Thursday, December 15, 2016

New Year's Resolution: Ignite Your Creativity

New Year's Resolution: Ignite Your Creativity 
Led by Vista Studio artist and teacher Heidi Darr-HopeCreating Brave is an online community and eCourse hub for healing, growing, and thriving through mindful art practices. Creating Brave wants to cultivate creativity for all!

Healing Icons is presenting Creating Brave's eight-week eCourse, Mindful Mandalas.  This exciting new offering taps into each individual's potential for creative expression through the ancient art of mandala-making. 

Enroll Today. Limited-time, special introductory price of $49.95 (reg. $99.99).  

Give the Gift of Healing
A Creating Brave eCourse is the perfect gift for any occasion.
More than an art class, Creating Brave offers your loved one the joy of discovering their own unique creativity; a chance to meet others in a warm, enthusiastic, and supportive community; and the catharsis needed to overcome life's challenges and disruptions.

Instead of a material gift, give the gift of experience — the chance to learn something new and make lasting memories.

Course Overview
Mandalas are ancient, archetypal symbols of balance, wholeness and unity. Creating Brave has adapted this practice for our time and needs to help students reduce stress, uncover valuable insight, improve communication and connections with others, build self-confidence, and promote health and well-being. Creating Brave invites you to take advantage of our time-tested art-as-healing techniques in the comfort of your own space and at your own pace. Courses can be given as gifts for occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries, or "just because." Groups are welcome to join and arrange times to complete the coursework together, but each group member must enroll individually.

Each lesson in the eight-week eCourse features beautiful, easy-to-follow video tutorials, assignments to practice the techniques you'll learn, prompts for further reflection in your art journal, and opportunities to share your creations and respond to others' artwork. 

We believe that every person has innate creativity. Creating Brave aims to help each student discover their creative potential while reducing stress and fostering a thriving, supportive, and engaged community. 

What are you waiting for.  Take the risk and jump in.

Heidi Darr-Hope, MFA


Vista Studios
Studio #2
808 Lady Street
Columbia, SC  29201

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New public artwork welcomes creators to Community Innovation Center

New public artwork is on display thanks to a partnership between One Columbia for Arts and History and United Way of the Midlands.
The two organizations united to commission a set of sculptures in conjunction with the dedication of the Community Innovation Center. The sculptures, called “Infinity Extended I and II,” were created by Columbia-based artists Sharon Collings Licata. One sculpture will be posted at each of the two entrances to the Community Innovation Center.
Infinity Extended I and II was created by Columbia-based artist Sharon Collings Licata. (Photo provided)
Infinity Extended I and II was created by Columbia-based artist Sharon Collings Licata. (Photo provided)
“Art is a verb. United Way’s mission of uniting people and resources to improve the quality of life in the Midlands is reflected in the interwoven nature of the sculptures,” said Licata, who has a studio in Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 in the Vista. “The two strands reaching upward reference the two aspects of United Way’s process, needs and resources, and how they continue to grow and change.”
The idea is for the Community Innovation Center to become a home for local creators.
“We want our new Community Innovation Center to be a hub for collaboration and creativity in the Midlands. We thank Wells Fargo for funding this project, and we appreciate the beautiful piece of art created by Sharon Licata and One Columbia for their help making this become a reality,” said President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands Mac Bennett.


PAT GILMARTIN won 1st place in the Open media category at the 2016 SC State Fair. It's fused glass; title: The Weave. 

SHARON LICATA also won a 1st place ribbon in Sculpture.  (picture coming)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Vista Lights 2016 - Mark Your Calendar!

The resident artists of Vista Studios present new work in Harvest Art from November 16th-29th in the gallery at 808 Lady Street. They will open their studios to the public and will host a free Opening Reception on Thursday, November 17th from 5-8pm during the Vista Lights celebration. Vista Studios is home to 12 artists and each will be presenting new work.

Eileen Blyth will present Manic Weather II, acrylic & graphite on paper. It is part of a group of work done during a residency in Italy last Spring.

Stephen Chesley will offer works that exemplify the poetic peace of the ordinary. These recent works will offer studied relief from an increasingly frenetic world, and summon a rich solitude. Chesley’s palette of blues and greens connote symbolic dispatches from nature highlighting the fragile gift of water, sky, and trees and their increasing demise.

Pat Gilmartin is continuing to work with glass mosaics and fused glass. For Vista Lights she will have several new pieces to show, including an intricately patterned mosaic gazing ball. She also has some new additions to her popular series of small, sculptured ceramic faces. 

All year long, Heidi Darr-Hope has been breathing, thinking, and making mandalas.  This is partly due to an on-line E-Course she’s developing.  Creating Brave: Mindful Mandalas is an eight-week class on how to use mandala making as a form of stress reduction and healing.  But making mandalas is nothing new to her as she’s been creating these circle drawings for her own private use for many years as a way to play, de-stress, unwind and get lost in the creative process.  Normally, the daily drawings are sketchbook doodles and as thoughts come to mind, they are written within the mandala. For this show, she has created larger ones on canvas.

Sharon Collings Licata is returning to some of her earlier figurative forms, both animal and human, by continuing these series: Repose (rabbit) Shore Repose (egret) and Moon Goddess (reclining nude). The subjects emerge from the stone as simplified, graceful forms.

During the past year, Laurie McIntosh was commissioned to create 16 original works for the courtyard gates of the newly renovated Richland County North Main Library. Several of the paintings created from this project will be exhibited during this show as well as new pieces from her Pages series. Pages is part of an ongoing series of deconstructed paintings created with multiple layers of calligraphic marks and grounds. The deconstructed pages are then reassembled and unconventionally bound to create new visual relationships between the images. 

Kirkland Smith continues to collect, sort, and assemble everyday household disposable objects into representational art. Her assemblage work evokes nostalgia while also seeking to challenge consumer habits. 

Ever optimistic, Laura Spong works to capture the energy and excitement of doing new things. Responding to the upcoming changes in the gallery and to the future, in general, Laura’s work Dispense with Doubt reflects her attitude that it will be different, so let’s move on and into it.

South Carolina State Parks have been inspiring Michel McNinch this summer.  She is in love with painting her home state.

David Yaghjian claims he is still trying to learn how to paint. His latest attempts involve looking at a covered chaffinch cage, which caught his attention when watching the movie Arabian Nights: Volume 3.  He worked from amodel that approximates the real thing.

Also showing in the show are Robert Kennedy, and Walton Selig. Gallery hours will be from 10am-5pm daily. The gallery will be closed Thanksgiving Day. For more information, please visit their website:

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For more information and hi-res images please contact Kirkland Smith or on her cell: 803-622-7838.

Kirkland Smith

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Noelle Brault at Vista Studios! Mark you Calendars

Click Image to Enlarge

Vista Studios-Gallery 80808, located at 808 Lady St. in Columbia, SC will be featuring native Columbia artist Noelle Brault from August 25th through August 29th.  

The exhibit is entitled “Iconic Columbia” and will feature original oil paintings showcasing the Columbia that residents often tend to overlook or take for granted.   The exhibit will begin with an opening reception on August 25th from 5:00 PM through 
8:00 PM.  

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served and all are welcome to come and enjoy some outstanding impressionist works of art featuring South Carolina’s own Capital City.

Noelle was born and raised in the Columbia area and currently lives in the downtown Elmwood Park neighborhood with her husband Ed and their pets Cheyenne and Xerxes.  She loves to paint light and vibrant colors and prefers a medium of oil on linen panels.  Noelle is drawn to impressionism because she is much more interested in the “flavor” of a scene than a depiction of it.  Her paintings allow others to get the sense of being there to really appreciate the moment.   Noelle is best known for her landscapes and streetscapes of beautiful southern places.  She enjoys the low country as well as the mountains.  Since Ed was born and raised in Maine, she sometimes visits and paints beautiful coastal Maine scenes as well.  Still, Noelle really loves to re-introduce Capital City residents to the Columbia that is so beautiful, right under our noses, but often overlooked.  It’s nice to be reminded of all that Columbia has to offer and all the interesting things going on just outside residents’ own living rooms.

Noelle has been painting since 2008, starting with classes offered by 80808’s own Michel McNinch.  Noelle studied under Michel for several years and still goes back to class from time to time to get advice and paint with her mentor.  The very first time Noelle showed one of her paintings in public she won the 2010 Central Carolina Food and Wine Festival poster contest.  Since then she has won several SC State Fair awards, a prestigious plein air painting award given by her fellow artists, Best in Show at “Arts On The Ridge” in Ridgeway, SC, and Noelle even has a painting hanging in the SC Governor’s Mansion as a part of its permanent collection.  Noelle is an associate member of Oil Painters of America and an associate member of the American Impressionist Society.  She has paintings in several local business establishments (to include Sylvan’s Jewelers, The Capital City Club and Good Life CafĂ©) and has sold her “southern charm” paintings all over the country.  To preview works by Noelle, please visit her website ( ).

Make sure to set aside Thursday evening, August 25th to drop by 80808, talk with the artist, enjoy some wine and food, and most importantly to soak in a fresh Columbia, SC through Noelle Brault’s beautiful original impressionistic paintings.

Click Image to Enlarge

Monday, February 8, 2016

Laura Spong at 90: Six Decades in Painting

Laura Spong at 90: Six Decades in Painting
February 4th-29th
Opening Reception: Thursday Feb. 4th, 6-9pm
Laura’s Birthday Party: Thursday, Feb. 18th, 5-8pm

In conjunction with this show, more of Laura’s work will be on display at if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia, SC 29201:
Panel Discussion: Sunday, Feb. 14th, 2pm
Gallery Talk: Sunday, Feb. 28th, 2pm
For a preview, go to

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Trenholm Artists Guild Juried Art Exhibit and Sale

PO Box 6793, Columbia, SC 29260

Sara Winsted
Mobile: 803.422.9369
Renea Eshleman
Mobile: 803.767.5505



COLUMBIA, SC - JANUARY 21 – 31, 2016

The Trenholm Artists Guild will hold its 35th Annual Juried Art Exhibit from January 21st through January 31st, at Vista Studios/80808 Gallery, 808 Lady Street, Columbia.

Bruce Nellsmith will judge the show. Awards will be presented at the opening reception on Thursday, January 21, 6-8 PM, as part of the Vista Third Thursday. The public is invited; those in attendance will also vote for a People’s Choice Award.

The show will include approximately eighty 2 and 3-dimensional art pieces created by many renowned midlands-area artists. Meg McLean’s acrylic, piece “Bloomin’ Okra,” won the 34th annual Best of Show award. Other recent top award winners of TAG’s juried shows are Pete Holland, Mark Conrardy, Karen Langley, Denise Greer, and Jackie Brantley, and Regina Moody.

Trenholm Artists Guild, also known as TAG, has a membership of over 200. The group includes both amateur and professional artists who work in all media.  Established in 1971, TAG is an incorporated, non-profit organization located in Columbia, South Carolina.  It is designated an IRS 501 (c) (3) organization.  TAG was created to encourage and stimulate the practice and appreciation of the creative arts among the people living in the greater Columbia area of South Carolina. To achieve this goal, TAG works cooperatively with other groups to help build audiences and participation in the arts.

More information on TAG can be found at its website:, Facebook: