The road has been a bumpy one for Autumn Faire, but it keeps on going, all in the name of ars gratia artis.

The Latin phrase means “art for art’s sake” and it’s the reason Autumn Faire came to be and the reason it returned for a second year Sunday at Columbia’s Robert Mills House and Gardens, drawing a steady stream of guests despite the cold weather.

South Carolina Artists (SCA), a nonprofit group formed in 2010 in response to a severe decline in exhibit and sales opportunities for visual artists, created Autumn Faire in 2020 to offer a free public art event at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoors and with social distancing in place.

The 2021 edition retained the distancing and showcased a wide variety of art and artists, including painting, pottery, photography, books and more.

Ballet dancer Moona Wu performed on the lawn of the historic house, and then offered some free lessons to the audience, inviting volunteers to join her at the center of attention.

“This is such a nice event. I’m glad we decided to bundle up and come out,” said Louise Robinson as she watched Wu perform. “So many different things to see and I feel like I learned a lot too.”

More information on SCA including details on future events like Autumn Faire is available at

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