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Something To Take My Place: The Art of Lonnie Holley

August 22–October 10, 2015

Opening: August 21, 6:30pm

Halsey Institute of
Contemporary Art

College of Charleston
School of the Arts
161 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29402

www.halsey.cofc.edu

Above: Courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.
Above: Courtesy of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.

August 22–October 10, 2015

Opening: August 21, 6:30pm

Halsey Institute of
Contemporary Art

College of Charleston
School of the Arts
161 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29402

www.halsey.cofc.edu

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is presenting a multifaceted showcase of American artist and musician Lonnie Holley. The comprehensive project features an exhibition, video, concert, and monographic catalogue. The exhibition will be on view from August 22–October 10, with an opening reception at 6:30pm on August 21. In addition to Holley’s exhibition inside of the Halsey Institute galleries, he will be performing at the Charleston Music Hall with cellist Ben Sollee and multi-instrumentalist Infinitikiss. This project is supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. The exhibition is a visual arts offering of the MOJA Arts Festival, which is produced by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs.

The exhibition will feature a selection of 40 works on loan from the artist, collector William Arnett, and the Atlanta-based Souls Grown Deep Foundation. Lonnie Holley incorporates natural and man-made objects, already imbued with cultural and artistic associations, into narrative sculptures that commemorate places, people, and events. These objects “speak” to Holley, unleashing his creative imagination. Holley believes that art and life are in constant need of renewal, so he transforms objects that have been discarded or appear worn and gives them new life. According to catalogue essayist Leslie Umberger, “Like many traditional practices and folkways, his work functions to keep people alive in his memory and map his own existence in relation to theirs. It is deeply autobiographical, but encompasses other planes—the conjoined stories of African Americans and all people born into legacies of struggle and oppression; personal history as American history.”

To accompany the exhibition, the Halsey Institute has published the first monograph of Lonnie Holley’s work. The catalogue contains essays by Mark Sloan, director and chief curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art; Leslie Umberger, the curator of Folk and Self-taught Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Bernard Herman, Distinguished Professor of Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and an “as-told-to” autobiography by noted oral historian Theodore Rosengarten. The publication contains reproductions of over 70 of Holley’s assemblage works and provides a comprehensive overview of Holley’s art, life, and philosophy. With photographs by John Bentham, the book was designed by award-winning graphic designer Gil Shuler and edited by Mark Sloan. The catalogue will be distributed internationally by D.A.P.

For a full list of programming for this exhibition, please visit our website.

About Lonnie Holley
A believer in the constant renewal of art and life, as well as the rebirth and transformation of seemingly everyday or discarded objects, Lonnie Holley’s own life story is its own personal renaissance. Born one of twenty-seven children by the same mother in Birmingham, Alabama, Lonnie remembers being traded for a bottle of whiskey at a young age. A collector of found objects since his childhood, it wasn’t until the death of his two nieces from a house fire in 1979 that his artistic career began to take shape. Intending to use carved sandstone and everyday kitchen tools as tombstones for the girls, Holley’s creative career began as he reworked the large piece of sandstone. Collectors and museum directors began taking note of Holley’s evolving artistic output, and many of his pieces are a part of collections of museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution. Ever poetic about his artwork and stories drawn from his own life experiences, Holley is also a prolific and eclectic musician, and has toured internationally for many years.

About The Halsey Institute
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston provides a multidisciplinary laboratory for the production, presentation, interpretation, and dissemination of ideas by innovative visual artists from around the world. As a non-collecting museum, we create meaningful interactions between adventurous artists and diverse communities within a context that emphasizes the historical, social, and cultural importance of the art of our time.

 

Contact:
Karen Ann Myers, Associate Director
T +843 953 5659 / [email protected]

 

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art presents a solo exhibition by Lonnie Holley

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August 21, 2015