The eighth annual Columbia Open Studios — a free, self-guided driving tour of artist studios presented by 701 Center for Contemporary Art (701 CCA) — presents 70 local artists. This year’s event is Saturday, April 7 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday, April 8 (noon to 6 p.m.). All weekend long, the public can explore the work and workspaces of artists in the City of Columbia and Richland and Lexington counties. Plan a free, self-guided #ColaOpenStudios tour at http://www.columbiaopenstudios.org.
Columbia Open Studios gives art lovers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation, techniques, and inspiration behind artworks produced by artists throughout the Midlands. Guests can step into the private studios of artists to learn how the paintings, sculptures and other forms of visual art are created, while chatting one-on-one with the artists who create them. Experience firsthand the techniques behind hand-blown glass ornaments, printmaking, ceramic work, watercolor painting and more. Studio settings range from intimate, historic spaces to fascinating backyard sculpture gardens to lively group studios in vibrant, downtown districts.
701 CCA is a nonprofit art center and gallery that promotes the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through Columbia Open Studios, an artist-in-residence program, exhibitions, workshops and other special events. The center hosts year-round exhibitions featuring contemporary work from local and international artists in its gallery inside the historic 701 Whaley building. The gallery is open for free to the public.
701 CCA is able to present Columbia Open Studios for the eighth consecutive year thanks to major support from the City of Columbia and Richland County. Columbia Open Studios typically sees around 10,000 studio visitors over the weekend.
Columbia Open Studios Preview Party, Thursday, April 5: To kick off the arts-filled weekend, 701 CCA will host a ticketed Columbia Open Studios Preview Party on Thursday, April 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the second floor of 701 Whaley. Guests can meet and mingle with Columbia Open Studios artists and preview their work while enjoying tunes spun by DJ Irv. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. Explore 701 CCA’s gallery throughout the evening, which will feature Charleston-based interdisciplinary artist Fletcher Williams III. Tickets are $10 for 701 CCA members and $15 for non-members.
Tour studios across the Midlands’ that contribute to S.C.’s thriving art scene: Creative work industries contribute, on average, $9.2 billion to S.C.’s economy each year. Columbia Open Studios gives the public an intimate look at the studios of artists who are contributing to the Midlands’ economy and thriving art scene. Thousands of visitors will have the opportunity to personally meet up to 70 creators, experience the detail in their work and the spaces that inspire them. Attendees can buy art directly from participating artists, and each artist keeps 100 percent of his or her sales.
Preview participating artists’ work at City Hall exhibition: Catch a glimpse of what Open Studios has to offer at the Columbia Open Studios Exhibition at Columbia City Hall, installed by 701 CCA, on display Feb. 12 through March. The City Hall exhibition is a partnership with One Columbia for Arts & History, a nonprofit organization that works to amplify and preserve the thriving art scene in Columbia, S.C.
Art-hop across the region with a mini road-trip: The weekend-long, self-guided art crawl spreads throughout the Midlands to studios in Columbia, Cayce, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin and Elgin as well as unincorporated areas of Richland and Lexington Counties. The event gives locals and out-of-towners alike the opportunity to explore areas they may not typically visit. Use the maps inside the Columbia Open Studios guide to plan a weekend of studio stops with local hotspots and restaurants in between. The Columbia Open Studios guide will be available in the coming weeks around town, in the April 4 edition of the Free Times and at http://www.columbiaopenstudios.org.
View artists’ space in the newly developed Stormwater Studios: Columbia Open Studios goers will have the opportunity to tour nine studio spaces in the new Stormwater Studios, the highly-anticipated riverfront artist studio complex located behind One Eared Cow Glass and Lewis + Clark studios on Huger Street. Stormwater Studios will be a lively hub of artist studios and workshop space that may act as a catalyst for future river-front development. The 1.5-acre property is expected to include a sculpture garden, interactive outdoor area, walking trail and event space.
701 CCA’s Columbia Open Studios – 2018 participating artists (70 Total)
33 of this year’s 70 artists will participate in Open Studios for the very first time or will be returning to the tour after a hiatus. They are marked below in bold italics.
Kathryn Van Aernum
Nora Floyd & Ruth Bayard
Lauro Lesllo & Yelitza Diaz
Mary Ann Haven
Judy Bolton Jarrett
Robert Keith IV
Alejandro Garcia Lemos
Sharon Collings Licata
One Eared Cow Glass
John & Venetia Sharpe
701 Center for Contemporary Art (701 CCA) is a nonprofit visual art center that promotes understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of contemporary art, the creative process and the role of art and artists in the community via its gallery & artist-in-residence program at historic 701 Whaley in Columbia, South Carolina. 701 CCA also encourages interaction between visual arts and other art forms. For more info visit http://www.701cca.org.