For all intents and purposes, Spoleto starts tomorrow, May 24. But only festival amateurs really trust that date, even if it is posted on Spoleto’s website and in its program and on our website so on and so forth.

Because really, Spoleto starts tonight. And we’re not just talking about the preview shows for Mayday Mayday, Le Grand C, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Instead, the festival really kicks off as soon as the Halsey opens its doors for its annual Spoleto exhibit.

The opening reception for Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art takes place tonight from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery. The five artists whose work will be featured in the show — Francesca Pastine, Long-Bin Chen, Brian Dettmer, Guy Laramée, and Doug Beube — will be in attendance. “They’re all making a statement about our information age and the digital media’s impact on that, and I would say that they’re all interested in remixing preexisting works to create something new, transformed, and a sculptural work,” Karen Ann Myers, the show’s curator, told us. (Read the full story here.) And if you can get out of work a little early, they’re leading a walk-through of the exhibit at 5 p.m.

And while you’re on the College of Charleston campus, make sure to pop in to the Addlestone Library to see Chen’s book art installation in the building’s rotunda. The Halsey spent months collecting thousands of books, which Chen then carved into sculptures that mimic natural materials like wood, stone, and marble.

So even if the festival’s official opening ceremony is tomorrow, the unofficial one is tonight, at the Halsey, and you should definitely be there.

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