My biggest beef is with people who claim to be contemporary art and culture mavens, yet they have never set foot in Redux, City Gallery, or the Halsey. I occasionally run into these people at gatherings and get to hear them blather on and on about how backward Charleston is and how you really have to go to Europe or New York, or, at least elsewhere, to see the real thing.
My favorite experience was at an oyster roast recently. Upon learning that my wife was an artist, this person went on to say how bad Charleston was for the arts and that even Savannah had better art. She then went on and on about a show she had seen at the Telfair Museum that featured this amazing collage and assemblage artist and how it would be great if Charleston could do something like that. I didn’t say anything. Later in the evening, she asked what I did. When I told her I ran the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, she assumed we only showed the work of William Halsey. I said, no, in fact, we occasionally show the work of amazing collage and assemblage artists (the Halsey organized the Aldwyth show that traveled to the Telfair and elsewhere). —Mark Sloan, director, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art