Saturday, December 29, 2007

Four Guys and a Gallery

(Above: Article as it appears in the January edition of Lake Murray Carolina Magazine. Click image to enlarge.)

Four Guys and a Gallery

By Rachel Haynie
Photography By Anne McQuary, Hey Baby Smile

Four friends, all artists, will regroup for their eight annual combined show at Gallery 80808 this month.

Stephen Chesley, Mike Williams, Edward Wimberly and David Yaghjian will pack a power display of paintings, sculptures, monotypes and other media Jan. 25 - Feb. 5. This union of like souls began long ago. Chesley first admired Wimberly's art when the two were students at Clemson University (then College.) "Edward was painting in the fine art studio in the same building my architecture classes were, but we didn't meet until later," Chesley says. Now, he often drives to Wimberly's St. Matthews studio to see what portrait commissions are in progress and to share a cup of coffee and a visit. A longtime family friend, Chesley has been an uncle-figure to Wimberley's children.

Later, Chesley was colleagues with David Yaghjian at Vista Studios, where they swapped critiques and encouragement daily. Mike Williams was another Vista Studios artist. "I miss the camaraderie of being down there," says Williams, who moved his large-scale projects to a roomier studio in West Columbia.

But the friends are still in contact. "Fortunately, I get to see David at (Shandon Presbyterian) church nearly every week," says Williams. "And Stephen is like my second pair of hands when I have an installation to make." Stephen Chesley's experience in construction comes in handy when Williams needs to move and install one of his heroic-size sculptures.

"There is a trust among us all," says Williams. "Getting ready for this winter show every year is a chance to take stock of what we've been doing all year. I am so comfortable knowing we all will show up with interesting, quality work."

Since last year's Gallery 80808 show, Williams and Chesley have presented one-man shows at the Cheryl Newby Gallery on Pawleys' Island and Burroughs-Chapin Gallery in Myrtle Beach, respectively. Yaghjian was part of a group show at the Greenville County Museum of Art. The late Mark Coplan collected works by Williams and Yaghjian (exhibited through March at the State Museum) and Chesley (in private collections).

Since Wimberley's primary focus is portrait commissions, joing his friends for this annual show is a rare venture beyond his own studio, and a chance to produce something entirely different. The upcoming show will feature Wimberly's evocative and symbolic surrealist paintings, Williams sculpture and new abstract landscapes, Chesley's brooding landscapes (now larger-scale than before), and Yaghjian's latest age-confrontational paintings and new suite of monotypes.

(Above: Second page of article as it appears in the magazine. Click image to enlarge.)

To visit the website for Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, click here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Strata, Article featuring Susan Lenz

(Click on photos above to enlarge!)

The above photos is from the Nov/Dec issue of South Carolina Homes & Gardens of an article called Strata written by Rachel Haynie.

It reads:

Fiber Artist Susan Lenz
Gallery 80808, Vista Lights, Columbia

An exhibition of fiber art begging to be touched is handing at Gallery 80808 in The Vista, the heart of Columbia's art scene. Text: Rachel Haynie

Leaving no earth tone unturned, fiber artist Susan Lenz has been informed for her series, "Strata," by the earth sciences. Her sinewy compositions, resembling cross-sectional profiles of soft sedimentary layers, debut in the capital city as part of the annual Vista Lights, beginning November 17.

For her Autumn Strata, Lenz has plucked minerals right from the earth. In the Winter Strata, she had made monochromatic dynamic by building up the textures. By spring she has gathered violets and scattered them across a verdant field. Summer Strata is an explosion of celebratory color.

Works from Lenz's on-going "In Box" series have evolved into architectural statements worth repeating for Vista Lights. She interpreted ancient structures in an earlier series, "Elements in Architecture," and pieces from that group remain on view in her studio.

Pieces from the exhibition "Stitched!" can also be seen at Lenz's studio. Recently she has created art-to-wear scarves that are, in some ways, linear versions of her horizontal Strata pieces. To achieve her effects, Lenz employs hand embroidery, embellishing, and stitching, as well as painting. She often turns to machine embroidery and she raises the relief in her works by burning or melting away unwanted background fabric. Like a nest-building bird seeking out snippets of thread and yearn, Lenz lays away texture the way some artists hoard certain paint colors. Ribbon, remnants of fabric and embellishments..including jewelry...fill her burgeoning larder of possibilities.

"Sometimes I know when I see it exactly what I need it for. Most times, I am working on something and reach for a color or pile and it's there," she said. For an earlier series, Lenz unraveled an entire orange knit dress her mother placed in her creative hands. Before long, lengths of the nearly Day-Glo orange yarn had been circular stitched into fabric vessels. A few leftover tendrils later became striations in the fall Strata series.

Vista Lights art patrons will be able to see the newest works of other Vista Studios artists. Studio neighbors include Ethel Brody, Pat Callahan, Stephen Chesley, Jeff Donovan, Heidi Darr-Hope, Pat Gilmarting, Robert Kennedy, Sharon Licata, Yvonne Ruff, Laura Spong, David Yaghjian, Don Zurlo, and Michel McNinch.

Vista Lights showcases the composite output of artists who share the gallery space. SInce being established as a joint venture of teh Columbia Development Corporation and the South Carolina Arts Commission in the revitalization of the Congaree Vista, Gallery 80808 has provided gallery space and studios for more than a dozen serious artists. Together they have helped the area mature into a sought-after outlet for the Midlands' visual arts. With new shows coming in regularly, Gallery 80808 presents up to 25 different exhibitions a year.

To visit Gallery 80808/Vista Studios website, click here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

David Yaghjian wins third place at the Florence Miniature Competition

Vista Studio artist David Yaghjian won third place in the annual Friends of the Florence Museum Miniature Art Competition which is on display from November 27 until December 21, 2007.

Giovanni DiFeterici won first place with Small Jar of Screws. Barbara Yon took second with Asian Princes.
Third place was David Yaghjian with Cell Phone.

The juror, Jim Boden, said, "David Yaghjian's, Cell Phone, reminded me of the classic pose of Manet's The Dead Toreador. Here is a cockroach stretched out nobly and colored so wonderfully."

To visit Gallery 80808/Vista Studio's website, click here.

Pat Callahan's Success at Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon

Vista Studio artist Pat Callahan ran her first full marathon on Saturday, December 8 in Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon. She finished with a time of 3:42.55 which put her in the 178th spot...that's the 29th female to cross the finish time...that's also SECOND in her age category! Hurrah for Pat!

She said of this accomplishment: "The marathon went great...Ran great till mile 21 when the legs stopped cooperating and all began to hurt. But I finished, and I was thrilled (to stop running! actually trudging at that point) Few aches the first of the week, but only tired now--bone tired....I'm sticking to half marathons--half the distance, half the training, and twice the fun."

Everyone at Vista Studios is amazingly proud.

Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon - Results
Charlotte, NC USA
December 8, 2007
Finishers: 840, Males - 582, Females - 258
Male Winner: 2:39:58 | Female Winner: 2:45:10
Average Finish Time: 4:14:44 | STD: 0:39:40

From the Charlotte Observer on Friday, December 7:

Thunder Road Marathon, a marathon/half-marathon/5K race, hits the pavement at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The marathon has a six-hour time limit for completion and the half-marathon has a three-hour time limit. The City of Charlotte expects traffic congestion on and around the racecourse until 2 p.m.

The marathon begins on College Street between Stonewall Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and heads away from uptown on Third Street. It continues through Myers Park on Providence and Sharon Roads but turns back toward uptown before reaching SouthPark mall.

It winds through Dilworth, Third Ward, Wilmore, NoDa, Plaza Midwood, and First and Second Ward neighborhoods.

The half-marathon runs concurrently.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

if ART Gallery presents Construction Crew III

(To enlarge, please click on the image!)

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

C o n s t r u c t i o n C r e w III:

Dec. 7 – 18, 2007
Artists’ Reception: Friday, Dec. 7, 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 its holiday exhibition at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios in Columbia, S.C., if ART presents Construction Crew III, a group exhibition with work by South Carolina artists Steven Chapp, Jeff Donovan, Janet Orselli and Edward Rice. Like the first two if ART Construction Crew exhibitions in December 2005 and 2006, the show consists of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art that has strong constructional or architectural characteristics. The exhibition opens Friday, Dec. 7, with a reception from 5 –10 p.m. and runs through Dec. 18. Opening hours are weekdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sundays 1 ­ – 5 p.m. Chapp, Donovan, Orselli and Rice are represented by if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St., (803) 238-2351, where additional works of art by all four artists will be on view.

Chapp will be showing monotypes, intaglio prints, drawings and paintings from the 1980s through last week. Donovan will present several major new ceramic sculptures. Orselli will show reconstructed and reconfigured old baby-carriages-turned-art-objects. Among the paintings Rice will be showing is a new series of barn paintings, in which the same barn structure is painted a dozen times in different colors.

Easley, S.C., native Steven Chapp (b. 1952) is a native of Kansas City, MO. He holds an MFA in printmaking and drawing from Clemson University and a BFA from Appalachian State University. He has shown in galleries and museums throughout the region, including the Greenville County (S.C.) Museum of Art, the Burroughs and Chapin Museum in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and the Pickens County (S.C.) Museum of Art and History. He worked on two projects with artists Christo and Jean Claude, in Kansas City in 1978 and Key Biscayne, Fla., in 1983.

Jeff Donovan (b. 1957) has been a fixture on the Columbia, S.C., art scene for many years. The painter and ceramic sculptor was born in Millford, Del., and studied at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Fla., and the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C. Donovan has exhibited widely throughout South and North Carolina. He is represented in the Mark B. Coplan Collection of South Carolina Art, the prominent ceramic sculpture collection of Ron Porter and Joe Price in Columbia and in the collection of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. Donovan also works as an art conservator with ReNewell Fine Art Conservation in Columbia.

Janet Orselli (b. 1954) was born in Columbia, S.C., where she lived until November 2007, when she moved to Mill Spring, N.C. In 1976, she graduated from Clemson Unversity with a degree in psychology. In the 1990s she gradually switched careers from the field of mental health to art. While establishing herself as an artist, she earned an M.F.A. from Clemson in 2001. She was selected for the 2001 and 2004 South Carolina Triennial exhibitions as well as the 2004 traveling exhibition “South Carolina Birds: A Fine Arts Exhibition.” Earlier this year, Orselli has a solo show at O.K. Harris Gallery in New York City. Orselli has done large installations at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, S.C., the Burroughs & Chapin Museum in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Orselli has received several residencies and fellowships, including at Anderson Ranch in Colorado and in Kaiserslautern, Germany. She is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship.

North Augusta, S.C., native Edward Rice (b. 1953) lives in Augusta, Ga. He is one of the Southeast’s most prominent contemporary painters. Rice’s solo exhibitions include those at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, S.C., the Greenville County (S.C.) Museum of Art, the Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum in La Grange, Ga., and the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. Rice also was represented in The Story of the South: Art and Culture, 1890 – 2003, the inaugural exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. “Edward Rice: Architectural Works, 1978-1998” was published by the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art in Augusta, Ga., and “Edward Rice: Recent Monotypes,” by the Morris Museum of Art in 2003.
From Friday, December 7 through Tuesday, December 18, if ART Gallery will present Contruction Crew III at Gallery 80808, 808 Lady Street in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. The show will feature Steven Chapp, Janet Orselli, Edward Rice, and Vista Studio's own Jeff Donovan. The artists' reception will be held on Friday, December 7 from 5 until 10 PM. Additional hours are: Weekdays from 11 Am until 7 Pm: Saturdays from 11 AM until 5 PM; and on Sundays from 1 - 5 PM.

For additional information, please contact if ART Gallery owner, Wim Roefs at (803) 238-2351 or call Gallery 80808/Vista Studios directly at (803) 252-6134. Also, visit the gallery's website at

Monday, December 3, 2007

Vista Studio Artist Susan Lenz accepted into Craftforms 2007

Vista Studio artist Susan Lenz recently had The Collector accepted into Craftforms 2007, an international juried contemporary fine craft exhibition featuring 82 works by 80 artists from 25 States, Canada, and South Korea. The show is held at the Wayne Art Center in Wayne, Pennsylvania outside Philadelphia. The juror was Mark Richard Leach, founding director and chief curator of the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Susan and her husband Steve went to the opening reception and took these photos. An on-line catalog of the exhibit is available here.

Heidi Darr-Hope's Retreat to Mallorca, Spain

Sharon Bray and Heidi Darr-Hope present the Fourth Annual Serrania Retreat Sanctuary: Exploring the Self in Writing and Art
May 24 - 31, 2008
Mallorca, Spain

Early bird special of $1,500 until December 31 after $1,725
fee includes workshop costs, beautiful accommodations; delicious Mediterranean meals…
register early as enrollment is limited to 14.

Imagine yourself in the beauty of the Mallorcan countryside, amid the tranquil setting of La Serrania, part of a small group of people gathered together to wander and explore. You will be inspired by the serenity of nature and the quiet time, allowing you to express your creativity in word and art, gleaned from your wellspring of imagination and memory.

To create a sanctuary for authentic self-expression is to engage ourselves creatively in a search for meaning. Whether we express ourselves through words, music, dance or images, our mind, body, and soul merge. We then experience a unique way to connect with the unseen spiritual forces that guide and support our lives.

Yearning to deepen and enrich your life?
Longing to reconnect with your creative spirit?
Misplaced your life’s passion? Join us and give yourself the gift of Sanctuary

For more information and photos: