2017 Fall Arts Preview 

Your guide to the newest local art in Charleston

Enough Pie, Redux Contemporary Art Center, and Engaging Creative Minds hold pre-game bazaar in advance of Arts Matter Day
Enough Pie, Redux Contemporary Art Center, and Engaging Creative Minds hold pre-game bazaar in advance of Arts Matter Day Give a little

Wed. Sept. 6 from 6 to 10 p.m., Redux will be throwing a pre-game bazaar with food, drinks, live music — DJ Party Dad, Contour, and Secret Guest — a local craft and clothing market, and more. All you have to do is show up with a five dollar donation. — Mary Scott Hardaway


Comedy, food talk, and pop culture found in these Charleston podcasts
Comedy, food talk, and pop culture found in these Charleston podcasts Hearing Voices

Could it be the year of the podcast? Sure, people have been listening to podcasts for years now, but wasn't 2017 the year of the beloved Southern gothic tale, Shit Town? Wasn't 2017 the year City Paper added Best Podcast to our Best of Charleston issue? It's the year of the podcast, y'all — and Charleston's cashing in. — Heath Ellison


The Artful Dodger
The Artful Dodger How legal battles and dissatisfied artists drove a wedge between Rebekah Jacob and the arts community

The first indication that something was wrong arrived in the form of an anonymous note, postmarked April 29, 2014, Charleston, S.C. Richard Sexton, a veteran photographer based out of New Orleans, received a strange notice in the mail. He had been working with the Rebekah Jacob Gallery since April 2009. — Dustin Waters


Charleston Stage celebrates 40 years of making theater and driving change
Charleston Stage celebrates 40 years of making theater and driving change Altruistic Wiles

Act One: The curtain rises on a polite, plucky young man from a South Carolina cotton farm, who has found his way to the big city of Charleston. There, he lands a spot at a storied, ornate theater, gathers a few folks, starts putting on shows — and in the process elevates the community through the transformative power of theater. Sound like the setup for a feel-good Broadway musical? — Maura Hogan


Fall Arts Picks

Marc Trujillo: American Purgatory

Marc Trujillo: American Purgatory

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Oct. 7

Marc Trujillo's paintings can best be described as depicting a place "that's not a place." He paints nondescript scenes — a supermarket aisle or airport terminal — places that could just as easily be in Charleston as they could be in Iowa. American Purgatory comes to Charleston at a crucial time of change and development, where local stores are being bought out by national chains and housing is being replaced by hotels. In a time where many people in Charleston are bemoaning the gentrification and homogenization of the city, these paintings take on a more significant meaning. In addition to Trujillo's exhibit, the Halsey's Quattlebaum artist-in-residence, Robert Storr, will sit down with Trujillo to discuss American Purgatory on Sat. Sept. 16 at 2 p.m.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

Dock Street Theatre

Wed., Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Nov. 5

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic, read and beloved by millions since publication, and Charleston Stage is celebrating Lee's work this fall with the stage version of the story. Starring Charleston actor Victor Clark as Atticus Finch, the fall show marks the company's fifth production of To Kill a Mockingbird over the past 40 years, most recently in 2009. "Because this is such a powerful story and an audience favorite we try to bring it back every five-seven years," Beth Curley, the director of marketing at Charleston Stage, says. Scout and Jem will be cast this September from the theater's Performance Troupe, which is made up of year-round Charleston Stage TheatreSchool students.

Notes Between the Shadows

Notes Between the Shadows

Sottile Theatre

Sat., Oct. 28, 7:30-9 p.m. and Sun., Oct. 29, 3-4:30 p.m.

If, when conjuring up images of ballet, you're left with an unhinged Natalie Portman shattering a mirror in Black Swan or tiny pink tutus flitting around during a production of The Nutcracker, it's time you caught a show by Ballet Evolution. Now in its third year, Ballet Evolution continues to serve as the modern, edgy antithesis to this antiquated image of ballet. The company is comprised of dancers who artistic director and resident choreographer Jonathan Tabbert describes as mature and experienced, ranging in height and size and look. "I like to find the indivduality in each dancer, and try to highlight that," says Tabbert. Every Ballet Evolution production is set to live music, and Notes Between the Shadows, an original repertory program, is no different, with Chamber Music Charleston providing the soundtrack. While Tabbert says they are still working out all the details of Notes, expect to see three separate pieces, all set to poetry. One piece is set to Shostakovich's haunting String Quartet No. 8, with choreography inspired by the Henry Lawson poem, "The Things We Dare Not Tell." "We fight it down, and we live it down, or we bear it bravely well// But the best men die of a broken heart for the things they cannot tell." Beyond canned music and classic standards, Ballet Evolution explores the art form through varying mediums, inviting even the most ballet averse to appreciate the fluid, challenging, evocative movements of the dancers as they tell a story, one step at a time.

Pan American Modernism: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America and the United States

Pan American Modernism: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America and the United States

Gibbes Museum of Art

Tuesdays, Thursdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays, 1-5 p.m. and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through Jan. 7

The Gibbes Museum of Art debuts its Pan American Modernism: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America and the United States exhibition on Oct. 6, showcasing the artistic presence of modernism across the Americas between 1919 and 1979. The focal point is "modernism as an intercontinental phenomenon" and how it manifested when combined with the influence of Latin American artists. "Pan American Modernism focuses on the breadth of modernism that exists in the Pan American regions and the similarities shared among individuals in these various parts of the Americas," says Angela Mack, executive director of the Gibbes. Mack's aim is to give the general public a fuller understanding of modernism and how it led to influence other art forms. The art will be divided into five sections: Mexican Muralism and Its Legacy, The Female Muse, Abstract Expressionism, Modernist Photography, and Geometric Abstraction and Its Legacy. Corresponding events with this exhibition include live music by the Garage Cuban Band, a public tour of the exhibit with curator Pam Wall, and a screening of a film about Cuban life.

Ripcord

Ripcord

Threshold Repertory Theatre

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, 3 p.m. Continues through Oct. 15

Threshold Repertory Theatre's artistic director Jay Danner aims to push the envelope on the company's lineup this year, presenting some thought-provoking productions. "It's hard to compare all the plays in this season, but they all do tend to have a common theme," Danner says. "The season spans a broad range of interests to appeal to lots of people and has a lot of wit." The first play of the season, Ripcord, features two elderly ladies living in a retirement community who relentlessly try to one-up and out-do each other to secure the best room. Abby, played by Linda Esposito, and Marilyn, played by Lorilyn Harper, seem to be foils of each other, but come to realize they have more in common as the play progresses and they push each other closer to the edge. Danner describes this show as funny, yet dark — and a bit challenging to watch, much like the rest of the season's productions. Ultimately, how Ripcord comes a bit out of left field is what drew Danner to the production. "You think it's gonna be a screwball, but as it goes along, you understand why the women are the way they are," says Danner. "There's more to it than 'this woman is cranky, and this woman is happy' ... you get to care about the characters on a deeper level."

Gallery walk-through with Aurora Robson

Gallery walk-through with Aurora Robson

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

Sat., Oct. 21, 2 p.m.

Join us for a talk with SEA CHANGE exhibiting artist Aurora Robson in her exhibition. As an artist who explores ecological issues, she creates lively and intricate sculptures from plastic debris, transforming quotidian waste into aesthetic objects of beauty and reflection. Under her meticulous manipulation, the plastic materials she uses in her works take on an organic quality, thus connecting back to nature.

Harry Potter in Concert

Harry Potter in Concert

North Charleston Performing Arts Center

Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Twenty years ago, the world of young adult literature was forever changed. J.K. Rowling, a school teacher with a dream of magic, sent the first three chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to several literay agents. One wrote back requesting to see more. The rest, well, last we checked Rowling was worth a cool billion dollars. To see her first magical creation set to music, though, now that is priceless. Performed by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Concert is the product of the Harry Potter Film Concert series from CineConcerts. A 40-foot screen will feature the 2001 film while the CSO plays every note from the flick live on stage.

ALBATROSS film screening

ALBATROSS film screening

Charleston Music Hall

Wed., Oct. 25, 7 p.m.

ALBATROSS will have its theatrical premiere in Charleston in conjunction with Chris Jordan’s exhibition "Midway" at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. In the film, Jordan presents his trips to Midway Atoll islands in the Pacific Ocean that receive very little human contact. Despite its isolation from the rest of the world, Midway sits amid the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling vortex of plastic waste carried via currents from all around the world. Jordan’s film gives viewers an intimate look into the lives of the native Laysan albatrosses and how their existence is threatened by human activity.

YALLFest

YALLFest

Various locations

Sat., Nov. 11

YALLFest, the largest young adult book festival in the South and one of the biggest in the country, is back this November. Blue Bicycle Books hosts the two-day long shindig which features plenty of signings, panels, and special events. One of the authors generating the most hype is the multi-talented actor Jason Segel. Perhaps best known for his role as Marshall in How I Met Your Mother, Segel is also a New York Times bestselling author. Also anticipated is Corrie Wang, locally-based and published author of The Takedown (read all about it in City Paper's April cover story). "We're trying to get more local folks to come out to the festival because 70 percent of fans are from out of town," notes owner Jonathan Sanchez. Some of this year's special events include biscuit giveaways from Callie's Hot Little Biscuit with head sponsor Underlined, and coffee and donuts events with the authors at the Charleston Museum. As in years past, Fierce Reads will host Fierce Friday at a currently undetermined location, which is a meet-and-greet with YA authors on Friday afternoon. After that is YALLCrawl, which features authors hanging out at various venues on Upper King to meet fans. The rest of the weekend promises plenty of literary fun.

Junior Naturalist: Feathered Friends

James Island County Park

Sat., Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Part parody, part horror show, part black comedy with emotional depth, Feathers & Teeth is a production that makes a lot of promises: laughter, tears, reflection, goosebumps. The story follows bereaved 13-year old Chris, who is dealing with the recent death of her mother while living in a house with her father, Arthur, and his newly minted ice queen fiance, Carol. After Arthur runs over a strange, unidentifiable creature with his car, "It's just a possum, a squirrel, a little ferret, a fox, a rat, or a ..." and comes rushing into the house covered in blood, the uncomfortable trio must deal with the screeching, bloodied beast, equipped with both feathers and teeth. Is this a manifestation of Chris' sadness, an actual monster, or something else altogether?

Henri Matisse: Jazz & Poetry on Paper

Henri Matisse: Jazz & Poetry on Paper

Columbia Museum of Art

Through Jan. 15, 2018

Take a trip up I-95 this fall to check out the Columbia Museum of Art. If you're really smart about it you'll make the trek on a second Sunday, when admission is free. The museum is always rotating and refreshing its exhibits and starting this September you can check out a particularly cool one, Henri Matisse: Jazz & Poetry on Paper, which features 81 of Matisse's works. The early 20th century French artist was best known for his use of color in the modes of expressionism, post-impressionism, and Fauvism. On Fri. Sept. 15 Columbia Museum's curator, Catherine Walworth, leads a talk and tour, Cutouts, Courtiers, and Cowboys: Henri Matisse's Romantic Modernsim.

New Painting

New Painting

The Southern

Wednesdays-Sundays, 12-6 p.m. Continues through Nov. 12

New Painting is a group exhibition of contemporary painters and their exploration of techniques, which they rework and update to align with contemporary aesthetics. The show features works by Charleston artists Adam Eddy, Susan Klein, Karen Paavola, and Colin Quashie, former Charleston artist Sophie Treppendahl, and Atlanta artists Shanequa Gay and Natalie Escobar. Eddy's works borrow structures from everyday life and use them as formats for abstract painting; Escobar works with dark landscapes, sometimes utlizing airbrushing as a technique; Klein is currently an assistant professor of art at CofC whose work has been described as a "dense visual obstacle course;" Paavola also teaches as an adjunct professor at CofC, and is currently working on an auto-biographical series that deals with tragedy and coping with loss, using oil painting and screen printing; Quashie's work utilizes a "form of Warholesque flashiness that confounds as well as derides the spectator," with pieces that that look at issues of race, politics, and culture; Treppendahl, who now lives in Richmond, Va., seeks to investigate moments of enchantment in her work, dissected through the material of paint; and Gay, who has shown her work at a number of museums and art centers, has a current body of work, The FAIR GAME Project, which serves to challenge the "unyielding violence and injustices committed in America and across the globe against the black body."

The Royale

PURE Theatre

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. and Wed., Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Nov. 18

PURE Theatre is constantly producing boundary-pushing works and a standout among their fall lineup is Marco Ramirez's The Royale, which centers on a 20th century black prizefighter, Jack Jackson. Equal parts fact and fiction, the play refuses to fall into the underdog cliches that sports dramas so often do, instead using the opportunity to examine the social and racial tensions present at the time the play takes place, in 1912. PURE Theatre's artistic director Sharon Graci says that this show "disrupts" expectations one might have of a play about heavy weight boxing; Graci promises clapping, stomping, drumming, and stylized movement in this show, highlighted by local drummer Quentin Baxter's original score. "At PURE, we value electrifying stories above all else," says Graci. "The richer the narrative, the more satisfying the experience in our theater. The Royale is rich, complex, moving, and exciting, and as is the case with all truly good theater, it's not possible to leave a performance without something to say."

Free Verse Poetry Festival

Free Verse Poetry Festival

Various locations

Oct. 3-31

The Free Verse Poetry Festival is a month-long series of firsts — it's the first festival of its kind in Charleston, presented by the city's first poet laureate, Marcus Amaker. Sponsored by The Cooper School, The Schoolhouse, Enough Pie, Charleston Moves, and PURE Theatre, the festival features a ton of free events, along with a handful under the $15 range. The fest starts in early October with some collab reading events with the MOJA festival, including speakers like Horace Mungin and Tammaka Staley. On Wed. Oct. 4 head to Dock Street Theatre for a poetry and jazz night ($10), with Quentin E. Baxter, Amaker, and more local musicians. On Sat. Oct. 7 you can snag your own typewritten poem at the Charleston Farmers Market for $5. We may be most excited about Blank Page Poetry, though, a pay-what-you-will mixed media performance to be held on Sat. Oct. 14 at PURE. A large piece of blank paper will be suspended from the ceiling, with performers positioned behind it, their shadows projected onto the temporary screen. As Amaker says, "These shadows thus serve as a visual instigator, transforming the performer into an artifice set in expressive motion." Cool stuff. More info at freeversefestival.com

Charleston Arts Festival

Charleston Arts Festival

Various locations

Sept. 22-Oct. 28

Last year marked the inaugural Charleston Arts Festival, a celebration that featured everything from musical performances to arts-inspired dinners. This year sees more of the same, with events sprinkled throughout downtown Charleston over several weeks. Things kick off on Sept. 22 with the third annual PBR arts showcase at Redux which highlights, you guessed it, PBR-themed art. Check out more visual art starting on Sept. 29 at the Beresford Gallery, where Vik Hart presents her exhibit, Stories From Firn. This show features paintings and drawings that "seek to form a connected narrative that offers a glimpse into the landscapes and inhabitants of another world." On Oct. 5 head to the Music Hall for Pecha Kucha 27; this fast-paced lecture series will feature a number of speakers talking about their work as visual artists. And for the grand finale? That will be held at the Royal American on Oct. 28 and will be similar to Jail Break, the event formerly held in the Old City Jail, featuring dancers, musicians, comedians, visual arts, and of course, plenty to eat and drink. More info at charlestonartsfestival.com

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