College of Charleston SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art Receives NEA Grant

NEA Chairman Landesman announces Challenge America Fast-Track grants The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, one of only 162 grantees nationwide

 As National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman has noted, “Art works everywhere,” which is why the NEA’s Challenge America Fast-Track (CAFT) program supports projects from primarily small and mid-sized arts organizations that extend the reach of the arts to underserved audiences—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art (HICA) at the College of Charleston School of the Arts was selected to receive one of the 162 grants of $10,000 awarded to organizations in 46 states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The grant will support Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto, a two-week residency and solo exhibition featuring the work of contemporary Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto. During the residency, which will begin in early May 2012, Yamamoto will create a large-scale salt installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art on the College of Charleston campus, which will also be a featured presentation of the 2012 Spoleto Festival USA. In addition to the installation, the exhibition will feature new work on paper and a documentary about the artist created by HICA. To accompany the exhibition, HICA is producing a major exhibitions catalog. HICA is organizing extensive education and outreach programs for the Charleston community including K-12 schools. Yamamoto will participate in a variety of workshops, demonstrations, and artist talks, during which the public with have an opportunity to watch and interact with the artist. The exhibition will open to the public on May 24 and close on July 7, 2012.

“Taken together, these Challenge America Fast-Track grants provide an extraordinary sampling of the work that arts organizations do to reach underserved communities,” said Chairman Landesman. “With these grants, we are helping to ensure that art works for all Americans.”

“We are honored and very thankful to be a recipient of the NEA Challenge America Fast-Track grant,” said Mark Sloan, Director and Senior Curator at HICA. “Motoi Yamamoto is an extraordinary artist and we are looking forward to sharing his work with the Charleston community. Yamamoto’s uncommon yet familiar medium of salt is what makes him such an engaging and fascinating artist for all ages.”

HICA has also received funding from the Asian Cultural Council for the project. The exhibition will travel throughout the United States after its debut at HICA including the Mint Museum of Art, NC; Monterrey Museum of Art, CA; and Loyola Marymount University, CA.

The program is called Fast-Track because of its expedited review timeline. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art was notified approximately six months after applying. Also, with 375 eligible applications submitted from across the country, there was significant competition for funding for these grants. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art’s grant award is evidence of the artistic excellence and artistic merit of Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto.

Please see the complete listing of projects recommended for Challenge America Fast-Track grant support.

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is administered by the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston and exists to advocate, exhibit and interpret visual art, with an emphasis on contemporary art. The Institute is committed to providing a direct experience with works of art in all media within an environment that fosters creativity, individuality, innovation and education. In addition to producing exhibitions, lectures, film series, publications, and a comprehensive website, the Institute serves as an extension of the undergraduate curricula at the College and as a cultural resource for the region. To find out more, please visit

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.  To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at