Posts Tagged ‘City of Columbia’

One Columbia Unveils New Public Art Piece on Main Street, Columbia, SC

September 30, 2014

One Columbia for Arts and History and the City of Columbia are pleased to announce the installation and unveiling of the first sculpture resulting from the public art pilot program, in Columbia, SC.

Commissioned with a generous donation from Sean McCrossin, owner of Drip coffee shops and Scoopy Doo gelato shop, 1400 Block of Main, the piece entitled “Hanging” was created by local artists Eileen Blyth and Mark Finley. As Blyth explains, “This sculpture is an invitation to play…to stop and sit and play, or just listen. One Columbia is the force behind the Main Street public art initiative. And without the city’s support, this sculpture and many more to come would not happen. It is very exciting to be a part of.”914one-columbia-eileen-blyth|
“Hanging” was created by local artists Eileen Blyth and Mark Finley

“I am very happy to be a part and help One Columbia, the City of Columbia and the Mayor in their endeavor to fill the streets with creative, inspired and inspiring art that will hopefully remind us of this colorful city in which we live.” says McCrossin.

The sculpture consists of five tank drums (also known as hank drums) fabricated from propane tanks mounted to painted seats. Each drum is tuned differently to allow for unique harmonies to be played. The piece is installed in front of 1441 Main Street.

“Public art is inspirational, thought provoking and even more so when it’s interactive. ‘Hanging’ will give the public the opportunity not just to observe but to participate.” says Karel Givens, Vice President of City Center Partnership, the organization that manages the downtown Business Improvement District (BID).

“From increasing funding to our arts and cultural organizations to displaying local artists’ work in City Hall, we have taken several important steps this year toward realizing our vision of Columbia as a true City of Creativity,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “This sculpture and the new public art program it represents is a giant leap forward and I couldn’t be more proud.”

The public art program administered by One Columbia for Arts and History represents the joint efforts of multiple departments of the City of Columbia, the City Center Partnership, and the Community Relations Council who all contributed to make the process a success. The framework established by these partners will carry over to the creation of future pieces throughout the City of Columbia.

Lee Snelgrove, Executive Director of One Columbia for Arts and History explains, “Public art can define a place and give it a distinctive and inviting personality. Because of the relationships that have been made in establishing this formal process for commissioning public art, we’ll be able to continue bringing work to Columbia that will demonstrate the level of creativity and talent in this city.”

Artists interested in submitting their qualifications for consideration for future projects can find the call for artists on the One Columbia for Arts and History website at (

One Columbia for Arts and History is a non-profit corporation that works to promote collaboration among citizens, the cultural community, and city government through celebrations of Columbia’s arts and historic treasures. Its goal is to enhance the quality of life for our residents, attract tourist dollars to our city, and further build our vibrant community. In short, it serves as the promotional arm of the City for Columbia’s cultural community.

Visit the One Columbia website ( for a continuously updated master list of art and cultural activities occurring throughout the city.

City of Columbia, SC’s Art Center Offers First Annual Spring Raku Festival and Open House – Apr. 14, 2012

April 4, 2012

The City of Columbia, SC’s Art Center is hosting its First Annual Spring Raku Festival and Open House on Saturday Apr.14, 2012. The Raku Festival is open to the public from 11am to 5pm at the Art Center & Backman Gallery, located at 1932 Calhoun Street, Columbia, SC.

There will be demonstrations from 5 RAKU artists including Alexander “Sasha” Federer (Feather Pottery & Interiors), Dr. Alexander Wilds (Benedict College), John Homewood (Homewood Hardwoods), David Wingo Sr. (A Touch of Glass), and the City of Columbia Art Center (Mike Van Houten, Mary Ann Myers and Tim Graham).  There is no admission charge for this event.

The Raku pottery firing process is a rapid technique in which a glazed ceramic vessel is heated to nearly 2,000 degrees then removed from the kiln when the glaze is red hot and molten and placed in a chamber with combustible material. After the material ignites, the chamber is sealed and flames consume the oxygen within resulting in unusual and beautiful metallic colors and surface effects.

Event participants can purchase one of the bisque pottery pieces created by the Art Center artists. They can glaze their bisque piece with the special Raku glazes and give to the kiln operator and observe the Raku process. While you are waiting for the piece to be fired, there are demonstrations to observe on throwing, glazing and hand building pottery as well as the Raku process.

There will also be available pottery ready to purchase and take home with you as well as on-going presentations about the art of Raku.

For further information contact Brenda Oliver, Cultural Arts Specialist by calling 803/545-3093 or e-mail to (