartney and traveled throughout the Southeast from 2004–2006. Leamon also was in “The Felt Moment,” a 2003 show of contemporary art from the Carolinas at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Aiken native and resident Brown Thornton also was in “The Felt Moment.” Thornton received his BFA from the University of South Carolina art department in 1999. From 2001–2005 he lived and worked in Chicago, where he shows with the Linda Warren Gallery. The realization that the South was a significant aspect of his work – and the fear of another cold Chicago winter – made Thornton decide to move back to Aiken, where he lives and works in a warehouse studio.

“I want my work to constantly emphasize the temporal, passing moment,” Thornton says of his abstract acrylic paintings with representative elements. “This can be something that just happened or something that happened long ago and only remains as fragments made up of memories or photographs. I think I am defined more so by a collection of constantly passing events, both present and past, than most anything else. I often place the whale skeletons on dry land, emphasizing that this land was not dry at one point and may one day be under water again.”

The impetus for Leamon’s current work is the war in Iraq, she says, “especially those aspects of that war that our government doesn’t want us to see, such as Iraqi casualties. This work continues my concern with individual human suffering as a consequence of large bureaucratic exercises of power. I continue to explore new ways to extend drawing and to make the drawing medium serve the artistic message.”

Friday February 9, 2007

Sharon Licata’s Residency at Burton Pack Elementary

During the week of November 29 and again on January 23, fourth grade students at Burton-Pack Elementary worked with artist-in-residence Sharon Collings Licata, a sculptor who has a studio at Gallery80808/Vista Studios in downtown Columbia. Students created African masks using clay. The artist-in-residency program is made possible through grants from the S.C. Arts Commission.

This entry was composed from the caption accompanying photos that appeared “The State Newspaper” on Thursday, Friday 8, 2007.

Wednesday February 7, 2007


Washington Color Field Great
South Carolina’s

Presented by:
if ART, International Fine Art Services
Gallery 80808/Vista Studios
808 Lady Street, Columbia, SC

Feb. 9 – 20, 2007

Artists’ Reception:
Friday, Feb. 9, 5 – 10 p.m.

Opening Hours:
Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays, 1 – 5 p.m.
Weekdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
and by appointment

For additional information: Wim Roefs at if ART:(803) 238-2351 or [email protected]

(Laura Spong’s Breaking Point)

For its February exhibition at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in Columbia, S.C., if ART, International Fine Art Services, presents Abstract In Nature, a group exhibition with work by South Carolina artists Laura Spong, Mike Williams and Katie Walker as well as renowned first-generation Washington Color Field painter Paul Reed. The show consists of abstract paintings by Reed, Spong and Walker and abstract metal sculpture by Williams. The exhibition opens Friday, Feb. 9, with a reception from 5:00 –10:00 p.m. and runs through Feb. 20. Opening hours are weekdays, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Reed, Spong and Walker are represented by Columbia’s if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St., (803) 238-2351, which also shows sculpture by Williams.

Washington, D.C., native Paul Reed, (b. 1919) in 1965-1966 was one of the six painters in The Washington Color Painters, the first nationally traveling exhibition of Washington Color Field paintings. The other five painters were Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, Gene Davis, Howard Mehring and Tom Downey. Reed’s work is in dozens of museums across the country, including the Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Museum of American Art, all in D.C., the Detroit Institute of Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum in Hartford, Conn., the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama. In South Carolina, his work is in the Greenville County Museum of Art and the Columbia Museum of Art, whose acquisition of two Paul Reed paintings was facilitated by if ART owner Wim Roefs. Reed’s work has been in more than 100 solo and group shows, including Modernism & Abstraction: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which traveled nationally from 2000-2002.

Columbia’s Laura Spong (b. 1926) enjoyed her most successful year in 2006, both in terms of sales and critical acclaim. Spong sold more than 30 paintings from her 80th birthday solo exhibition at Gallery 80808 in February 2006, which was accompanied by a 32-page catalogue published by if ART. Spong also had solo exhibitions last year at Carol Saunders Gallery in Columbia and Greenville’s Hampton III Gallery, as well as a retrospective at the University of South Carolina’s McMaster Gallery. She was in a two-person show at Atlanta’s Vinson Gallery and in several group exhibitions in North and South Carolina. In April, she’ll be in a group exhibition at the Greenville County Museum of Art that also will include if ART Gallery artist David Yaghjian.

Greenville’s Katie Walker (b. 1970) was in the 2005 Florence, Italy, Biennale, and recently has been in exhibitions at the Upstairs Gallery in Tryon, N.C., Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta, the Spartanburg (S.C.) Museum of Art, the Carillon Building in Charlotte, N.C., the Artbomb in Greenville and Brookgreen Gardens in Pawley’s Island, S.C. She was included in New American Paintings No. 40, 2002. Walker holds a BFA in Studio Art from Furman University and an MFA from the University of Georgia.

Sumter native and Columbia resident Mike Williams (b. 1963) recently had a major solo exhibition at Columbia College in Columbia, S.C. Williams is among the state’s most-acclaimed painters and sculptors. In recent years he has had solo exhibitions at Pawleys Island Cheryl Newby Gallery, I. Pinckney Simons Gallery in Beaufort, S.C., and at Newberry College in Newberry, S.C, Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C., and the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C.

Ethel Brody and Leona Sobel Featured in Columbia Metropolitan

Vista Studio artist Ethel Brody and her sister Leona Sobel are featured in the February issue of “Columbia Metropolitan” magazine ( an article by Kathryn Kruger with photography by Tim Conway. The text includes fond memories from the sisters’ childhoods that blossom into a passion for travel, art, collecting, and civic contributions. The image was taken inside the Columbia Museum of Art, one of the numerous organizations benefiting from Ethel and Leona’s generosity and deep knowledge. The article includes insight into Ethel’s unique artistic background and mentions her Vista Studio location as a place “where she pursues her ongoing exploration of pattern and personal motifs through her mixed media art”. One particular quote stands out from the article: “‘Collecting is a learning proposition,’ says Ethel Sobel Brody. ‘One must fall in love with art, but one must study before one collects.'” Vista Studios is truly fortunate to have such a visionary among its numbers.

Tuesday February 6, 2007

NBSC Oil Painters’ Invitational at Sumter Gallery of Art

Jeff Donovan’s “Earth Tone”. First Place.

Gallery 80808/Vista Studios is proud to announce that two of its members have just won awards in the NBSC Oil Painters’ Invitational Exhibit at the Sumter Gallery of Art, 200 Hasel Street(adjacent to Patriot Hall). Jeff Donovan took the top prize for Earth Tone. David Yaghjian received an honorable mention for “Barringer II”.

(Above: Barringer II by David Yaghjian)

The exhibit opens with a reception on Thursday, February 8 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM and runs through March 18. Gallery hours are: Tues-Sat 11-5 PM and Sunday 1:30-5 PM.

The show was juried by Sandra Rupp, Director of Hampton III Gallery in Taylors, SC. Ed Wimberly, whose work is annually displayed at Gallery 80808, won second place with Sitter. Columbia based artist Marcelo Novo won third for Dreaming of Nothing.

For additional information, please visit the Sumter Gallery of Art website at: or call: 803-775-0543.

David Yaghjian’s “Barringer II”. Honorable Mention

Ed Wimberly’s “Sitter”. Second Place

Marcelo Novo’s “Dreaming of Nothing”. Third Place.

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