BOOKS AND THEIR AUTHORS

If you like to read books—and book reviews—you should pick up Art & Craft, Thirty Years on the Literary Beat, a collection of reviews and writer interviews by Bill Thompson, former book review editor at Charleston’s Post and Courier. From 1980 to 2012, Thompson conversed with some of the most distinguished writers of our times.

STORIES, LIKE PLANES ON A RUNWAY

MARY ALICE MONROE penned her first story, Willy the Wishful Whale, when she was 8 years old. Not surprisingly, it was about an animal, and it was a foretaste of what was to come. A childhood passion for nature and its most vulnerable inhabitants has never waned. Today, the Isle of Palms resident awaits the […]

THE LANGUAGE OF THEATRICAL DESIGN

IF ACTORS ARE ALL ABOUT ENTRANCES AND PLAYWRIGHTS ABOUT EXITS, designers in the theater are about complementary frameworks, physical and emotional. From elaborate to humble, with sets and props it’s everything with a purpose and everything in its place—the unsung narratives of the theater. After all, it’s not just the writer and actor who tell […]

VISIONS OF LIGHT: ITALIAN STYLE

GIOVANNA DE LUCA has achieved something art house cinemas have struggled to do in recent years: complement loyal older patrons with young filmgoers. As founding director of the annual Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival, Dr. De Luca, an associate professor of Italian at the College of Charleston, has poured heart, soul and showmanship into making […]

AREA ARTS GROUPS STRIVING TO FILL THE GAPS

IF ANXIETY IS THE ESSENTIAL CONDITION of intellectual and artistic creation, we’ve had plenty of motivation. Nothing focuses awareness and artistic discipline like a crisis. And isolation, for all its impediments, can be a boon to creativity. At least that was the hope as we entered, and are beginning to emerge from, a time of […]

QUIETING CHAOS WITH THE POETRY SOCIETY

THE MAGIC ACT OF ART IS ITS capacity to achieve stillness in the midst of chaos. An appreciation of poetry likewise can calm the frenzy, or at least quiet it a little. Which is why, amid the current uncertainties, and on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, the Poetry Society of South Carolina (PSSC) is […]

CHARLESTON AS A LIVING MUSEUM

IF BOOKS ARE HUMANITY IN PRINT, museums are humanity on display. Here reside beauty, curiosity, ingenuity, education, inspiration, hard realities, comforting truths, entertainment, a sense of wonder and community. Museums, together with travel, are where we go to expand our view of the world and to see ourselves with heightened clarity. As an avid traveler, […]

THE CONNOISSEUR AS SHEPHERD: NIGEL REDDEN AND SPOLETO

NIGEL REDDEN’S FIRST acquaintance with the Spoleto Festival was as a 19-year-old student volunteer in Italy in 1969, seven years before Charleston’s Spoleto Festival USA would realize founder Gian Carlo Menotti’s dream of a Festival of Two Worlds. Redden, born in Cyprus to an American diplomat father and an Australian mother, worked with Italy’s Spoleto Festival […]

CONSTANT REINVENTION, CONSISTENT EXCELLENCE

THOUGH HE IS CERTAINLY not a French lyric poet, Carroll Brown embodies all the qualities of a classic troubadour, and then some. He is a traveling musician of rare gifts, whose compositions are as diverse in genre as they are soulful. One of the most enduring of South Carolina-based performers, Brown is equally at home […]

ADVENTURE AND DARING IN CONTEMPORARY ART

ART, LIKE LIFE, THRIVES WHERE there is a sense of adventure, of extending one’s gaze beyond immediate perceptions. In the 25 years since Mark Sloan took the helm as director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, the old maxim has been embraced wholeheartedly. The Halsey is both an enterprising […]