Columbia, SC, Set for Another Big Weekend of Visual Arts and it all Starts with Artista Vista on Thursday Evening – April 26, 2012

The Vista Gallery Group in the Congaree Vista area of Columbia, SC, will present its 21st annual Artista Vista, the Midlands’ largest gallery crawl, from Thursday, Apr. 26 through Saturday, Apr. 28, 2012.

The celebration begins with Art Night in the Vista on Apr. 26. Vista artists and galleries will open their doors for this free, signature Vista event from 5 – 9pm.

Work by Laura Spong at Vista Studios

Art Night in the Vista will feature regionally and nationally recognized artists, as well as artists from the Midlands. Artists and gallery owners will be on-hand to chat with visitors, giving attendees insight into their work. Many galleries will also offer complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres as a part of Artista Vista.

A new feature this year during Art Night in the Vista, streets throughout the Vista will be closed Thursday evening to give event attendees the opportunity to experience artistic performances, dance and music in the streets.

Also this year, the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum will present Install It: Installation art at Artista Vista, featuring seven installations throughout the Vista by artists Khaldoune Bencheikh & Mary How, Eileen Blyth, Michaela Pilar Brown, Wendell George Brown, Kara Gunter and Virginia Scotchie. Many of these works will stay up for the four weeks following Artista Vista. The installations were curated is Jeffrey Day, who organized the 2011 Install It exhibition presented during Artista Vista.

Work by Michael Fowler at City Art Gallery

Artista Vista is entirely run by the galleries, as it has been since the event began over two decades ago,” said Clark Ellefson, head of the Vista Gallery Group and owner of Lewis + Clark Studio. “We have some exciting shows and performances planned, and Artista Vista is always a great time to highlight the galleries that give the Vista the energy it’s known for.”

The Vista, Columbia’s premier art neighborhood, has been a force in keeping the Midlands’ art scene thriving through the past three decades. The modern Vista has its roots in the 1980s when artists began to move their studios to the area’s affordable warehouse space. Today’s restaurants, shopping and nightlife in historic buildings in the Vista are still driven by the Vista’s art-filled history.

Artista Vista is free for attendees, and free parking is available in the Vista’s parking decks located on Lincoln Street, near Lady, Park Street near Pendleton, and Lady Street near Wayne Street.

On Saturday, Apr. 28, the SC State Museum will offer the annual Congaree Art Festival, which will feature over 20 contemporary artists from South Carolina and selling their work on the Museum’s front plaza.

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