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The identity of a country and its people should come from culture and traditions born from within, but often the organic nature of who we are is bent by outside forces that encroach with different values and norms.

Two new exhibits opening May 13, 2022, at the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art will explore such themes of culture and oppression, with both Kukuli Velarde’s CORPUS and Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez’ Pinturas de Casta and the Construction of American Identity addressing the legacy of South American colonialism.

According to Katie Hirsch, the Halsey’s director and chief curator, “Kukuli and Nancy both tackle a subject that is at once deeply complicated and very simple – that colonialism is not a static moment in time with a clear beginning and end.”

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The opening reception for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s 37th annual Young Contemporaries exhibition is 5–7 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2022, at the Halsey Institute, 161 Calhoun Street. The event is free and open to the public.

Juried by New Orleans–based visiting artist Ron BechetYoung Contemporaries 2022 represents the brightest talents from across the College – including painters, sculptors, printmakers and photographers majoring in everything from public health to studio art to marine biology. The students get the opportunity not only to have their work chosen by a nationally prominent juror and exhibit in a professional gallery setting, but also to prepare for future gallery exhibits and practice the type of professionalism necessary for success in such a competitive field.

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Consider the work of Dyani White Hawk, an Minneapolis-based artist of Sicangu Lakota, German and Welsh ancestry, who draws from her Native culture in her work. Her work is the subject of an exhibition at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, “Dyani White Hawk: Hear Her,” on view through Feb. 26.

Here’s the thing. With White Hawk, we can’t know those stories. Why? Because we don’t understand what they are saying. White Hawk’s work immerses viewers in the worlds of Native women by way of the distinct language of each Indigenous woman’s nation.

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Shepard Fairey left Charleston, S.C., after high school, but the artist still pops up in his hometown, even when he’s thousands of miles away. He appears at College Lodge, a dormitory at the College of Charleston. Outside Groucho’s Deli, a corner sandwich shop. And across from the Daily, a coffeehouse that sells honey lavender lattes and feta toast.

“Three murals are still up — two on King, one on Calhoun,” Shepard said of the public artworks he created for a 2014 show at the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, six years after he designed the campaign-defining “Hope” poster of Barack Obama. “There still aren’t a ton of murals in Charleston because of the historical preservation, but I think the appreciation for street art is growing.”

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Hear Her

Mon Feb 07, 2022
Charleston Grit

Curator’s take on Native American artist Dyani White Hawk’s exhibit at the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.

Dyani White Hawk’s work illuminates the lived experiences of Native Peoples. With her video, photography, and works in other media, she aims to use the language of visual art to bring light to the deep chasm between our understanding of history and the truth. Her work weaves together forms from the canon of Western art along with the visual languages and traditions of Native Peoples. In doing so, her work spotlights Native women, whose strength and fortitude throughout centuries of colonization have helped their peoples’ languages and cultures survive.

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The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston presents an exhibition of work by Sičáŋǧu Lakota visual artist and independent curator Dyani White Hawk entitled Hear Her. The exhibition is on view from January 14 to February 26, 2022 at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s galleries.

Dyani White Hawk’s work illuminates society’s consistent ignorance of Native people. With her video, photography, and works in other media, she aims to use the language of visual art to bring light to the deep chasm between our understanding of history and the truth. Her work weaves together forms from the canon of Western art along with the visual languages and traditions of Native people. In doing so, her work spotlights Native women, whose strength and fortitude over centuries have helped their peoples’ languages and cultures to survive.

READ THE FULL STORY [+]

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Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Monday - Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Open Thursdays until 7pm
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