January 11 - February 25

Dustin Farnsworth: The Devil's Work

Columbia’s 701 Center for Contemporary Art presented a solo exhibition by artist in residence, Dustin Farnsworth. Farnsworth, whose sculptures have met with considerable critical success in recent years, showed works from the past seven years, including new art created during his residency. A Michigan native, Farnsworth lives in Montreal, Canada. He completed his 12-week residency at 701 CCA from October through December 2018. Often larger than life, Farnsworth socially conscious constructions are engrossing, captivating and surreal. Connected by a strong thread of craftsmanship, Farnsworth shows us that the devil is in the details. He creates visceral and cerebral portraiture of today’s youth with critical portrayal of their worldly inheritance, engaging in visual rhetoric representing a generation in need of protection, empowerment, and change.

Dustin has been gaining recognition for his intricate sculptures, captivating audiences through a mastery of craft, material, and storytelling. Since completion of an undergraduate degree from Kendall College of Art and Design in 2010, his work has appeared in over 50 exhibitions nationally, including solo exhibitions at the Cameron Art Museum and the Huntsville Museum of Art. With the support of grants and fellowships, Farnsworth has continued his studio practice at a number of residencies including the University of Wisconsin Madison, Penland School of Crafts, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. 


 Heavy Lies the Crown: Dustin Farnsworth's Evolving Examination of Inheritance from the exhibition Dustin Farnsworth: The Devil's Work essay by Andy Smith


February 12 - March 31

Columbia Open Studios Exhibition at City Hall

A selection of participating Columbia Open Studios 2018 artists held an exhibit at The Gallery at City Hall, that opened on Monday, February the 12th. A reception was held to coincide with the First Thursday on Main night on March 1st.

March 8 - April 22

Fletcher Williams III: Traces

Traces presented a variety of works from Charleston based interdisciplinary artist Fletcher Williams III. Williams III’s theoretical and conceptual art-making practice is rooted in a southern vernacular, which he finds essential to documenting the unweaving of Charleston’s social and cultural fabric. Incorporating his studies of ritual theory through the lenses of anthropology and sociology, Williams III creates multimedia objects and installations that explore historical and contemporary African American narratives of culture and utility that are unique to the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Since 2009, the artist has been gaining recognition for his diverse palate of materials, whether it be automotive paint, found objects, metal flake, shingles, pen & ink or palmetto leaves. Williams has at his disposal a library of local motifs, including the ever-present handwoven palmetto roses that are sold by young black children on the streets of Charleston. Oak, a piece towering at five feet tall, was one of the many pieces in this exhibition that incorporates these roses in an unexpected way. By using these recognizable symbols, Williams is attempting to illustrate a moment of time, to “trace the removal of black communities and the culture taken with it.”

"It is difficult to admire the landscape and architecture of this small city for too long without bits of its haunting past bubbling to the surface." - Fletcher Williams III


May 10 - June 24

SC. Fellows Part II

In partnership with the South Carolina Arts Commission, 701 Center for Contemporary Art and the Henry Ponder Gallery at Benedict College presented SC.Fellows Part II, a retrospective exhibition of the S.C. Arts Commission visual arts and craft fellowship recipients. SC.Fellows is part of the S.C. Arts Commission’s 50th Anniversary celebration that included 15 solo and group exhibitions of current and past fellows throughout South Carolina. The 701 CCA and Henry Ponder Gallery exhibitions were the second part of the retrospective exhibition drawn from the work of the 89 artists who have received S.C. Arts Commission fellowships since 1976 when the program was established. All fellows are current or past residents of South Carolina.

“The 50th anniversary of the South Carolina Arts Commission provides an ideal opportunity to survey the breadth and depth of art made in South Carolina,” says New York art critic and author Eleanor Heartney, who curated SC.Fellows Part I & II. “The recipients of the award were selected solely on the basis of artistic merit, and as the works here reveal, they work in media ranging from ceramic, papermaking and textiles to painting, sculpture, photography, installation and assemblage. The work is equally diverse in content. The fellowship winners present private worlds, wrestle with social and political issues, explore the expressive potential of abstraction, and celebrate the complexities and beauties of the natural world.”

Heartney is a contributing editor for Art in America magazine and the author of several books, including Art & Today (2008). In 2004 she curated Thresholds, the traveling exhibition of art from five Southern states organized by the S.C. Arts Commission. In 2009, she curated The State Art Collection: Contemporary Conversations, a two-part traveling exhibition organized by the commission and 701 CCA.

The 701 CCA section of the second part presented work by James Arendt, Alice Ballard, Patricia Lee Brady, Jonathan Brilliant, Zoey Brookshire, Jeri Burdick, Jarod Charzewski, Jocelyn Chateauvert, Rebecca Des Marais, Linda Fantuzzo, Mark Flowers, Jack Steve Gerstner, Jr., J. Scott Goldsmith, Kristy Higby, Elizabeth Keller, Michael Lavine, Lerry Lebby, Elizabeth Melton, Philip Mullen, Jane Allen Nodine, Jorge Otero, Herb Parker, Clifton Peacock, Michael Phillips, David Ross Puls, Michael Tice and Susan B. Wooten.


July 12 - August 26

Yvette L. Cummings: Uncovered


Uncovered showcased original paintings and hand cut paper collages that present moments of transition between experiences of recalled child abuse and the dynamics of motherhood. Culling through scattered memories of the past and current experiences with her daughters, Yvette Cummings work explores the complicated path of youth, beauty, femininity and transitions from childhood into self-awareness. 

Yvette Cummings Arendt of Conway, SC was our 2016 701 CCA Prize winner. As the winner, Cummings received a six-week, paid residency at 701 CCA; a solo exhibition at 701 CCA; and an ad in a national art magazine.

This solo exhibition featured work created throughout the duration of Cummings’ residency that explores themes outlined in detail above. The show was comprised of two-dimensional paintings and installations.


September 13 - October 28

Brittany M. Watkins: Affect-ed, Being

Contemporary psychology defines affect as the feeling or experience that is associated with an emotion or the act of displaying and exhibiting emotions through gestures or facial expressions. 

AFFECT-ED, BEING offered a contemporary approach to portraiture and being through a series of installation-based, painting, sculpture, video, and performance works. Each object presented, is rife with narrative-based signifiers highlighting the individual’s place among society alongside the functioning of the human mind. 

As paint coats the surface, this life is re-contextualized with purpose, enhanced for public display. Site-specific installation was paired with bright colors, dramatic lighting, audio and video to provide a sensory experience that will lead viewers throughout the psyche/space. Each persona hinges on her embodiment of the subject, as insecurity, dependence, compulsion, etc. (the human condition) are employed visually and/or metaphorically in the process/final presentation. A cycle of obsessive-compulsive behaviors and subconscious, coping mechanisms are revealed in the daily interactions between the self-aware object and the complex, yet fragile human. Non-traditional materials, once discarded from the home, range in use, historical context, and class as they place the individual experience within the framework of contemporary art for a subversive look at consumption.



November 8 - December 23

701 CCA Prize 2018

The 701 CCA Prize, organized by 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., is an art competition and exhibition for young professional South Carolina artists. The project’s purpose is to identify and recognize artists 40 years and younger whose work is exemplary in its originality, shows awareness of artistic developments and is of high artistic merit.

701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., was excited to announce that the finalists for the 701 CCA Prize 2018 are Carey W. Morton of Charleston, Alexander Thierry of Columbia and Jena Thomas of Spartanburg. The 701 CCA Prize 2018 is a competition and exhibition for South Carolina artists 40 years and younger. A record number of 28 artists submitted for the Prize this year.

The three finalists’ work was shown in the 701 CCA Prize 2018 Exhibition, which opened on Thursday, November 8, with an extended artists’ reception to coincide with the 701 CCA's and 701 Whaley's 10th Anniversary Celebration, 5–9 p.m. The exhibition ran through December 23. The winner of the 701 CCA Prize 2018 was announced during a 701 CCA Prize 2018 Celebration on Wednesday, November 28, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. 2018’s Prize was a fourth installment of the biennial event. 



February 13

Jazz @ 701 - A Sign of the Times

An Unforgettable night of Music and Photos! Sponsored by Columbia SC 63: Our Story Matters, and in partnership with 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Jazz@701 brings back A Sign Of The Times!

Led by Composer/Director, Tyrone Jefferson, A Sign of the Times’  are committed to the mastery and preservation of Jazz - the only musical genre born in America! Their repertoire swings and transports listeners to the days of Dizzy, Bird, Miles and Sassy as well as Earth, Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye, the Stylistics, Etta James and James Brown.  Each musical story is told with authenticity and reverence to the great ones that came before us.


March 8

Artist Talk by Fletcher Williams III

Williams studied drawing, painting, print-making, graphic design, and sculpture at The Cooper Union, where he received a BFA in 2010 and worked for several years thereafter as a freelance graphic designer. While the core of Williams' education focused on the visual arts, a significant portion of his education was dedicated to studying ritual theory through the lenses of anthropology and sociology. These concepts play an important role in his later works. In 2013, Williams returned to Charleston and began creating multimedia objects and installation that explore historical and contemporary African American narratives of culture and utility that are unique to the South Carolina Lowcountry.

“I’m a spectator in a city of racial tension, cultural separation, and social adaptation. It’s palpable yet blanketed,” says Williams, “Charleston is a city attempting to retain its majesty despite continued acts of racial hatred, violence, and irreverence.” Williams is fascinated by the opposing forces that he observes in Charleston, from the captivating landscape flooded with inner coastal waterways, sea life, colossal oak trees, and blossoming azaleas to the deeply embedded horror of the African Slave Trade that can be seen in statues of slave advocates standing tall over city squares. Williams explains, “It is difficult to admire the landscape and architecture of this small city for too long without bits of its haunting past bubbling to the surface.”


April 5

Columbia Open Studios Preview Party

The Columbia Open Studios tour was kicked off at the official ticketed Preview Party. The party was held in the second floor Olympia Room at 701 Whaley. This was a chance to meet + mingle with participating artists at the preview party before Open Studios weekend. Complimentary hors-d'oeuvres + a cash bar were available for attendees.


April 7 & 8

Columbia Open Studios

701 CCA Columbia Open Studios is an annual, self-led, driving tour of artists’ working studios spans the City of Columbia and Richland and Lexington Counties, showcasing the Midlands’ talented visual art community.

May 8

Jazz @ 701 with Mark Sterbank

Mark Sterbank Quintet with Mark Sterbank, tenor saxophone, Charlton Singleton, trumpet, Richard White, piano, Kevin Hamilton, bass, and Quentin Baxter, drums. Sterbank played a mix of standards and originals from his last CD, Dayspring. This group, the former house group at the Mezz in Charleston, has also performed under other names including the Quentin Baxter Ensemble and the Charlton Singleton Quintet. Dynamic, exhuberant, and swinging, these gentlemen are among the finest jazz musicians in the Southeast.


June 14

Paal Nilssen - Love’s Large Unit Concert

Paal Nilssen-Love has been one of the world’s most prolific and active musicians that came out of Norway for the last 20 years. With thousands of gigs and hundreds of recordings the drummer is known for bands like The Thing, OffOnOff, Ballister, Hairy Bones, Chicago Tentet, and Original Silence, as well as collaborations with musicians like Arto Lindsay, Otomo Yoshihide, Akira Sakata, Ken Vandermark, Jim O’Rourke, Peter Brötzmann, Thurston Moore, Michiyo Yagi and many others.

In 2013 Nilssen-Love decided it was time to start his own big band ensemble. Consisting of mostly younger Norwegian musicians, Large Unit manifests as an intense powerhouse force on stage, but also veers into more subtle and textural passages. The group also includes members from Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In other words: Nordic music at its most powerful.

Traces of Nilssen-Love’s experience from groups like Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Ken Vandermark’s Territory Band and Frode Gjerstad’s Circulasione Totale Orchestra are evident, but there is no doubt that with Large Unit Nilssen-Love aims to create a group with a sound of its own.

Large Unit burst into life at the Molde Jazzfestival in 2013 and has since then toured Norway and played festivals all over Europe. In the autumn of 2014 Large Unit unleashed its full load with the massive debut album”Erta Ale” – which was released in four different formats totalling more than two hours worth of music – a bold move for a debut release, but the album was met with positive reviews throughout the music scene.


August 11

Young Artists Festival

Young Arts Festival is an end of summer festival that celebrates young artists, ages 6 to 17, in our community. The Festival also showcases the works created by summer camp programs in Columbia. This celebration of art includes art making activities, games, performances, an art exhibition, and more.


Experiential learning experiences where participants
create and participate in STEAM activities!

Greg Alexander, Handmade Chopsticks | Jaime Chason, Marbling | Christy Aitkin, Printmaking


Showcasing local summer art camp programs,
presenting what they have to offer and providing hands-on activities! 

701 Center for Contemporary Art | Auntie Karen Foundation | City of Columbia Art Center | Columbia Children’s Theatre | Columbia Marionette Theatre | Freeway Music | Girls Rock Columbia | Indie Grits Lab | Trustus Theatre | Columbia City Jazz Conservatory


Featuring drama, dance, and musical programs
presented by performing arts organizations!

Freeway Music | Columbia Children’s Theatre | Columbia City Jazz Conservatory | Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet | Kaycee Tompkins


Youths have the opportunity to showcase
and sell their work to festival attendees!

Kaycee Tompkins - Jewelry | Scrabble (Sophie Peek & Emma Keller) - Worry Dolls | Keishan Scott – Book Author


Fun games and interactive activities throughout the festival,
such as selfie stations with the festival mascot!


Lemonade, Sno Kones, Pizza and more!

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August 26

Artist Talk + Q&A with Yvette L. Cummings and Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter

To close out her solo exhibition Uncovered, 701 CCA presented an artist talk plus Q&A session from 701 CCA Prize 2016 winner Yvette L. Cummings. This talk was joined by a conversation with Palmetto Place Children's Shelter, whose mission is to "provide a safe and supportive environment for children and teens who have faced abuse, abandonment, neglect and/or homelessness."

Palmetto Place was founded in 1977 as an emergency shelter for children who needed safe haven from child abuse and neglect. Their residential home has provided services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the last 40 years and more than 7,000 children have called Palmetto Place their home. In 2016 they were able to expand the original home adding space for more children and teens who have faced abuse and neglect. They were also able to open a second location that serves the homeless teen and at-risk youth populations in the Midlands. Palmetto Place now has two houses and more than 50 beds for our state's most vulnerable children and teens.


September 11

Jazz @ 701 with Mitch Butler

Mitch Butler is a native of Raleigh, NC. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Performance from East Carolina University. Mitch is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Doctor of Music Arts degree in Music Performance with an emphasis in Jazz Studies. Mitch has been the trombonist and leader of a number of musical groups including the Nebulous Jazztet from 2001 to 2006, Modus Bone from 2010 to 2012, the CSU East Bay Faculty Jazztet, and currently the Mitch Butler Quartet. In August of 2018, Butler was named Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He remains an active performing musician, clinician, composer, and arranger.

Phillip WhackReggie SullivanAmos Hoffman and Brendan Michael Bull performed with Mitch at 701!


November 28

The 701 CCA Prize 2018 Celebration and Winner Announcement

To announce the winner of the 701 CCA Prize 2018 for South Carolina artists 40 years and younger, 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., presented the 701 CCA Prize 2018 Celebration. The three finalists for the 701 CCA Prize 2016 were Carey W. Morton of Charleston, Alexander Thierry of Columbia and Jena Thomas of Spartanburg. Jena Thomas won the Prize, which included a residency at 701 CCA.

Through the combined opening reception and 10th Anniversary Celebration, 701 invited the public to celebrate ten years of outstanding exhibitions, educational programming and organizational growth at 701 CCA. The event began with the three finalists in the gallery and continued on with music by DJ Preach Jacobs, fun activities with prizes, special drinks by Liquid Assets and a dessert bar by Anne Cline catering!



April 15

701 CCA 10-Year Anniversary Lantern Workshop

Participants were given a chance to prepare for the Vista’s Lantern Parade at the Lantern Workshop on Sunday, April 15 from 1-5 p.m. at the 701 Center for Contemporary art at 701 Whaley Street.

Lanterns and bamboo sticks were available along with materials to decorate and paint them to your heart’s desire, or participants could bring their own materials if they had something wilder in mind.

To celebrate 10 wonderful years since the opening of 701 CCA, we used materials from our past workshops plus our symbolic red yarn! 


June 4 - August 3

Youth Summer Art Workshops

Each summer, 701 Center for Contemporary Art offers Youth Summer Art Workshops. Children and teens ages 6 to 17 have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the arts, creating artwork under the guidance of local artists and art instructors. Students are able to work in several art making activities! Classes are held at 701 CCA’s Artist-in-Residence loft.

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May 19 - June 3

Yvette L. Cummings

Yvette Cummings Arendt of Conway, SC was our 2016 701 CCA Prize winner. She completed the second half of her residency at 701 CCA in May. The first half was completed in May of 2017. Her current body of work presents a moment of transition between experiences of recalled child abuse and the dynamics of motherhood. She explores the relationships her daughters have with one another and the complicated path of youth, beauty, and femininity. The struggles of adolescence include navigating the dynamics of family, sibling rivalry, and transitions into adulthood. She depicts her daughters during these times in relation to one another, and herself. 


August 6 - september 16

Brittany M. Watkins

Brittany M. Watkins is an interdisciplinary artist based in Georgia & Florida. Her installation-based practice incorporates painting, sculpture, audio, video, and performance as she moves back and forth between physical and theoretical spaces. Watkins received the Juried Panel Prize ($25,000.00) in ArtFields 2017 for her installation titled: BRITTANY WATKINS: AFFECT-ED, BEING.

AFFECT-ED, BEING offered a contemporary approach to portraiture and being through a series of installation-based, painting, sculpture, video, and performance works. Each object presented, is rife with narrative-based signifiers highlighting the individual’s place among society alongside the functioning of the human mind. 


October 1 - January 20

Janet Orselli

Janet Orselli is an artist who creates drawings, object sculptures and site-specific installations. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Clemson University and has been selected to participate in artist residencies at Anderson Ranch, Colorado, Spring Island, SC and Kaiserslautern, Germany. Janet has received three Regional Artist Project Grants from the NC Arts Council and was awarded a national Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship. She has had over a dozen solo exhibitions including OK Harris Works of Art, NYC and the Gibbs Museum, Charleston, SC. Her work is featured in the book, 100 Southern Artists. Janet was the Fall 2018 Artist in Residence at the 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia, SC and had a solo show in January 2019. She teaches art and lives in Tryon, NC.