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    Tom Stanley: A Road to Nowhere | Fri. Jun. 16, 2017

    Tom Stanley, A Road to Nowhere (triptychs, top: Set A, bottom: Set C; installation view), 2015. Acrylic on canvas, each 24 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist and the George Gallery, Charleston. Photo: Rick Rhodes Photography.

    Whether it be on board a train, looking out of a car window, or simply walking around, Tom Stanley’s A Road to Nowhere series makes one feel as if they are observing passing landscapes on voyage to somewhere (or nowhere). The A Road to Nowhere collection includes four triptychs, two currently on display at the Halsey (set A and C).

    Stanley’s application of vibrant lines in the series compliment the neutral background and creates movement that bounces one’s attention from canvas to canvas. Through geometric shapes and distinctive travel icons such as a bridge, a water tower, and street signs, declare themselves in the work, generating an industrialized feel and adding to the adventure. A contrast between light and dark also presents itself in A Road to Nowhere and alludes to passing time as the artwork flows, perhaps between night and day. Furthermore, Stanley’s use of the sgraffito technique of drawing into wet paint magically exposes detail and texture. Solid geometric objects appear in contrast to the sgraffito technique in the paintings. Throughout the Scratching the Surface exhibition at the Halsey, one can view the last decade of Tom Stanley’s artwork beyond A Road to Nowhere, tracing the progression of his staple technique of sgraffito. 

    Tom Stanley’s A Road to Nowhere not only ignites a visual adventure, but it also constructs a bridge between visual arts and music enthusiasts. Stanley’s A Road to Nowhere was inspired by the Talking Head’s song Road to Nowhere. Tom Stanley excelled in capturing song lyrics, twisting and transforming them into his own visual piece. With uncertainty always looming in life, both Tom Stanley and David Byrne of the Talking Heads found ways to shed an optimistic light on doom.

    To witness artists crossing disciplines for inspiration, as Stanley has done in A Road to Nowhere, is fascinating. The connectivity between art and people when a painter can find inspiration in a song, an author finds inspiration in a ballet, a musician finds inspiration in a painting, etc. itself is moving. A famous example of art influencing other artists is Italian composer Ottorino Respighi using Botticelli’s Primavera, Adoration of the Magi, and Birth of Venus as inspiration for his piece Trittico Botticelliano. Art inspiring and encouraging other artists… That’s cool.

    Come check out Tom Stanley’s work on display at the Halsey until July 8th and be inspired!

    -by Sessalie Gore, Halsey intern

    Celebrating Women in the Arts | Fri. Mar. 31, 2017

    Throughout the month of March, the Halsey Institute celebrated Women’s History Month by participating in the #5womenartists campaign developed by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

    Last year, NMWA developed the social media campaign to highlight the gender inequality in the arts by challenging people to name 5 women artists on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This year, they had 500 organizations from more than 25 countries participate! The Halsey Institute was the only participating institution in Charleston, SC. The Halsey spent the last month highlighting women artists from past exhibitions, including Renee Stout, Jiha Moon, Aldwyth, Leslie Wayne, Alyson Shotz, and Lesley Dill. We also held a discussion, part of our Halsey Talks series titled Halsey Talks: 5 Women Artists, which explored what it means to be a woman working in the arts today. 5 women artists from South Carolina participated in this discussion, including Michaela Pilar Brown, Arianne King Comer, Donna Cooper Hurt, Camela Guevara, and Kristi Ryba. A video of this talk can be found here.

    Can you name 5 women artists? Here are the artists we named:

    Mark Sloan, Director & Chief Curator:
    Louise Bourgeois
    Louise Nevelson
    Lee Bontecou
    Hannelore Baron
    Julie Mehretu

    Louise Bourgeois

    Tatjana Beylotte, Director of Development:
    Jiha Moon
    Kara Walker
    Frida Kahlo
    Helen Frankenthaler
    Annie Leibovitz


    Kara Walker

    Bryan Granger, Manager of Exhibitions and Public Programs:
    Vera Molnar
    Sarah Sze
    Jenny Holzer
    Lynn Hershman Leeson
    Mickalene Thomas

    Jenny Holzer


    Katie McCampbell, Manager of Traveling Exhibitions and Special Projects:
    Maria Martinez
    Kara Walker
    Artemisia Gentileschi
    Jenny Holzer
    Bu Hua

    Maria Martinez

    Kaylee Lass, Assistant to the Director:
    Sonya Clark
    Nancy Witt
    Helen Frankenthaler
    Elizabeth O’Neill Verner
    Vivian Maier

    Vivian Meier

    Maya McGauley, Education & Outreach Coordinator:
    Helen Frankenthaler
    Joan Mitchell
    Cindy Sherman
    Yayoi Kusama
    Agnes Martin

    Helen Frankenthaler


    Katie Lesser, Archivist:
    Yayoi Kusama
    Eva Hesse
    Jenny Holzer
    Agnes Martin
    Helen Frankenthaler

    Yayoi Kusama

    Jonathan Rypkema, Preparator:
    Kit King
    Nikki Scioscia
    Deanna Templeton
    Margaret Kilgallen
    Sophie Roach

    Deanna Templeton

    We look forward to featuring more artists by participating in the #5womenartists challenge next year! Until then, check out our exhibition archive or take a look at our publications featuring women artists.

    By Maya McGauley
    Education and Outreach Coordinator
    Halsey Institute


    The Guerilla Girls: The Conscience of the Art World | Tue. Mar. 21, 2017

    You cannot observe Women’s History month without talking about women in the arts and you cannot talk about women in the arts without mentioning the Guerrilla Girls. They are the Gloria Steinem and the Betty Friedan of feminist art history. They are the pioneering ladies at the forefront fighting to bring awareness to a cause that is and has been so overlooked throughout much of history. They are radical feminists, artists, and archivists trying to change the art world through their work. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the College of Charleston have been fortunate enough to host this group of incredible activists twice over the last two decades. This month marks twenty years since the Guerrilla Girls were first invited to speak at the College.

    The Guerrilla Girls launched their group in 1985 in response to an exhibition that took place the prior year at the Museum of Modern Art called An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture. While looking at the roster they found something significantly wrong with it. With a list of over 160 artists, only 13 of those listed were women. From this they birthed a whole media campaign targeted towards museums, dealers, curators, critics, and artists they felt were responsible the exclusion of women and people of color within the art world. They responded by spreading their message via posters and public advertising. One of their best known and celebrated posters is Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? (1989), which was a direct response to the exhibit held at MoMA.

    Guerrilla Girls, Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?, color offset lithograph on illustration board,1989

    Drawing from female artists like Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger, the Guerrilla Girls adapted and appropriated the visual language of advertising to convey their message. They pasted their posters throughout New York City and even on the sides of city buses for some time. As they recounted in Whitney Chadwick’s 1995 book Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls, “…we then rented advertising space on NYC buses and ran it ourselves, until the bus company cancelled our lease, saying that the image … was too suggestive and that the figure appeared to have more than a fan in her hand.” Their work presents facts, statistics, and lists that show the vast disparities between male and female artists in the art world. Their goal is to reveal how we experience the arts in institutionalsettings,forcing us to consider who holds power in the art world. By spreading this message via posters and through other means of media, the Guerrila Girles make this knowledge accessible and unavoidable.

    A characteristic feature of the Guerrilla Girls are the masks that they wear to hide their identities. They took their guerrilla movement to the next level by disguising themselves with gorilla masks. As stated on their website, “Our anonymity keeps the focus on the issues and away from who we might be.” They have also chosen to not reveal their real names but instead go by pseudonyms adopted from famous female artists and writers. The group member’s pseudonyms include Frida Kahlo, Alma Thomas, and Hannah Hoch, for example.

    Fast forward twenty years ago this month, the Guerrilla Girls were invited to give a lecture sponsored what then was know as the Halsey Gallery and were also the jurors for the 1997 Young Contemporaries show. The name of their lecture was “Guerrilla Girls: The Conscience of the Art World.” Their lecture took place at the Robinson Theatre which is housed in the Simons Center for the Arts at the College of Charleston. I was interested to see if they stuck to their beliefs while going through the jury process for Young Contemporaries and the Salon des Refusés exhibition. While looking at the list of those accepted into the exhibition for that year, I found that of the 116 student artists selected, 77 of those were women while only 39 of those were men, proving they did in fact selected more females to show their art.  

    Event flyer for “Guerrilla Girls: The Conscience of the Art World”, March 21, 1997

    The group has grown since its establishment and they have gone on to have their own exhibitions at museums such as the Tate in London, England and Centre Pompidou in Paris, France. While their original focus was on the gender biases and sexism within the art world, they have grown in scope of issues they seek to bring attention to. They have been working for decades to expose sexism and racial inequality in all realms of the arts and one thing is for certain – they cannot be silenced.

    by Kate Lesser
    Halsey Archivist

    Community Partners 2017