July 2, 2022

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The Accomplished Art Purveyors

Columbia art gallery owner Wim Roefs dies

Wim Roefs at if Artwork Gallery in the Vista.

Wim Roefs, owner of a distinguished artwork gallery in Columbia’s Vista district and a stalwart of the Midlands arts community, has died.

Roefs was the founder and owner of the if Art Gallery at 1223 Lincoln St. in the Vista. Friday messages on the gallery’s Fb page, as very well as Roefs’ personal Facebook page and a Friday newsletter from the gallery, indicated he had died.

“It is with major hearts that we ought to tell you that if Artwork founder Wim Roefs endured a coronary heart attack Monday May perhaps 9 and died Thursday Might 12,” the message reported. “We will ship out facts before long pertaining to the celebration of this exceptional everyday living. Most Sincerely, Mates of if Art Gallery.”

As mentioned in a 2017 story in The State, Roefs was at first from the Netherlands. He came to Columbia in 1989 to research journalism at the College of South Carolina, and later on immersed himself in the arts and tradition scene in the Midlands. He was a board member of Columbia’s 701 Center for Present-day Artwork, and was a past chairman of that board.

Roefs opened if Art Gallery in the Vista in 2006 and, as noted by town-backed arts agency One Columbia, the gallery frequently exhibits functions from artists across South Carolina and the U.S., as perfectly as Europe.

In a 2015 profile in The Condition, Roefs talked about his drive to spotlight artists, especially those from South Carolina, who wanted to be recognized.

“If I’m likely to go to the difficulty of promoting artwork,” Roefs stated at the time, “I must at the very least have the gain of selling art that I enjoy and respect.”

Tributes ended up pouring in Friday from Roefs’ friends on his Fb web page. A single was from Rodney Welch, a longtime freelance journalist in Columbia who has published a great number of arts-linked stories for weekly newspaper No cost Times.

“He knew an enormous quantity, was generally considerate in his views and so dedicated to the artists whose works had been on screen,” Welch wrote. “By character he experienced a cosmopolitan outlook that was unusual in Columbia, as was the way he championed free of charge expression and the creative lifetime. I will certainly miss out on him.”

This story was originally published Could 13, 2022 12:42 PM.

Chris Trainor has been performing for newspapers in South Carolina for a lot more than 17 many years, together with former stops at the (Greenwood) Index-Journal and the (Columbia) Free of charge Situations. He is the winner of numerous South Carolina Push Association awards, which include honors in column composing, federal government conquer reporting, profile creating, meals creating, election coverage and much more.