College of Charleston SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Katie Hirsch Takes Helm of Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at College of Charleston

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts is excited to announce the appointment of a new Director. Katie Hirsch, the current Interim Director, Curator and Director of Strategic Partnerships took the helm of Halsey Institute on April 1, 2021. Hirsch’s appointment follows the December 2020 retirement of the Halsey Institute’s long-time director Mark Sloan.

Katie Hirsch shares, “I am honored to be the new Director of the Halsey Institute. It is a true privilege to lead the talented team that brings innovative artists to Charleston and beyond. I am eager to connect with our community in this new role, and to share the compelling programming that the Halsey has planned.”

School of the Arts Dean Dr. Edward Hart says of the appointment, “We are thrilled that Katie Hirsch has accepted the appointment as the new Director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the position, and her artistic vision, leadership skills, and enthusiasm will benefit this world-class institution for years to come.”

The College of Charleston’s Provost Dr. Suzanne Austin states, “I look forward to seeing Katie Hirsch guide the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art forward as it continues to build on its legacy as a dynamic hub of creativity on the College of Charleston campus and across the nation. Katie’s range of experience and dedication to the Halsey’s mission of showcasing the work of adventurous artists signify an exciting future ahead.”

Katie Hirsch joined the Halsey Institute team in August 2016 and was most recently a Curator and the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Hirsch took the reigns as Interim Director on January 1, 2021 during the pandemic, so has had to make many tough decisions about accessibility, staffing, and programming in the most challenging of times. She has curated exhibitions on Roberto Diago and Coulter Fussell, among others. She served as Associate Curator for the Halsey Institute’s landmark 2018 exhibition Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, for which she contributed to the catalogue. She is responsible for the Halsey Institute’s traveling exhibitions program, organizing nationwide tours of Southbound and exhibitions featuring the work of Fahamu Pecou, Jiha Moon, and Hitnes, among others. She is also an adjunct instructor of arts management at the College of Charleston.

Katie Hirsch earned a MA with honors in Art History, Visual Cultures of the Americas from The Florida State University, and a BA and magna cum laude distinction in Art History, with a Minor in General Business from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to the Halsey Institute, Hirsch worked for Spoleto Festival USA and island6 Arts Center in Shanghai, China. Before turning her focus to contemporary art, Hirsch specialized in the art and culture of the Maya. She thus not only brings a broad knowledge of art history and visual culture, but also the unconventional knowledge of the Yucatec Maya language, acquired through years of study in Mexico with support from government fellowships.

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, the Halsey Institute creates 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. Learn more.