Posts from January 22, 2006 to May 3, 2006

Wednesday May 3, 2006

GENESIS, An Exhibit by Alicia Leeke


Gallery 80808 will feature the exhibit Genesis, a collection of selected paintings, sketches, monotypes and batiks by Columbia artist Alicia Leeke on view May 12-16, 2006.

Leeke started her artistic studies at Columbia College. During her sophomore year, she vacationed in Paris and visited the Louve, where she fell in love with Impressionism and the work of noted artists: Lautrec, Degas, Renoir and later, Utrillo.

Her work is inspired the most by French Impressionist painters and how they captured history, social conscience and architecture by painting the people and environment around them.

Her pieces are in private collections from New York to California and her work has been juried into several shows including Atalaya. She was recently recognized as an Emerging Artist finalist in Charlotte by Red Sky Gallery and was the Summerville, SC Flowertown Festival Run Art Contest Winner in April 2005 and recipient of a Purchase Patron Award at the South Carolina State Fair in 2004.

When asked about her style, she says “When I look back to my student work, my first series was a group of abstract paintings in the vein of Mondrian. While I still paint abstracts, the majority of my work revolves around vignettes and quaint street scenes. Stylistically, the foundation of all of my paintings is the use of intense black lines found most often in Fauvism.”

This holds true with her sketches, monotypes and batiks too. “Experimenting with diverse media allows me to enjoy some of the same designs away from canvas. I like to experiment with silk and specialty papers and observe the interaction of paints and inks on different surfaces,” says Leeke.

Her upcoming show, Genesis, exemplifies the nature of her work. She notes “This show is primarily about vibrant color and detail, incorporating gentle distortions of linear perspective.

Leeke will be available at Gallery 80808 during the opening reception on Friday, May 12, from 6-10 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday from 1-5 p.m.; by appointment calling (803) 429-5456 or byemailing [email protected].

Friday April 28, 2006


THE BLUES ON LADY STREET, featuring works by members of Vista Studios and the SC Watercolor Society, on view from Apr. 24 through May 9, 2006. The exhibit will also be open for Artista Vista on Apr, 28 & 29, 2006.

Why The Blues on Lady Street? Despite the road crews’ best efforts, the continuing street construction outside our main entrance has us singing the blues. Joining the exhibiting Vista Studios artists; Carol Barks, Ethel Brody, Pat Callahan, Heidi Darr-Hope, Pat Gilmartin, Robert Kennedy, Susan Lenz, Sharon C. Licata, Laura Spong, David Yaghjian, and Don Zurlo, will be four members of the SC Watercolor Society; JoAnne Anderson, Meg McLean, Ester Melton and Rose Metz. Also included in the exhibition will be a painting by Rueben Gambrell in memorial.

Perhaps the art exhibited that is most closely associated with “the blues” as a musical form is an installation of twenty-four lady blues singers created by Susan Lenz in Studio 4.

Lenz writes of her Tapestry in Blue, an Installation Chapel: “Early female blues singers lived in a male dominated society, in a segregated country, and worked in an industry that took advantage of their lack of education and opportunity. Physical abuse, drug and alcohol dependence, and poverty plagued most. They struggled, made sacrifices, and sang of their woes. They helped change the world for today’s young, black, female vocalists. Music, candles, and an altar will focus viewer’s attention on a wall of mixed media icons. Everyone is invited to pay respects in the transformed space.”

Two additional Vista Studios artists will also be exhibiting collage or mixed media constructions. Pat Callahan will be continuing her communication communion series. In addition she has a construction titled, eve songs (in acts), inspired by the coming of evening, the time she often arrives at the studio and has to traverse the road construction. Heidi Darr-Hope takes the blues on an internal turn with her five pieces presenting an assuagement, a type of medicine for the blues. She desires the viewer to reflect inwardly, to search for meaning enriching the soul.

The painters of Vista Studios are presenting an assortment of “blue” images. Ethel Brody’s are Rhapsody in Blue, a series of blue squares and Nautilus. Laura Spong is tipping her hat to the city engineer who has gone to great lengths to maintain access to the Vista Studios building with her Ode to Engineer Linda. Don Zurlo will present one of his acrylic abstracts titled Claybird and David Yaghjian will continue his series.

The sculptors are taking rather different interpretations of “the blues.” Pat Gilmartin has created Blue Adluh in earthenware. It is an abstracted representation of the Vista’s landmark, the Adluh Floor building. Sharon Collings Licata has turned to the water for inspiration for her abstracted animal forms with Menace from the Blue Depths and a blue heron titled Blue Repose. Carol Barks has a lapis lazidi abstract sculpture, Under Currents. She invites you to find the swirling motions that suggest a whirlpool and waves of emotion.

The guest watercolor artists will be bringing another dimension to the blues theme. JoAnne Anderson speaks to a traditional “blues” with Blues in the Night, while Meg Mclean takes a more spring like turn with Blue Lacecap. Ester Melton has responded to the construction outside the studios’ door with Detour and Rose Metz reaches for the sky with Aurora.

Sunday February 26, 2006

Leo Twiggs: Toward Another Retrospective

if ART, International Fine Art Services
Columbia, S.C.presents at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios
808 Lady St., Columbia, S.C.

March 3 – 14, 2006
Artist’s Reception:
Friday, March 3, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Opening Hours:
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
Weekdays, 12 – 7 p.m. and by appointment

For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART: (803) 238-2351 – (803) 799-7170 – [email protected]

While Leo Twiggs’ retrospective exhibition is on view at the South Carolina State Museum, if ART, International Fine Art Services, will present Twiggs’ first solo gallery show in Columbia, S.C. The if ART exhibition, Leo Twiggs: Toward Another Retrospective, will take place March 3 – 14, 2006, at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios on Lady Street in Columbia’s downtown Vista district. It will present new paintings by Twiggs from the past year. The artist’s reception is March 3, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Opening hours are Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; weekdays, noon – 7:00 p.m.; and by appointment. For an appointment, call Wim Roefs at if ART at(803) 238-2351.

“Leo Twiggs is one of the giants of South Carolina art in the past four decades,” said Wim Roefs, owner of if ART. “He’s one of the state’s most important artists, and one of the few state artists with a truly national reputation. He’s also been one of South Carolina’s most important art educators. As a professor and art department head at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, he taught the majority of African-American art teachers working in this state. And Twiggs has been a major presence on art-related boards, committees and commissions in South Carolina, on any level.”

In 1981, Twiggs was the first to receive as an individual South Carolina’s highest art award, the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts. In 1970, he was the first African American to get an Ed.D. in art education from the University of Georgia. Twiggs is generally considered one of the most innovative batik artists in the county and the pioneer in developing batik as a modern art medium. His retrospective, Myths and Metaphors: The Art of Leo Twiggs, was organized by the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Ga. After a two-year tour, the exhibition has it last stop at the State Museum.

Twiggs, who retired from S.C. State in 1998, was born in 1934 and raised in rural St. Stephen, S.C. His art is about subjects, issues and people from or close to his Southern upbringing and countryside home. But through familiar specifics, Twiggs addresses broader themes, be it black culture, including the blues, the relationship between generations, religion and spirituality, or the South’s lingering Confederate mindset.

Twiggs is “an American original,” art historian Frank Martin argued in his contribution to the Myths and Metaphors exhibition catalogue. He makes “formal and aesthetic contributions unlike those of any other American painter.” Twiggs, Martin wrote, has “an uncanny ability to reconcile a multiplicity of cultural traditions with integrity, while simultaneously offering insightful commentary regarding aesthetic, ethical, and social issues that are translated, with understated power, through his unique experience.”

Twiggs began to experiment with batik in the mid-1960s. Already in 1972, the catalogue for an exhibition at Southern Illinois University said that “his name and the medium of batik seem almost synonymous.” There and at several other 1970s exhibitions, Twiggs shared the stage with a virtual who’s who of AfricanAmerican art, including Jacob Lawrence, Lois Mailou Jones, Romare Bearden, Selma Burke, Richmond Barthe, John Biggers, Charles Alston and Hale Woodruff. Woodruff had been his teacher at New York University in the early 1960s. During the 1970s, Twiggs was included in books on African-American art by J. Edgar Atkinson, Samella Lewis and Elton Fax. He had solo museum exhibitions at North Carolina’s Asheville Museum, the Schenectady Museum in the state of New York, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. “In a single work,” wrote Martin, who teaches at S.C. State, “Twiggs may present Southern regional themes, allude to a realm of intuition, magic, and traditional African religious elements, offer autobiographical information, and evoke, without effort, an aesthetic linkage to the most advanced aspects of Abstract Expressionism.”

Sunday February 12, 2006

Warming The Chill Wind With Celebration

if ART, International Fine Art Services
Columbia, S.C.
presents at
Gallery 80808/Vista Studios
808 Lady St., Columbia, SC
Warming The Chill Wind With Celebration

February 17 – 28, 2006

Artists’ Reception:
Friday, Feb. 17, 5 – 10 p.m.

Opening Hours:
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
Weekdays, 11 am – 7 pm and by appointment

For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART:
(803) 238-2351 – (803) 799-7170 – [email protected]

Opening a year of celebration for Columbia, S.C., artist Laura Spong, if ART, International Fine Art Services of Columbia presents as its February exhibition, “Laura Spong at 80: Warming The Chill Wind With Celebration.” The exhibition will present new or not previously shown work at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios at 808 Lady St. in Columbia’s downtown Vista district. The show will consist of 50 new paintings by Spong, who turns 80 years old in February.

The opening reception for the exhibition is February 17, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Opening hours are Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sundays, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m; and weekdays 11:00 a.m – 7:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information or to make an appointment, contact if ART’s Wim Roefs at (803) 799-7170, (803) 238-2351 (cell) or [email protected].

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 32-page catalogue with 14 color plates as well as essays by Roefs, visual art critic Teri Tynes and Robin Waites, former chief curator at the South Carolina State Museum and the executive director of the Historic Columbia Foundation.
Simultaneously, another Spong exhibition will take place at Columbia’s Carol Saunders Gallery. The exhibition, called “Evolution,” will present 20 paintings from the 1989 – 2005 period, most of them from the past three years. The show runs from February 16 through March 18. The gallery is at 922 Gervais St. in the Vista district, phone (803) 256-3046.
Also in February, Spong will be in a two-person show at Vinson Gallery in Decatur, Ga. In July, the University of South Carolina’s McMaster Gallery will mount a retrospective of her career.

Sunday January 22, 2006

Winter Exhibition
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