Charleston artist Julia Deckman showed a body of work titled "The Choreography of Color" at Hed Hi Studio in September | photos provided

Hed Hi Studio on King Street has earned a reputation for hosting some of the most exciting and contemporary art shows in town. Owner Tim McManus originally purchased the space as a production studio in 2014. After Covid created a big lapse in production work, McManus decided to begin also using the space to present pop-up gallery experiences starting in the summer of 2021. 

Since then, he’s curated many shows with local and out-of-town artists whose work explores the intersection of street and surf art. McManus said he’s always got his “ear to the ground” for contemporary Charleston artists making waves in the scene. 

He added significantly more people have approached him about showing artwork in the space than he anticipated, and he takes those folks into consideration, plus his own wish list of artists, when curating shows.

Past shows include Charleston-based artists Jonathan Rypkema and Adam Eddy, Creighton Barrett, Julia Deckman, Taylor Faulkner and P-Nut. McManus also curates the large-scale public art corridor surrounding the space, featuring murals by legendary Charleston-born street artist Shepard Fairey, two-time Best of Charleston winner Patch Whiskey and muralists from all over the world. 

McManus has a list of artists from out of town he’d like to include in future pop-up shows — for example, the most recent show this summer, Check It, featured California surf artists Andy Davis and Jon Wegener.

The space also serves as a venue for other creative companies: The itinerant Gap Gallery often pops up at Hed Hi, plus it’s hosted theater events like the hilarious monthly sketch comedy show Rip City CHS and recently a play by queer-led theater company The Void.

It’s also served lately as the “unofficial headquarters” for mayoral candidate Mika Gadsden’s campaign — she’s hosted talks with authors and community leaders at Hed Hi. 

A full fall lineup

McManus told the Charleston City Paper on Wednesday the calendar lineup for artists to show at the space this fall. 

In September, Hed Hi will welcome Arthur Brothers, an artist from Charlotte who works in acrylic and resin. 

“He’s a notable artist in Charlotte with New York gallery representation, and he’s got Charleston pedigree,” McManus said. “It’ll be great to have him in the space and show his work to Charleston.” The show opens on Sept. 22 and will remain on view for a week afterwards. 

In October, Charleston based painter Jeremy Croft will present a solo show, opening on Oct. 14 and on view for one week. Charleston band Mechanical River will provide tunes during the opening reception. 

“Jeremy has got a lot of momentum and fans locally, so that should be a really exciting show,” McManus said.

There will be a retro horror film night on Oct. 28 in celebration of Halloween. 

November boasts the second Art Pals show, for which McManus will curate a group lineup of artists who have previously shown at Hed Hi. He will include some of his own street art in that show, which is set to be on view for three days throughout the month of November. Expect local favorites like collage artist Isabel Bornstein and surf photographer Justin Morris (known as FollyHood).

Also in November, the studio presents a female music showcase, with musicians like P!lot to fill the studio with synthy sounds. To stay up-to-date with the exciting upcoming events at Hed Hi, check out @hedhistudio on Instagram.

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