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Critics' Picks: The best arts events in Charleston this week

Events for the week of Sept. 5-12

City Paper Editorial Staff Sep 5, 2018 13:09 PM

North Charleston City Gallery | Works by Dengke Chen and Valerie Hanks

Starting Wed. Sept. 5 you can check out digital illustrations and animations from Florida-based artist Dengke Chen and mixed media works by Texas-based artist Valerie Hanks, on display at the North Charleston City Gallery. Chen's work balances environmental, economic, sociological, and aesthetic dimensions of landscape through strategic research and design, often based on rare historical photographs and news stories. Hanks' work is centered around shrinky-dinks (yes, you read that right), a form of shrinkable plastic invented in the 1960s. The material is put through intense stress only to rebound as something new and stronger, which Hanks deems "an exciting metaphor for the human condition."

Opens Wed. Sept. 5. Through Sept. 28. Free to attend. North Charleston City Gallery, North Charleston. northcharleston.org

Beresford Studios | The Road Between

As part of the Charleston Arts Festival, Beresford Studios presents an exciting new body of work from Sara Pittman, The Road Between. An emerging abstract expressionist, Pittman creates work that "explores the constant exchange between her repressed state of mind and her conscious self." A press release describes Pittman's work, "A wordless narrative unfolds in the thin, transparent layers of paint and mark-making, evoking a sense of mood and mystery between what the viewer sees as the foreground and what the eye sees overlying it."

Thurs. Sept. 6, 5-8 p.m. Free to attend. Beresford Studios, 20 Fulton St. Downtown. beresfordstudios.com

Trager Contemporary | Hidden Messages

As McBee told us in our feature last week, she's had a transformative summer, one that's inspired her abstract works, ones filled with bold colors and striking geometric angles. McBee says, "I didn't do anything else this summer except focus on this collection. The more you practice, the more you push yourself. I'd been pushing myself to try something new." Meet McBee at Hidden Messages' opening this Friday, where you can ask her what the images' hidden messages are — and she'll happily not tell you. As she says, "I hope people see the things that they need to see, that it becomes theirs."

Fri. Sept. 7, 6-9 p.m. Free to attend. Trager Contemporary, 577 King St. Downtown. tragercontemporary.com

Miller Gallery | Marina Dunbar Solo Show

Miller Gallery hosts an immersive installation by Charleston artist, Marina Dunbar, opening this Friday. Dunbar received her BFA from Columbus State University and her work has been featured in galleries all across the country from NYC to Tulsa, Okla. Her recent body of work is made up of over 40 paintings and sculptures. Dunbar says this collection "explores spontaneity and control through the use of color, shadow, space, and movement."

Fri. Sept. 7, 5-8 p.m. Free to attend. Miller Gallery, 149 1/2 East Bay St. Downtown. millergallerychs.com