Gibbes exhibits, Piccolo preview among arts events

Mary Whyte’s “Shoe Shine.”

Just last week, two exhibitions opened at the Gibbes Museum of Art that are not to be missed.

“Mary Whyte: Working South” and “Places for the Spirit: Traditional African-American Gardens of the South” have been paired together, as they both showcase “American art from a Southern perspective,” Executive Director Angela Mack tells us.

Whyte, a Charlestonian, is well-known throughout the country.

“ ‘Mary Whyte: Working South’ features 50 watercolor portraits, sketches and drawings that focus on vanishing rural and industrial workforces that were once ubiquitous throughout the region but are now declining due to changes in our economy, environment, technology and fashion. From the textile mill worker and tobacco farmer to the sponge diver and elevator operator, Whyte documents the range of Southerners whose everyday labors have gone unheralded while keeping the South in business,” explains Marla Loftus, communications director for the Gibbes.

There will be a variety of exhibition tours (June 1 and 8) along with a watercolor painting workshop (May 19), both led by the artist herself, and a conversation with Whyte and Lowcountry artist Jonathan Green together (June 4).

“Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens of the South” is an equally compelling exhibit featuring photographs of Southern gardens by Vaughn Sills.

“Vaughn Sills began photographing folk gardens in 1987 after visiting Mrs. Bea Robinson’s garden in Athens, Ga. ... Over the next 20 years, Sills traveled throughout the Southeast and photographed over 150 yards and gardens — and often their creators. These gardens found in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina represent an important element of the American landscape that is quickly disappearing,” Loftus said.

Sills will lead a tour of her work May 25. On June 14, Sara Arnold, curator of collections at the Gibbes, will lead another tour.

Contact the Gibbes Museum, 135 Meeting St., for specific times and pricing by calling 722-2706 or going to www.gibbesmuseum.org.

Last year, the Young & Free SC organization put on the Change for Change Art Show with great success, donating 100 percent of the money raised to Water Missions International.

They’ve decided to rock it out again this year with a free event 7-11 p.m. Saturday at the Mixson Barn in the Park Circle neighborhood.

Local artists and photographers have donated work to be sold for $50 or less, and attendees can enter the raffle for cool prizes. There will be live music by Austin Chiasson and Charles Carmody, live painting by Meta Sapient and Patch Whisky, munchies from the BBQ Joint and King of Pops, and beer, wine and glass-bottle sodas from Cork.

Ever wanted to know about the real lives of America’s “founding families?”

A new exhibit at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum is all about “The Adams Family.” No, not the one on TV, the one that had a major impact on what our country is today.

Learn about the lives of Samuel Adams (1722-1803), “an American statesman, political philosopher and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A second cousin to President John Adams, he was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution. He was closely involved in the protests of the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Townsend Acts and was heavily involved in the Tea Act, resulting in the Boston Tea Party,” according to a press release.

Also learn about the second president, John Adams (1735-1826), and John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), the sixth president.

The Karpeles Manuscript Museum is at 68 Spring St. Call 853-4651.

Holy City Shakespeare and Pure Theatre are collaborating on a theatrical reading performance of Shakespeare’s gender-bending comedy, “Twelfth Night.”

A theatrical reading, with actors seated on stage with scripts, “allows us to truly appreciate Shakespeare’s words and to emphasize their beauty and wit,” HCS Artistic Director Laura Rose said. “And even though the performance isn’t ‘staged,’ there will be plenty of fun visuals and music to liven the show and to help keep track of characters and scenes.

“The production is a fundraiser for the upcoming HCS production of ‘Hamlet,’ slated for this fall, in which Pure Theatre will also take part,” Rose said. “We have received so much interest in future performances, education and workshops, but we must raise support to launch them.”

There will be a performance Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Charleston Library Society, 164 King St., and another on May 20 at 3:30 p.m. at PURE Theatre, 477 King St. Tickets are $20 and include some light food and drink. Call 866-811-4111 or go to www.holycityshakespeare.org.

The Charleston Acting Studio, also home of Midtown/Sheri Grace Productions, is showing a series of “shorts,” or “fun-size” plays. Join them for an evening of a bunch of plays, each about 10 minutes long.

“Some of them are original and some are by famous people who may (or may not) include Tennessee Williams, John Patrick Shanley, Arthur Miller, Douglas Clinton. ... But all of them are entertaining,” said Kristen Bushey, operations manager.

The performance runs today-Tuesday at the Charleston Acting Studio, 915 Folly Road; call for show times. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $14 for students and can be purchased by calling 795-2223 or online at www.midtown productions.org.

Children’s organization Yo Art, in partnership with the Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the Charleston County Library, are showing an exhibition of 30 posters and photos created by kids between ages 7-15 from Title I schools.

“These photos and posters illustrate the children’s individual creativity, as well as an insight into their community,” said Gene Furchgott of Yo Art.

“Yo Art is both an in-school and after-school program impacting more than 500 students at eight local public schools each school year. Yo Art’s professional staff mentors its kids, building self-esteem, job skills, with an academic focus and a sense of community through computer art workshops, exhibitions and public art projects.”

The exhibit is open through today at the Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. Call 556-6800 or go to www. yoartproject.org.