The SPOLETO Festival started today. For those of you unfamiliar with this most high-brow of arts festivals in Charleston, you can read about it here. Spoletousa.org. 17 glorious days of opera, theater, dance, ballet, jazz, chamber music, etc., but no visual art! WTF!!!!! Fortunately, we have the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art to take up the slack. Last night, Cathy and I attended the opening of "Call and Response: Africa to America / The Art of Nick Cave and Phyllis Galembo." What a tremendous opening. Here's a description of the exhibition:
Chicago artist Nick Cave creates costume/sculptures that he calls Soundsuits consisting of brightly colored fabrics, elaborate embroidery, beadwork, raffia and natural materials. Phyllis Galembo's photographic portraits feature masqueraders from the West African countries of Benin, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Call and Response: Africa to America / The Art of Nick Cave and Phyllis Galembo pairs the work of these two uniquely American artists, each of whom explores the contours of West African masquerade through their art. This exhibition highlights the role of ritual traditions within the formation of cultural identity. While Galembo's intriguing photographs document actual masquerade performers in elaborate "costume," Nick Cave's Soundsuits offer a poetic response incorporating a cornucopia of natural and cultural elements rich in associative possibilities.The combination of these two artist's work offers a powerful celebration of creativity, imagination, and cross-cultural communication. Call and Response: Africa to America seeks to draw both the obvious and subtle parallels between the works of Galembo and Cave.
Both artists are having a gallery talk tomorrow from 2-4 and I will be in attendance. Mark Sloan, the Curator of the exhibit and the Director of the Halsey, honored me today by bringing both Nick and Phyllis by my studio to see some of my art. I found out that both myself and Nick were alumnae residents of McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte. We had a wonderful visit and will be exchanging some art. Here's a taste of what I experienced last night and I promise to take my camera and upload some images of this impressive exhibition tomorrow.