What does it take to make art in Charleston? For many artists, it means deftly balancing another demanding job, and thereby logging far more hours than a typical workweek.
Many are familiar with the term “side hustle.” However, the full-time, full-on enterprises of local artists would be more fittingly deemed their “other hustle.” And this masterful juggle is testament to the lengths those in the creative sector will go to feed their soul and buy their groceries.
The healing arts
You may recognize the name Colin Quashie from his provocative work that slyly smashes racial stereotypes. His show now on view at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art includes works like “Gabriel,” which doctors an image of Louie Armstrong’s hallmark trumpet with slave shackles.
While Quashie uses ample wit in his works of art, his other occupation is no laughing matter. He is a registered nurse at the Medical University of South Carolina, specializing in vascular access.
“As an RN, I have a wonderful opportunity to engage with literal strangers,” said Quashie in an email. “What I’ve learned is that art can play a powerful role in the healing process.”
Such stressful, day-to-day dealings with life and death have enabled Quashie to realize that there are things more important than anything he is currently doing in art. What’s more, as a veteran, he gains further perspective by crossing paths with many vets with post-traumatic stress disorder that include art in their therapy.
“I have the luxury of walking away and being able to ease that stress with art, but others don’t,” he said. “I don’t take that for granted.”
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