Jarid Lyfe Brown


There comes a time in every artist’s life when he or she must decide if art sales can pay the bills efficiently or if another career must be pursued to make ends meet. For Jarid Lyfe Brown, a painter who set out to make art his life from the beginning, the latter choice was necessary. Now, after a long hiatus from painting and showing regularly, a door to the Columbia arts scene sits in front of him again, wide open. Jarid will show his thoughtful, vibrantly colored, light emulating paintings — many of which depict animals that possess human-like qualities — at Frame of Mind: The Art of Eyewear this month, a move that he says should open doors to more shows, give him exposure [...]

Anastasia Chernoff


Is your ass happy?  Well, the asses created by Anastasia Chernoff are. To transcend typical communicative methods, the sculptor employs portions of the human anatomy to convey characteristics and emotions; hence, the happy derriere and the countless sentiments found in a finger’s gesture. The way Anastasia sees it, there is beauty in the booty. And amid her compilation of derrieres and other porcelain body parts are come hither hints in finger curls as well as scores of point making index fingers. It is said that body language accounts for more than half of an intended message, with spoken language measuring only about ten percent. Soulfully in tune with this communication technique, Anastasia is a master at interpreting emotion and consequently creates physical representations of that [...]

unbound Dance


At the Columbia Music Festival Association’s (CMFA) building, just a stone’s throw away from Gervais and Vine and Carolina Wings & Rib House on Pulaski Street, Caroline Lewis is barefoot, dragging her body across a stage and throwing herself into a variety of contortions both in the air and on the ground. Wearing short shorts that show off every defined muscle in her legs (her incredibly toned shape indicates that she must squeeze weight training sessions into her schedule at least four or five days a week), she is completely lost in her piece, despite the noise of drum beats that creep into her rehearsal space from an adjacent room. Sharing a building with other artists sometimes means sacrifice, including juggling schedules and putting up [...]

Alex Smith


Alex Smith is a student of the 20th century. Here’s a fun way to spend a summer afternoon – ask local artist Alex Smith to tell you about one of the many plays he has directed. Tell him you want to know all about it. Then sit back and prepare to be entertained. It’s not just the animation in his face, or the way he slips in and out of various characters without realizing it as he describes them – whether he has ever played the role or not. Alex Smith, the multi-disciplinary artist, brings something akin to transcendence to most any artistic mission he takes on, be it acting, directing, filmmaking, playing music, writing, or, his latest endeavor, visual arts. Smith’s unique take on [...]

James Dickey


Before I read Deliverance or saw the movie, I heard James Dickey read from his novel at USC’s Longstreet Theater. Jerry Savory of Columbia College was giving me a lift to the bus station, now an art deco bank. “Dickey is reading from Deliverance at the Longstreet Theater right now,” he said. “Want to go?” It was 1974, two years after the movie came out. I had time to kill, and it beat waiting in the Blanding Street bus station for an all-night local to Charleston, West Virginia. We went. We walked into the darkened theater —standing room only—where the north Georgian’s voice floated over the vast hall. Dickey was deep into the story, at the point where the Atlantans discover Drew’s body downstream. To [...]

Heyward Sims


U: You and art — where, when and under what circumstances did this affair begin? WHS: It started as early as I can remember.  I remember being quite particular about my finger paintings, coloring exercises, and hand writing even as a young child in the mid 1980s.  As I got older, my attention to aesthetic detail just began to manifest itself in different forms from drawing to guitar playing.  Unfortunately, the arts have just felt like the most natural field to study and partake in. U: You were voted Most Talented by your graduating class of 2000 at Dreher High school – Why? WHS: Winning that superlative always has been a bit curious to me.  Throughout high school I drew and was in a band, [...]

Sara Mearns


Sara Mearns walks into a Columbia coffee shop in shorts and sandals, no make-up, hair doing whatever it wants to do, with about as much artifice as a puppy coming in to play. Long-legged and strikingly beautiful, yes, but possessing the stereotypical postures of what The New York Times calls “the great American ballerina of our time” – not so much. Then she speaks and her voice is nothing like what you might expect from a dancer who many say will change the face of ballet with her career. There is nothing prissy or delicate about it. It isn’t affected or lilting. It is authentic and strong, like the New York City Ballet principal dancer herself, solid and real and ready to show the world [...]

Andy Smith


Andy Smith doesn’t speak casually when talking about Indie Grits, the independent film festival he has directed for the past five years. He is  contemplative and chooses his words carefully – possibly because words don’t come easily when describing the nuanced quirkiness of the four-day-long festival of (oftentimes) weirdness-committed-to-film that takes place every April in some of the most interesting corners of Columbia, SC. We aren’t like a lot of other film festivals,” Smith says, nodding his head then breaking into a sideways smile, initially suggesting outré before settling on something almost conspiratorial. “We aren’t trying to create the next big Hollywood film festival. We’ve always known we weren’t going to be Sundance – we don’t want to be.” He narrows his eyes and explains. [...]

A New Home for Our Nick


The sun was beating down on Main Street, on an abnormally hot December day, as I peered into the darkened storefront that has been the face of The Nickelodeon Theatre for nearly three decades. I was there to meet Bruce Bahr, Director of Marketing and Membership of “The Nick”, where we would begin our tour and the film house’s future home would be revealed to us. The Nickelodeon Theater is South Carolina’s only non-profit Theatre, and a celebrated, integral part of the community’s liberal arts scene.  The facility is managed and operated by the Columbia Film Society, under leadership of Executive Director Larry Hembree, and serves as a hub for this non-profit community arts organization, established in 1979 to “stimulate discussion and enhance appreciation of [...]

Bob Allison


Bob Allison has just recently completed and installed a world-class sculpture of “Jonah and the Whale” for Shandon Baptist Church on Forest Drive.  The round, 15-foot fountain-sculpture has an enormous whale head-and-tail weighing over 1,000 pounds, and a 6-foot Jonah in mid-air as he is spewed out of the whale’s mouth.  Seeing it in person is essential, and for those engaged in kinesthetic experiences the whale’s tail is hanging over the edge and accessible, as are the tips of Jonah’s toes. Dr. Dick Lincoln, the pastor of Shandon Baptist, commissioned Bob to sculpt this idea for the church’s entrance.  He wanted a life-like, old-world fountain and bronze sculpture that captured this famous Biblical story and created emotion and awe.  Bob did just that. What else [...]