Monday, May 6, 2013

North Charleston City Hall Turns Art Gallery with Works by International & National Artists

Pursuing New Lands by Reynier Llanes
The halls of North Charleston City Hall have been transformed into viewing spaces for three special visual art exhibitions presented as components of the 2013 North Charleston Arts Festival. Contemporary works by an assortment of artists from Cuba, art quilts by African American fiber artists from across the nation, and abstract fiber pieces by the City’s Artists-in-Residence are currently on display and will remain on view through June 20. A reception in honor of the exhibitions will be held at North Charleston City Hall on Thursday, May 9, from 6:00-8:00pm. The exhibitions and reception are free and open to the public.

Contemporary Artists of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba - International Group Exhibition
The third floor of City Hall features the international group exhibition, Contemporary Artists of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba. Pinar Del Rio, Cuba, is an area steeped in rich culture and history that has been the birthplace and home of many of the country’s most outstanding writers, musicians, and visual artists. In this group exhibition curated by Reynier Llanes, nine professional contemporary artists from this westernmost province of Cuba present a collection of post Cuban Revolution art in a variety of mediums and styles that capture their unique culture and heritage as is relates to the land, life, and the essence of community. Featured artists include Javier Ampudia, Arquimides (Nelo) Lores, Juan Suarez Blanco, Livan Ricardo Hernandez, Reynier Llanes (curator), Yaciel Martinez, Juan Carlos Morales Lemus, Danys Milo Ozuna, and Juan Miguel Suarez. These artists are not tied to the historical 1940’s early modern traditions of pre-revolution artistic expressions, or the 1960’s revolution presentations of ideological social realism, or the politically sanctioned and government supervised expressions of art of the 1970’s and 80’s. Rather, these artists are products of the 1990’s, creating work based on the ideas of freedom of expression and experimentation in both mediums and styles. Featured works include representational landscapes, figurative expressions, magic surrealism, and abstract expressionism styles of contemporary art in Cuba today that are a clear testament to the artists’ creativity and imagination, advanced education, rich cultural bonding, sense of humor, and vitality. Llanes will give a brief lecture during the reception at 6:30pm. For additional information on the artists featured in the exhibition, visit

Once Upon a Quilt: Welcome to My Quilted Story Book – 7th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition
City Hall’s first and second floors feature the 7th annual African American fiber art exhibition, Once Upon a Quilt: Welcome to My Quilted Story Book. Curated by award-winning and nationally exhibiting textile artist, Torreah “Cookie” Washington, this annual exhibit showcases African American fiber artists from across the nation creating works through a variety of traditional and non-traditional fiber techniques. The 7th installment features pieces inspired by the artists’ favorite story; written or oral, fiction or non-fiction. Through this exhibition, these quilts are able to tell their own stories with messages that encourage, inspire, comfort, and enchant. Featured artists include Cathy Alvarez (Marietta, GA), Yvonne Anderson (Laurelton, NY), Pauline Barrett (Killeen, TX), Carolyn Brackat (Conway, SC), Lenora Brown (North Charleston, SC), Angela Ferguson (Austel, GA), Cookie Keeling Patterson (Decatur, GA), Arianne King Comer (North Charleston, SC), Catherine Lamkin (Charleston, SC), Aisha Lumumba (Atlanta, GA), Bridgett Murray (Walterboro, SC), Laquita Tummings (Vallejo, CA), and Torreah “Cookie” Washington (SC). Washington will give a brief lecture during the reception at 7:30pm.

Wash Over You – Works by Kristy Bishop
On City Hall’s second floor, opposite the art quilts, viewers will find fiber works of another kind. In her exhibition of abstract textile pieces, titled Wash Over You, Kristy Bishop presents intricate pieces composed of hand-dyed silk that is cut, gathered, and sewn. Thousands of tiny pieces of fabric are manipulated to create color transitions and gradients that translate human emotions. The featured pieces are left untitled so that the emotions the artist experienced while making each piece do not necessarily influence the interpretation of the viewer. Ultimately, the artist hopes that individuals viewing this series allow themselves to feel whatever emotion it is that the colors elicit. Bishop currently offers residencies to North Charleston schools and community groups as the City’s Artist-in-Residence. Her work has been featured in the pages of Charleston Magazine and presented in a number of group exhibitions, both locally and nationally. She will give a brief lecture during the reception at 7:00pm.

North Charleston City Hall is located at 2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC 29406. Exhibition viewing times are 8:00am-8:00pm, daily through June 20. Inquiries regarding the artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 843-740-5854. For full details about the North Charleston Arts Festival visit For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events organized and presented by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, visit

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