Archive for the 'art' Category


When opportunity knocks…


Today, art is everywhere and some would say –wrongly, I might add- that its presence is overwhelming and daunting. The transformative power of art is an expression of the artist to see the world s/he inhabits differently. Through the lenses of the artist, the familiar appears unfamiliar; objects seem to take on new shapes. Had Dorothy seen Kansas through Chris Dahlquist’s photography, she probably would have never left. Joel Sager’s faceless faces, inspired by 19th century photos, come alive and tell the viewer a vibrant and complex story. There is a certain lightness that contradicts the Victorian heaviness of that period. And in the hands of Jo Stealey, paper is no longer just paper but seems to have a history. Art is an awakening for it forces the viewer to evaluate and reevaluate at the same time. And for s/he who is touched, the art is very giving. Its gift is an unveiling of its secrets and an opportunity for a fresh outlook. Art allows for renewal of the self through sensual liberation.

As spring slowly makes its way into our environment and the fashion world unveils its colorful collections, PS Gallery readies itself to hang the 2013 Spring Exhibit. This spring, the gallery will host 6 artists whose art is another opportunity for renewal and rebirth. These artists, our guides, continue art’s tradition of fresh new outlooks without severing themselves from art’s long history.

Daniel Marks’ colorful acrylic will remind the viewer of Van Gogh and/or Munch. His fluid buildings, wavy and elastic, embark the viewer on a dream birthed in reality. Bede Clarke’s earthenware is playful and joyful. Upon viewing his bowls, the viewer will be reminded of happy couples making faces in a photo booth. His other works, more serious with their geometrical lines, balance the totality of his work. Art is playful but serious too.

Elizabeth Fox’s works borders that of surrealism with a touch of pop art. Her women are strong and complex. They are not afraid of staring back as the one in “Mystery Train” who returns the male gaze. In “Memory of a Sensation”, the iconic Fawcett poster grins self-assuredly as a man enters the sacred room. The complexity of her characters reflects that of her work.

Joseph Pintz’s earthenware takes ordinary kitchen objects and gives them a touch of antiquity with fresh colors.

Freshness. Coolness. Playfulness. Seriousness. Rebirth. Modern.

Beginning April 2nd, these artists will give us all an opportunity. As winter slowly withers away, our 6 artists will fulfill spring’s promise for renewal.

Pitcher, 8x4x10, earthenware

Joe Pintz

Cornfield, 40x30, acrylic paint on canvas

Daniel Marks


Bede Clark


Blog written by Antoine M.


Supporting the arts: what have you done lately?

ImageI have spoken often in the past six years about how you can support the arts.  I have posted articles.  I have prodded.  I have led by example (or at least I think I have).  And often many have responded.  We have certainly seen a growth in the arts and that can only come from an increase in support.  Fortunately, we have a core of amazing people who do an incredible job of supporting the arts.  This blog is not for them.  This blog is for you.

What have you done to support the arts lately?  What have your purchased from a local artist this month?  What play/musical event/dance have you seen this week?  What local not for profit arts organization have you donated to?

Why now? You may ask, why is she pestering us now?  Sunday, September 30th 2012, I attended “The Robots are Coming” at Rag Tag Cinema.  The evening was the unveiling of Lumen, an amazing robot built for Rag Tag by local artist Greg Orloff.  The real reason for the event (and the robot) is to raise awareness and funds for a digital projector system for the theater.  Long story short, because of the way movies will be released as of January 2013, if Rag Tag does not convert it’s systems to digital, we will not be able to see all the great movies we want to.  Total costs of conversion?  Lets just say $80,000.  At least that is what they are trying to raise via a Kickstarter campaign.

Again, to the point Jennifer….  So the evening of the Robot event, someone turns to me and says “This should not be difficult, if everyone gave something, then we could raise this money in no time”.  She was right.  It should not be difficult.  But it is.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know if people feel they are asked to give at every turn so they run away.  Maybe people feel like they don’t have enough to give.  Maybe people don’t care.  Maybe they just don’t know the need.  I choose to believe the last.  I choose to believe that you just didn’t know the need.

Rag Tag Cinema needs to upgrade it’s projector system to digital by January 2013.  They need to raise $80,000 to make this possible.  You can help.  If you can give $5, that helps.  If you can give $100, that helps more.  If you can give $5000, that helps an enormous amount.  Please go to their Kickstarter page to donate.

I would love to say that this is the last organization that will be in need.  It won’t.  But keep in mind all the the Arts community gives back.  It makes Columbia better.  It makes us happier, smarter, wiser, and better looking (ok,maybe not better looking).  It provides an opportunity to express who we are.  It flavors our lives.  So please support the arts.  Please allow all of us to keep doing what we love.  Please help Rag Tag keep on bringing amazing film to Columbia.  Thank you!


10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2012 (from Arts Watch)

This article was posted on Facebook by the Office of Cultural Affairs for the City of Columbia.  I couldn’t help but repost.  How have you helped support the arts in Columbia?

Randy Cohen

Almost one year ago, I posted The Top Ten Reasons to Support the Arts in response to a business leader who wanted to make a compelling case for government and corporate contributions to the arts.

Being a busy guy, he didn’t want a lot to read: “Keep it to one page, please.”

With the arts advocacy season once again upon us…(who am I kidding, it’s always upon us!)…here is my updated list for 2012.

10 Reasons to Support the Arts

1. True prosperity. The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. They help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. When times are tough, the arts are salve for the ache.

2. Improved academic performance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates, and even better attitudes about community service—benefits reaped by students regardless of socioeconomic status. Students with four years of arts or music in high school average 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with one-half year or less.

3. Arts are an industry. Arts organizations are responsible businesses, employers, and consumers. Nonprofit arts organizations generate $166 billion in economic activity annually, supporting 5.7 million jobs and generating nearly $30 billion in government revenue. Investment in the arts supports jobs, generates tax revenues, and advances our creativity-based economy.

4. Arts are good for local merchants. The typical arts attendee spends $27.79 per person, per event, not including the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters. Non-local arts audiences (who live outside the county) spend nearly twice as much as local arts attendees ($40.19 vs. $19.53)—valuable revenue for local businesses and the community.

5. Arts are the cornerstone of tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that the percentage of international travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown annually since 2003 (17 to 24 percent), while the share attending concerts and theater performances increased five of the past seven years (13 to 17 percent since 2003).

6. Arts are an export industry. U.S. exports of arts goods (everything from movies to paintings to jewelry) grew to $64 billion in 2010. With U.S. imports at just $23 billion, the arts achieved a $41 billion trade surplus in 2010.

7. Building the 21st century workforce. Reports by The Conference Board show creativity is among the top-five applied skills sought by business leaders—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. The biggest creativity indicator? A college arts degree. Their Ready to Innovate report concludes, “…the arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd millennium.”

8. Healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.

9. Stronger communities. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates. A vibrant arts community ensures that young people are not left to be raised solely in a pop culture and tabloid marketplace.

10. Creative Industries. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and advertising companies. An analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 904,581 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts that employ 3.3 million people—representing 4.25 percent of all businesses and 2.15 percent of all employees, respectively.

11. What is your #11? Share with us in the comments below…

Want to post these reasons on your wall or take it to a meeting with your mayor? Download these 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2012 from our main website.


Happy New Year

As the noise fades of the horns blowing and champagne corks popping, I look forward to the year ahead.  What am I looking forward to you ask?  Why, let me tell you:

Last year in February we moved into our new location in the North Village Arts District.  It has been a great new home.  We have four exhibits planned for the main gallery space.  They dates are as follows:

Winter 2012 Exhibit  January 4th – March 31st.  Reception is January 14th (yes, that is coming up.  Put it on your calendar now).

Spring 2012 Exhibit April 4th – June 30th.  Reception April 21st.

Summer 2012 Exhibit July 5th – September 29th.  Reception July 14th.

Autumn 2012 Exhibit October 3 – December 29th.  Reception October 13th.

We also have a few Hallery exhibits scheduled for 2012.  The ones on the books are:

Workshop Salon Exhibit  January 4-February 11th

Food: Fact or Fiction  February 14 – March 31

Ed Ailor  May 15 – June 30

Matt Ballou  July 5 – July 28

There are many more to come, so stay tuned.  You can always find current information on our website under the News tab.

In addition to all the fun things going on at the gallery there are a ton of fun art-related things coming up in the community at large, such as:

The Columbia Art Leagues new show.  The Seven Deadly Sins (and the Seven Holy Virtues) January 10 – February 25,
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 12

Artrageous Friday  January 20

North Village Arts District Valentines Market  February 3

True/False Film Festival  March 1-4

I am sure there are many many events in the next few months that I am missing, but that’s enough to keep you busy.

Thank you for your support in 2011.  It was a busy and productive year.  Thank you in advance for your support in 2012.

Jennifer Perlow


A Study in Gratitude 2011

So it has become my annual tradition to take a little time before Thanksgiving to reflect on all the great things in my life.  I have noted in previous posts that my life, as do all, has challenges.  The economy, small business, life, all pose issues that are not always easy.  This year in particular was challenging so I will begin with this.

I am grateful to have survived 2011 without a straight jacket.  It was a very busy year for PS:Gallery.  In February we opened with a bang in our new location at 1025 E. Walnut.  With all my attempts at planning a smooth move, it ended up being very chaotic.  However, with the help of many many many friends, we pulled it off.  I am awed and moved by the support of the community.  One cool Sunday in February, over 50 people showed up and helped us move, unpack, clean, set-up.  It was an amazing day I will never forget.  February 22nd kick started a week of opening events that were magical.  You sent flowers, notes and brought wine.  Most of all you were present.  You showed up to tell us the gallery was important to you.  It was a true confirmation that we had made the right move.

I am grateful to be in the North Village Arts District.  Although I loved our old location, I must say I love our new location more.  Let me start with the physical location.  I love my windows.  I love the light that streams in each morning.  I love the beautiful window in my office that makes me feel like I am connected with the outside even if I am stuck at my desk for a better part of the day.  I love the wonky wood floors.  They talk about the history and place that this building has in Columbia.  I love the giant wood beams.  To me they represent what the arts mean to the community.  They look good but really hold the whole thing up.  Without them the whole roof might come down.  I love the “Hallery”.  When the gallery moved it did not have any additional space in which to host our small community based shows such as the Care Gallery or our more thematic shows such as the Mini show.  Mid Summer PS opened the “Hallery”.  The “Hallery” is the lovely central corridor that connects PS to all it’s Berry Building neighbors.  This has become a delightful space that changes every 4-6 weeks.  I am grateful to be able to continue to have a space to do more for our community.

I love my neighbors.  For almost 5 years, PS was an art island.  I had clothing to the right of me and cookies to the left.  Although there is nothing wrong with either one of those things, they really weren’t invested in who I was, what I did, or if I was successful.  I am now surrounded by people who care.  Most who reside or work in the North Village Arts District have a similar goal, to promote the arts in Columbia, and to promote the North Village Arts District as one of the places to see/support the arts in Columbia.  The North Village Arts District began a farmers and artisan market this summer which was amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens with that next summer.  There is an energy and cohesion amongst the businesses that is refreshing.

I love my family.  I am eternally grateful for my husband Chris Stevens.  He keeps me sane (to some extent).  He supports me.  He loves me probably more than anyone else.  I am proud of him for taking a leap in his life and following his passion.  I am grateful to be doing what I love and always hope that more people make that opportunity for themselves.  I am grateful that Charlie has gotten old enough to really enjoy hanging out at the gallery (most of the time).  She accompanied me on a buying trip this summer and made a purchase of her very own.  She bonded with artist Amy Peters who makes very cute charm necklaces.  You can purchase one necklace with one charm for $7.50.  Once she has paid back her initial investment Charlie gets to keep a percentage of the profits.  So for Christmas add an Amy Peters necklace to your stocking stuffer list.

I am grateful for the fabulous artists who have become a part of my life.  My world is rich and colorful because of you.  This year, more than most, I realized how my personal relationships with my artists friends really enhances my life.  I am grateful for the amazing clients that I have been privileged to help.  Your faith in my abilities and trust in my judgement is gratifying.  I love nothing more that helping find the perfect piece for you.  I am grateful for all the purchases, big and small.  I am grateful for all the times you bragged that your fabulous new earrings were from PS:Gallery.  I am grateful for all the times you invited friends over for dinner and made a point of showing them your art.  I am grateful for your continued support.

As we gear up for the holidays, I remind you to keep supporting your local businesses.  Buy gifts/jewelry/food/cards locally.  See if you can finish up all your shopping without going on line.  I personally will gift wrap and ship anything you buy at the gallery.  Hows that for service?

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.


Jennifer Perlow


Bloggers Needed

Many of you may have noticed that over the summer our blog has grown.  Certainly the number of posts, but more notably in the quality of posts.  I fully credit that to Shea Boresi.  She came on as our new Associate Curator in June and took over the blog with gusto and I must say skill.  Unfortunately, blogs, at least this blog, does not pay the bills and so Shea has moved on to greener pastures.  We will miss her witty and insightful blogging.

So, your stuck with me.  I will do my best to muddle through.  I am not the brilliant writer that Shea is, but I have something to say.  I will post as often as I can find the time.  I am also going to make Joel Sager and Chris Stevens squeeze an interesting (hopefully) blog post out on occasion.  This brings me to the point of todays blog (finally).  We need you!  If you have something interesting to say, please email me with a blog post.  If I find it appropriate for our blog, I will post it as a guest blogger.  If you have an interesting topic that you would like to banter about via our blog, please contact me with that as well.  I think this blog is an interesting way to communicate about what is going on at PS:Gallery, Columbia, and the art world in general.  I look forward to hearing your feedback.  Oh, and please be kind, I’m doing the best I can.


Jennifer Perlow


Art in “The Age of Mass Intelligence”

Photo credit: Mark Prior, from Intelligent Life, Winter 2008

In his article “The Age of Mass Intelligence” (Intelligent Life, Winter 2008), John Parker makes what should be an obvious argument, but is one that runs contrary to popular opinion: that the information age has actually made us more informed.  The tagline reads, “We’ve all heard about dumbing down. But there is plenty of evidence that the opposite is also true. Is this, in fact, the age of mass intelligence?”

Thanks to widely distributed media, and most of all thanks to the internet, “the masses”—that’s you and me—have access to more information than ever before.  Consequently, the distinction between high and popular culture is increasingly artificial.  One can download Bach just as easily as Eminem.  (And many of the same people do both.)  Classic literature, far from being the exclusive province of those who can afford expensive books, is available in cheap hard cover editions and for free download.  (See also: public libraries.)  As a culture, we may kill a lot of time watching Youtube videos of cats, but more and more of us also partake of substantial fare.  While privilege remains a powerful force, and disparities in the US educational system can scarcely be overstated, those of us currently drawing breath are, on the whole, more educated than any prior generation.  Along with the vacuous diversions we create and love, we consume and generate more high art and discourse than our grandparents or theirs.  And we commonly use our access to information to cultivate an eclecticism of aesthetics and ideas that used to be exceedingly uncommon.  In short, this is the best time that has ever existed for ideas.

In case you don’t believe me that more people are taking in more elements of “high culture” than they used to, allow me to quote Parker:

Consider these straws, all blowing in the same direction. In 1999/2000, there were 24m visits to Britain’s biggest museums. In 2007/08, the figure was 40m. Between 1999 and 2001, Britain scrapped entry charges, so the increase is partly attributable to that. Still, it was a lot of people. And another factor is the popularity of blockbuster exhibitions, such as the Terracotta Army show at the British Museum–which are seldom free, so scrapping charges cannot be the sole explanation. In most of the great cities of the West, museums now dominate the lists of most popular tourist attractions. More people go to the Louvre each year than to the Eiffel Tower; in London, three museums–the Tate, the British Museum and the National Gallery–each attract more visitors than the London Eye.

In 2006 the New York Metropolitan Opera started an experiment to reach a new audience. It began transmitting opera performances live to cinemas. In the first year it broadcast six productions to 98 movie houses in America; 325,000 people watched. The second year, it transmitted eight operas to 935,000 people. This year, there will be 11 productions, 850 cinemas in 28 countries and a forecast audience of 1.2m: roughly 100,000 people per show, compared with just 3,700 at the Met itself. A few dress up in finery. Many more stood outside in Times Square, New York, this year staring at the digital displays that usually advertise Panasonic or Disney, watching the Met’s opening-night concert.

In spite of these observable trends, we seem strangely blind to the current naissance.  (To say “renaissance” would be to deny the unprecedented nature of the moment.)  In fact—while in this college town it is also hard to avoid snarky chatter about “overeducated” young people—one hears much about the disintegration of the intellectual fabric of our society: the failing public schools and the prevalence of inane reality television.  Certainly, we need to put more of our resources where our hearts are by increasing funding to schools and arts organizations.  But this bleak attitude is incongruous with other real changes occurring before our eyes.  Even in our moderately sized community of mixed means, and in this economic recession, we can see evidence of increased cultural engagement. 

I should admit that I have a particular perspective on this.  For several years, I have lived and worked in downtown Columbia, which puts me in a position to witness the trends Parker traces in his article.  I have worked at Ragtag Cinema, which is an independent theater and high-meets-popular culture venue if ever there was one.  (Ragtag screened the Met performances mentioned above on the same nights as some very silly pulp horror flicks.)  In recent years, it has grown from a hole in the wall to a bustling complex that has become a downtown staple.  Now I work at PS:Gallery, which occupies a prominent corner of the North Village Arts District—an area that was derelict warehouses a few short years ago.  These institutions did not spring up organically, of course.  They are the result of the vision and persistence of dedicated people.  But they also could not exist without an audience who appreciates art.

I have heard it repeated that a fixed percentage of the population—something like 10 percent—takes an interest in art.  I think that quota is, at worst, based on snobbish assumptions, and is at the very least irrelevant in what Parker has termed “The Age of Mass Intelligence.”  To be clear, it’s not that people are actually smarter than they used to be; it’s that increased access to information is breaking down cultural barriers, resulting in unprecedented cultural heterogeneity. 

This has a few implications for an art gallery and its patrons.  First of all, to anyone who remains on the fence:  Art is not for people with more credentials or cash.  It is for you.  Whatever your perspective, you have something to add to the discourse.  And secondly, this is a really good time to see art.  There is so much generation, and so many fresh combinations of ideas. 

The mixing of high and low, old and new, is prominently on display in the PS: autumn exhibition:  M.W. Mantle’s oil paintings-cum-Polaroid snapshots; Jimmy Dahlquist’s mixed media sculptures created from the refuse of modern life; Joel’s Sager’s collaged interpretations of nostalgic items; Notley Hawkins’ high-art photographs of junk and carnivals.  It’s right here, right now. 

So stop watching those cat videos on Youtube, and join the discussion!