At the Columbia Catacombs, these artists call Mother Nature their partner
COLUMBIA, 12/16/11  (Beat Byte) --  Come in, come down, and join Karen Pummill-neal and I as we give you a guided tour of Columbia's most unique shopping environment. 
Also known as TieDye Queen Karen, Pummill-neal proved an excellent, informative, and enthusiastic hostess.  "We're really like a big family here," she told me.  "We help each other out, watch each other's stores, and share a lot of love and friendship." 
One of the artists Karen raved about was Andrea Youngman, at the beginning of the Catacombs.  "We're all so lucky to just be in here with her," she said.
"Revealing the sacred magic of nature," Youngman offers a variety of gifts in several media.  My favorites are paintings that remind me of Columbia's Magic Holiday Trees:  Come, Climb My Branches; Breathe Deeply;  and a crisply delicate snapshot of a family of bright red cardinals on a barren winter tree with a title that says it all: Winter's Stark Beauty.
The beauty of all four seasons -- Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall -- comes through in Merri Hunter's glimmering, three-dimensional painting of four trees during each season made of gold and silver-toned metal.  Who knew metal could be so delicate and giving? 
On a roughly two feet by one foot cloth background, A Tree for All Seasons was one of my favorites in her shop at the end of the first Catacombs passageway.  My other favorite is Spiritual Eclecticism, a 2-foot cross in subdued earthtones that looks as if it just stepped out of a stained glass window.
Artists and artisans featured in this story:
Merri Hunter