Blue Sky wants to give an ‘approving’ glance with new mural in downtown Columbia

Blue Sky near his studio in the Arcade Mall on Main Street
Blue Sky near his studio in the Arcade Mall on Main Street gmelendez@thestate.com

When driving through the Vista in downtown Columbia, you soon may get the feeling someone’s watching you.

Blue Sky, the renowned artist from Columbia, is working on a new mural near the corner of Gervais and Assembly streets. The art is a simple depiction of a woman’s eyes as if she’s looking over her shoulder, Blue Sky told WLTX, which reported on the work in progress.

A crowd funding site was set up to help pay for the mural. The goal is to raise $12,000.

“He loves to hear the word YES when it comes to creating his murals!” the fundraiser says, calling the new mural “a gift to Columbia.”

The artist wanted the eyes to be “approving” he told WLTX.

“I wanted to do an inspirational piece,” he said. “I kept honing down the idea until I reached the point where I thought if I could just show a pair of eyes.. happy... well, not happy, but approving... just looking straight at you approvingly. ... A person who sees this mural will probably only see it for a tenth of a second. So it had to be simple, direct, you see it all in a fraction of a second.”

The mural’s being painted on the side of a parking garage about 100 yards off the 1000 block of Gervais Street behind Takosushi. The working title of the creation is “Vista Vision.” Blue Sky told WLTX he may title the completed piece “Fleeting Glance.”

Blue Sky’s work holds a prominent place in Columbia’s landscape. He’s the creator of “Busted Plug Plaza,” the large fire hydrant fountain on Taylor Street, and the nearby “TUNNLEVISION” mural, which creates the illusion of a tunnel going through the side of a building, among other works dotting South Carolina’s capital city.

Blue Sky was born in 1938 and his work is in the Smithsonian and other museums. He has a gallery and studio in the Arcade Mall on Main Street in downtown Columbia.

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.