Monday, February 25, 2008


Don Zurlo Attempts to Reconcile Freedom with Order at His Upcoming Exhibit
(Kimberly Reda-Wilson)

Don Zurlo, MFA Rutgers, presents his “visualization of the creative process” that began at Starbuck’s in the Vista of Columbia, SC. The first of his two-part series…

Atmospheric Noise, Part I

will be on exhibit
Friday, February 29th - Tuesday, March 4th
Gallery80808/Vista Studios
808 Lady Street
Columbia, SC

Gallery hours are 10 AM until 5 PM. Personal appointments can be made by calling 803-960-2087. The opening exhibit of Don’s new art, which represents a combination of accident, intuition and rational decisions, can be viewed at his…

Friday, February 29th from 7 - 9 PM

(Click on image to enlarge.)
Atmospheric Noise, Part I – how it started.

It started over a cup of coffee at Starbucks in the Vista of downtown Columbia…as he looked across the street; Don saw the malfunctioning neon “Liberty” Grill sign that momentarily displayed “Libe.” Don was intrigued to learn that “libe” is computer language for a C library which contains various functions dealing with data structures. From this, Don extrapolated two contradictory meanings –freedom as opposed to order. More importantly, “Was there a message in the sign about the reconciliation of these concepts?”

(Click on image to enlarge.)
Atmospheric Noise, Part I – associated to previous works.

Don began to reflect on his previous artwork like Red and Blue. He had already used esthetic principles as they relate to random events in a 1967 exhibition at the Howard Wise Gallery in NYC. Pulling from his previous work, combined with his experience at Starbucks, Zurlo began to visualize the creative process as a combination of accident, intuition and rational decisions.

(Click on image to enlarge.)
Atmospheric Noise, Part I – math or art?

Don found a list randomizer on the Internet that randomly reordered a series of numbers based on constantly changing data from atmospheric noise. Using calculations based on this series of numbers, he began a series of color field paintings which start with these generated accidents, and are completed using intuitive and logical decisions.

(Click on image to enlarge.)
Don’s Developing Art Style
Don’s upcoming exhibit will include pieces from 2004 through “Atmospheric Noise.” This additional work will tantalize avid art viewers’ tastes for texture, color, drama, and intensity. The array of work reveals Don’s experimentation with “abstract expressionism.

(Click on image to enlarge.)
Don’s Background

Don holds a BA English/Art and MFA Visual Arts from Rutgers University. He studied under Allan Kaprow and Robert Watts for his respective degrees. Don has exhibited in the Howard Wise Gallery, NYC, Walker Art, Minneapolis, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton and numerous other galleries in the East.
Atmospheric Noise, Part I - to be continued.
The second of Don’s two-part series…

Atmospheric Noise, Part II
will be on exhibit Thursday, May 8th – Tuesday, May 13th at Gallery80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street, Columbia, SC.

For additional information and images, please visit or the Gallery 80808/Vista Studios website News / Events.

Vista Studio Artists participate in Philharmonic Benefit

Thirty-eight South Carolina artists,including Vista Studio artists Sharon Licata and Michel McNinch, have each transformed a musical instrument into a piece of art. Creations (violins, violas, cello and flute) are on display throughout the Vista from March 1 to April 1.

Michel McNinch's Mosaic Violin
Stained glass, paint, grout
Many different colors of stained glass cover the violin and have been grouted in black to increase the drama in the piece. Light refracts over iridescent glass and “plays” with the viewer. Both the front and the back of the violin comprise the design.

Sharon Licata's, The Magic Flute
Flute, crystals, natural stones, paint, wire
The magick that Mozart envisioned many years ago is still alive today -- frequently in ways that we don’t recognize. This is the only flute in the collection.

The public is invited to view the entire collection, meet the artists and begin bidding at a reception on April 3, 2008, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at City Art, 1224 Lincoln Street. Ten percent of any City Art works sold the night of the reception also benefit the South Carolina Philharmonic.

On April 5, the violins are displayed at the Koger Center and auctioned at this final Master Series concert of the season.

All violins are available to purchase by bid, minimum bid $300. Bidding begins at the April 3 City Art show and concludes at at the April 5 Master Series concert. Limited edition posters of each artwork are also available for bid at both events; minimum poster bid $20. For additional information, call Robin Georgion at 803.771.7937.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Inventory

(Above: Dorothy Netherland's Lucky. Click on image to enlarge.)

if ART presents THE INVENTORY at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios , 808 Lady Street in the downtown Vista area of Columbia, South Carolina

A Group Show of if ART artists

February 15 – 26, 2008

Artists’ Reception: Friday, February 15 from 5 – 10 p.m.

Opening Hours: Saturdays, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Sundays from 1 - 5 p.m.; and weekdays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and by appointment.

For additional information, please contact Wim Roef at if Art (803) 238-2351 or by email at Also, please visit the Gallery 80808/Vista Studios' website here.

(Above: Jeff Donovan's Back Hand II. Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Kees Salentijn's Hombre. Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Marcelo Novo's work.)

(Above: Katie Walker's Electric II. Click on image to enlarge.)

For its February exhibition, if ART presents The Inventory, a group exhibition of artists from if ART Gallery. The show will consist of many new works by if ART artists as well as older pieces from the gallery’s inventory.

Included in the show will be work by Columbia artists Jeff Donovan, Mary Gilkerson, Marcelo Novo, Anna Redwine and David Yaghjian. Other South Carolina artists include Carl Blair, Jeri Burdick, Phil Garrett, Bill Jackson, Peter Lenzo, Dorothy Netherland, Matt Overend, Edward Rice, Tom Stanley, Christine Tedesco, H. Brown Thornton, Leo Twiggs, Katie Walker and Paul Yanko. Furthermore, the show will present work by former South Carolina residents Tonya Gregg, Eric Miller and Andy Moon. Also included are California collage artist Jerry Harris, Dutch painter Kees Salentijn and German artists Roland Albert, Klaus Hartmann and Silvia Rudolf.

(Above: Tonya Gregg's Naked Man Beach.)

To visit Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, click here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Slightly off the Path by Matthew Givens

Matthew Givens presents Slightly off the Path at Gallery80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street in Columbia's downtown Vista area. The exhibition begins on Thursday, February 7th and runs through Tuesday, February 12th. Hours are 10 AM until 5 PM.

The opening reception is Friday, February 8th from 5 - 10 PM.

Fine Art Photographer Matthew Givens provided the following state for this exhibition:

Slightly off the Path

Slightly off the Path are the images of my three months spent exploring the English Countryside. The Peak District, located mainly in the beautiful county of Derbyshire is where my work focused.

Armed with two cameras, a few lenses and plenty of warm clothes, I spent four to eight hours a day hiking alone, exploring the stark but wonderful landscape. I believe that true beauty comes through staying Slightly off the Path. Come with me and experience that beauty first hand. Walk with me Slightly off the Path.

Matthew Givens answered several interesting questions about his life, approach to art, and his inspirations:

How and when did you know you were a Photographer?

There were two different defining moments for me. The first day was the day I walked into a barn my Grandfather had built. Old things, dusty in disuse and aging, surrounded me, but as each item came into view, I began to see the beauty and story they contained. The second time that something shifted for me was when I photographed Grant's tomb. Preparing for the shoot, I went into the tomb, sat, walked around. For hours I sat waiting, waiting, and waiting for the right shot to appear. Then suddenly it did. I knew then that I had the discipline and patience to wait for the right shot to appear. Those who know me know that patience is not my strong suit, but when looking for the right shot, it takes what it takes.

Where are your roots?

I was born in Monroe, Louisiana, March 8, 1974, to Larry and Mona Shea Givens (Frasier). I have a younger brother, Ben, a younger sister, Bonnie, a niece, Valerie, and a newphew, Frasier (both the light of my life). My dad has the ability to see the "whole picture", and my mom has been a creative artist her whole career. I'm sure the seeds of my talent began with them. Educated in Waynesboro, Mississippi, and a regular church-going Baptist, my childhood was mostly concerned with sports and hanging out with friends, but I did have a passion for drawing comic book characters. After high school, not yet ready for college, I briefly attended Jones County Junior College, where I majored in art. I transferred to Johnson and Whales Culinary School, graduating in 1996. I did, and still do, love to creatively cook. However, after four years of restaurants, I knew that wasn't it. I landed a job working with paint, color, and light while learning the intricacies of a photo shoot. Today, I am a full-time artist.

What Cameras do you use?

Mostly, I use a Leica M8 or a Mamiya ZD. They give me quality, size and of course, my instant gratification.

For additional information and images, please visit or the Gallery 80808/Vista Studios website.

Monday, February 4, 2008

ARTSFEST 2008 in Florence, South Carolina

Artsfest 2008 Juried Exhibition and Art Sale will open with a Gala Preview on Thursday, February 7 from 6 PM until 10 PM at the former Florence County Public Library at the Corner of Irby and Pine Streets in downtown Florence. The event is sponsored by the Florence Regional Arts Alliance.

HOURS: Friday, February 8 from 6 - 9 PM;
Saturday, February 9 from 10 AM - 6 PM;
and Sunday, February 10 from 1:30 - 5:30 PM.

Vista Studios artists Michel McNinch (her booth is pictured above) and Susan Lenz (her booth is pictured below) are part of this event.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Vista Studio Artist at Night on the Nile Gala

Please note: At the time of this post there is still a wonderful exhibit at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street in downtown Columbia, SC. Winter Exhibition features art by Stephen Chesley, Mike Williams, Ed Wimberly, and David Yaghjian through February 5. Weekdays 10 - 5; Weekends, 1-5.

THIS POST IS ABOUT NIGHT ON THE NILE, a black tie gala recently held at the Columbia Museum of Art, a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the museum at its Main Street location and the opening of Excavating Egypt. Several Vista Studio artists were invited to paint/decorate/alter one of the exhibit's tote bags for a silent auction.

(Above is a view to the lobby during the gala. Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above is Vista Studio artist Robert Kennedy with his wife. Below is Robert's tote bag.)

(Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above are Vista Studio artists Jeff Donovan on the left and David Yaghjian on the right.)

(Above is Jeff's altered tote bag...after being covered in layers of clay slip, fired, and mounted on a wooden panel in order to hang on a wall. It is called, Alligator Handbag! Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above is David Yaghjian's tote bag...with the words "Cobra Snake for a Necktie". Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above is Vista Studio artist Michel McNinch posing with her altered totebag, a unique 3D creation!)

(Above is Doni Jordan's totebag donation. She's a regular visitor to Gallery80808/Vista Studios who couldn't come to the gala but wanted a photo of her work! Doni and her tennis team won a state championship.)

(Above is part of the tote bag display. The area was a bit crowded with interested potential bidders and gala guests. It was difficult to photograph some of the tote bags, including the very, very well done one created by Vista Studio artist Ethel Brody, pictured below in her outstanding archaeologist attire!)

(Everyone looked radiant at the is obvious in the photo above of Jeff Donovan and Ellen and David Yaghjian.)

This post is being written by Vista Studios artist Susan Lenz, who forgot to take a photo of her own tote bag. Perhaps the tarot card seer, Lady Noor, above should have mentioned Susan's forgetfulness....but Susan took a photo of her piece before turning it in. It's below. Click on images to enlarge.)

(Susan Lenz' tote bag...hand embroidered front....

...and machine embroidered back.)