HARVIN COLUMN: Spring blooms with Lowcountry artistic offerings
The great thing about writing about art is there are so many creative avenues in the Lowcountry, and with the official start of spring only nine days away, there are so many artistic offerings coming up.
A traditional favorite is the Charleston Symphony Orchestra League Designer Showhouse, which is in its 35th year. This year, the house is at 73 Rutledge Ave.
This is truly a showcase of local interior designers, and one where they are known to stretch their wings to bring some fantasy to an old Charleston home.
Think wing chairs in polka dots next to Victorian mantels.
Cynthia Zimmerman of Zimmerman Interiors is designing four of the rooms, and here's her description of the master bedroom:
"The supple white leather and chrome lounge chair plays delightfully off of the turn-of-the-century wood and tile of the fireplace's hearth and mantel. The deep gray tones of the walls embrace the room and set the tone for a modern backdrop. The soft off-white bedding pops with chartreuse and gray geometric floral patterns, all while sitting contentedly atop a Victorian bed."
This form of art is one that can be so subtle that you never see the scale, pattern and planning that goes into magnificent homes and rooms. It's the largest annual fundraiser for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. And it's the perfect opportunity to take a friend to lunch during the al fresco dining hours. Have some fun and wear a hat.
The showhouse opens Thursday and runs through April 15. Get your $15 tickets now if you want to save some money. After the house opens, the tickets go up to $20. Call 216-1329 or visit www.csolinc.org/events/2011-designer-showhouse.
You have to love an event that is titled "Musical Madness," and this one is a tribute to the Ides of March, Broadway style, at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Charleston Library Society, 164 King St.
It stars Laura Ball, an up-and-coming young chamber music artist, and it promises to be "a night of satire, revelry, madness and intrigue." In honor of Julius Caesar, guests are encouraged to wear their best toga, and there will be prizes for the best garb. The library society's Hogarth collection will be on display, and images will accompany the singers overhead as they illuminate the shadowy side of human nature.
It's only one of the library society's events. It is planning all sorts of concerts and lectures, so if you miss this one, there is another event next week. Tickets, $15, are available online, by calling 888-718-4253 or at the front desk of the library society. Visit www.charlestonlibrarysociety.org.
'Love is in the Air'
Another sign of spring is the concert "Love is in the Air," performed by the Charleston Men's Chorus at 3 p.m. March 18 at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.
The men's chorus, made up of about 70 doctors, lawyers, accountants and other backgrounds, will be singing love songs.
Proceeds from this as well as the group's other concerts benefit music scholarships given to students studying vocal music and/or choral conducting at the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University. The concert will feature current scholarship recipients.
Tickets are available online at www.cmchorus.com, at the box office the day of the concert or in advance at Monster Music & Movies in West Ashley and Royall Hardware in Mount Pleasant (there is a $1 surcharge at these locations). Admission is $15; free to ages 6 and under. Call 720-8505, visit the website or find them on Facebook.
Dance concert tribute
The department of theater at the College of Charleston School of the Arts is presenting its fourth annual dance concert, "Looking Back, Moving Forward," starting Saturday.
The concert features choreography by faculty, students and guest artists, including a reconstruction of Helen Tamiris' "Negro Spirituals," which is being restaged through Labanotation, a symbol-based language used to analyze, describe and document movement.
Gretchen McLaine, artistic director of the concert and assistant professor in the theater department, is certified in Labanotation and is excited to show off the work and teach students the notation form.
Adjunct professor Ashley Stock is restaging "America Dances," a ballet choreographed by the late Robert Ivey, who died last July. He was professor emeritus and was instrumental in creating the dance minor and laying the foundation for the dance program.
The show will run Saturday through March 19 in the Emmett Robinson Theatre in the Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip St. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Monday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or by calling 953-5604. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for College of Charleston students, faculty, staff and senior citizens. Visit http://theatre.cofc.edu.