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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

Beaufort’s film festival stars South Carolina

From the Island Packet Column by David Lauderdale; photo by Delayna Earley

Beaufort International Film Festival executive director Ron Tucker is happy as a one-eared cow. He says the festival that wrapped up Saturday had record attendance for screenings, opening ceremony and closing ceremony. Seven screenings drew more than 400 people, he said. The closing ceremony attracted 500. The ninth edition of the Beaufort Film Society's festival was supposed to put a spotlight on filmmakers. The goal is to get filmmakers back to Beaufort to make movies. It is supposed to spotlight South Carolina talent and the blockbuster charm of Beaufort. That's where the one-eared cow comes into the picture. Along with Pat Conroy. And Andie MacDowell. And Beaufort's largest group selfie. And the first-ever Spirit & Pride of South Carolina award. Tucker said the award is to recognize a body of work contributing positively to the state or Beaufort in the fields of film, television or music. It is to go to a native of South Carolina or someone who has lived here long enough to be called a South Carolinian. That in itself could recreate a war of Northern aggression. In some communities, that could be four generations. In others, an oldtimer is anyone whose car has cooled off in the driveway. The award went to model and actress Andie MacDowell, who enjoyed a long stay at the Cuthbert House Inn after sitting through last week's 3D traffic jam in Okatie. She's from the peachy Upstate town of Gaffney, best known for its gigantic, peach-like orb on Interstate 85. So, yes, she's one of us. And Tucker came up with inviting her down to get this award after reading her piece in the book "South" by Beaufort's Wendy Pollitzer. MacDowell told Tucker she was honored to be considered, and boy, wouldn't it be nice if she could meet Pat Conroy. Conroy, as it turns out, has been drooling over MacDowell for some time and was glad to meet her and introduce her award and then give her his remarks written by hand on a white legal pad. Tucker said the piece of art that came with the honor also had to be homegrown. It is 8 pounds of glass in the shape of a palmetto tree with a crescent moon above. Its wild and shiny red, yellow and blue colors were the handwork of One Eared Cow Glass in Columbia. It was as South Carolina as a bag of boiled peanuts, with the style of Dizzy Gillespie. And the festival that honors behind-the-scenes movie makers but got a lot of attention thanks to a real, South Carolina star, faded to black with a happy ending. Follow columnist and senior editor David Lauderdale at twitter.com/ThatsLauderdale.