Friday, April 27, 2012

The finished exhibition - you have a month to see it

Thanks to everyone who came out on opening night to take in Install It 2 as part of Artista Vista.
Now that the exhibition is open we'd refresh your memory about the show and artists as well as share photos of the finished pieces.
Install It 2 will be on display through May 26. All the works are outdoors and available for viewing any time.

 For this year’s installation art exhibition, Install It 2, seven artists tap into the history and natural and built environment of the Vista. This exhibition marks a new collaboration with the McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina with the artworks connected through material, content and location to the Museum’s commitment to telling the story of Southern life: community, culture and the environment.
Khaldoune Bencheikh and Mary How, in collaboration with community members, created Rangoli: Giant Bird Feeder at the corner of Lady and Lincoln Streets. The work is based on the rangoli, a folk art from India where women create decorative floor patterns to welcome deities during religious festivals. This biodegradable performance art installation accentuates our relationship with nature, especially the avian variety, even in an urban environment.
Bencheikh is a master of fine arts candidate at the University of South Carolina, and How, an art therapist, is owner of Angelfish Creations. 

Located in the yard of the Zion Baptist Church at Washington and Gadsden streets, Wendell George Brown’s figurative sculpture grouping Ascension is inspired by African-American quilting, spirituals and burial grounds, as well as African grave markers and wooden figures created for healing and protection. Through the source materials and location, the piece reflects upon the African-American history and culture of the area. Founded in 1865, Zion Baptist Church has been at this location since 1870. Washington Street was the primary African-American business district of Columbia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ascension overlooks Memorial Park. 
Brown, a Benedict College faculty member, has shown his work at the Japan International Quilt Show, the American Folk Art Museum in New York and the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington D.C. 


Kara Gunter’s Ghost Trees in the alleyway near Gervais and Gadsden Streets repopulates an alleyway of stumps with trees made of layered paper and adhesive.
The work contrasts the development of the area from natural to mostly man-made. While much of what we are aware of in the Vista is that which has been built there during the past 100 years, the natural world cannot be stopped and declares its ongoing power in places such as this alley.
Gunter holds a master of fine arts degree from USC and has had solo exhibitions at the S.C. State University and Lander University galleries.


The loading dock of City Market Antiques Mall, near Gervais and Gadsden, is the site for Michaela Pilar Brown’s I Have Loved You So Long. Made of kudzu, grape vine, recycled tire tread, steel and grass, the work examines the intersection of family history, memory and myth by using familiar materials in the creation of an other-worldly environment. It continues the artist’s exploration of “home” as a repository for memories which are malleable and transient
 Brown has recently been resident artist at the McColl Arts Center in Charlotte and the Vermont Studio Center and had solo exhibitions at the Harvey Gantt Center for African American Art and Culture in Charlotte and S.C. State University.


 Next to the Adluh Flour-Allen Brother Milling Company, south side of Gervais on Gadsden Street, Eileen Blyth’s Seven Doors is made by mining the materials and the memories of the Vista. Constructed of objects scavenged in the area, the piece connects to the industries which once dominated the area and how those that remain are add to a vibrant, contemporary urban space. The piece is set against “seven strange, square doors” at Adluh, a historic industry and landmark in the Vista for a century.
Blyth holds degrees from the College of Charleston and USC and has had solo exhibitions throughout the region.

Blue Spheres by Virginia Scotchie at Senate and Gist Streets (near the Congaree River) is linked to the brick and tile-making industry once located in the Vista and to Columbia’s place on the geological “fall line.”  A fall line is where rivers descend from upland to the lowland creating rapids. While the fall line limited river navigation, the falling water provided power for grist mills, sawmills and textile mills. In the Southeast, the fall line also demarcates a narrow belt where high-quality kaolin clay deposits are found.
Scotchie, a professor of art at USC, has had her work exhibited in France, the Netherlands, Australia, Taiwan and throughout the United States and in May has a solo exhibition at Hunter College, The City University of New York.

Exhibition curator is Jeffrey Day, who organized the 2011 Install It  exhibition, is an arts writer whose work has been published internationally.

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