NEWS & Happenings

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 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 or call Meredith Atkinson at (803) 269.5946. Follow the Vista Guild @VistaColumbiaSC on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook.