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Congaree Vista District to celebrate 30 years of Artista Vista

S.C. Cultural District's signature event returns April 22-24

This month marks 30 years of Artista Vista, the weekend-long celebration of the Congaree Vista district’s vibrant art scene, happening April 22-24.

The event continues to highlight incredible artists in the Midlands, and encourages locals and newcomers alike to explore studio spaces, meet the makers and even take home their own handmade pieces. A full schedule of the weekend’s events can be found on The Vista’s website. “It’s an experience,” says Clark Ellefson, principal designer and owner of Lewis+Clark, and one of the original organizers of Artista Vista. “It’s a gathering of people from all walks of life who can come together to enjoy and appreciate art and support their community.”
Artista Vista features local artists and their spaces, and brings makers beyond the Midlands to the district for the weekend. Artists and gallery owners will be on-site to chat with visitors, giving attendees insight into their work. Events in store for the 30th annual Artista Vista include:
  • Art Gallery Crawl (April 22, 6-9 p.m.): This signature Artista Vista event is a chance for guests to explore The Vista’s one-of-a-kind galleries and pop-up galleries, as well as the district’s restaurants, bars and shops. Studios involved in the gallery crawl include the following:
    • If ART Gallery (1223 Lincoln St.)
    • Lewis + Clark (1001 Huger St.)
    • One Eared Cow Glass (1001 Huger St.)
    • Stormwater Studios (413 Pendleton St.)
    • Studio Cellar (912 Lady St.)
    • The Columbia Music Festival Association ArtSpace, presenting “Cody Unkart: New Works” (914 Pulaski St.)
    • Pop-up galleries:
      • 911 Lady St.
      • Experience Columbia SC Visitor Center (1120 Lincoln St.)
      • River Runner Outdoor Center (905 Gervais St.)
  • Light and Lantern Parade (April 22, 8-9 p.m.): Another signature event — the Light and Lantern Parade — will kick off the weekend of festivities, and is back in-person for 2022. Guests are welcome to watch or join the parade at the entrance of the Lincoln Street tunnel. A crafts table will be on-site for those who want to create their own lantern for the event.
  • Art Day (April 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.): The celebration continues on Saturday with Art Day at the Stormwater Studios campus on Huger Street. Guests are invited to explore the campus, watch art demonstrations, shop for handmade pieces and enjoy food, live entertainment on-site and an artist talk from international, award-winning artist Nora Valdez.
  • Crafty Feast (April 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.): The final day of Artista Vista brings Crafty Feast, the juried indie craft fair showcasing 50+ makers from across the Southeast. This open-air craft fair showcases funky, one-of-a-kind offerings and unique gifts available for purchase. This year’s vendor list brings handmade goods ranging from jewelry, apparel and bags to home décor, candles, ceramics and more. The 2022 makers’ list will be posted on the Crafty Feast website.
  • Live on Lincoln (April 24, 5-8 p.m.): Artista Vista concludes on Sunday evening with the Koger Center’s Live on Lincoln. This outdoor, ticketed event presented by LS3P will bring live performances by some of the Midlands finest arts and cultural organizations to the historic cobblestones of Lincoln Street, alongside drinks and dinner served tableside by Blue Marlin. More information and tickets can be found here.
“We’re really excited for this year’s Artista Vista,” says Abby Anderson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “For the last 30 years, this event has been a major part of our community, and we want to keep up that tradition and continue to solidify this area as a prominent arts district.” Artista Vista is produced by the Vista Guild and is made possible through support from sponsors including: the City of Columbia, Experience Columbia SC, Columbia Craft, Steel Hands Brewing, KW Beverage, and Grace Outdoor. For more information about Artista Vista, visit https://www.vistacolumbia.com/special-events/artista-vista.

About the Vista Guild

The Vista Guild is a nonprofit, membership-based organization charged with seeing that Columbia’s Vista, which is an official South Carolina Cultural District, is a vibrant symbol of our progressive Southern city. Led by a 14-member Board of Directors representing a variety of business sectors, the Congaree Vista Guild and its members are dedicated to making the Vista the place of choice for shopping, dining and entertainment, a national and international tourist destination, and a high-energy urban environment in which to live and grow businesses. For more information about the Vista Guild, please call (803) 269-5946 or visit www.vistacolumbia.com. Follow the Vista Guild on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook @VistaColumbiaSC and #ArtistaVista. ###

Jason Rapp

Tuning Up: Poetry, poet news + Artista Vista news

Good morning! 

"Tuning Up" is a morning post series where The Hub delivers curated, quick-hit arts stories of interest to readers. Sometimes there will be one story, sometimes there will be several. Get in tune now, and have a masterpiece of a day. And now, in no particular order...

Here's some poetry stuff...

  • Don't miss out. Applications to be South Carolina's next poet laureate are CLOSING FRIDAY. (Here's where you can learn more.)
  • Nine Cloud Journal is publishing Clarence Carter Boucher's poem, "I AM Tempered Steel." The poem is about overcoming abuse.
And some arts events news to put some wind in our sails. Artista Vista is coming back to the Congaree Vista in April. "Bigger, more inclusive ... health and public safety a priority..." The Congaree Vista is a South Carolina Cultural District. There's probably one near you, so see what's going on there and support those local artists, artisans, and merchants and restaurateurs in.      

Jason Rapp

Here are your weekend plans

South Carolina's arts scene is rarely dormant, but is especially lively this weekend. Two major arts festivals are running concurrently, so let's give a rundown of the highlights.


ArtFields | Lake City | Today-April 28

ArtFields is one of the state's three main arts festivals, but has the unique distinction of being, well, off the beaten trail compared to its big-deal brethren Artisphere and Spoleto Festival USA. But starting today, tiny Lake City in southern Florence County becomes a hotbed of activity for more than a week with this signature event, now in its sixth year. You'll find that art is, almost literally, everywhere. (No, seriously.) There is a serious children's component with the ArtFields, Jr. competition, and a wide array of events from music to horticulture to a 5K Color Run (not our speed) and Walk (there you go). Many events are free, and the weather should be nice through the weekend. All images courtesy of ArtFieldsSC.org. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="34939,34940"]

Artista Vista | Columbia | Saturday

Columbia's Vista is an officially designated South Carolina Cultural District. Its notoriety springs from its galleries, which jump into the spotlight every spring with Artista Vista. They'll hang new, unique shows and some will offer complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres with live entertainment. Additionally, enjoy music and other entertainment throughout the Vista. The festivities began last night, but that doesn't fit our theme, so yeah. On hiatus tonight, official events start afresh with Art Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Good weather is forecast for Columbia as well.

Susan Lenz named Artista Vista Artist of the Year

The 22nd Artista Vista, a free gallery crawl hosted by the Vista Guild of Columbia, runs through April 27.  Attendees will have the chance to win a piece of art by Susan Lenz, Artista Vista’s Artist of the Year. The State's Otis Taylor recently interviewed Lenz: "Susan Lenz jumps from topic to topic like a Twitter feed — the recent NCAA tournament fortunes of Ohio State University, Key West, Bojangles’ sweet tea, “Raising Arizona” and fashionable appropriations of pantyhose. But there is always a thread that connects one seemingly dissimilar piece of media to the next, very much like her art. Lenz, a fiber artist who uses thread in many of her works, is the first Artista Vista Artist of the Year. Artista Vista, the annual springtime gallery crawl, is in its 22nd year. On a recent visit to Lenz’s fabric strewn space at Vista Studios, Lenz talked about The Pantyhose Dress, an entry in the recent Runaway Runway. The dress was modeled by Christine Heiszer, whose face was obscured by pantyhose and a Mardi Gras mask. Heiszer was really Lenz in disguise wearing a dress with a bodice of woven pantyhose and a skirt fashioned from knotted knee-high stockings. Leggings and tights were part of a 15-foot boa." Read the entire article. Via: The State