WESTWARD, HO!

Kevin Taylor has always stood somewhat apart. To some extent, that’s attributable to his artwork, which can suggest the stuff of dreams and, often, nightmares: emaciated, animal-headed people, cryptic words and lettering, lots of skulls, and creatures with freakishly large ears, small pointy breasts, and large phalluses. Taylor’s also, admittedly, a little bit eccentric, even as artists go. But mostly it’s because for years Taylor’s been among Charleston’s most above-ground underground artists. His imminent move to San Francisco will leave a hole in the Charleston arts fabric that’ll be tough for any one person to fill.

He’s been involved in no end of installations and guerilla-style art projects (a hilarious sendup of Spoleto’s 2004 poster image comes to mind), but Taylor’s also exhibited his work nationally. His many commissions include the huge sculpted head that featured in last (and this) year’s Spoleto production of Don Giovanni, and he’s been selected by readers of this paper as the city’s Best Visual Artist twice for our Best of Charleston issue.

Taylor’s exhibit at 53 Cannon St. Gallery this Friday night (see City Picks, page 20) will be his last in Charleston before heading out west, where he’ll join friend and “Obey Giant” phenomenon creator Shepard Fairey at his Subliminal Projects Gallery in L.A. Somehow, we’re not surprised he’s scheduled the exhibit to open on Friday the 13th. Good luck, Kevin. —Patrick Sharbaugh

CALLING ALL CARNIES

“One martini is all right,” humorist James Thurber once wrote. “Two are too many, and three are not enough.” Thurber was a writer and cartoonist for The New Yorker in that magazine’s heyday, when it was new and still crackling with the wit of writers like E.B. White, Dorothy Parker, and the members of the infamous Algonquin Round Table. Such was the popularity of Thurber’s drawings and short stories — among them classics like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Catbird Seat, and The Greatest Man in the World — that in 1945 he adapted several compilations of essays, stories, and sketches into a smorgasbord for live theatre called A Thurber Carnival, for which he won a Tony Award.

On Sunday and Monday, Jan. 15 and 16, the Footlight Players will hold open auditions for A Thurber Carnival at the theatre (20 Queen St.). The show, directed by Kyle Mims, runs March 9-26. The cast calls for six men and five women. If you want to audition, get there at 7 p.m. on either night and be prepared to do a cold reading of the script. (Singing, dancing, juggling, acrobatic, and other carnie skills may come in handy as well.) — PS