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June 2011

Columbia Design League in Columbia, SC, Offers Installation by Jonathan Brilliant

The Columbia Design League in Columbia, SC, is presenting Field of Good Fortune, a temporary, site-specific installation by local artist Jonathan Brilliant, at the corner of Main and Lady Street in downtown Columbia, on view through June 20, 2011.

Brilliant is the winner of the Design League’s inaugural Play With Your City public art initiative and competition, which supports innovative approaches to public spaces within the community on a small budget. The Columbia Design League is a not-for-profit philanthropic organization of the Columbia Museum of Art.

Brilliant’s Field of Good Fortune installation is composed of multiple twelve-foot long fortune cookie fortunes arranged in the park on the corner of Main and Lady Streets. Six actual fortunes were selected from hundreds of Brilliant’s personal fortune collection accumulated over the past 10 years. These fortunes were digitally scanned and then professionally printed and mounted by local sign fabricators at Signs Now of Columbia. Brilliant toyed with the fortunes in a variety of projects. When the Play With Your City competition was announced, he saw it as a perfect opportunity to use the fortunes to create a Field of Good Fortune for the city of Columbia.

“Rather than focus on simply creating a temporary monument or public sculpture, it is my intention to activate a specific space in downtown Columbia,” Brilliant said. “I hope that the placement of the Field of Good Fortune will not only provide regular users of the green space on the corner of Main and Lady an opportunity for discussion and enjoyment, but also attract new visitors to the green space. As with all my installations the work will only be complete when viewers are present to enjoy the piece in person.”

In planning the Play With Your City public art initiative, the Columbia Design League formed a public art committee, whose members created an open call competition to select three finalists for a Face-Off event that was held in September 2010. Teri Tynes, an award-winning New York City-based arts writer, editor, blogger (Walking Off the Big Apple - and former Columbian, returned to the capital city to serve as the Face-Off juror and select one winner. Playfulness is a key part of the initiative; and the Play With Your City competition sought public art proposals that approached downtown spaces in exceptional and surprising ways. The goal of the initiative is to demonstrate that effective, engaging public art can be produced with a modest budget, which will engage all members of the community in a meaningful way.

“The Play With Your City public art initiative offers a fresh and truly innovative approach to public art,” Design League president Anna Redwine said. “We expected participants to have fun with this competition and hope this playfulness will be contagious and continue to inform the way we view our evolving urban spaces.”

Brilliant was born in 1976 in Charleston, SC, and holds a BA in studio art from the College of Charleston and an MFA in Spatial Arts from San Jose State University. He exhibited his work in several group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally. Brilliant received numerous fellowships to artist residencies and communities. From May 2009-December 2010 he conducted his “Have Sticks Will Travel world Tour.” The tour was a marathon series of site-specific installations that took place in 13 galleries in 18 months, in three countries, on two continents. In September 2010, the tour concluded with a three-month fellowship as an artist in Residence at The McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC. In addition to site-specific installations, Brilliant works with drawing, sculpture, photography, and Googles himself regularly. He currently lives and works in Columbia, SC.

The Columbia Design League is a not-for-profit philanthropic organization of the Columbia Museum of Art. The mission of the Design League is to promote passion for design excellence and understanding of design’s broad impact on our community. All members of the Columbia Museum of Art are eligible for membership in the Design League.

Sponsors of Play With Your City and Field of Good Fortune include: First Citizens Bank and Signs Now of Columbia, SC, with special thanks to the City Center Partnership.

For more information on Play With Your City or the Columbia Design League, please visit ( or contact Anna Redwine by e-mail at (

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