Archive for the ‘art’ tag
Varn's Drug Store / Safran's Antique Galleries / Arcade Auction / I. Pickney Simons Gallery / Thai On Gervais, 926 Gervais Street: 2011 12 comments
I don't know anything about Varns Drug Store other than it was listed in Walsh's Columbia South Carolina City Directory for 1907-08, had "E H Varn" listed as the proprietor and is not there now.
Thai On Gervais was obviously many iterations after Varns. I know they listed in the phonebook from (at least) February 2007 through February 2011, but not in Feburary 2012. Given that, and the current state of the space, I think they must have closed sometime in 2011.
Traffic was heavy enough that I could not step into Gervais Street to get a good frontal shot of this place, but you can see from the sidewalk and side views that it has sort of a "work is being done" look. I did not see any permits or indications as to what is next here however.
UPDATE 11 June 2012: Commenter Larry casts doubt on this actually being Thai On Gervais, at least within the time period suggested by the phonebook. I will try to check the city directories next time I am at the library, but for now I am leaving it. (Varn's I am more confident about).
UPDATE 20 June 2012: After consulting city directories at the RCPL, I can say that from (at least) 1960 through 1970, this space (actually 926-930) was Safran's Antique Galleries. After that, it was apparently vacant for a good while. In 1995, it was listed as Arcade Auction (Charlton Hall Overflow) and from 1995 to (at least) 2000, it was I. Pickney Simons Gallery. That seems to have been the last tenant. No city directory lists Thai On Gervais, but that is definitely in phonebooks..
South Carolina State Fair 2011 Fine Art Exhibition Premiere & Awards Reception, Fairgrounds: 9 October 2011 3 comments
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)
I noticed this interesting little house-store driving on Leesburg Road back in September. It's plainly a 1960s era house (though with a picturesque old shed out back) lightly re-purposed into an eclectic botique. The last version of the web site archived at archive.org is from 2007, so I'm going to use that as a closing date. According to that site, the store
was established in  and had been responsible for providing outstanding African American artwork, figurines, mens and ladies clothing and an assortment of others items ever since. Our specialty is in the area of Hard to find, or one of a kind artwork and figurines.
They also had author appearances and book signings.
I kind of got lost in-between Leesburg Road and The Sumter Highway that day, and noticed that although the Leesburg Road area is still really hurting, there is also a lot of new housing back in there, so perhaps business will pick up in the area once we get out of the current slump.
South Carolina State Fair 2010 Fine Art Exhibition Premiere & Awards Reception, Fairgrounds: 10 October 2010 2 comments
The part of this building at 904 Knox Abbott Drive that is now a cleaners was the original location for Silver city comics, which is now up the street in an old Hardee's building. I used to drive over from USC every Thursday ("new comics day" back then) to see what was out that week. I would park along the west side of the building, and do vaguely recall 906 being the insurance agency though I don't recall Reyland Medical at all. I know that Silver City moved out after a fire, but I can't recall if it affected 906 as well.
Anyway, since I used to go there so often, I always notice the building as I'm driving by, and saw a massage operation setting up shop there late last year. It seemed to be one of those places having a hard time getting started, at least I never saw any cars there, or indeed any sign that it was open. Finally going to Krispy Kreme one evening, I noticed a sign pasted to the door, and figured it had gone under, but when I stopped to take a picture, the sign said something about a "grand opening" instead. I think that was in mid-February. Then when I went by last weekend, I saw the (generously timelined) "Artsy Fartsy" sign you see here.
UPDATE 29 Oct 2010 -- Well, Artsy Fartsy is to be a coffee bar as well as an art gallery: