NEWS & Happenings

  • Congaree Vista Guild Elects New Executive Committee for 2017

    August 01, 2017

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprised of a wide variety of restaurateurs, shop, business, gallery owners, and homeowners in the Vista, has elected new officers for the new fiscal year, which starts in July 2017.

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprised of a wide variety of restaurateurs, shop, business, gallery owners, and homeowners in the Vista, has elected new officers for the new fiscal year, which starts in July 2017.

     

    David Erbacher, director of sales and marketing for Hyatt Place in the Vista, will serve as president of the Vista Guild board, and Merritt McNeely, South Carolina State Museum director of marketing, will continue as vice president. Alexis Lindsay, an associate with Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Lafitte, will serve as secretary. Hal Stevenson, CEO of Grace Outdoor, will serve as treasurer.

     

     

    “Our Board works to foster long-term growth and success in the Vista,” said Congaree Vista Guild Executive Director Meredith Atkinson. “We have a variety of experience and expertise on the board that will continue to improve Columbia’s arts and entertainment district, while also ensuring responsible growth and development in our neighborhood.”

     

    Todd Avant, Kelly Barbrey, Richard Burts, J. Britt, Stephen Chesley, Lea Cooper, Rosie Craig, Clark Ellefson, Mike Evans, Beth Frost, Guy Jones, Dale Marshall and Rick Rowe also serve on the Vista Guild board. Columbia Development Corporation’s Fred Delk will serve as an ex officio board member.

     

    “This neighborhood has so much to offer Columbia, now, more than ever, and we are excited to promote and expand business and arts experiences in the Vista,” said Erbacher.

     

    The Vista has long been Columbia’s creative center, and is now the Midlands’ place to go for nightlife and entertainment. The Congaree Vista Guild board strives to encourage healthy growth in the Vista, while seeing that the Vista is a vibrant symbol of historic preservation and adaptive reuse in Columbia.


    For more information about the Vista, please visit VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild @VistaColumbiaSC on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.

  • Osamu Kobayashi Completes Middle of Nowhere, Mural in Vista

    July 28, 2017

    The Congaree Vista Guild and One Columbia for Arts and History announce that Osamu Kobayashi has completed Middle of Nowhere, his vibrant mural on the East-facing wall at 808 Lady Street. The mural is the latest piece of permanent public art in the Vista and on the Lady Street corridor.

    The Congaree Vista Guild and One Columbia for Arts and History announce that Osamu Kobayashi has completed Middle of Nowhere, his vibrant mural on the East-facing wall at 808 Lady Street. The mural is the latest piece of permanent public art in the Vista and on the Lady Street corridor.

     

    The Vista as we know it today, which is a South Carolina Arts Commission-designated South Carolina Cultural District, began when artists made their homes in the neighborhood several decades ago. Many of those same artists are still in the Vista, and as the district has grown to include Columbia’s top hotels and more than 80 bars and restaurants, historic preservation and fostering a culture for the arts are ideas central to the Vista Guild’s goals for growth. Middle of Nowhere is one of a handful of pieces of public art the Vista Guild has commissioned since 2013.

     

    “As a leading hospitality district in Columbia, our permanent art pieces are giving the Vista and our historic properties even greater character, especially as the Lady Street corridor sees exciting development near the revamped Vista Greenway entrance,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “We are grateful to One Columbia for their partnership and guidance in seeing Kobayashi’s mural come to fruition.”

     

    In partnership with the Vista Guild, One Columbia worked with Kobayashi to facilitate the piece and to help the artist scout appropriate locations in the Vista for the mural.

     

    “Osamu is a rising star and his work is internationally recognized,” said Lee Snelgrove, executive director of One Columbia for Arts and History. “We are privileged that he felt that he could make his art in his hometown in such a large and lasting way.”

     

    According to the artist, viewers who see Kobayashi’s mural could interpret the piece as portraying the mountains on the left and the beach on the right edge with a sun in the middle of the painting. This interpretation captures the way the artist sees Columbia as a hub of radiating energy connecting different areas of our state.

     

    “When I was approached by One Columbia and the Vista Guild to paint a mural, we strolled throughout The Vista for potential sites. The wall at 808 Lady Street immediately caught my interest. As a standalone wall, it had the powerful presence I wanted for my work,” said Kobayashi. “The bright colors and bold shapes I would use would be intensified by the site, speaking to the liveliness of the area.”

     

    About the Artist:

    Osamu Kobayashi (b. 1984, Columbia, SC) lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y.  He has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at Underdonk Gallery in Brooklyn, AplusB Contemporary Art in Italy, and the 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Lissone Contemporary Art Museum, Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery at Stony Brook University, Bronx River Art Center, and the Columbia Museum of Art. In 2013, Kobayashi was awarded the Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Fund from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been reviewed in The L Magazine, Artcritical, and Hyperallergic.


    For more information about the Vista, please visit VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild @VistaColumbiaSC on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.

  • Vista Guild Announce Plans for “First Night Southern Lights”

    July 26, 2017

    Southern Lights, a signature, long-term art installation by artist Chris Robinson, will span the Congaree River between the Blossom Street and Gervais Street bridges. The general public is invited to “First Night Southern Lights,” a free event hosted by the Vista Guild celebrating the premier of the installation, on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 as part of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend Celebrations.

    Southern Lights, a signature, long-term art installation by artist Chris Robinson, will span the Congaree River between the Blossom Street and Gervais Street bridges. The general public is invited to “First Night Southern Lights,” a free event hosted by the Vista Guild celebrating the premier of the installation, on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 as part of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend Celebrations.

     

    WHAT: First Night Southern Lights, the premier of Chris Robinson’s installation over the Congaree River.

    WHERE: Festivities will begin at Coble Plaza (211 Gervais St.). Attendees will hear from artist Chris Robinson and leaders from Columbia, West Columbia and Cayce and learn more about Southern Lights.

    WHEN: Saturday, August 19, 7:30 – 10 p.m.

    MORE: Attendees are invited to also walk from Coble Plaza along the path under the Gervais Street bridge and view Southern Lights from the banks of the Congaree River. Rita’s Italian Ice will offer cool Italian ices for purchase and attendees can also purchase Eclipse Pale Ale, a special collaboration between The Whig and Catawba Brewing. The South Carolina State Museum will also be open until 10 p.m. that evening.

    PARKING: Some parking is available in the State Museum (301 Gervais St.) parking lot.

     

    “The Vista Guild has historically worked diligently to support artists and provide forums for their work, and we’re especially proud that Southern Lights is in the Vista,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “The long-term nature of Southern Lights makes it completely unique, and experiencing this installation will add to the fabric of our neighborhood, Columbia and our region.”

     

     

    About Southern Lights

    Scheduled to light up evenings in Cayce, West Columbia and Columbia for the next decade, this installation is coming to fruition through supporters including What’s Next Midlands, the Congaree Vista Guild, the South Carolina State Museum, EdVenture, the City of Columbia and One Columbia for Arts and History.

     

    With the support of the cities of Columbia, West Columbia and Cayce and Richland County, the installation’s design is meant to connect our cities and the Midlands community. The project offers an innovative approach to public art and celebrates and highlights public infrastructure uniquely. Southern Lights will be the only installation of its kind in the United States, and celebrates the work of Charles Townes, a native South Carolinian whose theories led to the development of laser technology.

     

    Along with leadership and support from the communities who touch the bridges, leaders in the Midlands business community, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, are sponsoring the project, which will cost an estimated total of $120,000, a value for a signature art piece that will be part of the fabric of our region for a decade.  

     

    About Chris Robinson:

    Robinson, a professor in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina, concentrates on contemporary science and technology and its role in decision-making through installations and digital drawings. He holds a BFA from Florida State and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts and is the recipient of many awards including the Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award and the Palmetto Pillar Award, along with many competitive art awards. He has lectured, written and exhibited extensively throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

     

    Robinson has completed dozens of large-scale installations in his career, most notably installations on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (in conjunction with Rockne Krebs), and in Columbia his light installation at the celebration of the opening of the South Carolina State Museum in 1989 and for the Governor’s Carol Lighting at the South Carolina State House in 1992.

     

    “My installations create a sculptural structure, draw attention to interesting aspects of the surrounding environment and illuminate the distinctive quality of laser light,” said Robinson. “The Congaree River is special and unusual in that it is relatively dark in the middle of an urban environment and the beams can go both under and over the bridges and the viewers.”

     

    Southern Lights is representative of Robinson’s body of work and marks the end of Robinson’s academic career in the School of Visual Art & Design at the University of South Carolina (May 31, 2017). Robinson will become chair of the Department of Art at USC Beaufort this fall.  

     

    Southern Lights: Columbia’s Signature Public Art Piece

    This installation is slated to light up the night for three hours in the evening for the next 10 years, (times will change depending on what time the sun sets) or as long as the equipment holds up. The City of Columbia is committed to the ongoing maintenance and management of Southern Lights, as is the South Carolina State Museum. Those who visit the riverfront regularly will be able to take in Southern Lights, and with signage and wayfinding surrounding Southern Lights to come, visitors to the region will discover this major attraction for years to come.


    For more information on Southern Lights, visit SouthernLightsSC.com and on social media via #SouthernLightsSC.

  • Stakeholders Announce Plans for “Southern Lights,” a Signature Art Installation for Columbia

    June 27, 2017

    Southern Lights, a signature, long-term art installation by artist Chris Robinson, will span the Congaree River between the Blossom Street and Gervais Street bridges. Scheduled to light up every evening in Cayce, West Columbia and Columbia for the next decade, this installation is coming to fruition through supporters including, What’s Next Midlands, the Congaree Vista Guild, the South Carolina State Museum, EdVenture, the City of Columbia and One Columbia for Arts and History. The laser installation will launch on Saturday, Aug. 19, as part of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend celebrations.

    Southern Lights, a signature, long-term art installation by artist Chris Robinson, will span the Congaree River between the Blossom Street and Gervais Street bridges. Scheduled to light up every evening in Cayce, West Columbia and Columbia for the next decade, this installation is coming to fruition through supporters including, What’s Next Midlands, the Congaree Vista Guild, the South Carolina State Museum, EdVenture, the City of Columbia and One Columbia for Arts and History. The laser installation will launch on Saturday, Aug. 19, as part of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend celebrations.

     

    With the support of the cities of Columbia, West Columbia and Cayce and Richland County, the installation’s design is meant to connect our cities and the Midlands community. The project offers an innovative approach to public art and celebrates and highlights public infrastructure uniquely. Southern Lights will be the only installation of its kind in the United States, and celebrates the work of Charles Townes, a native South Carolinian whose theories led to the development of laser technology.

     

    “Southern Lights is a product of What’s Next Midlands and an example of our community coming together to move our region forward,” said Meghan Hickman, executive director of EngenuitySC. “This will be a signature piece for our community and a must-see for tourists, and we’re proud to be formally introducing Southern Lights as part of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend.”

     

    Along with leadership and support from the communities who touch the bridges, leaders in the Midlands business community, including BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, are sponsoring the project, which will cost an estimated total of $120,000, a value for a signature art piece that will be part of the fabric of our region for a decade.  

     

     

    About Chris Robinson:

    Robinson, a professor in the School of Visual Art and Design at the University of South Carolina, concentrates on contemporary science and technology and its role in decision-making through installations and digital drawings. He holds a BFA from Florida State and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts and is the recipient of many awards including the Leonardo da Vinci Space Art Award and the Palmetto Pillar Award, along with many competitive art awards. He has lectured, written and exhibited extensively throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

     

    Robinson has completed dozens of large-scale installations in his career, most notably installations on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (in conjunction with Rockne Krebs), and in Columbia his light installation at the celebration of the opening of the South Carolina State Museum in 1989 and for the Governor’s Carol Lighting at the South Carolina State House in 1992.

     

    “My installations create a sculptural structure, draw attention to interesting aspects of the surrounding environment and illuminate the distinctive quality of laser light,” said Robinson. “The Congaree River is special and unusual in that it is relatively dark in the middle of an urban environment and the beams can go both under and over the bridges and the viewers.”

     

    Southern Lights is representative of Robinson’s body of work and marks the end of Robinson’s academic career in the School of Visual Art & Design at the University of South Carolina (May 31, 2017). Robinson will become chair of the Department of Art at USC Beaufort this fall.  

     

    Southern Lights Timeline and Launch Plans:

    Robinson will have Southern Lights completely installed by August 2017 but will test the lasers along the way. Two lasers are installed at points on the banks of the Congaree River. One laser is at the City pump station below Founders Park, the USC baseball stadium, and the other is at EdVenture. Additionally, a series of mirrors that will reflect the lasers will be placed on existing structures, including on the rooftop of Bridgepointe Condominiums in West Columbia. The lasers are blue and green in color and mirrors along the river and on the bridges will reflect the lasers. Viewers who take in the installation can expect Southern Lights to look different from different vantage points.

     

    Southern Lights will formally kick off at an event on Saturday, August 19 in the evening in celebration of the Total Solar Eclipse Weekend. The tie-in with the eclipse means that our region’s new signature art piece will be celebrated by locals and tourists alike. Stay tuned to SouthernLightsSC.com for event details.

     

    Southern Lights: Columbia’s Signature Public Art Piece

    This installation is slated to light up the night for three hours every evening for the next 10 years, (times will change depending on what time the sun sets) or as long as the equipment holds up. The City of Columbia is committed to the ongoing maintenance and management of Southern Lights, as is the South Carolina State Museum. Those who cross the Gervais and Blossom Street bridges or visit the riverfront regularly will be able to take in Southern Lights, and with signage and wayfinding surrounding Southern Lights to come, visitors to the region will discover this major attraction for years to come.

     

    For more information on Southern Lights, visit SouthernLightsSC.com and on social media via #SouthernLightsSC.

  • if ART Gallery Artists Laura Spong and Leo Twiggs Win Verner Award for Lifetime Achievement

    May 16, 2017

    if ART Gallery artists Laura Spong and Leo Twiggs have won the 2017 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts for Lifetime Achievement,
    the South Carolina Arts Commission announced today. The Verner Award is the highest award in the arts in South Carolina. This year’s Verner is Twiggs’ second; in 1981 he was the first person to receive a Verner Award as an individual artist.

    if ART Gallery artists Laura Spong and Leo Twiggs have won the 2017 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts for Lifetime Achievement, the South Carolina Arts Commission announced today. The Verner Award is the highest award in the arts in South Carolina. This year’s Verner is Twiggs’ second; in 1981 he was the first person to receive a Verner Award as an individual artist.


    Columbia’s Spong, a native of Nashville, Tenn., was born in 1926. She is among South Carolina’s most prominent abstract painters. Spong was included in Abstract Art in South Carolina 1949 – 2012, the South Caroline State Museum’s historic overview of abstract art in South Carolina. In recent years, Spong has had solo exhibitions at the Spartanburg (S.C.) Museum of Art, Young Harris College in Young Harris, Ga., and if ART Gallery and a two-person exhibition with Carl Blair at the Florence (S.C.) Museum. Spong also was represented in group shows throughout the Carolinas and in Georgia and Tennessee. The South Carolina State Art Collection, the South Carolina State Museum and the Greenville County (S.C.) Museum of Art have acquired both early and more recent paintings by Spong in the past decade.  


    Since the late 1980s, Spong has been a full-time artist, keeping a studio at Vista Studios in Columbia since 1991 and gradually increasing her now considerable reputation. Much of her career has been documented in three exhibition catalogues, Laura Spong at 80: Warming The Chill Wind With Celebration of 2006; Laura Spong 2006 – 2011: Age As An Administrative Device of 2011; and Laura Spong At 90: Six Decades In Paintings, all published by if ART Gallery. 


    Orangeburg’s Twiggs, born in St. Stephen, S.C., in 1934, is among South Carolina’s most revered and important artists, arts educators and arts administrators of the past 50 years. His recent series of paintings inspired by the 2015 Charleston Massacre at Emanuel AME church has traveled extensively through the Carolinas. In 1980, Twiggs became the first visual artist to receive South Carolina’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts. His 2004 career retrospective, accompanied by a catalogue, opened at the Georgia Museum of Art and traveled to the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, S.C., the Greenville County (S.C.) Museum of Art, the Delta Fine Arts Center in Winston Salem, N.C., and the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia.

     

    Twiggs has had more than 70 solo exhibitions, the largest being Civil/Uncivil: The Art Of Leo Twiggs at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston, S.C., in 2011. His work was selected for the South Carolina State Museum’s 1999 millennium exhibition 100 Years, 100 Artists. Among the many other places where Twiggs has exhibited are New York City’s Studio Museum in Harlem; the Schenectady (N.Y.) Museum; the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, Italy; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, Ithaca N.Y.; the Mississippi Museum of Art; and the American Crafts Museum in New York. Twiggs’ 1997 exhibition, Commemoration Revisited, a return to paintings of tattered images of Confederate flags 25 years earlier, received national attention. Already during the 1970s, his work was included in several national exhibitions representing a who’s who of African-American art.


    Twiggs’ career and body of work is extensively documented in the 320-page, heavily illustrated, 2011 book Messages From Home: The Art Of Leo Twiggs (Orangeburg, SC: Claflin University Press). He is featured in dozens of books, articles and other publications, including Elton Fax’s 1977 book Black Artists of the New Generation; the Studio Museum’s 1978 catalogue Leo Twiggs: Down Home Landscape; Samella Lewis’ 1990 book African American Arts and Artists; Amalia K. Amaki’s A Century of African American Art, 2004; and the 2006 if ART catalogue Leo Twiggs: Toward Another Retrospective. 


    Twiggs was born in 1934 in St. Stephen, S.C.  In 1956, he received his B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. In 1961, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, in 1964 earned his MA from New York University, and in 1971was the first African-American to receive a doctorate in art education from the University of Georgia. Formerly a distinguished professor of art and executive director of the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., Twiggs is S.C. State professor emeritus and distinguished artist-in-residence at Claflin University. 
     

  • Vista Guild Plans Vista After 5: Thursday, April 27

    April 25, 2017

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprised of a wide variety of restaurateurs, shop, business, gallery owners, and homeowners in the Vista, will host “Vista After 5,” a free concert in partnership with Music Farm and Tin Roof.

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprised of a wide variety of restaurateurs, shop, business, gallery owners, and homeowners in the Vista, will host “Vista After 5,” a free concert in partnership with Music Farm and Tin Roof.

     

     

    WHAT: Super Deluxe, a 12-piece party band from Charleston, will play live at Vista After 5.

    WHERE: This concert is outdoors at Music Farm and Tin Roof  (1022 Senate Street).

    WHEN: Thursday, April 27, 5:30 p.m.

    MORE: Vista After 5 is free admission, and a bar will be available for attendees age 21 and up. For more information, please click here.

     

    “We’ve missed having a live music event in the Vista and look forward to bringing it back so that the community, Vista residents and tourists staying in the neighborhood can come together after work,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “We’re looking forward to planning more of these free events in the fall because live music always has a home in the Vista.


    Stay tuned to www.VistaColumbia.com as the Vista Guild announces more Vista After 5 concerts. For more information about the Vista, please visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.

  • Vista Guild Plans #ArtistaVista17, April 20–22

    April 11, 2017

    Artista Vista, the Midlands’ most celebrated gallery crawl, returns Thursday, April 20, 2017. Vista galleries will open their doors from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 20 (for Art Night), and these special shows will also be available for viewing during regular gallery hours April 21 and 22, as part of this free, signature Vista gallery crawl.

    Artista Vista, the Midlands’ most celebrated gallery crawl, returns Thursday, April 20, 2017. Vista galleries will open their doors from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 20 (for Art Night), and these special shows will also be available for viewing during regular gallery hours April 21 and 22, as part of this free, signature Vista gallery crawl.

     

    In its 26th year, Artista Vista participating galleries will feature regionally and nationally renowned artists, as well as local artists from the Midlands. Attendees can chat with gallery owners and artists while taking in paintings, sculpture, pottery and jewelry. The Vista streets will also be filled with the sounds of musicians on the streets. Stay tuned as the Vista Guild announces its full Artista Vista schedule.

     

    Vista Galleries

    • Carol Saunders Gallery (922 Gervais Street)
    • City Art (1224 Lincoln Street)
    • Coal Powered Filmworks (1217 Lincoln Street)
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors + Design (1012 Gervais Street)
    • if ART (1223 Lincoln Street)
    • Lewis + Clark (1001 Huger Street)
    • One Eared Cow Glass (1001 Huger Street)
    • Saki Tumi, Art Uncorked (807 Gervais Street, #103)
    • Studio Cellar (912 Lady Street)
    • Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 (808 Lady Street)

     

    New for 2017

    • Lantern and Light Parade: A partnership with 701 Center for Contemporary Art invites the public to bring lanterns and wearable light fixtures to participate in a parade through the Vista that begins and ends at the Lady Street side of Lincoln Street tunnel. Make a lantern, buy a lantern or create accessories and clothing with light fixtures to light up the Vista during its annual art crawl while showing off your creations during the parade. There will be prizes for best lanterns and outfits selected by an independent jury. Participants can create lanterns at home or sign up for one of two artist-led lantern workshops (April 6 at First Thursday on Main on Boyd Plaza and April 9 at 701 Whaley). For more details, see below. No lanterns or light fixtures with live fire are allowed. More information at VistaColumbia.com
    • 25 Artists by Wade Sellers: Wade Sellers, Vista filmmaker and owner of Coal Powered Filmworks, will exhibit his interactive video installation featuring intimate interviews with 25 Columbia artists explaining the common themes and motivation behind how and why they create. Sellers will install screens throughout the Vista with this installation during Artista Vista.
    • blush, installation by Leah Mulligan Cabinum: The grassy median in front of the Hilton and the USC Alumni Center on Senate Street will come to life with Cabinum’s large-scale installation. This piece will remain in the Vista throughout April.
    • Body in Spirit, by Jerome Meadows: The Vista Guild will install another piece of permanent art, Body in Spirit on Lady Street, at the intersection of Lady and Lincoln Streets. The sculpture, a large, 9-foot-tall cut out of a figure with a small perched dove, is made of bronze plate, cast bronze, pink granite and treated cedar. The Vista Guild will “unveil” this piece on April 20 at 3 p.m. just before Leadership Columbia Class of 2017 dedicates “Watermarked,” the revitalized Lincoln Street tunnel just across the street from the sculpture.

     

    Shuttles at #ArtistaVista17

    To make it easy for Artista Vista attendees to head down to our growing Huger Street art scene at One Eared Cow Glass and Lewis + Clark, the Vista Guild is offering free shuttle rides from Lincoln Street at Lady Street down to Huger Street in front of One Eared Cow Glass. Attendees can board the shuttle at the corner of Lincoln and Lady Streets.

     

    Artista Vista is free for attendees, and free parking is available in the Vista’s parking decks located on Lincoln Street near Lady and Park Street near Pendleton on Thursday, April 20 from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

     

    Sponsors

               Cola Daily logo

     

    Stay tuned to www.VistaColumbia.com for event maps and plans as galleries finalize their Artista Vista shows and as the Vista Guild announces installation artists and sites complete gallery and installation exhibition information. For more information about the Vista, please visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook, #ArtistaVista17.

  • Vista Guild Invites Public to Participate in #ArtistaVista17 Light and Lantern Parade

    March 26, 2017

    The Vista Guild will a host a Light and Lantern Parade and invites the general public to make their own lantern and walk in the parade through the Vista at dusk. The Guild is hosting two artist-led workshops to help parade attendees make their lanterns. 

    Artista Vista, the Midlands’ most celebrated gallery crawl, returns Thursday, April 20, 2017 for Art Night. In addition to shows in galleries, public art and installation art, which will all be celebrated at this annual event, the Vista Guild will also host a Light and Lantern Parade and invites the general public to make their own lantern and walk in the parade through the Vista at dusk. The Guild is hosting two artist-led workshops to help parade attendees make their lanterns. The workshops are free and open to the public.

     

    Light and Lantern Parade workshops:

    • Thursday, April 6, 5–8 p.m. on Boyd Plaza, adjacent to the Columbia Museum of Art. In conjunction with First Thursdays on Main, the Vista Guild will have two art educators facilitating the lantern-making session. Lantern-making materials and light bulbs will be provided and participants are encouraged to get creative and make lanterns to bring to the #ArtistaVista17 Lantern and Light Parade.
    • Sunday, April 9, 2–6 p.m. at 701 CCA (701 Whaley St.). 701 CCA’s current artist-in-residence, Osamu Kobayashi, will facilitate the workshop. For this workshop, participants will use existing lanterns and paint abstract compositions with watercolor. Light bulbs will be provided by the Vista Guild.

     


    If members of the public are unable to attend one of these workshops and lantern-making opportunities, they’re encouraged to make lanterns on their own to join in the Light and Lantern Parade. Children are invited to attend the workshops and join the parade, but must be accompanied by their parents.

     

    For more information about #ArtistaVista17 and the full schedule of events and the Vista, please visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook, #ArtistaVista17.

  • Vista Guild Plans #ArtistaVista17, April 20-22

    March 13, 2017

    Artista Vista, the Midlands’ most celebrated gallery crawl, returns Thursday, April 20, 2017. Vista galleries will open their doors from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 20 (for Art Night), and these special shows will also be available for viewing during regular gallery hours April 21 and 22, as part of this free, signature Vista gallery crawl.

    Artista Vista, the Midlands’ most celebrated gallery crawl, returns Thursday, April 20, 2017. Vista galleries will open their doors from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 20 (for Art Night), and these special shows will also be available for viewing during regular gallery hours April 21 and 22, as part of this free, signature Vista gallery crawl.

     

    In its 26th year, Artista Vista participating galleries will feature regionally and nationally renowned artists, as well as local artists from the Midlands. Attendees can chat with gallery owners and artists while taking in paintings, sculpture, pottery and jewelry. Stay tuned as the Vista Guild announces its full Artista Vista schedule.

     

     

    New for 2017

     

     

    • Light Parade: Inspired by the Lantern Parade through the Vista at Artista Vista 2016, Artista Vista organizers are offering three workshop dates for members of the public to come make their own lanterns for the 2017 parade, which will take place at dusk during Artista Vista on Thursday, April 20. Facilitated by artists, these workshops will guide attendees through making their own lanterns with recycled materials. The Vista Guild will provide light bulbs. More information at VistaColumbia.com.
    • 25 Artists by Wade Sellers: Wade Sellers, Vista filmmaker and owner of Coal Powered Filmworks, will exhibit his interactive video installation featuring intimate interviews with 25 Columbia artists explaining the common themes and motivation behind how and why they create. Sellers will install screens throughout the Vista with this installation during Artista Vista.

     

     

    Additionally, the Vista Guild will install another piece of permanent art, “Body in Spirit,” by Jerome Meadows, on Lady Street. The sculpture, a large, 9-foot- tall cut out of a figure with a small perched dove, is made of bronze plate, cast bronze, pink granite and treated cedar.

     

     

    Artista Vista is free for attendees, and free parking is available in the Vista’s parking decks located on Lincoln Street near Lady, Park Street near Pendleton, and Lady Street near Wayne Street on Thursday, April 20 from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

     

     

    Stay tuned for event maps and plans as galleries finalize their Artista Vista shows and as the Vista Guild announces installation artists and sites complete gallery and installation exhibition information. Follow the Vista Guild on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook, #ArtistaVista17. 

  • Congaree Vista Guild Elects New Executive Committee

    March 08, 2017

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprised of a wide variety of restaurateurs, shop, business, gallery owners, and homeowners in the Vista, has elected new officers for 2017.

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprised of a wide variety of restaurateurs, shop, business, gallery owners, and homeowners in the Vista, has elected new officers for 2017.

     

    J Britt, CEO of Magnolia Development, Inc. and project director for Midlands Arts Conservancy, will serve as president of the Vista Guild board, and Merritt McNeely, South Carolina State Museum director of marketing, has been named vice president. Alexis Lindsay, an associate with Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Lafitte, will serve as secretary. Hal Stevenson, CEO of Grace Outdoor, will serve as treasurer.

     

     

    J. Britt

     

    “Our Board works to foster long-term growth and success in the Vista,” said Congaree Vista Guild Executive Director Meredith Atkinson. “We have a variety of experience and expertise on the board that will continue to improve Columbia’s arts and entertainment district, while also ensuring responsible growth and development in our neighborhood.”

     

     

    Todd Avant, Kelly Barbrey, Richard Burts, Stephen Chesley, Lea Cooper, Rosie Craig, Clark Ellefson, David Erbacher, Mike Evans, Beth Frost, Guy Jones, Dale Marshall and Rick Rowe also serve on the Vista Guild board. Columbia Development Corporation’s Fred Delk will serve as an ex officio board member.

     

     

    “This neighborhood has so much to offer Columbia, now, more than ever, and we are excited to promote and expand business and arts experiences in the Vista,” said Britt.

     

     

    The Vista has long been Columbia’s creative center, and is now the Midlands’ place to go for nightlife and entertainment. The Congaree Vista Guild board strives to encourage healthy growth in the Vista, while seeing that the Vista is a vibrant symbol of historic preservation and adaptive reuse in Columbia.

     

     

    For more information about the Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or contact Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

  • Mix and Mingle, Wine, Dine and Shop at Annual Vista Lights

    November 02, 2016

    Entertainment, a Tree Lighting, Special Offers and More as the Vista Guild Lights Up the Midlands Holiday Season

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 27, 2016) – The 31st annual Vista Lights, the Congaree Vista’s signature open house, kicks off the holiday season on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, from 5-10 p.m. with artistic performances, live music, dancing, shopping, dining and the annual Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m.

     

    More than 90 galleries, shops and restaurants will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Brig. Gen. John P. Johnson., of Fort Jackson. Attendees should gather around the stage and tree at Gervais and Lincoln Streets by 6:30 p.m. to see holiday music and dance performances, including:

    • Trustus Theatre
    • The Dance Floor
    • Columbia City Ballet
    • Oraki Dance Company
    • Unbound Dance Company
    • Unleashed Hip Hop Company
    • Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet Bon Bons

     

    Following the 7 p.m. tree lighting, The Reggie Sullivan Band will play throughout the evening. The 282nd Army Band Victory Brass Quintet will also perform and roam throughout the Vista all evening, as will the Carillon Carolers and other musicians.

     

    For Vista Lights images, click here.

     

    More in store at Vista Lights 2016:

    • Members of the military and Fort Jackson and their families are invited to a VIP area outside of Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln Street) to enjoy complimentary light refreshments during Vista Lights from 5:30 – 8 p.m.
    • The Vista Guild will offer wristbands to Vista Lights attendees who are 21 and older to purchase beer, which will be for sale in the Whit-Ash parking lot off of Gervais Street between Lincoln and Park streets from 5 – 9:30 p.m. On tap for the evening are $5 drafts, including Stella Artois, Bud Light, Palmetto Huger Street IPA and Conquest Medusa Stout.
    • Emerald Artistry will offer free face painting for children at the corner of Lincoln and Gervais near Starbuck’s.

     

    Throughout the night, many businesses will offer complimentary beverages, hors d’oeuvres and shopping discounts. Vista Lights attendees are invited to stroll through the Vista’s art galleries and businesses, restaurants and bars on this festive evening.

     

    “We’re so excited about what our Vista Guild members and neighborhood shops, galleries, restaurants, retailers and businesses are doing this year to get everyone in the spirit of the holiday season,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “We have a great lineup of holiday entertainment and a fabulous show leading up to our annual tree lighting at 7 p.m. We’re encouraging everyone to stroll through the Vista taking advantage of special offers and discounts at our neighborhood’s businesses.”

     

    After the tree lighting, Vista Lights attendees are encouraged to stay on and enjoy the Vista’s nightlife with specials in many of the bars and restaurants.

     

    Mix and mingle and find Vista Lights-only specials with these participating businesses:

     

    New Vista Hot Spots:

    • 52 inc (504 ½ Gervais St.): Enjoy hot apple cider and play classic video games at this design and development studio that builds apps for iOS, Android and the web.
    • Casual Pint (807 Gervais St.): All merchandise and six packs offered at 15 percent discount in the store. Outside grab koozies and craft beers for $4 at this new Vista beer emporium.
    • City Bar (700 Gervais St.): Offering $1.75 domestic beers, $2 off all liquors and liquor drinks and $2 off all entrees and small plates.
    • CPR (506 Gervais St.): CPR Cell Phone Repair is offering $20 off all phone repairs over $100 and a 20 percent discount on all merchandise.
    • Grill Marks (711 Gervais St.): Offering a special treat with the purchase off the menu at the Vista’s burger hot spot.
    • Palmetto Twist (1225 Lincoln St.): Offering photos with Santa from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. and sales on a wide variety of monogrammed and custom-monogrammed gift items.
    • Sandler’s Diamonds and Time (1231 Lincoln St.) Pick up a special timeless piece of jewelry to ring in the holidays at the Vista’s fine jeweler. Offering discount pricing on select jewelry. WVOC/WCOS will broadcast live from the store.
    • SC Pedal Parlor (stationed on Lincoln St. during Vista Lights): Offering discount vouchers and free candy.
    • SC Pride (931-D Senate Street): Offering beer and wine and good times with a featured DJ at this Pride in the City event.

     

    Shop (locally) ‘til you drop:

    • BP Skinner Clothiers (1003 Gervais St.): Offering special holiday discounts in-store.
    • Carol Saunders Gallery (1003 Gervais St.): Kick off the holiday season and visit the gallery full of holiday gifts and ornaments. Featuring artwork by Columbia native Eileen Blyth.
    • City Art (1224 Lincoln St.): Featuring Susan Lenz’s “Building in Stitches,” which celebrates its opening in the main gallery. Cindi Saad will also showcase her original handmade jewelry. Other gallery spaces will be open, as will the art supply store.
    • The Backpacker Quality Gear (1215 Wayne St.): Offering refreshments and 15 percent discounts on all regularly priced merchandise as well as free gift wrapping. Open until 8:30 p.m.
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors (1012 Gervais St.): Offering refreshments and exhibiting new paintings by Ellen Taylor Interiors artists. Also showing new furniture and accessories.
    • Eye on Gervais (1219 Lincoln St.): Offering light refreshments and a trunk show plus 20 percent off all frames and lenses.
    • If ART (1223 Lincoln St.): Offering refreshments and featuring works by Mark Flowers: “Washing the Dust.” Flowers lives near Asheville, N.C. and is a native of Greenville, S.C.
    • Imagine This Boutique (717 Lady St., Ste. C). Enjoy light bites and wine with 10 percent discounts on select items. Open until 8:30 p.m.
    • Lewis+Clark (1001 Huger St.): Featuring Clark Ellefson’s studio and recent work including handmade modern lighting and robots. Serving refreshments and craft beer and wine.
    • One Eared Cow Glass (1001 Huger St.): Watch artists in live glass-blowing demonstrations. Offering light snacks and refreshments.
    • River Runner Outdoor Center (905 Gervais St.): River Runner is the new Hobie Kayak retailer for Columbia. These special kayaks will be on display outside and inside the shop. Take this opportunity to sit in the kayak and pedal drive the unit.
    • Urban Outfitters (912 Gervais St.): Get your holiday shopping started early at Urban Outfitters.
    • Vista Studios/Gallery 80808 (808 Lady St.): Studio artists present new work.
    • Whit-Ash Furnishings (919 Gervais St.): Offering light refreshments and hot cider.

     

    Mix and mingle:

    • ByFarr (504 ½ Gervais St.): Will offer letterpress demonstrations, Christmas stationery sales and free parking. Offering an open air market in the grass lot facing Huger Street with several food vendors and live music.
    • The Dance Floor (717 Lady St.): Serving refreshments and offering a free class sampler including shag and line dancing from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Class packages will be offered at a 20 percent discount. Visitors will be entered to win free classes.
    • Regions Bank (1010 Gervais St.): Copper Horse Distilling will serve their Copper Cream Whiskey liqueur and USC’s Saint Thomas More Parish Choir will perform.
    • Studio Cellar (912 Lady St.): Serving light hors d’oeuvres and live painting by resident artists with local entertainment.

     

    Eat, drink and be merry:

    • Art Bar (1211 Park St.): Enjoy an extended happy hour until 8 p.m. with a 25 percent discount at this eclectic party spot. Local craft beers available and stick around after Vista Lights for “Useless Trivia” with host Parthenon John. Rest your feet and charge your phone with one of our “Chargbots.”
    • Blue Marlin (1200 Lincoln St.): Offering samples of Blue Marlin’s famous shrimp and grits under the Lincoln St. canopy and a special VIP area for military families from 5:30 – 8 p.m. The private room will be open with a cash bar.
    • Carolina Ale House (708 Lady St.) Enjoy live music and great holiday drinks on the rooftop.
    • Kaminsky’s (930 Gervais St.): Offering assorted cupcakes, various sweet treats and wine.
    • Liberty (828 Gervais St.): Enjoy discounted menu prices and hang out with beer trucks, food, coffee and hot chocolate outside.
    • Longhorn Steakhouse (902 Gervais St.): Selling beer and wine outdoors and offering free hot chocolate and s’mores on Gervais Street at the fire pit.
    • Mellow Mushroom (1009 Gervais St.): Meet Mel and have a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza and beer by the glass.
    • Oyster Bar (1123 Park St.): Live music by Etheridge & Kimpland.
    • Pearlz (936 Gervais St.): Offering shrimp sliders and house chips on the street in front of the restaurant.
    • SakiTumi (807 Gervais St.): Check out the annual “Gathering in the Alleyway.” Draft beer and wine to sample and purchase. Sample SakiTumi food and a local artist will also be painting a piece for onlookers.

     

    Fun for all ages:

    • Cupcake (1213 Lincoln St.): Enjoy a special cupcake just for Vista Lights.
    • The Peanut Man (1215 Lincoln St.): Offering free warm praline samples, discounts on holiday gift orders and live music. Children under age 12 can decorate ornaments for $2. Preview holiday trays, gift baskets and more.

     

    Revel and relax:

    • Columbia’s The Salon and Giftique (620 Gervais St.): Enjoy 15 percent discounts in the Giftique, on products and future beauty appointments booked that night
    • Glowout Salon (1202 Park St.): Stop by for bubbly and bites.
    • Pura (807 Gervais St.): Offering discounts on Botox and microdermabrasion treatments, free chair massages and hand chemical peels. Also offering discounts on holiday gift cards and free swag bags.
    • Southeastern Esthetics Institute (823 Gervais St.): Offering $20 skin rejuvenation facials with a free microdermabrasion or chemical peel and swag bags with free gift cards.
    • Studio O2 (801 Gervais St.): Check out what Studio O2 offers and get free samples of Topper’s Rhum.

     

    Free parking is available in Vista garages at 820 Washington Street and behind the Hilton Hotel. Gervais Street, from Assembly to Gadsden, will close to automobile traffic at 6 p.m. and reopen at 10 p.m.

     

    Special thanks to Vista Lights 2016 sponsors including: Bacardi, Grey Goose Vodka, City of Columbia, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Carolina International Trucks, Stella Artois, Grace Outdoor, Sowell Gray, Lewis + Clark, Garvin Designs, Capital Waste Services, Research Planning, Inc., Whit-Ash Furnishings and Southeastern Esthetics Institute. Thanks to 701 Whaley, River Runner Outdoor Center, The Casual Pint, Carolina Ale House, Lorick Office Products, NAI Avant, McCrory Construction, Arnold Companies, Hyatt Place, Cohn Construction Services, South State Bank and Kali Render State Farm.

     

    To learn more about Vista Lights 2016 and keep up with the growing list of happenings, visit www.VistaColumbia.com. Follow @VistaGuild on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using #VistaLights16 or e-mail info@VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946.

     

    ###

     

    CONTACT:
    Katie Alice Walker

    kwalker@kawcommunications.com

    (803) 250-5292

  • Congaree Vista Guild Launches New Website

    October 28, 2016

    The Vista Guild redesigns website to focus on providing Vista visitors and tourists with information about the arts and entertainment district.

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (October 20, 2016) —The Congaree Vista Guild, the membership organization for business and property owners, as well as residents, art galleries and museums in the Vista, has launched its new website, VistaColumbia.com. The new site features information on the Vista’s businesses, entertainment, dining and lodging options as an event calendar, designed to help thousands of annual visitors to the district and longtime fans of the Vista navigate and find the Vista experience that suits them.

     

    The site’s Eat & Drink, Shop & Explore, Stay & Relax and Events & Entertainment navigation options help site visitors decided exactly what to do and where to go while in the Vista. There are also pages for annual events, Artista Vista and Vista Lights, as well as a map of the district, a downloadable visitor’s guide and information on parking. The Vista Guild recently released a new video to provide an overview of the Vista’s history and recent growth and announced new branding, which are both integral parts of the organization’s vibrant new website.

     

    “The new website really gives the thousands of visitors we see in the Vista each year a full picture of everything this historic neighborhood has to offer,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “We’re also excited about increased functionality for Vista businesses whose events will be featured on the site’s calendar and whose businesses have a detailed listing and are categorized so that patrons can find them easily. Members and potential members can also learn more about opportunities with the Vista Guild.”

     

    The Vista Guild worked with local web developers DuBose Web to design the new site.

     

    For more information on the Congaree Vista Guild, visit VistaColumbia.com, call (803) 269.5946 or follow the Vista on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

    ###

     

    CONTACT:

    Katie Alice Walker

    kwalker@kawcommunications.com

    (803) 250-5292

  • 31st Annual Vista Lights Kicks off the 2016 Midlands Holiday Season Thursday, November 17

    October 15, 2016

    The Congaree Vista’s signature open house kicks off the holiday season with artistic performances, live music and dancing. More than 60 galleries, shops and restaurants in the Vista will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before and following the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Brig. Gen. John P. Johnson.

     

     

     

     

    CONTACT:

    Katie Alice Walker

    kwalker@kawcommunications.com

    (803) 250-5292

     

    31st Annual Vista Lights Kicks off the 2016 Midlands Holiday Season Thursday, November 17

     

    WHAT: The Congaree Vista’s signature open house kicks off the holiday season with artistic performances, live music and dancing. More than 60 galleries, shops and restaurants in the Vista will open their doors to showcase their holiday treasures before and following the Vista’s tree lighting with Mayor Steve Benjamin and Brig. Gen. John P. Johnson.

     

    WHEN: 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday, November 17 (Gervais, Lincoln and Park streets closed to traffic from 6 – 10 p.m.).

     

    WHERE: The Congaree Vista, with pedestrian-only traffic on Gervais Street from Assembly to Gadsden; and Lincoln and Park Streets, between Senate and Lady Streets.

     

    TREE LIGHTING: The evening’s highlight will be a tree-lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. at the intersection of Gervais and Lincoln. Be there by 6 p.m. to see the music and dance performances before the main event, the tree lighting. The Reggie Sullivan Band will play on stage immediately following the tree lighting.

     

    SPECIAL: Free parking available in City of Columbia garages in the Vista.

     

    MORE: Vista Lights 2016 is sponsored by Bacardi and Grey Goose Vodka.

     

    To learn more and stay updated with Vista Lights and see a full list of all Vista Lights happenings, visit VistaColumbia.com. Also, follow @VistaGuild on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, using #VistaLights16, e-mail info@VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946.

  • The Vista Guild Clean and Safe Team is Hiring!

    September 27, 2016

    Join the Vista team and apply today!

    Congaree Vista Guild Safety and Hospitality Ambassador
     
    General Description:
    The Safety and Hospitality Ambassador is a part-time position and is responsible for ensuring that the Vista  visitors, residents, and employees have an enjoyable experience while in the Vista district. The ambassador is responsible for providing a visible presence within the boundaries of The Vista. This team member will serve as a goodwill ambassador while completing necessary tasks to keep The Vista clean, safe, and a friendly place to be. The ambassador is expected to engage visitors and provide information, directions, and assistance to Vista residents, workers, and guests. The ambassador is instrumental in reporting conditions adversely affecting The Vista. This position is responsible for maintaining constant and open communication in addition to reporting illegal activities to local law enforcement. This person reports to the Vista Guild Clean and Safe Operations Manager. Duties of the team member minimum requirements and abilities include, but not limited to the following:
    • Complete basic duties associated with keeping the Vista clean, safe, and friendly
    • Good verbal communication skills
    • Clean driving record
    • Work outdoors and effectively carry out duties in extreme heat and cold conditions
    • Knowledgeable of the Vista and downtown Columbia
    • Proactively completes tasks and problem solving
    • Documents activity on appropriate forms
     
    Responsibility
    • Maintain a clean and professional appearance including jacket, pants/shorts, shirt, hat, shoes, gloves, and belt
    • Attend all mandatory in service training and required meetings
    • Accurately document all required forms of data collection
     
    Personal Relations
    • Meet with Operations Manager on a regular basis, briefing on status of assigned work
    • While on patrol, update team members to exchange work related information or to assist in completing a task
    • Contact police officers and other civil servants to pass on work related information and to assist them in their duties
    • Actively greet citizens while on patrol
     
    Physical Requirements
    • Patrol (walk) on foot for and eight-hour shift exposed to all weather conditions
    • Must be able to wear shoes, socks, shirt, pants and cap during entire shift
    • Must be able to lift 25 pounds
     
    Qualifications
    • High school diploma
    • Valid driver’s license with clean driving record
     
    Experience
    • The team member will at all times demonstrate cooperative behavior with colleagues, managers, visitors, and guests
    • Customer service experience preferred but not required
    • Excellent attitude and professional demeanor
     
    For more information or to apply, please contact Bobby Gillespie at bobby@vistacolumbia.com.
  • Congaree Vista Guild Unveils New Logo and Video

    September 14, 2016

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 13, 2016) —The Congaree Vista Guild, the membership organization for business and property owners, as well as residents, art galleries and museums in the Vista, unveils new branding and a new video for the organization.

    The organization’s new marketing materials are designed to pay homage to the district’s artful history and its recent designation as an official South Carolina Cultural District, while also acknowledging the Vista’s growth as an entertainment, dining and business epicenter in the Midlands. 

     

    With the new branding, the Vista Guild also releases a new video, designed to highlight stakeholders in the district sharing their love for the growth and development the neighborhood has experienced recently, as it is now home to nearly 5,000 residents. With its large volume of hotel rooms, restaurants and nightlife, the Vista also now sees thousands of tourists and visitors annually. 

     

    “We’re always mindful of the Vista’s roots: the artists and galleries that moved into our warehouse spaces, and our new branding and this video offer a snapshot of how important the arts are in the Vista. And the brick-red color of the logo, for example, is an homage to our brick-paved street and this area’s history,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “We’re also in a time of tremendous growth, from new residents and new developments, to new businesses choosing to make the Vista home, and our new branding reflects the energy here in the district.”

     

    As the Vista Guild was recently named one of the South Carolina Arts Commission’s official S.C. Cultural Districts and the organization is planning its annual Vista Lights for Nov. 17, 2016, the Midlands’ largest holiday celebration, the organization will use its new branding broadly. 

     

    The Vista Guild worked with local creatives The Half and Half to design the organization’s new branding and Cinema Couture, which filmed and edited the Vista Guild’s new video.

     

    For more information on the Congaree Vista Guild, visit VistaColumbia.com, call (803) 269.5946 or follow the Vista on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

     

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  • Congaree Vista Guild Welcomes More Than 2,000 New Residents to the District

    August 22, 2016

    COLUMBIA,S.C. (August 22, 2016) —The Congaree Vista Guild welcomes more than 2,000 new residents to the district, which has experienced steady growth in recent years.

    These new residents, many of them students, moved into housing developments recently constructed as the fall semester at the University of South Carolina commences, effectively doubling the resident population in the Vista, estimated to now include approximately 5,000 residents.

     

    New housing developments in the Vista include part of The Apartments at Palmetto Compress (612 Devine St.),Greene Crossing (708 Pulaski St.), Park Place (506 Huger St.) and 650 Lincoln (650 Lincoln St.), which all offer residents an urban environment convenient to the University of South Carolina, shops, restaurants, nightlife and more.

     

    “The Vista has been planning for this influx of residents for quite some time,” said Fred Delk, Vista Guild board member and executive director of Columbia Development Corporation. “Doubling the number of Vista residents adds to the fabric of this historic, artistic neighborhood, and it strengthens the Vista’s ties with USC.”

     

    With this influx of residents, the Vista has also long been working on its plans to keep the neighborhood safe and clean for owners, residents and the millions of visitors that visit annually. The Vista Guild has reorganized its safety ambassador program and now the organization employs two Clean and Safe Ambassadors, whose daily duties include:

     

    • Keeping the neighborhood clean and safe in the heart of the Vista, by picking up light trash and responding to needs and concerns of Vista business and property owners.
    • Distributing Vista Guild brochures and maps and offering a friendly face to answer questions from passersby in the neighborhood.
    • Remaining in contact with the Vista Guild executive director and board of directors to make them aware of any safety or cleanliness issues in the district.
    • Offering assistance to residents and visitors to the Vista.

     

    The Vista Guild’s Clean and Safe ambassadors will work nearly all hours of the day. Ambassadors will wear Congaree Vista logos and hats, and now report directly to and are employed by the Vista Guild. Until recently, the Vista Guild shared the ambassadors (“Yellow Shirts”) with City Center Partnership.

     

    “We’ve been managing the Clean and Safe ambassadors in the Vista for a few weeks now, and we’re so pleased with the ways they have offered our new residents bottled water as the moved in over the weekend, for example, and are working to keep the Vista’s tidiness and safety a top priority,” said Atkinson. “Managing the ambassadors ourselves allows us to address needs that affect the Vista directly, like this influx of new residents and development, and optimize our resources.”

     

     For more information on the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com, call (803) 269.5946 or follow the Vista on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

  • Vista Guild Installs New Sculpture at Vista Greenway Tunnel Entrance

    July 18, 2016

    The Vista Guild is proud to announce its most recent public art sculpture installation, a 12-foot-tall, powder-coated steel sculpture by artist Doug McAbee titled, “Curtis & Bob.”

     

    “Curtis & Bob,” public art sculpture by Doug McAbee, Cheerfully Greets Greenway Users

     

    The sculpture is at the Taylor Street entrance to the tunnel adjacent to Finlay Park, which opened July 13 after completion of Phase II of construction. The eye-catching yellow sculpture adds to the list of Vista Guild-commissioned public art pieces and is whimsical and approachable, according to the artist. The sculpture also follows McAbee’s current body of work, which utilizes humor with formal and conceptual qualities to create a visual conversation with the viewer.

     

     “Curtis, the taller figure, may signify the Columbia or the state of South Carolina historically as we have risen with strength and technology again and again throughout our past,” said McAbee, a graduate of Winthrop University who is also an assistant professor of art at Lander University. “Bob sits high up on Curtis’ shoulders proudly looking toward the future. These two pals, though very different in appearance, work together in partnership to accomplish their goals.  Curtis & Bob represent the people and the state I know and love.”

     

    The Vista Guild has worked diligently to fund, support, commission and install public art sculpture in recent years. With “Curtis & Bob,” the Vista now has five sculptures throughout the neighborhood. This commitment is part of the reason the South Carolina Arts Commission recently named the Vista an official South Carolina Cultural District.

     

    “The Vista as we know it today is rooted in galleries and artists, and we’re pleased to be able to add even more character to the neighborhood with the addition of Curtis & Bob. The sculpture is cheerful and adds to the fabric of its urban surroundings,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “Our board is dedicated to keeping the history of the neighborhood and the arts front and center with every decision we make, and we look forward to adding even more public art to the Vista.”

     

    One Columbia for Arts and History aided the Vista Guild with logistics and communications in the installation process. "It has been a privilege to work with the Vista Guild, Doug McAbee and the City of Columbia to install another piece of public art. Sculptures like ‘Curtis & Bob’ continue to enhance the uniqueness and artistic talent of the Vista, Columbia's first recognized cultural district, but also physically represent how Columbia is a hub of creativity," said Lee Snelgrove, executive director of One Columbia.

     

    For more information about the Vista Guild, please visit VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269-5946.  Follow the Vista Guild on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook

     

     

  • Now Hiring: Vista Guild Summer/Fall Intern

    April 04, 2016

    The Congaree Vista Guild, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, is looking to hire a summer/fall intern!

    As an intern you will get to work with various city officials, members of the Vista Guild, influential business leaders in the community, and our Board of Directors, all while working on real projects that will help the Vista grow. The ideal candidate will be someone who has the ability to walk into a room of people and cannot leave without making new friends. The candidate must also be obsessed with social media and event planning, is creative and thoughtful when interacting within the community, and also wishes to build relationships.

     

    What You Will Learn:

    • How to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.
    • How to work with and for city and state officials, Board of Directors and members of our organization.
    • Relationship building within the Vista District and the City of Columbia.
    • Eventand non-profit management.
    • How to create creative content for social media and advertisements.
    • Plenty of additional opportunities.

     

    What We Require:

    1. Background in Marketing, Communication, non-profit management or other related discipline.
    2. Strong communication skills. 
    3. Proficient in Microsoft Suite Office. 
    4. Organized, with an ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments. 
    5. Creative and Flexible. 
    6. Very strong interpersonal skills. 
    7. Familiarity with social networking sites desired. 
    8. Interest in nonprofit management and community development. 
    9. An attitude where you are willing to rollup your sleeves for whatever the job may require. 
    10. Willingness to have fun!

     

    We value our interns and will go the extra mile to make sure you receive a learning experience that fits your career goals. You will become extremely knowledgeable in marketing techniques, a master of social media, have an understanding of non-profit and event management, and have an amazing time doing it! You will also learn how to work in a professional environment and have ample opportunity to network with city and state officials and other business professionals.

     

    Details:

    This is an unpaid internship that begins May 2 (or to accommodate your school schedule). You are expected to work 15-20 hours a week. A stipend at the end of the internship may be available.

    To apply please submit your resume with a cover letter telling us why you would be the best intern for the Congaree Vista Guild to Meredith Atkinson at Meredith@vistacolumbia.com.  Please include “Vista Guild Intern” in the subject line.

  • Vista Guild Plans 25th Annual Artista Vista, April 21-23

    March 22, 2016

    Artista Vista, the Midlands’ most celebrated gallery crawl, returns from Thursday, April 21 – Saturday, April 23, 2016. Vista galleries will open their doors from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, April 21 (for Art Night), and for regular gallery hours April 22-23 for this free, signature Vista gallery crawl.

    In its 25th year, Artista Vista will feature regionally and nationally renowned artists, as well as local artists from the Midlands. Attendees can chat with gallery owners and artists while taking in paintings, sculpture, pottery and jewelry. The event will also feature live music artists at their craft on the streets in the Vista during Thursday night’s Art Night party. Several galleries are also planning special talks and lectures by artists on Friday and Saturday of the event. Visit ArtistaVista.com to view the full Artista Vista schedule.

     

    Art Night (Thursday, April 21):

    Participating Artista Vista galleries include:

    • Carol Saunders Gallery 
    • City Art 
    • Ellen Taylor Interiors+ Design
    • if ART Gallery
    • Lewis + Clark
    • One Eared Cow Glass
    • Studio Cellar
    • The Gallery at Nonnah’s
    • VistaStudios/Gallery 80808

     

    New this year: Members of the public are invited to participate in Libera Me: A Lantern Parade and Group Performance with 701 CCA artist in residence Janke Klompmeker. The parade will gather at 8 p.m. at the entrance to the Vista Greenway tunnel at Lady and Lincoln Streets. The parade will leave as the sun sets at 8:15 p.m. and make its way through a short route in the Vista. Members of the public can participate by making lanterns in workshops at 701 CCA before the parade (more information on workshop dates and times at ArtistaVista.com) or carrying lanterns that have been made already. Members of the public are also encouraged to just watch the parade as it makes its way through the Vista.

     

    Klompmaker, an artist from the Netherlands, will be the CCA artist in residence from early April through the end of June. Her lanterns, produced at Furman University, will be in the exhibition Dadaesque, which will open at 701 CCA April 13.

     

    Installation Art:

    The Vista Guild has commissioned artist Michaela Pilar Brown to curate “Consider the Revolution,” several installation and temporary performance pieces by artists that will be in place for Artista Vista. The exhibit features South Carolina artists looking at change mediated through mark making, objects, performance and movement.

     

    Participating installation artists include: Susan Lenz, Shannon Lindsey, Kenneth Eric Adams, Sara Schnecloth, Roni Nicole Henderson, The Nia Company, Jason Kendall and Kara Gunter. A map of installation locations and curator’s notes is available at ArtistaVista.com.

     

    Public Art Sculpture dedication:

    As in recent years, the Vista Guild will also install another permanent sculpture, by artist Mike Williams, near 707 Gervais Street between Newk’s Eatery and theTwisted Spur. The short dedication will take place at 5:30 p.m.

     

    More Artista Vista on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23:

    Free, guided walking tours of the installation art and sculpture will be offered by volunteer guides and One Columbia on Saturday, April 23 at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and2 p.m. Tours will meet and depart from the corner of Lady and Lincoln Streets.

     

    Participating Artista Vista galleries will be open for their regular gallery hours and several are offering special artist talks. For a full schedule of special gallery events and talks on Friday and Saturday, visit ArtistaVista.com.

     

    “The ArtsCommission recently officially designated the Vista a South Carolina Cultural District. We can think of no better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Artista Vista than by celebrating the arts in our cultural district with fresh installations curated by one of our favorite artists, lectures in the galleries and mixing and mingling with art lovers in the Vista,” said Meredith Atkinson, executive director of the Congaree Vista Guild.

     

    Artista Vista is free for attendees, and free parking is available in the Vista’s parking decks located on Lincoln Street near Lady, Park Street near Pendleton andLady Street near Wayne Street on Thursday, April 21 from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

     

    Stay tuned to ArtistaVista.com for event maps and plans as galleries finalize their Artista Vista shows and as the Vista Guild announces installation artists and sites complete gallery and installation exhibition information. For more information about the Vista, please visit VistaColumbia.com or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild on TwitterInstagram and on Facebook

  • Congaree Vista Guild Welcomes New Board of Directors

    February 02, 2016

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – February 2, 2016 –The Congaree Vista Guild, a non-profit, membership-based organization comprising a wide variety of restaurateurs, shop, business and gallery owners, as well as homeowners in Columbia’s Vista, has elected a new Board of Directors for 2016.

    Hal W. Stevenson, partner of Grace Outdoor Advertising, will serve as president. Merritt McHaffie McNeely, marketing director at South Carolina State Museum, will serve as vice president. Michael Evans, general manager of Carolina International Trucks, will serve as secretary. Richard Burts, property owner and developer, will serve as treasurer. Vista Guild executive board members will each serve a one-year term.

     

     “Our Board works to fosterlong-term growth and success in the Vista,” said Congaree Vista Guild ExecutiveDirector Meredith Atkinson. “We have a variety of experience and expertise onthe board that will continue to improve Columbia’s arts andentertainment district, while also ensuring responsible growth and developmentin our neighborhood.”

     

    Other board members include: Todd Avant, Kelly Barbrey, J. Britt, Stephen Chesley, Lea Cooper, Rosie Craig, Fred Delk, Clark Ellefson, David Erbacher, Beth Frost, Cathy Jansen, Guy Jones, Alexis Lindsay, Dale Marshall and Rick Rowe.

     

    “I am excited to work with such a great group of board members who are passionate about the potential of the Vista,” said Stevenson.“With 3,000 new residents moving in and $700 million of new development, the Vista Guild looks forward to helping steer responsible growth. We’re excited to promote and expand our new businesses while staying focused on our legacy of being a home for arts and culture.”

     

    The Vista has long been Columbia’s creative center, and is now the Midlands’ place to go for nightlife and entertainment. The Congaree Vista Guild board strives to encourage healthy development in the Vista, while seeing that the Vista is a vibrant symbol of progressive culture in Columbia.

     

    For more information about the Vista Guild, visit VistaColumbia.com or contact Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269-5946 or info@VistaColumbia.com. Follow the Vista Guild on FacebookTwitter and Instagram: @VistaGuild.

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