Friday, July 21, 2017

Adam Gorlitsky gets real with Charleston's Creative Mornings

One giant leap for the differently abled

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 11:01 AM


I, admittedly, have not been to a Creative Mornings Charleston (CMCHS) talk in several months. The reason why is totally selfish — I have a Friday morning yoga class I like to go to. Working out is important to me and I have both the choice and the capability to attend my favorite classes.

Those two things — choice and capability — are things I take for granted every day. You probably do too. Adam Gorlitsky? Not so much. He knows exactly the value of both choice and capability, specifically mobility, when he straps into his ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton a.k.a. Betty Carlton, that help his paralyzed legs move. The $85,000 exoskeleton is named after Gorlitsky's late grandmother and his favorite Fresh Prince of Bel Air character, Carlton Banks.

At age 19 Gorlitsky fell asleep at the wheel while driving home to Charleston to visit his family for New Years. Thrown into the backseat of his car, Gorlitsky suffered a T9 spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the belly button down.

When Gorlitsky was introduced to a ReWalk Exoskeleton in 2015 he says that his world shook; a new door was opened. Through fundraising and events (you've likely seen Gorlitksy at Charleston road race or two), Gorlitsky is raising money to pay for Betty Carlton, and to help fund what he calls the reenabling of those who are differently abled. This is how his nonprofit, I Got Legs, lays out its mission:

OUR CAUSE: What it means to be disabled vs. able-bodied.
OUR MISSION: To reenable members of the disabled community and the towns and cities they live in.
OUR GOAL: To bridge the gap between what it means to be disabled vs. able-bodied.
Gorlitsky's story is compelling, yes, but it is compelling not just because he is changing the way people think about mobility. It is compelling because he is living these changes as they happen — we are hearing from him in the middle of his story, not at the beginning, or the end. As much as we can be, we're parts of his story, too. He's also a kickass public speaker, which never hurts.

You can donate to I Got Legs at igotlegs.org. There, you can also stay up to date with Gorlitsky's ReEnabled Race Tour, which he launched earlier this year and plans to bring to more races in Charleston. While on this race tour he will raise $1 for every step he takes to officially establish the I Got Legs: ReEnabled Racing Circuit for ReEnabled Athletes and their friends and families.

And if you can, make the choice to sign up for a free CMCHS morning lecture. You may hear from someone who makes you think twice about those things you take for granted.



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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Not even adorable kittens or a Ninja Warrior can rattle Distil Union's new shades

We can Maglock that

Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 1:01 PM

If you want to test the durability of a pair of your new sunglasses prototype, go find a kitten, I always say.

For local industrial design house Distil Union's latest Kickstarter project, they've embarked on a series of trials for the new pair of Maglock magnetized sunglasses designed to stay put when you clip them onto your shirt. Because if you design a set of magnetic sunglasses, why wouldn't you use them as an excuse to visit Pounce Cat Cafe or Carowinds? Distil Union's new Maglocks reached their Kickstarter goal within just a few hours of their launch, but you can still reserve your set of shades for the company's first run.

Here's a rundown of the stress test the Distil Union crew has put together so far:

Kittens

Because if they stay put when you bend over to pick up your now-cracked iPhone, but they can't a sudden onslaught of fuzzy cuteness, who cares?

Kyle K'Otic Johnson

Because even if you can front flip over a dozen people but your sunglasses go flying, you might as well pack it up.

Carowinds

Because the people-watching is less obvious with sunglasses.


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conNECKted: Imaginings for Truth and Reconciliation opening this Fri. July 21 at City Gallery

The truth lives here

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 12:21 PM

Banners on the top floor ask tough, conversation-starting questions like, "Is racism legal?" - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Banners on the top floor ask tough, conversation-starting questions like, "Is racism legal?"
It's easy to get lost in City Gallery. It's easy to get lost, even, on the way to the gallery. So many distractions: the waterfront, for one, with its famed pineapple fountain. The benches placed beneath well-pruned palms, the grass lush and inviting for families, couples, picnickers. When you finally tear yourself away from the surrounding scenery and trek up the steps to the imposing gallery building, capacious and bright — two stories worth of artistic exploration — when you finally make it there, you need a map to navigate. Nooks and crannies and always the windows beckoning, "look at our beautiful city!" But within the four walls, amidst the nooks and crannies and around the corners, up the stairs, there's so much more to see, beyond the glittering water and towering palms.

In Charleston Rhizome's Collective's conNECKted: Imaginings for Truth and Reconciliation, there lies the entire city, mapped out, made from wood and canvas and paint and words. The map does not delineate specific landmarks or neighborhoods or roads. Instead, it asks: Where do we go from here?

"It's taken almost three years, the entire process," says Charleston Rhizome Collective member La'Sheia Oubre. Oubre, along with Collective members Gwylene Gallimard, Jean-Marie Mauclet, Pamella Gibbs, and Debra Holt, have been filling City Gallery with installation pieces, from tiny cardboard models of peninsula schools and houses crafted by first graders, to intricate, large-scale wooden buildings built by Mauclet. The installations address racism, gentrification, interconnectivity, reconciliation, and belonging.

There's wallpaper made up of 100 postcards, sent by 100 different Lowcountry denizens to Mayor Tecklenburg during his first 100 days in office; there are video elements, too. One corner of the gallery will screen interviews the Collective filmed with locals about the issue of gentrification. Another section of the gallery will have TVs playing interviews with James Simmons middle school students. The students ask questions, staring boldly into the camera: "Why do people criticize other people if they just met them?" "Why do girls criticize other girls?" On the other side of the wall, another TV plays questions asked by adults: "If you won the lottery and it was 200 million dollars what would be the first three things you would do?" "How do you think the world is going to change in the next 15 years?" "What brings you joy, what makes you happy?"


"This project was put together by a collective," says Mauclet. "We don’t live in a consensus, we all have our specialties, we meet in the middle, and that’s what you get. What we hope is that the visuals will give people a boost, a direction to move. The thing is conceived to be developing, finding its core in the course of the five weeks. This is not an answer to anything. We have chosen formats for dialogues that are not trying to convince anyone."

Upon entering the gallery, visitors are greeted with a harsh reality. To the left, tiny wooden houses, decorated with quotes from the people who live there: "There was a developer wanting to buy everything ... I was not crying because I was afraid. I started crying because I was getting visuals of older people being put in my position. And that they stood there just as I stood there offering their house, you know, that they had for all these years."

The historic rice mill towers over the homes of locals who have lived in the area for decades. "The rice mill is preserved," says Gallimard, "but the small houses where some people live are not preserved." To the right stands the facade of a huge new-build home — 100 times the size of the old home models — the likes you might find off of upper-King or Meeting St. Further down the room, there is a another house, made of wood and metal and blue tarp. It's falling apart. And it's real.

"This is Geraldine Butler's house," says Holt. The house is anywhere between 100 and 150 years old, sitting beneath overgrown bushes and trees at the end of Indian St. The road dead-ends at the I-26 overpass. "This was Geraldine's family home," says Holt. "But there's a billboard they put above it, and every time it rains, all these years, the water's been pouring on it." Holt says the house is meant to spark conversation: "We built it to ask 'How do you help neighbors in the community?'"

Geraldine Butler's house at the end of Indian St. is falling apart due, in part, to rain run-off from a billboard - MARY SCOTT HARDAWAY
  • Mary Scott Hardaway
  • Geraldine Butler's house at the end of Indian St. is falling apart due, in part, to rain run-off from a billboard

Upstairs, the gallery installation focuses on education, with student projects lining the walls. Gibbs, Holt, and Oubre are all teachers, and they realize how important it is to engage young Charlestonians in these big-picture conversations. Gibbs said that after the Emanuel AME murders, she had her summer school children work on getting their feelings out. The feelings became poetry, and then were translated to paint on canvas.

The colorful banners depict at first the immediate feelings of the children after Emanuel. And then, on the other side of a column, there are "peace banners." "We didn't want to work on these, two years later, from a violence point of view. We started talking about peace, and how we can find peace in our classrooms, homes, and cities," says Gibbs. The banners are covered with flowers, water; one banner is simply one long "peace train." There's even an interactive set of train tracks on the floor, where children visiting the gallery can use boards to create "their peace thoughts."

Visitors will be able to view the installation starting this Friday at 5 p.m. It will then be open (and free to the public) through August 27, Tuesdays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. There will be a number of special events during the five-week install, with themed discussion sessions, workshops, storytelling, drum circles, and more.


City Gallery's newest exhibit is an open invitation: come participate. Gallimard reiterates that this is not a typical art gallery show. "The artwork, it's not just objects to put in a corner," she says. "If we bring kids here the conversation can be kicked back to the school. If we bring neighborhoods here, the conversation can be kicked back to the neighborhood association. We're giving voice to people who are not heard. As people said in their interviews 'We fear that we don't count, and we want to count.'" 



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Interabang Comedy Troupe performs at 5th Wall Productions this Friday and Saturday

No apologies necessary

Posted by Jakob Lazzaro on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 3:46 PM

PROVIDED
  • Provided
Comedy comes to Citadel Mall on July 21 and 22 with Summerville-based Interabang Comedy Troupe’s Sorry/Not Sorry. Hosted by West Ashley theater company 5th Wall Productions, the show features sketches, stand up, improvisation, and audience participation focused around apologies.

“Sorry/Not Sorry explores the idea of apologizing when you don't really mean it,” Interabang’s Melissa Frierson says. “Basically, as humans we feel like we have to apologize for things that we are really not sorry for — especially working in customer service.”

Starring Interabang’s Chase Priest, Melissa Frierson, Katie Foster, Chris Hernandez, and Erik Brower, Sorry/Not Sorry was also inspired by 5th Wall Production’s most recent season “No Apologies.”

Active since 2014, 5th Wall Productions perform their own shows and host guest performers each year. Their fourth season opens this August with Spring Awakening.

“Our seasons are typically made up of full-length productions, including at least two world-premiere productions,” says Blair Cadden, 5th Wall’s artistic director. “In addition, we've occasionally hosted guest performers, including two previous appearances from Interabang Comedy Troupe, local comedy duo Vernon Moses, and others.“

The 5th Wall Productions studio is in Citadel Mall, across from Planet Fitness. Both shows are at 8 p.m., and tickets are $10. Snacks and nonalcoholic beverages will be available for purchase for $1 each.


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Third annual PBR art showcase now taking submissions

A tall order for Tall Boys

Posted by Sarah Reynolds on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 12:58 PM

pbr_square_flyer.jpg

PBR devotees, take note: the Third Annual PBR Art Showcase will be the first event in the Charleston Arts Festival’s 2017 season, just in case you didn’t get your fill at Rec Room’s PBR Week back in April. (Stay tuned for full details on the second annual Charleston Arts Fest later this month).

In the meantime, get stoked for all things PBR. The showcase itself will open on September 22, but before then, artists are invited to answer an open call for submissions now through Oct. 1. Artists can submit works in the medium of their choice; fabric, paint, and sculpture are among the mediums considered.

Submissions will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, and space is limited, so be sure to get your artwork in as soon as possible. The winners will also be the subject of video profiles produced by Andrew Walker, founder and creative director of the festival.

The exhibit opens September 22nd, and will remain on display until October 1. The opening festivities promise lots of PBR and the musical talents of local bands. For more information about the event, and to learn more about art submissions, head over to charlestonartsfestival.com/pbrartshow.

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