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undefined : Book Five : March--April 2010

features:

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Wideman-Davis Josh Drews! 20 Years of Art in Columbia Michael Fulmer

profiles: 7 : Heyward Sims 19 : Gisli Gardarsson

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17 : Design: Face the Music 47 : Design: Float Your Boat 62 : Poetry:

Susan Lenz and Blues Chapel

editor’s statement as closer-to-home at artists like Janet Kozacheck. We’ve pulled the art of the written word under undefined’s umbrella, too, so look out for poetry, essays, book reviews, and literary competitions in issues to come. We aren’t going to try to act cool about this – like it’s not a big deal for us to be working together on this project of relaunching the best arts magazine that ever came out of Columbia, South Carolina. Obviously, we aren’t going to try to act modest either. Undefined – a concept born in 2005, and reborn just over a month ago. Now a tangible reality for all, it makes its official redux into the hands of You, our Reader. Thanks for being here. Enjoy.

This is a dangerous undertaking. We are a little nervous. We know that the Columbia arts community is a complex animal. Gritty and sophisticated, nascent and entrenched, peaceable and angry – it is many things to many people. Writing about, arguing about, supporting, photographing, attending, and designing around the arts is what makes the three of us, each in our own way, salivate. It makes our hearts beat fast and our palms sweaty. Doing this together, for this arts community, with this publication, at this point in time is a thrill. So, once more into the breach. And we are excited. This month, we’re throwing a little light on local fiber and installation artist, Susan Lenz, for example. In the May issue, we’ll be looking farther afield to Charleston and Spoleto, as well

contributors Cindi Boiter … Writer, Editor Jeffrey Day … Writer, Editor Mark Pointer … Designer, Editor

Reese Moore … Photographer, Writer Shayna Katzman Simoneaux … Writer Natasha Chilingerian … Writer Brian Dressler … Photographer

Sarah Kobos … Photographer McKenna Kemp … Designer Sammy@Piensa Art … 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 five

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contemplatewhatyouaredoingandwhyyouaredoingit

text: Reese Moore

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10 questions

Heyward Sims U: You and art -- where, when and under what circumstances did this affair begin? WHS: It started as early as I can remember. I remember being quite particular about my finger paintings, coloring exercises, and hand writing even as a young child in the mid 1980s. As I got older, my attention to aesthetic detail just began to manifest itself in different forms from drawing to guitar playing. Unfortunately, the arts have just felt like the most natural field to study and partake in.

anyone or anything. Be it the weather, a politician, a cell phone bill, a paper bag, or a romance. My pieces are only Poloroids. They're just snapshots of time that don't necessarily define who I am or how I will always feel. U: How do you take your eggs? WHS: I like eggs several ways. Scrambled, sunny side up, hard boiled, or over easy are all ok by me. It really just depends on how I feel like eating them at the time. However they are prepared, though, I will definitely be putting hot sauce on them. Hard boiled would be the only instance when the yolk is not consumed.

U: You were voted Most Talented by your graduating class of 2000 at Dreher High school – Why? WHS: Winning that superlative always has been a bit curious to me. Throughout high school I drew and was in a band, but I wasn't particularly public about it. I attribute it more to having friends in multiple circles. My high school was definitely a mixture of students hailing from different socio-economic echelons, and having friends scattered about the assorted cliques probably didn't hurt my vote count. I also attribute it to the fact that one person couldn't hold multiple superlatives. My point being that the "Best Looking" quarterback or basketball star probably would've gotten "Most Talented" also, had the parameters allowed it. Interestingly, though, when they announced the winners over the PA the guy that sat in front of me in Pre-Calculus turned around and said,"Shit. What are you talented at?" I think I said, "I don't know, I guess drawing and stuff." He responded,"Shit. The only thing you talented at is dying your hair." My hair was my natural color at the time.

U: DBETM, the band in which you have played lead guitar for 4 and 1/2 years, is post-punk – yes or no? Defend. WHS: I don't know how you would classify our sound to a music journalist's liking. A friend a few years ago said it sounded like "Joy Division doing Nirvana covers." I like that description because it's concise and anachronistic. U: What's the point of your amazing solo music experiment, Devereaux? WHS: I’m just trying my hand at creating music in an environment with less limits and little to no compromise, and continuing my experimentation with building melodies and structures around looped patterns. I like seeing what things taste like when I'm the only cook in the kitchen. U: In a word, what baffles you? WHS: Space.

U: How did working for two years at Ben & Jerry's in the early 2000s supply you with the requisite angst needed by a mixedmedia avant-garde artist and musician in 2010? WHS: Haha. It didn't. Working at Ben & Jerry's was just a way to make some money. Having previously worked at Za's Brick Oven Pizza across the street, I wanted to work there for a few reasons. 1) I figured it would be less greasy. 2) I reasoned it'd be less hot. 3) I figured I was less likely to burn my fingers thereby securing my digits for guitar playing.

U: Heyward, why them bitches be shoppin’? WHS: You are referring to one of my mixed-media images called Bitches Be Shoppin’, I assume. And, I'm not quite sure why they are shopping. But, rest assured, they be. U: Finally, when you worked at Ben and Jerry's, you ate ice cream right out of the bucket, didn't you? WHS: I did, but in mainly small taster stick amounts. I'm pretty manorexic. I remember a lady exclaimed one time, "How do you stay so skinny working here?" I replied, "Well, I don't eat it." In retrospect, that was kind of snobby and definitely poor salesmanship.

U: You appreciate provocative art as an artist and a patron -- who provokes you? WHS: Inspiration's derivation isn't really limited. Sounds and visions all come from transient moods which can derive from

text: Cynthia Boiter photography: Sarah Kobos

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dance

Wideman-Davis Watching Thaddeus Davis dance feels a little bit naughty – especially when his wife Tanya Wideman is watching him, too.

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varying communities and ethnicities together while blurring the lines between dance, film, theatre and reality.” And they’ve done so, as the saying goes, to rave reviews. Take their 2005 performance of The Bends of Life, a work they choreographed and danced to the music of the blues, jazz, folk, and the lexis of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., commissioned to celebrate the renowned Quilts of Gees Bend exhibit at Auburn University’s Museum of Fine Art. The choreography traces the journey of two individuals as they dance through history from slavery to sharecropping to the crusade for civil rights in the Southern quilting community of Gees Bend, Alabama. The work is a testimony to perseverance and an exaltation of the beauty and art found in the functional quilts made by Alabama’s Black women, and all quilting women, throughout the country. “Dancing this piece was a privilege,” says Tanya Wideman, who shares responsibilities in both performance and choreography in the company. Wideman, who was named Best Female Dancer of 2001 – 2002 by Dance Europe Magazine and was Principal

here’s an intimacy there, evident in the contraction and release of a muscle, yes, but the sense of voyeurism has less to do with his undulating body and more to do with the look on Davis’ face; reflections of a world of understanding about important things; passion, justice, humanity, self. This compelling expression is not surprising if you know Davis: it is precisely what the dance company he and Wideman started a few years back is all about. It is why the Wideman/Davis Dance Company is. With a history of performance and choreographic work that spans both the country and genre, including such stellar dance companies as the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the Joffrey Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, the Julliard School, and Alonzo King’s Lines Contemporary Ballet, Davis and Wideman joined forces, both in art and marriage, to realize a unique vision – one that would allow the two phenomenally talented artists to, according to Davis, “create a dialogue about the human condition and bring

text: Cynthia Boiter photography by: Sammy for PIENSA: Art Company

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Dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, left her post with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet in San Francisco to join her husband in the creation of the Wideman/Davis Dance Company. The Wideman/Davis Company also performed work inspired by the national media coverage of Hurricane Katrina victims and survivors vividly witnessed by millions during the days-long wait for assistance in the aftermath of the storm. Based on Images explored the naked sense of helplessness the country felt as we watched the story of abject vulnerability unfold on our television screens. The dancers made use of movement, dialogue and actual images in their original choreography and performance, presented in May 2009 at, among other places, Drayton Hall on the campus of The University of South Carolina where the couple is in residence this year. Thaddeus Davis, who has a background in academics having completed a BFA from Butler University, has also done residencies at prestigious companies and universities like Julliard, Alvin Ailey, Arizona State, and Ballet Austin. In 2002, Dance Magazine named him one of the “25 to Watch in the World” and the 2002 premiere of his choreographic work, Once Before Twice After was cited as one of the top ten moments in dance by the New York Times. In 2003, Davis was the recipient of the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography for his work with the Fugate/Bahiri Ballet in New York. The list of the couples’ accolades goes on. Having danced, achieved, accomplished, and excelled, it is at once interesting and remarkable that Davis and Wideman find themselves creating and performing in Columbia, South Carolina. Drawn here by the burgeoning dance program at the university, both dancers are indeed happy here. Happy enough to want to make it their home – or at least a sister home sharing with New York City where they regularly perform at their favorite venue, the Calhoun School on the Upper West Side. In what has become classic Wideman/Davis style though, the couple, inspired always by the social issues that surround them, not only to live, create, and dance here in Columbia, they create and dance about Columbia. The substantive issue they have most recently tackled? Homelessness – a problem many of us filed away long ago under the headings too large and too much trouble. Davis doesn’t see it that way. Born in the South but having lived from one side of the country to the other, the American homeless had become part of the social landscape Davis expected to find wherever he traveled –

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until he reached Columbia, South Carolina. “In most places, the homeless are everywhere you look,” he explains. Other than the obvious places like the Oliver Gospel Mission, he couldn’t find where our city’s homeless were sleeping and squatting and living their lives. Then he became aware of a trend. “I’d notice the same guy,” he says. “One minute you’d see him down in Five Points and a few minutes later he’d be out on Assembly Street or up on Main. Then I noticed that this was happening with a lot of guys. They’d be one place in the morning and another place in the afternoon. That’s when it hit me. Movement! They were constantly moving and therefore less visible to the casual viewer – but homeless nonetheless.” This observation of the invisible homeless sparked the inspiration for Wideman/Davis’ current project – making visible the homeless of the city. As part of their USC residency the couple researched local homelessness last fall, choreographed a new piece based on their findings, and performed it, with their entire

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company on stage, at Drayton Hall in December. The Company, including Thaddeus, Tanya, Hannah Lagerway, Vincent Lopez, and three apprentices from the university, Carolyn Bolton, Bonnie Boiter-Jolley, and Jackie Bowles, also took the show to New York City in January where they performed it at the Calhoun School. Next on the Wideman/Davis docket is a performance on May 14th at the future home of the Nickelodeon Theatre, the old Fox Theatre on Main Street. Among the pieces the company will perform is the world premiere of an interactive site specific collaboration with local visual artist, Michael Krajewski, which should produce some interesting, and lasting, artistic results.

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profile

Gisli Gardarsson No one blazes a trail of theatrical excitement and thrilling invention quite like the Icelandic actor/director Gísli Gardarsson. Reese Moore: What’s been your favorite experience during Spoleto so far?

ple can’t do. After I stopped doing gymnastics, I attended university in Norway and participated in a show, and that’s when I got interested in theater. I applied to the only drama school in Iceland. They accept 8 people every year, and I did get in, and that sort of sealed my fate.

Gisli Gardarsson: Definitely Folly Beach! I haven’t had a chance to see very much because we’ve been working so hard. When we have time off, I spend it on the beach where we’re staying. It’s very nice when you come from Iceland!

RM: You act, you direct, you write, you produce... What’s your favorite hat to wear?

RM: You have a very dynamic, athletic style of performing, which relates to your background in gymnastics. Was acting always the end goal?

GG: Well, in my heart I’m always an actor. When I direct I get really excited about seeing a production in a certain way on stage, but it’s not really career driven. When I’m acting I long to direct, and when I direct I long to act, so it’s a fantastic mix for me. Also when I act I get a lot of ideas stage-wise for the next show I’m going to direct.

GG: No, I never intended to become an actor. I remember thinking that I spent so much time at gymnastics that it would be a shame to throw it all away to just sit down at an office. I thought even if I didn’t do theater, I could do some things that most peo-

text: Reese Moore

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DJ. John - Gisli Orn Gardarsson and Ana - Nina Dogg Philippusdottir

RM: We’ve talked about you personally and your transition between acting and gymnastics, but what is the philosophy behind your style of performance?

destructive journey is an interesting aspect for me. RM: So why do you think the myth of Don Juan still captivates modern audiences? Why aren’t we tired of Don Juan?

GG: When I act it sort of just depends on the show, and I try to follow the director’s concept. Because of my gymnastic background I tend to be very physical, and that’s just the way I am. It’s very natural for me to do a backwards somersault. So the director will say, “Do a little bit of dancing,” and I’ll accidently dance around, end up on a table, and throw myself off it or something! It just feels natural, you know. And the director will go, “Yeah that’s great! Let’s keep that.” But there’s all sorts of acting, I’ve done the whole spectrum and every way is different and challenging.

GG: You’re always interested in knowing why people fall for such a guy, and why people are destructive like Don John or Kurt Cobain or Jim Morrison. Why are people like that? Why do we get attached to them? Why don’t we leave? They treat people really badly, and still we get drawn back. That’s worth exploring again and again. RM: You’ve played a range of characters, from Shakespeare to Kafka’s Metamorphosis to Don John. Is there anyone you’ve always wanted to portray?

RM: Do you have a favorite style? GG: I’ve never had any dream characters, if I had I would have produced it already! I guess when I directed Romeo and Juliet and played Romeo. I played a lot of lovesick characters in school, and it’s really hard to portray love. How do you act being in love? So I fulfilled my first acting dream where I put a character in a physical state where he was so much in love that he would actually fly. And that was fulfilling a dream of portraying a certain type of character.

GG: Obviously it’s easier when it’s not so physical. It’s easier to show up at work when you’re not risking your life swinging from trapezes or something like that! RM: Tell me about your current role in Don John. GG: What I found interesting was that the director wanted to set it in the 1980s. I remember it really well from Iceland, and everyone was sniffing glue and things like that! It’s funny. I was taking that step from being a kid into being a teenager, and I have a lot of memories from that time, which made it really appealing. If it had been a period piece set in the 1700s I don’t know how interesting I would have found it. But that element of rock ‘n’ roll and grotesqueness, and the fact that he’s on a

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RM: What character has been the most challenging for you to play? GG: Gregor Samsa of Metamorphosis is the most difficult part I’ve played purely because I was hanging upside down for an hour. That’s a tough battle both emotionally and physically, but

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at the same time the journey is a good feeling as an actor. If it’s difficult it’s more rewarding.

time. And you do with films as well, but you can get a second chance.

RM: You’ve performed in a lot of countries, do you have a favorite place to perform or favorite audience?

RM: How do you like Charleston? GG: It’s great! I really, really love America! It’s so laid back and people are really friendly and I love the climate. I really like it, I really really do! I’m going to try and get Metamorphosis on a US tour so I can explore more.

GG: Yeah, there is a difference between audiences! Not a big difference, but in Korea everyone is extremely polite. And for instance playing Gregor Samsa in Hong Kong: his character brings provides for the family, and in China that’s very much the case. When a son becomes dysfunctional within a family, the whole family falls apart, and in China everyone related to that. But America is great because America has the most open audience I’ve ever performed for. There’s no sarcasm. They’re open, and they genuinely tell you what they think. They come up onto the stage and shake your hand, and I think that’s fantastic! In England that would never happen, they would all be too worried about making a fool of themselves. So I love American audiences, Metamorphosis is coming to New York in December 2010 and I’m really looking forward to that.

RM: What’s next for you? GG: They’re finishing a film that I was shooting called Prince of Persia, and it’s produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, so it’s a massive blockbuster film. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead and Ben Kingsley is in it, and I play the bad guy. It was an extremely fanstastic film experience. But I’m also directing a circus/ballet version of The Nutcracker, and then I’m going to Iceland where I’m going to direct Faust.

RM: Do you have a preference between film and theater? GG: No, I do a lot of film in Iceland. I don’t really distinguish between the two. In a film, you can always stop in the middle of a take in a film and say, “Ah, fuck! Can I do it again?” But on stage it’s like “Ah, shit!” You have to be on your toes the whole

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design

Face the Music Hey music snobs, tired of the same old song when it comes to sound systems? Meet The Wailers, the newest in snazzy speaker design! The brainchild of British product designer and producer John Caswell, these ceramic speakers rock out right along with you. Their funky, minimalist aesthetic provides the perfect modern yet quirky addition to any decor, and The Wailers recently received the prestigious Design Directions: Ceramic Futures Award from the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts. Bristol-based designer Caswell graduated from the University of Plymouth in 2006 and is currently creating badass design and models for British company Cod Steaks as well as his own studio. Whether they’re serenading you with Celine Dion (we’ll never tell...) or belting out Jon Bon Jovi, The Wailers are sure to get the party started! johncaswelldesign.co.uk

text: reese moore

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profile

Josh Drews!

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“awesome!” Hyperactive and excitable, he makes seemingly uncontrollable sound effects and robot noises while he creates art, yet was recently named Spring Valley High School Teacher of the Year. “Basically it’s just a big popularity contest,” he says unassumingly. “But it’s neat to win.” And so this cheery, humble (and clearly popular) teacher continues to obliterate pre-conceived expectations of him until we realize his art flawlessly displays his tendency to reveal as much as he conceals. Josh Drews has deep roots at Spring Valley High School. The former Spring Valley student returned to Richland School District II with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Winthrop University where he specialized in drawing and printmaking and worked part-time as a “Pokemon Master” at the local Toys ‘R Us. He never expected to return to his alma mater – or anywhere else – to teach.. “At first I thought: I can’t teach,” he explains. “But the longer I teach, the more I realize I’m good at it, and the more I enjoy doing it…,” he trails off, “now I love my job!”

osh Drews caught everyone’s attention with a pair of morose, menacing and intensely crimson colored monotypes from the “Zombies, Cowboys & Zombie Cowboy” series he entered into the Contemporaries of the Columbia Museum of Art’s Artist of the Year competition last year. Despite his absence on the night the winners were announced, (Drews was convinced he hadn’t a chance), the despondent zombie-cowboy depictions won him the new title. “You know what they say: those who can are artists and those who can’t teach art,” Drews appropriates with characteristic selfmocking in the Spring Valley classroom where he teaches. “I don’t really feel like an artist, but sometimes I do kind of feel like I’m playing an artist on TV,” he says. Standing under the fluorescent lights of his freshly cleaned schoolroom, he is the exact opposite of the artist his gloomy, blood-red-paint-splattered artwork might lead one to imagine he would be. In person he is not moody or depressing, but friendly, animated, playful and energetic. He spells his name “Josh Drews!” (with an emphasis on the exclamation point.) His conversations are punctuated with words like “s-s-i-c-k,” “cool” and

text: Shayna Katzman photography: mark pointer

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Initial sketches from Chew & Swallow (above) Detail from Swallow (below)

Drews ascribes much of his artistic ambition and inspiration to his “second mom”- veteran visual arts teacher Jackie Chalfant. This South Carolina Art Education Association Lifetime Achievement Award winning teacher worked at Spring Valley for nearly three decades inspiring her students with art. “She had compassion for every student” he says, “and was willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that every student got art. This set an example for me about what it means to be a good teacher.” The fact that Drews now occupies Chalfant’s former classroom seems profoundly poetic. He recollects an endearing fourth grade memory of waiting for his mom to finish work after-school, (he rode a school bus to Spring Valley each afternoon while still in elementary school so the two could ride home together), drawing, while seated at the periphery of his future schoolroom. Clearly both room and teacher made huge impacts in his life. Drews is more interested in bragging about his students than talking about himself or his art. But his art – such as those demented zombie cowboys – speaks for itself. Along with the cowboys, Drews creates images of our surroundings, steamrollers, even a western replica village. He mainly makes monotype prints. As the name implies, these are one-of-a-kind prints made by painting an image on a piece of Plexiglas, which serves as the printing plate, and running it through a printing press transferring the image to paper. “My goal is to make things that undefined : book five

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monotype looks sick! I’ll take it home and keep working into it,” Drews explains. He takes his favorite prints created at school back to his private studio and continues working on them with pens, pencils, paint, watercolors and other materials until he achieves the look he desires. What he never explains is the origin of the unique and menacing undercurrent that runs through most of his work or how he creates art that is so successfully provocative or, indeed, why all of his pieces are so damn disturbing despite the fact that he is such a visibly up-beat person and so easy to be around. “The Optimist,” a particularly dismal and pessimistic monotype, portrays a dejected and forlorn figure sitting alone surrounded by a sense of melancholy and emptiness. The piece is stained the color of diluted blood. Although The Optimist shares the look and feel of many of his monotypes, Drews says it is unique from all the others because he created it to express a set of specific emotions and he had the piece’s end result strongly in mind from the start. “This is my only piece that was 100% intentional. I was in a dark place after a three year relationship ended,” he explains pointing to the figure where his face is blurred and his mouth has been wiped away: “I felt like I couldn’t communicate how I was feeling at the time so I erased his mouth. This piece came out exactly how I wanted it to… Then I felt better… like it was done and I could move on.” Another piece that reveals another facet of Drews’ personality is “Chew and Swallow,” a diptych he created for a food themed art show that showcased artwork by Richland School District II art teachers earlier this year. It consists of two intense and vibrant orange stained panels featuring a spiky-haired, vaguely cannibalistic-looking student. His face and ears are scattered with piercings and he wears a tangle of tribal-looking necklaces around his neck. The subject is ferociously postured in two different poses, (one snarling and one screaming), while holding a knife and a fork in each hand. “A food themed art show and I send in a picture of an angry boy eating himself,” Drews snickers with amusement at his own candid rebellion. Whether he uses models, students or himself as subject matter, the end result cannot be described as realistic. Although he may portray people, he does not create portraits – although his depictions are undeniably alive. On the flipside he does not create imagined illustrations either. Unlike traditional portraits, self-portraits or life-drawings, his pieces take on more than the look of whoever or whatever they are, irrespective of context. Models become so transfigured that their original appearance is immaterial. His art takes on portions of his life and his reality as well as taking on a life of its own. Sigmund Freud wrote in 1939, “A work grows as it will and sometimes confronts its author as an independent, even alien creature.” A heaping pile of monotype/mixed-media pieces that represent a lifetime of work, are piled in the corner of his home studio. One wonders what he eventually plans to do with all of this amazing artwork that just keeps building up. “I have thought about putting together an exhibition to show my work…but it doesn’t really seem to have a theme. There are Luchadores here, zombies there, guys punching each other over there…” he shakes his head.

Drews works on Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It

look such a way that you cou ldn’t ever figure out how the hell they were created,” he says. First, Drews starts with a simple contour line drawing of a posed model, (usually a student), and whatever surrounds that model at that given moment. The illustration is rapidly drawn directly onto a piece of clear plexi-glass that will serve as his printing plate. The transparency of the plate allows the image to be recorded quickly so he can essentially trace whatever he sees in front of him directly onto the plastic. Next he chooses an acrylic-based monotype ink and a tiny paint roller to spread the pigment over the plate covering the illustration. A process of splattering, smearing, scratching and wiping follows to manipulate the image and add texture before running the wet plate on top of a damp sheet of paper through his press. The impression the plate leaves on the paper is the monotype. This imprinting can also be altered and cultivated until the paper and ink have dried. The whole process takes about twenty minutes. “If the

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Alphabet Chicks - 2009. (left) Drews with Jeffrey Day at his opening at art+cayce. (above) Drews creating a monotype. (below)

What he doesn’t seem to realize is exactly what Freud said. There is an undeniable, all-encompassing theme that runs through his art and ties it all together – it is him. His art doesn’t need to exist for any specific reason or to follow any particular themes – it can just be. It stands for itself. Josh Drews – the person and his passions in both art and in life echo through each piece of his unique, provocative, intense, interesting, fear inducing and curious artwork. This alone leaves us with something wonderful to see.

Eye on Sparrow - 2009. (right)

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craft

Michael Fulmer

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Fulmer won’t make a small, basic cabinet that’s to be tucked away in a corner – all of his pieces are meant to be the focal point of a room. He works with unusual woods from South America, Africa and Australia, and says the natural states of the wood are so striking that stains aren’t needed. “I let the natural colors of the wood be the focal point,” Fulmer says. “I love the grains of the exotic wood and what they have to offer.” Most pieces begin with the concept of a shape – a musical instrument, a form in nature, an existing structure. A one-of-akind table in Fulmer’s showroom is. A C-shaped swirl in Makore wood serves as the base to the top panel, and two red balls balance on the second and third levels of the piece to represent movement, Fulmer says. A drop-leaf table in Lacewood features a thin center panel, two large hinged triangle pieces that fold up to create a square and an intricate border of contrasting inlays in Ebony and Pommele woods; the table was inspired by an antique drop-leaf table his mother had, Fulmer says. His Egyptian dresser contrasts uniform, rectangular drawers with edges that angle out, becoming wider and wider toward the base, similar to a pyramid. Its top surface catches the eye with a multitude of swirls – a natural grain pattern found in the wood of choice for the piece, Waterfall Babinga. “I’m a fan of impressionistic painting, and I’ll let a piece take

urniture and cabinets may store your clothes and dishes, serve as a resting place for your books and knickknacks and fill the space in your home, but for Michael Fulmer of Renaissance Designs, functionality also presents an opportunity for art. With exotic, naturally attractive wood as his canvas, Fulmer designs and builds contemporary interior pieces that serve practical purposes as well as beautify spaces, awe their audiences and trigger intriguing conversations. Fulmer, a native of Johnston, South Carolina, is a self-taught furniture designer. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Presbyterian College, he studied painting at the University of South Carolina, earning a BFA in art and completing MFA course work. While he did sell some of his art, he chose to apply his creativity to houses and made a business out of home remodeling and construction, which eventually transpired into furniture design. “I always liked to work with my hands and was curious about architecture and how things are put together,” Fulmer says. “I was always interested in furniture design.” In 1994, Fulmer founded Renaissance Designs and “got serious about furniture design” while continuing his remodeling services, and in 2005 along with his wife Rhonda, he zeroed in on furniture and cabinetry. Fulmer now employs five artisans that help him produce exquisite cabinets, doors, furniture, kitchens, vanities and more.

text: Natasha Chilingerian photography © 2010 Brian Dressler / dresslerphoto.com

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...a tribute to 1930s architect Frank Lloyd Wright – its top panel is crafted from Makore, Padauk and Purpleheart woods and appears to float over its base, which is a nod to the design of the porch at Wright’s Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania

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me somewhere,” Fulmer says. “I don’t have a hard and fast plan all the time. I get an idea from a shape or something that appeals to me, and that initial idea carries me through.” One especially notable piece that Fulmer has worked on isn’t for sale – it’s the receptionist’s desk that sits in the South Carolina State Museum’s Confederate Relic Room. The piece, titled “Eclipse Within Eclipse Turned,” was designed by David Yensan of CDA Architects and is laminate-finished in coppery brown, sand and deep brown; circular in shape and framed by two short, half moonshaped walls. Fulmer consulted on the design and engineering aspects of the project, which he says proved to be a challenging test. “The real challenge was to fabricate an extremely complicated design with multiple angles on an ellipse,” Fulmer says. Fulmer’s project completion process typically takes around three to four months. He begins by building the foundation, then, he carefully cuts the pieces he commonly uses as accents – veneers (thin ribbons of wood in contrasting shades that can be added to the top surface of a piece to create patterns). A vacuum press is used to adhere the pieces, and finally, about 10-15 coats of laquerbased finisher are applied; the surface is sanded in between coats. Once a piece has been perfected and shipped to a client, Fulmer begins on the next, knowing that his completed works will be not only enjoyed by their current owners, but by future generations as well. As a designer and woodworker, the big picture for Fulmer means living on through his works and leaving a legacy. “I joke with my clients and say that on the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ in 2050, they’ll be discussing Michael Fulmer’s technique,” he says. “It’s really rewarding, and our customers are very appreciative and cherish the things that we do. It’s nice to know that one day when I’m gone, I’ll have left a small mark in some way.”

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For more photographs of Michael’s work, visit undefinedmagazine.com

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feature

When I arrived in Columbia in the summer of 1989, I was jacked. A university town, it had three museums showing art, an independent art film house, several live theaters and a performing arts center that brought in touring music and theater. Main Street even had a couple of department stores and a big-screen movie theater where I’d later see “Henry V” and the director’s cut of “Blade Runner.” Lucky for me, I had been hired by The State newspaper as an arts writer.

text: Jeffrey Day

illustration: McKenna Kemp

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M

y 19 years and nine months with The State covering the arts was a thrilling ride – especially during the past few years. Although my job was eliminated during layoffs last year, I continued to write about the arts on my website Carolina Culture and for various publications. And it is still a very good time to be writing about the arts here. Some enormous art developments transpired during these 20 years, many in the past five to 10.

the number of art venues that hold on – Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, City Art, the Carol Saunders Gallery and the more recent arrival if Art Gallery. The city of Columbia mismanaged Vista re-development by letting it get so commercialized and, while putting all its energies into the Vista, let Main Street die. The city forced the Columbia Museum of Art to move to Main Street then sat on its hands for three years and spent the next six tearing up the street. One of the keys to the Vista development has been the South Carolina State Museum. When it opened just over 20 years ago the museum became the place for South Carolina art and artists. Budget cuts and changing priorities have lessened the role of art including elimination of the every-three-year exhibition of contemporary South Carolina art called “The Triennial.” The show had its problems but it was the only decent state-wide survey of the contemporary art scene. Even so the museum has curated some of its best-ever exhibitions such as well-researched and selected Edmund Yaghjian, Brian Rutenberg and Robert Courtright retrospectives. USC’s McKissick Museum has had a few difficult years. For years the museum, which focused on folk arts, was the only South Carolina museum doing scholarly research and getting funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. A few years ago, the university turned the first floor of the museum into a visitor center and gave the museum a much broader function. The most important new player in the visual arts is the 701 Center for Contemporary Art located in the former Olympia Mill Village community center. The art center did extremely well with its initial fund-raising and is wrapping its first year of textile-connect shows created by artists who live and work in the center for several months. The center has also hosted music and dance performances and, despite opening right as the economy has tanked, it has stayed on track with its high ambitions. Commercial art galleries in Columbia have not done well. A select few are able to sell much art and it appears the problem is more with buyers, or lack of them, than with the sellers. The addition of a real gallery at the USC art department a decade ago has brought in some needed out-of-towners, but budget cuts have hurt the shows and access to the gallery. Not every exhibition at the Benedict College gallery is well-organized or of high quality, but the Richard Hunt sculpture show there in 2006 was one of the best exhibitions in the entire state in the last 20 years.

• The Columbia Museum of Art moved into a new home on Main Street in 1998 and in 2004 brought in a savvy and connected director. It recently set records for attendance and membership. • The S.C. Philharmonic hired a new, young and energetic music director who last spring completed his first season to great acclaim and audiences. • The 701 Center for Contemporary Art opened in 2008 – the biggest art addition to the city since the art museum relocated a decade ago. • The Charles Wadsworth and Friends concert series, Southern Exposure contemporary concerts, and the Southeastern Piano Festival have filled the city with worldclass music. • The Nickelodeon Theatre transformed itself from a film society to a full-fledged, big- budget art group and will move into a renovated Main Street movie house soon. • The University of South Carolina series “Caught in the Creative Act” has hosted giants of contemporary literature including Salman Rushdie, Robert Olen Butler and E.L. Doctorow. Disappointment abounded along the way as well. • The Congaree Vista started as a place for art and artists, but has been completely commercialized and over built. And nothing has materialized to replace it. • USC’s Koger Center has declined into a rental facility that’s aging badly. • Commercial art galleries have failed to thrive.

The rise and fall of the Vista and visual arts struggles During my first few years here the Congaree Vista emerged as an arts district. The Vista art crawls during those early days were exciting and edgy. Installation art was big (thanks to the Spoleto Festival’s “Places with a Past” show in Charleston) and there were plenty of empty buildings ripe for guerilla-art making in the Vista. As traditional developers moved in and property prices soared these shows disappeared with the funky artistic vibe. That’s just the nature of gentrification. What’s surprising is

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Art museum re-invention In 1988 the Columbia Museum of Art suffered a terrible defeat when the Richland County Council denied it funding for a new museum. For the next 10 years the museum did mostly so-so shows in an inadequate facility on Senate Street. Although it may have looked like it, the museum wasn’t just treading water. Led by director Sal Cilella and chief curator

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Bill Bodine the museum reinvented itself as the fine arts museum it had been founded as in 1950. (During the ‘60s and ‘70s it had become a multipurpose museum, a role made redundant by the opening of the S.C. State Museum in 1988.) And it managed to get a new home. The move to Main Street in 1998 solved many problems, but created others. The troubles came to light after Cilella left in 2001. “I think the financial model built for the new museum in terms of expenses and income was just wrong,” then-board president Carroll Heyward said at the time. In 2002 the museum hired Margaret Skove and she inherited a financial mess she couldn’t get on top of quickly. She also made other missteps – eliminating the marking department and taking down a photograph of Ku Klux Klansman that some staff members found offensive. To the museum board’s credit it didn’t let things ride; it fired Skove after 11 months. It was ugly and messy and cost the museum in many ways, but was necessary. The museum unexpectedly stumbled upon Karen Brosius who had worked in cultural affairs for the Philip Morris Company in New York for 20 years. Her husband has family here and she was looking for a change. She’s not the most accessible arts leader and gets bogged down in corporate speak, but since she took the helm in 2004 the museum feels like a different place. She knows how to raise money and hire good people. The museum just ended its biggest year ever with 153,000 attending and membership hitting a record of 4,500. The Philharmonic closed Nakahara’s first year with a concert that included Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 (the first time the orchestra had played Mahler in a decade) and music by Philip Glass (a first ever for the orchestra.) At that concert I come across a number of young people attending the Philharmonic for the first time ever; they were unanimously impressed. Both the Philharmonic and USC Symphony bring classical music to the Koger Center, but the center actually used to book classical music groups from the outside. That halted in the early 1990s leaving a hole in the classical music lineup. The void has largely been filled by the Southeastern Piano Festival, Southern Exposure and the Charles Wadsworth and Friends chamber music series. The new music world – which blends rock, classical, jazz - has also done well with offerings at the Center for Contemporary Art, the Columbia Museum, at nightclubs and alternative venues. (The USC Music School provides a few operas each year, but opera is still a missing part of the music puzzle – although such a lack is not surprising considering the expense of mounting operas.) The classical music landscape has never been richer or more diverse.

Classical music on the rise Another organization with trouble at the top was the S.C. Philharmonic. Nicholas Smith became the first full-time music director of the orchestra in 1993 and appeared to lead the orchestra competently enough for several years. I didn’t attend many Philharmonic concerts during Smith’s first few years here, but was a regular as his time wound down between 2003 and 2006. Rarely was this an enjoyable experience – programming was pedestrian, the orchestra was underpowered and the playing lackluster. Finally after nearly 15 years, Smith’s contract was not renewed. After a season of conductor candidate tryout concerts, the orchestra board unanimously and quickly picked Morihiko Nakahara. Nakahara has programmed more new music and leads the orchestra in excellent concerts of well-known music. Not all the concerts during his first year were stunners, but each was solid and, something that had been missing for years, energetic. Nakahara has made himself a presence in the city as well. I’ve run into him more in one year than I spotted the previous conductor in 15.

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The long and winding road of the Cultural Council

became director, and during her 15-years tenure the annual fund drive reached a high of $750,000. In the late 1990s Ryall turned the council into a programming entity, with an emphasis on public art including artistdecorated palmetto trees and doors recycled from a public housing project. A number of sculptures of questionable quality were installed – often without consulting an art selection committee that was supposed to sign off on final works. This didn’t bother the council board members nor did the fact that the council was bringing in less money each year. The council and its projects became very much about Ryall and like any strong personality she became a polarizing figure. The council board forced her resignation in 2003, but would never say why (at least not on the record.) They said it wasn’t because fund-raising had dipped to $335,000 - although that would have been a valid reason. If her style was a problem well that had been an issue for years. Andrew Witt was hired to run the council in 2004. Witt is well-versed in the language of arts management, but his isolation from the arts community is beyond perplexing. Columbia Mayoral candidate Steve Morrison (who has served on many arts boards and is an active participant) said of the Cultural Council, “It’s not functioning. If it’s not working let’s look at setting that aside.” Creation of the Cultural Council nearly killed off the

The Columbia Festival of the Arts began and ended in 2007. Marvin Chernoff, a long-time Columbia advertising man and a long-time and important player in the arts, dreamed it up. The festival wasn’t really a festival, but a marketing event for things that would have been taking place regardless. The promotional effort wasn’t very effective and added events didn’t do well. Chernoff has been an invaluable ally to the arts, but the quality of his ideas and their execution haven’t matched his enthusiasm. Nicholas Smith has remained somewhat of a presence in Columbia and was selected by Andrew Witt, director of the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, as the director of the second Columbia Festival of the Arts. No other applicants were sought - a moot point when the council couldn’t raise money for a festival. Like its insistence on Smith as the best person to head an arts festival without considering anyone else the Cultural Council has often operated in a mystifying manner. Founded in 1984 as an umbrella organization to raise money for local arts groups, the council got off to a fast start and was soon raising $500,000 annually. In 1988, Dot Ryall, who was a council board member,

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and teach around the world and the younger musicians have brought out the best in veteran faculty members. The school also started several excellent concert series. Southern Exposure attracts musicians from all over, showcases faculty artists and draws standing-room-only crowds. The Southeastern Piano Festival, now in its seventh year, turns the city keyboard-crazy thought concerts loaded with Van Cliburn Competition medallists. But to get a sense of how good the music school is all you really have to do is show up for a free faculty recital.

Columbia Music Festival Association, which had been the umbrella arts organization since 1897. After spending the 1990s wandering in the wilderness, the Music Festival Association made a comeback. The organization has a number of arts groups, mostly smaller dance companies such as the Carolina Ballet and Vibrations, under its wing and a building with offices for groups and a fine intimate performance space in the Vista.

Strides and setbacks in university arts When the Koger Center opened 21 years ago it brought in outside plays, classical music and dance companies. Like the Cultural Council, the Koger Center was also an arrow into the heart of the Columbia Music Festival Association, which had been hosting national classical music and dance companies for decades. The Music Festival Association couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t compete with the Koger and soon stopped hiring touring groups. Then a few years later, the university started cutting touring offerings and was soon out of the presentation business. The S.C. Philharmonic, the USC Symphony, the Columbia City Ballet and the Columbia Classical Ballet use the hall and a private promoter brings in a theater series. The USC Art Department still appears a little up in the air about its mission, but recently got new leadership in Thorne Compton, who has fixed various part of the university over the years. On the other side of campus the USC Theatre and Dance Department completely reinvented itself starting in the early â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;90s hiring faculty members with careers outside the department as directors and designers. The USC theater offerings are the most consistently exciting and well designed in the city. The downside is that shows are few, runs are short and everything is largely invisible to the general public. The department is too good to get so little attention. A few years ago the university finally started a fullfledged dance program and hired former New York City Ballet and the Boston Ballet dancers, who also happen to be Columbia natives, to teach. The program also got a new building. The School of Music has always been strong and has risen even higher during the new millennium. Faculty members perform concerts

Dance still a weak link Despite on-going feuds and talk of mergers local dance companies have survived and a several groups have been born recently. The Columbia City Ballet has many supporters, but its poporiented shows are clearly aimed more at entertainment and making money than enlightenment, creative choreography and technical achievement. The Classical Ballet began taking a similar tack to attract audiences although it still keeps a foot in serious dance. During the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;90s, Columbia College had a fine modern and post-modern dance series called SoSoHo that was one of the best things here, but it was eliminated. The Columbia College associated dance group The Power Company has tried to keep

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strides in finding a new home. The Nickelodeon Theatre will soon move to an old movie house on Main Street after years in a tiny space behind the Capitol. To make this happen though, the theater had to transform itself from a film club to a fullfledged arts group with a new sort of board, management and fund raising.

it alive in spirit, but that’s more than a single struggling group can do alone. During the past few years some smaller dance groups have emerged – something that happened with theaters a few years earlier. The USC dance program has added some needed energy. The city really needs a stable, excellent contemporary dance company and could also use visits from high-quality regional, national and international dance groups.

Looking ahead Re-invention must be the name of the arts game for the next few years. The Nickelodeon has done it and so have the Columbia Museum and Philharmonic. Serious, art-smart boards that can raise money, but don’t interfere with the artistic staff are hard to come by, but they have been integral to successes at the Columbia Museum, the S.C. Philharmonic and Nickelodeon. Although the economy is terrible these groups are doing well - the art museum and the philharmonic just finished artistically and financially solid years and the Nickelodeon is making good headway on its planned move. Workshop Theatre needs to do some serious self-examination about its mission and how to accomplish it. Trustus could use some serious self-analysis as well, but that is unlikely to happen. If any group needs a makeover it is the Cultural Council. It must find a way to raise more money for local arts groups and serve them better. Right now it can’t even settle on a name. The 701 Center for Contemporary Art is poised to become the heart of contemporary art in the city, but it needs money and a staff to do so. The most important player in the arts is the university, but at times it is overlooked by the general public. That could change under the guidance of new university President Harris Pastides, who has long been interested and involved in the arts. During the past two decades, and especially during the last five years, the more established and larger arts groups in the city have finally become much more stable. Quality has

Theaters offerings more solid The key theaters (Town, Workshop, Trustus, and Theater South Carolina at USC) all do good work and if revelations on local stages have become rarer, so have disasters. Town Theatre productions lack originality, but are still better than the average community theater. Workshop gets high marks for surprisingly varied offerings and overall quality – all this in spite of the fact that it has long been dogged by the eventual loss of its home. The most professional theater offerings are at the university. Trustus Theatre is Columbia’s professional theater - designated as such by the Theatre Communications Group. In spite of this it is the most inconsistent of all the theaters in every sense - acting, directing, design, and play selection. Trustus’ most important contribution is the Playwrights Festival during which it does the first full production of a new play. Trustus regularly threatens to shut its doors, but Workshop Theatre is the one most in jeopardy. In the late 1990s the theater learned it would have to move from its location at Bull and Gervais street to make way for a new USC Law School. (The land was once owned by the Columbia Museum of Art and now belongs to USC.) The theater has made little progress in raising money for a new home, although it did buy property off Elmwood Avenue. Workshop hired a director last year who left after nine months and, earlier at the start of this year, hired another who left after two weeks. Another theater – this one showing movies – has made great

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(Jeffrey Day was the lead arts writer at The State newspaper from June 1989 to March 2009. He was a National Arts Journalism fellow at Columbia University in New York in 1998 – 1999 and a National Endowment for the Arts/Columbia University classical music fellowship winner in 2007. His writing has appeared in a number of national and international arts publications. From April 2009 to February 2010 he ran the arts website Carolina Culture by Jeffrey Day. He is now public relations coordinator for the USC Arts Institute.)

become institutional with all the theaters, the S.C. Philharmonic and the Columbia Museum providing consistently decent offerings. If there don’t seem to be as many highs that may be because there aren’t as many lows. Maybe the arts scene has grown up and leveled out - and so have people, like me, watching it.

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artist

Susan Lenz and the Blues Chapel “I wish I could lose me these weary blues … My tired heart can’t love no more. Can’t love the way it did before … My love was big, your love was small … And now I’ve gotten no love at all. Wish I could lose these weary blues.” – Bessie Smith

V

isiting fiber artist Susan Lenz’s installation, Blues Chapel and Last Words, is like taking a walk through a love song written for the creative heart and soul of every working woman, everywhere and every when. You can almost hear the howl of Memphis native, Alberta Hunter, who ran away from home at twelve so she could sing the blues; the deep thrum of the “Famous Moanin’ Mama”– Sara Martin, whose career in Vaudeville and the blues afforded her a postDepression job working in a nursing home until she died, poor, of a stroke; or, Rosetta Tharpe’s bluesy gospel intonations that both thrilled and affronted the piety of her religious audiences. A site-specific arrangement of gilded and embellished art and artifact, Blues Chapel has traveled lonesome roads throughout South Carolina from Columbia to Sumter, to Edgefield, to Pickens, and all the way to the dusty town of Denton, Texas, before returning home to Columbia, with each installation offering a unique arrangement of energy and art. At its February showing at its place of birth, Vista Studios on Lady Street in Columbia, Tapestry in Blue, the centerpiece of the installation, featuring the mixed media images of twentytext: Cynthia Boiter

four Blues women in a wall-mounted array that spans almost 5 by 10 feet, invites the lowly sinner to worship beneath the visages of Blues goddesses like Ruth Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Memphis Minnie, Big Mama Thornton, and Sarah Vaughan. Nearby, the interactive Altar for Forgiveness paired with a hand fashioned Blues Bible, mahogany church pews, and six faux-stained glass window fabric pieces complete the artifice of a holy space. As a graveyard is to a church building, Lenz’s silken grave rubbing art quilt series entitled, Angels in Mourning, continues the delusion of consecrated grounds by depicting the hand-rubbed facades of headstones resting in the outer corridors of the gallery; embroidered chiffon epitaph banners flutter like specters in the atrium; an invitational triptych, Our Lady of Found Objects, waits in what becomes the gallery narthex. The illusion is complete. Praise Ye, Women of the Blues – divas of all angst and desire– brokenhearted Women everywhere. Praise Ye. Amen.

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Gertrude Pridgett “Ma” Rainey (1886 – 1939), who was billed as “The Mother of the Blues,” began her career at the age of 14. A feminist who never hid her bi-sexuality, Ma Rainey ran her career like the successful business that it was. She took in and trained a young and orphaned Bessie Smith who went on to become the highest-paid black performer of her day. She died of a heart attack in 1939.

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Orphaned at the age of nine, Bessie Smith (1894 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1937) and her brother performed on the streets of Chattanooga, singing and playing the guitar. By 1923, she had signed with Columbia Records and went on to become a star. Before her untimely death due to a car accident, Smith recorded four songs for the Okeh label. She was paid $37.50 for each piece â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the last recordings of her life.

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When Nina Simone (1933 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2003) made her debut at a piano recital at the age of ten, her parents were forced to move to the back of the auditorium in deference to the whites in attendance. As a graduate of Julliard, Simone combined civil rights activism with her career in music. She died in the South of France in 2003.

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Bertha “Chippie” Hill (1905 – 1950) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to a family of 16 children. Her voice took her to Vaudeville and work with Ma Rainey’s Rabbit Foot Minstrels before she left show business to raise her seven children. Re-discovered while working in a bakery, Chippie enjoyed a comeback that allowed her to sing on stages as prestigious as Carnegie Hall and the Paris Jazz Festival. She met her death in 1950 when she was run over by a speeding motorist in Chicago.

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Installation at 80808 Gallery in Columbia, 2010. Story cover art: Billie Holidayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (1915 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1959) hardscrabble childhood found her working as a prostitute before being discovered and booked to play the historic Apollo Theater at the age of 19. Forced to use the back theater entrance when performing with white musicians, her sorrow found a home in both blues and heroin. She died at the age of 44 with 70 cents in the bank, leaving a legacy of talent and pain that would last forever.

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design

Float Your Boat If your office job has ever made you want to jump ship and sail off into the sunset, you’ll probably love TOYS’R’US, a life-sized model dingy installation piece by Michael Johansson. The Swedish artist is known for his playful installations, as well as his unique style of adapting ordinary objects to return them to the realm of imagination. In TOY’S’US, the boat and its equipment have been welded together within a metal frame before being coated with a unifying plastic layer, and the seaworthy sculpture actually floated in the Malmö harbor for one month. TOYS’R’US was the first of Johansson’s model-play objects, which debuted in Strings Attached, a show at Stockholm’s Nordin Gallery. The life-sized model kits function as a commentary on contemporary society and planned urban communities, but looking TOYS’R’US is bound to bring out your inner child! MichaelJohansson.com

text: reese moore

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"We will not compromise who we are to be accepted by the crowd. We want substance in the place of popularity. We want to think our own thoughts. We want love not lies. We want knowledge, understanding & peace. We will not lose."

-Lupe Fiasco


Pond Lesson I sat next to a pond as child. It spoke to me and told me to write poems. I did not doubt what it was saying.  I need to remember this courage. I feel the soft skin of my voice emerging from its newborn shell. I begin again this way every morning, holding my own small hand. My path is filled with quartz and rabbits.  I have to look where I am going. In the looking is the beauty.  I record what I see with fingers in the sand. I let go of this necklace of doubt.  It is old and scratches my neck. The clasp is rusted and permanently shut.  It breaks with one sharp pull. A blanket helps me to rest.  I pull it over my head.  I make a bag for dreaming. My dreams are maps of what comes next.  I begin again in the morning.

by Cassie Premo Steele


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undefined magazine Book 5  

No fluff, no filler. Just Columbia and the outstanding artists, musicians, architects, chefs, designers, painters, sculptors, craftsmen and...

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