Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Thursday & Friday, 11am – 4pm

October 19, 2018 - June 30, 2019

Students in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties

Capturing #MySouth, Southbound student photography project

October 19, 2018 - June 30, 2019

Students in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties

Capturing #MySouth, Southbound student photography project

In fall 2018, the Halsey Institute received two grants in support of Capturing #MySouth, an educational outreach program for seven schools across Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties in conjunction Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South.

Capturing #MySouth paired Charleston tri-county area schools in a four-part program that examined their idea of the “New South.” The students had guided exhibition tours, hands-on workshops with professional photographers, took photographs documenting their communities, and participated in a writing workshop. This project augmented the arts education of our public schools and gave students a new lens through which they can connect with their community and analyze their place within it. It also provided a unique opportunity for a diverse group of students from the Charleston area to engage with professional artists and learn about photography, storytelling, and their place within the New South.

Five schools, Burke High School, Fort Dorchester High School, Goose Creek High School, Palmetto Scholars Academy, and Rollings Middle School for the Arts, were supported by a grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission. Two schools, Haut Gap Middle School and St. John’s High School were supported by a grant from Arts, etc.

Read more about the Capturing #MySouth project on the Halsey Institute blog and this Post & Courier article.

Students in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties

Capturing #MySouth, Southbound student photography project

October 19, 2018 - June 30, 2019
Opening Reception
Johns Island Library
Saturday, June 1, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Students from St. John's High School and Haut Gap Middle School will have their photographs on display through June 30.

What does home mean to middle and high school students in our area? What memories inform their concept of place and what it means to live in the Southern US? As part of the Capturing #MySouth program, Charleston-based author Cinelle Barnes led workshops with students at to help them put into words formative memories and associations with the concept of “home”.

Teens and preteens are people who tend to clam up, especially if asked to talk about emotions. Yet, Barnes was able to get them to share very tender and vulnerable stories with each other. To do so, she first got students to use something tactile and visual to summon memories and help them loosen up. In her own work, she has found that the best path to words is through drawing. So, she shares with students her own experience using drawing and mapmaking in the conception and writing of her book, Monsoon Mansion: A Memoir, which she wrote here in Charleston. On the classroom board or on a large piece of paper on the wall she drew a simple plan of her childhood home. As she proceeded to fill in the basic structure of the various rooms, sharing with them tactile, visual, and anecdotal elements of her memories. These helped her build the character of her mother, a central figure in her memoir, and of the Long Dark Hallway, a suspenseful, meaningful place.

After sharing her own story, she then asked the students to draw a place they call home or in which they have meaningful memories. She prompted them to use the drawing to write a story of some change that happened there, some person they will never forget, or something else that really formed them related to the place they drew. She asked them to use sensorial terms, to describe the smells, sights, sounds, tastes, and textures of the memory, such as the smell of potpourri in their grandma’s house.

In her workshops, Barnes has found that she very rarely has to coach students in their writing because the act of drawing first is so productive and generative. With only one exception, all students have felt comfortable sharing their stories with the class, even though some stories are quite personal or even traumatic. Barnes asserts that all people, even young students, are born storytellers and want to share their stories. She has found that “people are dying to be given an avenue, skill, or strategy to help them share.” Barnes’ sensitive introduction to the process of nonfiction writing gave them the confidence and skills to find the words to do just that.


Click here to see a selection of the students’ Mapping & Memory worksheets. You can download a blank copy of the worksheet to do the activity yourself!


Project funders: Arts, etc. and the South Carolina Arts Commission

Johns Island Regional Library

Prism Photo & Framing

Cinelle Barnes

Photographers Rachel Boillot, John Lusk Hathaway, and Titus Brooks Heagins

Mary Trent

Shannon Boyd, Goose Creek High School

Dana Brown, Haut Gap Middle School

Erin Carter, Burke High School

Kim Reese, Palmetto Scholars Academy

Shari Schultz, St. John’s High School

Meg Skow and Elise Stuck, Rollings Middle School for the Arts

Taylor Stewart, Fort Dorchester High School

and all of the students that participated in Capturing #MySouth!


Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Tuesday - Friday, 11am – 4pm
Open until 7pm on Thursdays

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