When: Through Feb. 2, 2020, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Opening this October, Charles Williams: Sun + Light is a collection of works by contemporary South Carolina artist Charles Williams. The paintings depict Williams’ own personal encounters as well as moments from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Based in Georgetown, S.C., Williams has spent time at the Gibbes before, specifically as a visiting artist in 2017, when he completed several paintings that are included in this exhibition. City Paper chatted with Williams during his time at the Gibbes, when he invited guests to help him create his works — by painting on pieces alongside him. He talked about breaking down barriers and creating a stronger community: “When Charleston came together there was a trust that was there, that connected everyone to stand strong, to not destroy the city. Within that trust, I thought ‘What does that symbol look like?’ And that symbol looks like the handshake. Growing up, my grandfather couldn’t read or write so he told me that you have to have a firm handshake. He had five kids, and needed to provide for his family. He said ‘You look a man or woman in their eyes, shake their hand firmly, and do what you say you’re going to do.’ That establishes trust. So I was thinking, how can we in the community reestablish that?”