The Reluctant Writer: Something Else to do When I Should Be Writing

February 9, 2010

Valentine’s Day = Pressure; What’s Love Fest = Pressure Release

As a woman of a certain age, I’ve suffered through many a Valentine’s Day.

Suffer, you say?  Why, I thought you had married your high school sweetheart — a boy you met on the football field when you were but fifteen years old?  I thought you had never dated another boy since and that you were living happily ever after in a little white house in an enchanted forest? Isn’t all of this true?

Why yes, yes it is. So if someone like me, who is married to the Beer Doctor, who just happens to have exquisite taste in all things romance, jewelry, wine, chocolates, flowers — the whole bit — if someone like me has suffered through Valentine’s Days galore, then please do pity the poor girl or boy who:  doesn’t have a love interest; only has a like interest; isn’t sure where she or he stands on the like/love scale.

The fact of the matter is that, more than anything, Valentine’s Day means pressure — even for those of us long in-love.  If it’s not deciding what to do, because God forbid you act as if it’s just another night, then it is deciding what to do soon enough lest every table in town be booked.  Pressure.  Then there is the question of gifts.  Women are easy — there is tradition behind what women expect from their beloveds on Valentine’s Day — gentlemen may make their choices from any variety of candies, jewels, and floral designs.  For women of the enlightened sect however, (those who recognize that loving and cherishing is a two-way street and that boys like to have love professed to them as much as girls), it is slim pickings.  We can only give so many wallets, money clips, and boxers with hearts all over them.  Women have to get creative.  Personally, I’ve given the Beer Doc so many baskets of craft beers by now that I just can’t go that direction again.  Pressure.

Don’t even get me started on Valentine’s shopping for parents, grandparents, and kids; what to wear over & what to wear under; performance anxiety; and the fact that a major candy holiday comes around in the middle of the biggest diet season of the year.  Pressure.

At least there is something we can do in Columbia that is pretty much pressure-less for those who just have to show up, and a pressure-release once we get there — the What’s Love Fest at 701 Whaley Street — one of the best arts events of the year.

With too many artists to mention — but I will say a few names like Bonnie Goldberg, Anastasia Chernoff, Michael Krajewski, Alejandro Garcia, Caroline Hatchell, and Billy Guess; plus performance art à la Wideman/Davis Dance, Unbound and more; music from Danielle Howle, Unresolved and Les Paramours; food, including an offering by Chef Kelly and a cash bar with Magic Hat brew; plus all kinds of surprises, I’m sure — The What’s Love Fest is the answer to the second most stressful holiday of the year.  Simply suit up in something sexy (ok, a little pressure there), and show up.

Below are the details lifted from the What’s Love Fest Facebook page — I hope I get to see you there.

What’s Love? This is What’s Love!
Over 40 visual and performance artists showing You the Love!

SAT. February 13th @ 701 Whaley
The main event:
“What’s Love Fest 2010”
7pm-midnight

Sun. Feb. 14th CLOSING
2pm-5pm

Tickets are $15 advance $20 at the door
Advance tickets:
Sid & Nancy – 5 Points
S&S Art Supplies – Rosewood Dr
Frame of Mind – Main St.
WEB – http://www.palmettonluna.org paypal

It’s Valentines weekend and whether you are single or have a love to bring you won’t want to miss this night of tantalizing art and entertainment!
Sponsored by:
Free Times
Baileys
Magic Hat
Sid & Nancy
Comunicar
Smoke
L.A.Kornegay, Media Productions

SAT. FEB 13th 7-midnight

Music by:
Les Paramours featuring:
Don Russo: Vocals/Guitar
Nick Brewer: Piano
Reggie Sullivan: Bass
Tony Lee: Drums
PLUS
Danielle Howle
Unresolved

Performances by:
Unbound Dance Company
Wideman/Davis
Sherry Warren & Kirrill Simin
Penthouse Playhouse

Also enjoy DR SKETCHY! The most rambunctious sketching session you’ll experience.

ART ART ART ART ART
With sexy, humorous, erotic and romantic art – starting with return artists or “The Love Hangovers”
* denotes part of juried show
Heidi Darr-Hope
Anastasia Chernoff
Melissa Ligon
Britta Cruz
Jeff Smith
Alejandro Garcia
Molly Harrell *
Michael Krejewski *
Melinda Register *
Bonnie Goldberg
Leslie Pierce *
Diana Farfan
Lee Ann Kornegay
Travis Teate
Billy Guess *

“Puppy Loves”
Betsy Newman *
Wade Sellers *
Michael Dixon *
Half & Half – Nick & Sarah *
Ted Sbardella *
Melissa Buckner *
Lindsey Wolf *
Izms of Art – Cedric & Mustafa *
Shannon Purvis *
Roe Young *
Caroline Hatchell *
James Shealy *
Lucy Bailey *
Dawn Hunter *
Sarah Kobos *

Kelly Courtney of Sugarhill will have something yummy and chocolate!

You can also shop for the perfect Valentine’s gift with:
Sid & Nancy
Bohumila Augustinova
Tom Chinn – Love Taps
S&S Art Supplies
Frame of Mind
Danielle Howle – Jewelry

Looking for the perfect Valentines Experience?
How bout the DELUXE LOVE package?
Details coming soon!

What’s Love Fest 2010
Jurors

1. Todd Herman, Chief Curator of the Columbia Museum of Art.
2. Karen Watson, Director of the Sumter Gallery of Art.
3. J.J. Ohlinger, Director of CAFfeine, Contemporary Art Forum in Greenville, SC.
4. Alejandro Garcia-Lemos, What’s Love Jury Coordinator.

This year’s event supports Palmetto & LUNA, a non-profit organization promoting Latino arts and culture in South Carolina. Latino theme not required.

FREE TIMES, Sid & Nancy, BAILEYS, Magic Hat and COMUNICAR are sponsors of the event.

For more information
lakorn@bellsouth.net

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December 22, 2009

Reflections brought to you by Susan Lenz and FOM, with Cassie Premo Steele, Melissa Buckner, Kristine Hartvigsen, & Chris McCormick plus Treadmill Trackstar’s Heidi Carey

If you’re like me, it’s hard to think about anything but Christmas these days — wrapping, eating, unwrapping, eating some more.  But the calendar does go on after Christmas Eve, and just two weeks beyond today, there’s an arts event you want to go ahead and mark on your calendars.  I’m particularly partial to this event because I got to help put it together and, consequently, I get to show off some of my favorite people whose works help make your city such a great place to live.

I’m talking about the January edition of Mark Plessinger’s FOM series — titled for this month only, Reflections.

(I know it’s a little trite and constructed to always make January the month for contemplation, assessment, and resolutions.  But given that our culture is, in so many ways, devoid of these very necessary components to a healthy and happy life, I say, take it where and when you can find it.)

Frame of Mind’s  featured artist for the month of January is Columbia’s own internationally renowned fiber artist, Susan Lenz.  Susan, who references herself as a contemporary embroiderer (a term which seems too limiting for the magic this woman comes up with to me), brings us creations like art quilts, amazingly symmetrical bowls made from acorn caps and moss, embellished images of graves she has hand rubbed onto silken cloths, beautiful found objects captured onto unique canvasses — the kind of thing that puts the art into artifact.

In the days to come, I’ll be writing more about this upcoming event — telling you more about what to expect from Susan’s show, and offering a bit of information about the performance art scheduled for that evening.  But here’s a preview — Cassie Premo Steele reading her poetry and signing and selling books, with additional poetry readings by Melissa Buckner, Kristine Hartvigsen, and Christopher McCormick.  And when these guys aren’t enlightening you, Treadmill Trackstar’s own Heidi Carey will be serenading us with her sweet cello sounds, persuading us all to look inward a little — to reflect.

Sounds like a lovely night — and a wonderful way to start the new year in Columbia arts.

November 6, 2009

Feedback on Frame of Mind

You guys know I don’t usually do reviews, but I do want to give a little report, if you will, on the Frame of Mind series tonight on  Main Street.  There was a wonderful turn out, and with a free showing from Miriam Barbosa and Serguei Chtyrkov from the SC Contemporary Dance Company, Erin Jaffe Bolshakov from Vista Ballroom, Mimi Worrell and John Whitehead’s Carolina Ballet, Dale Lam’s Columbia City Jazz Company, and the beautiful Ashley Bennett and Sherry Warren — not to mention Evelyn Wong’s visual arts — why wouldn’t it have been?

Sure, there were a few glitches and things started a little later than expected.  But you know what?  They started, and that is the only thing that matters. Thanks to the artists who put themselves out there and performed under significantly less than ideal circumstances.  Their muscles were cold, the stage was raked — they were dancing in the street, for god’s sake.  But the gift that each of the performers gave us cannot be underestimated — they let us get a glimpse of what it looks like when someone fulfills their heart’s desire.  I often find the intimacy of this exchange overwhelming in the best of circumstances — but to see people who love their work so much that they will take the risk of letting complete strangers witness them perform it under less than ideal circumstances — in the freaking street, for example — it just blows me away.  I don’t care what anybody says — that is art.

Big fat kudos to Mark Plessinger for taking a chance and putting this stuff out there.  Thanks to the industrious and kind hearted Robert Michalski for helping Mark make it happen, as well as to the tech guy from White Mule, whose name I admit I just don’t know, for doing his quite significant part, too.  And thanks to all of you who came out to support local art — in the community and on the street.

September 10, 2009

This week at FOM — Jeane Bourque, Barbie Mathis

Filed under: Frame of Mind,Mark Plessinger,writing — cynthiaboiter @ 00:00
Tags: , , ,

You’ve heard me sing the praises of Mark Plessinger, the FOM Series and all the glory that is the (usually) first Thursday night of the month on Main Street before, but this month there’s even more artsy goodness for your discriminating dollar and — oh wait — dollars aren’t even involved — these good times are free for the price of showing up!

This Thursday night, September 10th, Main Street Columbia is the place to be for art, music, wine and good times, and it makes me so happy to say that.  Mark Plessinger will host the opening exhibit reception for September’s FOM featured artists, Jean Bourque and Barbie Mathis, from 6:30 until 8 pm at 1520 Main.  Come down and see what Jean and Barbie have been working on before you wonder next door to Gotham Nights and take in some of the quite decent jazz renderings of Sonny D and Friends.  There’s also a wine tasting followed by music next door at the White Mule — don’t know anything about the wine or the tunes, other than they are happening, but its worth a visit for the surprise if nothing else.

In any event, please do come on out and lend your support to what Mark is trying to do for you and the arts on Main Street.  Every month the crowd grows larger and larger.  A good thing is happening down there.  Be a part of it.

August 6, 2009

The Productive Writer, Mark Plessinger, Bohumila and the FOM Series, the White Mule (& Van the Man!)

Yes, it’s been a while since I blogged, but that’s because I have NOT been being the Reluctant Writer lately:  I have been being the Productive Writer!  And it feels great!  

The beer book is coming along nicely as we plow through the early days of Bob’s beergrimmage — the time before we had actually decided to write the book — and reconstruct the route and stories and beer experiences we enjoyed during this time of year, two years ago.  (Much of the book after that period has already been written — so we’re sort of writing the beer beginnings at the end.)  It has been exciting reliving those thirty some odd early days of beer exploration with Bob and the wonderkins and I’m pleased with how the project is progressing.

In the meantime, I do want to share with you an upcoming event that I’m going to have to miss.  But first a little background.

Mark Plessinger is a local optician and business owner who shares my love of art for art sake and recognizes the importance of placing a limelight on new and exciting local artists.  His business is called Frame of Mind and it is located on Main Street across from the art museum.  There you will find the most spectacular spectacles with a decidely European flare.  But more than that you will also find a little something extra.  Whether it is the work of Anastasia Chernoff or Claude Buckley or Pamm Collins, Mark and his wife Wendy always have a gallery of  new and intriguing art hung amongst their wares.   They call these revolving monthly shows the FOM (Frame of Mind) Series and this week they’re bringing someone extra special.

Bohumila Owensby is a designer of fashion and jewelry and the key word in describing Bohumila’s work is innovative.    After winning second place in the Columbia Design Guild’s 2008 Runaway Runway show she walked away with first place in 2009 and people haven’t stopped talking about her yet.  Her original jewelry designs are also featured in the gift shop at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Mark chose Bohumila as the featured artist for August in his FOM Series, and the opening night reception is tonight, August 6th from 5:30 – 8 PM.   There will be light refreshments, something special to sip on, an assortment of Columbia’s loveliest folks and, best of all, Bohumila! 

Do not miss this wonderful free event! 

And when you find that you are able to tear yourself away from Mark and Wendy and Bohumila, just slide your sassy self next door into Main Street’s newest bit of coolness, the White Mule (formerly Jammin Java) where yet another art exhibit awaits you, complete with an Ed Hardy wine tasting. 

Sadly, I will not be joining you for either event, but don’t cry for me.  I will be enroute to Obamaland where I will be spending an intimate evening with one Van the Man Morrison who is going to flat out rock my gypsy soul, just like back in the days of old, and sail my sorry ass into the Mystic.  Have mercy.

So in my absence, please enjoy the gifts that these amazing artists and generous business owners have for you on this wonderful summer night.  Give them back your time and attention.  Being a part of the creative act is one of the most stimulating, humanizing and, yes, precious parts of being alive.  And the opportunity is waiting for you, right there, on Main Street, Columbia, SC.  Damn — did you ever think you’d hear those words?

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