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Camera Works Cafe presents ‘Southbound’

Sun Oct 07, 2018
Post & Courier

Camera Works Cafe is teaming up with Redux Contemporary Arts Center and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art to present a series of three free artist talks related to the Halsey’s blockbuster new photography exhibition, “Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South.”

The first presentation is 6 p.m. Oct. 11. It features “Southbound” co-curators Mark Long and Mark Sloan, who is director of the Halsey. They will discuss their years-long project, their travels through the South and fascinating discoveries, as well as how the show came together.

The second presentation at 6 p.m. Nov. 8 features John Lusk Hathaway, a landscape and portrait photographer based in Charleston. Local photographer and College of Charleston professor Michelle Van Parys will take the podium at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 to discuss her black-and-white work in which Southern terrain plays a central role.

All three events will be held at Redux, 1056 King St.

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When people envision the South, they may conjure images made by photographers who stylized the “Southernization” of aesthetics during the last century. Walker Evans, Gordon Parks, Sally Mann and William Christenberry. There are the pastoral landscapes covered in Spanish moss; the storybook scenes of small towns and people whose lives have only known those small towns; historical images of segregation and stereotypical images impoverished Americans in crumbling homes. These images have had a lasting impact, but at a cost.

TIME recently devoted a special issue to the changing South, with photographers who reflected a variety of voices that either showed us the familiar in a surprising way, or a subject matter that we had not seen before. Their work, and more, is included in two upcoming exhibitions: New Southern Photography (opening Oct. 6) at the Ogden, and Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South (opening Oct. 19) at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. Both exhibitions explore the sense of time, place and identity of a region in flux.

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On Oct. 19, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art unveils an extensive exhibition, Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South — one that’s been four years in the making. There’s so much to unpack in Southbound, an exhibition that spans two galleries, both the Halsey and downtown’s City Gallery, that the images themselves beg for further discussion. A three-part series of talks, then, seems like a reasonable response to Southbound. The series kicks off on Thurs. Oct. 11 with presentations from exhibition curators, Mark Sloan and Mark Long.

The next two talks come from locally based photographers whose work is featured in Southbound; on Thurs. Nov. 8 hear from John Lusk Hathaway and on Thurs. Dec. 13 from Michelle Van Parys. Each talk is free and open to the public, begins at 6 p.m., and takes place at Redux.

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The University of New Hampshire community welcomes students and the general public through Oct. 30 to view the work of visual artist and scholar Fahamu Pecou on display at the Durham campus’ Museum of Art in the Paul Creative Arts Center.

The exhibition, entitled “DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance,” is organized in a collaboration featuring the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts and the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University.

Pecou spoke to an audience of students, faculty and community members on Tuesday, taking them on a tour of his themes and thought processes.

“I see my work as a continuous process of interrogating and editing,” he said. “Instead of perpetuating [stereotypes], ask questions instead.”

“My work incorporates African spirituality as a part of a trilogy which remembers the conceptual black body,” Pecou added. “This triad considers the somatic attitude of hip-hop(body), concepts inherent to the movement called Negritude (mind), and Yoruba spiritual cosmology (spirit).”

Born in Brooklyn, Pecou lived in South Carolina before finally settling in Atlanta, and vividly recalls one moment in his adolescence that drove him to the art world.

“When I was 18 years old, I saw the film Menace II Society,” he recalled. “In it, a young man named Caine is trapped in a life of crime and violence. With the help of others, he is ready to escape to a better life when he is gunned down in a drive-by shooting.

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An avenue of live oaks leading to an oil refinery in Louisiana. North Carolina’s Eno River, crowded with children cooling off on the Fourth of July. Iridescent oil swirling in the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Each of the 220 photographs in the exhibition Southbound—debuting this Friday at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston—says more than meets the eye, an inherent friction at work in every image: between Old South and New, black and white, the environment and the demand for energy. Together, the photos call and respond to one another, telling a story of the modern South through the lens of fifty-six photographers. (Get a sneak peek here with images selected by Garden & Gun photography and visuals director Maggie Brett Kennedy.)

Southbound’s alchemy comes from co-curators Mark Sloan, the director and chief curator of the Halsey, and Mark Long, a professor of political science at the College of Charleston. Sloan and Long set out to explore an “idiosyncratic slice of the South,” as Sloan calls the project, with the duo culling photos that range from the poetic to the political, and that “ask more questions than they answer.”

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America’s Art Scenes Off the Beaten Track

Mon Sep 17, 2018
Wall Street Journal

As the fall season gets under way, attention tends to focus on major cities like New York and London because of their blockbuster museum exhibits and trophy-art auctions. The vagaries of the art market hold greater sway there, with galleries opening and closing with every tilt in collector confidence.

Must-See: The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is a noncollecting powerhouse anchored at the College of Charleston and known for championing nontraditional artists like Washington, D.C.’s Renee Stout. It is currently exhibiting Italian painter Hitnes, who retraced Audubon’s steps in the U.S. and painted watercolor views of birds he spotted along the way.

Local Hero: The Southern has done much to rally broader support for the incendiary work of Charleston-based Colin Quashie, who painted retired Gen. Colin Powell’s face onto boxes of Uncle Ben’s rice and redesigned toile wallpaper to reflect the brutal realities of slavery. Another rising star: Fletcher Williams III, whose work uses palmetto roses to explore black entrepreneurship and ingenuity, he said.

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Rare Basquait interview to be screened at Halsey

Thu Aug 30, 2018
Post & Courier

You can almost picture it, the grit and grime of East Village New York City in the 1970s and ’80s. Andy Warhol, with his shock of blond hair and dark shades sitting opposite Janis Joplin at the famed Max’s Kansas City club and music venue.

It was this atmosphere that fueled director, painter and educator Paul Tschinkel’s early career as a videographer and documentarian. On Sept. 5, Tschinkel will be in Charleston at the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art, screening his film “ART/new york No. 30: Jean-Michel Basquiat,” which features a rare and in-depth interview with the famed art star.

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Two hundred years after Audubon traveled across America, tracking native bird species for his magnum opus, The Birds of America (1827–39), Italian artist Hitnes has retraced Audubon’s steps, creating an updated documentation of the birds Audubon painted. His homage to Audubon, The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon, is now on display at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston.

Inspired by Audubon’s original watercolors, Hitnes created The Image Hunter project. This entailed travelling through 15 states, from Florida to Ohio, creating sketches, paintings, and large-scale murals of the birds he saw. The exhibition includes objects and ephemera collected along Hitnes’s journey, and features 15 plexiglass shadowboxes with multi-segmented compartments, along with 53 small, copper-plate etchings Hitnes used to create his own miniature book, Fragments of The Birds of America. Hitnes’s multi-dimensional shadowboxes reference Audubon’s iconic work, while adding layers of information about the birds’ ecosystems, eating habits and history. A feature-length documentary film on Hitnes’s trip, directed by filmmaker Giacomo Agnetti, will also be on view.

 

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Audubon-Inspired Art Takes Flight at the Halsey

Thu Aug 16, 2018
The College Today

Famed 19th-century naturalist John James Audubon has a special connection to Charleston and the College of Charleston. Not only did he work on many of his paintings at a studio in the home of his friend and fellow naturalist, John Bachman, who taught at CofC  in the 1800s, but the College has both a reproduction and original set of Audubon’s The Birds of America – one of the rarest books in the world.

How fitting, then, that the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s first exhibition of the 2018-19 season is “The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon.” On view from Aug. 17 – Sept. 29, 2018, with a public reception at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 24, the exhibit will feature Audubon-inspired works by Italian artist and muralist Hitnes.

“When we were approached by Hitnes about the possibility of becoming the lead institution for his project, ‘The Image Hunter,’ it was an easy ‘YES!’,” says Mark Sloan, the Halsey’s director and chief curator. “Given that Charleston as a city looms large in Audubon’s life story, and the College of Charleston itself has many connections, it felt almost inevitable.”

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Preparing for a new school year can be a shock to the system. We must re-adjust our bodies and minds to new routines.

There’s no easy advice for how to jump into the start of school. The only thing I’ve found that works is to remember to breathe, get enough sleep and carve out some activities for you and your family that get you out of the house.

The Halsey Institute, 161 Calhoun St., is a contemporary art destination in Charleston that’s gearing up for a new season with their first exhibit, “The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon.”

Italian artist Hitnes, a muralist, printmaker and painter, examines Audubon’s legacy in and around Charleston and beyond. Audubon sought to track and capture images of all the birds in the United States. The naturalist spent decades in this pursuit as well as plenty of time on the Charleston coast, an area rich with bird life.

Hitnes, retracing Audubon’s journey, took a 20-city road trip during which he, too, documented the avian sights he encountered. Hitnes’ journey, which breathes new life into Audubon’s work, resulted in paintings that are sharp, vivid pieces of naturalism. Filmmaker Giacomo Agnetti created a documentary of Hitnes’ trip. “The Image Hunter” is an impressive exhibit presented by one of Charleston’s most important galleries. 

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