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undefined : Book Nine : Nov-Dec : 2010

features:

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Anna Camp: A face you’ll remember Opening Columbia’s ears James Busby: Black and white and something else Andie McDowell: the importance of being Southern The Restoration: Faulknerian chamber-pop James Quantz: Photographic master of illusion Yisha Wang: Culture junkie Paul Kaufman: Actor, visual artist, entrepreneur The List: 12 More artistic endeavors not to miss Poetry

on the cover: "Radiating Circle" by James Busby

contributors

Cynthia Boiter … Associate Editor Jeffrey Day … Associate Editor Mark Pointer … Associate Editor Ed Madden … Poetry Editor Kyle Petersen … Writer Joey Shaw … Photographer

Chuck Dye … Photographer C. Neil Scott … Photographer Linda Toro Dodge … Photographer James Quantz … Photographer Daniel Machado … Photographer Jonathan Sharpe … Photographer

Subscribe now at: www.undefinedmagazine.com These pages are the labor of many talented hands, from writing, design and editing, to sales and marketing. We encourage you to contact us with any feedback or story ideas at our website. Please support the artists, your community leaders and advertisers. For advertising information please contact us at: 803.386.9031 or ads@undefinedmagazine.com undefined magazine is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without the publisher's written permission. Write us at: undefined Magazine 709 Woodrow Street : 321 : Columbia, SC 29205 803.386.9031 ©2010 All Rights Reserved undefined : book nine

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Photo: Sarah Kobos

Mark Pointer

A message from the editors. Fight on. In October of 2005, Mark Pointer had an epiphany. On a return trip from another southern city, well known for its broad cultural offerings, he saw Columbia in a new way, as an emerging city of people with world-class talent, drive, and ideas. A place that has just as much, and in many ways, more to offer than the higher profile cities in the Southeast. The problem was that there seemed to be little exposure and virtually no resource for those seeking to experience all that Columbia has to offer. Mark immediately recognized the need for a publication that focused on the dynamics that make a city great: the support of the arts and the people with passion and talent, doing whatever their talent and passion leads them to do. Specifically those who have re-invested their talents right here in downtown Columbia. So undefined was born in name and basic concept, refined over dinner and drinks with friends, and withheld until it could be realized without compromise. Over the past three years, the magazine has changed, grown, and with the addition of Cynthia Boiter and Jeffrey Day, reached a new level of excellence. We hope that our journey to uncover the multiple layers of established and emerging cultural visionaries in Columbia, and throughout the state, continues to encourage, enlighten, and engage our readership. It is our intention to produce the highest quality magazine that we are capable of creating. A medium that is as outstanding as the individuals represented within. In the face of a challenging economic and political climate, we will be unwavering in our commitment to the art and artists of South Carolina. Now, three years after the debut of undefined, Book 9, smarter and stronger, makes its way into the hands of You, our Reader. Thanks for being here. Enjoy.

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“Cartersville“ James Quantz

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theatre


Anna Camp A face you’ll remember On one of the first bearable Columbia days this fall, it’s good to sit at a sidewalk café in Five Points. A young blonde woman surveys the tables, looking for an empty one, but there are none. A passing parade of attractive or at least interesting-looking people of various sorts pass by, but something about her stands out. She has that certain something that’s hard to define. Or maybe it’s just the “Where do I know her from?” thing. One way to find out. A crazy question, but it might do the trick, with no harm done except she might think the questioner is crazy. “So, have you been hanging out with Harry Potter lately?” Anna Camp laughs big. She understands the question.

story: Jeffrey Day photography: Joey Shaw


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he last time she saw Harry, better known as the actor Daniel Radcliffe, they were sharing a stage during the 2008 Broadway revival of Equus. She played a stable girl who has a fling with the disturbed young man Radcliffe portrayed. She’s in Columbia, where she grew up, to visit family and friends with her parent Tom and Dee, who live in Rock Hill. Those who missed the play might have seen Camp recently on the small screen in the first two seasons of the HBO series True Blood or in AMC’s Mad Men. An independent film she appeared I, Forgetting the Girl, was released in October, and she just wrapped up work on the Dreamworks movie The Help. Camp moved to Los Angeles last year after five years in New York, where she was in several plays, including The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols, and starring Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormond, and opposite Tony Shalhoub of the TV series Monk in The Scene. Even when the shows have been panned, Camp has received good reviews. From her youngest days, Camp was pretty sure she’d be an actor. She studied acting at Workshop Theatre and Dreher High School, where as a sophomore she decided acting would be her life. She was doing The Children’s Hour, in which a girl accuses her teachers of being lesbians, when the revelation arrived. “I forgot what I was saying, I left where I was, but I was exactly where I wanted to be,” Camp says. Of course, as these things go, it happened during a rehearsal, she adds. While still doing Equus, she was cast in the vampire series True Blood as Sarah Newlin, wife of the leader of a religious group. She jetted back and forth across the country several times a week. While both were acting jobs, stage and television work are very different from one another. And the roles were oceans apart as well. “I’d go from this British stable girl to a Southern minister’s wife almost every day,” says Camp, 28. Camp auditioned for the lead role of Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood, and although she didn’t get it, she was offered the Newlin role without an audition. Early this year as the True Blood role was ending, she got a call to read for Mad Men, set in the high-flying advertising world of the 1960s. “It’s one of my favorites and I told myself, ‘There is no way you are walking away without this job,’” Camp recalls. “I told myself, ‘You’ve got to nail this.’” All geared up, she read scenes opposite an actor playing “Steve.” She couldn’t quite place a “Steve” on the show, because there isn’t one. Such fiction-within-fiction audition methods aren’t unusual for a hit series. They asked her back, this time to read with “Don.” That turned out to be Don Draper, the lead character.

“I was thrilled, but I couldn’t tell anyone,’” she says. “You can’t even take the (scripts) out of the audition room.” She got the part of a woman Draper is dating and appeared in three episodes. From the ‘60s ad world, she went to the ‘60s South to make The Help, about white women and their African-American housekeepers. Camp doesn’t have a major role, but it was big enough to keep her on location in Mississippi for nearly six weeks. “It’s not a part that moves the plot along, but it’s not a waitress that says, ‘Here’s your Coke,’” she says. With such a schedule, one thing was tough to fit in – getting married. She and Michael Mosley, an actor on Scrubs, planned to have big wedding on the South Carolina coast last summer, but instead ran off to the beach – a California beach 45 minute from their home – for a tiny ceremony. They live in 1920s townhouse with their dog near the “Hollywood” sign. Camp’s success doesn’t surprise Mary Jeffcoat, who taught Camp and her sister Saluda at Workshop Theatre when the sisters were elementary school students. Saluda, an actor in New York, recalls those first classes. “We both fell in love with acting that summer,” says Saluda “Sudie” Camp. “Within the year we both knew acting was where our talent lay. I don’t think either one of us thought about pursuing anything else.” While Anna Camp went to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Saluda Camp attended the College of Charleston and the Mountview Theatre School in London. Saluda did several seasons with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and the classics-oriented National Theatre of the Performing Arts. She’s done many plays in New York, most recently the female lead in Venus Observed. According to Jeffcoat, Anna Camp is a nice, supportive person as well as a talented actor. Lucinda Rogers, another actor from Columbia who recently moved to Los Angeles, attests to that. Rogers and Camp knew one another growing up and were in The Crucible at Workshop in 1997. “Anna has been so helpful to me because she has this delicate balance between bring incredibly tenacious and smart about this business, while still being grounded and completely down-to-earth,” Rogers says. “She’s helped me be smart about the daily grind of being here as an actor and keeping a sense of being connected to home.” Just like that day in Five Points, “Anna always stood out,” says Jeffcoat. “She just has something – this incredible joy in acting. But she was very single-minded. She had a good time, but she worked.”

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feature

Josh Berman

story: Jeffrey Day photography: Chuck Dye and C. Neil Scott


Opening Columbia’s ears The cello player in Vox Arcana scraped his bow across a 45-rpm record in the lobby of the Columbia Museum of Art. A bunch of bassoonists gathered in a basement nightclub across the street. Among the instrumental arsenal the Friction Brothers carried into the 701 Center for Contemporary Art was a block of dry ice and a hot plate. Missy Mazzoli, a fast-rising contemporary classical composer, gave a preview of her opera-in-progress at the University of South Carolina. The S.C. Philharmonic prepared to perform the world premiere of a concerto by a Columbia composer. USC Bands has commissioned four new works, including one by Jennifer Higdon, who just won a Pulitzer Prize. A huge gathering of composers converged on Columbia for the annual meeting of the National Society of Composers. Even Trinity Episcopal Cathedral – home of the old-line Columbia elite – has gotten into the act, premiering a locally-written, 45-minute work for voices, pipe organ, and percussion.  All this has happened during the last few months in Columbia. The city has several independent concert producers, the Southern Exposure contemporary music series at USC, a number of other university concerts feature new music, an orchestra that welcomes 20th and 21st century pieces, and a mix of performance spaces from concert halls to bars, backyards, and art centers. Like some of the best artistic enterprises in Columbia, the new music world is a bit under the radar, but musicians around the country know this is a city with an energetic and excellent new music environment. The musicians who come to Columbia to perform are pleasantly surprised – and sometimes shocked – at the size and enthusiasm of the audiences. They like that the audience is hungry for something new and isn’t a bit jaded.

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Judd Greenstein, a musician and composer with the Now Ensemble, came to Columbia for the first time early this fall to play at Southern Exposure. He’d heard that it was good place to play and wasn’t disappointed. “You get the sense people are listening with fresh ears,” says Greenstein, who lives in New York. “I know there aren’t 250 professional musicians or composers coming to those concerts. In New York a concert might have 200 people and they’re all music insiders. I don’t think that’s particularly healthy.”  One of the most active new music presenters in Columbia is Ross Taylor, a long-time new music aficionado. In 2002 he ran into Andrew Choate, a musician and writer, on Lake Murray where they had fried catfish sandwiches. Choate, a native of Columbia who was living in Chicago, asked Taylor if he knew of any place in Columbia where his Chicago musician friends could play. Since then he has produced dozens of concerts by Daisy, Jeb Bishop, Jason Ajemian, and The Thing + Joe McPhee.  He’ll sometimes put on two concerts in a week. “The musicians hear that the shows here are some of the best of the tours,” Taylor says. “So many put on shows in other towns where the people running them are so weird and so slack and they don’t make an effort to get the word out.” Composer John Fitz Rogers runs Southern Exposure, which has brought in Now Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, and the Los Angeles Piano Quartet since it started a decade ago. Rogers is reluctant to toot his own horn; he gives much of the credit to the quality of the musicians, audiences, and a supportive press.

he more edgy concerts tend to attract men between 20 and 50 who wear glasses and have spent too much time indoors. That’s changing. At the Vox Arcana show, a scattering of older couples, young women, a batch of graduate English students who recently moved to town, and parents with kids, attended. The children sat wide-eyed on the front row as percussionist Tim Daisy rummaged around under his drum kit to play pots and pans and metal bowls.  Orchestra audiences can be the toughest, but they’re full of surprises – Chinese lute player Wu Man got a huge, warm response when she played with the S.C. Philharmonic last year. Chicago-based Tim Daisy, percussionist for Vox Arcana, has been gigging in Columbia with various groups for nearly a decade.   “It seems like Columbia has the right elements – a university, places to play, a promoter (Ross Taylor) who is very good,” Daisy says. “And there are people who are receptive and open. That’s the most important thing - people willing to take a chance.”    Bassoonist Michael Harley first came to Columbia as a member of the group Alarm Will Sound at Southern Exposure contemporary music series at the University of South Carolina in 2006.   “It turned out to be one of the most memorable concerts we did,” says Harley, who now lives in Columbia and is assistant director of the series. It was packed and the audience was so enthusiastic. It took us completely by surprise. We were all really impressed.”  

Vox Acarna at the Columbia Museum of Art. undefined : book nine

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The Tiptons Saxophone Quartet and Drums playing at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art.

“I’ve never really had a bad turnout,” Green says. “I lost $25 in 25 years. We just promoted the hell out of it.” Green usually charged $5 to $9 and often included dinner donated by local restaurants, but his assertion that people came “because I bribe them with food” isn’t true. The growth of the new music scene in Columbia “just amazes me,” says Tom Law, a musician active in Columbia since the 1970s and who began producing new music concerts about five years ago. “There’s been a phenomenal change and I’m not sure where it all came from. I think we’ve passed the critical point.”  During the past several years Law has mounted concerts by Faun Fables, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, The Tiptons, Konk Pack and others. He feels good enough about what’s going on that he’s opening a new music venue in West Columbia next year. Things don’t always work out– a much talked-about concert by the saxophone ensemble The Tiptons attracted a paltry turnout of 35. This is music that hasn’t yet been sorted out by history, so not all of it is good. At Southern Exposure, which often sells out, students who are required to attend concerts occupy the seats, then at intermission. Those who put on the more unusual concerts wish they’d get more support from the USC Music School faculty. There’s bellyaching by the more traditional audience members who think an orchestra should only play music by long-dead white men from Europe. When Morihiko Nakahara was hired as music director of the S.C. Philharmonic three years ago, he immediately began programming contemporary music: film composer Akira Ifukube, Arturo Marquez, Dan Visconti, Margaret Brouwer, and Mazzoli.

“The audience has been so great,” he says. “The musicians really love it and every performer has remarked on how great the audience is.”  Two main streams feed the new music lake in Columbia. One is based in avant garde jazz that includes quite a bit of improvisation, experimentation and unusual instruments. The other is the contemporary classical wing, where most everything is written down and the composers and musicians usually come out of music schools. The music might be played on pots and pans or concert grands – in either genre. Contemporary classical music has been building a higher profile all over the country. During the past 20 years the music has become more accessible, it has more structure and isn’t afraid to be pretty. Some of it is also influenced by the music its composer listened to before they earned degrees in composition – rock ‘n roll.     Many, if not all, classical music groups have begun embracing music by living composers. They haven’t stopped playing great, beloved, and popular music by Beethoven and Mozart, but have acknowledged that great music has also been written more recently and is still being written. Although the venues and the music can vary greatly, the seats are often filled. Concerts are frequent enough, between two and five a month, that there’s momentum from one to the next. “This avant garde jazz world is pretty small,” Taylor says, “but people who like it are very supportive.” Among those who started the ball rolling was Kevin Green, who has been filling Columbia – at least a corner of it – with strange sounds for 25 years.

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anything for it. Reginald Bain, a USC professor, is a composers and theorist who specializes in computer music. Phillip Bush, a pianist who plays both contemporary and traditional music and has been a member of the Steve Reich and Phillip Glass ensembles, settled in Columbia in 2004. Michael Harley, his music school colleague Peter Kolkay, and two other bassoon players recently formed Dark in the Song which may be the only contemporary bassoonist group in the nation.  Trinity Episcopal Cathedral has presented concerts of music by Olivier Messiaen and commissioned Rogers to write a big piece for the reopening of the renovated church. (Rogers’ “Magna Mysteria,” was premiered at the church in early November.) “We absolutely consider ourselves part of the contemporary music scene here,” says Jared Johnson, director of music at Trinity. “I think we all have a responsibility to foster new music.”  Ron Wiltrout, who studied music at USC a decade ago, is one of the founders of Charleston’s New Music Collective. He’s seen the Columbia scene from the inside and the outside, up close and from a distance.  “The Southern Exposure Series is kicking major ass and bringing a lot of the academic experimental music to the South that previously came only once every four or five years (and were revelatory to me as a student),” Wiltrout says. “Also, people like Ross Taylor and Tom Law are trying hard to bring some of the newer experimental rock and jazz from all over the country.” In Charleston, the arts gets lumped in with the tourist industry, the city is too far off the beaten path for many touring groups, it doesn’t have as good an audience as the capital, and finding places to play can be tough. “Only when the Collective has the resources – rare - or some other interested third-party pitches in to make it happen do we get these bands here, but they never make much money,” he says. Looking at Columbia, says Wiltrout, “I get a little jealous.”  That’s not something you hear from Charleston about Columbia every day, but when it comes to new music, there are all kinds of surprises.

Joe McPhee + The Thing.

His first season the orchestra played music by Philip Glass for the first time ever. The Philharmonic commissioned John Fitz Rogers to write a two-piano concerto for music school faculty members Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers that will be premiered this month. The orchestra will also play a new work by Osvaldo Golijov, one of the most important composers of the last 50 years.    When Nakahra was considering coming to Columbia, he was glad to hear that there was a contemporary music scene.  “Knowing that there was at least a core of people who are interested is very useful,” Morihiko says.  That’s “useful” both artistically and economically because it means there is an audience for new music and when the orchestra plays it, people who aren’t Philharmonic regulars will come. They’re usually also younger than the core orchestra audience – they’re its future audience. The Philharmonic and Southern Exposure also teamed up to bring Wu Man to Columbia for concerts with both. Along with these core players, the Columbia contemporary music cadre is much larger and broader than one might imagine. Camden-based Upton Trio plays and records music by its violinist Mary Lee Taylor-Kinosian, who is also concertmaster with the Philharmonic. USC Music School dean Tayloe Harding is a composer whose music is regularly performed in the city. Composer Meira Warshauser’s music has been performed in Columbia and around the world. Musicians such as saxophone player Clifford Leaman, a USC faculty member, regularly commissions new work for the instrument. The saxophone is only 150 years old so most of the famous classical composers were too dead to write

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Bassoonists Michael Harley and Peter Kolkay performing at The White Mule.

New music concerts coming up The National Society of Composers holds its annual meeting at the University of South Carolina School of Music Nov. 11- 14. Most of the dozen concerts taking place during the conference are open to the public and many are free. Call (803) 777-4280. The S.C. Philharmonic gives the world premiere of John Fitz Rogers’ Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra. Nov. 13. Koger Center for the Arts. (803) 251-2222. Jacob Wick and Catherine Young Nov. 16. 701 Center for Contemporary Art arnoldrosstaylor@gmail.com Cheer-Accident, Nov. 19. (Location to be announced.) bigSphinx.com Matt   Haimowitz, cellist, Nov. 20. USC School of Music. (803) 777-4280. The USC Wind Ensemble will give the world premiere of Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra by Leonard Mark Lewis.  Nov. 21. USC School of Music. (803) 777-4280. The 13th Assembly Trio, Nov. 30, Columbia Museum of Art arnoldrosstaylor@gmail.com

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artist

James Busby Black and white and something else

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Hubert Neumann, one of the top 200 art collectors in the world, and the major collector of Busby’s paintings. Looking at Busby’s artworks, some viewers don’t know what to make of them or even what to call them. The pieces are often unusual shapes, have openings in them, are sometime several inches thick, or are covered with grooves traversing the surface. They can be mistaken for lead or polished steel or even stone. Busby calls them paintings, but someone else might call them something else. This is fine with him. “I like work that makes you think about something completely different than what’s hanging on the wall,” he says. “I like art that makes you reconsider what you always thought you knew. I love work that I can’t figure out right away.” At the New York opening in September, one visitor went through the gallery literally “thumping” the pieces with a forefinger, thinking they were metal. Although Busby often shows the edges of the work, revealing wood or canvas, they can still be deceptive. Those who are only interested in what it is (or isn’t) physically will move on. For others, the mystery of the material is a point of engagement that prompts them to ask questions

his fall, James Busby had a solo exhibition at the Stux Gallery in New York and was in a group show in Paris. His paintings – minimalist black and white works with subtle gradations of tone and texture – look right at home in big city galleries. That’s where he shows them. Where he makes them is in a studio over his garage in the Columbia suburb Irmo. Busby, wife Karen and their three small children, live in a traditional-style home in an area that a few years ago was farmland. While in the garage one day showing paintings to a visitor, Holland, 5, comes in the front door to show him a painting she’s done of a rainbow. A few minutes later, Isabel, 6, enters from the back and says, “Mom wants a Diet Coke.” One-year-old Charley’s diaper needs changing. Leaning against a post is a bare-bones graphite-framed bicycle that Busby rides during triathlons. It’s a nice down-to-earth existence for the artist who has had a couple of brushes with fame. Despite the horrible economy, about half the 16 paintings in the New York sold. When he last showed there, in 2008, the show sold out. The Paris show, which ran in October at the Galerie Jean-Luc & Takado Richard, was organized by the

story: Jeffrey Day photography: Linda Toro Dodge

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Detail from an incomplete piece in Busby’s studio.

he didn’t know was there. Another is painted on a piece of rough burlap. It was once a bag his girls brought home from vacation Bible school that he saved from the trash. “I’m actually astounded by the reductive vocabulary he uses and what he is able to do with it,” Stux says. “He manages to never paint himself into a corner even though he’s working in strict parameters.” A couple of Busby’s favorite artists did a lot with a little. Fred Sandback, who died in 2002 at 59, made installations and sculptures out of a few bits of yarn and wire. Sandback’s art was actually the empty space the lines of yarn contained. Another is the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, who from 1925 until his death in 1964, painted the same bottles and vases again and again and again. “I’m really interested in how someone can sustain a body of work like that over time,” Busby says. “How does one do something simple really well?” All black and all white paintings appeared about a century ago, starting with the art movements Suprematism and Constructivism. In the 1950s artists Ad Reinhart and Robert Rauschenberg began making all black and all white paintings. The best-known practitioner of the all-white palette is Robert Ryman. Stux sees a direct link from the early 20th century Russians to Busby. “The great Russian traditions of the early 20th century –

beyond what is it made from and how it is made.  Still he’d rather they didn’t “thump” the paintings like they were searching for the perfect watermelon. In the recent show at Stux, most of the paintings were black – ranging from a flat black that swallows light to highly-burnished, gray pieces that reflect not just the light, but the viewer’s face. Showing along with these were some all-white paintings, which is what he was concentrating on before switching gears (and color, or lack of color) about two years ago. To say his art doesn’t have color is not quite accurate. At times, he applies oil paint before covering it with a graphite paste and the color peeps through. Lines of color show up from time to time in the white paintings. A bit of color might make a full frontal appearance right on the surface. “I was a little apprehensive with an all black show,” says Stefan Stux, owner of Stux Gallery where Busby began showing in 2003. “I didn’t expect him to bring in such a rich collection.” For an artist working in just a couple of colors or non-colors, Busby’s art has a wide range. The earliest white paintings have perfect surfaces, but in later ones the edges crumble a bit and expose the weave of canvas. Imperfection has been part of the black paintings since the start. One work is on an oddlyshaped chunk of wood, the grain visible through the black. In another painting on wood, he created a circular shape, then in sanding down the surface exposed a round knot in the wood that

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Constructivism and Suprematism– he takes these and brings them into our time,” he says. Along with what Busby’s paintings are made of, there are often questions about his process. The pieces are often so perfect technically, orderly and highly finished, they must be the result of a highly methodical and systematic approach. Actually, Busby comes at them from the opposite direction. “It’s more of an improvisational approach,” says Busby, a native of Rock Hill who earned a master of fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. “When I start I’m not sure what they’ll look like. I generally have no idea what it’s going to be. That’s what’s exciting. If I knew what they were going to be I wouldn’t want to do them. The more I think about what I’m doing, the worse the piece is.” It may not be planned, but it is painstaking. The white paintings are created by brushing dozens of coats of gesso (a white pigment put on canvas or wood to provide a smooth, even surface for paintings) on canvas. After these layers are built up and dried, he cuts grooves into the surface with a table saw, then sands and burnishes the surface. The black paintings are made with a paste of powdered graphite applied over gesso and while it’s still wet, he moves it around and makes marks in it. These he also sands and polishes. The bulk of his paintings are small, although in the Stux show he’s gone bigger – "Radiating Circle". gesso, graphite & oil on MDF (Medium-density fibreboard).   14.5" x 12.5". 2010. the largest is 4-by-3-feet. He’s talking Courtesy of Stux Gallery, New York, NY to a collector about doing a wallsized piece that may actually be part asked him to do a solo show. So in three months he had to train of the wall. for the race, do the race, and make enough work for a show. He This exploratory process has its downsides. completed the race in a respectable 13 hours and six minutes. “It’s a scary place to be,” Busby says. “Sometimes you end up The art making and the races are “exact parallels,” Busby with shit.” says. “It’s a minimal sport.” He likes scary, but he also likes boring. Minor adjustments in a stroke through the water, the push The artist’s method of working slowly, putting paint on, takon the pedal, the stride can make a huge difference in times, in ing it off, polishing the surface comes from another part of his whether one actually finishes a race. Similar incremental life that requires patience and persistence – doing triathlons. In changes when he’s making art have a big impact as well – the September, he competed in his first full “Ironman” – a 2.4-mile right one is a revelation, the wrong and it’s to the trash bin. swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26-mile run. A couple of days after Thinking doesn’t help – it’s all intuitive. Busby signed up to do the Ironman in Kentucky, Stux called and His dealer gets the connection completely, calling Busby “a

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he's worth checking out," Stux said in an interview a few years ago. "James brought some pieces in and wow! This is really what I was hoping for, but much more than that." The gallery gives him a great deal of freedom. They don’t tell him what to paint big or small, black or white, smooth or rough. They let him decide what he wants to show. He even installs the works himself. When he decided to move from white to dark works, he didn’t ask permission or talk it over with anyone. Stux included the young artist in a three-person show in 2003, the year Busby graduated. That was followed by solo exhibitions in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and a two-person show in 2008. In 2007, his work was part of a show at the Chelsea Museum; like the recent Paris show, it was organized by collector Hubert Neumann. The Reynolds Gallery in Richmond shows his work, which sells for $7,000 to $20,000, and he has a small exhibition there in December. He has shown a piece or two in South Carolina, but rarely. One of his paintings was in the exhibition “Carolina Collects” at the Columbia Museum of Art. Twice a week Busby comes into Columbia to teach introductory drawing classes at the University of South Carolina. He likes teaching and he’s happy teaching the basics to students without much experience. “I’ll draw with them,” he says recently sitting outside a restaurant near campus. “I still love to sit and do that.” Usually he and the students are working from a simple still life set up. His goal is to get them to slow “Curve". gesso, graphite, & oil on linen. 19" x 24". 2010. Shown in its crate, custom made for down. He’s big on crosshatching. each piece. The crates have become part of Busby’s work. Courtesy of Stux Gallery, New York, NY “It’s so hard to do it right,” he says. The students aren’t usually too crazy long-distance runner.” about it because it’s painstaking and can be monotonous. The “He has such self-discipline and control. He’s totally composer John Cage had something to say about doing boring impressed me with his reliability and punctuality.” work, Busby notes. He can’t call up the exact quote, but here it Busby and Stux met in 2002, when Stux curated an exhibiis:  "If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If tion in New York for Virginia Commonwealth University master still boring, then eight. Then 16. Then 32. Eventually one discovfor fine arts students. The Virginia Commonwealth professors ers that it is not boring at all." had spoken highly of Busby to the dealer. "I thought if this guy is only 25 percent as good as they say,

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interview

Andie MacDowell and the importance of being Southern

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icky white boots have a way of changing a woman’s life, and Rosalie Anderson “Andie” MacDowell’s is no exception. The Gaffney, South Carolina Christmas parade was in full swing, and there she strutted, all torso and leg, shiny white boots with puffy pom-poms bouncing like snowballs on acid, flashing baton ablaze in the December Southern sun, all eyes on Rose; almost too much girl for one small town celebration – even at the age of 4-years-old. The stage was seriously set. It didn’t take long for young Rose to realize the world was bigger than Cherokee County and that dance classes with Spartanburg’s Miss Marion would only take her so far. With the kind of determination only a major league talent in a minor league situation can know, Rose put every bit of energy she had into planning and preparing for her escape to the future. More than sixteen years and countless menial jobs in depressing places later, South Carolina’s claim to Hollywood fame finally made her break for the Big Time, headed north to New York and left the dust of Carolina in a decidedly unsophisticated cloud behind. A lucrative career in modeling greeted her – think Vogue, Yves Saint Laurent, and Armani – followed soon by her first feature film, playing Jane to Christopher Lambert’s Tarzan in Greystoke, and the film’s disappointing dubbing of her dripping honey drawl with the plain old Connecticut cadence of actress Glenn Close. Unfazed by the lack of appreciation for a ripe Southern brogue, Rose, who answered to Andie by now, took to Hollywood like a hipster to your grandmother’s sweater, and within four years began making one or more movies per year, a pattern that

story: Cynthia Boiter

photography: James Quantz

lasted almost a decade and a half. Her work with luminaries like Steven Soderbergh and hunky foreigners like Hugh Grant leave little doubt that MacDowell accomplished what she set out for – Tinseltown, the Big Screen, the big bucks, stardom – Success. Yet, three Golden Globe nominations, an Independent Spirit Award, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, A Saturn Award, three children, an honorary doctorate from Winthrop University, the school that told her she should re-consider going into acting, and probably a life time supply of beauty products by L’Oreal later, the little girl from Gaffney now lives nowhere near Hollywood and only travels to New York for business. How could it be that a woman who worked so hard to blow the proverbial Popsicle stand she grew up in – and blow it she did, for places like Paris, Prague, and Madrid – would find herself back in the land of sweet tea and fried okra, in a tiny hamlet, barely a town, called Biltmore Forest, North Carolina? What would make this bona fide movie star – she has worked with Miss Piggy, for god’s sake – give up the glitz and glamour for a life among kudzu and crickets? “It’s simple,” she tells me, sipping a cup of tea, gazing out the restaurant window at a misty Five Points below. “I wanted my children to know their family.” The product of a large family with several close sisters herself, MacDowell has three children of her own—a grown son and daughter, Justin and Rainey, and Sarah Margaret, her sixteenyear-old daughter who lives at home with her mom. “I wanted them to know their cousins, their aunts, my dad,” she explains. “And I wanted them to know where they came from; to have that sense of connectedness and shared history that I had growing up.” But with at least two of her offspring already expressing an

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interest in stepping into their mom’s stilettos, (Rainey Qualley recently completed her first independent film and young Sarah Margaret is a devoted dancer who wants to pursue contemporary ballet), how does MacDowell justify bringing up children in an environment that, even as a young woman herself, she deemed less than fertile ground for a career in the arts? “I do recognize that there can be a sense of narrowness to small town life, and it is natural for kids to want to see what else is out there. I certainly did. But I’ve also tried to bridge that narrowness by exposing my children to the larger world,” she explains, adding that when her children were small they often traveled with her when she was filming across the globe. “You also don’t often appreciate what you’ve got until you leave it,” she admits, “and I learned that. I love what I’ve experienced in my life away from the South, but I’m sentimental enough to recognize that there are aspects of Southern culture that helped make me the person I am now. I wanted my children to benefit from those things, too.” Another way MacDowell has worked to make the art world more accessible to her Southern-reared children is by locating and developing relationships with outstanding arts educators nearby. Columbia based choreographer and master instructor Dale Lam, who is the Artistic Director, as well as the blood, guts, and bone of the Columbia City Jazz Company, is one such artist. MacDowell and Lam first began their association when MacDowell’s older daughter, Rainey, had the opportunity to take a master class from the highly sought after Lam in a nearby Asheville, North Carolina studio. As younger daughter Sarah Margaret’s interest and talent in contemporary dance grew, MacDowell recognized the unique gifts that Lam brings to her students and made a commitment to insure that Sarah Margaret continue to work with Lam, despite the distance between Lam’s studio in Columbia and the MacDowell’s North Carolina home. Over the years, a friendship developed, turning the tables on MacDowell to the point that she sometimes refers to herself as Dale Lam’s biggest fan. “The gift that Dale has – the gift she gives to her students,” MacDowell says with intention, “is nothing short of genius.” She goes on. “Dale’s musicality is literally the best I’ve ever seen. I’ve yet to find anyone who can teach a child how to hear the music, and to feel the music, the way that Dale can. She is a genius, plain and simple.” That recognizable genius is what has inspired MacDowell to not only entrust her daughter’s training to Lam, but to devote herself to helping her friend in any way she can achieve portions of her life’s goal – sharing her gifts with as many talented children as possible, no matter what the circumstances of their lives may be. “I can afford to pay for my daughter’s instruction, but not everyone can,” MacDowell says. “And Dale will never turn a talented student away.” MacDowell also points out that the Columbia City Jazz School, whose students feed into the Columbia City Jazz preprofessional company, is a not-for-profit organization; a fairly unusual enterprise among instructional institutions in this day and age.

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Who is Rosalie “Andie” MacDowell? Favorite Southern Food? Cole Slaw, White Corn on the Cob, and Chow Chow Favorite Film She Did Not Star in? Annie Hall Favorite Film She Did Star in? A tie between Sex, Lies and Videotape & Harrison’s Flowers Favorite Vacation Spot? South Carolina beaches Favorite Way to Spend a Sunday Afternoon? Riding my horse or walking my dog Iced tea – Sweet or not? Not “Clearly, Dale isn’t in this to make money. She’s in it to make dancers,” MacDowell explains. “She continually gives to these young people in her charge – she treats them like they’re her own children, not just her students, often opening her home to the children” MacDowell says. “And if I can help her – if I can be a part of her mission – then I am delighted.” That’s why for the third year in a row MacDowell agreed to participate in the Columbia City Jazz Company’s presentation of 2010’s “The Two Claras” on December 17th and 18th at the University of South Carolina’s Drayton Hall. In the show, MacDowell narrates the story of Lam’s take on a modern Nutcracker – based very loosely on the traditional Tchaikovsky classic – while jazz company members, including MacDowell’s daughter, Sarah Margaret Qualley, perform Lam’s contemporary choreography to a modern score. It’s been a long time since little Rose first found herself performing for the crowd in that small town nod to the excitement of show biz. Her fascination with all things sparkly and shiny hasn’t necessarily faded, but has taken its place alongside an appreciation for the comforts of the familiar; the oft unexalted glory of the ordinary – family, friends, and home. “I’m just a normal person,” MacDowell says, before we leave the restaurant and move down the street to meet up with friends who are shopping nearby. She bends to scoop up a penny from the sidewalk, give it a kiss for luck, and toss it over her shoulder for someone else to find. Typical Andie – finding fortune, embracing it, and passing it along.

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music

The Restoration Columbia’s Faulknerian chamber-pop band

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ew, if any, bands can match the sheer ambition and audacity of local Columbia band, The Restoration. Not only do they play grandiose, classically-influenced folkrock tunes that blur the line between high art and popular music, but they also crafted their spring 2010 debut record, Constance, around a complex, tightly woven fictional narrative about a family from Lexington, S.C., set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Oh, and they also perform in period-appropriate costume. The band is clearly not lacking in vision – even their CD release show saw the group’s imagination swirling. In lieu of your standard musical venue, the band performed in the Columbia’s Trustus Theatre with additional musicians and dancers creating a swirling, theatrical ambience as they performed the new record from beginning to end. The group also compiled a 43-page compendium to the album that moved beyond mere liner notes to include pictures, the complete lyrics identifying characters and narrators, the score to the Sacred Harp hymn that opens the record, and a short story that is different-but-related to the main narrative. Of course, as much as the band seems to have sprung up fully-formed, it began in late 2008 in a vague way, based on a few musings of band-mastermind, Daniel Machado. “I realized that all the music I’d made before sounded like Britain-meetsCalifornia music made between the 1970s and 1990s, and I had kind of tired of the whole distorted guitar thing,” he says. “The problem is that the electric guitar steals the show. [Even when rock bands use strings] it sounds like they want to write a sentimental song so they hire some guy to score an orchestral part.” He thought, “I’d love to play something that sounds like where I’m from. And then the next thing I thought was, I don’t want to be associated with where I’m from,” he laughs. Working from story: Kyle Petersen

photography: Daniel Machado

these ideas, Machado began building the musical project that would become his band, The Restoration. The Restoration’s music is rooted in both the old string band tradition – Machado references folklorist and musicologist John Lomax’s field recordings and contemporary traditional folk practitioners like Tim Eriksen and Riley Baugus as influences – and in the classical music that Machado grew up with in public school orchestras and choirs. This is what Machado has in mind when he talks about sounding like where he is from. “With the South you’ve got all this great stuff…vocal ballads, old-time banjo music, fiddle music… [and] you’ve also got this weird pocket of leftover European society in Charleston where it would be feasible that you would have orchestras play…as well.” Throw in a number of indie bands who have incorporated orchestral music into their sound over the last few years like Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, and Lost in Trees (and, perhaps most pertinently, the Charleston-based Jump, Little Children, whom Machado calls “my first favorite band”), and you come close to understanding the momentous swell of The Restoration’s music. The beauty is really in how these two sides of the group – the old-timey string band approach and the grand chamber-pop ambition – become inextricable from one another. Country and folk purists will tell you that there is a fundamental difference between a fiddler and a violinist, but in this case they’re wrong; the band really transcends that artificial boundary, making music that startlingly bridges the gap between traditional and classical music. Of course, as much as the group is about Machado’s vision, a lot of this music would have been impossible without the rest of the band. Augmenting Machado’s contributions on acoustic guitar, banjo, violin, percussion, and organ are Adam Corbett on

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bass, organ and floor tom; Lauren Garner on violin; Sharon Gnanashekar on piano and organ; and Josh Latham on drums. (Eddie Lord plays drums on Constance.) Corbett, who Machado calls “one of my favorite songwriters and lyricists around,” also contributed a song to the record which has quickly become a live favorite: the incendiary “Reverend Samuel Harper.” The song stands out as a particularly wholehearted embrace of Machado’s modus operandi, as the band weaves a gospel melody and a Civil War procession march together in a terrified recalling of a Sherman church burning that bursts into reality at the end of the song with the vehement words “watch the stain glass explode: praise Union, praise God.” Machado credits Gnanashekar with the piano line in the centerpiece, “Constance,” that gives the song the melodic counterpoint that throws it into overdrive, and Garner, who Machado has long known through his orchestra experience, gets credit for fleshing out the lush string arrangements that dominate the record. Even though one can easily get carried away by the grandeur and ambition of the group’s sound, it is the story their record tells which actually invokes the most interest. Machado tends to shy away from talking about the literary bent of the narrative – “I would never try and write this story as a book or anything” he says – but it is hard to deny that the complexity and subject matter more than faintly resemble the work of fellow Southerner, William Faulkner. The story starts with the poor, cotton-farming Owen clan, a highly religious family whose one child, Constance, has been gifted with an extraordinary musical talent. While her father objects to the idea of his daughter learning anything about secular music, her mother secretly pays for her lessons with the reverend of their church. This is how the story begins, but once Constance falls in love with a mulatto from the North, the story becomes about the discriminatory and cruel behavior the town exhibits toward her, her husband Aaron, and eventually their son Thomas. The story slides out of control as Aaron dies and Thomas becomes consumed by his desire for revenge against those he believes to be responsible; it is this desire that ultimately gets him lynched. Although much of the action keeps her on the sidelines, the record seems to present itself as Constance’s document, both as an outlet for her musical talents and also as the tale of a life that should have been about music but was obscured by a community’s racist attitudes. “I wanted to make it hard to miss that Constance was the main character, because it really gets diluted by the men in the story. But that was the point and I wanted people to know that was the point,” Machado says. “She could have been the greatest thing to come out of this area, [but] by the end of the story, bigotry has ruined any chance of that.” In this way, Machado offers a subtle critique of the relentless patriarchal dominance found in Southern culture. Even if Constance is the central character of the story, the issue that dominates is race. Machado says he developed an interest in the tragic mulatto figure after reading William Faulkner’s Light in August. The idea of using a mixed race figure intrigued him because “bigotry today is defined by an ambiguity that [a character like that] can address really well. Someone who is not abject or subhuman until something about them is

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identified by the community and then they are labeled as someone who shouldn’t have the same rights or should be scorned.” Machado points specifically to the cultural wars over homosexuality and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as proof that damaging, indeterminate discrimination is still very much a part of our contemporary culture. Despite the prominence of his influence, Machado is a bit sheepish concerning the idea behind a Faulknerian chamberpop band – rightly concluding that writing high modernist fiction and playing in an indie rock band don’t really lend themselves to easy comparison. Nonetheless, many of Faulkner’s techniques and ideas are apparent in the record, Constance. The hidden female narrative and tragic mulatto figure are both important elements of Faulkner’s work, as are the multigenerational story and emphasis on ambiguity and indeterminacy in the narrative. But most importantly, it is Machado’s urgent desire to understand his own culture and region, with the corollary that its history matters – that you can’t ignore the past in the present – that makes him a spiritual Faulknerian if nothing else. As for what’s next, Machado is looking at cutting his stories down some and adding more of Corbett’s songs to The Restoration repertoire. When asked about trying to make it big, he demurs. “I’m a real pragmatist” he says. “I don’t think there’s a chance in hell of being successful in the music business. But I’ve consistently shown myself that even when I quit, I can’t really stop working on this kind of thing. So I’m just going to try to do that to the best of my ability and to do it in a way where I’m following every opportunity that I can without also being completely delusional about doing it for a living.”

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story: Cynthia Boiter


artist

James Quantz Photographic master of illusion

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onceptual photographer James Quantz may not have majored in photography as a student at Clinton, S.C.’s Presbyterian College, in fact, he double-majored in history and business. But he could tap a keg pretty damn fast back then and that same sense of playfulness may help explain the impetus behind much of Quantz’s work today. Quantz is not your typical photographer in that he doesn’t just take photographs; he creates narratives around his subjects and settings that invite the viewer to be intrigued, curious, and often amused. It doesn’t matter if the setting at hand doesn’t quite fit the mood he wants to produce with his photography – he can handle it. Quantz can put an elegantly dressed woman in the middle of a boggy swamp without even getting her feet wet. Or he can take a Hollywood movie star, stopping by a perfectly respectable Columbia restaurant to chat with a writer, and transport her through time and space to a smoky dive where manual typewriters are de rigueur and bartenders pour wine in their undershirts. (Turn to page 24 for further illustration.) Quantz has been featured in several prestigious photography magazines, including: Italian Geo, AfterCapture, and Advanced Photoshop(UK). His ability to manipulate photographic reality with a sense of humor is what won the attention of the online magazine PopPhoto.com in a recent article called, “My Project: Airstreamin’ Apes,” which explored one of Quantz’s projects featuring gorillas and classic Airstream trailers. For the project, Quantz spent two days photographing gorillas at Zoo Atlanta and another day photographing a vintage model of an Airstream trailer plus many more days shooting various props and landscapes. Then the fun started.

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“In my imagination I could easily see the gorillas playing the role of a family enjoying all the places they could go and things they could do with this trailer. I just had to get to work to make that happen,” Quantz says. The project resulted in a series of a half dozen scenarios depicting the very life-like gorilla models in typically human recreational endeavors, like fishing together and playing chess in a relaxing pastoral setting, with the Airstream prominent in the picture. One photograph shows an adult gorilla sleeping in a hammock while youngster gorillas scuffle over a kickball alongside him. Another shows a clearly smitten male gorilla ostensibly courting his female counterpart by bringing a bouquet of flowers to her trailer door. It all makes for a lovely and entertaining series of photographs – and believable – making it difficult

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to remember that none of what is pictured really happened. It is the mark of Quantz’s talent that, via computer and manual manipulations of his independent shots of the models, the Airstream, the backgrounds, and the props used in the scenarios, and day after day spent doing what Quantz refers to as, “dodging and burning” in his studio, he was able to create the vignettes with such a real-life quality. Quantz is the type of commercial photographer that has the eye of not only an artist, but of a story teller as well. Like a combination of Edward Hopper and John William Waterhouse – but with a camera – Quantz excels at creating images that lead the viewer’s eye to wonder about the photograph, engaging a sense of intrigue by subtly suggesting the possibility of additional story lines that inform the reality of the image. In one of his self-por-

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traits titled “Aerial Photography,” Quantz has positioned himself floating high above a New York City skyline holding fast to a decidedly old fashioned camera and sitting in a camp chair that is suspended by a bundle of balloons à la the film, Danny Deckchair. Classic New York buildings reflect in the iridescence of the balloons and the art deco Chrysler Building with its radiator grille spire waits to his left, as a golden sun bursts through heavy clouds trajecting a deluge of beams that bathe the city in quintessentially perfect photographic light. Not only does he see himself flying, but he’s getting the perfect shot while he’s at it. Clearly, much of his work is accomplished through a mastery of various technological maneuvers, including - but not limited to - Photoshop, that allow the photographer to craft the compo-

sitions he envisions – an unequivocal irony given the rudimentary manner in which Quantz approached learning the art of photography. After college and a number of years spent in various endeavors that included working as a ski instructor in Vail, Colorado, and making caramel popcorn with his late father, James Quantz, Sr., “a mechanical genius who invented the world’s best pecan cracking machine,” Quantz says, he rekindled a love affair with photography that had started in high school but died down to a slow smolder. But this time he started from scratch. “Instead of taking the easy route I studied for months and purchased a used 4 x 5 camera with two lenses,” he says. “I was really into black and white landscapes so I read all I could find on Ansel Adams, and I built myself a darkroom. I experimented

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“Like a combination of Edward Hopper and John William Waterhouse – but with a camera...”

still attracted to what most of us might refer to as old fashioned cameras – wooden box camera contraptions with accordion-like bellows that evoke the imagery of Mathew Brady’s Civil War or, at minimum, Quantz’s hero Ansel Adams and the camera he used to famously shoot Yosemite National Park in the 1940s. The overarching factor in Quantz’s work is his joy in doing it. “I love being able to create something through artistic expression,” he says. “And I actually feel joy in continuing to learn in order to expand the potential for what I can produce. My biggest satisfaction comes when I not only create something that I’m happy with but when I can give it that ‘wow’ factor for clients and collaborators.” Plus, “I just like to have fun,” he says – which is what Quantz has been good at all along.

for several months, learning through trial and error, then I flew to New Mexico to participate in a workshop with Alan Ross, one of Adams’ former assistants.” “Finally,” he goes on, “I decided to get serious and go back to school to study photography at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta. That was where I was first introduced to studio lighting, styling, and Photoshop.” Quantz’s method of learning by doing is in part what has informed so much of his work and resulted in a comprehensive working knowledge of the intricacies of photo developing. The tasks that could be accomplished by simply pushing a button these days, Quantz prefers to do old school, allowing him a more deft hand and a sense of intimacy with the picture, and the illusion, he constructs. He is a consummate note taker who keeps pads full of notations and numbers and equations that allow him to more accurately bring the pictures he has in his head to photographic reality – as much as that reality actually exists. He is

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emerging artist

Yisha Wang Culture junkie

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isha Wang is more than a fan of contemporary western culture – she is a junkie. Chosen last May as the Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries’ Emerging Artist of the Year by the editors of undefined Magazine, the 27year-old burgeoning artist and native of China has co-opted popular American culture like a champ. From fried chicken to pop music to re-runs of “Friends,” Wang fits in almost seamlessly among students at the University of SC, right down to her English vocabulary, trendily studded with terms like “awesome” and “cool.” A striking young woman with a personality that is both buoyant and bubbly, it would be easy to take Wang less seriously than any of the next nouveau artists who are pursuing the life of a professional artist – but it would be a mistake. As aware as she is of the trends and fluff and sometimes silliness of American life, she is equally attune to the dramatic juxtaposition it creates when compared to the life she left at home. This juxtaposition is where we find the crux of Wang’s work. It is insightful and it is profound. Working almost exclusively in large format – she considers a 42 by 60 inch canvass to be “medium-sized” – Wang favors young Asian and Asian-American female subjects who, though entrenched in the trappings of western culture, demonstrate their connection to ancient and contemporary eastern culture via icons contained within the portraits. In one painting, Wang explains, “The subject looks in her mirror and can see other parts of her personality as cold and closed, despite all the pretty things around her. I’m trying to express how materialistic human life can be – no matter where you are from.” Wang is from the small northeastern Chinese town of Benxi City, and her 2007 flight to the United States was the first time

story: Cynthia Boiter

photography: Mark Pointer

she had ever left the country of her birth. A student at the Luxum Academy of Fine Art in Shen Yang, China,Wang knew she had an artistic gift long before she made the decision to pursue art as a full-time profession. “My grandfather always told me that I could draw before I could walk or talk,” Wang says. The daughter of a dentist and a government worker, Wang’s parents supported her decision to come to the US despite their perception that the work of an artist would be less than financially rewarding. “Both here and in China,” Wang says, “being an artist is a poor job.” An MFA student at the University of SC, the 27-year-old Wang devoted the first two years of her time in the US to studying the English language before beginning graduate work in studio art. But once she got started, her work caught the attention of her professors and, in 2010, she was awarded the John Benz Graduate Studio Art Award. “Many of the professors here in SC have already influenced my work,” Wang says, noting her major professor David Voros, as well as Pam Bowers, Mary Robinson, and Sara Schneckloth. The young artist also sites Matisse, Monet, and Manet as major influences in her work, and a study experience last summer took her to Italy where she found herself overwhelmed at seeing the works of Bernini and Carvaggio, in person. “I saw darkness in a new light,” she says. It will be interesting to see how this insightful young visionary incorporates darkness into the next stage of her developing technique. Based on the insights her work has demonstrated thus far, we look forward to watching her maturing process and the resulting actualization of questions only a child of two cultures can ask. Or answer.

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“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi..

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artist

Paul Kaufmann Actor, visual artist, entrepreneur

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mother didn’t begin to paint until she was in her forties though. Kaufmann didn’t delve into the visual arts until his fortieth birthday either. “I always wanted to paint so badly,” he says. “I used to watch my mother with such awe. But I was always busy acting – from the time I was a boy I rarely remember a time when I wasn’t working on one play or getting ready to start rehearsal on another.” “My first play was at Town Theatre,” he recalls. “And the first paycheck of my life was given to me for a job I had done for South Carolina Educational Television when I was 12-years-old. Columbia has been good to me as an actor from the very beginning.” Kaufmann graduated from Spring Valley High School where his drama teacher was Jim Thigpen, founder and artistic director of Trustus Theatre. He went on to attend Florida State University as a National Merit Scholar where he studied Communications and Theater, but never really found his place on the stage. “In college I always worked props or costumes or lighting, but I never got that big role,” he says. “But, I wasn’t disheartened. I persevered and eventually I began getting my breaks.” For Kaufmann, “breaks” refers to opportunities ranging from playing the title role in Moisés Kaufman’s Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde for Trustus Theatre, to playing Jason in Euripides’ Medea in Agrigento, Sicily. Having performed in

aul Kaufmann approaches his visual art in almost diametric opposition to the way he approaches his theatrical art. For the stage, Kaufmann is studied and intense, rehearsed, and devoted to the process. But when it comes to his painting and sculpture, Kaufmann need only casually unlock a door to a room inside of himself, decorated with paintings by his mother, artifacts of his extended family’s impressive artistic history, joy, loss, and the angst of growing up gay in the American South, and let the contents flow effortlessly onto the palette. If you’ve caught his work on the stage, you really need to see his work on the wall to get a sense of the real Paul Kaufmann. A ninth generation South Carolinian, Kaufmann shares his family’s history with pride. While his mother hailed from just outside of Columbia – “She was a Matthews from Newberry and her mother was a Barnwell Richardson,” Kaufmann says, drawling out the perfect Southern vernacular – his father was a Swiss immigrant. From both sides of his family, Kaufmann and his identical twin brother – “We were born on the day that JFK was shot,” he interjects wryly – were entrenched in the arts as they grew up. In addition to an appreciation for European travel even when he was a child, Kaufmann’s family heritage provided him with the seventeenth century naturalist and illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian on his father’s side, and his mother, Martha Matthews Kaufmann, was a local artist who studied with the innovative watercolorist, Maxine Masterfield. Kaufmann’s

story: Cynthia Boiter photography: Jonathan Sharpe

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perform, well, … performing is just icing on the cake. It’s the process that matters.” Kaufmann also traveled to the Cairns Festival in Queensland, Australia this summer where he performed along with Monica Wyche and Katie Wieland in the world premiere of Dean Poynor’s post-apocalyptic zombiethriller, Homo apocalyptus. “It was like the wild west meets Asia,” Kaufmann says, noting that the play, which was developed in Florida, was re-set in Australia. Opportunities like these beg the question that local actors don’t usually like to answer: Had you rather be working somewhere other than South Carolina, say New York, Chicago, or LA? Kaufmann doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of the life of a working actor – most specifically, long hours for little pay – and he’s equally honest in assessing his Columbia-based life. “I think about this a lot,” he says. “Should I move to a bigger market with better resources and more opportunities? Or do I owe something to this place that gave me my start and continues to support me? It’s true – theatre doesn’t pay well if it pays anything at all. But I actually don’t mind when I end up working for free. That’s just a testimony to how much I love what I’m doing.” Finances are somewhat less of a problem for Kaufmann than for some actors since he started his own business, still grounded in the arts, but with a unique financial advantage – he works for the government. Kaufmann Forensic Actors, LLC is a federal contractor to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security for whom actors, trained by Kaufmann, develop other actors for scenariobased training, specializing in sexual abuse cases involving children and teenagers victimized by pornography, prostitution, human trafficking, and cyber crimes. His work has taken him, often along with other local artists in his employ, across the United States doing work that, despite the subject matter, Kaufmann finds “truly satisfying.” With a calendar filled with acting jobs ranging

the neighborhood of 60 plus plays – more than a dozen each at Columbia’s Trustus and Workshop Theatres, not to mention numerous additional parts at Town Theatre, the Columbia

Repertory Theatre, the Lexington Arts Association and more – Kaufmann has become something of a fan favorite on local stages. (He also performed in Love Out of Joint, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company’s premiere performance at Columbia’s Findlay Park.) “I’m proud to be a product of this area and this particular arts environment – and I’m especially proud to be a working artist,” he says smiling, making it impossible to question his sincerity for a moment. Despite his commitment to the local theatre scene, Kaufmann does occasionally answer calls from out of town. In 2006, he was one of a group of actors to tour Romania in Nic Ularu’s production of The System. His relationship with Ularu, an Obie-award winning playwright and director who is on faculty in the University of South Carolina’s Department of Theatre and Dance, also took Kaufmann, along with several faculty members from the USC Theatre Department, to New York City in 2008 where he played the part of Trofimov in Ularu’s The Cherry Orchard Sequel in the Off Broadway Theatre La MaMa E.T.C. He returned to the same theatre again in 2009, also along with Ularu, to play once again in The System, but this time in the role of Paul. “I owe so much credit to Nic Ularu for my most recent success as an actor,” Kaufmann says. “He’s a brilliant playwright and director. We’ve developed a working relationship that allows me to continue to grow as an actor. I love being a learner, and I’ve grown so much from every role. With Nic, I’m happy for him to yell at me and to correct me. I like to put personality out of the way when I enter into a role – and Nic is very receptive to that kind of working environment.” “Acting is a transcendent experience for me,” he continues. “You show up for work and you do more than expected throughout the process of trying to get it right. When it comes time to

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from the local and free to the exotic and governmentsubsidized, it seems unlikely that Kaufmann would have the time to venture into the visual arts. But, given his upbringing and heritage, it also seems inevitable. “I still have a hard time thinking of myself as an artist, although I know I am,” Kaufmann says, as he digs through drawers and drawers of his paintings in a house that is littered with his work in different stages of development. Framed pieces lean one upon the other against a dining room wall. There’s a sculpture in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, and another in the hall. Flat surfaces in his office are piled high with both his work and the work of family members, friends, and other artists he collects or admires. Then there is one room that is devoted specifically to housing his accumulated creations in flat file drawers, though many have spilled out onto table tops and even the floor. Seeing this much of his work, it’s not hard to think of Kaufmann as an artist at all. Kaufmann began to pursue visual arts, sculpture and painting, mostly in water media with some acrylics and collage, seven years ago after the death of his mother from Alzheimer’s disease. He has no formal training as a visual artist and spent the first year experimenting; learning about the media, and learning about himself. “I must have made 50 paintings that first year,” he says. Before long though, his work started to balance out; he began to find his groove, he says, and others started to notice that his work had quickly progressed beyond amateur status. He seemed to have accelerated from dabbling at art to daring and innovative methods and results within a few years’ time. His paintings, which often exhibit something of a transcendental, if not an astral quality, are done in steps which the artist describes as “meditative.” “I’m not afraid of mistakes,” he says, “which is why I like water media. I mostly paint outside and I end up being a big sloppy mess with paint all over my clothes and shoes. But I’m all about the accidents. I learn from them. More than half of my pieces are abortive attempts, but that’s okay.” Kaufmann says he uses glass, found metal objects, and other human-made materials as well as evaporation, both natural and that brought on more aggressively via a propane torch, to help his work “reveal itself” to him. He then re-approaches the work and completes it to his liking, although the process can sometimes take months or longer. His sculptures result from a similar process during which the artist will visit and re-visit a piece over a period of time. “My sculpture is an additive style, sort of three-dimensional collage that references signs, crosses, totem poles, and also explores that place between the organic and the inorganic,” he says. “I’m interested in the meanings of rust, decay, fray, mess, imperfection, accident, damage, stain. I like to think my work offers commentaries on the physical world, our place in it and our effects on it. I celebrate the chaos.” Local artist and gallery owner Anastasia Chernoff also celebrates Kaufmann’s work, both meditative and chaotic, and she

invited the artist to be a part of the December 2010 exhibit in her gallery, called Anastasia and Friends, located on Columbia’s Main Street. “Paul Kaufmann is an artistic kaleidoscope,” she says, “fascinatingly colorful, many-splendored, and ever changing. The first time I saw his paintings, I didn’t just see them, I felt them and was instantly motivated to ask him to be a part of a group show at the gallery. When he told me he had only shown his work privately, I felt like I’d found an undiscovered treasure.” In fact, though the December exhibition will be his first public showing, Kaufmann’s work is already in private collections throughout South Carolina as well as in New Mexico, Minnesota, Tennessee, Alabama, and California. His work will also be for sale at the Anastasia and Friends showing which opens on Thursday, December 2nd. Clearly, Kaufmann is the rare individual who has found a way to integrate his passions and skills in meaningful ways resulting in multiple kinds of rewards. Parts of his life overlap with others, which overlap with still others, and provide surprising intersections – two of his paintings have been used in local plays, for example. Whether studied and intent, or open and experimental, the artist has found that perseverance works in his favor. “I waited 40 years to become a visual artist,” he says. “I’m a patient man.”

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the list


one

Dancers from the University of South Carolina tackle Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s contemporary masterpiece “The Great Galloping Gottschalk,” created for the American Ballet Theatre in 1982. Taylor-Corbett has done extensive work for Broadway, including choreographing and directing “Swing,” for which she was nominated for two Tony Awards. She was also the woman behind the moves in the movies “Footloose,” “My Blue Heaven,” and “Vanilla Sky.” The primary guest choreographer for the Carolina Ballet in North Carolina, she has set pieces on the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey Dance among others. Performances are Nov. 18 and 19 at the Koger Center 251-2222. for the Arts stage. For tickets call (803) 251-222

2

Teerry K. Hunter’s mid-career retrospective, “The Grid Turns the Corner,” has been on T the road from Ohio to Florida for more than a year. The show of drawings and prints th by the Orangeburg artist just opened at Columbia College and in January moves on to its final stop at S.C. State University in Orangeburg. The exhibition spans Hunter’s entire professional career from 1973 to 2009. His style ranges from highly-realistic en drawings to pure abstraction and the subject matter from personal to political and dr back again. All of these lines of the grid converge in his mature work. The exhibition ba is at Columbia College through Nov. 30. It will be at South Carolina State University from Jan. 15 to April 15, 2011. Call (803) 277-1301.

THREE

The S.C. Philharmonic premieres a new work written by a Columbia composer for two Columbia musicians. John Fitz Rogers was commissioned by the orchestra to write a concerto for two pianos and orchestra. The work explores the piano’s many voices – from lilting to percussive. The concerto was written specifically for the husband and wife duo Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers, who, along with Rogers, teach at the University of South Carolina School of Music faculty. You can hear it Nov. 13 at the Koger Center. For tickets call (803) 251-2222.

four

The namesake of the Wadsworth Chamber Music Series at the Columbia Museum of Art will be back in town for a concert Dec. 8. Charles Wadsworth, founder of the chamber music series at Lincoln Center and the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and Charleston, will perform with series director and cellist Edward Arron and other musicians for a concert of music by Beethoven, Bartok, Schubert and Smetana. These concerts are a real deal for students with $5 day-of-show tickets. For tickets call (803) 799-2810.

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FIVE

As a young man growing up in Charleston during the 1940s, there was no place for Merton Simpson to study art – he was black. The artist William Halsey took him on without regard for his race or lack of money. He just saw that the young man had talent and drive. Simpson settled in New York, where he became a well-known artist and art dealer, and in the ‘60s he was a member of Spiral Group along with Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, and Charles Alston. A sense of social consciousness led to his “Confrontation” series, a group of mostly black and white paintings, which expressed the anger and frustration of the times. Many of the works have been in storage nearly 40 years. They can be seen again in two exhibitions “Merton Simpson: Confrontations” is at the Greenville County Museum of Art Nov. 23 – Feb. 6, 2011 and at the Hampton III Gallery in Greenville through Dec. 31. For information call (864) 271-7570 or (864) 268-2771.

6 7

Lesley Dill, whose amazing exhibition “I Heard a Voice” is at the Columbia Museum of Art, collaborated with composer Richard Marriott to create the opera, “Divide Light.” The composer will give a lecture about the opera and show excerpts at the museum Nov. 28. Call (803) 799-2810.

Andie MacDowell joins the award-winning Columbia City Jazz Company for a different take on holiday dance traditions in “The Two Claras.” Think youthful, high-energy performers dancing to the kind of music and choreography that makes it difficult to stay still in your seat. “The Two Claras” will be performed at the Sumter Opera House Dec. 7 and at Drayton Hall Theatre at the University of South Carolina Dec. 17 and 18. For tickets call 803 252-0252.

EIGHT

9

“bluesphere: earth art expo” in Charleston uses art to examine the earth, our “b impact on it, and what might be done to solve the problems. Initiated by the im Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, among the Ha participants are the City Gallery, the Gibbes Museum of Art, Eye Level Art, and pa Redux Contemporary Art. The shows include a photo exploration of shantytowns, Re ice-inspired art, a giant mandala made of bottle caps, and aerial photos of places icescarred by industry. The exhibitions, art workshops, lectures, and films continue sc through early January. For details visit www.halsey.cofc.edu/bluesphere th

Celebrate the arts and the holidays all on one night in one place – Dec. 3 on Main Street in downtown Columbia. “Mingle and Jingle 2010” will start the holidays with music by the Capitol City Playboys and Isabelle’s Gift and art by Bonnie Goldberg, Michael Bolin, Anastasia Chernoff, Paul Kaufmann and others.

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ten

Once again, Wideman/Davis Dance takes on some of the heaviest of social issues and sets them in a new light via dance. This time it’s the story of 15-year-old Willie Bosket who was arrested for a series of violent crimes ending in murder in 1978. The dance company’s “The Bosket Affair” is based on Fox Butterfield’s book, All God’s Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence. The 1996 book traces the Bosket family from early 19th century Edgefield, S.C., where they were enslaved, through their lives in the North. “The Bosket Affair” will be performed at The University of South Carolina Drayton Hall Theatre, Nov. 30 through Dec. 3. Call (803) 251-2222.

eleven

Ma Haimovitz spent several years toting his cello Matt into smoky bars around the country, including the Ne Brooklyn Tavern in West Columbia. Now he’s New back in Columbia in a more standard setting, perf performing at the University of South Carolina So Southern Exposure contemporary music series. He wi play music by Claude Vivier, Pierre Boulez, will Elli Carter, and others for the Nov. 20 concert. Elliot Ca (803) 777-4280. Call

twelve

Charleston artist Colin Quashie use pop imagery - commercial products, comic books, celebrities – to address issues of race and class. He touches some nerves with his well-considered, ironic, and sometimes in-your-face art. His first solo show in Columbia is at Benedict College though Dec. 10. Call (803) 705-4768.

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poetry

The Deer I found the frozen carcass while walking the dogs. At first I mistook it for an old, discarded carpet, half rolled and hoar-frosted. So little remained: the matted pelt, the pink spine, a few ribs, the head. Something had picked the bones then left the doe’s remnants in the median near the wood’s edge at the end of my street. It was a bright morning, a holiday, the cold air chalked the road white. My dogs steamed at the ends of their leads, eyes down, noses interrogating the path before them, driven by the need, so natural to them, to finish what something else had begun. But I, being human, couldn’t bear to see the dogs I nestled with at night, the dogs that knew the words ball, breakfast, kisses, even my given name, revert to what they would have been without knowing me. So we walked on. But the deer came with us—a staggering emptiness behind my human eyes.

Daniel Nathan Terry, a former landscaper and horticulturist, is the author of Capturing the Dead (NFSPS Press 2008), which was awarded The 2007 Stevens Poetry Prize, and a chapbook, Waxwings (Seven Kitchens Press 2010). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including Poet Lore, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and The MacGuffin. His chapbook, Days of Dark Miracles, is forthcoming from Seven Kitchens Press in June of 2011.

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Related Events Film: We are Animals of Language 11/14/10 | 1:00 p.m.

This film provides great insight from the artist herself into the complicated and intriguing pieces that belong to her larger body of work.

Staged reading of Wit 11/16/10 | Doors open at 6:00 p.m. / Play begins at 7:00 p.m.

Sometimes clinical and sometimes poetic, this play parallels the work of Lesley Dill in the use of poetry as a primary source of inspiration. Cash bar.

Art School: Finding Your Inner Phosphorescence through Word and Image 11/20/10 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This all day retreat, led by artist Heidi Darr-Hope, takes you deeper into the work of Lesley Dill and puts you in touch with your own sense of knowing. Work back and forth from words to image and image to word, each informing the other to pull closer to your own creative sparkling inner spirit.

Baker & Baker Foundation Presents Art of Music Series: Richard Marriott: Divide Light 11/28/10 | Film at 1:00 p.m. / Lecture at 3:00 p.m.

Lesley Dill’s 2008 opera “Divide Light� is the culmination of her life’s work. Following a screening of the 80-minute film, composer Richard Marriott discusses his collaboration with Dill, illustrated with excerpts from the opera.

Silent Film Screening of “Red Heroine� (Hong Xia) with music performed live by the Devil Music Ensemble 01/07/11 | Doors open at 7:00 p.m. / Screening at 8:00 p.m.

Made at the height of the martial arts craze in 1920s Shanghai, this lively tale about the rise of a woman warrior features the genre’s characteristic blend of pulp and mystical derring-do. Cash bar. Join or renew that night and get in free!

LLesley esley Dill (b (b.. 1950) D Dress ress of Inwardness Inwardness 2006 whit whitee paint painted ed bronze, bronze, unique C Collection ollection of KKaren aren and R Robert obert Duncan, Lincoln, NE

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undefined magazine Book 9