So here I am, writhing in the agony of finding the perfect title for the Byrne Miller book, when Gary hands me the poster for a photography show this Friday. It seems C. Steve Johnson, the genre-crossing artist and Fantastic Nobodies performer, has no such trouble with titles. He’s rented a small studio space across from the Piggly Wiggly and the Beaufort Police headquarters and the inaugural “First Friday” opening at 1815 A Boundary Street is this Friday, December 7th.
The headline title across the top of the poster for the opening is “A Cabinet of Curiosities” – a perfect description of what to expect when you pair Gary’s fascination with beautiful dead things and Steve’s eclectic artistic interests. I got a sneak peek while they were hanging the show and can tell you this. Gary’s fixation-since-childhood with natural history museum dioramas will be evidenced on the walls. Some of these giant-sized assemblages have never been exhibited. The same goes for Steve’s work – it’s a fascinating glimpse into what makes someone as creative as he is stop and capture an image on film. And for lovers of moonscapes, a woman I’ve never met is presenting a series of misty, evocative risings and settings to balance the male energy of the evening.
“An Elastic Photography Exhibition” is the show’s evocative subtitle – think flexible and mind-bending. Again, perfect in my opinion, but just in case there was any confusion Steve added a humble descriptor just to the left of the poster’s eye-popping image of an eyeball: “The Most Original Art for All Types of People!”
In the lower eyelashes of the image there’s a classic call to action: “Enjoy the Holidays! Give Someone You Love a Work of Art.” Smart – given that the three photographers in the show are competing with Beaufort’s annual “Night on the Town” celebration, a Christmas Cabaret at Artworks and a photography club show at the library. No worries, Steve’s got that conflict covered too. The inaugural show of Steve’s Independent International Art studio runs from six to eight(ish) Friday night – long after the shops downtown run out of punch and cookies. Call it the Late Night on the Town, or at least late-er, and come prepared for an intimate celebration of creativity.