To Savannah native Mark Plessinger, eyeglasses are “functional art.”
Six years ago, Plessinger opened Frame of Mind, the Art of Eyewear, on Main Street. His goal for the shop was not only to offer exclusive and distinctive eyewear in what he considers an “optical boutique” but also to showcase the work of local artists in a gallery and performance art setting.
Earlier this year, Plessinger moved his shop to 140 State St. in West Columbia, where he features two permanent artists, Whitney LeJeune and Jenna Sach, along with gallery space dedicated to a revolving lineup of local and regional artists. Plessinger also plans to use the space to host arts events such as Dr. Sketchy’s and Mo Betta Soul.
Plessinger, who graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in hotel, restaurant and travel administration, also has supported the Columbia arts scene through several ventures, such as Shamelessly Hot, an event series dedicated to bringing Columbia the top alternative performers from around the Southeast and beyond.
Plessinger also is a founder of First Thursdays on Main, a monthly arts crawl and street fest hosted by Columbia’s Main Street merchants.
Catch October’s First Thursday festivities starting at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 on Main Street.
EAT: Many times you will find me at Cafe Strudel, eating up the duck fat fries or having a burger. 116 (State) is also a home away from home. Their chimichurri tasting plate or cheese plates are close to an addiction for me. Bourbon and Cantina 76 on Main Street are other frequent stops.
PLAY: Riverfront Park in West Columbia is my most frequent haunt, but I love the Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park on the Columbia side of the river as well. And Congaree National Park is the best place to go when you want to just get away from all the noise and hustle and bustle of Columbia.
SEE: I really like what we are pulling off with Shamelessly Hot. It is giving one of the most unique performing art experiences in Columbia – very engaging, powerful and challenging. And of course, Trustus and The Nickelodeon are can’t miss either.
LISTEN: Well, the Art Bar is at the top of the list. They have a great mix of bands and music styles to choose from. And of course New Brookland Tavern (is great). You can’t listen in Columbia without going to one of the major music venues in town, and there is an amazingly wide selection of music to choose from on any given day. I also have to mention Conundrum (Music Hall), the purest listening room experience anywhere.
DRINK: When not at Cafe Strudel or 116, The Whig is my drinking place of choice – such great drinks, food and atmosphere. It is an unbelievable resource to have in Columbia.