It's the end of July and start of August so it should come as no surprise that the calendar isn't bursting with art events. That said, the last few weeks have been full with art show openings, concerts, theater and so on. I hit the first free Sunday at the Columbia Museum of Art last weekend and it was quite busy.
So maybe it's time for you to just stop watching.
Get the beat
Luke Quaranta of the Asheville-based African drumming group Toubab Krewe is doing workshops in Columbia Thursday, July 30. Sessions will be held at 6:30 for beginners and 7:30 for those with some experience. (Cost is $10 and $20 and somewhere between if you do both.)
It all ends with a performance. If you don't want to play, just listen, that's $5.
Follow the sound to 701 Whaley St.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Time to draw the line
The About Face art group meets to make figurative art at the Columbia Museum of Art Mondays, Tuesday nights and some Wednesdays and Friday. These are not classes - simply professionally-run sessions with clothed and figure models. It is open to everyone and at $7 for a two-hour session it is a deal.
Go to http://www.columbiamuseum.org/ and look under Programs and Events for details
By Lyon Hill from a Dr. Sketchy session
A similar, but slightly skewed art-making project recently developed in Columbia - Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School.
The models are generally in elaborate costumes, the event is very social and drinking is sometimes involved - kind of a cabaret art class. Dr. Sketchy groups meet around the world.
The next Columbia gathering is Wednesday, Aug. 5. The cost is $10 and $7 for students.
For details go to http://www.myspace.com/drsketchyscola
Music, dance, exercise, history
Contra dancing has nothing to do with arms trading among the United States, Iraq, Iran and right-wing paramilitaries in Nicaragua.
Think of it as a cross between the dancing you see in movies like "Pride and Prejudice" and those done by a bunch of hillbillies with fiddles. Toss in some 1960s back-to-the-land folks from upstate New York and 21st century Asheville hippies and you have it.
You can learn to contra dance at the Lake Murray Contra Hall Saturday, 7:30. (A pot luck dinner starts at 6.) Email Lake.Murray.Contra@gmail.com
Developing a new audience
If you don't want to make art but would like to be a more involved audience member, head to the S.C. Arts Commission and sign up for the New Audience Road Show. The program at developing arts audiences between the ages of 23 and 40. Participants go to museums, galleries, theater, concerts and get many behind-the-scenes views. Other than a $25 charge to help cover the cost of meals it is free for those selected.
For those who wish to remain seated, may we suggest
Although it is summer you will get all "The Seasons" in a concert of Haydn's work of the same name.
The concert is part of the Summer Chorus program at the USC School of Music.
You can hear it at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Music School, Assembly and College streets.
"High School Musical 2" at Workshop Theatre runs through Saturday, Aug. 1.
And it can never hurt to hear Skipp Pearson's jazz jamming night at the Hunter-Gatherer at on Main a block South of the Capitol. Each Thursday around 9.
Check out the re-installed galleries and "Cleve Gray: Man and Nature" at the Columbia Museum and the Robert Courtright retrospective at the State Museum.
"Ancestry and Innovation: African American Art from the American Folk Art Museum" opens Friday, July 31 at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston. Among the many self-taught and visionary artists whose pieces are in the show are David Butler, Sam Doyle, Bessie Harvey and Clementine Hunter, are among the self-taught and visionary artist who can be found in the show visiting from the New York museum.
If you already miss Charles Wadsworth, who in the spring retired from the Spoleto Festival and the Wadsworth and Friends, you can hear him again Sunday, Aug. 2.
At least on the radio. Wadsworth will be joined by violinist Chee-Yun, (left) pianist Wendy Chen, cellist Andrés Díaz and clarinetist Todd Palmer on "St. Paul Sunday" playing works by Dvořák, Mendelssohn, Schumann. It airs on S.C. Educational Radio stations at 1 p.m.