Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chesley, Williams, Wimberly and Yaghjian

When:   Friday, January 27 - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 
What:    The Winter Exhibition, in it’s 12th year, will feature original artwork            
              by Stephen Chesley, Mike Williams, Edward Wimberly, and 
              David Yaghjian. 
Where:  Gallery 80808 / Vista Studios
              808 Lady Street 
              Columbia, SC  29201

Stephen Chesley, Mike Williams, Edward Wimberly, and David Yaghjian are friends and full-time artists living and working in South Carolina.  For the past 12 years they have convened at Gallery 80808 in January with a selection of work from the course of the past year to hang an exhibition.  This exhibition began as a holiday social where we would get together with our friends and collectors to catch up and look at examples of our production from the previous year.  Each of these artists have worked diligently throughout their careers to create artwork that is distinctively their own. 
Stephen Chesley paints poetic and dramatic landscapes where saturated colors are juxtaposed against rich dark grounds.  He is dedicated to creating daily visual records of a landscape that is devoid of the unsightly evidence of man’s presence.  If and when an actual figure does appear in his work, it is someone who is fishing or oystering - someone who is reliant upon the earth for sustenance.  As the casual observer, Chesley places you in the unique position of viewing a scene - an important place which he chooses to preserve as a reference in time.
Mike Williams’s interest in fish, fishing, and the habitats where fish may be found, has been the primary subject of his work throughout his career.  His vibrant and bold abstract paintings are expressionistic and loose, with a palette that ranges widely from earth tones to pure cadmium colors.  At times, however, focus shifts and Williams’s work takes a more representational turn.  While the choice of subject matter reflects his love of nature and fishing, the actual artwork - whether paintings or sculptures - reveals the enthusiasm with which he works.  A great love of music manifests itself in the lyrical quality of his compositions where his subjects assume ever-shifting forms.   
Edward Wimberly’s pastels, oil paintings, and ink drawings sublimely merge fancy with a true surrealist view of society.  His carefully crafted pictures delve into philosophy, state of mind, and serve as commentaries on life.  Wimberly thoughtfully and suggestively weaves a myriad of surfaces and textures into his symbolist works such as:  patterned cloth or drapery, chrome, gold, porcelain, and glass.  Surprising arrays of unexpected elements are combined into a single work for the sole purpose of illustrating an idea or thought in a completely unique way.  Within his narratives, it’s not uncommon for inanimate objects to literally come to life through his beautifully executed renderings, and the viewer is often drawn into a scene where they too become a participant. 
David Yaghjian is dead serious, almost.  Painting is a mandated must in his life.  The reality of being an artist and having heightened sensitivity causes him to respond visually.  While it is said that the character seen in much of his work resembles him, it more so represents mankind - all of us.  Whether the impetus be social, political, or mythical, and whether his muse be the psyche or observed phenomena, his pictures describe the human condition.  Expressions of joy, success, failure, illness, and well-being can be found here.  The pictures engage, and, on occasion, lead the viewer to consider his own condition and mortality.  In addition to the figurative paintings, Yaghjian has been creating three-dimensional versions of his character in the form of cardboard or pine board cut-outs. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Midlands Clay Art Society Annual Sale

Midlands Clay Arts Society will have its annual Holiday
show and sale at the Gallery 80808 on Lady Street in Columbia,
South Carolina. The event will run from December 1 - 4, 2011.
The Society was organized in 1987 in order to
encourage fellowship, education and creativity among the artists. Its
members consist of local potters and clay artists who promote the
appreciation of all things made in clay.
This will be a great opportunity to meet the artists who create the pieces and
acquire one-of-a-kind work from local crafts people. We will showcase
functional pottery, raku, sculpture and jewelry made out of clay.
An opening reception will be held at the Gallery 80808 on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 from 5pm to 8pm. The Gallery is located on 808 Lady Street,
Columbia South Carolina.
The show and sale will be open:
Thursday…………..December 1st from 12 noon - 8.00pm
Friday……………..December 2nd from 12 noon - 8.00pm
Saturday…………..December 3rd from 12 noon - 4.00pm
Sunday…………..December 4th from 12 noon - 4.00pm
Admission is free.
CASH and CHECKS only.
For more information about the show please Brenda Oliver at 803-545-3093

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vista Lights! It's time to take a stroll in the VISTA


Gallery 80808 will feature the resident Vista Studio artists during the Vista Lights celebration on November 17th, 2011, from 5-9pm. Diversity is the theme as VistaStudios celebrates its 21st Anniversary. The show will run from November 10th-29th with the Opening Night and Open Studios on the 17th.

Vista Studios is home to 13 artists whose works range from realism to abstract, from drawing and painting to stone, ceramics, and post-consumer waste. On opening night, each artist will have his or her studio open for the public to view additional works and processes, and to meet the artists.

With a preference for strong colors and design, Ethel Brody will be trying something new this year. She will be painting with sponges on a prepared surface. The paintings will create the color harmonies she is fond of but with a much different feeling than her previous “Stripes” series.

Jeff Donovan is working with pastel on canvas to create his enigmatic studies. The strong design in his new work  Long Distance shows a woman sitting on a chair with her head tilted at an impossible angle, her body leaning forward, the phone receiver held with the opposite hand you would expect. Such is the way Jeff portrays the world and the viewer is left to decipher the meaning.

Jeff and David Yaghjian recently returned from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where they participated in an Art Exchange. They worked in a group studio and ended their stay with an Exhibition of work created during that time which will remain on display inGermany.

Known for her figurative sculptures, Pat Gilmartin is working on a new series which are more abstract and ambigious in meaning than previous work. She will, however, include a more realistic figure in the show, “Woman Entwined”, made of terra cota, with black winding around the woman.

In a body of work titled “Last Words", Susan Lenz investigates the concept of remembrance, personal legacy, and our common human frailty. Crayon on silk grave rubbings, vintage household linens, recycled material, stitched and calligraphy epitaphs, and angel images are meant to reflect both personal and universal mortality, and the passage of time through generations.  The exploration of final words marking others’ lives causes reflection of ones own existence. 

Sharon Licata was recently awarded 3rd place for Sculpture in the State Fair.  This year, she will create a limestone installation with some of her figurative pieces titled Pompeii.

Laurie McIntosh continues working on a figurative series that she introduced last year which pertains to Body Language. In her work, this form of non-verbal communication consists of body postures and gestures- signals the brain often sends subconsciously, but which reveal the person’s state of mind. The works are oil pastel on paper and canvas.

Laura Spong paints with an energy that proves she is far from slowing down. Her abstract expressionistic work is tied together by her style, rather than by theme. All of her pieces in this show expresses the energy in which she created them.

Michel McNinch will be showing a painting in which she recently won Merit Award in the Professional Category at the State Fair Competition. Recent paintings are from S.C. Parks: Sadler Creek, Hickory Knob, and Dreher Island. Visitors are encouraged to stop into her studio and see the beginning of her new figurative series.

Kirkland Smith, known for her Assemblages of post-consumer waste which hang on the wall like 3-Dimensional paintings, will present a life-size 3-Dimensional figurative piece. This playful installation will utilize many post-consumer donations she has received from members of the community. She also plans to display the interactive Assemblage created by visitors to her solo show last month.

Stephen Chesley, Heidi-Darr Hope, Robert Kennedy, and David Yaghjian will also participate in the show.

Studies by Stephen Chesley
Also, oils on exhibition

"Book of the Dead"
For more about this work by Susan Lenz
click here.

"Long Distance," Donovan

"Late Night Songs," McNinch

"And in the End," McNinch

"Woman, Entwined" Gilmartin

"Dark Matters," Gilmartin

"Pompei," Licata

"The Prodigal Unicorn," McIntosh

"How Do I Stop?" McIntosh

"Scene VII," Yaghjian

"Would you Rather be Bored or Scared?" Spong

Monday, October 24, 2011

if ART Celebrating Five Years

 if ART Gallery
its location at
1223 Lincoln Street, Columbia, SC
Gallery 80808/Vista Studios
808 Lady St., Columbia, SC
if ART Gallery 5 YEARS
An exhibition of gallery artists,
Michael Brodeur, paintings
Peter Lenzo, ceramic heads
October 28 – November 8, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Gallery Hours:
Weekdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; 
& by appointment
For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART:
(803) 238-2351 – wroefs@sc.rr.com
At its location at 1223 Lincoln Street, Columbia, S.C., and at Columbia’s Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady Street, if ART Gallery will celebrate its fifth anniversary with if ART Gallery 5 Years, an exhibition of gallery artists that also will introduce two new additions to the gallery: Greenville, S.C., painter Michael Brodeur and the ceramic sculptures of Columbia artist Peter Lenzo.

The exhibition will run from October 28 – November 8, 2011. The Fifth Anniversary Reception will take place Friday, October 28, 5 – 9 pm, at both the gallery and Gallery 80808. Exhibition hours will be weekdays, 11 pm – 7 pm.; Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm; and Sunday, 1 – 5 pm.

if ART Gallery opened its door on November 6, 2006. Prior to that, gallery owner Wim Roefs organized exhibitions at his home in Columbia’s Old Shandon neighborhood, at Lewis & Clark’s old location on the corner of Lincoln and Lady Streets and at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. Those early exhibitions included artists such as Leo Twiggs, Jeff Donovan, Carl Blair, Laura Spong, Herb Parker, Mary Gilkerson, Phil Garrett, Mike Williams, Aaron Baldwin, Edward Rice, Anna Redwine, Tonya Gregg, Tom Stanley, Klaus Hartmann and Peter Lenzo. Early break-through exhibition were Aaron Baldwin &  Mike Williams: Up From The Mud in October 2005, Columbia artist Laura Spong’s 80th birthday exhibition in February 2006 and Leo Twiggs’ Toward Another Retrospective in March, 2006.

“These exhibitions did remarkably well, both in terms of critical acclaim and sales,” Roefs said. “They were a good way to start an art business in that there was not the typical high overhead of a gallery. The disadvantage was that it was hard to do much for artists in between exhibitions. When the gallery’s current location became available in the summer of 2006, I decided to open the gallery.”

After its opening, the gallery, which has some 40 artists on its roster, continued to mount exhibitions at Gallery 80808. There and at its own location, if ART has organized 53 exhibitions, 34 of them solo exhibitions. The gallery has shown the work of more than 80 artists, including more than 35 artists from The Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Belgium, England, France and Cuba. 

Through such exhibitions as The Fame Factor in September 2007, The Inventory in February 2008, Salon I, II and III in December 2008 – February 2009 and Going Dutch in December 2010, if ART has shown work by many international artists, including world famous artists such as Joan Mitchell, Karel Appel, Corneille, Bram van Velde, Lynn Chadwick and Wifredo Lam. if ART has shown nationally famous artists such as John Hultberg, Ibram Lassaw, Benny Andrews, Richard Hunt and Sam Middleton and represents original Washington Color School painter Paul Reed as well as Philip Morsberger, the former head of the art department at England’s Oxford University. 
The gallery is an active participant in the informal artists’ exchange between Columbia and its German sister city Kaiserlautern, an exchange that is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Among gallery artists who have traveled to Germany are Mike Williams, Stephen Chesley, Janet Orselli, Dorothy Netherland, Laura Spong, Tonya Gregg, Brown Thornton, David Yaghjian and Jeff Donovan. The latter two currently are in Kaiserslautern for a 10-day symposium and exhibition. if ART represents five artists from Kaiserslautern: Klaus Hartmann, Reiner Mahrlein, Silvia Rudolf, Ralph Gelbert and Roland Albert. It also represents Dutch artists Kees Salentijn and Sjaak Korsten.

“I’d like to think the gallery has raised the bar in Columbia,” Roefs says. “I hope that the quality of the exhibitions in terms of the art presented and they way they were designed have added to the local art scene. Also, it’s unusual to have a gallery here with so many artists from abroad. It’s even more unusual for a gallery in South Carolina to show the work by artists who make the history books about 20th century art such as Mitchell, Appel, Van Velde, Chadwick and Lam.”

if ART also has published almost 20 exhibition catalogues and almost 50 essays about gallery artists, all but a few written by Roefs. “Those catalogues are especially unique,” Roefs says. “if ART since 2006 by a long shot has published more exhibition catalogues than all other art galleries, art centers and museums in Columbia combined. South Carolina galleries seldom publish catalogues, and museums do so sporadically. I am not always sure that people realize how unusual it is for if ART to have produced these catalogues. But I think they are important. They help educate the public, they create a record of artists’ achievements, they obviously are a great way to promote those artists and they are among the most important resume lines an artist can have. A lot of if ART’s catalogues were modest affairs – small catalogues produced on color copiers – but their very existence is unique within the local context. The catalogues for exhibitions by David Yaghjian, Jeff Donovan, Edward Rice and, twice, Laura Spong, are, I think, of museum quality.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cats on a Leash Return with GATOS LOCOS!

GATOS LOCOS! Cats on a Leash – Still crazy after 26 years

Gallery 80808

808 Lady Street, Vista Studios, Columbia, SC

Reception: Friday, October 21 - 5 to 9 PM

Show/Sale hours: October 22-23, 11 AM to 3 PM

“Trying to get a group of artists to work together is like trying to walk a bunch of cats on a leash”.With that statement as the driving force, a select group of SC artists drew together in 1985 to establish a creative synergy that continues to pull them together today. The artists are:Jeri Burdick – clay and mixed media, Eutawville; Clay Burnette – pine needle baskets and handwoven scarves, Columbia; Heidi Darr-Hope – magical amulets and talismans, Columbia; Clark Ellefson – lamps and tin robot things, Columbia; Judy Hubbard – batik and textile assemblages, Columbia; Lee Malerich – mosaics and textiles, Neeces; and Marcy Myers –mixed media, Lexington.

They are more than friends. They encourage each other to color outside the lines and the invitation to this exhibition is the product of this philosophy. Each black and white card was individually doodled and embellished-- definitely in “Off Leash” style.

The upcoming Cats on a Leash exhibition will be held at Gallery 80808 – Vista Studios on Friday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23, with an opening reception on Friday from 5to 9 PM.The show will continue on Saturday and Sunday from 11AM to 3 PM.

When not exhibiting together, the individual artists remain committed to their own personal art careers. Collectively, they have shown in more than 600 exhibitions nationally and internationally, received more than 40 grants and fellowships, appeared in more than 225 books, magazines and newspaper articles, received over 100 commissions from corporate and private collectors, developed almost 300 workshops and lectures and participated in almost 100 active memberships on boards and committees. They have established and managed small art businesses and have set a standard for proactivism in the arts and community that is pervasive and commendable. Two are Verner Award winners, the top South Carolina governor’s award for the Arts. As a group, their creative energy has pulled them together for almost three decades – with no end in sight.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Boys Abroad

Resident Artists, David Yaghjian and Jeff Donovan, are working at an Artist Residency in Germany.  It will be exciting to see the work they did there.  

Monday, October 3, 2011



Items Destined For Landfill Find New Life in 3-D Paintings
Columbia artist Kirkland Smith will present an exhibition of work created almost entirely from Post Consumer Waste items collected from friends and family members. The 3-Dimensional  items have been assembled into large representational "paintings" including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Bob Marley, and Audrey Hepburn. The show, "Re-Created", will be held at Gallery 80808 in the Vista from Oct. 6-18th, with the opening reception on Oct. 6th from 5-9pm.

At close range, the image is unrecognizable but the individual items are not. Viewers will recognize items that consumers discard daily: plasticbottle caps, make-up containers, cell phones, and fast food toys. Viewed from a distance, the Assemblages come into focus to reveal representational images- primarily portraits. "The challenge in getting a likeness is getting the values right. Working with objects instead of paint is like putting a puzzle together. The challenge is getting each piece in the right place."

Kirkland, a classical painter, began creating the Assemblages when she entered an environmental art contest and decided to use post-consumer waste as her "paint". She was looking for a powerful way to drive home the message of the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Giving new life to discarded objects, she made something new. She created a haunting portrait of a child. By giving a face to the problem of litter and pollution, she points out that is people that are the problem as well as the solution.

The Opening Reception of "Re-Created" will be Thursday, October 6th, 5-9pm, and the show will run October 6-18, 2011. Gallery hours are weekdays 10am-5pm, Saturday 11-5pm, or by appointment.

Vista Studios/Gallery 80808
808 Lady Street
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 252-6134

                                           #  #  #
If you would like more information or images, please call 803-622-7838 or email Kirkland@KirklandSmith.com .

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


An Exhibition of Clay Sculptures by Columbia Artists,
Sandra Carr , Rita Ruth Cockrell and Richard  Lund.
September 29 - October 3, 2011
80808 Gallery 
808 Lady Street, Columbia, SC 29201-3104
Opening Reception
Friday Sept. 30, 2011
Meet the Artists 6-9 pm 
Gallery Hours:
Thurs. Sept. 29,  10-5pm
Fri. Sept 30,        10-4pm
Sat. Oct. 1,         12-4pm
Sun. Oct 2,         12-4pm
Mon. Oct 3,         10-5pm 
If you have any question please call 
Richard Lund   954-812-8342  or  Sandra Carr   803-665-6255  
The Carolinas have a long history and tradition of artists who work with clay. 
This exhibition Clay Works 2011 features three contemporary artists who live and work in South Carolina: 
Sandra Carr 
Rita Ruth Cockrell  
Richard  Lund. 
Each of the artists use clay as a sculpting medium.  Rather  than make functional pieces, they use clay as a medium for personal expression. Each has a distinctive style.  They create sculptures  with conceptual meaning, taking the viewer past the decorative to a more emotional experience.
Artist Statements:
Sandra Carr 
Clay represents healing for me as an artist. It has been forgiving, stable and has the capacity to change when altered by outside influences. All characteristics I admire and strive for. Sculpting figurative pieces allows me to tell a story in my work or communicate a feeling. It speaks for me when I choose not to.    
Rita Ruth Cockrell
Born and raised in South Carolina, I love this place, every road side weed, every red clay road, leopard clay bank, shadow of white sand. After traumatic event with myself, my mother and authorities, I began working in any medium that came  my way, always going toward the inside to go outside. Believing that if I can be good enough, some aspect of truth or beauty would help me understand that even if I can't get there, the glimmering of the source comforts me. 
Richard  Lund
I moved to Columbia South Carolina three and a half years ago. Shortly after I arrived I joined the City of Columbia Arts Center studio which began my working with clay. I have been an artist many years creating paintings, photographs and sculptures but clay was a new exciting medium for me. Sculpting in air dry clay offers me a seductive tactile experience that other mediums can not give. As I mold, move and pinch the clay with my hands it allows  me to  easily release my ever changing  imagination and ideas realizing them in three dimensions.