Friday Fiver: Stacy Huggins

MH20151023-10Stacy Huggins is surrounded by art. As the Executive Director at Redux Contemporary, she oversees the exhibits as well as the artist work spaces in the facility. She is also the Executive Editor for Art Mag, which covers the Charleston art scene. In addition to the art exhibits, Redux is also known for its classes. Starting Jan. 20, Redux will be offering a four-week screenprinting class, led by instructor/artist Todd Anderson. We sat down with Stacy for this week’s Friday Fiver.

As a contemporary art studio, you have wide-ranging exhibits that rotate through Redux. What exhibit has most surprised visitors to Redux?

Probably the ones that included taxidermy – three to date – Wunderkammer, the most beautiful photographs of roadkill you’ve ever seen, with three taxidermied squirrels by Kimberly Witham in January 2014; Andrea Stanislav’s Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted in July 2013; and most recently Rufous: The Stuff of Life by local artists Becca Barnet and Michelle Jewell. Something about a formerly-live creature in an art gallery seems to throw people. I keep a Becca Barnet squirrel in my office year-round for the sheer joy of shocking folks when they notice her.

Who would be your dream exhibit to show at Redux (and feel free to bend the restraints of time)?

Well, to stay true to our mission, I’d stick with a modern day artist. I’d love to give Theaster Gates the keys to the castle and two or three weeks to work, then come back to see what he’s done with the place.

At the screenprinting class, attendees will learn the art of screenprinting and be able print a T-shirt, hoodie, etc. What is your favorite piece of screenprinting you have ever made?

I actually learned to screen print at Redux, from my predecessor Karen Ann Myers. I think more than anything I’ve made for myself in that class or since, my favorite print I’ve ever pulled was for a little girl at an Enough Pie Romney Street Mini-Park outreach event that we participated in. When she saw me put down a blank piece of paper, lay down the screen, pull the squeegee across it, and lift it all to reveal the print, she proclaimed it was “Magic!” and asked if she could keep it. That was the best print I ever made.

The mural on the outside of Redux is a huge part of the studio’s personality. How do you go about deciding what the next mural will be?

The mural changes once or twice a year, and it’s largely dependent on budget and the quality of the proposals we receive. It’s frightening to tally up how much painting a new mural on our wall actually costs; we’d change it a lot more often if we had the cash and/or supplies! Who wants to send me a proposal!?

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

A 10,000+ sq ft building, with 20-30 killer artist studios, the most amazing galleries ever, lecture hall, classroom, print shop, darkroom, artist lounge, and a studio apartment or Tiny House out back for visiting artists – with the deed in Redux’s name!