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Some art is for the birds.

But some art is about the birds.

Case in point: John James Audubon’s magnificent hand-painted etchings of 435 North American birds. Those enormous prints were produced and sold between 1827 and 1838 and compiled into a treasure of naturalist ornithology called “The Birds of America.”

The book’s production was the second phase of a life-consuming two-part project. To create the images, Audubon first had to observe and collect the birds. He did so over the course of 14 years of field work, and three intense years, 1820-22, of trekking through the American South.

Along the way, he started and ended business ventures, coped with intense debt that landed him in prison briefly and drew from a deep well of entrepreneurial and creative energy.

When Italian street artist Hitnes, who had gained fame in Rome and beyond for his large, rogue murals, learned about Audubon, the French-born American adventurer, he discovered a kindred spirit.

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The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston presents the exhibition from October 19, 2018, to March 2, 2019, held simultaneously at both the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the City of Charleston’s City Gallery at Waterfront Park.

Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South comprises fifty-six photographers’ visions of the South over the first decades of the twenty-first century. Accordingly, it offers 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 project’s purpose is to investigate the senses of place in the South that congeal, however fleetingly, in the spaces between the photographers’ looking, their images, and our own preexisting ideas about the region.

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The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon, featuring new work by Italian artist Hitnes, opens at the Halsey on August 17 with a reception on Fri. Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

The exhibition is a culmination of The Image Hunter project in which Hitnes, who had an artist residency at the Halsey in 2017 and 2018, retraced Audubon’s travels. In a video about the project Hitnes says, “I always wanted to know what it felt like to be an explorer or a naturalist in the 1800s.” 

The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon has become a means of research by the Halsey Institute given the connection between Charleston and Audubon’s legacy. For those who don’t know, Audubon spent decades tracking and drawing birds in hopes to catalog the wildlife of a young country in his seminal 1813 work, Birds of America. So where does Charleston come in? Well, Audubon actually tracked birds around Charleston and even worked out of a studio in the Lowcountry home of his friend John Bachman. College of Charleston also maintains a rare collection of Audubon’s work, including a full set of Birds of America, in its Special Collections.

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HALSEY INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES FIRST EXHIBITION OF THE SEASON

Wed Jul 18, 2018
TheCoastalBuzz.com

CHARLESTON, SC – The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston is proud to announce their first exhibition of the 2018-2019 season, The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon. The exhibition will be on view from Friday, August 17 to Saturday, September 29 with a public opening reception on Friday, August 24 at 6:30PM. The galleries are open to the public and admission is free.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon features new work by the Italian artist Hitnes. The exhibition and its related programming have been developed as a special research initiative by the Halsey Institute given the primacy of Charleston to Audubon’s legacy.

In the early half of the nineteenth century, John James Audubon spent decades tracking birds and drawing them, hoping to create a compendium of all of the birds in the United States. Charleston played an important role in Audubon’s work as he kept a studio in the home of his friend and fellow naturalist John Bachman. Audubon hunted for specimens on the Sea Islands off of Charleston’s coast, and he even included the city’s distinctive skyline from the 1830s – replete with its church steeples – in his drawing of the long-billed curlew.

READ THE FULL STORY [+]

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston is proud to announce their first exhibition of the 2018-2019 season, The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon. The exhibition will be on view from Friday, Aug. 17 to Saturday, Sept. 29 with a public opening reception on Friday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. The galleries are open to the public and admission is free.

The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon features new work by the Italian artist Hitnes. The exhibition and its related programming have been developed as a special research initiative by the Halsey Institute given the primacy of Charleston to Audubon’s legacy.

In the early half of the nineteenth century, John James Audubon spent decades tracking birds and drawing them, hoping to create a compendium of all of the birds in the United States. Charleston played an important role in Audubon’s work as he kept a studio in the home of his friend and fellow naturalist John Bachman. Audubon hunted for specimens on the Sea Islands off of Charleston’s coast, and he even included the city’s distinctive skyline from the 1830s – replete with its church steeples – in his drawing of the long-billed curlew.

Nearly two hundred years later, the Italian painter and muralist holding the moniker Hitnes embarked on a twenty-city road trip to retrace and rediscover the America that Audubon traversed in the making of his opus The Birds of America (1827-39). Traveling along Audubon’s exploratory routes, Hitnes observed, sketched, and painted what he saw, creating an updated visual documentation of Audubon’s birds.

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Halsey receives gift for its endowment

Sun Jul 15, 2018
The Post & Courier

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston received a $50,000 contribution to its endowment from The Joanna Foundation of Sullivan’s Island. This is the foundation’s second major gift to the Halsey Institute; it donated $20,000 in 2015.

The new donation is a naming gift for the Halsey’s Video Cavern screening room, which shows videos about featured artists and their work commissioned by the Halsey and made by award-winning filmmakers.

In 2013, the Halsey commissioned artist Michael James Moran to create a video viewing environment within the galleries. He created a cavern, complete with stalactites and stalagmites, composed of stratified layers of wood. Videos also can be viewed on the Halsey’s website.

“The Joanna Foundation is proud to be a permanent part of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art,” said Executive Vice President Peggy Schachte in a statement. “We think this is a natural fit. Both organizations respect the past but look to the future and work to recognize the efforts of people who are making a meaningful difference in creative and sometimes unconventional ways.”

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The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston is pleased to announce a major gift of $50,000 to their endowment by The Joanna Foundation of Sullivan’s Island, SC. This is the Foundation’s second major gift to the Halsey Institute, donating $20,000 in 2015.

 

ABOUT THE GIFT

The $50,000 gift is presented as a naming gift for the Halsey Institute’s Video Cavern screening room of their gallery spaces. The Halsey Institute produces videos to accompany its exhibitions. Emmy award-winning videographers have created videos that document the artists’ creative processes and personal styles. These videos offer insights and allow visitors to deepen their understanding of the featured artist. In 2013, the Halsey Institute commissioned artist Michael James Moran to create a video viewing environment within the galleries. He chose to create a cavern, complete with stalactites and stalagmites, composed of stratified layers of wood. In addition to the video cavern, the videos can be viewed on the Halsey Institute’s website. The Joanna Foundation supports organizations and programs that strengthen community capacity and enhance individual involvement in achieving a better quality of life.

Joanna Foundation Board of Trustees Executive Vice President Peggy Schachte said, “The Joanna Foundation is proud to be a permanent part of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. We think this is a natural fit. Both organizations respect the past but look to the future and work to recognize the efforts of people who are making a meaningful difference in creative and sometimes unconventional ways.”

READ THE FULL STORY [+]

Halsey Institute Receives $50,000 Donation

Wed Jul 11, 2018
The College Today

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston is pleased to announce a major gift of $50,000 to its endowment by The Joanna Foundation of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. This is the Foundation’s second major gift to the Halsey Institute, having previously donated $20,000 in 2015.

The latest gift is presented as a naming gift for the Halsey Institute’s Video Cavern screening room of their gallery spaces. These videos offer insights and allow visitors to deepen their understanding of the featured artist. In 2013, the Halsey Institute commissioned artist Michael James Moran to create a video viewing environment within the galleries. He chose to create a cavern, complete with stalactites and stalagmites, composed of stratified layers of wood. In addition to the video cavern, the videos can be viewed on the Halsey Institute’s website.

“The Joanna Foundation is proud to be a permanent part of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art,” says Joanna Foundation Board of Trustees Executive Vice President Peggy Schachte. “We think this is a natural fit. Both organizations respect the past, but look to the future and work to recognize the efforts of people who are making a meaningful difference in creative and sometimes unconventional ways.”

READ THE FULL STORY [+]

The George Gallery, which is currently relocating from its spot on Bogard street to 54 Broad St., has added works on paper from both the William Halsey and Otto Neumann estates to its roster. In a press release the gallery says, “Given the focus of the gallery being on abstract and non-objective art that is inspired by the Abstract expressionist, we couldn’t pick two artists who hold up the historical importance of our mission more than these highly regarded and collected artists.”

Halsey, a native Charlestonian, was once described by the director of the Greenville County Museum of Art as “a pioneer of abstract painting in the South and a nationally recognized talent.” Neumann, a native of Heidelberg, Germany, was both an expressionist painter and printmaker, best known for his woodcuts and monotypes of human, animal, and abstract forms. 

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Walking off Calhoun Street you could find yourself thinking you’ve stumbled upon a nomadic camp, inhabited by ghosts of species past.

Your body takes a moment to adjust to the darkness, noise, and vulnerability when you enter the latest exhibition at the Halsey InstituteThe Carrion Cheer, A Faunistic Tragedy, depicting humanity’s dominating relationship with the natural world through a total sensory experience by German artists Böhler and Orendt.

Weaving your way through a series of looming tents, you’re greeted by animated apparitions on a mist screen—eerie but somehow endearing.

Silhouetted drawings tell the story of seven animals who became extinct between 1750 and this decade. As you take in the sounds of the lost creatures, their visual story is told on the walls of the tents:  a Carolina Parakeet erased because of humans’ need for pretty feathers—the Steller’s sea cow wiped out for their bodacious natural resources. Through a haunting chant, you are forgiven for causing the victim’s imminent death, but one can’t help but feel guilty next to the towering tents topped with busts of the deceased.

In a masterful attempt to create what seems like the world’s most impactful haunted house, Böhler and Orendt have given us a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down.

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GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
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