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Blue Sky Gallery, 733 Saluda Avenue: July 2011 (?)   13 comments

Posted at 10:31 pm in Uncategorized

Well, Blue Sky Gallery isn't actually closed yet, but it's already in the news and I took the pictures when I went looking for Mary...

Unless you have a special interest in art, or have a friend who's an artist, Blue Sky is probably the only Columbia artist you can think of and his work has been prominently displayed around town for ages. The first Blue Sky piece I can remember is still my favorite (and probably the favorite of many Columbians): the Road-Runner-ish Trompe-l'œil Tunnel Vision.

The same parking lot off of Taylor Street has his other best known work, which people either love or hate: the giant fire hydrant. Personally, I like it.

The State article says (or implies) that he and his wife are closing the gallery to concentrate on international sales, though at 72 I wouldn't be surprised if he just wants to retire.

(Hat tip to commenter Mike D)

Written by ted on June 23rd, 2011

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13 Responses to 'Blue Sky Gallery, 733 Saluda Avenue: July 2011 (?)'

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  1. I thought he was going to move to California a few years ago?


    24 Jun 11 at 10:06 am

  2. As far as I know Blue Sky moved to California several years ago, but kept the gallery here.

    I remember being 5 or 6 and going downtown to watch Blue Sky working on Tunnel Vision. I remember spending the day in my father's convertible with the top down watching him working on it. Of course what I mostly remember was being there all day, which was my mom's idea of a fun day. Of course I'm pretty sure this was during the summer, so I'm shocked I don't remember being miserable. Of course we lived without AC at the time so I was probably just used to the heat and not bothered.

    Whatever the case, I remember watching Blue Sky working on the mural. I guess that's a small part of Columbia history I can say I witnessed.


    24 Jun 11 at 6:37 pm

  3. I know that Blue Sky's real first name is/was Warren..and he originally worked at the old Colonial Life Insurance Building on Marion St. back in the 60's when my Mom worked there at the time also. I think he changed his name one day while coming out of the old Winn Dixie in 5 points because he some some blue sky after it had rained.. or so I heard that's how it happend.

    Del Bazemore

    24 Jun 11 at 11:38 pm

  4. meant to say HE SAW SOME BLUE SKY...I cant think right this time of night..

    Del Bazemore

    24 Jun 11 at 11:39 pm

  5. The linked State article mentions an apartment in California, but implies they have a residence here as well. It also refers to his wife as "Lynn Sky", so presumably the "Sky" part of his name, at least, is a legal name.


    24 Jun 11 at 11:50 pm

  6. And, of course:


    25 Jun 11 at 12:46 am

  7. I heard that he came up with his name when he woke up one morning and decided he was tired of his name. Looked out of his window, saw a blue sky and decided he wanted to call as such.


    25 Jun 11 at 5:27 am

  8. He still lives in Columbia.


    27 Jun 11 at 5:09 am

  9. His real name is Warren Edward Johnson, but he changed it in the 70's to Blue Sky.


    2 Dec 11 at 12:35 pm

  10. I ate at Maurice's, in Irmo, today. Blue Sky must have been under the influence when he painted that mural. It was a springtime scene of a mountain farm, judging from the verdant colors. Apples were ripe. Corn had been planted on a mound and the John Deere tractor had narrow front wheels. You would get yourself killed, quickly, driving that thing on those hills.


    10 Feb 13 at 7:15 pm

  11. Was it true or an urban legend that a few students under the influence had kilked themselves trying to drive into the Tunnelvision mural at Taylor st? I remember we sold posters of it at Capitol Newsstand for $25 ea which in my child mind was a freakin fortune back then


    11 Feb 13 at 8:11 am

  12. anyone know where to find any of these old Tunnel Vision posters?


    14 Jun 13 at 1:16 pm

  13. This was the original location of Revente and then we moved next door. It's now home to Sid and Nancy which moved from a spot up the block.
    PS: And we get to still enjoy the floors in that location that Blue painted!

    Debbie McDaniel

    4 Jul 14 at 6:03 pm

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