The area behind Terra, 116 State, and other businesses near the corner of State and Meeting Streets in West Columbia was, until recently, anything but attractive. A community effort changed that, and the space once known as the “dumpster disaster” is now the home of Art on State, an interactive public art exhibit.
“We wanted to involve the community at every level,” said West Columbia City Administrator Brian Carter. Artist Colleen Otte created the exhibit, which incorporates art and frames inviting people to document their visit and share their photos with friends and the community.
“We’re doing something you can’t do in an art museum,” Otte said. “We’re pulling the frame off the wall and giving you the opportunity to get into the art. Mural Artist BA Hohman collaborated on the project, painting the first mural on the wall to serve as the background for the pictures. Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens staff designed the landscaping for the project, and students in a metal working class at Brookland-Cayce High School forged the signs for the exhibit. A grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation funded the project.
Carter said the community aspect of the project has only begun. “We hope people will…share the good experience that our visitors are having in West Columbia, and that’s the idea behind this art project.”
“We want to make West Columbia a destination spot. After dining or while shopping on State and Meeting Streets, come see the collaborative art project, take your picture, and post it on social media with the hashtags #artonstate #wcolasc”, said Public Information Officer Anna Huffman.
The project is one of nine community efforts funded by the Central Carolina Community Foundation over the past year, and David Laird, the foundation’s director of community impact, said “We’re hoping and planning to do more.”
Pictured: West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton poses with the artists and Central Carolina Community Foundation officials at Friday’s unveiling (photo by Allen Wallace)