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Tours + Events

Afternoon Tours + Workshops: [ Wednesday 10/22 ]   [ Thursday 10/23 ]

Evening Events: [ Monday 10/20 ]   [ Tuesday 10/21 ]   [ Thursday 10/23 ]


Afternoon Tours + Workshops

Explore Charleston's neighborhoods, art centers, and studios! Space is limited on many tours - sign up early to reserve a spot. Transportation will be provided for tours that are not within walking distance.


The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art | 2:15 - 5:00PM **SOLD OUT**

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is a laboratory for the production, presentation, and interpretation of contemporary arts, committed to inspiring meaningful interactions between adventurous artists and diverse audiences. Join Director + Chief Curator Mark Sloan for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Halsey Institute's public works, exhibitions, and artist residency program. Hear from the current artist-in-residence, Javanese puppeteer Jumaadi. Visit the opening of the newly opened Pablo Picasso and André Villers Diurnes exhibition, catch a peek of the recently commissioned Shepard Fairey mural, and be the first to hear about an upcoming project with vernacular artist Lonnie Holley.

Don't miss Jumaadi's performance of new shadow puppet works at the closing night reception.

Avery Research Center + Basket Weaving | 2:15 - 5:00PM

Discover the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture – a renowned research hub dedicated to preserving and highlighting the African American experience in Charleston, the Lowcountry, South Carolina, and beyond. A tour of  the Center's impressive collection and discussion of the building’s fabled history will be followed by an open studio with fifth-generation basketmaker Henrietta Snype. Explore this 300 year old Gullah artistic tradition utilizing native sweetgrass, bulrush, palmetto leaves and pine needles.

Alternate ROOTS | 2:15 - 5:00PM  **SOLD OUT**

Alternate ROOTS connects a diverse network of artists and activists throughout the South, working for social and economic justice through arts. Join ROOTS leaders for a tour of community-activated spaces in Charleston. Discover the Denmark Vesey site, a controversial and important public homage 18 years in the making; explore Charleston's newest square for participatory art at Burke Middle High School (the first African American trade school in the city); and catch performances by ROOTS affiliates including Girls Rock, New Danger HipHop Poetry Group, and African Drums. The tour concludes at the studio of artists Jean-Marie Mauclet and Gwylene Gallimard for a reception and discussion of new local and international collaborations.

American College of the Building Arts | 2:15 - 5:00PM **SOLD OUT**

Discover the American College of the Building Arts – the only four-year liberal arts college in the United States offering a Bachelor's degree in the traditional building arts, including plaster, carpentry, architectural stone, timber framing, masonry, and forged iron. Spend the afternoon at the schools main site in the former Old City Jail. Explore how winding hallways and cavernous cells that once held the region’s most infamous criminals have been transformed into artist studios and classrooms – with students projects reinventing the building each year. A tour of the site's spectacular (and supposedly haunted) history will be followed by demos in stone carving and iron work and chance to try your hand at making historic plaster ceiling stars – a main stay of Charleston’s most celebrated buildings.

Please note: Plaster is dusty and white. Please bring clothes that can get dirty or wear your white handprints with pride.

Magnolia Gardens | 2:15 - 5:00PM

Explore this large-scale romantic-style garden - a world of azalea-lined pathways, sprawling live oaks, and cypress-tupelo swamps patrolled by alligators and egrets. Established in the 1670's, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is the ancestral home of the Drayton family and holds the distinction of being the oldest public garden in America. Once a popular stop for steamboat passengers passing through Charleston, the gardens now welcome visitors from around the world. Take a relaxing meander (or long porch sit) in the region's most famous garden during this afternoon visit. 

Please note: This self-led tour is an opportunity for you to explore on your own. Our hired vintage Crown bus will get you there in 25 minutes. Umbrella suggested in case of inclement weather.

Redux Contemporary Art Center | 2:15 - 4:30PM

A vital incubator for local arts, Redux Contemporary Art Center is home to 25 artist studios as well as the only community printmaking and darkroom facilities in South Carolina's Lowcountry. The bustling arts center inspires community participation in the arts through diverse exhibitions and educational offerings. Join Executive Director Stacy Huggins for a brief history and tour of Redux Contemporary Arts Center. Meet resident artists during open studios hosted throughout the afternoon. Catch a letterpress demo with Allison Nadeau, co-owner of Ink Meets Paper, or make your own silk screened prints with local illustrator Kristen Solecki.

Architectural Walking Tour | 2:15 - 4:30PM

Charleston stands as a national leader in historic preservation, restoration, and artistic expression - with downtown's Old and Historic Districts containing over 3,000 significant sites. Set off on the streets with two local architects to discover the spaces that set this charming city apart. Explore the melding of African and European artistic traditions in craftsmanship and architectural detailing as you visit a series of exquisite spaces exclusive to this tour. A great follow up to Wednesday's American College of Building Arts tour, this is your chance to visit several major restoration projects led my ACBA alums.

Please note: Good walking shoes recommended. Umbrella suggested in case of inclement weather.

Of Mice + Hens - A Taxidermy Workshop | 2:15 - 4:30PM **SOLD OUT**

Join local artist Becca Barnet for an engrossing afternoon exploring the ancient art of taxidermy. An alumna of the Missouri Taxidermy Institute and the Rhode Island School of Design, Becca's work mixes illustration, taxidermy, and installation art. Walk to Becca's home-based studio and business – Sisal & Tow – and take a tour of taxidermy installation including tanning, mounting, color and texture replicating, habitat, and shadow-box making. Through rotating preservation stations, learn how to make a model skull, edit false plants to make them more realistic, create imitation dirt, and mix fake water. Participants will also have the chance to make their own decorative beetle box.

Throughout the conference, keep an eye out for Becca's macabre creations in restaurants, store windows, and pop-up galleries across Charleston.

North Charleston Public Art Stroll | 2:15 - 4:30PM **SOLD OUT**

Take a trip to North Charleston with AnneTrabue W. Nelson – Arts Coordinator at the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department – and explore public spaces transformed through art. Stop One will take you to Riverfront Park to view the 2014-2015 National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial, as well as pieces from the City's permanent art collection. Set on the banks of the Cooper River, the park offers the ideal setting for each of the thought-provoking, extraordinary works on display. Stop Two will take you to the Olde Village area of North Charleston – home to small, family owned businesses, intimate eateries, and the City's future Cultural Arts Center. A walk through this emerging arts and cultural district will reveal a number of colorful murals created by local artists through the City's collaboration with the chART Outdoor Art Initiative, local businesses, and community programs.


Evening Events

These vibrant gatherings are a staple of the conference. Open to all attendees!


Redux Contemporary Arts Center | 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Connect with old friends and make new ones during the festive opening reception hosted at Redux Contemporary Art Center. Come see how this bustling center is energizing local arts in Charleston and help us kick off the 2014 Conference in style!

Free for attendees! Beer/wine and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Historic Rice Mill

Historic Rice Mill | 7:00 - 10:00PM

Celebrate with the Alliance during a fun, not-to-miss night of music, food, and reveling in the arts of Charleston. Built in 1861, The Historic Rice Mill is the last of Charleston’s three original antebellum rice mills to still stand and is one of downtown Charleston’s most spectacular waterfront venues.

Free for attendees! Food and cash bar, live entertainment, and a special celebration!


Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art | 5:30 - 7:30PM

Close out the conference with a special reception at Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Join us for an exclusive performance by Halsey's artist-in-residence, and internationally renowned Javenese shadow puppet artist, Jumaadi. Jumaadi will premier new shadow works created in collaboration with American artist, Geoffrey Cormier.

Free for attendees! Beer/wine and light hors d'oeuvres will be served.