Announcing the 2015 JAY Gala Line-up

JAY 2015 graphic

It’s no coincidence that we patterned this week’s 2015 JAY Awards Gala after the Italian Renaissance–a fertile time of humanism, art, architecture, science, and literature. In so many ways, we’ve been living through our own renaissance over the past several years in Columbia and we want to celebrate this fact at the same time we celebrate the 15 artists honored as Jasper’s Artists of the Year Finalists and Winners.

Join us for an evening of Renaissance inspired food, drink (open bar), and entertainment, and the announcement of the Jasper Artists of the Year in Dance, Literature, Music, Theatre, and  Visual Arts.

  • Musical performance by the classical guitar duo Duo Cortado who will be playing Renaissance tunes and more
  • Renaissance inspired spoken word performances by members of Jasper’s Wet Ink Spoken Word Collective, featuring Kendal Turner, Debra McQueen, & Kenneth Denk
  • Mini cello concert by Catherine Hunsinger
  • Impromptu performances by Al Black and Catherine Hunsinger
  • Leonardo daVinci (Michael Krajewski) will be creating his own version of the Mona Lisa from a live model
  • Michelangelo (Alex Smith) will be our guest throughout the evening embodying the Enlightenment, inciting evocative conversations, inspiring us with his multiple talents, (and maybe even creating art!)
  • Roving Renaissance entertainment from the Trustus Apprentices will keep the spirit of the Enlightenment alive and a smile on your faces
  • Il Magnifico’s own Court Jester (Chris Carney) will meet you on the walk with fire eating demonstrations
  • USC Theatre Students are cooking up a surprise performance for us all
  • Bier Doc (Bob Jolley) has a rich selection of special biers and wines
  • Be sure to arrive in time to sample the Editor’s Punch, created specially for this gala
  • Enjoy a sample feast of Renaissance-inspired dishes created by Chef Joe Turkaly
  • And, of course,the announcement of the Jasper Artists of the Year!

Tickets are $25 in ADVANCE and $35 at the door. Or join us at 6 for a special champagne reception in which you can sip bubbles, nosh on special treats, and hob nob with some of the greatest of the city’s artists.

Come out and support your local arts magazine, celebrate its release, and congratulate the Jasper Artists of the Year Finalists and Winners: Martha Brim, William Starrett, Dale Lam, Eileen Blyth, Kimi Maeda, Russell Jeffcoat, Jullia Elliott, Ray McManus, Al Black, Jordan Young, Craig Butterfield, Heyward Sims, Dewey Scott-Wiley, Jennifer Moody Sanchez, and Kendrick Marion.

Special Thanks to Coal Powered Filmworks, Mouse House, Bert Easter of Easter Antiques, Richard Durlach and Breedlove of The Big Apple,  and Singing Fox Event Planning.

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Renowned Printmaker Joseph Norman Visits the CMA — by Chelxenn Bundick


Joseph Norman



On Monday, November 16, the Columbia Museum of Art (1515 Main St.) will welcome the prominent print artist Joseph Norman as he introduces his series entitled Images in Black and White.  Starting at 6:00 p.m., hear the Chicago native speak on his socially enticing compositions and the past experiences that helped enriched their framework.


With current works on display at CMA, Norman’s collections of phenomenal lithographs prints can be found in numerous museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, N.Y. and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.


Supporting the event is the CMA membership affiliate group Friends of African American Art & Culture (FAAAC). In sharing the appreciation for the artistic and cultural contributions of African Americans, through the efforts of FAAAC and board member Delores Logan, the CMA was given 16 prints from two complete series in building the showcase.


“Mr. Norman has used his artistic gifts in a way that illuminates the African American experience in America in a way that speaks to all humanity,” says Logan.  “He develops themes which are bold, courageous truth-tellings, and presents those themes in a manner that is redemptive.”


The African American’s Images on Black and White showcase displays his high level of artistic skill, baring the ability to synthesize his personal development with his artistic development. Deemed a “master lithographer” by his peers, the Logan describes Norman’s ability to describe his world through an African American world view all while effectively allowing any sensitive viewers to see themselves in his work, encompassing a status and aspirations for all humanity.


His unique social perspective that simultaneously reflects his personal aspect of growing up in the windy city all while tackling larger, cultural issues such as social inequality and structural racism.


In addition to revealing and discussing his conceptual pieces, a reception will follow the event, to welcome Norman to the Soda City art community.  In the expansion of their collection of art by African American artists, the CMA welcomes all in greeting not only Norman but also fellow members of the art community and partake in illuminating another aspect of our community’s story.


More information about the Columbia Museum of Art and the Friends of African American Arts and Culture organization can be found at or by phone at 803-799-2810.

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“Andy Smith does not spend his time waiting” — Tony Tallent Endorses Andy Smith

Tony Tallent is the director of learning and literacy at Richland Library
Tony Tallent is the director of learning and literacy at Richland Library



We are all drawn to people who are able to articulate a vision for a brighter future, particularly when that vision touches on things we really care about. Articulating a vision is a powerful action. Implementing it is even more powerful. Too often there seems to be a wait-time for many leaders to act on the vision they have announced. Perhaps they are waiting for a mass of approval or funding or a wave of new insight and personal courage. This wait-time burns through resources, opportunities and trust.


Andy Smith does not spend his time waiting. He is already actively making moves to  fulfill the vision he has set for the City of Columbia. He hasn’t waited for superficial permission or for the political climate to be easy. The work Andy Smith does both through his role as a nonprofit director of a notable organization in Columbia as well as an involved community member has already made improvements that surpass the tangible changes many seasoned leaders have made. He has lifted up the lives of disadvantaged youth and has shown a palpable respect to marginalized and vulnerable segments of our community in ways that are remarkable. Andy Smith cares in ways that are real and not only in words.


Andy Smith is already doing the work that is moving Columbia toward a brighter future. Imagine how much more powerful this good, earnest work would be if Andy had a platform to reach into our community more directly.


We all want to see great, mindful changes in our city. Andy Smith hasn’t waited for others to make this happen. He has stepped in with courage and without hesitation. Why would we want to prolong making Columbia an even better place to be? We know someone who can help make this happen more rapidly. Andy Smith. Andy doesn’t hesitate to do the right thing. Let’s not hesitate anymore either.


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