The Climb: Art Studio for the Soul – And More

June 2017 - Cover Story
by Deena Bouknight

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June 2017 - Cover Story

The name, The Climb, doesn’t denote a stairway to heaven, a faith journey, or even Psalm 121’s “Song of Ascent.” The name of this unique art studio/office/library/meeting and fellowship space at 1622 Bull Street in downtown Columbia has nothing at all to do with spirituality or Christianity. As founder and owner Henry Foster quips, the stairs to the second floor are just very steep.

The Climb Studio and Gallery is, however, a safe space for Christian men. Foster established The Climb as a place for men to converse, watch and learn from artists as they work, study theology, discuss the Bible, write, and meet and relax with others.

Situated in three-quarters of rented space in a historic, two-story antebellum home, circa 1830, that survived the 1865 burning of Columbia by General Tecumseh Sherman’s men in the last days of the Civil War, the Crawford/Clarkson House has had a few owners, but has essentially stayed in the same family for at least a century. Foster thinks using the federal-style home to create beauty and discuss the Creator is a fitting tribute.

The Climb is only the latest chapter in Foster’s multi-chapter life. He began to paint only five years ago because, as he puts it, “it was the next thing to do.” Retired at least a dozen years, he’s done more already in one lifetime than several people are able to accomplish: attorney, sand mining business, consulting, state government involvement, seminary, language school, teaching and ministry abroad, swim coach, and now artist and studio/gallery owner.

Why did Christ die for you?

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