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

Harmony Cardenas

On the corner of Huger and Pendleton Street, sit 3 art studios devoted to contributing to Columbia’s regional artwork district and operating to beautify their shared spaces with each of their artistic specialties. 

Just one Eared Cow Glass, Lewis + Clark Equipment Artwork and Stormwater Studios have different specialties but have a single detail in frequent — a shared objective to offer artwork to the Vista. 

“It’s taken a prolonged time for Columbia to mature this variety of neighborhood,” Katrina Lockart, the gallery manager of 1 Eared Cow Glass, claimed. “It’s kind of expanded the artsy space downtown to this location. And then the designs are to broaden on Stormwater as effectively and kind of construct an artist’s local community down below.”

One 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-launched the studio with a different USC alum, Mark Woodham.  

Their storefront is the most obvious to people that push earlier on Huger Street, but according to Katrina Lockhart, 1 Eared Cow Glass and the other galleries are very easily overlooked since of how eradicated the locale is from the rest of the Vista.

“When we came in listed here, we were being basically the furthest aspect absent from the Vista at the time,” she stated. “We had been employing this company as sort of an anchor.” 

Nonetheless, particular functions hosted and created by the Congaree Vista Guild, these as Artista Vista’s Art Day in April or Vista Lights in November, attract big crowds to the galleries with the intent of spotlighting all three. 

“That draws focus, they advertise that, so among that variety of things and then just visibility, getting about for so extended, it brings individuals in,” Katrina Lockart mentioned. 

Lewis + Clark Equipment Artwork sits guiding One particular Eared Cow Glass and the two studios share the place. Clark Ellefson, the proprietor and principal designer of Lewis + Clark Equipment Art, stated these shared spaces are making an attempt to supply the city with a link to the arts. 

“Artists appear in old neighborhoods, and they repair them up and then they get pushed out, as kind of a rinse. And so, it is, it is negative for the artists, and it is also bad for the metropolis since they never have that obtain to the arts, like they ordinarily would.” Ellefson explained. 

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

“What we’re trying to do right here is develop a long term arts district that will not get pushed out of the metropolis,” Ellefson stated. “We discuss about things a ton, and we help each individual other out.”

Stormwater Studios, tucked guiding Lewis + Clark and Just one Eared Cow Glass, offers studio room to 10 resident artists and rented gallery area to group artists for shifting exhibitions. 

“(Stormwater provides) artists a put to get the job done and to interact with the public,” Gerard Erley, an artist at Stormwater, said. “We can have various functions in this article so that we’re achieving out to the local community and we can contain them in factors that we do.” 

In addition to the gatherings that bring consideration to all three studios, Stormwater has its individual community outreach occasions. Erley claimed Stormwater held an celebration final weekend termed AG and Artwork Day wherever reside animals, these as a possum or snakes, had been introduced and talked about to increase awareness about agriculture and art.

Community outreach activities like these are meant to draw a substantial group to gain far more recognition for who Stormwater is and wherever the place is. 

Despite these situations, the true draw to Stormwater are the exhibitions inside. The existing exhibition at Stormwater Studios is “Scent” by artist and USC alumna Heather LaHaise, which runs till June 28. It is her second clearly show at Stormwater. 

“It is a form of an ode to the dog’s perception of odor,” LaHaise claimed. “Each portray represents a certain scent that dogs are drawn to.”

This room presents artists like LaHaise and Stephen Chesley, another artist at Stormwater, a house to prosper in and hone their abilities, though expanding the art society in Columbia.

“People are not heading to Chicago, Paris, London, Charleston for beer vehicles and football. They are likely for lifestyle,” Chesley said. “Culture is an financial commitment, a major expenditure in the foreseeable future of the high-quality of existence and almost everything for an spot.”

According to Chesley, art and lifestyle are what binds these various galleries and studios together in their determination to making Columbia a cultural desired destination. 

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

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