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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.”

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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 [+]

Halsey’s yearly juried student art show spent 2020 as a virtual exhibit but makes its return with close to 100 pieces of artwork this week.

The pandemic year presented opportunities for the school’s artists-in-training to continue their creative growth outside classrooms and studios.

“With COVID and everything, I spend a lot more time making art, since time is all we really have,” said studio art sophomore Stella Stuchlak, whose “Childhood in Charcoal” will hang at the Halsey. “I wouldn’t say I’ve changed my approach to artmaking. I just spend far more time with it.”

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On the other side of the pandemic, the Charleston arts scene will look markedly different.

It’s not just the lingering wariness of packed lobbies. It is not just the downsizing and reconfiguring of many organizations as a result of the shutdown.

The playing field is swapping out enough major players that it could have the potential to dramatically alter the cultural landscape in Charleston and beyond. Throughout the city and the state, high-profile arts leaders have exited, announced retirements or set departure dates.

There is Mark Sloan, former director and chief curator of the College’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, which is known nationally for its public-facing gallery that mounts exhibitions of some of the most thought-provoking artists of the day. He, too, has left ahead of the successors he mentored, Katie Hirsch,  Halsey’s interim director, and Bryan Granger, director of exhibitions and public programs.

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Below a picture of an orange tree growing near Joshua Tree National Park in California is a simple question: “These tweets have my location?”

The combination of online commentary and visuals of the physical world is what drives “Geolocation,” a photography project by artist duo Larson Shindelman.

Larson Shindelman is made up of Marni Shindelman, an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art and the area chair for photography and interdisciplinary art and design, and contemporary artist, Nate Larson.

An exhibition of “Geolocation” is open in the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art as well as online as a virtual exhibition until March 5.

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Artists Marni Shindelman and Nate Larson didn’t know how timely Geolocation would be at the beginning of 2021. Their ongoing project, which pairs tweets with photographs from the location posts were uploaded, began in 2009. Geolocation has witnessed social media reactions to the Great Recession, the birth of #BlackLivesMatter, the presidency of Donald Trump and most recently the failed insurrection at the Capitol.

The exhibition, which opened to the public at the Halsey Friday, is a startling commentary on surveillance brought on by tech companies and a less-startling meditation on the ubiquity of social media. Each art piece is a picture taken from the location a tweet was posted, found through publicly accessible geolocation data.

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The almost ubiquitous internet acronym IRL, which stands for “in real life,” suggests a bifurcation of lived experience. Denoting a fracturing of reality, it breaks life into two domains: one existing in the connections between servers on the internet, and the other in the realm of lived experience. While this fragmented reality was more conceivable in the internet’s early existence, younger generations are growing up in a world where one’s IRL and online selves are often indistinguishable. As Orit Gat wrote in 2018, “a word to differentiate between time spent online and offline isn’t very handy after smartphones, which all but ensure we’re never actually offline.”

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“These tweets have my location?” reads the text below a photograph of orange trees shot by artistic duo Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman.

Yes, they do.

That point is proven by the two photography educators who have combined their talents for a project called “Geolocation.”

Their exhibit, which features photographs taken at a variety of locations where tweets were posted, is on display at the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art through early March.

The art does not include identifying information, geographic data or any outside context. It just includes a photo with the original tweet below. And while sometimes the subject matter and caption make sense together, other times they might not seem necessarily connected at all.

“Cars are nothing but money pigs #hateit #waitingsucks #impoor” reads the tweet beneath a picture of an auto shop.

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The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art will host its next in-person gallery, Larson Shindelman: Geolocation, Jan. 15-March 5. The body of work, according to the Halsey, explores the connection between text and image and public versus private.

Artistic duo Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman assembled the exhibit using Twitter. Utilizing publicly accessible geographic data from tweets, the artists tracked down locations where a Twitter user posted something. Once there, they took pictures of each location and printed it with the tweet at the bottom of the picture.

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GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
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