Friday Fiver: Erin Nathanson

Erin Nathanson has been dedicated to the arts in Charleston for over a decade. She has served as the gallery coordinator for The City Gallery at Waterfront Park, is a founding member and artistic Erin Nathansondirector of Charleston Supported Art, and now has opened The Southern Gallery alongside her husband Justin Nathanson. The Southern Gallery has only been open a few months, but has already become a landmark for the contemporary art scene in Charleston. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the gorgeous new space, head to The Southern Saturday night to see their newest show “Kelly Lu’s War,” from 7-10. We sat down with Erin for this week’s Friday Fiver.

Reflecting on your newly renovated gallery, what has been the number 1 benefit of designing your own space?
A huge benefit of designing The Southern ourselves was having control over functional features like our reinforced walls and adding some surprise with neon and wallpaper in the bathrooms. 2 Carlson has allowed us to show our aesthetic without architectural restrictions.
You showcase and represent artists only for the length of their exhibits. How does this benefit the artists?
This is somewhat true. We are taking our time to build a roster for The Southern in a number of ways – producing exhibitions and consigning works on paper and objects for 3-6 month periods. For some artists, working with one gallery feels constricting, but for others it’s like “Jesus, take the wheel”. We like to work with artists on all ends of that spectrum. This benefits the artist at the end of the day because we are understanding of their needs and goals for their career. 
3. At your last opening, the DJ played mostly hip-hop music. What can we expect to hear at “Kelly Lu’s War” on Saturday and how do you decide what music to play?
 Saturday night’s opening will have a playlist curated by our girls Camela Guevara and Dalia Dalili of Gemsounds. Girl power is definitely the theme of the evening. We usually select the music based on the artist’s vibe. This is why our last DJ was from a North Charleston strip club, and it was fun.
4. The outfits you wear to the gallery are so cool and professional at the same time. Who is your fashion inspiration?
I have no idea. Thankfully, I have very fashionable friends, like Sarah Frierson, so I usually ask her if something is cool or not.
5. If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what would you like to see happen?
The impractical side of me would love to see all the stray cats come together and parade up King Street because that would be pretty magical. 

Gallery Openings this Weekend!

Opening this weekend are several highly anticipated gallery exhibits. There are a ton of great shows still up from the first rush in May (Remnants at Robert Lange, Neighbors at 4th Wall) but you’ll definitely want to head to these openings this weekend to mingle with the artists and savor the last weekend before the summer tourists come and take away all of our weekend event parking.

FRIDAY UNTIL 4 : “Toonin’ In” at The Charleston Library Society 
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FRIDAY 6-8 : “The Talking Cure” by Melissa Stern at Redux Studios
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FRIDAY 6:30-8 : “Rational Exuberance” by Erwin Redl at The Halsey 
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SATURDAY 6-9 : “Listing” by Tim Hussey at T.Hussey Studio
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Friday Fiver: Courtney Daniel

Courtney DanielCourtney Daniel has spent a lifetime in theater. As Executive Director for Threshold Repertory Theatre, she continues that lifetime passion, bringing shows to life at their home on Society Street. Courtney is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a BA in Arts Management. She is a Delta Zeta alumni and sits on the board of League of Charleston Theatres. She is also a licensed Esthetician and make-up artist. Threshold’s next production, part of Piccolo Spoleto, is “Fully Committed,” which opens May 27 and features a single actor portraying more than 40 roles. We sat down with Courtney for this week’s Friday Fiver:

Located on Society Street, Threshold is smack in middle of downtown. What are the challenges of being in the heart of the Holy City? The advantages?

There are always pros and cons to any location. Charleston has so much to offer and being downtown can be extremely beneficial for foot traffic, easy access to great restaurants for patrons, and the allure of the Lowcountry. Some of the challenges we face as a local non-profit organization in a quickly growing city is; property values increasing, lack of parking for staff, actors, and patrons, and competition with larger performing arts venues.

What is your favorite role you’ve ever played? What’s your dream role you hope to one day play?

My favorite role was Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. My background in theatre is primary Musical Theatre and this role was a lot of fun. She was funny, caring, feisty, and you can’t beat music by Cole Porter. There are a lot of roles I would love to play. One off the top of my head would be Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

As a licensed Esthetician and make-up artist, what is something about theatre make-up that most people don’t know or realize?

Firstly, you must have a good base, you have to take good care of your skin to get the best results from makeup. So I would advise everyone to make sure they are cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing daily. Theatre makeup is naturally thicker than most daily makeups because it has to stand up to lighting and audience distance.

In “Fully Committed” actor Adam Miles plays 40 separate characters. Can you give us a couple of examples of the diverse characters we see him perform?

Fully Committed is filled with fun, witty, and unique characters. Some of the my favorites include; Bryce, the gay assistant for Naomi Campbell’s office; Jean Claude, the french maitre d’ with no manners; Bunny Vandevere, the V.V.V.VIP patron who expects special treatment; and Ms Wantabe, the Japanese patron that can’t speak English well. I think patrons will find multiple characters to love in this show.

If you could wave a magic wand over Charleston, what one thing would immediately happen?

We have a beautiful culturally enriching city with a multitude of arts organizations with dedicated and hard working people at the helm. If I could wave a wand over Charleston I would make it so these organizations had the appropriate funding to continue their work and have the ability to pay artists living wages. I would want to see organizations make larger impacts for youth, the underserved, artists, and our community as a whole without funding limitations.

 Interested in being a Friday Fiver? E-mail mike@artscharleston.org.

Graduation Weekend/Mother’s Day

What with Lowcountry Giving Day, Star Wars Day, Cinco De Mayo, College of Charleston’s Graduation, and now Mother’s Day we’ve all had quite a busy week! We’ve got some GREAT things happening in the arts this weekend to entertain all your out-of-town friends, in-laws, and most importantly, Moms. Click on some of the images below to take you directly to their artscharleston.org details page to buy tickets!

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