Contemporary Charleston at City Gallery

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Between performances you'll want to check out what's happening at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park. Contemporary Charleston 2009 is curated by the city's Cultural Affairs Office. It's a welcome nod to local artists working hard to get the attention they deserve. I liked them all, but two stood out for me. One was Jonathan Brilliant. His thing is to use coffee stirrers like the kind you find at Starbucks and create these wavy sculptures that are held together with nothing but tension. You almost worry about his art a bit, thinking that a strong breeze might knock it apart. Yet this tension underscores the object's elegant curves and sweeping lines. Very nice. The other artist is Ben Timpson. I just love his collages made of fiber, bits of wood, and insect parts. The collages are just under two inches long and wide. He makes larger versions, but these didn't enchant me as much as the smaller, perhaps because the small version were put under magnifying glasses and then encased in a dark wood-stained boxes. Peering into these gave me the feeling of seeing into a secret and magical world. Just marvelous. -JS

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