2006-06-23 / Society

Artists capture spirit of Five Points

By Rachel Haynie

by Michael StoryColumns by Michael Story

Michael Story's Columns is among the paintings auctioned June 22 at a reception at Carolina First Bank in Five Points at 6:30 pm.

"I used to live in Five Points when I got out of college, and I know some of the artists that got this project going last year. Rick Wells, whose idea probably launched this concept, called and asked me if I'd like to get involved." This would be a chance to get reacquainted with Five Points, Story figured, so he said yes to Wells.

The challenge was finding a possible setting without a bulldozer or cone next to it. "I spent parts of several days walking around Five Points, looking for what I wanted to paint, set on not to paint the obvious," Story said.

The other criteria Story kept in mind was how to do something in line with what he usually paints yet still represent Five Points. Story's success has come largely from patrons who want to hang his sweeping landscapes of marshes, beaches, or rivers in their homes or businesses.

"I found some things that interested me, maybe something as simple as the light hitting a tree in a certain way. The columns to me are very representative of Five Points. There are some big beautiful oaks there in Maxcy Gregg Park, and I liked how the white columns contrasted with the dark trees."

Story said he found a good shady spot and created most of the piece there, in plein air. His piece will go on view next week when the Five Points Association unveils the 2006 Five Points Art Collection at Carolina First Bank, 1940 Blossom Street in Five Points.

The collection, created by local artists as part of the Paint Five Points initiative, will be on view and will be auctioned at the second annual reception. The artists were honored and the silent auction held Thursday, June 22, at the bank at 6:30 p.m.

Paint Five Points has attracted some of Columbia's most prominent artists who have created pieces capturing the pleasure and excitement of life in the Five Points community. Some participating artists also visited area schools to share their creative process with students.

In addition to Story and Wells, participating artists for the 2006 initiative are Eileen Blythe, Colin Dodd, Jung-Mei Dodd, Mary Gilkerson, Susan Harky, Marcelo Novo, Blue Sky, and David Yaghjian.

Works from the Paint Five Points initiative will be sold with the intent of setting aside a revolving fund for the annual commissions of art.

"We want people who come here to see professional artists working on sidewalks, at the fountain, and in our parks," said Dennis Hiltner, owner of The Gourmet Shop, and president of the Five Points Association.

"Artists at work convey a sense of vitality and style about the community," Hiltner said.

Paint Five Points celebrates the rebirth of Five Points initiated by the $32 million redevelopment project that continues in the village.

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