The Gibbes Museum of Art has some exciting events happening in June. See below for programming, events and ongoing exhibitions.
Curator-led tour: Omniscience, June 8, 2022, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Join Director of Curatorial Affairs Sara Arnold for an in-depth look at Omniscience, a sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Fred Wilson. This sculpture is inspired by the story of Omar Ibn Said, an Islamic scholar enslaved in the Carolinas from 1807 until his death in 1864. Said is believed to have written the only known Arabic-language autobiography penned by an enslaved African in the United States. Wilson explores Said’s powerful story through a monumental metalwork created in the tradition of decorative wrought ironwork common in Charleston’s historic built environment. The hand forged iron is juxtaposed with a bound replica of Said’s words written in iron gall ink on handwoven paper.
WPA: A USA Work Program and its Antecedents, June 15, 2022, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Inspired by the current exhibition A New Deal: Artists at Work, join the Gibbes in person or virtually for a presentation that will put this singular period in American history, which produced the WPA program and the work of its artists, into historical context. The Ohio State University Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Chair Dr. Jody Patterson will join virtually to give this presentation. To register to attend in person or virtually, click here.
Price: Members: $15 | Non-members: $20 | Students and Faculty: $5 with a valid ID
Literary Gibbes: Florida, June 25, 2022, 10:30 am – noon
Join the Gibbes in person or virtually to discuss the summer book club pick, Florida by Lauren Groff. This book club selection is inspired by the exhibition William Eggleston: Photographs from the Laura and Jay Crouse Collection. This event is free, but attendants must register. Click here.
Gibbes Film in Focus: College Town, June 9, 2022, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Gibbes Film in Focus returns this spring with a new suite of hand-picked films. The culture of college and school life has remained a fascination of the film industry for decades, from 1978’s Animal House to 2014’s Dear White People. This installment of the Gibbes Film in Focus will explore the melting pot of the collegiate experience and what it really means to get an education with the film Mona Lisa Smile. In the film, Katherine Watson (portrayed by Julia Roberts) is hired to teach art history at the prestigious all-female Wellesley College in 1953. Determined to confront the outdated mores of society and the institution that embraces them, Katherine inspires her traditional students to challenge the lives they are expected to lead. For more information about the movie and to register for the event, click here.
Art of Jazz: Zandrina Dunning + Stephen Washington, June 22, 2022, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
In collaboration with Charleston Jazz, the Gibbes presents this jazz concert with Zandrina Dunning and Stephen Washington. Zandrina is a singer/songwriter, vocal coach and producer originally from Boston who has performed with local and national recording artists and regularly appears with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. She headlines The Zandrina Dining Experience and was honored as Jazz Artist of the Year by the Charleston City Paper in 2020. Stephen is a proficient jazz artist who played piano for the College of Charleston’s Gospel Choir, played with national recording gospel stars and has travelled throughout the world to spread the healing power of music. Joining Zandrina on vocals and Stephen on the keyboard is bassist David Levray from Normandy, France. For more information and to register for this event, click here.
Price: Members: $30 | Non-members: $35 | Students and Faculty: $10 with a valid ID
Curator-led Tour: Behind the Scenes, June 23, 2022, 2:30 – 3:30 pm
Head Preparator Chris Pelletier will lead a fascinating tour of the Gibbes’ collection storage facility. As Head Preparator, Chris is responsible for installing artwork in exhibitions, storing pieces in the Gibbes’ collection that are not on display, packing and unpacking pieces and more. In this tour, Chris will give a behind the scenes look at how pieces from the permanent collection are stored and handled when not on display.
Ongoing special exhibitions
Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice, Jan. 21 – Aug. 7, 2022
William H. Johnson’s Fighters for Freedom series is a tribute to African American activists, scientists, teachers, performers and international heads of state working to bring peace to the world. On view at the Gibbes from Jan. 21 – Aug. 7, 2022, this exhibition is the first-ever presentation of this series in Johnson’s home state of South Carolina. Fighters for Freedom presents well-known Fighters such as Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Marian Anderson and Mahatma Gandhi, as well as some lesser-known individuals whose equally important determination and sacrifice have been eclipsed over time. Click here images.
A New Deal: Artists at Work, Jan. 21 – Aug. 7, 2022
The Federal Art Project was formed under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ambitious Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs that sent millions of unemployed Americans back to work during the Great Depression, including more than 5,000 artists. The Federal Art Project afforded opportunities to a diverse group of artists, including women, African Americans and recent immigrants, resulting in a collection of artwork intended to uplift the national spirit and encourage creativity in the face of great challenges. The Gibbes is one of a select group of institutions across the country that houses a historic collection of Federal Art Project prints. Click here images.
William Eggleston: Photographs from the Laura and Jay Crouse Collection, Feb. 25 – Oct. 9, 2022
It is said that William Eggleston’s unique ability to conflate the epic and the everyday has made him one of the most impactful figures in late twentieth century photography. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Eggleston first photographed his local environs in the 1950s in black-and-white but became one of the first fine art photographers to use color to record his observations in a more heightened and accurate way. Today his strikingly vivid, yet enigmatic images of parked cars, billboards, storefronts, diners and other artifacts of the ordinary world are considered groundbreaking. The photographs presented in this edition of the Gibbes’ Charleston Collects exhibition series were selected from the Laura and Jay Crouse Collection and represent many of the pioneering artist’s most notable works. Click here images.
Omniscience: A Sculpture by Fred Wilson, May 27 – June 15, 2022
Fred Wilson is an internationally acclaimed artist renowned for his work that challenges assumptions of history, culture, race and conventions of display. His interdisciplinary practice reframes objects and cultural symbols to encourage viewers to reconsider traditional social and historical narratives. This major new work, Omniscience, is inspired by the story of Omar Ibn Said, an Islamic scholar enslaved in the Carolinas from 1807 until his death in 1864. Said is believed to have written the only known Arabic-language autobiography penned in the United States. Wilson explores Said’s powerful story through a monumental metalwork created in the tradition of decorative wrought ironwork common in Charleston’s historic built environment. The hand forged iron is juxtaposed with a bound replica of Said’s words written in iron gall ink on handwoven paper. The sculpture represents the artist’s first-ever venture in ironwork and is the first work Wilson has created specifically for a southeastern museum. The sculpture coincides with the world premiere of “Omar,” a new opera by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Ables based on Said’s life and autobiography, that will debut as part of Spoleto Festival USA. The Gibbes will display Wilson’s sculpture in its main rotunda gallery through June 15.
-Submitted by The Gibbes Museum