The College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and its director, Mark Sloan, have received the 2012 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts, the highest arts honor awarded in the state. The award is given annually by the South Carolina Arts Commission to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts by an organization, patrons, businesses, and individual artists.

The Halsey produces exhibitions, lectures, film series, and publications and also acts as an extension of the undergrad curricula at College of Charleston. Since Sloan took the reigns in 1994 as director and head curator, the Halsey has focused on initiating relationships with the City of Charleston, the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Clemson Architecture Center, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Spoleto Festival USA to establish creative programs in the city. The Halsey is recognized for its achievements in bringing high-quality contemporary art to the state through initiatives in high schools and community-outreach programs.

The Halsey will receive a hand-crafted bronze statue as the “Organization” category award winner on Thurs. May 3 at a Statehouse ceremony.