The rise of public art in South Carolina
From the Charleston Post and Courier
Article by Adam Parker; photos by Brad Nettles and Adam Parker
(Image above: This mural is located at the corner of Huger and Hanover streets in Charleston.)
In West Ashley’s Avondale neighborhood, an alley behind the shops and bars near Magnolia Street has become an outdoor exhibition space filled with large and small murals. Artists have painted images ranging from an enormous turkey vulture to small cartoon-like figures on the sides of the buildings.
On the Charleston peninsula, three murals by Shepard Fairey and several more on Huger Street by a variety of artists can be viewed. David Boatwright’s work — part art, part commercial signage — is scattered throughout the downtown area.
In Columbia, a growing number of murals and sculptural pieces are adding a colorful dimension to a city so enthusiastic about public art that it has a dedicated nonprofit organization whose main purpose is to facilitate more of it.
Take a tour and hear the story behind Seeing Spartanburg in A New Light
If you haven't yet toured Spartanburg's public art exhibition, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light, here's your chance to do so and get the inside scoop from the creative team behind the project.
The Chapman Cultural Center is hosting a two-day celebration of Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light beginning February 16 with a panel discussion and Q&A featuring the creative team involved with the project. The program continues February 17 with a tour by trolley of all nine installations, led by project artist Erwin Redl, and concludes with a presentation and reception back at the Chapman Cultural Center.
Guests can take advantage of a discounted rate at the Spartanburg Marriott, conveniently located across the street from the Chapman Cultural Center. There will also be access to other local cultural institutions and exhibitions.
One of four recipients of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light is a large-scale public art exhibition that features nine original artworks by renown light and media artist Erwin Redl installed throughout 10 neighborhoods in Spartanburg. This project is an unprecedented partnership between Spartanburg's Chapman Cultural Center, Mayor Junie White, and the Police Department to use public art as a platform for building stronger relationships between local residents and police officers.
Please RSVP by February 10, 2017 to Renee Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (864) 278-9685.
Via: Chapman Cultural Center
The art’s in the mail: Halsey Institute exhibition showcases correspondence art
[gallery columns="4" ids="24816,24810,24817,24809,24812,24813,24811,24818"]
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, located in Charleston, S.C., received a South Carolina Arts Commission Arts Education Project grant to help support this exhibition.
“You’ve got mail” has different meanings, depending upon one’s age and current communications style. The Halsey Institute’s exhibition, Correspondence Art: Words, Objects, and Images by Ray Johnson, Richard C., and Bob Ray, will appeal to those nostalgic for a time when keeping in touch could mean waiting a day or more for letter delivery, while also introducing the concept of creating and mailing art to young people accustomed to reaching their friends instantly via text.
Also known as postal art and mail art, correspondence art is a populist artistic movement centered on sending small-scale works through the postal service. It initially grew out of the Fluxus movement in the 1950s and 1960s and has since developed into a global movement that continues to present day.
“This exhibition brings together three of the most prolific mail artists in the history of the genre,” said Halsey Director and Chief Curator Mark Sloan. “There have been many well-known artists who have dabbled in mail art -- On Kawara, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, etc. -- but very little scholarly attention has been given to the genre.”
[caption id="attachment_24807" align="alignright" width="250"] Halsey Institute Education Coordinator Maya McGauley sorts through some of the mail art received[/caption]
Conceptual artist Ray Johnson (1927–1995) was a mail art pioneer, using a variety of graphic and textual elements to correspond with artists, writers, and thinkers, including Richard C. and Bob Ray. Vintage mail art between these three artists forms the historical backdrop for the exhibition, with the remaining works consisting of words, objects and images sent to Sloan by Richard C. and Bob Ray in the past year. A number of the works are collaborations between these two artists.
Sloan believes the exhibition will rekindle the sense of wonder of sending and receiving postal mail. “The concept of pen pals seems so old-fashioned for most people under 50. People over 50 will recall those wistful days when people actually sent hand-written thank you notes and postcards from vacation destinations, as opposed to texts and Facebook posts. People under 50 may discover that the U.S. Post Office is a pretty good deal. Look at what can be legitimately sent through the mail!”
The exhibition includes an education component designed to foster new connections between students at six Charleston-area schools: Memminger School of Global Studies, downtown Charleston; Northside Elementary School, Walterboro; C. E. Williams Middle School, suburban Charleston; Rollings Middle School of the Arts, Summerville; Lincoln Middle/High School, McClellanville; and Academic Magnet High School, North Charleston. Artist Bob Ray will be in residence from Jan. 22 through Feb. 11, working with students on correspondence art projects that combine elements of visual arts, English language arts, and social studies, according to Lori Kornegay, curator of art and public engagement. “Students will join Bob in the gallery to learn how he makes his art and how it fits into art history, and then our education coordinator, Maya McGauley, will visit each school to work with the students in class. We’re pairing the two elementary schools, the two middle schools and the two high schools. Students will research their community, school or family, select a topic to write about and create their own works of art that will then be mailed to students at their partner school. We expect that each student will create between two and five pieces of correspondence art, and we’ll encourage them to also mail their art to Bob Ray and to South Carolina legislators.”
The project will culminate with an exhibition comprised of student-created correspondence art to be held at the Charleston County Public Library in May. Each teacher will be provided with a large self-addressed stamped envelope in which to mail all of the correspondence art they have received to the Halsey Institute.
“We hope this project will be the beginning of a continuing relationship between these schools, which were chosen with geographic diversity in mind, and we hope to inspire the students to continue sending each other correspondence art,” said Kornegay. “It will no doubt spark amazing connections and create, at least for some, lifelong pen pals! For some students, it may be their first time on a college campus, so visiting (the Halsey) could be a step toward imagining that experience as a part of their future. We believe the program will also be an excellent opportunity to introduce students, their parents and the school’s administration and faculty to the excellent educational resources available to them here at the Halsey.”
Correspondence Art: Words, Objects, and Images by Ray Johnson, Richard C., and Bob Ray opens Jan. 22 and runs through March 5. To find out more about the artists, the exhibition and related programs (including correspondence art projects for the public) visit the Halsey Institute’s website.
This residency and exhibition are funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Halsey Institute receives $40,000 grant from National Endowment for the Arts
As part of its first round of funding for fiscal year 2016, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded more than $27.6 million, including an Art Works grant of $40,000 to the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, S.C. The grant will help support a major exhibition featuring photography of and about the South, to be exhibited in 2017.
Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, is a multi-media project comprised of some 50 photographers' visions of the South over several decades at the turn of the 21st century. Accordingly, it will offer a composite image of the region. The photographs echo stories told about the South as a bastion of tradition, as a region remade through Americanization and globalization, and as a land full of surprising realities.
The photographs will be complemented by a commissioned video, an interactive digital mapping environment, an extensive stand-alone website, and a comprehensive exhibition catalog. This publication, as well as additional programming, will draw on expertise from disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Southbound is co-curated by Mark Sloan, director and chief curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and Mark Long, professor of political science, both at the College of Charleston.
NEA’s Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.
In its first 50 years, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion in grants to recipients in every state and U.S. jurisdiction, the only arts funder in the nation to do so.
Image: John Hathaway, Little Stony Creek, Watauga Lake, 2012
Via: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
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
The 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.”
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
Halsey Institute celebrates 30th anniversary with exhibition of two native sons
[caption id="attachment_12578" align="alignright" width="262"] Shepard Fairey, Endless Power[/caption]
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston celebrates its 30th anniversary with The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns. The exhibition features new work by Shepard Fairey and a survey of prints made between 1982 and 2012 by Jasper Johns at Universal Limited Art Editions. The exhibition is a visual arts offering of Piccolo Spoleto and runs May 22 - July 12.
Both Fairey and Johns recycle graphic elements in the works they produce, and in each case these repeated fragments gain new meaning through fresh juxtapositions and associations. Each artist will occupy a separate gallery space, and no attempt is made at comparing their works. Rather, this exhibition demonstrates the power of this strategy of image repetition in the works of these two distinguished American artists, both of whom are South Carolina natives.
While the Halsey Institute is best known for showing the work of emerging and mid-career artists, director Mark Sloan says, "I want to highlight the accomplishments by two native sons as a way to demonstrate the fact that important contemporary art can originate anywhere." Both Fairey and Johns have had a long association with the Halsey Institute, and this exhibition brings these two celebrated artists together for the first time in their home state.
In addition, Fairey has created four outdoor public murals in locations around Charleston.
Read more about the exhibition and related events on The Halsey Institute's website.
Via: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
Halsey Institute to celebrate 30th anniversay with Groundhog Day Concert
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, in collaboration with the Charleston Music Hall, will present an intimate evening of music featuring Charleston’s finest locally and nationally recognized musical acts. This unique gathering of musicians is scheduled for Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Charleston Music Hall, located at 37 John Street in downtown Charleston, S.C.
The Groundhog Day Benefit Concert will feature music by The Opposite of a Train (Bill Carson, Nathan Koci, and Ron Wiltrout) with special guests Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, Wilton Elder, Clint Fore and John Cobb. This “house band” will provide accompaniment to the evening’s invited guest artists including award-winning duo Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent (Shovels and Rope, featured in the January issue of Southern Living), Lindsay Holler, Stephanie Underhill, Joel Hamilton, Rachel Kate, and Michael Flynn.
According to Carson, who is the music director for the event, "This concert is a way for the local music community to show its support for the fantastic contemporary arts programming that the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art provides year-round, and year after year. The Halsey often collaborates with musicians, actors, filmmakers, architects, designers and others to create its unique multi-disciplinary offerings. The participating musicians all want to shine the spotlight on the Halsey Institute in gratitude for their dynamic and inspirational role in this community."
The evening will begin with the premier of a micro-documentary about the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art produced by local media creatives Lunch + Recess.
“Groundhog Day is an underappreciated and much overlooked holiday,“ says Halsey Institute Director Mark Sloan, with a chuckle. “The Halsey Institute would like to draw attention by celebrating our 30th anniversary and Groundhog Day with a special, intimate evening of music. This concert will be a rare opportunity to experience an exceptional collection of musical talent sharing one stage in a single evening.”
The concert begins at 7 p.m.; the doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for students, $20 for the Gallery section, $30 for Orchestra, and $50 for limited VIP tickets. Student tickets include any age student with a valid ID, and seating is only in the Gallery. VIP tickets include premium seating, a hand-printed poster, two drink tickets, and an invitation to an on-stage after party. Ticket sales benefit the Halsey Institute’s programming and are available at the Charleston Music Hall’s box office (37 John Street or (843) 853-2252) and online at ETIX.
ABOUT THE HALSEY INSTITUTE
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts provides a multidisciplinary laboratory for the production, presentation, interpretation, and dissemination of ideas by innovative visual artists from around the world. As a non-collecting museum, we create meaningful interactions between adventurous artists and diverse communities within a context that emphasizes the historical, social, and cultural importance of the art of our time.
Art is a verb, so let’s do it!
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and Redux Contemporary Art Center are proud to co-produce Charleston’s third Annual Professional Development day for visual artists in the Lowcountry. The workshop takes place Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 309, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip Street, Charleston, S.C.
Visiting artist Didi Dunphy will share resources and guide artists through the crazy world of becoming a professional based on five approaches: Do It, Work it, Know it, Make a friend, and Run it.
This workshop is recommended for any visual artist looking to gain a better understanding of the ‘non-art-making’ aspects to being an artist. Registration is required and limited to 50 people. Tickets are $30 until Oct. 20 and $40 after Oct. 20.
Visit the Halsey Institute's website for more details and registration information.
Via: The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art