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Monday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm
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Despite the fact that December marks the middle of the year for the arts world — if we were going to get all technical, we’d do this article in June, once Spoleto closed — the approach of New Year’s Eve tends to make us think back on the cool things we saw, heard, and experienced in our local art spaces this year. So without further ado, here’s our biased, unscientific list of the greatest developments in Charleston’s art scene, in no particular order.

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Sneak peek: Halsey debuts new exhibit, Southbound, in 2017

Thu Dec 17, 2015
Charleston City Paper

We know, talking about 2017 is about as taboo as talking about New Year’s Eve plans (we’re scrambling for some, too). But when we glimpsed some of the images set to be used in a huge multi-media project, Southbound, co-curated by Mark Sloan, director of the Halsey, and Mark Long, professor of Political Science at CofC, we knew we had to share the project with y’all.

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We love NYC and LA and all the art they have to offer, but we know they’re only two towns of many across the country mounting great exhibitions large and small. So we tried to travel and see a lot of shows this year, even though it’s next to impossible to be comprehensive with a list like this (and we surely missed a lot). From Nick Cave’s Detroit takeover to a retrospective of the artist known as Mr. Imagination, here are our picks for the best exhibitions of 2015 across the United States.

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The Artist as Conjurer of Illusions and Truths

Fri Dec 11, 2015
hyperallergic

There are multiple magics at work in the art of Renée Stout. As the subject of her current solo exhibition at the Wellin Museum, Stout has chosen hoodoo, or conjure, a set of African American spiritual practices often referred to as folk magic. She’s also created a worker of this magic, a conjurer named Fatima Mayfield who is Stout’s alter ego. And in her objects themselves, Stout has embedded the magic of art — a bewitching artifice — which is to say that her paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs are so carefully constructed and so authentically felt they conjure and sustain their own reality.

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Spoiler alert: The three daughters of the Fail family, Nelly, Jenny June, and Gertie all die in PURE Theatre’s play, Failure: A Love Story. Well, actually, it’s not a spoiler because they announce this fact in the beginning refrain, even including the cause of deaths: “blunt object, disappearance, and consumption,” respectively. Surely this cannot make for an uplifting love story. On the contrary, this latest PURE production is entirely heartwarming, largely due to a splendid cast, innovative choreography, and scintillating set design.

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LONNIE HOLLEY

Thu Nov 05, 2015
Art in America

Simply stated, Lonnie Holley’s exhibition at the Halsey soared. The approximately 40 sculptures were selected from the collection of William S. Arnett and the Atlanta-based Souls Grown Deep Foundation, which Arnett founded, as well as the African-American artist’s own collection. Elegantly curated by Halsey director Mark Sloan, “Something to Take My Place,” titled after a 2008 sculpture of nearly the same name, focused on discrete objects—solos rather than a choir, dazzling though the artist’s environments can be.

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Lonnie Holley’s Object Lessons

Mon Nov 02, 2015
Brut Force

A brilliantly resourceful artist’s timely exhibition at Charleston, South Carolina’s Halsey Gallery is the latest development in a remarkable career

Like most solo exhibitions by widely known contemporary artists, Lonnie Holley’s “Something to Take My Place” was scheduled more than two years before it opened. But its timing and location turned out to be more appropriate than anyone could have predicted. The compelling show of Holley’s raggedly assertive, socially engaged sculptures was on view in the Halsey Gallery at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, from late August into early October 2015. This placed it chronologically between two events destined to cast a long historical shadow in South Carolina and the rest of the nation–the massacre in one of Charleston’s oldest black churches on June 17, and a millennial flood that struck that city and much of the state in early October.

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New exhibits at the Halsey combine the present with the past

Wed Oct 21, 2015
Charleston City Paper

It’s impossible to separate the past from the present. As we go throughout our day, memories shape and color much of how we perceive the world around us. At the same time, traditions are recast to better fit the modern world. These are the concepts that unite the works of Susan Klein and Jiha Moon, which will be on display at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art from Oct. 23 to Dec. 5. The final exhibits of the gallery’s 2015 season, the art of Klein and Moon combine the old and the new to create two compelling collections that challenge the viewer.

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Artist and musician Lonnie Holley (b. 1950, Birmingham, Alabama) said that people like him offer alternative ways of “making, thinking, living, and being.” He then asks himself has he done enough? If the works on view in his impressive and challenging solo at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art are any indication, he has done quite a lot. And it’s only a fraction of his prodigious output since the early 1990s, when he first became seriously engaged in art, after carving headstones for two of his sisters after their untimely death (he comes from an improbable family of 27 siblings and has 16 children of his own). If it is not enough, it is only in the sense that he’s not done; objects continue to pour from his miraculous, be-ringed hands as if from a spigot on full blast.

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“I am an artist of America,” declared Lonnie Holley during a talk for the opening of his exhibition at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina. This self-identification was Holley’s response to being labeled a folk artist throughout his career. While the visibility of his work may have suffered due to this label—his most recent solo museum show was in 1994—Holley proves himself in this exhibition as a capable and provocative artist with a large body of work.

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MEDIA ARCHIVES


Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Monday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Open until 7pm on Thursdays
843.953.4422


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