Arts and Culture 2011

Amy Holtcamp



Museum of the Week – The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Posted 9/3/2011 5:36:00 AM

Contemporary art is going back to school.

One of the treasures of The College of Charleston’s tree-lined city campus is the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Designed to enrich the curriculum at the college’s School of the Arts and to be a cultural resource for the region, the Institute has regular exhibits displaying some of the most creative, present-day artwork in the city.

Now, as students flood back to campus, the Halsey Institute is launching two great new exhibits by two internationally known artists who make the Carolinas their home.

The first exhibit is "From the Ground Up" by Steve Johnson, an assistant professor of drawing at the College of Charleston. Using what might seem a rather benign collection of characters – ducks, hummingbirds, chickadees – Johnson explores the nature of competition and the universal drive toward security and safety.

The work of Bob Ray, a current resident of Ocracoke, N.C., also will be displayed in an exhibit titled "White Days Unswallowed." Ray is influenced by Dadaism, which is to say that some of his work might appear, well … a little bit odd. At times he uses the juxtaposition of seemingly random images. The key to appreciating the artwork might lie in the artist’s description of his work as a “poetic image” rather than seeing it as a story that is unfolding in paint and ink.

Both exhibits run through Oct. 7. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the exhibit dates. Admission is free.

Incidentally, be sure to check out the adjacent galleries while you are there. One features the work of the truly remarkable art students at the College of Charleston, and another is a student-curated art gallery.

Click here for more information.