Sunday, August 13, 2017

Vista artists moving to Stormwater Studios

Vista artists moving to Stormwater Studios could jumpstart new life on the riverBY SARAH ELLIS

Read more

Totally Art

Columbia residents and visitors will enjoy a sort of dance between the sun, moon, and earth on August 21, 2017. This rare occurrence, of being in the solar eclipse path of totality, which occurs about every 375 years, has excited scientists to study and artists to create! Vista Studios presents TOTALLY ARt, a special exhibit of eclipse inspired artwork from August 14th-31st, with special hours from 10am-6pm on the 19th-21st. The gallery is located at 808 Lady Street and open daily from 10-3pm or by appointment. For more information visit our website or call 803-252-6134.

For more information please contact Kirkland Smith, 803-622-7838 or

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement

LAURA SPONG, The Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement

"A New Way Opening," oil, L. Spong
Columbia’s Spong, a native of Nashville, Tenn., was born in 1926. She is among South Carolina’s most prominent abstract painters. Spong was included in Abstract Art in South Carolina 1949 – 2012, the South Caroline State Museum’s historic overview of abstract art in South Carolina. In recent years, Spong has had solo exhibitions at the Spartanburg (S.C.) Museum of Art, Young Harris College in Young Harris, Ga., and if ART Gallery and a two-person exhibition with Carl Blair at the Florence (S.C.) Museum. Spong also was represented in group shows throughout the Carolinas and in Georgia and Tennessee. The South Carolina State Art Collection, the South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County (S.C.) Museum of Art have acquired both early and more recent paintings by Spong in the past decade.  
Since the late 1980s, Spong has been a full-time artist, keeping a studio at Vista Studios in Columbia since 1991 and gradually increasing her now considerable reputation. Much of her career has been documented in three exhibition catalogues, Laura Spong at 80: Warming The Chill Wind With Celebration of 2006; Laura Spong 2006 – 2011: Age As An Administrative Device of 2011; and Laura Spong At 90: Six Decades In Paintings, all published by if ART Gallery. 

if ART Gallery presents
The Elizabeth O’Neill Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement Exhibition:
April 29 – May 13, 2017
Artists’ Reception: SATURDAY, April 29, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Gallery Hours:
Weekdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; & by appointment

if ART Gallery, 1223 Lincoln St., Columbia, SC 29201,
For more information, contact Wim Roefs at if ART:
(803) 238-2351 

Wim Roefs
if ART Gallery
1223 Lincoln St.
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 238-2351

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Exit Strategy - Vista Studios Show April 13-25

Exit Strategy - Vista Studios Show April 13-25

The resident artists of Vista Studio are making plans to move! In their upcoming show, Exit Strategy, they will exhibit new work reflective of their focus over the past year, and a variety of mediums will be represented. The show runs from April 13th- 25th. There will be an Opening Reception and Open Studios on April 20th from 5-8pm, which is a free event, open to the public, in conjunction with Artista Vista. Refreshments will be served. The gallery will be open 11-5pm April 20-23rd, and by appointment April 13-19, 24-25, (803) 252-6134. 

Pat Gilmartin continues to expand her interest in mosaic glass and fused glass and will have several new pieces to show. She also has been experimenting with combining her previous figurative ceramic work with glass mosaics, finding the possibilities to be exciting and unlimited. 

Heidi Darr-Hope’s work, Incidental Findings, came out of a 3 day-experience working with abstract painter Brucie Holler. Beginning with a blind contour drawing to start her composition, Heidi stepped out of her comfort zone to create the new work, “reinforcing the importance of trusting that there is great value in getting uncomfortably lost. I learned that when I allow myself to move beyond what I already know, I am free to make incidental findings and unintentionally discover where I just might need to go next.”

Sharon Licata will be offering a series of new abstracts primarily in Alabaster with a side trip into some Georgia Marble. These sculptures represent the heart-felt feelings of the years at Vista Studios and the new winds blowing as the artists prepare for the move. 

Stephen Chesley says, ’The heritage of landscape painting is long and rich anchored in our most primal beginnings. Contemporary landscape painting with current ideas of modern abstraction read as figurative models of nature. The diminishing asset of the natural world is the challenge in this era of exponential domination.'

Michel McNinch has been working with familiar subjects in a large format. Come see the oysters glisten on a 3 x 4 foot canvas.

Also included in the show are Eileen Blyth, Stephen Chesley, Robert Kennedy, Kirkland Smith, Laura Spong, and David Yaghjian.

# # #

For more information and hi-res images, please contact Kirkland Smith, (803)622-7838, or

Pat Gilmartin
Stephen Chesley

Heidi Darr Hope
Eileen Blyth
Michel McNinch
David Yaghjian
Sharon Licata

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stephen Chesley / Jan 23-Feb 7th, 2017, Opening Jan 26th 7-9pm

Stephen Chesley; Consideration of the Spirit Wild, 
Watercolors of Congaree Swamp, 1985-2017, On Weston Lake.
Vista Studios, 80808 Lady Street, Columbia, South Carolina,
January 23-February 7th, 2017, Opening January 26th 7-9pm.

 "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."                   Henry David Thoreau  (1817 to 1862)

2016 marked the National Park Service’s centenary of its founding as well as the forty year mark for the Congaree National Swamp.    The Congaree Swamp’s verdant greens of a promising spring are always a rich visual companion to the vital spirit of the wild. In these times of Anthropocene calamity, Thoreau's  doctrine of the health of solitude in sojourn with nature is even more profound.      The works that will be presented are watercolors and oils spanning from 1985 to 2017, and where part of a Centennial exhibition at the Harry Hampton Center, Congaree National Park.     The spirit wild is in place for those who seek it and is foldable in the heartfor the return to urbanity.  On Walden Pond, On Weston Lake,,,, moose, Indian