Appreciating art is one thing; experiencing the process is another.
The 701 Center for Contemporary Art’s ninth annual Columbia Open Studios on April 6-7 gives patrons the opportunity to experience the process, taking visitors on a self-led tour of artists’ working studios and involving them in the process that creates the art they enjoy.
Participants can spend the weekend studio-hopping throughout Columbia, Richland and Lexington counties, experiencing art forms such as oil painting, watercolor, photography, sculpture, ceramics, hand-blown glass, printmaking, metalsmithing, handmade post-modern lamps and more.
Why is this a special event? We’ll let some of the artists tell you:
“I love the fact that folks can absorb all kinds of creative energy while driving and walking around their own city at their own pace.”
“I like that it exposes the presence of artists scattered throughout the community - urban, suburban, and rural, and working in a variety of spaces from formal studios to dining rooms and garages.”
“The experience gives me the opportunity to share what I know with my neighbors and connect with new art lovers!”
“The Open Studios event allows the public to connect more fully with participating artists by allowing them to see the creative spaces where their art is produced.”
“It provides us with the opportunity to share our many different art forms with Columbia for a full weekend!”
“I love having the opportunity to share the art that I’m creating with others.”
“It gives art collectors and gallery owners a chance to meet artists in person in their home studio environment and see a cohesive body of work and new works in progress.”
“Having the opportunity to see and talk with so many artists … there is something for everyone’s taste.”
“So many people in the Columbia area don’t even know that Chapin is only a 20-minute drive from downtown. It’s a great opportunity for me to give folks a chance to find art in my circa 1908 studio/gallery on historic Beaufort Street!”
“I love having people in my studio!”
“Painting is a form of storytelling. I would compare Open Studios to listening to a singer-songwriter tell the story of the song written to help me appreciate/understand the song. Visitors to Open Studios allow artists to tell the stories behind the artwork.”
“This annual event has provided me opportunities to connect with our diverse community, cultivate an audience, develop patrons, and pursue my passion with confidence. The excitement from studio visitors is inspiring.”
“I love the energy and excitement. Can’t wait to see what the weekend brings!”
“Open Studios is a wonderful opportunity to make the community aware of the many talented artists in their midst — many who work from home studios and aren’t easily assessable, and others, like me who may be in new or hard-to-find locations. There is something special about seeing an artist at work in their studio!”
“I have found it gives people a chance to enjoy two full days of art while visiting artists they have never been exposed to. I enjoy it because I get to meet new people that might never see my art in person.”
If you go
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 6; Noon-6 p.m. April 7
Where: Columbia Open Studios is a self-led driving tour of participating artists’ studios in Columbia, Richland and Lexington counties.
Guide books: There are three versions of the guide; two online, and one in print. Both a digital guide and a magazine-style PDF of the program guide can be found at www.columbiaopenstudios.org and a print guidebook will be distributed statewide via art venues, independent businesses, and organizations throughout South Carolina. Guidebooks can also be found at participating artists' studios. The guide lists participating artists with their studio address, contact information and information about their work and media, as well as maps indicating studio locations. If you would like to know where to find a guidebook in your area, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Details: For more information, including a list of participating artists, go to www.columbiaopenstudios.org.
Notable: There will be a Preview Party from 7-9 p.m. April 4 at 701 Whaley; go to www.columbiaopenstudios.org/preview-party for ticket information and details. Returning artist duo John and Venetia Sharpe have opened a microdistillery called Southern Essence Distilling at their home studio in Cayce and guests are welcome to try their “artistic spirits” while touring their space. Many participating artists sell “functional” artwork that can be worn or used — from jewelry to pottery, handbags and more that guests can purchase during the Open Studios tour.
This year, 12 artists are new participants to Columbia Open Studios.
Michelle Leitzsey Eason
Susan Hansen Staves
David H. Yaghjian
One Eared Cow Glass
Nora Floyd & Ruth Bayard
Ellen Emerson Yaghijan
Robert Keith IV
Mary Ann Haven
Lee A. Monts
John and Venetia Sharpe
Judy Bolton Jarrett
Carol Jean Marchese