United States

7 Exhibitions to Visit in South Carolina this Summer

by Paul Joseph  |  Published May 28, 2024

Home to one of the strongest cultural identities anywhere in America, it’s little surprise that South Carolina is a hotbed of great exhibitions.

(Photo: Richard Segalman / Courtesy Chapin Art Museum)

This rich cultural output can be found at museums and other institutions sprinkled across the state, both in its major cities and more rural backwaters. If you’re visiting South Carolina this summer and would like to take in some of the cultural and artistic endeavours inspired by the region’s past, you won’t be short of choice over the coming months. To help you plan your time, here are 7 of the best exhibitions taking place in South Carolina over summer 2024.

Richard Segalman: Ebb and Flow

Born in Coney Island in 1934, Richard Segalman is renowned for his depictions of voluminously draped female figures posing in his Manhattan studios, his home in Woodstock and on the beaches of Naples and Coney Island. The beginning of Segalman’s 60-year career found success with his charcoal drawings, developing a unique ability to capture and convey his models’ personalities. Throughout his life, Segalman pushed himself forward by mastering new media, including pastel, watercolour, oil and printmaking. This exhibition features over 50 of the artist’s beach works spanning multiple media, each characterised by flowing drapery cascading in ocean breezes and bathed in golden light.

Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach / 30 May – 1 September 2024

Sergio Hudson: Focused on the Fit

Sergio Hudson Collections group photo (Photo: Erik Lee Snyder)

South Carolina-born fashion designer Sergio Hudson’s high-profile clients include Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kamala Harris, Kendall Jenner, Issa Rae, Rachel Brosnahan, and Keke Palmer. But despite this prestigious roll-call, Hudson’s design philosophy is underpinned by a belief that fashion should be for everyone. This exhibition features eight of Hudson’s signature garments from key moments in his revolutionary career alongside more than 20 sketches and drawings spanning his earliest days in the industry up through the present day.

Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia / Through 7 July 2024

Inside Out

On view in the Florence County Museum’s Special Exhibit Gallery through to mid-summer, this exhibition features works belonging to North Carolina collectors, Ray Griffin and Thom Robinson. The works on display centre on contemporary Southern Appalachian art in conjunction and contrast with self-taught “Outsider” art and artists, and their unique position relative to fine art in the American South. It also addresses the role of private collecting in the art world and explores the unique connections and relationships that form between collectors, artists, and art institutions.

Florence County Museum, Florence / Through 14 July 2024

From Earth to Art: Alkaline-Glazed Pottery in the American Southeast

Hosted in the McKissick Museum’s North Gallery until mid-July, this exhibition highlights the rich and varied legacy of stoneware masterpieces gleaned from the museum’s permanent collection. Transporting visitors through time and tradition, it features a selection of functional wares made by southern hands between the 1840s and early 2000s, each object a celebration of the distinctiveness of its maker and the artistry of the applied glaze.

McKissick Museum, Columbia / Through 17 July 2024

D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Memory Lives On

(Photo: Upcountry History Museum)

Normandy, France will forever be marked by the June 6, 1944, D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy that led to the liberation of France and Europe during World War II. In the year marking the historic event’s 80th anniversary, this exhibition honours the efforts of the 156,000 Allied troops who took part in the largest seaborne invasion in history – an endeavour of huge success but also of tremendous sacrifice, with over 6,000 American casualties alone. The exhibition features artifacts, uniforms, archival materials, ephemera, art and more that tell the story of a remarkable moment in history. It also includes the contributions and sacrifices of Upstate South Carolinian military personnel, many of whom were in their teens, to commemorate their participation in the events of June 1944.

Upcountry History Museum, Greenville / 18 May 2024 – 19 January 2025

Horace Day in the Lowcountry

plein air (the act of painting outdoors) realist, artist Horace Talmage Day helped to extend the Charleston Renaissance into the post-World War II era by modernising the genre, combining the punch of brilliant colours and textured brushstrokes with a true love of place. His fresh interpretations of Lowcountry subjects documented vibrant city streets and their inhabitants, bucolic landscapes, rural cabins hidden beneath massive oaks, and churches still identifiable today by their distinctive architectural details. This exhibition focuses on the artist’s work painted over four decades of travelling along the coast—from Charleston to Hilton Head Island.

Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville / 8 September 2024

Heather Deyling

Focussing on pieces from her current and ongoing body of work, the “Invented Hybrids” series, this exhibition showcases the creative talents of Atlanta-based artist Heather Deyling, whose practices are inspired by research and observation of natural forms, eco-fiction and the effects of climate changes. Featuring sculptures, installations and drawings, all of the works on display are imagined variations and combinations of flora, fauna and fungi, representing an alternative future in which species have merged to create new life forms – an adaptation required by the changing conditions of our planet.

Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg / Through 30 June 2024