Sunday, May 06, 2007

Open Studios: Saturday

Yesterday was the first day of two in an art event called OPEN STUDIOS. Sixty-six artists in Richland and Lexington counties are participating...including eleven of the thirteen studios in the cooperative space where my studios is located. We had a steady stream of people from the 10 AM start through 6:30, even though the official ending time was 6 PM. It was an interesting crowd, not the same people that usually turn up to drink free, cheap wine in a plastic glass, nibble on munchies while looking at art. Most of the people coming into my studio were people who'd never been to Vista Studios and were interested in seeing the artists actually working in their individual spaces. I demonstrated how my "In Box" pieces are created and had various stages of my "Elements of Architecture" pieces out for explanation.

One lady was so fascinated that she bought one In Box XX. Thus, there are now three red dots in the gallery...all on my "In Boxes". I've got loads of work ahead since this series and the water-soluble series are to be my solo show at Francis Marion University. None of the work is done....except for the one "In Box" without a red dot. I keep telling myself that this is a good problem to have!

After the last visitor left, I raced home and changed. Alex had run Mouse House all day but had very few people come from the annual Elmwood Park Tour of Homes, as usual. Together we made it to the Koger Center in time for Columbia City Ballet's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The choreography is not what the rest of the ballet world might expect; it is William Starrett's. The production is quite short, the scenery is great, the costuming is beautiful. Barry Sparks' lighting is, as always, good. Victoria Cholkas danced the role of Titania and looked like she really loved every minute of it. Peter Kozak danced as Oberon. He was better than he'd been in Swan Lake. Unfortunately, he does not dance with ease. He shows the audience how difficult it is to execute each combination. He looks the part but cannot bring the role to life. One is constantly aware that he is trying to get through each passage. I couldn't help but to feel that he ought to retire....or at least step out of the principal roles. Jose Serrano, however, was great. The choreography is really just one trick after another. Many hate this sort of thing but it does tend to "wow" audiences, and this performance certainly did that. I was impressed, however, with the flow given between the tricks, the strong acting, how polished Jose looked. The girls in the corps did a nice job. I liked Kelly Whitaker and Regina Willoughby as Helena and Hermia too. I'm not sure if this performance sold well or not. It was a one-time event, part of the Columbia Festival of the Arts. It appeared to be less than half sold out, which is not a good thing for a company already in debt. Alex and I bought our season tickets for next year during intermission.

After the ballet, Alex and I headed to Suzy Scarborough and Andrew Webber's for an "After Open Studios" party. Her converted garage/studio is truly awesome. Her new, abstract work is quite interesting. We left by 10:15 and heard from Steve while he was waiting outside Chrysler Hall in Norfolk for Mathias. He said that Birmingham Royal Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty was incredible. I wish I could have seen it even though Mathias had such small parts.

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