NEWS & Happenings

  • Vista Guild Announces Results and Donations from annual Artista Vista

    May 23, 2024

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced that $12,000 in donations will be made to local performing arts groups using proceeds from the recent Live on Lincoln event. The annual event, presented by LS3P, was the finale to the 3nd Annual Artista Vista.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced that $12,000 in donations will be made to local performing arts groups using proceeds from the recent Live on Lincoln event. The annual event, presented by LS3P, was the finale to the 3nd Annual Artista Vista.

     

    “We’re really pleased with the results of this year’s Artista Vista,” said Congaree Guild Executive Director Abby Anderson. “We hit or exceeded many of our goals for the various events and are so grateful for the community’s support. We welcomed more visitors than ever to the district and raised critical funds for our performing arts groups.

     

    Some of the highlights noted were:

     

    - More than 11 galleries welcomed visitors for the annual gallery crawl

    - 11 lantern-making workshops were held at which more than 150 lanterns were created for the Lights and Lantern Parade presented by Architrave

    - 56 artists and creators participated in the first Live Art Mart

    - $12,000 was raised for local performing arts groups at Live on Lincoln

     

    Artista Vista is scheduled for Friday, April 11-Sunday, April 13, 2025. Events throughout the weekend will include a gallery crawl on Friday; Art Day on Saturday; Live Art Mart on Saturday with local artisans and craftsmen; and a light and lantern parade Saturday evening. Live on Lincoln will again serve as the finale on Sunday afternoon.

  • Live on Lincoln Postponed Due to Weather

    April 18, 2024

    The 5th annual Live on Lincoln event, presented by LS3P, has been postponed until Sunday, April 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. due to weather concerns. The Friday and Saturday activities for Artista Vista will go on as scheduled.

    The 5th annual Live on Lincoln event, presented by LS3P, has been postponed until Sunday, April 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. due to weather concerns. The Friday and Saturday activities for Artista Vista will go on as scheduled.

     

    Tickets for individuals are $100 and private party tables are $1000. Proceeds from the event will benefit local performing arts organizations. For tickets, visit https://tickets.coladaily.com/events/live-on-lincoln. Seating is limited.

     

    Live on Lincoln was founded by the Koger Center for the Arts in 2020 and is now a signature event for the Congaree Vista Guild. The dinner will be catered by Blue Marlin on the cobblestones of Lincoln Street and will feature performances from Columbia’s finest performing groups.

     

  • Rededication of The Gong in the Vista Set

    April 11, 2024

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced that a rededication ceremony will take place for The Gong, a commemorative piece created to celebrate the late Marvin Chernoff. The Gong was stolen earlier this year but has since been recovered and repaired. The ceremony will take place Tuesday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m. at 1100 Lincoln Street.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced that a rededication ceremony will take place for The Gong, a commemorative piece created to celebrate the late Marvin Chernoff. The Gong was stolen earlier this year but has since been recovered and repaired. The ceremony will take place Tuesday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m. at 1100 Lincoln Street.

     

    “We are so relieved that The Gong was recovered and that it’s been restored to its original state,” said Abby Anderson, Executive Director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “We felt like a rededication was important for such a treasured piece of public art.”

     

    The Gong was created by Clark Ellefson and Matthew Kramer to honor the late Marvin Chernoff, a public relations executive with offices in the Vista. Chernoff was known for using a small, desk-sized gong to symbolize a job well done and a way to create closure before moving to the next project.

     

    Lee Ann Kornegay, a film maker, arts organizer and former employee of the late Chernoff initially brought the idea to One Columbia in the early 1980s and recommended a less traditional sculpture. One Columbia for Arts and Culture commissioned the piece with donated funds from the community and with Chernoff’s personality in mind. They oversee the maintenance of the artwork and received a donation to assist with the repairs to the Gong.

     

    One Columbia works with the City of Columbia, community organizations, and private entities to bring public art to the community by commissioning, administering, maintaining, and marking public art throughout the city.
     

    The Vista site for The Gong was chosen to recognize Chernoff’s early involvement in the development and repurposing of the former warehouse area and is located near the first office renovated by Chernoff and his business partner, Rick Silver.

    For more information about the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, X and Instagram: @TheVistaSC. For more information on One Columbia for Arts and Culture, visit OneColumbiaSC.com.

  • Vista Neighborhood Association’s Second Annual Alley Golf Tournament

    February 15, 2024

    The Vista Neighborhood Association (VNA) and the Congaree Vista Guild are hosting the 2nd Annual Alley Golf Tournament in the Vista on Saturday, April 6. The event is from 2-6pm and has 3 mini golf holes in a tournament format which will be set up in 3 different Vista alleyways (see below for details). Players will have a chance to win 1st and 2nd place prizes and also win prizes through random drawings.   

    The Vista Neighborhood Association (VNA) and the Congaree Vista Guild are hosting the 2nd Annual Alley Golf Tournament in the Vista on Saturday, April 6. The event is from 2-6pm and has 3 mini golf holes in a tournament format which will be set up in 3 different Vista alleyways (see below for details). Players will have a chance to win 1st and 2nd place prizes and also win prizes through random drawings.   

     

    Also this year there is a 4th location --- the 19th hole at Saki Tumi, where you can play to win prizes by putting a hole in one! Open from 4-7pm.

     

    Players purchase a scorecard for $15 ($20 on April 6) and can play each hole in any order they choose. Players turn in the scorecard and score after playing 3 holes. 
    VNA will also randomly draw winners from completed score cards, regardless of the total score. Winners do not have to be present to win. Prize event is for 18-years-old and up. 

     

    The 3 locations are:
    The Hyatt Place – 819 Gervais Street
    Grill Marks – 705 Gervais Street
    Old Chicago – 802 Gervais Street

     

    19th hole is at Saki Tumi - 807 Gervais St  

     

    Thanks to our Hole Sponsors for the event:

    Hyatt Place 

    BP Skinner Clothiers

    Garvin Design Group

     

    For more information about participating in the event, please reach out to Jim Colwell with the Vista Neighborhood Association at (864) 616-8836. View full details on the event here.

  • 4th Annual Live on Lincoln presented by LS3P to be Held April 21

    February 13, 2024

    The 4th annual Live on Lincoln event, presented by LS3P, will be held on Sunday, April 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets for the dinner and performance experience will go on sale Friday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m.

    The 4th annual Live on Lincoln event, presented by LS3P, will be held on Sunday, April 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets for the dinner and performance experience will go on sale Friday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m.

     

    Live on Lincoln was founded by the Koger Center for the Arts in 2020 and is now a signature event for the Congaree Vista Guild as part of Artista Vista weekend. The dinner will be catered by Blue Marlin on the cobblestones of Lincoln Street and will feature performances from Columbia’s finest performing groups.

     

    Tickets for individuals are $100 and private party tables are $1000. Proceeds from the event will benefit local performing arts organizations and sponsorships are available. For tickets, visit https://tickets.coladaily.com/events/live-on-lincoln. Seating is limited and tickets are expected to sell quickly.

     

    Live on Lincoln is the finale of Artista Vista that takes place from Friday, April 19-Sunday, April 21. Events throughout the weekend will include a gallery crawl on Friday; Art Day at the Huger Street Arts campus on Saturday; Live Art Mart on Saturday with local artisans and craftsmen; and a light and lantern parade Saturday evening. For Live on Lincoln sponsorship information and Artista Vista event information, visit https://www.vistacolumbia.com/special-events/artista-vista.

  • 38th Annual Vista Lights presented by Prisma Health to be Held November 16

    November 01, 2023

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 38th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 16 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is presented by Prisma Health and will offer entertainment for visitors of all ages.

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 38th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 16 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is presented by Prisma Health and will offer entertainment for visitors of all ages.

     

    Performances by local groups will take place on the main stage near the corner of Gervais and Lincoln Streets beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by the lighting of the Vista tree presented by Cool Care Heating, Air, Plumbing & Refrigeration at 7 p.m. After the tree is lit, there will be performances by Prettier Than Matt and the Soda City Brass Band.

     

    Santa Claus will be on site at the 94.3 The Dude Kid’s Zone on Lincoln Street as well as the giant, interactive snow globe. Meanwhile, The Palmetto Carolers will stroll through the Vista entertaining visitors. Easel Cathedral will be on site painting the event live as well.

     

    Presenting sponsor, Prisma Health will have a mobile unit on Lincoln Street for blood pressure screenings.

     

    Throughout the evening, participating Vista businesses will open their doors for dining and shopping. Several new restaurants will be open this year including The Dragon Room, Cava and Farmers Market Xchange. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to check out items from upcoming businesses, The Hollow and Bitty & Beau’s Coffee. For a complete list, visit VistaColumbia.com in the coming weeks. A full map will be published in the Free Times on November 15.

     

    Gervais Street will be completely closed from Assembly to Gadsden Streets for the event as well as Park Street from Lady to Senate Streets and Lincoln Street from Lady to Senate Streets.

  • Congaree Vista Guild Announces New Board Members

    June 20, 2023

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the election of new board members for 2023-2026. The organization has a 13-member board, six of whom are selected by the current board members, six are elected by the membership of the Vista Guild and one seat is for the president of the Vista Neighborhood Association.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the election of new board members for 2023-2026. The organization has a 13-member board, six of whom are selected by the current board members, six are elected by the membership of the Vista Guild and one seat is for the president of the Vista Neighborhood Association.


    Newly elected board members are:

    • Ariel Brady- Motor Supply Co. Bistro
    • David Erbacher- Hyatt Place Vista
    • Cheryl Swanson- Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
    • Chip Wade- Koger Center for the Arts

    This group is joining current board members:

    • Rosie Craig- R. MacFarlane Craig Real Estate
    • Clark Ellefson- Lewis + Clark
    • Beth Frost- Cohn Construction
    • Annie Linn Johnson- LS3P
    • Guy Jones- River Runner Outdoor Center
    • Joseph Kendrick- Columbia Music Festival Association
    • Dale Marshall- Architrave
    • Hal Stevenson- GRACE Outdoor
    • Carolyn Leedecker- Vista Neighborhood Association
  • The Vista Celebrates the Outdoors with River Runner Anniversary and Fireflies

    May 15, 2023

    Two celebrations will take place in The Vista the weekend of May 19th – River Runner Outdoor Center anniversary and Congaree National Park’s synchronous fireflies celebration.

    Two celebrations will take place in The Vista the weekend of May 19th – River Runner Outdoor Center anniversary and Congaree National Park’s synchronous fireflies celebration.

     

    River Runner Outdoor Center in The Vista marks its 40th anniversary Saturday, May 20th with coffee and biscuits at 10 a.m., ice cream and cake at 3 p.m., special artwork by Susan Lenz made from kayak shipping material, Congaree National Park watercolor exhibit by Stephen Chesley and 40% off many River Runner items. Owner Guy Jones founded the shop for paddle sports products and services in 1983, after a background with environmental organizations that included promoting canoe trips on the Saluda River.

     

    "I feel very fortunate to have experienced 40 years of developing and operating a small business that many people seem to really appreciate," said Guy. "What I enjoy the most is sharing a passion for experiencing beautiful natural areas through paddling a kayak or canoe. Cedar Creek in Congaree National Park is my favorite place to paddle. There is magic in the dark waters slowly flowing under huge trees - the cypress and tupelo canopy just pulls you into a different world."

     

    The weekend is also the Vista’s annual partnership with Congaree National Park and its celebration of the synchronous fireflies.

     

    Every year the fireflies at Congaree National Park synchronize their glow for a few weeks in the spring. These species of fireflies, Photuris frontalis, are one of only three North American fireflies that behave in such a way.

     

    “We are excited to partner with a local treasure: Congaree National Park. The work the park does to bring such a wonderful asset to our community is unmatched,” said Vista Guild Executive Director, Abby Anderson. “With the lottery to see the fireflies in place, we wanted to create a way that more members of our community could still get together to celebrate these creatures.”

     

    Personal flashing lights can be picked up at various Vista businesses during the week of May 15, including the Columbia SC Visitor’s Center, Boku Kitchen and Saloon, PAG Marketing, Rita’s Italian Ice, City Art, Integrity Ink and Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea. Integrity Ink will give $25 off a tattoo on May 19 and 20 when you mention the fireflies and 15% will be donated to the Congaree National Park! The community is encouraged to bring the lights back to The Vista on the evenings of May 19 and May 20 to celebrate the fireflies at Congaree National Park.

     

     

    For more information about the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaColumbiaSC.

    For more information about Congaree National Park, go to www.nps.gov/cong/fireflies.htm.

    For more information about River Runner Outdoor Center, visit ShopRiverRunner.com.

  • THE 31ST ANNUAL ARTISTA VISTA RETURNS ON APRIL 14TH - 16TH

    March 28, 2023

    Artista Vista returns to the heart of Columbia’s historic Vista District for an art-filled weekend on April 14th - 16th. This weekend-long art extravaganza emphasizes local artists and galleries, live performance, community engagement, and the rich culture of South Carolina’s capital city.  

    Artista Vista returns to the heart of Columbia’s historic Vista District for an art-filled weekend on April 14th - 16th. This weekend-long art extravaganza emphasizes local artists and galleries, live performance, community engagement, and the rich culture of South Carolina’s capital city.  

     

    The event will kick off with a free Art Gallery Crawl from 6-9 PM on Friday, April 14th spanning across The Vista District. Event-goers are also invited to enjoy live music from Ed Stephenson and the Paco Band outside of Blue Marlin on Lincoln Street, courtesy of Grace Outdoor Advertising. Live demonstrations, music, art vendors, and more will also be present in the Huger Street Cluster of art galleries. 

     

    Offerings continue on April 15th for Art Day, a free event located at Stormwater Studios, Lewis + Clark, and One Eared Cow (1001 Huger Street/413 Pendleton Street). Visitors will enjoy a day of live music while viewing collections and live demonstrations by esteemed local artists. 

     

    Additionally, the Light and Lantern Parade will take place later that evening from 8-9 PM. Beginning at the entrance of the Lincoln Street Tunnel, participants will stroll through The Vista with hand-made lanterns in tow while Partly Cloudy leads the public through the streets. Participants are strongly encouraged to visit one of the “creation stations” during the day at either Stormwater Studios or the Richland Library, or on Lincoln Street that evening to construct their own lanterns and enjoy music from a local DJ before the parade begins. 

     

    Artista Vista concludes on Sunday, April 16th with two offerings. Crafty Feast, a free juried craft fair, takes place from 11AM-4PM on the corner of Lincoln and Lady Streets (1300 Lincoln Street), where art-lovers can purchase local art and other gifts from local makers. The weekend rounds out with Live on Lincoln from 5-8PM. This beloved finale event includes a fantastic dinner by Blue Marlin paired with a one-of-a-kind live performance of song and dance on the cobblestones of Lincoln Street. Tickets are required for Live on Lincoln.

     

    In addition to this weekend-long affair of artistic celebration, local artist, Brittany Watkins, will create multiple outdoor, public art installations using found objects in various locations throughout The Vista including the Columbia Visitors Center and near the Lincoln Street Tunnel.

     

    Members of the community are strongly encouraged to participate in Artista Vista ‘23 and follow The Vista on social media for more information, updates, behind-the-scenes, and more at @vistacolumbiasc on Instagram and fb.com/vistacolumbiasc. The event schedule and more can be found on The Vista’s official website, vistacolumbia.com.

  • Vista Neighborhood Association’s First Annual Alley Golf Tournament

    March 10, 2023

    The Vista Neighborhood Association (VNA) and the Vista Guild are hosting the 1st Annual Alley Golf Tournament in the Vista. 

    The Vista Neighborhood Association (VNA) and the Vista Guild (VG) are hosting the 1st Annual Alley Golf Tournament in the Vista. The event has 3 mini golf holes which will be set up in 3 different Vista alleyways. Players will have a chance to win 1st and 2nd place prizes and also win prizes through random drawings.

     

    Thursday April 6, 2023 during Masters Week. 4PM until 8PM. 
    Players purchase a scorecard for $10 and can play each hole in any order they choose. Players turn in the score card and score after playing 3 holes. 
    VNA will also randomly draw winners from competed score cards, regardless of the total score. Winners do not have to be present to win. Prize event is for 18-years-old and up. 

     

    The 3 locations are:
    The Hyatt Place – 819 Gervais Street Headquarters for this event 
    Twisted Spur – 705 Gervais Street
    Old Chicago – 802 Gervais Street

     

    Thanks to our Hole Sponsors for the event:

    Hyatt Place 

    BP Skinner Clothiers

    Vista Property Management 

     

    For more information about participating in the event, please reach out to Jim Colwell with the Vista Neighborhood Association at (864) 616-8836. View full details on the event here.

     

     

  • Vista Guild to Host Art Dedication February 23

    February 16, 2023

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the dedication of a new urban canvas art installation in the Vista. On Thursday, February 23 at 4:00 p.m., the canvas will be dedicated outside the Art Bar at 1211 Park Street.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the dedication of a new urban canvas art installation in the Vista. On Thursday, February 23 at 4:00 p.m., the canvas will be dedicated outside the Art Bar at 1211 Park Street.

     

    The urban canvas is part of an ongoing exchange between artists in Columbia and sister city, Kaiserslautern, Germany. The late Wim Roefs was a key supporter of this partnership and was instrumental in heralding public and private art projects. There will be a toast to Roefs immediately following the dedication.

     

    Contributing artists on this project from Kaiserslautern include Gela Steinmacher, Roland Albert, Klaus Hartmann, Reiner Mährlein, Jörg Heieck and Sylvia Rudolf. Columbia artists include David H. Yahjian, Eileen Blyth and Stephen Chesley.

     

     This art is made possible through funding provided by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Atlanta and 701 Center for Contemporary Arts. Coordination and support have been provided by local artist and owner of Mike Brown Contemporary, Michaela Pilar Brown.

  • Third Thursday in the Vista to Feature Open Art Studios

    December 09, 2022

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host a holiday-themed Third Thursday event on December 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature open art studios throughout the area as well as some pop-up local artists perfect for holiday shopping. 

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host a holiday-themed Third Thursday event on December 15 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature open art studios throughout the area as well as some pop-up local artists perfect for holiday shopping. 

     

    Stormwater Studios will offer a Tibetan Bazaar Tuesday through Friday, December 13-16, as well as the creation of the Medicine Buddha Sand Mandala. Guests can stop by throughout the week, including Third Thursday, to witness the progression of the mandala which is a Drepung Loseling Monastery Production. Sales from the Tibetan Bazaar will support the mission of the monastery.  

     

    Other participating studios include Lewis & Clark, which will host pop-up artists (including local artist Cait Maloney), Mike Williams Art and One Eared Cow Glass. Gifts of art by local artists will be available at all participating studios. 

  • Dumpster Mule to Hold Toys for Tots Drive at Vista Lights November 17

    November 03, 2022

    The 37th annual Vista Lights will have a new feature this year – a toy drive for Toys for Tots in partnership with Dumpster Mule. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., a festively decorated dumpster will be located in the Kids Zone on Lincoln Street for new, unwrapped toys.

    The 37th annual Vista Lights presented by Prisma Health will have a new feature this year – a toy drive for Toys for Tots in partnership with Dumpster Mule. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., a festively decorated dumpster will be located in the Kids Zone on Lincoln Street for new, unwrapped toys.

     

    “Our hope is that by the end of the evening, the dumpster will be completely full of new toys for local children in need,” said Trevor Bowers with Dumpster Mule. “People want to help others during the holidays, and we wanted to make it easy for them. Having the drive at Vista Lights was the perfect solution.”

     

    In addition to the toy drive, Santa Claus will be in the Kids Zone for visits with children and photos. The Carillon Carolers will also be strolling throughout the area entertaining guests.

     

    The annual tree lighting will be on the main stage near the corner of Gervais and Lincoln Streets at 7 p.m. After the tree is lit, there will be performances by Prettier Than Matt and the Soda City Brass Band.

     

    Participating Vista businesses will open their doors for dining and shopping. For a complete list, visit VistaColumbia.com in the coming weeks and a full map will be published in the Free Times on November 16.

     

    Gervais Street will be completely closed from Assembly to Gadsden Streets for the event as well as Park Street from Lady to Senate Streets and Lincoln Street from Lady to Senate Streets.

  • 37th Annual Vista Lights presented by Prisma Health to be Held November 17

    October 18, 2022

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 37th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 17 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is presented by Prisma Health and will offer entertainment for visitors of all ages.

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 37th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 17 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is presented by Prisma Health and will offer entertainment for visitors of all ages.

     

    Performances by local groups will take place on the main stage near the corner of Gervais and Lincoln Streets beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by the Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m. After the tree is lit, there will be performances by Prettier Than Matt and the Soda City Brass Band.

     

    Santa Claus will be on site at the kid’s area on Lincoln Street from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Carillon Carolers will stroll through the Vista entertaining visitors. Easel Cathedral will be on site painting the event live as well.

     

    Throughout the evening, participating Vista businesses will open their doors for dining and shopping. For a complete list, visit VistaColumbia.com in the coming weeks and a full map will be published in the Free Times on November 16.

     

    Gervais Street will be completely closed from Assembly to Gadsden Streets for the event as well as Park Street from Lady to Senate Streets and Lincoln Street from Lady to Senate Streets.

  • Third Thursday Returns to The Vista

    September 07, 2022

    Columbia, SC – The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the return of Third Thursday Art Night on Thursday, September 15 from 5-8 p.m.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the return of Third Thursday Art Night on Thursday, September 15 from 5-8 p.m.

     

    Patrons will be able to enjoy displays at Lewis + Clark, One Eared Cow Glass, Stormwater Studios, and Mike Williams Art. Koger Center for Arts will be debuting their new plaza stage with an Aretha Franklin tribute band and the opening of the Laura Spong exhibit in the Koger Center Gallery.

     

    “We are excited to once again offer Third Thursday Art Night in the Vista,” said Abby Anderson, Executive Director of the Congaree Vista Guild. “This is a great night for local artists to showcase their talents and for people to come enjoy all The Vista has to offer.”

     

    Here is a full list of participating businesses:

    Lewis + Clark- 1001 Huger Street. With guest artist Bohumila Augustinova

    One Eared Cow Glass- 1001 Huger Street. Come enjoy new designs for the fall season and observe a glass blowing class

    Stormwater Studios- 413 Pendleton Street.  Enjoy a meet and greet with the exhibiting artist, Phil Garrett.

    Mike Williams Art- 1221 Lincoln Street. Visit the Vista's newest art gallery & studio

    Koger Center for the Arts- 1051 Greene Street.  Don't miss the premiere of the Plaza Stage with a live band at 6pm and the opening of the Laura Spong exhibit in the Koger Center's Gallery.

  • Congaree Vista Guild Invites You to Be a Firefly

    May 10, 2022

    The Congaree Vista Guild invites you to be a Firefly in The Vista. In partnership with Congaree National Park, the Vista Guild invites patrons to celebrate the annual synchronous fireflies on May 20 and 21.  

    The Congaree Vista Guild invites you to be a Firefly in The Vista. In partnership with Congaree National Park, the Vista Guild invites patrons to celebrate the annual synchronous fireflies on May 20 and 21.  

     

    “We are excited to partner with a local treasure: Congaree National Park. The work the park does to bring such a wonderful asset to our community is unmatched,” said Vista Guild Executive Director, Abby Anderson. “With the lottery to see the fireflies this year in place, we wanted to create a way that more members of our community could still get together to celebrate these creatures.”  

     

    Every year the fireflies at Congaree National Park synchronize their glow for a few weeks in the spring. These species of fireflies, Photuris frontalis, are one of only three North American fireflies that behave in such a way.  

     

    "We are thrilled to once more work alongside the Vista Guild and our local communities to celebrate the arrival of the synchronized fireflies at Congaree National Park. As this increasingly iconic period of the late spring continues to draw more people each year from around the country to the city of Columbia and the surrounding area, it is exciting that we can join with our local communities to celebrate one of the unique features that makes our region of South Carolina special," said acting Superintendent Stephen Akins. 

     

    Personal flashing lights can be picked up at various Vista businesses during the week of May 15. The community is encouraged to bring these back to The Vista on the evenings of May 20 and 21 to celebrate the fireflies at Congaree National Park. 

     

    Lights for this event can be picked up at:

    • Art Bar (1211 Park Street)
    • CMFA  (914 Pulaski Street)
    • CPR Cell Phone Repair (506 Gervais Street)
    • Experience Columbia SC Visitor Center (1120 LIncoln Street)
    • Rita's Italian Ice (800 Lady Street)
    • Studio Cellar (912 Lady Street)

     

    For more information about the Congaree Vista Guild, visit www.VistaColumbia.com or call (803) 269-5946. Follow the Vista Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @VistaColumbiaSC.  

     

    For more information about Congaree National Park, go to www.nps.gov/cong/fireflies.htm.

  • The Congaree Vista District Celebrates 30 Years of Artista Vista, April 22-24

    March 29, 2022

    This April marks 30 years of Artista Vista, the weekend-long celebration of the Congaree Vista district’s vibrant art scene, happening April 22-24. The event continues to highlight incredible artists in the Midlands, and encourages locals and newcomers alike to explore studio spaces, meet the makers and even take home their own handmade pieces.

    This April marks 30 years of Artista Vista, the weekend-long celebration of the Congaree Vista district’s vibrant art scene, happening April 22-24. The event continues to highlight incredible artists in the Midlands, and encourages locals and newcomers alike to explore studio spaces, meet the makers and even take home their own handmade pieces. A full schedule of the weekend’s events can be found on The Vista’s website.

     

    “It’s an experience,” says Clark Ellefson, principal designer and owner of Lewis+Clark, and one of the original organizers of Artista Vista. “It’s a gathering of people from all walks of life who can come together to enjoy and appreciate art and support their community.”

     

    Artista Vista features local artists and their spaces, and brings makers beyond the Midlands to the district for the weekend. Artists and gallery owners will be on-site to chat with visitors, giving attendees insight into their work.

     

    Events in store for the 30th annual Artista Vista include:

     

    • Art Gallery Crawl (April 22, 6-9 p.m.): This signature Artista Vista event is a chance for guests to explore The Vista’s one-of-a-kind galleries and pop-up galleries, as well as the district’s restaurants, bars and shops. Studios involved in the gallery crawl include the following:
    • Light and Lantern Parade (April 22, 8-9 p.m.): Another signature event — the Light and Lantern Parade — will kick off the weekend of festivities, and is back in-person for 2022. Guests are welcome to watch or join the parade at the entrance of the Lincoln Street tunnel. A crafts table will be on-site for those who want to create their own lantern for the event.
    • Art Day (April 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.): The celebration continues on Saturday with Art Day at the Stormwater Studios campus on Huger Street. Guests are invited to explore the campus, watch art demonstrations, shop for handmade pieces and enjoy food, live entertainment on-site and an artist talk from international, award-winning artist Nora Valdez.
    • Crafty Feast (April 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.): The final day of Artista Vista brings Crafty Feast, the juried indie craft fair showcasing 50+ makers from across the Southeast. This open-air craft fair showcases funky, one-of-a-kind offerings and unique gifts available for purchase. This year’s vendor list brings handmade goods ranging from jewelry, apparel and bags to home décor, candles, ceramics and more. The 2022 makers’ list will be posted on the Crafty Feast website.
    • Live on Lincoln (April 24, 5-8 p.m.): Artista Vista concludes on Sunday evening with the Koger Center’s Live on Lincoln. This outdoor, ticketed event presented by LS3P will bring live performances by some of the Midlands finest arts and cultural organizations to the historic cobblestones of Lincoln Street, alongside drinks and dinner served tableside by Blue Marlin. More information and tickets can be foundhere.  

     

    “We’re really excited for this year’s Artista Vista,” says Abby Anderson, executive director of the Vista Guild. “For the last 30 years, this event has been a major part of our community, and we want to keep up that tradition and continue to solidify this area as a prominent arts district.”

     

    Artista Vista is produced by the Vista Guild and would not be possible without support from its sponsors, including the City of Columbia, Experience Columbia SC, Columbia Craft, Steel Hands Brewing, KW Beverageand Grace Outdoor.

     

    For more information about Artista Vista, visit https://www.vistacolumbia.com/special-events/artista-vista.

  • Congaree Vista Guild Installs New Sculpture

    February 14, 2022

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the installation of Motherhood, a new sculpture by Nora Valdez, on the corner of Lady and Gadsden Streets in the heart of the Congaree Vista. The project was facilitated by One Columbia for Arts and Culture.

    The Congaree Vista Guild has announced the installation of Motherhood, a new sculpture by Nora Valdez, on the corner of Lady and Gadsden Streets in the heart of the Congaree Vista. The project was facilitated by One Columbia for Arts and Culture.

     

    The sculpture, carved from Indiana limestone, represents all mothers – working mothers, immigrant mothers, single mothers – and their strength in holding families together while staying firmly rooted in their determination. Sculptor Nora Valdez is an international award-winning artist originally from Argentina, but currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts.

     

    “My sculptures of people do not have facial features,” said Valdez. “Going beyond suggesting any specific face as a representation of beauty (or measure of value) for women, my work challenges the viewer to see the faceless woman as every woman. Woman as an archetype. Woman as a force. The concept of woman as mother is one that everyone can connect to. The ideal of mother as love and nurture and protection is universal, especially in the face of challenge.”

     

    A dedication event will be hosted as part of the Congaree Vista Guild’s 30th annual Artista Vista, which takes place April 22-24, 2022.

  • Vista Improvement Projects Nearing Completion

    December 14, 2021

    New development is occurring in the Congaree Vista with improvement projects nearing completion and new businesses opening soon.

    Columbia, SC – New development is occurring in the Congaree Vista with improvement projects nearing completion and new businesses opening soon.

    The Park Street beautification project is essentially finished with ADA compliant sidewalks and landscaping. Additionally, outdoor seating for visitors and improved lighting are still to come. Restaurants along the street are open for guests. Improvements have made the area more welcoming and attractive to Vista patrons.

    Boku Kitchen and Saloon, a taco and ramen restaurant, will be opening soon at 916 Gervais Street. It is dog-friendly and offers igloo dining outdoors for year-round seating.

    The Donut Guy will be opening soon at 1215 Lincoln Street, offering hot mini yeast/cake donuts with a variety of toppings (including maple glaze and bacon).

    Cambria Hotel, part of the Choice Hotel chain, will be opening in the spring of 2022 at the corner of Park and Lady Streets.

    City Grit is a new food and specialty market offering artisan goods, house-made dips, sweets, beer, wine and gifts. It also offers gourmet take-away and family meals, including seasonal and holiday dinners. It is now open at 707 Gervais Street.

    The Greene Street Phase II improvement project taking place in the Congaree Vista is scheduled for completion in January. It is part of an overall plan by community and business leaders to open downtown Columbia to the Congaree Riverfront. Visitors to the area will see much-needed improvements including more pedestrian and bike access to the area.

    Part of the Richland County Transportation Penny Program, the project is a $21.2M project that continues improvements along Greene Street from Gadsden to Assembly Streets. It includes the addition of sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes from Huger to Gadsden Streets as well as the construction of a new two-lane bridge with sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes over the Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation railroads to reconnect Greene Street.

    The installation of a shade structure along the bridge over the sidewalks is expected to be installed by June of 2022. At that time, Greene Street will be open to drivers and pedestrians. Devine and Gadsden Streets at the Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation railroad crossings will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians once the Greene Street bridge is open.

  • 36th Annual Vista Lights to be Held November 18

    October 15, 2021

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 36th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 18 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is returning to its original format after COVID-19 adjustments in 2020, thanks to event sponsors Stella Artois, Columbia Metropolitan Airport and Arnold Companies.

    The Congaree Vista Guild will host its 36th annual Vista Lights on Thursday, November 18 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is returning to its original format after COVID-19 adjustments in 2020, thanks to event sponsors Stella Artois, Columbia Metropolitan Airport and Arnold Companies.

    Performances by local groups will take place on the main stage near the corner of Gervais and Lincoln Streets beginning at 6:15 p.m., followed by the Vista tree lighting at 7 p.m. After the tree is lit, there will be performances by Prettier Than Matt and the Soda City Brass Band.

    Santa Claus will be on site at the kid’s area on Lincoln Street from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Carillon Carolers will stroll through the Vista entertaining visitors. Easel Cathedral will be on site painting the event live as well.

    Throughout the evening, participating Vista businesses will open their doors for dining and shopping. For a complete list, visit VistaColumbia.com in the coming weeks and a full map will be published in the Free Times on November 17.

    Gervais Street will be completely closed from Assembly to Gadsden Streets for the event as well as Park Street from Lady to Senate Streets and Lincoln Street from Lady to Senate Streets.