On September 20th, I went to the Michael Mitchell gallery on King street for an art opening. This show was titled “Decade” and featured two abstract artists who did landscapes and cityscapes. Landscape veteran Kevin Harrison has practiced for decades on crazy street scenes and chose Charleston as a creative hub in 1997. Photographer John Duckworth used his “camera to paint” absolutely stunning landscape photos. I was stunned at his photographic skills, as he perfectly described the painted asthetic to his photos. They were beautiful on the white walls of the gallery and support Harrison’s much more abstract downtown paintings.
The Gallery did a wonderful job setting up for the night and theming the art opening with costumes and decorations. By creating an open door event that attracted viewers from King street, it allowed Michael Mitchel gallery to attract a varied audience. I highly recommend all of you attend one of their shows. It includes free alcohol and the employees are more than helpful when it comes to asking questions about the style or characteristics of the features artists. Attending that event changed my perspective on art galleries and since then I have become very close with on of the employees. Even if you can’t afford any of the art, the events teach viewers about the art and immerse you in Charleston culture.
I was fortunate enough to see As it is in Heaven on its final night at the Emmett Robinson Theater. A visiting College of Charleston faculty member, Beth Lincks, penned the play in 2001 under the name Arlene Hutton. The play is set in a Shaker community in 1838. The storyline dealt primarily with the struggles of three young girls living in such a strict community. Though their particular form of rebellion isn’t very relatable, sneaking away to see angels, their struggle against elders who don’t understand them is.
Tickets were ten dollars to CofC students and cost more for the general public. The production probably could have cut costs on the costumes, but they were perfect. The actresses wore simple garbs that were very similar, but each character’s was slightly different making them believably homemade. I was pleasantly surprised to find the opening scene pretty funny and satirical. Emily Downey as Sister Betsy continued to supply the much needed comic relief throughout the performance, but Claire Sparks stole the show with her portrayal of Sister Fanny. She delivered her lines poiniantly with palpable emotion. My biggest issue with the show was the staging. I was seated in the stage-side seating. For the majority of the show the actors were seated along the stage on benches instead of going into the wings. So basically, I missed half of the show because my view was blocked. Other than that I thought it was a wonderful production.