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


On the corner of Huger and Pendleton Street, sit a few artwork studios committed to contributing to Columbia’s nearby art district and doing work to beautify their shared spaces with each individual of their inventive specialties. 

One Eared Cow Glass, Lewis + Clark Equipment Artwork and Stormwater Studios have various specialties but have one factor in widespread — a shared function to give artwork to the Vista. 

“It’s taken a extended time for Columbia to develop this kind of community,” Katrina Lockart, the gallery manager of One Eared Cow Glass, explained. “It’s kind of expanded the artsy space downtown to this place. And then the programs are to increase on Stormwater as perfectly and sort of create an artist’s neighborhood down below.”

A person Eared Cow Glass is a hand-blown glass studio and gallery that was founded 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 individuals that travel earlier on Huger Road, but according to Katrina Lockhart, A single Eared Cow Glass and the other galleries are quickly missed since of how eradicated the place is from the rest of the Vista.

“When we arrived in right here, we were in essence the furthest element away from the Vista at the time,” she mentioned. “We were being using this enterprise as type of an anchor.” 

Having said that, particular activities hosted and manufactured by the Congaree Vista Guild, these types of as Artista Vista’s Art Working day in April or Vista Lights in November, draw massive crowds to the galleries with the purpose of spotlighting all 3. 

“That draws focus, they publicize that, so between that sort of stuff and then just visibility, staying about for so lengthy, it delivers persons in,” Katrina Lockart mentioned. 

Lewis + Clark Appliance Artwork sits driving Just one Eared Cow Glass and the two studios share the space. Clark Ellefson, the operator and principal designer of Lewis + Clark Appliance Art, explained these shared spaces are hoping to provide the city with a connection to the arts. 

“Artists arrive in previous neighborhoods, and they correct them up and then they get pushed out, as sort of a rinse. And so, it is, it’s negative for the artists, and it is also negative for the city for the reason that they don’t have that obtain to the arts, like they normally would.” Ellefson said. 

Although all a few studios are individual entities, they are united in developing an artist’s local community. 

“What we’re trying to do listed here is produce a long term arts district that won’t get pushed out of the city,” Ellefson reported. “We communicate about factors a good deal, and we assistance each other out.”

Stormwater Studios, tucked guiding Lewis + Clark and A person Eared Cow Glass, supplies studio space to 10 resident artists and rented gallery house to neighborhood artists for modifying exhibitions. 

“(Stormwater presents) artists a position to work and to interact with the general public,” Gerard Erley, an artist at Stormwater, said. “We can have several events here so that we’re reaching out to the neighborhood and we can contain them in issues that we do.” 

In addition to the occasions that carry attention to all a few studios, Stormwater has its individual group outreach gatherings. Erley claimed Stormwater held an occasion very last weekend termed AG and Art Day where stay animals, these as a possum or snakes, have been introduced and talked about to elevate consciousness about agriculture and artwork.

Group outreach events like these are intended to draw a massive group to gain additional recognition for who Stormwater is and wherever the spot is. 

In spite of these activities, the actual draw to Stormwater are the exhibitions inside of. The current exhibition at Stormwater Studios is “Scent” by artist and USC alumna Heather LaHaise, which operates right up until June 28. It is her 2nd show at Stormwater. 

“It is a sort of an ode to the dog’s perception of smell,” LaHaise explained. “Each painting signifies a sure scent that dogs are drawn to.”

This place provides artists like LaHaise and Stephen Chesley, yet another artist at Stormwater, a room to thrive in and hone their abilities, even though growing the art culture in Columbia.

“People are not heading to Chicago, Paris, London, Charleston for beer vehicles and soccer. They are likely for culture,” Chesley explained. “Culture is an financial commitment, a huge financial investment in the potential of the excellent of lifestyle and every little thing for an place.”

According to Chesley, art and lifestyle are what binds these diverse galleries and studios alongside one another in their commitment to creating Columbia a cultural vacation spot. 

“We’re so rich with artistry. I mean poets, musicians and actors and writers and painters and dancers. I indicate it really is off the charts,” Chesley explained.


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