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Work by South Carolina Artists

Thresholds: Expressions of Art & Spiritual Life

Inaugural Exhibition

Charleston, often referred to as the Holy City, was settled on principles of religious tolerance and diversity. With more than 400 places of worship, religion is deeply embedded in Charleston’s history making it a logical stage to develop dialogue about religious practices in South Carolina. In one sense, South Carolina can be seen as a laboratory for the study of the social uses of religion and the manifestation of different forms of religious expression from Evangelical Christianity to mainstream Protestantism, Pentecostalism, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, folk religion and African inflected forms of worship, as well as a smattering of non western belief systems, all of which co-exist and commingle in ways that provide a model for religious diversity and toleration.

Thresholds opened in Charleston, South Carolina in conjunction with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Annual Meeting December 4-7, 2003. The exhibition was one of the centerpiece activities of the conference and highlighted the work of contemporary artists from Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee whose art expressed some aspect of their religious beliefs and practices.

A core exhibition of art works was exhibited at the City of Charleston’s Gallery at Waterfront Park. A unique aspect of the Charleston exhibition was a partnership with ten places of worship, which served as off-site venues for portions of the exhibition. Among the sites were two funeral home chapels, cemetery, fellowship hall, garden, sanctuary, courtyard, vestibule, Sunday School meeting room, foyer and gallery and a chapel in an educational building.

The exhibition was augmented with an educational component that included an arts leader luncheon sponsored by the College of Charleston Arts Management Program at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church; panel discussion led by Eleanor Heartney with artists included in the exhibition and religious leaders from places of worship participating in Thresholds at Circular Congregational Church; and gallery talks led by Heartney and staff of the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the South Carolina Arts Commission.



Places of Worship Participating in Thresholds

The core exhibition at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park was augmented by off-site exhibitions at ten places of worship throughout the city.


  • Circular Congregational Church
    150 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
    Artists featured: Cheryl Bogdanowitsch, Loren Schwerd
  • Congregation Beth Elohim
    86 Hasell Street, Charleston, SC
    Artists featured: Eileen Brautman, Christine Clark (Chiwa), Jim Hirschfield & Sonya Ishii, Bryant Holsenbeck
  • Fielding Home for Funerals
    122 Logan Street, Charleston, SC
    Artists featured: Ted Jones, Linda McCune
  • Grace Episcopal Church
    98 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC
    Artist featured: Aaron Lee Benson
  • McAlister-Smith Funeral Home
    150 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC
    Artist featured: Pradip Malde
  • Morris Brown AME Church
    13 Morris Street, Charleston, SC
    Artist featured: Lavon Van Williams
  • Morris Street Baptist Church
    25 Morris Street, Charleston, SC
    Artist featured: Terri Dowell-Dennis
  • St Johannes Lutheran Church
    48 Hasell Street, Charleston, SC
    Artist featured: Aaron Lee Benson
  • St Mark’s Episcopal Church
    16 Thomas Street, Charleston, SC
    Artist featured: Tyrone Geter

Traveling Exhibition
Inaugural Exhibition
Selection Process

For additional information, please contact Harriett Green (803-734-8762), Director of Visual Arts