‘Culture is an investment’: 3 art galleries contribute to the local arts scene in Columbia

On the corner of Huger and Pendleton Street, sit three art studios focused to contributing to Columbia’s regional artwork district and doing work to beautify their shared spaces with each individual of their artistic specialties. 

1 Eared Cow Glass, Lewis + Clark Appliance Artwork and Stormwater Studios have unique specialties but have one matter in common — a shared reason to offer artwork to the Vista. 

“It’s taken a lengthy time for Columbia to mature this variety of group,” Katrina Lockart, the gallery supervisor of A person Eared Cow Glass, stated. “It’s type of expanded the artsy spot downtown to this region. And then the options are to develop on Stormwater as properly and sort of establish an artist’s neighborhood down below.”

One particular Eared Cow Glass is a hand-blown glass studio and gallery that was started in 1991 by Katrina Lockhart’s husband and USC alumni, Tom Lockart, who co-established the studio with an additional USC alum, Mark Woodham.  

Their storefront is the most noticeable to people that travel past on Huger Road, but according to Katrina Lockhart, One Eared Cow Glass and the other galleries are conveniently neglected for the reason that of how removed the place is from the rest of the Vista.

“When we came in here, we had been essentially the furthest aspect absent from the Vista at the time,” she claimed. “We ended up utilizing this company as variety of an anchor.” 

Nonetheless, special gatherings hosted and generated by the Congaree Vista Guild, these types of as Artista Vista’s Art Day in April or Vista Lights in November, draw large crowds to the galleries with the intent of spotlighting all 3. 

“That draws awareness, they publicize that, so between that variety of stuff and then just visibility, remaining around for so extended, it brings people in,” Katrina Lockart reported. 

Lewis + Clark Appliance Artwork sits driving One Eared Cow Glass and the two studios share the place. Clark Ellefson, the operator and principal designer of Lewis + Clark Appliance Artwork, said these shared areas are trying to supply the city with a connection to the arts. 

“Artists appear in previous neighborhoods, and they fix them up and then they get pushed out, as variety of a rinse. And so, it’s, it is lousy for the artists, and it’s also undesirable for the city mainly because they never have that obtain to the arts, like they normally would.” Ellefson reported. 

When all three studios are independent entities, they are united in constructing an artist’s neighborhood. 

“What we’re hoping to do here is generate a lasting arts district that will not get pushed out of the city,” Ellefson reported. “We chat about points a ton, and we help each other out.”

Stormwater Studios, tucked powering Lewis + Clark and One particular Eared Cow Glass, supplies studio space to 10 resident artists and rented gallery space to neighborhood artists for changing exhibitions. 

“(Stormwater presents) artists a put to function and to interact with the public,” Gerard Erley, an artist at Stormwater, claimed. “We can have many situations below so that we’re achieving out to the community and we can include them in points that we do.” 

In addition to the situations that provide notice to all a few studios, Stormwater has its very own community outreach occasions. Erley explained Stormwater held an occasion final weekend referred to as AG and Art Day where reside animals, these kinds of as a possum or snakes, were being introduced and talked about to raise awareness about agriculture and artwork.

Neighborhood outreach situations like these are intended to draw a massive crowd to achieve far more recognition for who Stormwater is and where by the place is. 

Regardless of these situations, the genuine draw to Stormwater are the exhibitions inside of. The recent exhibition at Stormwater Studios is “Scent” by artist and USC alumna Heather LaHaise, which runs right up until June 28. It is her second demonstrate at Stormwater. 

“It is a kind of an ode to the dog’s feeling of scent,” LaHaise stated. “Each painting represents a selected scent that dogs are drawn to.”

This house provides artists like LaHaise and Stephen Chesley, yet another artist at Stormwater, a house to prosper in and hone their abilities, though increasing the artwork culture in Columbia.

“People are not heading to Chicago, Paris, London, Charleston for beer vans and soccer. They are heading for tradition,” Chesley reported. “Culture is an expense, a huge expense in the long term of the excellent of daily life and every thing for an region.”

According to Chesley, artwork and tradition are what binds these different galleries and studios jointly in their determination to making Columbia a cultural desired destination. 

“We’re so loaded with artistry. I indicate poets, musicians and actors and writers and painters and dancers. I necessarily mean it can be off the charts,” Chesley stated.

Angelia S. Rico

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