Redux is undoubtedly one of the most happening places in town. In addition to presenting some of Charleston's most challenging contemporary art exhibits, the nonprofit provides subsidized studio space to local artists, hosts numerous classes and workshops, and throws a damn good party—if you attended one of their fall music series shows in collaboration with Revival Entertainment Company, you know what I'm talking about.
I first met Redux's director of operations Greg Colleton on a blustery, cold October afternoon last year at his family's property in McClellanville, where we were shooting a music video for Rachel Kate Gillon. Morale was wavering—6:00 a.m. call times do not couple well with late-night shenanigans. Greg arrived bearing trays of soul food from his family's restaurant, Buckshot's. We all ate huddled together under the lowering mid-fall sun, sitting peacefully in a grassy clearing in the woods—a sense of revitalization was palpable. As we packed up the shoot, chatting about upcoming projects and dreams, the day felt warmer, though the sun was long gone. Indeed, Greg's kindness sparked a cast-and-crew redux.
You're a lifelong Charlestonian. How has our city's art scene changed over the years?
"Since moving back from undergrad, I've seen an intense pursuit for more contemporary art exposure. People are finally paying attention/supporting various aspects of art. From Shepard Fairey to Patch Whisky, the city recognizes their work as a true art form and not just simply "street/graffiti art." I loved how the city took art beyond the gallery walls and forced the public to embrace it. Also, you can see a presence of artistic influences in various areas of downtown, not only Broad Street, but in artistic spots on Spring, upper and lower King Street, and on Bogard. It gives every demographic an opportunity to experience the creative realm."
What challenges do you think the Charleston art scene faces?
Charleston is still flush with scenic art. Or tourist art. Visitors want to buy a piece of art that recreates the moment of looking out across the harbor or down a dock. So, therein lies the difference between Charleston's art scene and Charleston's contemporary art scene. With Redux, the Halsey, Gris Galerie, RLS, RJG, and the George Gallery, the contemporary art scene is on a much more respectable track."
In addition being the director of operations at Redux, you're also a sculptor. What inspires your work?
"I think it would be more accurate to say I WAS a sculptor at this point. Curating and managing and real jobs have unfortunately gotten in the way of creating the past couple years. I have started a menswear accessory company with my friend, Matt McDonald, this year—pocket squares so far—King & Calhoun, as a creative outlet. We're only using natural fibers like burlap and painter's canvas. We are working along with an amazing seamstress, Sarahann Bowers Powell and looking to launch this month for the holiday. Actually, Ferguson and other social injustices have inspired me to create more lately, and if that can't get me working again, what will?"
What shows or exhibits this year did you find to be particularly memorable?
Working at Redux is probably one the best things that could've happened in my life. Since I started in January, I've meet some amazing artists from afar, and every install/exhibition comes with some pretty memorable moments. Each show, we bond with the artist. Of course, my first exhibition, Kimberly Witham, was a dream because it involved everything I love: skulls, bones, antlers (secretly, I dream of growing horns and/or antlers), taxidermy, and photography. The Hollis Hammonds exhibition was very nostalgic. Installation art was my concentration in undergrad, and dumpster diving became a pastime activity. With Hollis's show, the public donated discarded items, we received curbside alerts from the public, and then hung all the found treasuress from the ceiling. And my friend Elizabeth Bowers and I used the deinstall as a therapeutic experience (aka ripping shit down). I bought a piece from both of those exhibitions. Also, while transforming Redux's outside wall, we became best friends forever with Cedric Tai and the scissor lift.
Let's talk gallery etiquette. What's you number one piece of advice to the first-time gallery goer?
"Don't touch the damn art!"
I'm really excited about Redux's opening reception for Danielle Wyckoff's exhibit this Friday, December 12. Can you tell us a bit about her installation?
"Yes, I'm really excited about this exhibition. Danielle and I have already bonded over hanging three large metal grids from the ceiling, embracing our slight fear of ladders, and finding different ways of hanging aluminum disks/long spools of cheesecloth. She is an innovative and detailed-oriented artist. From boiling the cheesecloth in the gallery, screen printing love notes on the actual wall, and connecting wires across the gallery, it's all a calculated experiment. She's transforming this space to an ethereal, super transcendent experience. In my opinion, Danielle's work addresses the notation of love, our abilities to express and to experience, whether positive or negative. She wants the audience to channel the past, present, or future connection to love, express it, and walk away knowing that it is that common thread to makes us all human beings. I encourage everyone to witness this opening. She wants the exhibition to absorb the audience, overwhelm the space. I cant wait to see the final product. Shows open this Friday. Artist talk at 5:30 p.m., opening at 6 p.m."
Describe your perfect Charleston day.
"Day drinking on a porch with writer Elizabeth Bowers and musician Alex Collier, while blasting Kanye West's "My Dark and Twisted Fantasy." That day being 3 years ago when you could still see Shovels and Rope play on the Pourhouse deck. Do that. Then late night street meat from G’s hot dog cart on Ann St. Sunday Funday on the beach with the Burlinghams and friends. All involving oysters and Bloody Marys.