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College of Charleston honors Haga with art history scholarship

Michael Haga is retiring after 26 years at the College of Charleston School of the Arts. But as he steps down, a scholarship honoring him will help students step up their education in art. Haga is the school's associate dean and a long-time friend of the South Carolina Arts Commission, Arts Alliance, and Arts Foundation (and all around good guy - Ed.). The College of Charleston is honoring him with the Michael W. Haga Endowed Art History Award, a $15,000 scholarship for art history students. From The College Today:

Established in 2016, the award was the brainchild of Nina Liu, a renowned Charleston gallery owner, as well as a friend of Haga, who wanted to honor his contribution to the College by creating the endowed award in his name ... Working with Liu, Haga came upon the idea of directing the fund to his chosen field of art history, supporting majors in that area so that they can travel for research or engage in a formal study abroad program.

Haga taught Art History 101 for 20 years during his tenure. “No matter how sophisticated you may be through reading and interacting with people from other parts of the world, until you physically are elsewhere yourself, you simply cannot understand what a transformative thing travel is. It changes your world,” Haga said.

Announcing the 2018 S.C. Novel Prize winner

      LEAD MEDIA CONTACT: Kate McMullen, Hub City Press 864.577.9349|  kate@hubcity.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19 June 2018 Winner announced for biennial South Carolina Novel Prize SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission, Hub City Press, the College of Charleston, and the South Carolina State Library are pleased to announce that the winner of the 2018 South Carolina Novel Prize is Scott Sharpe for his manuscript “Whispering into the Wind.” [caption id="attachment_35640" align="alignright" width="250"] Scott Sharpe (2018)[/caption] Scott Sharpe was born and raised in the Sandhills of central South Carolina and graduated from the University of SC with a degree in business. He lives in Eastover and currently works for the South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office. When not helping the state rebuild its rural communities or writing, he practices the art of fly-fishing and paddles any body of water big enough to launch his canoe. He has written countless short stories and is currently working on his second novel and a collection of short fiction.  “Whispering into the Wind” follows protagonist Jack Parker’s struggle to find some purpose to his life-long strained relationship with his father and his father’s peculiar actions just before his death. The very issues that separated them in life ultimately lead to understanding and a quiet peace as Jack reluctantly follows in his father’s footsteps. Sharpe’s winning manuscript will be published in 2019 by Hub City Press of Spartanburg. Jill McCorkle, author of 10 books including “Life After Life” was the judge of the biennial prize this year. The South Carolina Novel Prize is funded by the following partner organizations:

  • The South Carolina Arts Commission is the state agency charged with creating a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their location or circumstances.
  • Hub City Press was founded in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1995 and since then has emerged as one of the South's premier independent presses.
  • The College of Charleston is home not only to a cadre of nationally and internationally recognized writing faculty, but also houses one of the country’s premiere literary journals, Crazyhorse, published since 1960 and consistently ranked as among the top publishing venues in the nation. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program provides students an immersion in a world of prose and poetry and the practical aspects of establishing a career in the arts.
  • The South Carolina State Library develops, supports, and sustains a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger. The Library serves the people of South Carolina by supporting state government and libraries to provide opportunities for learning in a changing environment.
  • South Carolina Humanities is the state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities and is a founding partner of the South Carolina Novel Prize.
For more information about the Novel Competition, visit or call:
  • SouthCarolinaArts.com / 803.734.8696;
  • or HubCity.org / 864.577.9349.
 

SC Novel Prize now accepting submissions

Prize competition now open to all South Carolina writers – published and unpublished The First Novel Prize is now the South Carolina Novel Prize and is open to any South Carolina writer, including those who have never had a novel published and those who have been published. We also welcome a new partner – the College of Charleston Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, led by novelist and English professor Bret Lott. Submissions close March 15, 2018. South Carolina Novel Prize entries are submitted online through the Submittable system. The contest is highly competitive. Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by panelists who make their judgments on the basis of artistic merit. Six to eight novels will be judged by a nationally recognized judge to be announced at a later date. The winning author will receive a book contract with Hub City Press, an award-winning independent press in Spartanburg, S.C. Winner is awarded publication by Hub City Press in the form of a printing of no less than 2,000 copies to be nationally distributed to the trade in 2019. This can bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and opportunities in the literary community. Brock Adams of Spartanburg won the 2016 First Novel Prize. His novel, Ember, was published by Hub City Press in September 2017. Find complete eligibility requirements and application guidelines online. For more information, contact Sara June Goldstein, 803.734.8694. Images, left to right: First Novel winners Through the Pale Door by Brian Ray (2008), Mercy Creek by Matt Matthews (2010), In the Garden of Stone by Susan Tekulve (2012), Minnow (2014) by James McTeer, and Ember (2016) by Brock Adams.

Author Jill McCorkle to judge SC Novel competition

Prize competition now open to all South Carolina writers – published and unpublished The South Carolina Arts Commission, the College of Charleston Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, and Hub City Press announce author Jill McCorkle as the judge for the 2018 South Carolina Novel Prize. McCorkle is the author of six novels, most recently Life After Life, and four story collections. Her work has appeared in numerous periodicals, four of her short stories have been selected for Best American Short Stories and one essay was selected for Best American Essays. She has taught at Harvard, Brandeis, and N.C. State, and currently teaches in the Bennington College Writing Seminars. The South Carolina Novel Prize (formerly the First Novel Prize) is open to any South Carolina writer, including those who have never had a novel published and those who have been published. The contest is highly competitive. Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by panelists who make their judgments on the basis of artistic merit. Six to eight novels will be judged by McCorkle. The winning author will receive a book contract with Hub City Press, an award-winning independent press in Spartanburg, S.C. Winner is awarded publication by Hub City Press in the form of a printing of no less than 2,000 copies to be nationally distributed to the trade in 2019. This can bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and opportunities in the literary community. Submissions open January 1, 2018 and close March 15, 2018. Find complete eligibility requirements and application guidelines online. For more information, contact Sara June Goldstein, 803.734.8694

First Novel Prize is now the S.C. Novel Prize

Prize competition now open to all South Carolina writers - published and unpublished The First Novel Prize is now the South Carolina Novel Prize and is open to any South Carolina writer, including those who have never had a novel published and those who have been published. We also welcome a new partner - the College of Charleston Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, led by novelist and English professor Bret Lott. Submissions will open January 1, 2018 and close March 15, 2018. South Carolina Novel Prize entries are submitted online through the Submittable system. The contest is highly competitive. Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by panelists who make their judgments on the basis of artistic merit. Six to eight novels will be judged by a nationally recognized judge to be announced at a later date. The winning author will receive a book contract with Hub City Press, an award-winning independent press in Spartanburg, S.C. Winner is awarded publication by Hub City Press in the form of a printing of no less than 2,000 copies to be nationally distributed to the trade in 2019. This can bring recognition that may open doors to other resources and opportunities in the literary community. Brock Adams of Spartanburg won the 2016 First Novel Prize. His novel, Ember, was published by Hub City Press in September 2017. Find complete eligibility requirements and application guidelines online. For more information, contact Sara June Goldstein, 803.734.8694. Images, left to right: First Novel winners Through the Pale Door by Brian Ray (2008), Mercy Creek by Matt Matthews (2010), In the Garden of Stone by Susan Tekulve (2012), Minnow (2014) by James McTeer, and Ember (2016) by Brock Adams.

Clarendon One students visit Steam Institute at College of Charleston

From WCBD Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Fifty Clarendon School District One students in 3rd – 8th grade are in Charleston for three days thanks to funding by the South Carolina Arts Commission. We’re told 70 students and 20 chaperones from Clarendon School District One boarded a charter bus at St. Paul Elementary school to travel to the Engaging Creative Minds Summer STEAM Institute, a 6-week arts integration camp that teachers STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Tuesday afternoon, students are taking part in the Boeing Dreamlearners program.  In the evening ,they are being treated to pizza and movies in the dorm after a visit from the CofC team who will talk to them about college life and answer any questions they may have about college. Wednesday the students will take a Fort Sumter Tour and visit the water park.  In the evening the Children’s Museum will open just for them!  The boat leaves the dock tomorrow at 10:45.  The Children’s Museum is open from 6 p.m. -10 p.m. On Thursday, morning students will walk the Ravenel Bridge and then head back to Summerton, SC.

Visual Arts Fellow Jarod Charzewski uses everyday objects to explore our need to collect

Charleston artist Jarod Charzewski was recently named the South Carolina Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellow. Read more about all four Fellows. From Charleston City Paper Article by Elizabeth Pandolfi, photo by Jonthan Boncek

Visual artist Jarod Charzewski's studio is a scene of organized chaos. In one corner, there are four bulbous Little Tykes toy boxes shaped like a football, a Humpty Dumpty boy and a Humpty Dumpty girl, and a somewhat menacing pig. In another, there are all kinds of tools, from power drills to pliers, and random pieces of the detritus of human life: funnels, tubes, bicycle tires. A complete, mostly real, dolphin skeleton is mounted in the center — it will be part of an installation on water and oceans at Winthrop University this fall. Then there's the huge, four-foot tall container of cables: HDMI cables, phone charger cables, coaxial cables, even old Nintendo cables. Gathered from friends, students, and acquaintances, they'll be transformed into a sculptural installation for a show in Fredericksburg, Va., although it's not quite clear yet what form that will take. "It'll all be done on site — I'll just do a mock-up of the technique I want to use there," Charzewski says. "I can never really do a rehearsal installation, often because I don't have the space or the time to really focus." This is the kind of work Charzewski, a College of Charleston professor and winner of the 2015 S.C. Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellowship, loves to delve into. Although he's technically a sculptor — the Canadian-born artist holds an MFA in sculpture from the University of Minnesota, and he teaches the medium at CofC — he's not the kind that works with stone, marble, or clay. Instead, Charzewski works with a vast assortment of materials to create, almost exclusively, site-specific installations on a grand scale. In the past, he's carved oversized army men out of books on warfare, constructed a massive false landscape out of discarded clothing, and assembled huge numbers of fishing buoys into a gallery piece that not only overflowed out of the gallery's doors, but looked like it could bob away any minute. "I've always made stuff, since I was a kid — I made art, I made things," Charzewski says. "I never thought of it as sculpture. But I think what makes someone a sculptor is a physical connection to materials ... there's a lot of construction, renovations, those sorts of things in my background, so I was brought up that way, to be very physical with materials. I had a creative background as well, and needed to merge the two." Charzewski grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and maintains a strong artistic connection to the region's wide open, prairie landscape. "I think it has a lot to do with me becoming an installation artist — that spatial concept. Winnipeg is vast. You can see forever, and you think about that space between you and the distance." It's ironic, he adds, that he ended up in Charleston, "where every little closet space is spoken for. It's really a contrasting environment, but still helpful. You use what you have." After graduating from college at the University of Manitoba, Charzewski spent time managing the school's art studio, which immersed him in the local art community. "I was saturated with art in general," he says. "I got really involved in the art scene in Winnipeg, which is a wonderful environment to be growing up in as an artist. I think it's something to do with the winters — people retreat to their basements and make art all winter long. Then summer comes and all this art and music and theater comes out. It's amazing." As much as he loved being a part of the city's artistic community, he still wasn't fully committed to being an artist himself. After a few years of wandering, both figuratively and literally — including a year-long stay in Nassau in the Bahamas — Charzewski enrolled as an MFA student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. It was only at that point, he says, that he really started taking his art seriously. "I graduated [college] in 1996, but I wasn't applying myself," he says. "It's only looking back that you realize that. I was older when I decided to go to grad school, and that's when I said, 'I'm really going to push hard and do this.'" Shortly after he finished at the University of Minnesota, in 2006, he landed a position at CofC. Now he's an associate professor — he just gained his tenure in May and is on sabbatical until next January. It's a good thing, too, because Charzewski has plenty keeping him busy for the next several months. He's currently working on projects for his shows in Fredericksburg and at Winthrop. Right now, the project he's focused on is the cable piece, which will be an exploration of the human instinct to collect. "I've been thinking a lot about the things people collect, things we unconsciously collect," he says. "I have this box of cables in my house, I think everybody has that box. Why don't we throw it away? Somehow, unconsciously, we cannot separate from it. 'Oh, this is good quality, I'm going to keep it, it might come in handy someday.' I wanted to do something with those cables." He did a project on the same concept for the 2013 ArtFields festival in Lake City, S.C. That piece used flower vases — you know, like the ones you probably have stashed somewhere in your kitchen, where they've sat unused for years. "It was a similar thing: we cannot sever ourselves from these objects. Maybe it has sentimental value, or there's a memory we want to preserve. So I put this call out on campus that I wanted those vases, and I ended up with about 500 of them. Maybe this is what people are waiting for when they save these things." Once the cable installation has been set up and torn down, Charzewski will charge ahead with his next endeavor — whatever that may be. "I just try to be busy," he says. "I'm not happy unless I'm busy, inventing something new. It always happens pretty spontaneously."

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art profiled on NEA website

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston was recently awarded a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support an artist residency and exhibition of works by African-American vernacular sculptor Lonnie Holley. The project includes an exhibition of several dozen of Holley's works, a site-specific installation using found materials from the Charleston area, and the production of a documentary video. The exhibition is scheduled for fall 2015. The NEA posted a profile of the Halsey Institute:

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art may be housed in a modest suite of gallery and office space on the College of Charleston campus, but its reach far exceeds its physical footprint. With a primary focus on artists “in the margins,” as Chief Curator Mark Sloan puts it, the museum shines a spotlight on artists who, given the depth, quality, and imaginative impact of their work deserve to be much better known. As we learned when we spoke with Sloan by telephone, the Halsey deploys a number of strategies to support the artists it shows. Artists receive not only time and space to work at the Halsey in an artist residency, but the considerable resources of the College of Charleston faculty and staff as well as the Charleston community-at-large are available to support the artist’s vision, whether that means technical expertise, help in the studio, participation in conversations with the artist and other events, or even a place for the artist to live while in town. In addition, the organization produces high-quality educational and outreach materials around the artists and their work, including short films, catalogues, and an expansive online presence on the Halsey website. The Halsey recently received an NEA grant to support an exhibit on the work of visual artist and musician Lonnie Holley. In his own words, here is Mark Sloan on the Halsey’s artist-focused curatorial philosophy, the museum’s plan for the Holley exhibit, and how the artists they feature are a little like snowflakes. On the curatorial philosophy of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art… We have an eclectic program, focused on showing the work of emerging and mid-career artists. We have developed something of a sub-specialty of showing the work of older, oddly overlooked artists. I think a way to characterize our program is that we’re shining a light in the margins where no one else is really even looking. We don’t pay any attention to who’s hot at Art Basel Miami or who’s selling. We’re happy to look at artists and look for artists who are producing really interesting, challenging, difficult work, but that exist outside of the mainstream art world. That’s not to say that we don’t show artists with art-world stature such as Jasper Johns, Shepard Fairey, Leslie Dill, Nick Cave but by showing those artists alongside artists like Aldwyth or Pat Potter or Don ZanFagna or Aggie Zed, we’re bringing attention to and I’m actually raising the level of appreciation for this work. I like to think of us as being a generative facility. We very rarely take traveling shows. We originate everything we do. And I think that’s unusual for a university gallery of our size. What we do is we generate collaborations. We’re in it for the long game, and hope that the work we do will contribute to the global conversations about contemporary art. On choosing artists to show at the Halsey… I don’t work in a vacuum. Though I’m Chief Curator, I don’t just say by executive fiat, “We’re going to do this.” I’m in conversation with a lot of people, a number of colleagues, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally as well, certainly, my staff, my board. The very best source for me for artists that I end up showing are artists that I’ve previously shown or worked with. I do an official ceremony after they’ve shown here. I deputize them as adjunct curators of the Halsey and their job is to find and root out the very best artists there are and to let me know about ones that they think might be good for our program. For example, through an artist named Marcia Cohen, I found an artist named Patricia Potter who is in her late seventies and lives in a tree house she built in the wilderness of northern Alabama. Her work is a little like Joseph Cornell on steroids. It’s incredible work. And, again, she’s never really had much exposure. Her January 2015 show here will be her first solo museum exhibition.
Read the complete profile on the NEA website. Image: Pulse Dome Project--Art + Design by Don ZanFagna, October 19-December 8, 2012

Halsey Institute interns go on to The Met, National Gallery, High Museum and more

From the College of Charleston:

“Sixteen years ago I was given a summer internship at the Halsey Institute that led to an unbelievably direct and lasting legacy on my career.” -Caroline Wright, curator of the True F. Luck Gallery at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond Halsey InternsThe Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston and Director Mark Sloan have served as a springboard for the careers of hundreds of students. Former Halsey Institute interns are working at galleries and art organizations all over the U.S. and abroad, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery and the High Museum in Atlanta. “We produce ambitious projects with national significance with a small but nimble staff and a dedicated group of constantly changing interns,” says Mark Sloan, director of the Halsey Institute

Becoming Proficient in General Usefulness

The Halsey Institute usually has five interns each semester (and during the summer), and provides real world experience, making interns part of the team. The interns also select an area of concentration like curatorial research, grant writing, event planning, or marketing. “My internship was helpful with everything from the logistics of hanging a show to fundraising,” says Alix Refshauge ’07 (M.P.A.), now the research and special projects associate for the Alliance of Artists Communities in San Diego. “Seeing the Halsey’s annual fundraiser, the way they approach the City of Charleston for funds, and gaining an understanding of how Mark Sloan got the Force of Nature exhibition funded was all really impactful for me when I was running an artists-in-residence program. Money doesn’t just come to you because you’re doing compelling things.” Sloan also tries to instill the concept of “general usefulness.” Most galleries and art-related non-profits where students will launch their careers have small staffs, so everyone needs to be “generally useful” to the overall enterprise, in addition to their specialized function. It’s tasks related to this concept of “general usefulness” that many interns remember. “My most memorable moment from my internship was pulling rotten carrots and burned matchsticks out of the walls for days (and days and days) after The Art Guys exhibition closed,” laughs Caroline Wright. Charles Ailstock ’00, owner of Artizom Frame Gallery, remembers gathering materials and helping Brooklyn artist Gene Pool assemble his show of suits. “That was a definite highlight. I drove him out a locksmith in North Charleston so that we could sift through buckets of discarded keys to find the right shape and color to cover his suit.”

International Experience

Exhibitions and events at the Halsey Institute are often global, so it makes sense that the internship program would be as well. Every year, there is an international intern for the summer. Private donations pay for the intern’s airfare, a modest per diem, and housing. Interns have come from Switzerland, Poland, Austria, France, Canada, Japan, and Korea (among others) over the past 20 years. This summer Tomoko Watarikawa has spent three months interning at the Halsey Institute. She’s earning her master’s degree in museum education from Kyoto University. Her internship has been tailored to education, where she works with Lizz Biswell, curator of education and public programs, to develop activities and tour topics related to the current Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns show. “Just having various experiences with the arts in the U.S. will help my career,” explains Watarikawa. “I’ve been able to study the behavior of several hundred visitors to the Halsey Institute and compare it with Japan. Plus, I’ve been able to meet a lot of people and I really enjoy Charleston’s history, culture, food and discussions with many people every day!”

Internship to Career

This internship is one that truly prepares students for meaningful careers. “I’m now framing and handling high-end artwork for galleries and private collectors in South Carolina, so all the installations and signage work at the Halsey really prepared me,” explains Ailstock, now a member of the Halsey Institute’s advisory board. “On my first day of my current job in January of 2011, I called on Mark because I inherited a program with no exhibition schedule on the books, starting two months after my arrival,” Wright says. “Mark immediately suggested his newest traveling exhibition of paintings by Leslie Wayne, and we installed it in April.” Sloan says it was his own internship experience that motivated him to help the next generation of museum professionals. “Thirty years later, I am still continuing the tradition of creating opportunities and incubating new talent in the field.” Related: Former Halsey intern working at The Met

Avery Research Center to Host Fisk Jubilee Singers

The College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture will host a concert and reception featuring the renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers on Friday, April 19, at 7 p.m. at the Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting Street in Charleston. The Fisk Jubilee Singers are students of Fisk University, a historically black college established in 1866. In 1871, the original Jubilee Singers introduced “slave songs” or “Sorrow Songs”—a term coined by Fisk alumnus and noted scholar Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois—to the world. The troupe performed before audiences from American churches to European royalty, breaking down racial barriers at home and abroad. Under the current direction of Dr. Paul Kwami, The Fisk Jubilee Singers travel worldwide singing and helping to preserve the uniquely American musical tradition of Negro Spirituals. “The Fisk Jubilee Singers have kept the American tradition of the Negro Spirituals alive, having preserved and made accessible this unique musical form to worldwide populations for generations,” said Dr. Patricia Williams-Lessane, executive director of the Avery Research Center. “We are honored to bring this talented group of singers to Charleston, where so many appreciate the meaning and beauty of the spirituals.” The Avery Research Center, established in a partnership between the College of Charleston and the former Avery Normal Institute, aims to collect, preserve and promote the unique history and culture of the African diaspora, with emphasis on Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry. All proceeds from the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ performance will benefit the Avery Research Center’s public programs. Find out more and purchase tickets. Fisk Jubilee Singers Via: Avery Research Center