Saturday, January 22, 2011

Art 5 Ways @ 80808


New Works by 5 Artists: Eileen Blyth, George Down, Pat Gilmartin, Liisa Salosaari Jasinski, Laurie Mcintosh

This group show at Gallery 80808 opens with a reception on Thursday, Jan. 27 (5 – 8 p.m.) and closes Tuesday, Feb. 8. The artists, in their own varied and distinctive styles, make for an exciting and vibrant exhibition of paintings, batiks, ceramic sculpture, and assemblages of found objects.

Laurie Mcintosh explores the method of wax-resist dyed fabrics, or batiks, for this show.  Inspired during a trip to Africa by the Zimbabwean's colorful textiles, she has produced a collection of batik images which examine familiar themes but through a new (to her) process for creating linework and color saturation. Although perhaps better known for her oil paintings, Laurie’s batiks represent a continuation of her interest in the culture and creatures of South Carolina’s lowcountry.

Human relationships are the subject of the ceramic sculpture offered for this show by Pat Gilmartin. Narrative vignettes comprised of small figures engaged in ambiguous interactions encourage viewers to find their own meanings in the scenes. The figures, in pairs and trios, are combined with found materials, often rusty iron shapes. In juxtaposing the smooth, malleable clay with the hard, corroded surfaces and colors of the metal, Pat heightens the tension that exists among the figures.

Liisa Salosaari Jasinski was born in Finland but has lived in the U.S. for many years. The clean, modern style of Finnish design, as well as early 20th century European Expressionism, inform her work as a visual artist. In the current show her work consists of multi-media paintings and constructions. Their varied elements include linen, foils, steel wool, gels, paints, and transfer images – all mingled through physical processes of stamping, painting, stenciling, and gluing to create complex, relief-like surfaces.

George Down, whose work is currently represented by galleries in Santa Fe, NM, and Cheyenne, WY, presents his unique constructions made from natural materials for the first time in Columbia. Using simple components found in nature – feathers, pine cones, stick, twigs, stones, shells, tree bark – Down weaves these elements into three dimensional compositions and subsequent narratives based on the graphic textures of nature.

Columbia artist Eileen Blyth is known for her paintings and assemblages. She creates constructions of found objects combined with paint and fit together as if in conversation. She is attracted to objects by their textures, colors, or surfaces, and likes to imagine how they got to be in the places where she found them. As well, the objects’ conditions, how they are continually shaped by each passing car or change of weather, interests her. Sometimes the shapes and imagined conversations work their way into other paintings and drawings. As she says, “The evolving shape, the repeated motion, the sense of metal scraping road; it all plays into the work." Eileen has a new studio in the Arcade Art Studios on Main Street in Columbia.

Hours: Opening reception Thursday, Jan. 27,  5-8 p.m. 
           Weekdays 11-5; weekends 1-4.

Gallery 80808, 808 Lady St., Columbia SC,  803.252.6134
For more information see

"She Said You Will Know"
Eileen Blyth

"After the Storm"
George Down

"Scottish Roots"
Pat Gilmartin

Liisa Salosaari Jasinski

"The Price of Real Estate is Going Up"
Laurie McIntosh

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Exhibition Party Pics

Everyone had a great time at the reception for Winter Exhibition XI, featuring Stephen Chesley, David Yaghjian, Mike Williams, and Edward Wimberly.  Here's some proof (Click any image to enlarge):

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Exhibition, 11th year: Chesley, Williams, Wimberly, and Yaghjian

The Winter Exhibition, in it’s 11th year, will feature original artwork by Stephen Chesley, Mike Williams, Edward Wimberly, and David Yaghjian.                                      

             January 13 -  January 25, 2011
             Reception:  January 14   6-9 pm
              Gallery 80808 / Vista Studios
              808 Lady Street 
              Columbia, SC  29201
For more information please call
803 252 6134 Vista Studios
803 206 9600 Mike Williams
803 765 2221 David Yaghjian
Stephen Chesley, Mike Williams, Edward Wimberly, and David Yaghjian are friends and full-time artists living and working in South Carolina.  For the past 11 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 view to consider his own condition and mortality.  In addition the figurative paintings, Yaghjian has been creating three-dimensional versions of his character in the form of cardboard or pine board cut-outs.