Feature Articles
 For more information about this article or gallery, please call the gallery phone number listed in the last line of the article, "For more info..."

October Issue 2010

The Halsey Institute in Charleston, SC, Organizes Citywide Arts and Environment Initiative

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts in Charleston, SC, presents, bluesphere: Earth Art Expo. The citywide project began Sept. 17, 2010, with the opening of Ice Storm by Carson Fox at Redux Contemporary Art Center and concludes with the Gibbes Museum of Art's exhibition, J. Henry Fair: Industrial Scars, opening Dec. 16, 2010. There will be seven visual art exhibitions, a film screening, studio classes, a workshop and lectures. Most events are free and open to the public. bluesphere is sponsored in part by the College of Charleston School of the Arts, City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, SC Green, Art Institute of Charleston, Coastal Conservation League, Tbonz Restaurant Group and Dolphin Architects & Builders. A comprehensive schedule of events is available at (www.halsey.cofc.edu/bluesphere).
bluesphere: Earth Art Expo was initiated by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and made possible by collaborations between many of Charleston's arts and education organizations. bluesphere seeks to bring sustainability education to the residents of Charleston, through a coordinated mixture of visual art exhibitions, lectures, films and activities focusing on the environment and conservation. The events and activities will revolve around how views of our world's resources are presented and expressed through the visual arts.

The seven exhibitions, in order of opening dates, are: Ice Storm by Carson Fox at Redux Contemporary Art Center; Favelas: architecture of survival - Photographs by Pedro Lobo at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park; Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait-Digital Images by Chris Jordan at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art; Bottle Cap Mandala, Installation by Bryant Holsenbeck at the College of Charleston's Addlestone Library; The Work of Greg Stewart at Redux Contemporary Art Center; Butch Anthony's Museum of Wonder at Eye Level Art; and J. Henry Fair: Industrial Scars at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

bluesphere's featured film will be the inspiring documentary, Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of Rural Studio. Redux Contemporary Art Center will be hosting two lectures, a workshop and three studio classes focusing on a sustainable future and repurposing materials into original works of art. The College of Charleston Friends of the Library's 2010 lecture series will feature two panel discussions in conjunction with bluesphere, Fueling the Debate: The Future of Energy and Culture Shock: Local Impact on a Global Problem. These discussions are a part of the Friends of the Library's yearlong lecture series titled Going Green: Fad or Forever? These discussions are centered on the practices, people, science and politics influencing the global green movement.


Ice Storm by Carson Fox, on view through Oct. 30, 2010, at Redux Contemporary Art Center, located at 136 St. Philip Street.

American artist Carson Fox was born in Oxford, MS, the small Southern hometown of William Faulkner. Fox's work is influenced by the heritage of the American Southern Gothic tradition that relies heavily on the imprint that individual experience has on the artist. She will transform the gallery space at Redux into a winter wonderland through an installation of resin cast icicles, snowdrifts and snowflakes. Working across media, Fox produces prints in addition to installation and sculpture.

This body of work is a meditation upon themes of an alternate nature, one that is created in the mind as a reassurance against the inevitability of death. In this controllable world, Fox can prevent icicles from melting, create larger than life snowflakes in preposterous configurations, and freeze flowers as they bloom. In the fantasy of artificiality, the fleeting moment is held in stasis and death is denied. Typically, she makes art out of materials for which she feels a heartfelt attraction, privileging goods and techniques that answer the needs of the work. This has resulted in sculpture and installations produced in a range of materials including; silk flowers, artificial hair, wire, or cast resin. Fox currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. 

Favelas: architecture of survival - Photographs by Pedro Lobo will exhibit from Oct. 21 to Nov. 23, 2010, at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, located at 34 Prioleau Street.

Pedro Lobo is a Brazilian born photographer who began documenting the long-lived favelas, or shantytowns, around Rio de Janeiro. His photographic landscapes hint at organized chaos as homes scale the hills behind tourist, official Rio. Lobo's photographs capture the hardening of these urban spaces as people put down roots and community develops. These beautifully composed images do not shy away from the sprawl, or the hardships of the favelas, yet they are filled with an optimism necessary for life in these marginalized urban neighborhoods.

Favelas: architecture of survival has been exhibited in Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany and Portugal. The show at City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston's premier municipal space for the arts, will be the first time this work has gone on display in the US. It will include over forty large format prints, 30"x40".

The exhibit is sponsored by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, the Art Institute of Charleston, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. Lobo is an international artist in residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art for the month of October.

Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait - Digital Images by Chris Jordan will open at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, located at 161 Calhoun Street, on Friday, Oct. 22 and continue through Dec. 10, 2010.

Jordan creates photographic digital images of jarring statistics related to American consumption. Each image averages 5ft. x 7ft. and gives visual life to incomprehensible statistics like 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage; and 28,000 42-gallon barrels, the amount of oil consumed in the United States every two minutes.

The artist will give a lecture sponsored by Burke Community Education at Burke High School's Auditorium at 4pm on the following Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. Burke High is located at 244 President Street.

The exhibition is sponsored by SC Green and is dedicated to the memory of Charleston community member Edwin Gardner, a lifelong proponent and practitioner of living an artful, healthy, and sustainable life on our planet.

Bryant Holsenbeck's Bottle Cap Mandala installation is opening on Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, at the College of Charleston's Addlestone Library, located one block away from the Halsey Institute at 205 Calhoun Street. Holsenbeck will give an artist's lecture at 11am on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, in the Library. She will be working with students and community volunteers from Monday, Oct. 18 through Thursday, Oct. 22 to set up a three-dimensional mandala, a geometric design symbolizing the universe, usually circular, on the floor of the Sanders Rotunda made from recyclable materials such as mayonnaise jar lids, bread loaf ties, soda bottle caps, and Altoids tins.

Holsenbeck states: "For over a decade now, I have been documenting the 'stuff' of our society that we use once and throw away. Americans create more garbage, per capita, than any other culture, yet we are blind to our waste. I believe this is a function of our wealth, and the vastness of our country. We have the room to hide our waste, and the money to make more. I collect many things, among them, bottle caps, credit cards, pencils, and chop sticks. I use these everyday items to make work, which transforms the objects and surprises us. I am an environmentalist, receiving great joy from the natural world. This makes me aware of how we take what we have for granted."

The installation will remain on view through Nov. 19, 2010, and is sponsored by College of Charleston's Friends of the Library.
The Work of Greg Stewart, Redux's second bluesphere exhibition, opens Nov 18, 2010. Stewart's work focuses on the possible future necessity of humans to become a nomadic culture when resources become scarce and the notion that adaptation is a constant process for both humans and animals.

Stewart states, "The impetus for these projects stems from my interest in geography, more specifically, human geography; the study of how we situate, or arrange ourselves in the world. I'm also interested in aspects of mobility: mobility as a physical operation, metaphorical gesture, and as a spark for things that drive our limitless imaginations. I have always drawn inspiration from the notion that our world does not begin here or end there, but [is] always going on."

The work on view at Redux will include Stewart's mobile shelters, colorful, multi-layered drawings and fantastical sculptures. The exhibition will be on view through Jan. 8, 2011.
Butch Anthony's Museum of Wonder will be at Eye Level Art, located at 103 Spring Street. The exhibition is the first outdoor art show for the gallery and will be on view from Nov. 20 through Dec. 18, 2010.

Anthony is an Alabama folk artist and collects detritus and trash, using them as materials in his work. His representing gallery, Southern Visionary Art, says, "This shy, quietly humorous artist lives and works in remote Seale, AL. Although he has been drawing since the '70s, his real interest in painting began in the winter of 1994. Whether he uses canvas or found objects such as tin, wire, doors and lids, he expresses in his paintings and sculptures a uniquely humorous take on life, death, money and women."

Anthony's works are displayed permanently in the Columbus Museum, Columbus, GA, and were part of the exhibition In Our Own Backyard: The Folk Art and Expressions of the Chattahoochee Valley.
J. Henry Fair: Industrial Scars is the last exhibition in the bluesphere line up. It is presented by the Gibbes Museum of Art, located at 135 Meeting Street, and runs from Dec. 17 to Mar. 27, 2011. The show will open to the public Dec. 17 with an artist's walk-through at 2:30pm. The walk-through is free with the price of admission to the Gibbes. The next day, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, the Gibbes will hold a Community Day in which the admission fee is waived from 10am­1pm.

The arrestingly beautiful, large-scale aerial photographs by Charleston native, J. Henry Fair are, in actuality, the documentation of environmental degradation caused by industrial processes. Drawn to sites where the land has been drastically changed by the effects of mining or manufacturing, Fair captures brilliantly colored, abstract images. The vibrant colors, rich textures and intriguing patterns that he captures are often reminiscent of the canvases of non-objective, modernist painters. Yet in reality, his images are more journalistic in nature, where content is not sacrificed for the sake of aesthetics. Fair states: "As an artist with a message, one asks oneself: how do I translate my message to my medium such that it will effect the change I want? At first, I photographed 'ugly' things; which is, in essence, throwing the issue in people's faces. Over time, I began to photograph all these things with an eye to making them both beautiful and frightening simultaneously, a seemingly irreconcilable mission, but actually quite achievable given the subject matter."

The Halsey Institute will host a film screening of Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of Rural Studioon Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, at 7:30pm in Cannon Park at the corner of Rutledge and Calhoun Streets. Citizen Architect is one hour long, and in the spirit of Rural Studio, will be screened on a structure designed and built from materials repurposed by Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston (CAC.C) Studio V students. There will be food and beverage vendors and a whole barbecued hog from Scott's Variety in Hemingway.

The producer and former Rural Studio professor, Jay Sanders, and director, Sam Wainwright Douglas, both of Big Beard Films, will be visiting Charleston to lead a discussion following the screening. The event is free and the public is encouraged to bike to the park with blankets. The CAC.C students are keeping a daily blog of their design and build process at (http://caccstudiov.wordpress.com/).

The film is co-sponsored by the American Institute of Architects' Charleston chapter. Citizen Architect is a documentary film chronicling the late Samuel Mockbee: artist, architect, educator and founder of the Rural Studio, a design and build focused program of the School of Architecture at Auburn University. The film explores Mockbee's effort to provide students with an experience that forever inspires them to consider how they can use their skills to better their communities. The Citizen Architect website says, "Revealing the philosophy and heart behind the Rural Studio, the documentary is guided by passionate, frank and never-before-seen interviews with Mockbee himself. The film follows Jay Sanders, a young, first-time instructor at the Rural Studio as he leads a group of students in the process of crafting a home for their charismatic client, Jimmie Lee Matthews. Known within the community as Music Man because of his passion for soul music, Jimmie Lee maintains a healthy zeal for life, blasting R&B from his vast collection of used stereos and boasting that he 'ain't never met a stranger!' Over the course of the project a powerful bond forms between Sanders, the students and Music Man.

Citizen Architect supplements Mockbee's words and the students' experiences with perspective from other architects and designers who share praise and criticism of the Rural Studio. Their dialogue infuses the film with a larger discussion of architecture's role in issues of poverty, class, race, education, social change and citizenship. The film follows up with Music Man, Sanders, his students and other Rural Studio graduates to see how the program has affected their lives. Through scenes with architects such as Hank Louis of Design/Build Bluff in Utah and Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity, Citizen Architect captures the ripple effect that the Rural Studio continues to have throughout the profession. Above all else, this film offers a dialogue about what it means to be both a successful professional and a responsible member of society."

Each artist involved with bluesphere will hold a talk that is open to the public addressing their work and how the earth or the environment inspires them to work with the themes of sustainability, recycling or consumption patterns. All lectures are free with the exception of J. Henry Fair at the Gibbes Museum. Chris Jordan will give two talks: the first will be Fri., Oct., 22 at 4pm at College of Charleston's Recital Hall in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip Street, and his second lecture will be Sat., Oct. 23 at 4pm at Burke High School's Auditorium, 244 President Street.

Bryant Holsenbeck will talk with visitors on Sat., Oct. 23 at 11am next to her installation in the Sanders Rotunda of the Addlestone Library at 205 Calhoun Street. Pedro Lobo will give an exhibition walkthrough Sat., Oct. 23 at 2pm at City Gallery at Waterfront Park, 34 Prioleau Street. Greg Stewart will give a presentation Thurs., Nov. 18, 5:30pm at Redux Contemporary Art Center. Butch Anthony's talk will taken place at Eye Level Art, 103 Spring Street, on Sat., Nov. 20, 6pm. J. Henry Fair's lecture will be Fri., Dec. 19, 2:30pm at Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting Street. The lecture is free with the price of admission. 

College of Charleston's Friends of the Library's Speaker Series for 2010-2011 is entitled Going Green: Fad or Forever? These panel discussions are free and open to the public and will be held in the College of Charleston's Addlestone Library. Two of the four planned sessions occur during the dates of bluesphere including: Fueling the Debate: The Future of Energy, Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010, at 6pm and Culture Shock: Local Impact on a Global Problem on, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, at 6pm.

Going Green will explore the practices, people, science and politics influencing the global green movement. In an effort to promote discourse and education throughout the Charleston community about sustainability, the Friends of the Library will present keynote speakers and panel discussions on emerging trends related to the green movement and whether this phenomenon is a fad or an enduring way of life.

The first panel in the speaker series, Fueling the Debate: The Future of Energy, will discuss recent advancements in alternative energy and promote community involvement in sustainable living. Brian Sheehan, Director of Sustainability for the City of Charleston, will moderate. The panel will include local business owners Chris Fisher of Fisher Recycling; Barry Patterson of Barry Patterson & Associates; Eve Blossom of Lulan; Jamee Haley of Lowcountry Local First, and Ian Sanchez of Lowcountry Environmental Education Programs (LEEP).

The second panel discussion, Culture Shock: Local Impact on a Global Problem, will reveal subtle contributions Charlestonians can make towards reducing our city's carbon emissions. Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, Development Director for Clemson University Restoration Institute will moderate that panel. The panel is comprised of Mitchell Colgan Chairman of the College of Charleston's Geology and Environmental Geosciences Department; Nick Rigas, Director of the Renewable Energy focus area of the Clemson University Restoration Institute and Vice President of EcoEnergy; Jim Rogers, Chairman, President, and CEO of Duke Energy; Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain and Brian Fisher, Assistant Professor with College of Charleston's Department of Political Science & Environmental Studies.
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is administered by the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston and exists to advocate, exhibit and interpret visual art, with an emphasis on contemporary art. The Halsey Institute is committed to providing a direct experience with works of art in all media within an environment that fosters creativity, individuality, innovation and education. In addition to producing exhibitions, lectures, film series, publications, and a comprehensive website, the Halsey Institute serves as an extension of the undergraduate curricula at the College and as a cultural resource for the region.
For more information contact HICA at 843/953-5680 or visit (www.halsey.cofc.edu).

[ | October 2010 | Feature Articles | Carolina Arts Unleashed | Gallery Listings | Home | ]


Carolina Arts is published monthly by Shoestring Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc. Copyright© 2010 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright© 2010 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.