Friends and family of Anastasia Chernoff install sculpture

“Her Heart” by Clayton Wooten honors the artist’s love for Columbia and its artists.

 On behalf of the family and friends of Anastasia Chernoff, One Columbia for Arts and Culture is proud to announce the completion and installation of “Her Heart,” a new sculpture located on Senate Street in the Congaree Vista.

The sculpture honors the late Anastasia Chernoff, a prominent Columbia-based artist and gallerist that passed away in December 2016. The sculpture was made possible by contributions from Chernoff’s friends and family, and in partnership with the Congaree Vista Guild.

“Her Heart” is a large-scale anatomical heart made of metal wire and painted with a sparkling lavender color. The piece is a creation of artist Clayton Wooten, a close friend of Anastasia and her family.

“When I was contacted by Anastasia’s family to do a sculpture in her memory, I was beyond excited and honored. Anastasia was beautiful inside and out, always with a smile on her face,” explains artist Clay Wooten. “I wanted to create something that would capture her spirit and leave an impression as she always did. She helped me and so many other artists get their start here in Columbia and I will be forever grateful for that.”“Anastasia Chernoff was a beautiful, smart and complicated spirit whose love had no boundaries and who was loved by many,” says Anastasia’s mother Ann Hankins.

Lauren Melton, Anastasia’s daughter, also recalls her mother’s impact saying, “She used this bottomless love to lift people up, in particular artists within the community. She was one of those kinds of people whose energy exuded love and positivity. This piece is meant to bring that same energy and love to downtown Columbia that she brought to everyone she came in contact with.”

The sculpture is located in the median on the 900 block of Senate Street, not far from the “Gong in the Vista,” a piece dedicated to Marvin Chernoff, a dedicated Columbia supporter whom Anastasia was married to for many years.

One Columbia provided administrative support in accepting contributions and working with family members and close friends to assist in the selection and installation of the piece.

The family is hopeful that they will be able to have an official dedication ceremony in the near future when restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have eased. Until then, visitors are encouraged to ride by to see the piece and think of Anastasia’s lasting impact on the City of Columbia and its cultural community.


About One Columbia for Arts and Culture

One Columbia for Arts and Culture is a non-profit corporation that works to promote collaboration among citizens, the cultural community, and city government through celebrations of Columbia’s arts and historic treasures. Its goal is to enhance the quality of life for our residents, attract tourist dollars to our city, and further build our vibrant community. In short, it serves as the promotional arm of the City for Columbia’s cultural community. Visit the One Columbia website  for a continuously updated master list of art and cultural activities occurring throughout the city.