Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Get your Friday art fix at The George Gallery's opening night reception for Colour Inherited

Bright spot

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 12:55 PM

Pastel Study II - PROVIDED
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  • Pastel Study II
Growing up, I had a best friend named Emelie who lived in a gorgeous sprawling house on the water. Going over to her house felt like escaping to a sliver of Narnia — a well-kept garden, a rope swing, an additional "little house" tucked away in the woods. And her room — three times the size of the room my sister and I shared. It always smelled like lumber and lavender. It was peaceful, but, also, for my 10-year-old self, exhilarating.

That's as close as I can get to describing how I felt walking into The George Gallery, watching 28-year-old Birmingham-based mixed media artist Catherine Booker Jones start to hang the work for her upcoming solo show, Colour Inherited. This is Jones' first solo show, and she says she felt a bit "starstruck" when gallery owner Anne Siegfried emailed her. 
Chartreuse + Emerald - PROVIDED
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  • Chartreuse + Emerald

In Birmingham, Jones says she works out of her home and a small studio, but the available space for artists is nothing compared to Charleston. For this show, Jones says: "You prepare a lot because you're worried about each singular piece but you also have to think about the pieces showing as a whole." And being prepared is the name of the game for Jones, who says she's thought about each piece's composition for "at least a week" before she puts brush to canvas.

Cerulean + Black - PROVIDED
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  • Cerulean + Black

The pieces in Colour Inherited, like in all of Jones' work, are "highly color driven." Using an oil stick that is like "compressed oil paint with a very vibrant hue," acrylic, or gouache, Jones says that sometimes the paint, depending on the medium, can take weeks to dry. "You have to be really on top of it," she says, "and put everything down, because if not everything works you have to start over."

Jones, who is inspired by painters of the early 20th century, says she starts with a certain color in mind, and the composition will take shape around that. "There's some intuitiveness in terms of color — I like to make color relationships work. But I’ve thought about the composition for a while. I know when it’s finished, I sit on it for a few days, try not to add anything to it. I don’t constantly layer. I reach a peaceful kind of 'OK we’re done.'"

Siegfried says she was looking for an older and more established artist when she first came across Jones' work at a group show at Fritz Porter. "I was not looking for someone like her, at the beginning of her career. But her work resonated. There's nothing that is excessive, there's nothing that doesn't need to be there. It's all very thoughtful. It's minimal, but I wouldn't describe it as minimal because of the intensity of the color."

It's maybe a bit like a memory, so visceral it's lodged permanently in the recesses of the mind, easy to call to the fore on days when childhood sleepovers sound so much safer and sounder than real life. It's also fleeting, a feeling that you know can't last forever, although you wish it would. Jones' work, with its vibrant hues and purposeful strokes, has tapped into the peaceful energy of a time long gone, but still hovering, a bright spot.

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Mt. Pleasant Town Council votes to keep Moe's mural

In defense of public art

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 10:51 AM

  • Connelly Hardaway
Congrats, Moe's. Last night Mt. Pleasant town council voted in favor of the Houston Northcutt restaurant keeping its mural, painted by Sergio Odeith and featuring images of the late John Lennon, Al Capone, and Marilyn Monroe.

The decision to keep the mural comes six months after Moe's originally lost an appeal to keep the mural, a piece of art ruled as violating signage space and usage by the board of zoning appeals.

The Moe's mural debate did lead to some changes in the town's sign rules; in April council changed the rules so that non-commercial signs, including murals, are treated differently. Coleman Boulevard's Smoke BBQ restaurant benefitted from this change. While the change didn't apply to Moe's, it did allow Smoke to keep their mural in addition to a regular business sign.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

PURE Theatre announces 15th season lineup

From the Great White Way to King Street

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 10:37 AM

It's announced! Click link in bio! #puretheatre #season15 #yesyesyes

A post shared by PURE Theatre (@puretheatre) on

On the heels of Spoleto Festival USA's 41st season, PURE Theatre keeps the love of live theater alive by announcing its 15th season, which features an exciting lineup of six shows, ranging from themes of familial angst to Jack Johnson-inspired ringside tales of redemption.

The season starts Sept. 15 with Steven Levenson's Off-Broadway "family play, political play, and kitchen-sink play" If I Forget. The two-and-a-half hour production follows three adult children dealing with an ailing father — the family is Jewish, and the children can't seem to agree with each other or their father about the importance of their religion and its history. The father, Lou, helped liberate Dachau, the two daughters are lapsed, and the son, Michael, is a professor who says that contemporary Judaism is a "religion and a culture of, frankly, death and death worship" and "recommends forgetting it."

The second play of the season, Marco Ramirez's The Royale, begins Oct. 27. The 75 minute Off-Broadway production was a NYT Critic's Pick, and tells the story of Jay Jackson, an early 20th century black prizefighter.

Becky Mode's Fully Committed, a one man play about a struggling actor taking reservations at a high-end restaurant, runs Dec. 8 through 23. (Threshold Rep put on this same production during Piccolo Spoleto 2016).

Fun Home, a "family tragicomic" based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, runs Jan. 19 through Feb. 10.

Steven Dietz's This Random World runs Mar. 9 through 31; the play "mines the comedy of missed connections."

Straight White Men, a funny and sly confrontation of stereotypes by Young Jean Lee closes the season, running Apr. 27 through May 19.

PURE's artistic director Sharon Graci says about season 15: "In these plays, we readily see ourselves within the celebrations, victories, foibles, and failings of the characters who inhabit landscapes as disparate as a racially integrated boxing ring in 1912, an aging brownstone in NJ, and an ancient temple still mystically welcoming believers in modern day Japan.”

Become a PURE season subscriber for first dibs on tickets and seats.
Location Details PURE Theatre
477 King St.
Charleston, South Carolina
(843) 723-4444

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Burke High School's Shanequa Rainey selected for Charleston Library's new internship program

Future librarians

Posted by Sarah Reynolds on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 11:12 AM

Shanequa Rainey is CCPL's inaugural intern. - PROVIDED
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  • Shanequa Rainey is CCPL's inaugural intern.
The Charleston County Public library joins 38 other libraries across the country in a brand-new internship program that seeks to increase diversity. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Internship Initiative Program, the program plans to introduce 50 high school juniors and seniors from various backgrounds to the field of librarianship.

The program will pair interns with a mentor, who will introduce the intern to all aspects of library life; administrative duties, library programming, and user services will all be part of the job. Additionally, the interns will have the unique opportunity to develop programming for new library branches.

This summer’s inaugural intern will be rising Burke High School senior, Shanequa Rainey, who will work alongside Outreach and Programming librarian Megan Summers. Rainey will also travel to Washington, D.C., later in the month to attend the program’s kickoff event.

The program will serve both as a stepping stone to new career possibilities as well as opening up student’s eyes to the various ways libraries benefit their communities. You can learn more about the program online.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fate of Mt. Pleasant Moe's mural to be decided Tuesday, June 13

State of the art

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 4:00 PM

According to the Post & Courier, Moe's Mt. Pleasant restaurant will learn the fate of its mural at next Tuesday's town council meeting. The mural, painted by Sergio Odeith and featuring portraits of Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, and Al Capone, has been in the hot seat since last year when the Board of Zoning Appeals ruled that it violated the town's sign ordinance.

The ordinance specified how much signage a building could have; the town ruled that Moe's couldn't erect a sign because the mural accounted for all of the space allotted to signage, which was 35 sq. feet of area no greater than eight feet in height.

Moe's lost their appeal in December of 2016 and next Tuesday's closed-door meeting with Mt. Pleasant's legal team will decide whether the mural stays or goes. And while the town has since changed their sign regulations — in April the town council voted to treat non-commercial signs, including murals differently from commercial signs — Moe's initial ruling stands.

The fate of the mural stirred some people in the community to take a stand for the public art. In a December letter to the Moultrie News, Mt. Pleasant town councilman Mark Smith encouraged readers to #savemoesmural, claiming, "Moe’s, after significant forethought, created a piece of artwork on their building. This is not advertising."

A Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts blog, posted by executive director Mike Gibbons, asked, "What say you, arts lover? Will you reach out to #savemoesmural? Or is this a case of just needing to follow the rules?"

And most recently, in April, a website,, an "online guide to offbeat tourist attractions," posted an image of the mural, calling the controversy surrounding it, "a classic zoning vs. art scuffle."

As for us? We love the heck out of public art, even when it features a particularly random assortment of characters. Here's to hoping we aren't alone.

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