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Koger opens Laura Spong exhibition

Laura Spong: A Passionate Perspective runs through Dec. 18

[caption id="attachment_51085" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Big Red | Laura Spong | 2013 | 96" x 192" | Oil on canvas[/caption]  

An artist has serious influence when her voice remains loud and clear even after her passing.

Laura Spong has that influence. See for yourself now through Dec. 18 at the Koger Center for the Arts (1051 Greene St., Columbia), which opened a new exhibition of her works last week. Laura Spong: A Passionate Perspective covers works from her later years. Included are Big Red (pictured above) which has not been on exhibit since 2015, according to the Koger Center website. It continues:

Recognized as one of South Carolina’s leading abstract painters, Spong began painting in the 1950s, quickly receiving awards in local and state art exhibitions. Through the years Spong continually worked and exhibited while raising her family, but it was not until the late 1980s that she committed to being a full-time artist and embarked on a period of enormous productivity and growth. During these later years, Spong moved from her earlier more angular compositions to the organic, complex oil paintings that defined her mature style. In 2015, Spong commented on her work with these words, “First of all, I like to paint – it’s my passion. I move around shapes, forms, textures and colors until the components fall into place, like a child on the floor arranging and rearranging blocks.”  

Spong’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia with pieces acquired for the permanent collections of the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County Museum of Art as well as many private collections ... Spong continually painted, completing works until shortly before her death at 92 in 2018.  

The SCAC presented Spong the Governor's Award for the Arts for Lifetime Achievement in 2017. Two of her works are included in the State Art Collection, which the SCAC manages. Laura Spong: A Passionate Perspective can be viewed Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Koger Center's Upstairs Gallery. Free.

Jason Rapp

The Project: A 2022 Call for Art

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Monday, August 15, 2022


The Project: A 2022 Call for Art is the Koger Center’s annual artistic competition that supports the work of South Carolina visual artists.

Each year, one chosen artist will receive a $500 stipend, gallery space, and staff support resulting in a free public display in the Upstairs Gallery of the Koger Center. Submissions for this year’s project will be accepted through August 15, 2022.

Requirements

  • Artist must be over 18 years old
  • Submissions must be your own work
  • Must have been created in the past 2 years
  • Artists cannot submit any art that has previously been submitted to The Project formerly known as the Koger Center’s 1593 Project
  • Previous winners and honorable mention winners of the 1593 Project or The Project may not submit artwork for up to 5 years
Submission form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfF4wQVzBO1RFiFVxNJIKBKhK-mQ4bBJvnElMLvLXb9SA_uUg/viewform?usp=sf_link Please submit your artwork to the link above. If you have any issues submitting your work or questions about the form, please call 803.777.7500 or email kogercenter@sc.edu.

History of The Project

In the year 1593, bubonic plague swept through London, killing almost a third of its population. In times of plague, London authorities closed the theatres. As acting companies fell on hard times William Shakespeare took the forced closures as a time to create, and in the year 1593 began to compose the first of what would be a brilliant collection of 154 sonnets during that dark time for the theatre. Honoring the flame of creativity that remains bright even in times of turmoil, the Koger Center for the Arts launched the ​1593 Project: A Call for Art in 2020 during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The goals were simple: offer a small financial award to a South Carolina artist, and provide a platform to showcase the talent of artists in our state through an exhibition at the Koger Center.1593 Pr As the pandemic began receding, we recognized the need to continue supporting South Carolina artists through this competition and accompanying exhibition. We christened the ongoing future competitions “The Project” and are happy to present the second exhibition currently on view in the Upstairs Gallery at the Koger Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Jason Rapp

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

Launch party announced for new Jonathan Green book

Party with the artist Dec. 16


The Koger Center in Columbia announced plans to celebrate the launch of Jonathan Green's new book with a party on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Jonathan Green Spoleto 2016Green's depictions of the Gullah life and culture, established by descendants of enslaved Africans who settled between northern Florida and North Carolina during the nineteenth century have earned him considerable notoriety. The vividly colored paintings and prints have captured and preserved the daily rituals and Gullah traditions of his childhood in the Lowcountry marshes of South Carolina. In 2010, the South Carolina Arts Commission presented Green the Governor's Award for the Arts in lifetime achievement. From press materials about Gullah Spirit:

While his art continues to express the same energy, color, and deep respect for his ancestors, Green's techniques have evolved to feature bolder brush strokes and a use of depth and texture, all guided by his maturing artistic vision that is now more often about experiencing freedom and contentment through his art. This vision is reflected in the 179 new paintings featured in Gullah Spirit. His open and inviting images beckon the world to not only see this vanishing culture but also to embrace its truth and enduring spirit.

Using both the aesthetics of his heritage and the abstraction of the human figure, Green creates an almost mythological narrative from his everyday observations of rural and urban environments. Expressed through his mastery of color, Green illuminates the challenges and beauty of work, love, belonging, and the richness of community.

Angela D. Mack, executive director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, provides a foreword. The book also includes short essays by historian Walter B. Edgar, educator Kim Cliett Long, and curator Kevin Grogan.

Tickets for the event are $65 and available now by clicking here.

Jason Rapp

Fundraising partnership features works by homeless photographers

'Through Our Eyes Project' comes to Columbia

[caption id="attachment_48225" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Provided photo. Click to enlarge.[/caption]

Hundreds of images taken by homeless photographers will soon be on display at Columbia's Koger Center, the centerpiece of an exhibit designed to raise awareness and money for local organizations that serve them.

People experiencing homelessness often cite a feeling of being invisible. Founded in 2016 by Spartanburg pastor and avid photographer Jason Williamson, Through Our Eyes Project (TOEP) gives homeless people a voice by allowing them to document their everyday lives with disposable cameras. The photos are then curated into an exhibit that celebrates the photographers and provides a personal view of homelessness that few have ever seen. TOEP has had successful runs in other South Carolina cities such as Boiling Springs, Greenville, and Spartanburg and extended to other states: Alaska, Massachusetts, and neighboring North Carolina. Williamson reflected on previous experiences: “The things that are always surprising is the amount of joy that a lot of people have—whether it’s a pet they’ve adopted, a child, or a friend. There’s a lot of joy, and that’s the part of the project that really caught me off guard,” he said. “We like to say that the cameras are disposable, but the people are not.” TOEP typically partners with host churches to connect with relevant nonprofits as recipients of funds raised from project sponsors, opening reception ticket sales, and the general public, who can vote for their favorite photos for $1 per vote. The top three photographers who receive the most votes will receive gifts with the money raised. [caption id="attachment_48224" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Provided photo. Click to enlarge.[/caption] The Columbia project debuts with a ticketed opening reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3. “We’ve wanted to bring TOEP to Columbia for several years now,” said Allison Caldwell, local missions director at Shandon Baptist Church. “We’re proud to partner with Oliver Gospel, Toby’s Place, and Family Promise of the Midlands to highlight what they do for homeless men, women and children in our community, and how others can help.” Opening reception tickets are available at Shandon.org for a donation of $25 or more. Held in the Koger Center’s upstairs gallery, the reception will include hors d'oeuvres, live music, partner booths, and a first glance at the images captured by more than 30 photographers. Space is limited and advance tickets are required to attend. After Nov. 3, the exhibit will be open for free public viewing weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 19. For more information visit Shandon.org or contact Allison Caldwell, Shandon Local Missions Director (803.528.0740 or acaldwell@shandon.org).
Disclosure: SCAC Communications Director Jason Rapp, editor of The Hub, is an active member and current deacon of Shandon Baptist Church and volunteered on a steering group for this project. The SCAC is not a project funder. This story was a submitted news release.

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Tuning Up: Pair of #SCartists recognized with awards

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...

We'll save the medals for Tokyo, but...

Two #SCartists were recently named winners of competitions or calls for art. Press play and read on.

Traci Neal wins York (Pennsylvania) Story Slam

Poet Traci Neal of Columbia competed virtually in the York Story Slam and came out of the experience victorious (Columbia Star). Neal told The Hub that despite being the only South Carolinian and only African American, "What gave me the courage to share my story were the students I had been reading my children’s book series to." She is two books in to the "Lynn Learns Lessons" series she is writing. "My nervousness and fear of failure did not matter to me as much as being an example to the children I had read to. I taught those children about believing in their dreams. I let them know they are the only ones who can stop their dreams from becoming a reality. That is what gave me the strength to share my story ... We only need to believe in it with all our hearts and take action to make it a reality." Neal previously placed second in a virtual poetry slam based in Toronto, Canada.

Mary Robinson wins Koger Center competition

Also in Columbia, visual artist Mary Robinson was selected winner of "The Project: A 2021 Call for Art" from the Koger Center for the Arts. Robinson is a professor of art and head of printmaking at the University of South Carolina School of Visual Art and Design. As the winner, an exhibition focusing on Robinson’s work, with some of the submissions from other artists, will be held in the Upstairs Gallery at the Koger Center for the Arts beginning May 9, 2022. Says Robinson:

The driving question in my artmaking is: how can I visually present both the euphoria and horror I experience in the 21st Century as we humans savor, destroy, and attempt to mend life on Earth?

Through printmaking I draw, carve, etch, print and layer marks to present my experience of being part of a larger life aggregate. I often cut, tear, smother, tangle, weave, glue and stitch the paper and fabric to reflect the ruptures that occur in that aggregate. My concurrent practices of weaving and dyeing fabric with patterns influence (and are influenced by) my printmaking.

"The Project: A 2021 Call for Art" is the Koger Center’s annual artistic competition that supports the work of visual #SCartists. Each year, one chosen artist will receive a $500 stipend, gallery space, and staff support resulting in a free public display in the Upstairs Gallery of the Koger Center.
[caption id="attachment_47593" align="alignnone" width="400"]Graphic says, "Hey you, we are now hiring" and displays SC Arts Commission logo. Click image for more information.[/caption]

Jason Rapp

UofSC Koger Center for the Arts accepting applications for stage manager

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, July 16, 2021


The Koger Center for the Arts, a division of the University of South Carolina School of Music, is accepting applications for a full-time stage manager.

The stage manager is responsible for the successful production of all events held at the venue and for the staffing, training, and supervision of a P/T production crew. This staff member is also responsible for the general maintenance of the staging area, including but not limited to flooring, lighting, dashers and other items. Minimum Qualifications Bachelor’s degree in related field and 3 years experience in radio or TV programming, production or engineering; or high school diploma and 7 years experience in radio or TV programming, production or engineering. Preferred Qualifications Assoc. or Bachelor’s degree in related field. Minimum 5 years experience in an entertainment venue setting to include staging, lighting, and sound production. Click here to learn more and apply.

About the Koger Center for the Arts

As the gateway to the Vista, Columbia’s vibrant hub of dining and entertainment, the Koger Center for the Arts has been a focal point of the cultural landscape since it first opened its doors in 1989. With remarkable acoustics, state-of-the art sound, lighting and live-streaming capability in the 2,256 seat Gonzales Hall, the Koger Center presents local performing arts groups, but also hosts large-scale shows, such as Broadway’s Wicked and well-known artists like Sarah Vaughn and James Taylor.

Submitted material

Koger Center’s art competition evolves in Year Two

The Project: A 2020 Call for Art

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: June 30, 2021

The Koger Center is delighted to continue our support of South Carolina artists through The Project: A 2021 Call for Art.

The Project: A 2021 Call for Art is the Koger Center’s annual artistic competition that supports the work of South Carolina visual artists. Each year, one chosen artist will receive a $500 stipend, gallery space, and staff support resulting in a free public display in the Upstairs Gallery of the Koger Center. Submissions for this year’s project will be accepted through June 30, 2021.

Requirements

  • Artist must be over 18 years old
  • Submissions must be your own work
  • Must have been created in the past 2 years
  • Artists cannot submit any art that has previously been submitted to the Koger Center’s 1593 Project
  • Previous winners of the 1593 Project may not submit artwork for up to 5 years

Submission Form

https://forms.gle/Mr35hfNNYQA1gzKZ9 Please submit your artwork to the link above. If you have any issues submitting your work or questions about the form, please call 803.777.7500 or email KogerCenter@sc.edu.

History of The Project

The Project began as The 1593 Project: A Call for Art from the Koger Center during the national lockdowns due to COVID-19 in 2020. Inspired by the theatre closures that London faced during the bubonic plague in the year 1593, the Koger Center’s call for art was created to support artists as they endured the devastating effect of the COVID-19 shutdowns. In 2020, we encouraged submissions from South Carolina visual artists and received a diverse array of pieces reflective of the state’s vibrant arts and cultural talent from over 55 entrants.

Jason Rapp

Koger Center announces 1593 Project winner

Visual artist takes inaugural award


The Koger Center for the Arts is proud to announce that artist Kimberly Case has been selected winner of the 1593 Project – A Call for Art from the Koger Center for the Arts.

An exhibition which will focus on Kimberly Case’s work and include submissions from other artists swill be held in the Upstairs Gallery at the Koger Center for the Arts at a later date.

The 1593 Project

In the year 1593, bubonic plague swept through London, killing almost a third of the population. At that time when deaths exceeded thirty per week, London authorities closed the theaters. As acting companies fell on hard times, Shakespeare took the forced closures as a time to create, and in the year 1593 began to compose the first of what would be a brilliant collection of 154 sonnets.

With the world facing a pandemic which has disrupted normal life and shuttered performing and visual art venues, the Koger Center for the Arts, in an effort to support creative artists during this time, launched the 1593 Project – A call for Arts from the Koger Center for the Arts. More than 50 submissions were received from both performing and visual artists throughout  South Carolina and a panel of judges that represented visual and performing arts selected the winner, Kimberly Case.

Kimberly Case will receive a $500 stipend, gallery space and technical support resulting in a free public display in the Upstairs Gallery at the Koger Center for the Arts.

Ed. note: Images of Case's work were not immediately available to The Hub.

UPDATE: The winning artwork is below. (Aug. 3, 2020; 11:14 ET)


Kimberly Case

Kimberly Case photoKimberly Case is an award-winning visual artist, focusing on fine art portrait photography. Incorporating sometimes fantastical themes, wardrobe and props, her photographs are often mistaken at first for paintings, due to their tones and aura. Hallmarks of her work are richness and whimsy. “For me, storytelling is key; it’s what makes the art relevant. I seek to transport the viewer to another place and time.”

Artist’s Statement – In the Time of COVID

"In the Time of COVID is a real-time journey through the pandemic of COVID-19, through the lens of a self-portrait artist.

I wanted to have a record, something I could look back on, that would remind me of the unfolding events as well as how I was feeling on particular days. I also needed something to help keep me busy and in tune with my art and with myself.

[caption id="attachment_45106" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Kimberly Case's winning artwork The winning artwork.[/caption]

At the beginning, I had no idea I would be working on this project for several months… The first image was taken April 3; the final image was shot July 15.

The entire series is over 40 photographic self-portraits and still life works focusing on aspects of life during the pandemic such as isolation, altering of routines, search for information, tangible boredom, signals of hope, desire for normalcy.

Some images are extremely personal, such as the ones that deal with a family member’s cancer diagnosis. Many of the images address shared experiences, seemingly spanning the globe."

Jason Rapp

The 1593 Project: A Call for Art

Submission deadline: June 30, 2020


In the year 1593, bubonic plague swept through London, killing almost a third of its population. In times of plague, when deaths exceeded thirty per week, London authorities closed the theaters. As acting companies fell on hard times, Shakespeare took the forced closures as a time to create, and in the year 1593 began to compose the first of what would be a brilliant collection of 154 sonnets. Richard III, Venus and Adonis, Titus Andronicus, and the Taming of the Shrew were also thought to have been written during this dark time for the theater, and in 1606 when the plague returned to once again to ravage the city, Shakespeare persevered with the creation of many of his greatest plays of all time, including Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, and Macbeth. History has repeated itself and humanity is again facing a pandemic which has disrupted normal life and shuttered performing and visual art venues. To support creative artists during this time, the Koger Center for the Arts is launching The 1593 Project: A Call for Art. We encourage submissions from South Carolina performing and visual artists through June 30, 2020. The chosen artist will receive a $500 stipend, rehearsal or gallery space, and technical support resulting in a free public performance or display in one of the areas at the Koger Center. For full details, please visit kogercenterforthearts.com.
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

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