Local arts in brief

"Waiting in the Breeze," by Grant Hacking, who has been named as the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition's featured artist for 2015.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition has announced Grant Hacking as its featured artist for 2015.

Hacking, born and raised in South Africa, moved to the United States at age 25 and began to focus on painting local subject matter. His work includes figurative and architectural paintings, coastal scenes and landscapes, especially those near his home in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

"Strictly speaking, I do not want to be categorized as either a wildlife painter or a landscapist because what I really paint is nature," he said in a statement. "I try to give equal time to both genres."

"Grant is incredibly talented and we are proud to name him Featured Artist for 2015," SEWE Executive Director John Powell said. "His years of experience on multiple continents give him a unique range of subject that is truly awe-inspiring when shown within a full body of work as it will be presented at SEWE."

As featured artist, Hacking will create the image used for the official 2015 SEWE poster, to be unveiled this fall. The festival runs Feb. 13-15. A featured artist exhibit will be mounted at Charleston Place.

For more information, visit sewe.com.

Broadway veteran Barbara Cook will headline Charleston Stage's Benefit Performance Dinner and Gala, a fundraiser scheduled for Oct. 9 at the Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St.

Cook, 77, has won numerous prizes, including a Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics' Circle award. She was a 2011 Kennedy Center honoree. She appeared in productions of "Oklahoma," "Carousel," "Candide," "The Music Man," "She Loves Me," "Showboat" and many more.

The gala starts at 6:45 p.m. with cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres in the lobby and courtyard. Cook will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Following the performance, ticketed donors and guests will enjoy a seated dinner.

Tickets range from $250 for individuals to $25,000 for a "lead sponsor" table of 10, with several intermediary levels of support available.

Proceeds go to Charleston Stage's New Horizons Initiatives, which pay for guest actors from New York, guest scenic and costume designers, and the expansion of Charleston Stage's Professional Resident Acting Company.

Sponsor, benefactor and patron tickets are now on sale. Call 856-5316. Individual $250 tickets are available online at charlestonstage.com or by calling 577-7183.

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra League and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra present "Le Cabaret de la Symphonie," a fundraiser scheduled for 6-11 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Historic Rice Mill, 17 Lockwood Drive. Tickets are $150 per person or $1,000 for a table of eight.

The event features singer Nicci Canada, trumpet player Charlton Singleton, pianist Gerald Gregory, violinist Seth Gilliard and the CSO Brass Quintet. Food and drink will be served in a cabaret atmosphere. A silent auction is planned. On offer are vacation packages, a Rolex watch and a hot-air balloon ride, dinner with CSO Concertmaster Yuriy Bekker and an evening's entertainment in your home with a CSO chamber ensemble, among other selections.

The fundraiser will benefit the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as it kicks off its 2014-2015 season. For more information and tickets, go to www.csolinc.org, or call 323-6903 or 958-0757.

The city of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs presents "African Diaspora - Convergence and Reclamation," an art exhibition on view at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, 34 Prioleau St.

The exhibit, curated by Ade Ofunniyin, runs through Oct. 5 and brings together a group of local African-American artists - Hampton R. Olfus Jr., James Denmark, Winston Kennedy, Arianne King-Comer and Addelle Sanders - whose personal collections and artistic practices are examined through the lens of cultural heritage.

Participating artists and curator Ofunniyin will be at the gallery 2 p.m. Sept. 28 for a free lecture.

The artists look to Africa as a "source of renewal" and inspiration "to propel, sustain, and add new meaning and/or significant cultural nuances to the visual imageries guiding our understanding of each other and the world, making life more meaningful for us all," according to Ofunniyin.

For more information, go to the new City Gallery website, citygalleryatwaterfrontpark.com.

Organizers of a new choir-in-formation, The King's Counterpoint, will hold auditions for experienced singers on Saturday and Sept. 20. Appointments are required.

The ensemble will perform classical music from the Medieval period up to today, some acappella, some accompanied. Music Director David Acres and Executive Director Judith Overcash, both accomplished singers intimately familiar with the English choral tradition, hope to identify 30 or so local singers. Groups consisting of as little as four and as many as 18 (sometimes more) would be assembled to perform four concerts a year.

Acre and Overcash also run a small choir called Contrapunctus in Cleveland.

For more information about the initiative, and to schedule an audition, go to www.thekingscounterpoint.com, call 297-4804 or email TheKingscounterpoint@gmail.com.

The Charleston Academy of Music presents pianist Micah McLaurin and violinist Zeyu Victor Li in recital at 6 p.m. Friday at the Spoleto Festival USA building, 14 George St. The free hour-long concert, the first in the Guest Artist Series, includes music by Franz Liszt, Alexander Scriabin, Camille Saint-Saens and Maurice Ravel.

McLaurin, 20, is a Charleston native who studied with Enrique Graf at the Charleston Academy of Music. Currently, he attends the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he works with Robert McDonald. Li, 18, also attends Curtis, here he is a student of Aaron Rosand.

Both musicians already have made appearances with major orchestras and have won several prestigious prizes.

For more information about the Charleston Academy of Music, the Guest Artist Series and the Rush Hour Mini Concerts, call 805-7794 or go to www.charlestonmusic.org.

Adam Parker