Thursday, December 31, 2009

Get ready for the new year in the arts

Happy New Year’s Eve. 
I hope you’re not behaving yourself.
The arts are still in the holiday doldrums, but in a few days everything takes off again.
Here’s an extended list of what's happening in January so mark it in your calendar, put it in your Blackberry or print out the page. That way, if you lose part of your memory tonight, tomorrow you will still know what's up. You could also head down the right hand column and sign up as a follower so you be notified when there's something new here.
Also make sure you come back Sunday when I'll give you an early look at some of the cool things happening at the Spoleto Festival this year.

The Columbia Museum of Art gets 2010 rolling with a couple of concerts and a lecture.
The Chicago New Arts Trio performs “The Eleanor Concert” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5. The work is by John Lane of Allen University who will give a talk at the event. Lane wrote the piece for the trio and it's named for the daughter of soprano Carolyn Hart.
"They're old friends of mine (from Chicago) and we've stayed in touch," said Lane, who is now a associate senior vice president rather than a music professor at Allen. The group did a six-stop tour of Mississippi with the work and a filmmaker is working on a multi-media piece about the piece.
 Admission is free for museum members, $7 for adults and $5 for students.
The Devil Music Ensemble sometimes does soundtracks for scary movies, but at the museum it will be providing live sounds for the silent western comedy “Big Stakes.” The concert and film, collaboration with the Nickelodeon Theatre, is one of many such performances the Boston-based classically-trained trio playing synthesizers, guitars, violin and various percussion instruments has performed around the U.S. and on a recent tour of Europe.
Admission is $8 for members; $10 general admission and $5 for students. It’s at 7 p.m. Jan. 8.
Art collectors Herbert and Dorothy Vogel donated 50 works each to 50 museums in 50 states. What they gave to the museum is on display and USC art history professor at Brad Collins will give a lecture on it Jan. 10 at 3 p.m.
“Wide Open Spaces: A Sacred Harp Gathering” will be an audience participation event with those attending learning how to do this traditional American form of singing. Don’t worry there will be experts on hand. Jan. 17
Contact the museum at or 799-2810.

The South Carolina Art Teachers Invitational Exhibition that Columbia College mounts each year is generally a strong show - something that may come as a surprise to those who under-estimate the talents of those teaching.The exhibition, Jan. 6 to Feb. 7, is composed of works by 10 artists from around the state.Pictured is "Battle" by Katherine Perry who teaches at Ridgeview High School.
A reception with many of the artists attending will take place at Jan. 22 from 5:30–7 p.m.

Frame of Mind opens an exhibition by Susan Lenz with a poetry reading by Cassie Premo Steele, Melissa Buckner, Kristine Hartvigsen, and Christopher McCormick.Lenz will be showing photographic transfer and fabric pieces that are portraits of people who have made significant life changes or taken a bold stance.
The opening and readings are 6 to 9 Jan. 7. The exhibition will remain up for about a month.

That same night "Olympia" by Gwylene Gallimard and Jean-Marie Mauclet and a whole series of related events get going at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art. The Charleston duo's installation is named for the mill town in which the center is located and is made up of multi-media works based on the mills, the people who have lived in the village and even the 701 building itself which was originally the community center.
Every Wednesday night through Feb. 22 a forum will be held. These will feature Olympia residents talking about the village,  how the art in the show fits into the contemporary art world and an open discussion about the arts in Columbia.On the final day, part of the show will be sold in a public auction.
The show opens with a reception Jan. 7 from 7 to 9 with a performance by spoken word and sound artists Omari Fox and Bill Carson.  Free for 701 center members; donation of $5 for non-members.
701 Whaley St. Go to or call 238-2351.

“Rent” goes back up at Trustus Jan. 7 and runs through Jan. 23.
“The Odd Couple” opens at Town Theatre Nov. 15 and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” hits the Workshop Theatre stage Jan.29

Not too long ago I stumbled upon a new acquisition at the Columbia Museum - a sculpture by Jeff Donovan of Columbia. I was a surprised because the museum usually isn't in the businesses of collecting local arts.In any case that acquisition should be good for Donovan who is getting the retrospective treatment from if ART Gallery. The show of sculptures and paintings from the past 30 years runs Jan. 8 - 19 at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, where the artist works.
Call 238-2351.

The new School of the Arts opens Jan. 9.
No, not at USC - at the College of Charleston.
The $27-million facility is home to the new and wonderful college art gallery which opened back in October. A public opening, tour of the facility and talk by the artists Aldwyth, whose work is in the gallery, takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. (843) 953-8222 or go to

You might have missed the “Playing After Dark” series that took place at the Columbia Marionette Theatre last summer. The theater was home to various kinds of music, theater, art and odd and oddly-difficult sporting events and now it's back, this time at the Columbia Music Festival Association performance space on Jan. 15.

While some have been taking it easy during the holidays or maybe not taking it easy (shopping, eating, visiting relatives) Jonathan Brilliant has been weaving together thousands of wooden coffee stirrers for his upcoming show at the USC art department gallery.
The Charleston native, who recently moved to Columbia, has been on a whirlwind, world-wide tour but settled into the winter break quiet of the department to work on sculptures made of coffee stirrers, coffee cup lids and sleeves and green straws.
The show runs Jan. 15 – Feb. 23.  777-4236.

The S.C. Philharmonic is back with “Beethoven and Blue Jeans” which has long been billed the orchestra’s casual concert. As if anyone dresses up for anything any more.
Music director Morihiko Nakahara will not be wearing jeans for this concert, because he has another engagement so Erin Freeman,  associate music director of the Richmond Symphony, will lead the orchestra in works by Glinka, Delius, two by Prokofiev and, of course, Beethoven (Symphony No. 2 in D Major.)
Nakahara did contribute greatly by suggesting the alternative theme “Shostakovich and  Snuggies” while clarinet player Doug Graham suggested “Liszt and Liszure Suits” and I came up with “Schickele and Speedos.” Jan. 16.

Columbia Classical Ballet brings out everything from classical to post-modern with its its annual “Life Chance” Jan. 23.

Stephen Chesley, Mike Williams, Edward Wimberly and David Yaghjian will celebrate a decade of annual shows together when they open the next one Jan. 23. It's at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios and runs through Feb. 3.


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