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The artivist — that’s activist and artist — Shepard Fairey has been adorning buildings around the world with his powerful, politically charged murals for more than decade, though his career as a street artist goes back much further: he actually got his start in the art world creating illegal art in New York in the late ’80s. Best known for his personal art and fashion brand Obey Giant (which got its start back in 1989 with a simple sticker), he would go on to create the iconic Warhol-esque “Hope” portrait of 44th U.S. President Barack Obama for his 2008 presidential campaign.

. . . 

Originally from South Carolina, Fairey has decorated his home state with several murals, many of which can be seen in Charleston. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston commissioned Shepard to create public art murals alongside his summer 2014 exhibition at their museum entitled The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns

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A New Frame of Mind at the Halsey

Mon Jun 28, 2021
The College Today

Katie Hirsch had never planned on having a career within the world of contemporary art. In fact, she spent five years in graduate school studying pre-Columbian Mesoamerican ceramics.

“This was not at all the trajectory that I thought my life would take,” she says with a laugh.

Hirsch was appointed director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in April. Prior to that, she served in the role on an interim basis for several months following the retirement of longtime Halsey director Mark Sloan. Although her background might seem a little incongruous with the world of modern art, Hirsch says she was immediately drawn to the Halsey from the first time she set foot in its gallery.

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The Who’s on the Move, Artist Minute is a quick, two-minute interview in support of the undeniable impact that the arts and local artists have on our communities. One of the main drivers of a strong local economy as well as attracting talent to a region is the critical role the arts has in our community. Please enjoy watching, listening and supporting our artists in this series. We welcome you to share these videos with your business contacts and friends through social media.

Katie Hirsch earned a MA with honors in Art History, Visual Cultures of the Americas from The Florida State University, and a BA and magna cum laude distinction in Art History, with a Minor in General Business from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Halsey Exhibitions Explore Different Points of View

Tue Jun 22, 2021
The College Today

After a year of seeing things two dimensionally, the freedom to step inside an art gallery and immerse yourself in a three-dimensional experience is thrilling. The sounds and colors make the space come alive when the exhibition is tangible, rather than virtual.

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art has long excelled at this kind of immersive experience. From Jennifer Wen Ma’s Cry Joy Park—Gardens of Dark and Light to Erwin Redl’s Rational Exuberance, the Halsey has consistently curated exhibitions that enliven the senses. Two new exhibitions: Dan Estabrook: Wunderkammer and Jibade-Khalil Huffman: You Are Here continue in that vein. The exhibitions opened in May and are on view through July 17, 2021.

According to Halsey director Katie Hirsch, artist Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s work You Are Here defies definition. Using lights, video, audio, text and print, his installation transforms the dormant halls of the gallery into a dynamic setting, one that is in motion and it feels as if the ground is shifting beneath you. Each visit to take in the exhibit is unique for viewers, who at different times will experience alternate versions of the cinematic, streamed art.

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Jibade-Khalil Huffman: ‘You Are Here’

Mon Jun 07, 2021
Charleston Grit

Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s work defies definition. His video work is sculptural. His prints hum with electricity. Cut outs in walls are enlivened with projections. Text is given equal weight as a visual. In this newest iteration, commissioned by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and set to expand over a series of forthcoming exhibitions, Huffman’s work draws on all senses, utilizing film, print, audio, text, and the ultimate tool: the viewer’s own experience.

Trained as a poet and an artist, Huffman’s work is the answer to his own ever-evolving stream of internal questions about how culture functions and communicates. Although each new project is approached as its own unit, Huffman’s work continually considers how Black Americans are seen and see themselves, and their collective engagement with societal trauma.

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Of the many heartening signs of Charleston’s reopening, the flurry of local visual arts happenings may be the most inspirational sight for sore, screen-weary eyes.

In some ways, the timing is uncanny. A typical cultural year in Charleston often boasts new summer shows in local galleries and arts venues that are strategically timed to ride the arts-centric groundswell of Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto.

Like the festivals, the visual arts hubs are coming back, too — and in a significant creative splash set to shore spirits through a good chunk of a Charleston summer.

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art has regularly launched summer shows by kicking them off with the two festivals. On May 14, it opened two concurrent exhibitions.

“Both have radically altered their respective galleries, which is an exciting way for us to welcome and encourage visitors back to the Halsey Institute,” said Katie Hirsch, director of the Halsey, who devised the plan with curator Bryan Granger, the Halsey’s director of exhibitions and public programs.

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The work of Dan Estabrook oscillates between image and object and back again. Using antiquated forms of photography, such as salt prints and tintypes, Estabrook examines the objecthood of photography and its ability to represent the truth. He often combines multiple tintypes or adds metal to his images, further commenting on photography’s connection to reality. His sculptural works become recreations of his photos, further blurring the line between image and object. Interested in the artist’s studio as a site for fabrication, Estabrook’s sleight of hand in creating still life tableaus asks viewers to reconsider why things appear as they seem.

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The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts is excited to announce the appointment of a new Director. Katie Hirsch, the current Interim Director, Curator and Director of Strategic Partnerships took the helm of Halsey Institute Director on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Hirsch’s appointment follows the December 2020 retirement of the Halsey Institute’s long-time director Mark Sloan.

Katie Hirsch shares, “I am honored to be the new Director of the Halsey Institute. It is a true privilege to lead the talented team that brings innovative artists to Charleston and beyond. I am eager to connect with our community in this new role, and to share the compelling programming that the Halsey has planned.”

READ THE FULL STORY [+]

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts today announced the appointment of a new Director. Katie Hirsch, the current Interim Director and Curator and Director of Strategic Partnerships took the helm of Halsey Institute Director on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Hirsch’s appointment follows the December 2020 retirement of the Halsey Institute’s long-time director Mark Sloan.

“I am honored to be the new Director of the Halsey Institute,” Hirsch said. “It is a true privilege to lead the talented team that brings innovative artists to Charleston and beyond. I am eager to connect with our community in this new role, and to share the compelling programming that the Halsey has planned.”

READ THE FULL STORY [+]

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts announced the appointment of a new Director. Katie Hirsch, the current Interim Director and Curator and Director of Strategic Partnerships took the helm of Halsey Institute Director on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Hirsch’s appointment follows the December 2020 retirement of the Halsey Institute’s long-time director Mark Sloan.

Katie Hirsch shares, “I am honored to be the new Director of the Halsey Institute. It is a true privilege to lead the talented team that brings innovative artists to Charleston and beyond. I am eager to connect with our community in this new role, and to share the compelling programming that the Halsey has planned.”

READ THE FULL STORY [+]

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