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City of Charleston News Flash

Posted on: January 17, 2018

Office of Cultural Affairs presents On the Edge: From Combahee to Winyah at City Gallery

The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents On the Edge: From Combahee to Winyah at City Gallery January 20 through March 4, 2018. This intricate bird’s eye view of the southern coastlines features the work of American photographer and South Carolina native, J Henry Fair. City Gallery will host an opening reception for the exhibition on January 19 from 5-7 p.m. An artist’s talk will be held on March 4, 2018 at 2 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

On the Edge highlights the current and future consequences of expansion on the South Carolina shoreline. Fair will create an aerial panorama of the entire coast that will wrap the walls of the City Gallery, punctuated by large format photographs of locations along the seaboard. Contrasting the unparalleled beauty and miles of undeveloped waterfront with explosion of development along the coast, Fair stimulates a dialog evaluating the risks of unsustainable living, showing the most impacted and hidden landscapes from an unexpected perspective.

On the Edge is an aerial photographic documentation of the coast of South Carolina. The idea is to create a "portrait" of the state’s littoral areas. Though it is impractical to photograph every meter and every structure, it is certain the coast will change significantly over the coming decades, and knowing what exists now is the first step to planning the future.

About Artist J Henry Fair
In 2000, a red-eye flight from California sparked J Henry Fair’s interest in aerial photography when he spotted an unsettling and captivating scene from his window: a sinuous river, with smoke stacks along its banks, pumping stacks of clouds into the sky. Hoping to recreate this view, he rented a Cessna from New Orleans and requested a flight over “Cancer Alley,” an industry heavy area between the city and Baton Rouge. After returning to New York, he was questioned by viewers of what exactly he had captured. To clarify for himself, Fair returned to the land he originally flew, going door to door learning of the toxic waste and degradation that occurred. In the years since, Fair has continued to travel the country and beyond tracking oil production aluminum and more from the windows of airplanes hoping his art can bring change to the lifestyles of others and himself.

The New York photographer is best known for his Industrial Scars series, in which he researches our world's most egregious environmental disasters and creates images that are both stunning and horrifying. Fair describes his photographic work as a catalyst. Fair recalled, “My pictures should make something happen, whether it's saving 100 acres of precious wildlands in the middle of suburbia, or illustrating for Steinway the making of their instruments, the photographs affect the world in a larger way.”

Fair has been featured in the Columbia Museum of Art exhibit Eyes on the Edge. The series consists of inaccessible areas Fair wandered as a child, now crowded by houses with docks, large condominiums and muddled traffic. He has served as Artist-in-Residence at some of the nation's top educational institutions for art and environmental studies, including Dartmouth College, Colorado College, Vanderbilt University, and most recently Swarthmore College. Additionally, Mr. Fair maintains an active lecture schedule, in which he presents photographic symposia to audiences in the US and abroad. Recent engagements have included Bloomberg, The Collegiate School, and Die Spedition. Mr. Fair has given two hugely successful presentations at the TED Talks conferences, one at High Energy, in Berlin in November 2011, and the second at Wake Forest University's conference, Defining the Future, held in February, 2013.

About City Gallery
City Gallery, located at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Waterfront Park, is owned by the City of Charleston and operated by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, presenting an annual program of exhibitions and events featuring the finest contemporary art from local, regional, national and international artists, with a focus on the Lowcountry. City Gallery provides access to the visual arts for everyone in Charleston, visitors and residents alike, by offering exhibits that are all admission-free City Gallery is located at 34 Prioleau St. in downtown Charleston, and gallery hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon until 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.charleston-sc.gov/citygallery or call 843-958-6484.


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