Thursday, November 5, 2009

An extraordinary weekend and beyond


When I go to the Spoleto Festival in Charleston each spring I usually jam in about 15 performances over five to six days. Some of these are hour-long concerts, some three-hour operas. 
The next few days in Columbia feel a lot like that. I've been busy re-arranging my schedule and I'm still going to miss quite a few things.
Just be obnoxious I've listed just about everything I could find. I'd suggest that instead of going to what you were pretty sure you were going to you should go to something you weren't planning to attend.

Thursday, Nov. 5
Creating YOUR art collection

Want to know why the S.C. Arts Commission collects what it collects? (Please check the YES box.) A panel discussion by current and former art acquisitions committee members (at least it’s not art-making by committee) and Arts Commission visual arts coordinators takes place at 6.
That’s followed by a reception for the second part of “Contemporary Conversations: The S.C. State Art Collection.”

This 60-work show was selected from the 500-work art collection started in 1967.“Contemporary Conversations 2” includes pieces by Tarleton Blackwell, Edmund Lewandowski, Carl Blair, Blue Sky, Sydney Cross, Philip Garrett,
Deanna Leamon, Peter Lenzo and about 35 others.

All of this is free and open to the public at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art at 701 Whaley St. The exhibition runs through Dec. 6. The center is open 11 a.m. -8 p.m. Wednesday; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call (803) 734-8696 or (803) 779-4571.
(From top: "Game," 1983 by William Halsey; "The Hog Series XXII -Nosedive," 1986, by Tarleton Blackwell; "Blast Furnace Cooling," 1975 by Edmund Lewandowski.)

Mixed media, music, musing on Main

 After a long search it has been found – life on Main Street after 5!
Frame of Mind and others are providing another full Thursday night of the arts.
You’ll find mixed media works (charcoal, layered paper) inspired by nature, Chinese painting and singing by artist Evelyn Wong of Columbia inside FOM. The Carolina Ballet, right, dancers SherryWarren, Ashley Bennett, Miriam Barbosa, and Columbia City Jazz will distract drivers out front.

That’s from 6 to 8:30 p.m. 1520 Main St. (Wong’s show is on display to Dec. 1.0 Call (803) 988-1065.

A block south Anastasia Chernoff’s figurative and abstract sculptures move into the Sheraton Hotel. An opening reception for the show, “ex true sions,” runs from 5 to 10 and the show is up to Dec. 5. (We hope they’re getting a special rate.) (803) 665-6902

And on either side of Frame of Mind, at Gotham City Bagel and the White Mule, you’ll find music.

And more art shows
“DIVAS and More...” is populated by those funny singing women paintings by Bill Davis. An opening reception takes place from 5 to 8 at The Frame Shop, 3100 Rosewood Drive. (803) 256-1601. Through Saturday.

Friday Nov. 6 

More by Previn – with a lot of help from choreographers
Columbia native, USC instructor and former principal ballerina at the Boston Ballet Kyra Strasberg, right, will dance for the first time since she retired in 2000 in a work created for her and set to her friend Andre Previn’s “Tango Song and Dance.”
“If At First We Dance” was choreographed by Thaddeus Davis, another USC dance instructor. The piece is part of a program that includes a new dance by Luis Dominguez, Artistic Director of Kentucky's Lexington Ballet, to Bach’s cello suites and George Balanchine’s 1934 modern ballet masterpiece “Serenade.” 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at the Koger Center. $16. Call (803) 777-5112 or (803) 251-2222.

Is it an opera? Is it a musical? Why not both?
Opera at the University of South Carolina takes on the beautiful and difficult “The Light in the Piazza” for a performance tonight at 7:30 and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8.

The musical, er, opera, is set in Italy during the 1950s when Clara, a young American woman, falls for a young Italian man. Clara’s mother though shows inordinate concert about the budding romance.
“Light,” by Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel, won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Original Score and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical.

This production is directed by Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, director of opera studies at USC. Tina Milhorn Stallard, USC assistant professor of voice, will play the role of the mother, with Denise Boylan and John Callison as the lovebirds.

Performances are at 7:30 tonight and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8 at Drayton Hall Theatre, Sumter and College streets. $18. Call (803) 777-0058.

"Moon" rises again
After a decade Allan Fulmer, Jr., and Kathy Hartzog are reprising their roles in “Moon Over Buffalo” a comedy at Town Theatre. Also returning is Allison McNeeley, who made her directorial debut at Town with the show.

Fulmer and Hartzog play a husband and wife who run a touring theater company in the 1950s. The constantly-bickering couple, who are doing “Cyrano de Bergerac” and a Noel Coward play, think movie director Frank Capra is in the audience looking for actors to replace the stars of his new movie. It’s one of many comical misunderstanding in the play written by Ken Ludwig.

The theater is also throwing an anniversary party for the director Saturday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at the theater.
Through Nov. 21. Tickets are $16 with discounts for seniors and young people. 1012 Sumter St. (803) 799-2510 or 

Same time, different story

Another couple, Doris and George, with their own set of problems, are at the center of "Same Time Next Year." The couple has a one-night stand and fall in love, but stay married to their respective spouses. They maintain by meeting once a year and the play at Workshop Theatre chronicles 25 years of these trysts. Chip Stubbs and Vicky Saye Henderson play the couple and Jocelyn Sanders directs. It runs through Nov. 21. Tickets are $18.(803) 799-6551 or

From Russia to the world with art 

Painter Nikolai Oskolkov may be from Russian, but he celebrates the rest of the world, from people playing country music to life in the Caribbean. “Laughter in the Sky,” a solo show by the artist, opens at Portfolio Art Gallery from 4-9 p.m.
The artist will play some music tonight as well on and off all day Saturday. (Bring your banjos and balalaikas.) 2007 Devine St. (803) 256-2434.  It's up through November.

Big ideas, abstract art
 Liisa Salosaari Jasinski tries to get way below the surface with her paintings.
"These paintings explore themes related to the history of universe and the earth, and they also reflect the artist's ongoing study of historical pigments and their attributes,” according to the artist, a native of Finland who lives in Newberry. Gallery 80808/Vista Studios opens with a reception from 5 to 9 and continues through Nov. 10. 808 Lady St.

Local film hits the big screen
Columbia resident Matthew William Jordan’s film “My Sweet Misey,” shot in Columbia and on the coast, opens today. Among the local actors in the movie are Christopher Cook, Steve Harley, Linda Posey, Richard Jennings and many, many others. The stars are Zach Hanks, Anna Chlumsky and Thomas Jay Ryan. The dark comedy follows a man whose past has come around to haunt him. It opens today at Carmike 14 theater and continues with two shows a daily Nov. 7, 10 and 12.

Art in the (Sand)hills
Artists Barbie Mathis, Lori Starnes-Isom, and Rachel Parker have a group show at Village Artists Gallery, 631 Promenade Place. (803) 699-8886. Opening reception 6 – 8. On display through November.

Poet with a big title
American Book Award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee Matthew Shenoda reads his poems at 6:30 at the USC Humanities Buildings. When he isn't writing poetry he is assistant provost for equity and diversity in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. (We hope he has some poems that use his title as a jumping off point.) (803) 777-54

Dutch poster design
Don’t you occasionally wake up thinking, ‘I sure would like to know more about Dutch poster design?’ It’s your lucky night.
Boston University professor Alston Purvis will give a talk titled “Dutch Poster Design: 100 Years of Innovation” at the Columbia Museum of Art at 6:30. $5.
And the whole museum is open until 8 p.m. because it is the first Friday of the month. Mark that on your calendar for the rest of the year. Well actually for the rest of the year and also next year.

Saturday, Nov. 7
Everything you missed yesterday
 See the various things that started earlier this week or check out the arts calendar to the right. And always remember, if you just went to the opening reception you probably didn’t really see the exhibition.
One special event: Mary Street Alinder, who was a long-time assistant to photographer Ansel Adams and his biographer, will give a talk at the Columbia Museum of Art at 1 p.m. in conjunction with an exhibition of Ansel's work.

Sunday, Nov. 8

From China – with music and dance
Those days when you don’t wake up thinking of Dutch poster design, don't you say to yourself “I could go in for some traditional music and dance from some of ethnic groups of China"?
This is your lucky day.Again.
The Folk Arts Ensemble of Guizhou University performs “Wind from the Plateau” which draws on the cultures of the Miao, Yi and Dong people of southwest China. It’s at 3 p.m. at the Koger Center. $10.  (803) 251-2222.

Tuesday, Nov. 10
Dancing for dollars
Delirium Tribal, a Columbia-based belly dance company, will be joined by musicians
Raquy and the Cavemen, from New York, and local dance group The Power Company. Raquy Danziger plays the kemenche, an Iranian stringed instrument, and has been featured on the Al-Jazeera Network and National Egyptian Television, and released six CDs. The music and dancing starts at 8 pm. The event is a fund raiser for Delirium Tribal and admission is $10.

Drinking for dollars
Trustus Theatre – the only theater in town where you can get drunk while watching a play – is having a fund raising wine tasting at 9 p.m. The event at City Art includes a wide selection of wines and lots of hors d’ouevres. $45. (803) 254-9735.

Collecting art the Herb 
and Dorothy way
Herbert and Dorothy Vogel are a middle-class couple, who put together a world-class art collection. The couple recently donated 50 works of art to museum in each of the 50 states – the 50 that came to South Carolina recently went on display at the Columbia Museum of Art.
“Herb and Dorothy” is an acclaimed movie that tells their story.
You can see it at 6 p.m. at the Nickelodeon Theatre, 937 Main St. A panel discussion about art collecting follows. (803) 799-2810 or 252-3433.

Wednesday, Nov. 11 

Perfectly good guitars
Threefifty Duo may not be smashing guitars – just ideas about guitar music. The Brooklyn musicians will string together classical, rock and contemporary classical in a concert at 7:30.
The concert, put on by bigSphinx Productions and the Columbia Guitar Society, is at the Columbia College music and art building. $6. For info go to


  1. Hi!
    Reading your blog is a great way to plan an artistic weekend as well as gear up for the days just beyond....however....Liisa Salosaari Jansinski's opening reception at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios is on Friday, November 6th from 5 - 9. The exhibition opens on Thursday. The complete listing of gallery hours, contact numbers, and additional information is available on the Gallery 80808/Vista Studio website calendar at:

  2. sorry it is fixed. The dangers of cutting and pasting. jeffrey


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