Artista Vista, the free gallery crawl through the dining and entertainment district, has been a way to show off how cool and quirky Columbia’s Vista is for the past 25 years. More specifically, it celebrates its artists.
“Art is where the Vista came from. It started the boom for what the Vista is today,” Vista Guild executive director Meredith Atkinson said. “We want to make sure we’re always giving credit to our artists.”
Nine Vista galleries will open their doors from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 20 and be open for viewing during regular gallery hours Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22. Many have special shows for Artista Vista. There also will be a new permanent sculpture dedication, a temporary art installation and the return of the Lantern and Light Parade. Here’s what to watch out for:
The Lantern and Light Parade
The lantern parade started last year with 701 Center for Contemporary Art’s artist-in-residence Janke Klompmaker, whose work involved light-up paper houses hanging from bamboo poles. The parade started at the entrance to the Lincoln Street tunnel and meandered through the Vista at sunset.
“Everyone really seemed to enjoy it last year. It was different and new,” Atkinson said.
This year it will be even more exciting because the Lincoln Street tunnel is getting a complete makeover with art and landscaping courtesy of Leadership Columbia.
Anyone can participate in the free parade. Meet at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20 at the Lincoln Street tunnel.
‘Body in Spirit’
As it has for the past several years, the Vista Guild will unveil a new sculpture for Artista Vista, this time at Lady and Lincoln streets. This year’s piece is called “Body in Spirit” by Savannah, Georgia, artist Jerome Meadows.
The sculpture is a 9-foot-tall cutout of a figure with a small perched dove and is made of bronze, granite and treated cedar.
“When you look at the piece, the negative space suggests a human figure and captures whatever is behind it,” Meadows said. “You can see the negative space transform daily and seasonally, so there’s potential for a lot of visual personalities,” as opposed to being static artistic expression.
The unveiling of “Body in Spirit” will be at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 20, just before Leadership Columbia unveils the revitalized Lincoln Street tunnel across the street from the sculpture.
Upstate artist Leah Cabinum will create a large installation piece in the grassy area on Senate Street between Lincoln and Park streets. Titled “blush,” the work is inspired by politics.
“It struck me as an interesting space because it’s a median with two islands, and it’s on Senate Street,” Cabinum said.
The installation has a red bench and a blue bench sitting at the farthest points of the median, representing Democrats and Republicans. At their bases, the benches start to fade to violet, and the area between them will be completely violet – Cabinum is painting the grass and wrapping the trees in hued fibrous material that looks like ribbon.
“The concept is that blue and red are both primary colors, and together they make violet. The colors are analogous on the color wheel. They share something in common,” she said. “It would be nice if we could all step back and remember we’re all neighbors in the end.”
Cabinum’s installation will be up throughout April.
If you go
WHEN: Vista galleries will open 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 20 and during regular gallery hours Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22
WHERE: Throughout the Vista
Carol Saunders Gallery, 922 Gervais St.
City Art, 1224 Lincoln St.
Coal Powered Filmworks, 1217 Lincoln St.
Ellen Taylor Interiors + Design, 1012 Gervais St.
if ART, 1223 Lincoln St.
Lewis + Clark, 1001 Huger St.
One Eared Cow Glass, 1001 Huger St.
Studio Cellar, 912 Lady St.
Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, 808 Lady St.