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 –
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

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If you would like more information or images, please call 803-622-7838 or email .