Peering into the future of Charleston's art scene

Image by Flickr user alaspoorwhoImage by 20080730art.jpg Charleston has the raw growth needed for an explosion in art, but will it all come together?

Despite all the growth in Charleston, the art scene has remained in question. Is it growing? Idling? Changing?

Spurring along concerns was recent news that Redux Contemporary Art Center's much celebrated leader is departing and that the building may soon be pushed out of its home. And the leader of the Gibbes Museum announced his departure. Surely, these are not good signs.

But, the Charleston City Paper did some digging and poked around to see what was really going on:
Yet with newcomers moving from big cities like New York and Chicago, stuff that seemed outré a few years ago is now acceptable and sellable. Contemporary artists have been sighted in mainstream commercial galleries. Fresh Work participant John Duckworth has had work shown at Robert Lange Studios. The artists of Redux hijacked the Mary Martin Gallery on Broad Street for Invasion last year, raising nary an eyebrow in the process. Modernisme has championed far-out art by Seth Curcio, Kevin Hoth, and Netherland, whose experimental paintings on glass have also been exhibited at the Greenville County Museum of Art.

Katie Lee was a co-curator of Fresh Work and is now one of the Halsey's on-staff curators. "Not only is it much easier to find contemporary art venues and contemporary artists living in Charleston," she says, "the community actually seems to have become more interested in contemporary art as a whole."

The paper discusses what's going on with most of the larger establishments and what the big players in town are thinking. The verdict? It's growing, yet changing.

It's no crystal ball of the future, but it seems things may be more optimistic than they do on the surface. Read the Charleston City Paper for the full account.