Special Exhibitions

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Where & When

Locations, dates, and times vary. Free admission and parking at all exhibition venues.

Works by Judy McSween (Festival Design Winner) – Take Me With You


“Ignite” by Judy McSween

North Charleston City Gallery (w/in Charleston Area Convention Center)
5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, SC 29418
Viewing times: May 3-7, 2017, 10:00am-5:00pm, May 8-24, 2017, Tue./Fri. Noon-5:00pm, Wed. 11:00am-5:00pm, Thu. 11:00am-7:30pm
Reception: Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm
Meet the artist: Sat., May 6 & Sun. May 7, 11:00am-5:00pm, during the Arts Fest Expo
Judy McSween, winner of the 2017 North Charleston Arts Fest Design Competition, will display a new series of abstract paintings, including her winning design, Scraping the Sky II. The pieces featured in Take Me With You focus on the concept of “shared discovery.” Both the drama of extremes and the serenity of the familiar are addressed in these abstract land and sea-inspired scenes. These works elicit feelings of freedom alongside the joy of discovery—feelings that make lasting connections when they are shared. “The act of painting produces a visceral effect on me and on viewers when they observe my art,” McSween explains. “We journey together through a painting, taking in the challenges and rejoicing in the revelations.” McSween uses subtle textural surfaces in her paintings to add an element of unpredictability. Judy McSween was born in Warren, OH, and earned a BFA with a specialization in painting from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. She moved to Charleston, SC, in 2008 and has participated in numerous regional art shows since then. Her paintings have also been featured on the cover of the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Program Guide and the 2015 baseball novel, Dreaming .400. She currently paints in her home studio and teaches part-time at The Montessori Community School of Charleston. The public is invited to meet the artist at the gallery at a free reception on Wednesday, May 3, from 6-8pm, as well as during the Arts Fest Expo on Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, from 11:00am-5:00pm.


Works by Fletcher Williams III City Block

From A Distance

“From A Distance” by Fletcher Williams III

Historic Reynolds Avenue Fire Station
2006 Reynolds Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405
Viewing Times: April 28-June 3, Thu./Fri./Sat. 11:00am-4:00pm
Reception: Friday, April 28, 2017, 6:00-9:00pm (JOIN THE FACEBOOK EVENT!)
Local sculptor and painter Fletcher Williams III presents City Block, a series of new work inspired by the North Charleston cityscape. With the use of reclaimed wood, automotive paints, and various building materials, Williams has created three-dimensional works that symbolize the deconstruction and transformation of local neighborhoods. Motifs employed in these works are those that Williams finds most distinctive and unique to North Charleston; colorfully painted homes, marshes, classic cars, corner stores, and churches. For Williams, collaging distinctive symbols allows him to capture the spirit of a rapidly changing social and cultural landscape. Accompanying the visual works will be an experimental soundscape of “geometric minimalism” composed by clarinetist Philip Lipton, William’s childhood friend and fellow alum of Charleston County School of the Arts. Fletcher Williams III was born in Charleston, SC, and attended Charleston Country School of the Arts for much of his secondary education. Upon graduation in 2005, he continued his arts education at Trident Technical College and the College of Charleston where he focused on drawing, painting, and graphic design. He later transferred to The Cooper Union: For the Advancement in Science in Art (NYC) where he received his BFA in 2010. Since then his work has been shown in notable institutions such as The MoCada Museum (2016), The McKissick Museum (2015), The Mann-Simon Center (2016), and The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art (2015). In 2015, he was named an Art Matters Grantee and an Alternate Roots Visual Arts Scholar.

LISTEN to Outworld Spiral, an original composition by Philip Lipton created to accompany the works in the exhibition.

Outworld Spiral, for soprano and bass clarinets, is an interpretation of Fletcher’s exhibition, particularly his sculpture, Beyond the Proper There are Dreams To Catch, which yearns for the sky and spirals upward like a strand of DNA. Circular breathing enables me to create long lines of sound patterns which slowly change shape over time. In the beginning and closing sections of Outworld Spiral, the rhythm fades in and away creating a unique feeling of momentum. The middle section, comprised of single tones, melts into each other, illuminating the soprano improvisation and rebuilding the rhythmic juxtapositions. The Bass clarinet wraps up the work and brings the texture of sounds to a new level of saturation.


Works by Jasmine Alleger Wanderlust: The Yucatan

Histories #5

“Histories #5” by Jasmine Alleger

North Charleston City Hall, 3rd floor
2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC 29406
Viewing times: May 1-June 23, 2017, 8:00am-7:00pm
Lecture & Exhibition Tour: Friday, May 5, 5:00-5:30pm
Reception: Friday, May 5, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm
For years Jasmine Alleger’s work focused on representing acute details of her everyday life. In a sense she was creating personal journals of particularly mundane aspects of her daily routine by combining collaged found materials with painted imagery. More recently, Alleger has turned her focus outward, examining the peculiarities of daily life in other countries and cultures. In October 2015, she spent ten days exploring the Yucatan, Mexico. She sat in parks, restaurants, street corners, bars, and bus stops filling sketchbooks and walked for miles taking photographs. The result of her time abroad is Wanderlust: The Yucatan, five series of paintings created over the course of 16 months. The 39 works that make up these series pair seemingly banal subjects like floor tiles, cars, and weathered paint, with items of cultural significance, such as grave markers. This exhibit seeks to heighten the beauty of what is frequently overlooked. Jasmine Alleger grew up in Sacramento, CA.  She earned a BS in Fine Art from Portland State University in Portland, OR, in 2010 and an MFA in Studio Art from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, PA, in 2013.


Works by Caroline M. Self – Rhythm in Blues

Under Currents

“Under Currents” by Caroline M. Self

North Charleston City Hall, 2nd floor
2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC 29406
Viewing times: May 1-June 23, 2017, 8:00am-7:00pm
Reception: Thursday, May 5, 2017, 6:00-8:00pm
Caroline M. Self is a contemporary abstract expressionist artist inspired by the vivid paint colors and textures made famous by Vincent Van Gogh and the unique abstractness of Wassily Kandinsky and Willem de Kooning. In her exhibit, Rhythm in Blues, she presents a collection of new mixed media works that utilize movement on canvas as a means to celebrate the unique spiritual dance of the rhythm of life. Self has painted for as long as she can remember, and her works have found homes from coast to coast. Most recently, her painting, That’s Life, won a purchase award at the 41st Lyndon House Arts Center Exhibition juried by Jock Reynolds, Director for the Yale University Art Gallery. She currently works from her home studio in Summerville, SC, and offers residencies to North Charleston schools and community groups as the City of North Charleston’s 2016/17 Artist-in-Residence.