“Body of Work: Faces and Figures” opens at Gallery West Tuesday, July 8

Just as any vibrant summer gathering should be, Gallery West’s fast-forthcoming show is destined to take on qualities of a reunion and a first meeting of new friends – referring to both art and patrons. For a reunion with the past, work – created over three centuries – grace the walls at 118 State Street in West Columbia. New friends will show up as new work in all media; featured will be new work by outstanding Columbia artist Pat Callahan. Patrons will converge for the show opening Tuesday, July 8 with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception hosted from 4 to 8 p.m.

Pat Callahan, "Side Light", pencil and conte
Pat Callahan, “Side Light”, pencil and conte

Many Columbians are already familiar with the sensitive and beautifully-crafted figure drawings by Pat Callahan. On view for this summer exhibition will be a selection of Pat’s work that showcases her refined viewpoint and poetic drafting skills. Callahan comes to art and to craft through graphic design. Perhaps to balance her computer-based career, Callahan draws a classical subject – the body – in traditional drawing media. She works from life, capturing beauty and strength embodied in her subjects. With descriptive line and gesture she captures exquisitely bodies of weight, ruled by gravity and time.

Among the many other highlights in Body of Work is a small, elegant photograph by internationally acclaimed photographer Edward Weston. This intimate, wistful portrait of Weston’s friend, Mary Buff, is contrasted by a large, flashy oil on canvas by New York society portrait painter, Mabel Hatt. Hatt’s painting of Evelyn Siegel looks like a direct descendent of John Singer Sargent, and for good reason – Hatt’s father was a student of Sargent’s. More contemporary is a brightly-colored painting by well-known South Carolina artist Jonathan Green of a family enjoying the beach.

In addition to paintings and photographs, there are numerous works on paper in Body of Work. Of note is a haunting etching by nationally-acclaimed printmaker and former head of the Yale University Art Department, William Bailey. A forceful graphic note is struck in Sigmund Abeles and his print of a mother and child. Among the most geometric works in the show is a large original print entitled, Builders, by renowned American artist Jacob Lawrence.

Jacob Lawrence, "The Builders (Family)", 1974, silkscreen
Jacob Lawrence, “The Builders (Family)”, 1974, silkscreen

Side-by-side with these well-known artists will be paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and sculpture by artists of great talent. Gallery visitors will note a 1930s portrait of a young girl by Elsie Budd, an astonishing wood engraving by Alfred Tinayre, or the whimsical sculpture of Tom Soumalainen.

Gallery West has quickly become characterized by its director’s innate talent for unearthing affordable treasures and spotlighting them evocatively in the gallery. Several area artists are also featured in the exhibition, including Russell Jeffcoat, Philip Hultgren, and Bonnie Goldberg.

The exhibition remains on view through August.  Gallery West is located at 118 State Street in West Columbia.  For more information, call (803) 207-9265,  e-mail gallerywest.sara@aol.com , or visit their Facebook page.

 

~ Rachel Haynie

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Horror, Camp, Comedy, and Splatter Come Together in Trustus Theatre’s Gloriously Gory “Evil Dead: The Musical” – a review by Jillian Owens

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What could possibly go wrong? Ash (played by Michael Hazin) is just an average S-Mart employee who wants to spend a relaxing spring break at a creepy abandoned cabin in the woods. Joining him on this vacation are his sweetheart, Linda (played by Elisabeth Baker), his jerk of a friend, Scotty (played by Patrick Dodds), his jerk of a friend’s recent hookup, Shelly (played by Abigail Ludwig), and his socially-awkward buzzkill of a little sister, Cheryl (played by Jodie Cain Smith.) When a mysterious trap door in the floor flies open, the fellas decide to investigate.

(L-R) Jodie Cain Smith, Elisabeth Baker, Michael Hazin, Patrick Dodds, Abigail Ludwig - rehearsal by  Richard Arthur Király - Photography
(L-R) Jodie Cain Smith, Elisabeth Baker, Michael Hazin, Patrick Dodds, Abigail Ludwig – rehearsal photo by Richard Arthur Király – Photography
Michael Hazin and Patrick Dodds - - rehearsal by  Richard Arthur Király - Photography
Michael Hazin and Patrick Dodds -  rehearsal photo by Richard Arthur Király – Photography

Unless you’re — as Scotty would say (and says repeatedly) — “a stupid bitch,” you’ve probably figured out that this is the standard set-up for countless horror movies, and that there is no possible way for this to end well for our young friends. The group discovers a tape recorder and a very strange book, written in Latin. The bizarrely helpful voice on the tape (contributed by Scott Blanks) reveals that they hold the Necronomicon, a book of the dead bound in human flesh and written in human blood that has the power to unleash an army of some pretty catty Candarian demons upon the world. They, of course, play the transcription of the cursed words and release these aforementioned demons. And what do you do when being attacked by demons? You sing a song (“You stupid bitch!”)

Michael Hazin and Elisabeth Baker - rehearsal by Richard Arthur Király - Photography
Michael Hazin and Elisabeth Baker – rehearsal photo  by Richard Arthur Király – Photography

Even the most pedestrian lovers of campy horror films can guess that this musical is based on the three films of the Evil Dead franchise: Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead 2 (1987), and Army of Darkness (1992.) The musical version, (created by George Reinblatt, Christopher Bond, Frank Cipolla, and Melissa Morris) was originally produced in 2003 in Toronto, Ontario where its success lead it to Off Broadway in 2006. The musical version combines the plots of the first two films, and contains several Army of Darkness references as well.

Jodie Cain Smith
Jodie Cain Smith as demon-possessed Cheryl – rehearsal photo by Richard Arthur Király – Photography

The songs in the show are silly and fun, and reminiscent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Song titles include, “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons,” “Bit-Part Demon”,”Do the Necronomicon”, and –my personal favorite- “”What the F*ck Was That?” The music isn’t particularly challenging, and it certainly isn’t brilliant, but it’s also not trying to be. The simple score allowed director Chad Henderson to assemble a cast of very funny actors, some of whom are also very strong singers.

(L-R) Amy Brower and Michael Hazin -
*WHOOSH* Amy Brower turns her head as Michael Hazin looks on – rehearsal photo by Richard Arthur Király – Photography

Michael Hazin pulls off the role of Ash with a terrific Bruce Campbell (star of the film series) swagger and a commanding voice, and Elisabeth Baker was an obvious choice for the role of Linda, his sweet love interest. She’s also no stranger to musical theatre, and it shows. Matthew DeGuire seems an unlikely Jake (a rugged and sort of sketchy Mountain Man) which makes his role all the funnier and he nails every note. The rest of the cast’s strength lies primarily in their comedic abilities…and that’s okay. Jodie Cain Smith’s Cheryl is hilarious, both pre- and post- Deadite (the term for bodies possessed by Candarian demons), even if some of her numbers pushed her out of her comfortable vocal range. Amy Brower is the most melodramatic archaeologist you’ll ever meet, with some serious wardrobe malfunctions that lead to much laughter, and Patrick Dodds is a complete and utter jerkoff as Scotty, which in this case is a compliment.

Ash vs. the Deadites - "Come and get some!"- rehearsal photo  by Richard Arthur Király - Photography
Ash vs. the Deadites – “Come and get some!”- rehearsal photo by Richard Arthur Király – Photography

Evil Dead: the Musical is the definitely the first musical I’ve ever been to that featured a “Splatter Zone.” That’s right – this stage adaptation maintains the high levels of campy gore established in the films, and if you’re feeling particularly fearless, you can choose to be covered in fake blood as the body count rises. You’ll also get to see a beheaded corpse with a grudge, a feisty dismembered hand, and a really unpleasant evil moose. Scenic Designers Brandon McIver and Baxter Engle and Prop Designer Jillian Peltzman have made this production a 4-D experience.

Evil Dead: The Musical is a must-see for horror fans, fans of all things funny, and fans of really strange musical adaptations. Go ahead…heed the calling of the Deadites…Join Us…at Trustus Theatre.

~ Jillian Owens

Evil Dead: The Musical runs through Saturday, July 26; call 803- 254-9732 or visit www.trustus.org for ticket information.  Also, be sure to check out the artwork of Sean McGuinness, aka That Godzilla Guy, the featured artist in the Gallery at Trustus for the run of the production.

 

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Trenholm Artists Guild at Still Hopes by Rachel Haynie

Art by Richard Lund
Art by Richard Lund
Sunflowers II by Erica Hoyt
Sunflowers II by Erica Hoyt

 

Betsey by Nancy Washington
Betsey by Nancy Washington

 

The curvaceous corridor winding around the Marshall A. Shearouse Center for Wellness at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community became an art gallery Thursday evening as Trenholm Artists Guild continued its summer tradition of exhibiting there. More than 80 pieces, including two-dimensional (2-D), mixed media and photography filled the walls. In the corridor several makers of pottery and jewelry were set up showcasing their works.

Juror Maura Kenny of the Coastal Carolina University faculty said the choices she made “got my immediate attention. They had contrast, asymmetrical shapes, unexpected views, emotion and attitude.”

Best of Show went to Richard Lund for his mixed media, “Moon Rising.” First Place in the 2-D category was won by Erica Hoyt for her watercolor “Sunflower III.” Second Place in this category was awarded to Denise L. Greer for her mixed media piece entitled “Fast Waters.” Dale Bishop took third place for “Charleston on My Mind.”

Honorable mentions were given to Mark Conrardy for his oil – “John Deer – Bert’s Pumpin Patch,” and Barbara Yongue for her oil, “Floral Contata.”

Patty Gamburg received a Merit Award for her mixed media piece entitled “YaYa42,” and George Stone for his oil “Morning on the Farm.”

Top photography honors were given to Nancy Washington for “Betsy,” and second place to Brenda Konitzer for “Verdant.” Harold Blackwood took third place for his “Sunset at Jekyll Island.”

Trenholm Artist Guild has been encouraging and stimulating the practice and appreciation of the creative arts since 1971.

 

 

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