April’s temperate weather provides an inviting month to entertain, allowing for flow between indoor and outdoor “rooms” without the restraints of heating and cooling. One of my favorite articles in this issue is “Spontaneous Entertaining,” which takes the stress out of hosting. While it is true that nothing competes with the magic in a party where the hostess pulls out all the stops, not every gathering requires that level of preparation. Why not have a spontaneous get-together? Clear the kids’ stuff off the sofa and have friends over for appetizers and drinks. Sweep the back porch and just invite a small group over to enjoy takeout from a favorite restaurant. For tips on fun, easy hosting, read Muffie Wells’ article on page 58.
The nice weather this month also makes it prime time for events around town. How exciting to see our city developing into such a diverse hot spot for the arts! Check out our article on page 48 to learn more about Columbia’s jazz scene, and you may cancel your trip to New Orleans as there are multiple opportunities most nights of the week to hear the enchanting, sultry strains of the saxophone. The Cayce Beautification Foundation commissioned Wade Geddings to carve a series of woodland creatures out of the deadfall just off the Cayce Riverwalk (featured on page 70). Take an afternoon to meander beside the river and marvel that the magical animals peeping out from behind stumps and through the branches were all carved with a chainsaw.
We are also very excited in this issue to feature young artists behind the camera lens as we publish the next generation of photographers in our first USC student photography contest. Professor of visual communications Van Kornegay challenged his senior portfolio class to study the nuances of photographing Columbia at night. A hearty congratulations to Kristen Clark for her winning photograph of the State House, “State of Reflection,” as well as to the other talented students whose work we are proud to showcase in a photo essay on page 64.
Lastly, be sure to mark your busy calendars for Tuesday, April 24. We will honor our Top Ten 2018 Capital Young Professionals, as well as announce the winner, at a party at Senate’s End, and everyone is invited! Ticket sales benefit the United Way of the Midlands and can be purchased at ColumbiaMetro.com. We look forward to seeing you there!