(it was) A Wet, Hot, Southern Summer
January 14 – March 5, 2016

Featuring work created during or inspired by the summer of 2015.

Installation view
work by Jeanne Vockroth
works by: Sarah Emerson, Gately Williams, and Michaela Pilar Brown

Kristy Bishop

Kristy Bishop is a textile artist working primarily in natural dyes. She prefers dyes that are gathered locally in Charleston, SC or during her travels. Primary sources include roadside growth, gardens, and grocery stores. This supplies the artist with onion skins, avocado skins, eucalyptus, coreopsis, wild fennel, walnut hulls, marigold, annatto seeds and more.

Michaela Pilar Brown

Michaela Pilar Brown is an image and object maker. She studied sculpture and art history at Howard University, though she has always been a maker of things. Born in Bangor, Maine and raised in Denver, Colorado, she cut her teeth in the halls of a museum where her mother worked as a security guard, and has been immersed in the culture of objects, their making and interpretation ever since. Brown is a visiting artist from if ART Gallery.

Sarah Emerson

Sarah Emerson is an artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her paintings and installations present viewers with highly stylized versions of nature that combine geometric patterns and mythic archetypes to examine contemporary landscape. She uses the camouflage of beautiful colors combined with a deliberate composition to explore themes that reflect on the fragility of life, the futility of earthly pleasures, and the disintegration of our natural landscape. Emerson graduated from the Atlanta College of Art in 1998 and she completed her Masters Degree at Goldsmiths College, London in 2000. She has exhibited her work in galleries throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including White Columns, New York, Cosmic Gallery (Cargnel Bugada), Paris, the Musee de la Civilisation, Quebec, Canada, Mirus Gallery, San Francisco, Ca., the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Fl. and the High Museum in Atlanta, GA. Her work has been published in Noplaceness: Art in a Post Urban Landscape, Stickers Deluxe: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art, and New American Paintings in 2012, 2007, and 2003. In 2014 she was awarded the 2015 MOCA GA Working Artist Project Grant selected by Siri Engberg, Senior Curator of Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Emerson was the 2014/15 Kirk Visiting Artist Fellow at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. She currently teaches at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA and Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA.

Matt Haffner

Matt Haffner is a mixed-media artist whose gritty and aesthetically graphic artworks range from large-scale installations to diminutive works on paper. His urban and mythological themed works are made from combinations of humble materials including; wheat-pasted paper, cardboard, newsprint, salvaged street signs, rusted metal, and spray paint that pay homage to his roots as a street artist and to his interest in the city’s periphery. He often combines his drawings with video projections and photographs that explore ideas about multilayered vision and investigate the dynamic between the static and moving image.
Matt’s works are in a variety of public and private regional, national, and international collections. He has won countless awards and grants in support of his work, including a National Endowment for the Arts Project Award, MOCA Georgia’s prestigious Working Artist Award, and a Forward Arts Foundation Award. His works additionally, have been published in a variety of books, magazines, web pages, and periodicals.
The artist is based in Atlanta, Georgia and is an Associate Professor of Photography and Video at Kennesaw State University.

Isabelle Klauder

Isabelle Klauder lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina.

Michael Pajon

Michael Pajon attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 2003 with a focus in printmaking. Eventually gravitating to the graphic nature of the medium that closely resembled the comics he loved, he worked closely as an assistant/studio manager to renowned artist Tony Fitzpatrick. During this time he started making assemblages of the bits and pieces he had accumulated from alleys, junkshops, and thrift stores, slicing up old children’s book covers and rearranging their innards into disjointed tales of Americana.
Pajon’s work has been exhibited in various venues worldwide, including the Illinois State Museum (Chicago, IL), Chicago Cultural Center, Prospect 1.5 curated by Dan Cameron (New Orleans, LA), Adam Baumgold Gallery (New York, NY), Nau-haus Art Space (Houston, TX), Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, AL), Dishman Art Museum (Beaumont, TX), Acadiana Center for the Arts (Lafayette, LA) and JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY, New Orleans, LA. His work has been shown in numerous art fairs including VOLTA New York, VOLTA10 (Basel, Switzerland), Miami Project, Nova Art Fair Bridge London, Aqua Art Fair (Miami, FL), Next Art Fair, Chicago, IL, Texas Contemporary Art Fair (Houston, TX), Art Market San Francisco, and the Seattle Art Fair.
Pajon has been featured in Forbes, Installation Magazine, Kolaj Magazine, Basler Zeitung, Where Magazine, Juxtapoz, ArtInfo, Artlyst, New City, Artnet, Artslant, Oxford American, Gambit Weekly, The New Orleans Advocate and Pelican Bomb. Pajon’s work appears in numerous public and private collections including International Collage Center (New York, NY), 21c Museums (Louisville, KY; Cincinnati, OH; Bentonville, AR; Durham, NC), Purchase College, the Francis H. Williams Collection (Wellesley, MA), Megan Koza Young, Thomas Coleman and Michael Wilkinson.

Jeanne Vockroth

Jeanne Vockroth (b. 1990, New Orleans, LA) holds a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She has participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions in Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florence, Italy. As a Sturgis Fellow at the University of Arkansas, Jeanne studied textile design at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy from Fall 2010 through Spring 2011. In the summer of 2012 Jeanne received a nationally competitive scholarship to attend a textile course at Penland School of Craft. Jeanne was a 2013 resident at Mildred’s Lane in Beach Lake, Pennsylvania as part of the Order of the Third Bird. In 2014, Jeanne participated in the group exhibition Pandora’s Children at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and held a solo exhibition of new work in Fayetteville, Arkansas at The Shed gallery. Her work was selected for ArtFields 2015 in Lake City, South Carolina. In December 2015, Jeanne will create a collaborative installation with Samantha Hussey at Lalaland exhibition space as her final exhibition of work in Fayetteville, Arkansas before relocating to her native city New Orleans, Louisiana in early 2016.

Antoine Williams

Antoine Williams’ mixed media installations, paintings and collages are an investigation of his cultural identity through the exploration of the perception of signs within society. Heavily influenced by science fiction, hip hop, and his rural working class upbringing in Red Springs, North Carolina, Antoine has created his own mythology of hybrid creatures that exist between the boundaries of class and race. Antoine is an artist educator who received his BFA from UNC-Charlotte. Afterwards, he helped start a local art collective in Charlotte where he did a number community based art projects such after school programs, rap concerts, murals and pop up art shows. In 2014 Antoine received his MFA from the UNC-Chapel Hill. Now he lives in Chapel Hill and where he continues his studio practice and is an assistant art professor at Guilford College.

Gately Williams

Gately Williams is a Charleston based editorial and landscape photographer who spends much of his time on the road. While at home, he works with magazines in the South. While on the road, he crisscrosses the states in his 1986 Ford Station Wagon or atop one of his motorbikes. On the road he studies landscapes and finds beauty in the sparse open landscapes that dominate the country. Each year Gately also takes a trip abroad to photograph the diversity of the world. His overseas trips have taken him to Iceland, Ireland, and as far away as Morocco and Australia.

Press Release

The Southern is a new, contemporary art gallery dealing in recent works by artists connected to the American South through curated exhibitions and a works on paper and object program.

The gallery, owned by partners Erin and Justin Nathanson, will open its doors at 2 Carlson Court, downtown Charleston, on Thursday, January 14, 2016 with a debut exhibition, (it was) A Wet, Hot, Southern Summer. The exhibit will feature work created during or inspired by the summer of 2015.

Built in the late 1980’s, the original structure has undergone a complete renovation to meet professional, museum quality standards for exhibiting artwork. The space is a curator and artist’s wet dream with a sea of white walls soaring 18 feet in height. Deeply inspired by the Nathanson’s travels up and down the coast from Charleston to South Beach, natural vibes have been incorporated into the design with a tropical punch of color and plant-life.

The aesthetic and programming of The Southern will align with what is found in New York City, Los Angeles, London, or other major metropolitan cities. The gallery will present works by living artists who share personal commentary through visual language. New exhibitions will be presented every six to eight weeks alongside a continuous works on paper and object program.

The debut exhibition, (it was) A Wet, Hot, Southern Summer will feature new work by Kristy Bishop (SC), Michaela Pilar Brown (SC), Sarah Emerson (GA), Matt Haffner (GA), Isabelle Klauder (NC), Michael Pajon (LA), Jeanne Vockroth (AR), Antoine Williams (NC), and Gately Williams (SC).

The works on paper and object program will feature a small, curated group of artists and will rotate every three months adding new artists to the mix. This program enables artists to work more freely with new ideas and provides a public setting for a series in progress. Works on paper will feature all media including painting, photography, collage, mixed media, and drawing. Objects will range from three dimensional fiber work to hand-painted skateboards.

The first curated group of artists for the works on paper and object program are Amanda Downey, Reba West Fraser, Camela Guevara, Anna Hopkins, Chris Nickels, Sophie Treppendahl, Jeanne Vockroth, Alex Waggoner, and James Wine.

The Southern will also offer a variety of art publications, limited edition books, and periodicals.

About the Owners

Erin Nathanson managed Charleston’s largest art gallery for the City of Charleston, The City Gallery at Waterfront Park. For nearly five years, she curated several critically acclaimed fine art exhibitions. Following her time with the City of Charleston, Erin was retained to create the foundation for ArtFields, a visual arts festival and competition presenting over 400 Southern artists throughout the historic downtown of Lake City, SC. Recent projects include Charleston Supported Art.

Justin Nathanson is the owner and operator of the cut company, a television, film, and web content production company. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Justin began his young life as an actor, studying at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and spending a number of years on stage and in films. After living and working in Los Angeles for several years at E!, Comedy Central, and other studios, Justin arrived in Charleston in 2005 as the Lead Editor of a national television series. Since then, he has acquired a large amount of broadcast clients, Fortune 500 Companies, and local businesses as a successful commercial filmmaker, while continuing to produce and work on personal projects. Justin’s parents collected and operated one of New York City’s most influential folk art galleries for two decades, lending crucial behind-the-scenes experience to the visual art industry. Art pieces acquired by the Nathanson family have been donated over-time to prestigious institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Winter hours: Wednesday through Saturday 12 – 7pm and Sunday 12 – 6pm. Monday and Tuesday by appointment.

Directions: Take I-26 East to the Meeting Street exit, turn right on Meeting Street then turn right into the Pizza Hut parking lot. From Mount Pleasant, take Highway 17 to downtown, take the Meeting Street exit then turn left on Meeting Street then turn right into the Pizza Hut parking lot. *The gallery is situated behind the Pizza Hut. Carlson Court is currently under construction as part of the “Courier Square” development. If you use GPS, please enter the Pizza Hut address, 483 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403.