Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nikolai Oskolkov Presents Heart and Veins of the South

Nikolai Oskolkov presents "Heart and Veins of the South" at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios

May 30 through June 10

808 Lady Street in Columbia's downtown Vista

Opening Reception: Friday, May 30 from 4 - 9 PM

Heart and Veins of the South

The paintings of this exhibit are the beginning of my first thematic series. I hope to put forth work that places one into what I feel is most important about the rich Southern land, particularly South Carolina.

Carolina is a land of all the romance and tragedy of a classical kingdom. A thriving country that enlivens us with its many green splendors and quiet life. For me, it is easy to see how the mundane is divine here. Even though I come from a very distant land, I can proudly say that I’ve been greeted with open arms and that I’ve found a heavy and deep majesty much like the birches, firs and meadows of my Russian childhood.

Over the past fifteen years, I have come to embrace the liquid laziness of South Carolina. Her crocodile smile and relaxed aggressiveness is particularly "chilled out" as an underlying stubborn humor radiates from all the people. And how many different types we have! There are the Good ol’ Boys and Brothas, Bluegrass musicians and Irish travelers, Mountain folk and haunting Gullah storytellers. Like the proud Cossacks of Southern Russia, Carolina has given birth to America’s most patriotic and rebellious sons. The tenderness and emotion of all its resilient and tenacious people has shaped Carolina’s muscle. I’ve been to very many places and I can say South Carolina is most worth praising. The all-famous Southern Hospitality has welcomed, groomed and inspired me to pursue the Muses in life.

From the fresh mountain springs of the Blue Ridge Mountains, down through the muddy rocks of the Piedmont, to the sluggish purls of the Low Country swamps, the blood of the South runs through its craggy vines, branches, and finally, through all of us. Throughout the nation we are known as the state of hicks, grits and screaming fiddles and banjos, and let us accept these as our proud banners.

Nikolai Oskolkov is a painter and musician of Russian origin based in South Carolina. He explores the endless opportunities of representational painting and drawing and strives to find the meaning and purity of art in the modern world. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he has received the highest awards in USC’s annual student exhibits and was a representative of USC’s Magellan Scholarship program. He is also active as a musician. A self-taught performer of the Russian folk balalaika, Nikolai combines Slavic, Gypsy, and American folk traditions in music. Being an extensive traveler, Nikolai believes in the divine ambiance of the various environs of our planet, and how surroundings and circumstance contribute to the positive formation of an individual. Of the many places in the world, the majesty of the American South has a special place in his heart. Dixie is the land that is his second home, whose famous "Southern Hospitality" has raised, inspired and has given him the opportunity to contribute to the Muses. The "Heart and Veins of the South" is an exhibit of his first works about the great Southern land and its people.

For more information, please visit www.nkoart.com

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Storms and Rituals by Mark Hatley

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Storms and Rituals

An Exhibition of Oil Paintings

Reception: Friday, May 23 from 6 - 9 PM at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street in Columbia's downtown Vista arts district

Gallery 80808 is proud to announce the opening of recent oil paintings by Mark Hatley in an exhibition called "Storms and Rituals". The work is abstractions on canvas, panel, and copper surfaces that are based on personal experiences in nature. Hatley describes his images as "high concentrations and manifestations of energy". Hatley graduated in 2006 with a BA in Studio Art from East Central University in Oklahoma and has continued his artistic studies in South Carolina.

For more information and additional viewing opportunities, please contact Mark Hatley at (803) 917-8732.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Things I Have Seen," a photography exhibition by Mark M. Windham

Gallery 80808 is proud to announce the upcoming exhibition of fine art photography by Mark M. Windham, 808 Lady Street in downtown Columbia, South Carolina.

The Photography of Mark M. Windham
"Things I Have Seen"
Opening Reception: Friday, May 16, 2008 from 6 - 9
Additional Hours: Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18 from 11 - 5

The following is a biography for the photographer:

Since an early age, Mark Windham has been fascinated with the visual arts. His first award was earned at age six; first place in Drawing at the South Carolina State Fair. As he grew his fascination became a vocation. He earned both a BA and a MA in art studio from the University of South Carolina.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s he worked as an artist/photographer for the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens where his works were frequently published in magazines such as Animal Kingdom and The Riverbanks Zoo Magazine (now called Riverbanks). He has taught photography, art history, art appreciation and many different art media at places as diverse as The University of South Carolina, The Richland County Library, local businesses and schools in neighboring districts. His works are in private collections throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. His photography was published in the February 2007 issue of B & W magazine and featured in a four-page spread in the July/August 2007 edition of Focus magazine. Both periodicals are international, aimed at the collector of fine art photography.
Windham ’s work has been shown at Weekend Gallery, East Side Bowery, The Picture Corner, Sloan Gallery, Francis Marion College, Benedict College, McKissick Museum and The Columbia Museum of Art. He is presently being represented by Elite Framing and Gallery in Lexington, South Carolina.

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

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Personal Grounds" extended

Gallery 80808/Vista Studios is proud to extend "Personal Grounds" through Tuesday, May 13. This exhibition features the work of artists with studio space on the premise. For additional information and images, click here.

Sharon Licata at the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Installation

The Mountain Times recently carried Jason Eason's article and image as coverage for the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition installation at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

They came to the campus of Appalachian State University last weekend with flatbed trucks, vans and cranes. No, we’re not talking about construction crews building the university’s new cafeteria. It was nine of the ten artists participating in this year’s Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition and Competition.

Above: Columbia, South Carolina sculptor Sharon Collings Licata reassembles her piece “Getting Back on the Totem” in front of the Hayes School of Music.

The new sculptures were installed on Friday and Saturday in front of Wey Hall, Farthing Auditorium and the Hayes School of Music on Rivers Street. The 22nd Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition and Competition finalists came from as far away as Boulder, Colo., and Flagstaff, Ariz., to install their works in Boone.

The works will remain will on campus for a full year. The competition will culminate with the announcement of the winner on July 26th, the final day of ASU’s An Appalachian Summer Festival.

The juror for this year’s competition is Sarah Clark-Langager, curator of the Outdoor Sculpture Collection and director of the Western Gallery at Western Washington University. Clark-Langager will be on the Appalachian State University campus on May 16th to view the final sculptures on site.

According to Brook Greene, assistant curator for the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and Rosen Sculpture Competition coordinator, the ten finalists were selected from 72 works submitted by 49 artists.

The ten finalists are Peter Frantz of State College, PA; Cathrin Hoskinson of New York, NY; Sharon Collings Licata of Columbia, SC; Hanna Jubran of Grimesland, NC; Jon Mehlferber of Bristol, VA; John Northington of Kansas City, MO; Duke Oursler of Statesboro, GA; Bill Vielehr of Boulder, CO; Glenn Zweygardt of Alfred Station, NY; and this year’s site-specific artist, Shawn Skabelund of Flagstaff, AZ.

“My work explores what Wendell Berry calls the ‘unsettling of America,’ namely, the effects, the marks and the changes that humans make on the land cultures of a given area,” said Skabelund. “My installations demonstrate my desire to create art that gives viewers time and space to think about the local communities, economies and ecosystems they inhabit. To prepare for each piece, I research the history of the place to learn how the interatction between the wild and the human has determined direction and cultural makeup of the local community.”

Skabelund’s piece will be installed on the rectangular pad next to Walker Hall during the week of May 12-16th. The public is invited to come by the ASU campus and watch as Skabelund installs his new site-specific sculpture.

All of the participating artists in the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition have received assistance from ASU art students in the entire process.

“Students assist with the initial planning and organization of the competition, assist with the installation of artwork, take charge of artist hospitality, a student graphic designer (created) the full color catalog, and (coordinated) an artist residency program within the Department of Art,” said Greene.

Greene added that the Turchin Center and the Department of Art have been working with ASU’s Hayes School of Music and Gilley Recording Studio to create a podcast for the sculpture competition.

“The podcast will feature each artist commenting on a variety of issues concerning their sculptures,” said Greene. “New to this year’s podcast will be the addition of composition students composing new music that is inspired by the sculptures.”

The sculptures themselves represent a wide array of artistic philosophies and sculpture materials.

Peter Frantz’ piece, “Repeating Ourselves to the Stars,” will no doubt be one of the most noticeable sculptures in the outdoor competition, especially at night. Installed next to Wey Hall, the sculpture includes a box that will project a video onto a white tree-like carving and onto one of Wey’s walls.

“The video is part of a whole series that I have titled ‘Mythology of My Own Making,’” said Frantz. “I live in the suburbs, but every day I ride the subway into the city, so I wanted to make a video that shows the pulse of those different places.

“I experience life first and always as a conversation, a discourse with forces we neither see nor fully understand…my work strives for a reconciliation of solid materials against this fleeting ephemeral world of human connection, a translation without words.”

“Getting Back on that Totem,” is the title of Sharon Collings Licata’s sculpture, which can be seen near the entrance of the Hayes School of Music. On Friday she was assembling the piece with the assistance of two ASU art students.

“My blurb for the piece states, ‘Even a scolding remark by a trusted friend can lead to art-making,’” said Licata. “In this case the comment, referring to priorities, was, ‘Never mind being at the head of your totem. You aren’t even on your totem.’”

Artist Glenn Zweygardt traveled from Alfred Station, New York to set up his sculpture “Council Columns,” made of self-weathering steel, bronze, cast glass and granite. After teaching sculpture at the New York State College of Ceramics for 38 years, Zweygardt has retired to become a full time artist.

“Finding ones place in a relationship with nature is the theme of my sculpture,” said Zweygardt. “While working with materials such as metal and stone, a relationship between nature and myself is formed.”

The 22nd Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition will be on display from May 2008 until February 2009. A special Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk is scheduled for Saturday, July 26th at 10 a.m. The walk is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Artista Vista Reviewed by Mary Gilkerson in the Columbia Free Times newspaper

Mary Gilkerson, a staff writer for the Free Times weekly publication and art instructor at Columbia college, wrote a review of Artista Vista 2008 that included the following paragraphs:

Personal Grounds, the group show at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, is a strong overview of the resident artists’ work.

Sharon Licata’s Whirling Dervish is twisting carved form in black chlorite. The execution is looser than normal for Licata, and it works. The raw chisel marks on the surface of the stone add to the piece’s sense of movement.

The blue-green and brownish red colors in Laura Spong’s large dark piece in the main gallery shouldn’t work. But they do. Their dissonance pushes the viewer towards the lighter area in the center.

Jeff Donovan’s two ceramic heads in the center of the gallery are companion pieces that use a dry ironic wit to compare opposite states of mind.

Baptism is a departure for David Yaghjian in its more contemplative, pensive quality. His “everyman” figure appears again, just the torso this time, rising up from the rippling water of a pool. There is no other movement and no expression on the figure’s face.

Heidi Darr-Hope's upcoming Day Retreat

What if imagination & art are not the frosting but the fountain head of human experience?

Absolutely no prior experience is necessary to participate fully in this all day retreat. All one needs is a commitment to honestly explore creative potential. There are a few spaces left, so consider joining Heidi Darr-Hope and a small group exploring spirituality, nighttime dreams and the joy of creativity.

Who: Heidi Darr-Hope
What: 2008 Art and Soul Retreats
When: Dream Shrines
May 17th - Saturday: 10:00 - 5:00
Where: Columbia , Vista Arts Studios, 808 Lady Street , Vista Arts Building , Studio #2

Using paper and found object collage, create a series of small pocket reliquaries where dream symbols will be cradled and enshrined.

$195 includes lunch & all art supplies

Registration Deadline Monday May 12th. Just contact Heidi Darr-Hope . Make your check out to Heidi for $195 and mail it to: 180 Wateree Ave. Columbia , SC 29205 .

Why: “I had heard that magic still exists in this world. Now, I know where it lives. To dive into the creative cauldron is to swim toward spiritual ascension. My advice to those considering…If your intuition is calling you to these retreats, dive in and swim there wholeheartedly.”
Caroline ( Atlanta , GA )

For more information on this workshop and other 2008 retreat offerings, click here.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Over the weekend of May 3rd and 4th, the artists at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios participated in OPEN STUDIOS. Hundreds of visitors came to admire art and witness the creative spirit at work. The event is in its second year and was a tremendous success. Below are photos taken during the two days. (Click on images to enlarge.)

Above: Sharon Licata's studio.

Above: Stephen Chesley's studio.

Above: Susan Lenz's studio.

Above: Michel McNinch's studio.

Above: Pat Callahan's studio.

Above: Pat Gilmartin's studio.

Above: Heidi Darr-Hope's studio

Above: Jeff Donovan's studio.

Above: Laura Spong's studio.

Above: David Yaghjian's studio.

Above: Don Zurlo's studio.

Above: Ethel Brody's studio.

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

Friday, May 2, 2008


Don't forget! Tomorrow and Sunday are OPEN STUDIOS throughout the Columbia region. Gallery 80808/Vista Studios is a "must see" stop! For a map, click here.

"Personal Grounds" is the exhibition on display at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. To see images from this show, just scroll down! Lake Murray magazine covered OPEN STUDIOS in a series of two articles, one of which featured Vista Studio artist Jeff Donovan. The cover of the magazine included Jeff's Counting Threads sculpture. To read the article and see this cover, click here. Inside are images of Jeff working on two new figurative sculptures. These pieces are finished and on display at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios.

(Above and below: Jeff's newest sculptures. Click on images to enlarge.)


(Click on image above to enlarge.)

The artists at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios want to share this important announcement because each one understands just how important a dedicated art space is and how wonderfully creative working in the Vista is. Please pass this information along to others!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Vista Studio Artist Michel McNinch participates in ART WITH A HEART

(Click on invitation above to enlarge.)
Vista Studio artist Michel McNinch is participating with the Corley Mill Artists' Group in ART WITH A HEART, a charity benefiting the Ronald McDonald House on Friday, May 2 at 5:30. The event is being held at the offices of Nelson, Nullins, Riley & Scarborough, LLP in the Meridian Building, 17th floor, 1320 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201. The Melting Pot is serving desserts on the rooftop. Tickets are only $10 for an individual and $15 for a couple. More information is available by calling (803) 254-0118.