Columbia Star

Community answers call when local artist needs help


Magician Christian Thee Photo provided

Magician Christian Thee Photo provided

While the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be calming down these days, some of the damage it left in its wake is still out there causing people to take steps they never thought they’d have to take. One such victim is a local Columbia artist, Christian Thee.

The talented “painter with panache” told the Star during the pandemic his art business was reduced to “practically nothing,” and the magic show he and two long-time friends, Joey Vasquez and Joseph Daniels, created and presented had to be shut down for the duration.

While the general public had to cut art and theater from their lives due to the raging virus, the costs of running a home and keeping the lights on and food in the fridge never waned. As so many people in the entertainment industries became brutally aware, during the seemingly ever-changing government rules and regulations about people gathering together, restaurants, concerts, and theaters began closing their doors and gates at an alarming rate. Thee, along with the rest of the artistic community, was determined to stay afloat, but as more and more people fell ill, suggested closures became mandatory, and sadly, the doors of Thee’s amazing home, Columbia’s version of Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle, had to close for the duration.

Thee’s partner had passed away in 2014 so the burden of keeping things running was left to Thee himself. As a newly struggling artist with no way to sell his wares except online and having to cease working with his partners in the magic show, Thee, now in his late 80s, began to fall behind financially even as he was diligently trying to make ends meet.

Having his livelihood taken away from him by no fault of his own, Thee is now facing the devastating news that he may be evicted from his jewel of a home due to mounting tax and insurance bills associated with a reversed mortgage plan.

Those that have been to Thee’s home, whether for the art, the magic or both, know it’s a jewel for the Columbia art scene and it reflects a living example of Thee’s style and artwork. It’s a boon to the theater scene as well and losing it is just an unthinkable possibility for Thee’s friends and magic show business partners, Vasquez and Daniels. Out of simple desperation and too many locked doors and blocked paths, the two magicians have started a Go Fund Me page for their friend.

“While we know this is a massive undertaking, we have exhausted every possibility we can think of,” Vasquez said, “Christian just recovered from all of the damage the 2015 Great Flood did to his home and now this…it’s just too much for a man his age on a fixed income.”

Vazquez said there was an upcoming art show for Thee currently in the works, but at the moment, time is of the essence.

“If people have ever been to Christian’s home, taken the tour or attended one of his amazing dinner parties, if they’ve experienced his art anywhere in Columbia, we are kindly asking that if they can spare any amount for a donation or at least share this quest for help, we would be forever grateful.”

Donations can be made at gofund.me/73d85e28 or by contacting his friends running the fund at christiantheeandassoiciates@gmail.com or by simply calling Joey Vazquez at 803-727-6099.

2 responses to “Community answers call when local artist needs help”

  1. Stanley Dubinsky says:

    This link to Gofundme is not working. Please repost it.
    “Donations can be made at gofund.me/ 73d85e28 or by contacting his friends running the fund at christiantheeandassoiciates@gmail.com or by simply calling Joey Vazquez at 803-727-6099.”

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