Transitions Homeless Center residents’ artwork showcased at Columbia Metropolitan Airport

Artwork being positioned for placement. Karamie Sullivan and Elizabeth Igleheart photos.

Representatives from Transitions Homeless Center brought about 40 pieces of original art to the Columbia Metropolitan Airport Wednesday afternoon to showcase beside the food court. This is the second year Transitions has been able to display current and past residents’ artwork in the airport.  The exhibit not only features the artists’ pieces, but also provides a welcoming visual to travelers entering the Columbia area.

According to Transitions Vice President of Advancement Elizabeth Igleheart, many of the paintings are images and landscapes related to the state. “A lot of the paintings done are South Carolina scenes, the low country, and several of the Gervais Street bridge,” she said. “It sort of features Columbia landmarks.”

Igleheart said she thought of showcasing the residents’ art at the airport a couple years ago when she was walking through the building. She noticed some artwork that was being displayed, and contacted the airport’s Customer Service Manager, Lynne Douglas.  She asked Douglas if the the airport would allow Transitions to hang up some of their residents’ pieces.

“I was thrilled about it,” Douglas said. “Actually their exhibit last year was the first time we’ve ever had an art exhibit in this area.” The pieces were arranged on the two walls leading into the food court. They will be on display through September.

There will be an event in October at the Venue on Main in Columbia where the artwork will be auctioned off. Igleheart said this will be their seventh year holding the auction. “The first hour is an art show with the artists present. You can talk to them about their paintings, what they were thinking and feeling when they made it,” she said. “We’ve got an auctioneer doing a live auction, and about eight restaurants providing signature dishes.”

Igleheart said it’s quite exciting for the residents to showcase their art, and some have admitted that it’s saved their lives. “For some of them, it’s been life-saving to realize that they have some talent, and to be able to produce this and have it sold,” she said. “It’s very positive for a lot of people who haven’t had a lot of positives in awhile.”

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Richland County