College of Charleston budget cuts have been tough on the Halsey Institute, eliminating one full-time staff position and bringing about the end of the Southern Circuit Film series and a temporary halt to its International Artist in Residence program. "It's not an annual thing; it's when we have the money to do it," says Director and Senior Curator Mark Sloan.
The Halsey's upcoming fall show will feature the work of a South Carolina artist. "We try to shine a light on artists that are under-known for whatever reason," Sloan says.
In that tradition the Halsey will present the exhibit Aldwyth: work v. work n. Collage and Assemblage, showcasing the works of Aldwyth, a 73-year-old woman who has been creating art in near solitude for the past decade. A powerful yet hard-to-categorize show, it is comprised in part of meticulously detailed collages. The large scale pieces, on average measuring six feet by six feet, are a study in the intricate. "It's almost obsessive," notes Sloan.
The second half of Aldwyth's collection is made up of elaborately assembled pieces. "She does these assemblages, three-dimensional works, using found objects. They're quite extraordinary."
Despite the typically dark cloud that falls over arts organizations in harsh economic times, the Halsey Institute sees a bright future on the horizon. They've received an $80,000, two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation of Visual Arts in the form of exhibition program support. They've also racked up further financial support from the Donnelly Foundation, which seeks to promote land conservation and artistic vitality in Chicago and the Lowcountry.
For years now, Sloan and his staff have been anticipating a move from the Simons Center to the Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts. The Halsey will occupy the first floor of the new five-story building, with more room for exhibitions and student resources in two gallery areas, a media room, and a library. Construction concludes this week, and Aldwyth's exhibition opening will herald the grand opening of the new space on Oct. 23.