Friday, April 6, 2012

Install It 2 has big plans for the end of April

Install It 2 – installation art for Artista Vista

Taking art outside traditional venues has long been a part of Artista Vista, an art event that takes place each spring in Columbia’s Congaree Vista. Install It 2, an exhibition by seven Midlands artists, will fulfill that mission for the 2012 Artista Vista. 
Install It 2 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. 

Install It 2 will be unveiled during Artista Vista’s gallery crawl April 26 from 5 to 9 p.m. All the installations will be located outdoors and will remain on display through May 26.

The project is receiving primary support from the Congaree Vista Guild, McKissick Museum and Lexington Medical Center. Bernstein & Bernstein Attorneys, Zion Baptist Church, Dupre Catering and Events, Adluh Flour-Allen Brother Milling Company, City Market Antiques and Carolina Imports have generously allowed Install It 2 to use their properties as sites. 

When it began 21 years ago, Artista Vista was a mix of exhibitions at traditional galleries and installation art, the latter inspired by Places with a Past, a site-specific installation art exhibition at the 1991 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston. As the Vista developed during the booming 1990s, spaces artists could use for unusual art installations became hard to come by and the installation projects disappeared. In 2011 to mark the 20th anniversary of the event, installation art returned with Install It

The 2012 Install It 2 projects and artists:

Khaldoune Bencheikh and Mary How, in collaboration with students and community members, are creating “Rangoli: Giant Bird Feeder” at the corner of Lady and Lincoln Streets. This giant sculpture of natural materials is based on a colorful Indian floor sculpture believed to welcome good luck and fortune. The biodegradable performance art installation aims to accentuate our relationship with nature, especially the avian variety, even in an urban environment.
Bencheikh, a master of fine arts candidate at the University of South Carolina, has created several community-based projects including a rangoli at the Tapp’s Arts Center and a mosaic wall installation. How is an art therapist and owner of Angelfish Creations. For more information go to and

By the former railroad siding at Adluh Flour, south side of Gervais on Gadsden Street, Eileen Blyth’s “Seven Doors” is made by mining both the materials and the memories of the Vista. Constructed of objects scavenged from the area, “Seven Doors” connects to the industries which once dominated the area and how those that remain are still part of a vibrant, contemporary urban space. She is locating the piece against what she calls “a textured wall with seven strange, square doors” at Adluh Flour-Allen Brother Milling Company, a historic industry and landmark that has been in the Vista for a century.
Blyth holds degrees from the College of Charleston and USC and has had solo exhibitions throughout the region.

Michaela Pilar Brown is engaged in an ongoing series exploring the notion of “home” as a repository for memories which are malleable and transient.  At the loading dock area of City Market Antiques Mall, near Gervais and Gadsden is "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.
Brown was resident artist at the McColl Arts Center in Charlotte in 2011 and the Vermont Studio Center in 2012, and recently had solo exhibitions at the Harvey Gantt Center for African American Art and Culture in Charlotte and S.C. State University. 

Located in the side yard of the Zion Baptist Church at Washington Street and Gadsden Streets, Wendell George Brown’s figurative sculpture grouping “Ascension” is inspired by African-American quilting, spirituals and burial grounds, as well as by African grave markers and wooden figures embedded with adornments for healing and protection. The Zion Baptist Church is an African-American congregation founded in 1865 that has been at this location since 1870. Washington Street was the primary African-American businesses district of Columbia during the early late 19th and early 20th centuries. “Ascension” will overlook the Memorial Park which has monuments commemorating those who have died in several wars and the Holocaust. Through the nature of the work, its source materials and location, “Ascension” will reflect upon the African-American history and culture of the area.
A faculty member at Benedict College, Brown has exhibited 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 will repopulate an alleyway of stumps with trees made of layered paper and adhesive. The work will contrast 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 20 clay pieces at 300 Senate and Gist Streets (near the Congaree River) that make up “Blue Spheres” by Virginia Scotchie are linked to the brick and tile-making industry once located in the Vista and Columbia’s location on the geological “fall line.” Scotchie, a professor of art at USC, has had her work exhibited in France, the Netherlands, Australia, Taiwan and throughout the United States. She will have a solo exhibition at Hunter College, The City University of New York starting in May.

Exhibition curator is Jeffrey Day, who organized the 2011 Install It exhibition, is an arts writer whose work has been published internationally. He has recently written essays for the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta and Hampton III Gallery in Greenville.

No comments:

Post a Comment