The arts still churning out events after Spoleto

Brenda Gilliam’s “Man in Cafe”

Congratulations on surviving yet another fabulous Spoleto and Piccolo festival season. While you might need a few days off to relax on the beach and recover, the arts machine of Charleston still is turning out events if you haven’t gotten your fill.

Everyone likes pretty girls. However, these aren’t your typical pretty girls.

There’s actually a group of artists called Pretty Girls. The group is described as an “artist collective and collaborative culture that celebrates artists and their feminist perspectives.”

The collective began in Columbia two years ago with 10 women and two men, and quickly grew to 40 people the second year with exhibitions at 80808 Vista Studios and the Tapp’s Art Center, both in Columbia.

Now in its third year, Pretty Girls is putting on a show in Charleston on Saturday called “Pretty Girls Presents: Pure White Cosmic Light” at The 827 Center for the Arts, Music and Science in Avondale.

Each year’s show has been thematic, and this year the artists were asked to explore the idea of transcendence.

With a variety of different artists participating, expect to see live painting, spoken word, film, music, dance and other performance art throughout the evening.

The opening reception for “Pure White Cosmic Light” will be 5-10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Facebook page at

The 827 Center for the Arts, Music and Science is at 827 Savannah Highway in West Ashley. Find out more at

This weekend will offer you the opportunity to get involved with local theater and help make a play happen.

On Saturday, there will be a one-time-only reading of a new play called “RED” by Breaking the Wall Productions. This is an unusual opportunity for the audience to listen to a play before it is performed and give opinions, advice and critiques so the play can get ready for its upcoming fall production.

Director Jeffery Jelks describes the play: “ ‘RED’ unfolds at the end of the 20th century as the Murrays struggle to hold on to their American dream. With their house in foreclosure and a recent layoff, their coping skills are further tested as the oldest son’s fascination with white supremacy becomes an obsession leading to deadly consequences.”

The reading will take place at 7 p.m. at Pure Theatre, 477 King St. Immediately after the reading, there will be a Q&A session where the audience can interact with the playwright, director and actors, and play their own role in helping to fine-tune the production.

Tickets are $5. To RSVP or for information, contact Jelks at 478-955-1759 or

Originally from St. Louis, artist Brenda Gilliam has relocated to the Lowcountry, finding inspiration at every turn.

Her latest exhibit, a solo show at the Saul Alexander Gallery in the Charleston County Main Library at 68 Calhoun St. is a collection of more than 20 paintings mostly inspired by observations and moments of life in the Charleston area.

“This is my first solo show in Charleston, or anywhere, in 25 years,” said the artist. “It is an adventure, ... interesting to see the influence of this new environment on my work.

“The day-to-day is what interests me; simple moments in life, moments we all share. Whether it be a music festival, an early morning walk in the city, a trip to the farmers market ... we all can relate.”

The show will be on display through June 30. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Reach the gallery at 805-6949.

For more on Gilliam, go to