Will South & Douglas Gray – New Works at Gallery West — Tuesday

Self Portrait as Pencils by Will South
Self Portrait as Pencils by Will South

Will South makes art, writes about it, organizes exhibitions on it, and very frequently talks about it. Art has been the single constant thread in his life. Like most of us, Will drew as a child. He simply never stopped. With a degree in studio art from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, his professional life began managing a gallery where he organized shows on painters and wrote their biographies. This led to a Masters Degree in art history, which led to a PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Living in Manhattan, Will took courses at the Art Students League while steeped in art theory at the Graduate Center. Today, he remains an art historian and an artist in equal measure.

As a museum curator, Will is known for making art accessible, whether in writing, on the wall, or in public talks. He shares his passion for art freely, and sees museum work as an ongoing opportunity for public service. Back in the studio, however, he reverts to the artist who has made art his entire life, only now one who has learned a great deal from art history.

“I enjoy narrative, abstract and innovative art forms,” he says, “but as an artist myself I’m not interested in telling a story or inventing something new. What is enduring about an image is the sensuality of color, the refinement of shape, the human intelligence contained in line. The challenge for me is to edit out all but the essential. And the ongoing problem is to know what the essential is. If he or she keeps working, once in a great while an artist will touch on what it means to be human.”

Douglas Gray

Douglas Gray is a Professor of Art at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina. He joined the faculty in 1997 and is responsible for teaching Ceramics, Ceramics Sculpture and Three-Dimensional Design. Before coming to Francis Marion University, he taught at Sul Ross State University in Texas. He holds degrees from the University of North Texas and the University of Louisville.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Doug exhibits his artwork both regionally and nationally. His work has appeared in several periodicals and books including: Pottery Making Illustrated, Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, Southern Living and the Lark Books’ 500 Series. Originally trained in functional pottery, his work has evolved to include sculptural and architectural forms. He is particularly interested in color and surface. Additionally, he has explored various image transfer techniques on clay, a reflection of his interest in photography, printmaking, and story telling. Doug regularly shares his creative process through demonstrations, workshops, and publications.

Gallery West at 118 State Street in West Columbia will host a special exhibition of recent work by artists Will South and ceramist Douglas Gray from October 21 through November 16, 2014, with an opening reception on Tuesday, October 21, 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The public is invited to join the artists for wine and light hors d’oeuvres.

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A Sense of Self multidisciplinary art experience at Anastasia & Friends – Part Two (of three)

Taking Flight by Mana Hewitt
Taking Flight by Mana Hewitt

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and in response, Al Black, Bonnie Goldberg, and Anastasia Chernoff have teamed up with visual and performing artists to bring you, “A Sense of Self.”  “A Sense of Self” is a three-part series and a combination of  visual works created by artists (who-happen-to-be-women)  focusing on work that both empowers women and exemplifies their strengths and vulnerabilities, along with performance art by poets and singer/songwriters in response to the topic.

October is Domestic Violence Month, and I wanted to tip the month-long observance on its ear by uplifting women in these complimentary ways,” says Al Black, Columbia poet and author of I Only Left for Tea, a new collection of poetry from Muddy Ford Press.

“When Al proposed the show idea to me, I immediately said, yes,” says Anastasia Chernoff, owner of Anastasia and Friends, where the show is exhibited, “because the concept hit so close to home.  Last year, I experienced a brutal attack by a man I had been dating. Through this experience and other times difficult times in my life, I’ve realized there’s a whole lot of light and knowledge to be experienced in the darkness if you’re willing to open your eyes and take a look at it. This show is in response to Domestic Violence Awareness month, but is not specifically about domestic violence.  It’s about women who have experienced tremendous, difficult times in their lives and, rather than becoming victimized by their experience, they have become stronger, wiser and more empowered.”

“A Sense of Self” opened on October 2nd as  part of the First Thursday on Main Street art crawl. The second part of the series will take place on Tuesday, October 14th, from 6pm to 8pm, with performance of original works related to the topic by three male poets and three males singer/songwriters. The closing reception for the series will fall on October 28th, from 6pm to 8pm, and will feature a combination of 6 male and female poets and singer/songwriters who will create new pieces based on their response to the exhibited art being shown.

The visual artists represented include Michaela Pilar Brown, Anastasia Chernoff, Bonnie Goldberg, Molly Harrell, Mana Hewitt, Heidi Darr-Hope, Dawn Hunter, Lee Ann Kornegay, Laurie McIntosh, Virginia Scotchie and Kirkland Smith.

The poets and singer/songwriters performing throughout the month are Ron Baxter, Al Black, Debra Daniel, Mason Diction, Pretty Feet (Alexander Madison Hoffman), Hope, Anna Howard, Katera, Susanne KlapperSense, Ed Madden, Mario McClean, Deb McQueen, Jerlean Noble, John Scollon, Tammaka Staley, Cassie Premo Steele, Tabu, Kendal Turner, Tonya Tyner and Rev. Marv Ward


“A Sense of Self” runs from October 2nd through October 31st. Anastasia & Friends art gallery is open to the public, Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and located at 1534 Main Street in Columbia in the front of the Free Times’ building, across the street from the Columbia Museum of Art. For more information, contact Anastasia Chernoff at 803 665 6902 or via email at anastasiachernoff@gmail.com.


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Duo de Vista = One Flute, One Guitar, One Night of (Free) Incredible Music

Duo de Vista

Named after the city’s historic district, Duo de Vista returns to Columbia on October 10th at Shandon Presbyterian Church. Comprised of flutist Teri Forscher-Milter and classical guitarist Marina Alexandra, the duo put their passion and performance as soloists together to create an ensemble whose approach to classical music is colorful and adventurous.

Teri Forscher-Milter was named the principal flutist of the Knoxville Symphony in 2000 and has performed with several other symphonies, including the Cleveland Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and South Carolina Philharmonic, just to name a few. Her many impressive achievements date back to 1994 when she was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a prestigious award that allowed her to perform at the Kennedy Center and be honored by President Bill Clinton.


Marina Alexander has been described by Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine as an “amazing player that commands the guitar with world-class technique and musicianship that is uncommon.” Born in the Ukraine, she began to play the guitar at age six. Her music has appeared at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and on National Public Radio. Alexander has also released two studio albums, the latter of which earned reviews from Soundboard, Classical Guitar (UK) and American Record Guide.


Both founding members of the duo are as passionate about music education as they are about performing. Forscher-Milter advocates for early injury-prevention in young musicians, as she has suffered from focal dystonia, a condition that forced her to learn to play with only eight functioning fingers. In addition to serving on the music faculties of Furman University, USC Aiken, and Columbia College, Alexandra founded the Guitar Muse Society and Southern Guitar Festival and Competitions to give opportunities to young guitarists in the southeast.


Part of the Arts at Shandon Concert Series

October 10th at 7:30

Shandon Presbyterian Church

607 Woodrow St, Columbia, SC 29205

Free admission

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