Discover more from Vessel
Issue 1: Everything Belongs
Zooming out for a better view
I HAVE AN ONGOING INTERNAL BATTLE, wanting the experiences of my life to be clearly defined, contained, labeled, and stacked.
But the problem with this desire is that it’s limiting. It is clean and controlled, but it falls short of what we are seeking here. Wholeness. Connectedness. The beauty in the mess.
Multiple things can be true at once. Once we accept and embrace the completeness of our lives, that seemingly contradictory feelings can belong together, then holiness seeps in. We begin to ease our grip on things.
Once we let go of our need for either/or, we can live a much more holistic life. It’s an honest path, one that allows the fullness of our human experience. The more we accept our own prismatic inner landscape, the more our lives expand.
When I honor my feelings and faceted ways of being, then I’m able to live more peacefully.
Thank you so much for your support of Vessel. I welcome your feedback and look forward to fostering a space for creativity and community. Each issue will include a mix of curated content featuring regional arts, culture, travel, and other important things (ahem, cocktails). Also, the writing and visual contributions will not be mine alone; the future for this publication is bright, and we’re just getting started.
Good Printed Things. Greenville, SC
In the face of doom scrolling and dark news, designer and co-founder of Indie Craft Parade Lib Ramos offers a happy alternative. Good Printed Things produces small-batch printed products such as maps, coloring books, and ’zines that harness the creative talent of Greenville writers and illustrators. Each piece is designed by Ramos, who also sets the creative and editorial direction for her projects. The Paper Routes series combines artistry and geography as playful maps that not only entertain but direct users to a local array of coffee shops, cocktail bars, and Food from Other Places. The goods are up for grabs at Greenville retailers such as M. Judson Booksellers and the Indie Craft Parade Holiday Pop Up.—BK
Winter Metamorphosis. SIFT Gallery (in the lobby of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture), 400 Augusta St, Greenville, SC. Opening reception, November 10, 4:30-7 p.m. The exhibit runs through January 2023.
Spirit and earth dance in Matthew Baumgardner’s lucid paintings, now on view at SIFT Gallery inside the Greenville-based architecture firm McMillan Pazdan Smith. The exhibition is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Baumgardner estate and the Furman University art department.
As a student, Matt studied with Carolina-based artists Carl Blair and Emery Bopp before obtaining his MFA at the University of North Carolina. He moved to New York in the early 1980s, where he gained acclaim for his energetic style, which blended abstract expressionism with street art. Matt eventually transitioned to more ethereal works on birch plywood, paper, and 3-D cubes, free expression anchored by minimalist grids and form. Ever drawn toward nature, he moved to Travelers Rest in 2006, establishing a studio in 2009 and working there until his death in autumn 2018.
Baumgardner’s art inspires contemplation—that our physical world is merely a container for our multidimensional spirit. Like the soul, Baumgardner’s art is timeless, a physical representation of that which cannot be contained.—BK
Words That Linger. The New York Times Magazine, October 16, 2022
“[Cate] believed that the artist is a vehicle as much as an architect, and that the process whereby art is delivered from the universe through the artist is steeped in mystery.”
This is an excerpt from Jordan Kisner’s luminous article about Cate Blanchett in a recent edition of the New York Times Magazine. Blanchett pierces the screen as renowned conductor Lydia Tár in the film, Tár. The movie is an investment in time, but often the best art is.—BK
The Dewberry Old-Fashioned. The Dewberry Hotel, Charleston, SC
I first visited The Dewberry in 2018 for a story I wrote for TOWN. An immediate crush ensued—it remains the hotel of my dreams, expertly intersecting history, hospitality, style, and artistry in a former federal building. The midcentury monolith sits heavily on Meeting Street like a stone fox. Through the revolving doors, guests float along marble into the smart Living Room lounge where you’d expect to Betty Draper quaffing an afternoon cocktail.
I hardly discriminate when it comes to good drinks, but my palate leans toward whiskey during colder months. Classic drinks, like simple foods, are among the most difficult to make. With so few ingredients, the selection, combination, and presentation are paramount. The next time you’re in the Holy City, treat yourself to the Dewberry Old-Fashioned—particularly if you’re an Old Fashioned connoisseur. The glass, the cube (imprinted with a “D,” no less), the drink—it’s enough to obsess about.—BK
Jones Lake State Park. Elizabethtown, NC
My partner, Kim, and I recently discovered the ineffable beauty of Jones Lake State Park. Her parents came down from Indiana to visit her brother who lives near Wilmington, so we drove up to meet them for an overnight stay via the Blue Ridge Parkway and Winston-Salem. It’s worth a stop, in particular if you’re heading to the North Carolina coast. You’ll be rewarded with an open sky and fragrant pines, soft ground and mirror lake at dawn.—BK
Thank you so much for reading. Keep your eyes peeled for the next issue, out December 9. I welcome your comments and conversation—so glad you’re on this journey with me! More soon.—BK