Gaillard Center Releases Prints in Clay, Virtual Exhibit and Concert

Press Release

While the Charleston Gaillard Center’s stage remains dark and our community continues to navigate the new environment in which we work and play, the Gaillard Center’s team has worked with local and national artists to bring virtual content to arts enthusiasts. They have released two parts of their multifaceted 2019 program, Prints in Clay

The Gaillard Center collaborated with community groups on this multimedia, educational exploration into the many significant contributions of African Americans to the history and culture of the community. They are thrilled to virtually share the program’s photography exhibition and performance video. They also invite arts lovers to attend a Q&A with three of the performers on Friday, April 24th at 4pm.

View the concert and RSVP for the Q&A here: https://1.shortstack.com/qrpLCW

View the photographic exhibit here:

Here are details on the exhibits, artists, and more:

Prints in Clay: A Visual Exhibit

Presented by the Slave Dwelling Project, Historic Charleston Foundation, and Gaillard Center

During the 2018-2019 Season, the Gaillard Center proudly collaborated with multiple community partners to present Prints in Clay: A Visual Exhibit. This collection of South Carolina photographers told the story of the Slave Dwelling Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to identify and assist in preserving extant slave dwellings. The curated selection featured the historic dwellings, in various states of preservation, and highlighted the educational programs at the core of the Project.

Prints in Clay Concert – Still, We Rise! A Spirituals Celebration

Featuring renowned mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, the Lowcountry Voices, led by Director Nathan L. Nelson, with music arrangements by composer and Musical Director Wycliffe Gordon

While spirituals are the primary musical focus of the concert, the artists offer new treatments on classics such as “Motherless Child,” “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” and “Deep River,” to name a few. The music is performed in varying styles of classical, gospel, and jazz genres. Lowcountry Voices, led by Director Nathan L. Nelson, lend their blessed voices by performing a few of their signature pieces and new compositions.

In celebration of the Slave Dwelling Project, the concert Prints in Clay features several compositions by Wycliffe Gordon, including the world premiere of two new works entitled “Still, We Rise!” and “He Heard My Cry.” Commissioned by the Charleston Gaillard Center, this music serves to tell the untold stories of the ancestors, both adults and children, who lived through the horrible conditions of slavery. Gordon’s reworking of a celebratory band composition, “We’re Still Here!/He’s Alright,” completes the story of these lost souls that lived in this weary land and highlights their heroic perseverance through these troubling times.

On Friday, April 24 at 4 pm, we will have a thirty-minute Zoom Q&A session with Wycliffe Gordon, J’Nai Bridges, and Nathan L. Nelson. Space is limited and RSVPs are required.

This program was presented with support from the Slave Dwelling Project, Historic Charleston Foundation, Lowcountry Voices, and South Carolina Humanities, a not-for-profit organization inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage.  The concert was a Baker Motor Company Spotlight Performance.

About Wycliffe Gordon

Renowned musician, composer, conductor and arranger Wycliffe Gordon is a veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet and original member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Gordon’s arrangement of the theme song to NPR’s “All Things Considered” is heard daily across the globe. The world famous Apollo Theater celebrated 75 years by commissioning Gordon as the musical director and composer of a new work that premiered May 2011.

About J’Nai Bridges

American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, known for her “rich, dark, exciting sound” (Opera News) is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after talents of her generation. J’Nai Bridges, known for her “plush-voiced mezzo soprano” (The New York Times), has been heralded as a “rising star” (Los Angeles Times), gracing the world’s top stages. Her 2019-2020 operatic engagements in the U.S. this season included her debut at The Metropolitan Opera, singing the role of Nefertiti in Philip Glass’ opera Akhnaten, and her house and role debut at Washington National Opera performing Dalila in Samson et Dalila.

About Nathan L. Nelson and Lowcountry Voices

Lowcountry Voices performs all genres of music with an emphasis on African-American music performed in the South Carolina Lowcountry tradition. It shares the musical flavor of the Lowcountry throughout the United States and internationally. Founding Director Nathan L. Nelson has a passion for preserving the cultural legacy and authenticity of African-American music. A native Charlestonian Nelson has conducted in England and Africa and mesmerized sold out audiences throughout the Southeast.

About Slave Dwelling Project

“What she didn’t realize…was that some of the indentations in the bricks are the fingerprints of the slave who made them. And when I go and I put my fingers in those prints, my fingers are way too big—which is an indication that they were children, enslaved children, you know, making those bricks. That’s the evidence of the enslaved ancestors reaching out to us, saying, ‘We are here. Tell our stories.’” –Joe McGill, Founder, Slave Dwelling Project

The Slave Dwelling Project’s mission is to identify and assist property owners, government agencies and organizations in preserving extant slave dwellings. The organization identifies preservation resources and assists communities to mitigate the possibility of demolition of local existing slave dwellings. Joe McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, is a Civil War Reenactor (54th Massachusetts Regiment) and a descendant of enslaved people. Visit slavedwellingproject.org for more information.

About Historic Charleston Foundation

Through public advocacy, educational outreach, research and interpretation at its house museums and preservation initiatives like the Neighborhood Impact Initiative, Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) has succeeded in protecting buildings and neighborhoods since its founding in 1947. Visit historiccharleston.org for more information.

About the Charleston Gaillard Center

The Charleston Gaillard Center is a 501c3 nonprofit performing arts organization in Charleston, South Carolina, committed to enriching lives through unforgettable experiences. Throughout the year, we provide exceptional classical programming and vibrant educational opportunities for the community. While our stage is dark now, we cannot wait to once again open our doors to arts enthusiasts.

Please consider a contribution as we continue to find innovative ways to connect, inspire and entertain. Donate to support the arts in your community. You can learn more about our educational resources and past programming at gaillardcenter.org.

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