Art shows will take you to the moon and back

“Fire and Rain” by Deborah Sisco, part of her new exhibit “Imagine,” is at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery.

Don’t miss the abstract painting and bas relief exhibit by Deborah Sisco at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery.

Although originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Sisco now considers herself a Charlestonian as she has lived here the majority of her life.

She says her “work is influenced by the pioneers of the modern art movement of the 19th century and by today’s pop music.”

This new series, called “Imagine,” is a combination of oils and bas relief in oils.

Sisco says the bas relief idea came to her when a friend told her “of a painting he had wanted to buy of a person playing a guitar then lost interest when he found that the artist simply copied it from a photograph.”

Sisco then thought, “Why not create something that actually appeared to come out of the canvas?”

She explains that the process is done in stages. Because they are heavy, the pieces must be done on wood panels to support the weight. First, a structure is built using wire, plaster and different forms to create the three-dimensional portion of each piece. That is then covered with molding paste to give it a feeling of being chiseled. After that, she covers it with gesso and impasto to create a soft painting surface.

“Sometimes I see art in a face or the sky or in a cloud. Sometimes I see a group of shapes, colors or buildings ... and sometimes I dream,” says the artist.

She also says that a good work of art should be either “visually pleasing, disturbing, happy or peaceful, but it should not leave you empty.”

Join Sisco for the opening reception of “Imagine” from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery, 160 East Bay St.

Some of the best art exhibits in town happen at the Saul Alexander Gallery, inside the Charleston County Public Library. And one starting next week is certainly out of this world.

Starting Tuesday, enjoy the new exhibit of astronomical art by recent College of Charleston graduate Alizey Khan. The show, called “Interspatial,” includes paintings on canvas as well as three-dimensional paintings created with layers of resin and acrylic paint and some etchings, all of which explore the fascinating things occurring in outer space.

With no formal background in astronomy, Kahn spends a lot of time studying angles of telescopic images of celestial objects she paints. Her approach is studious, laborious and meditative.

“The meditative aspect of Khan’s work is in the process itself; she focuses on intricate details and slow art-making processes to remind herself that the universe is so much greater than our tiny planet and our meaningless daily worries. Khan’s painterly eye romanticizes the astronomical objects depicted, creating images of hazy, beautiful, distant escapes which fill the viewer with wonder and curiosity,” explains the gallery’s representative.

Kahn, 23, is three weeks younger than the Hubble Space Telescope itself and is wildly fascinated by the universe and all its mysterious attributes. She was born in the United Kingdom until the age of 12, when her family moved to Pakistan for three years; they then moved to the U.S. when she was 15. She has exhibited throughout the Charleston area, including showing at the Halsey Institute’s Young Contemporaries exhibit and Redux’s “Reorientation 5” exhibit. She will be creating a site-specific installation for Enough Pie’s “Awakening” event July 10-31, in addition to her show at the library gallery.

Join Kahn for an opening reception from 5-7:45 p.m. Tuesday, with an artist’s lecture from 6-7 p.m. She has also created a limited number of linocut prints, hand-printed herself, that she will be giving away to gallery visitors Tuesday. The exhibition will be on display through Aug. 17.

For more information, go to and

In the spirit of helping the local food community kick off its fall community supported agriculture membership drive, Helena Fox Fine Art and goat. sheep. cow. will be hosting a meet-and-greet for Pinckney’s Produce from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at 106 Church St.

Publicist Katie Thompson explains, “Fifth generation farmer Urbie West and his son, Ashby West, are the owners and farmers of Pinckney’s Produce and would like to invite members of the local Charleston food community to join them to kickoff membership sign-ups for the CSA’s fall 2013 harvest season.

“Sara Clow of GrowFood Carolina and Charleston artist West Fraser of Helena Fox Fine Art will also be in attendance to discuss the importance of strengthening our local food and agricultural communities by supporting our local farmers and growers.”

Fraser and Urbie West initially met when Fraser stumbled upon the old, dilapidated barn that sits on the edge of the McLeod farm property in Seabrook, Thompson said.

Fraser sat down to paint the relic of agricultural history only to realize that there was a thriving CSA operation growing behind the old barn.

This chance encounter ignited discussions between the two of how to better serve the needs of South Carolina’s agricultural heritage.

Fraser’s now completed painting of the McLeod barn will be on show at the event, she said.

What a great way to merge fine art and local culture and produce. Of course, you can attend the event Thursday and learn more about it that way, but you also can contact Pinckney’s Produce at 321-8344 or