Gibbes’ Society 1858 blends professionals and the arts

By Olivia Pool

Special to The Post and Courier – Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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Fia Forever Photography
The band The Juleps performed at the Society 1858 event “Luce e Colore: Le Bella Notte Italiana” at the Gibbes Museum of Art.
  • “Floral Wave” will be part of a Lara Neece exhibit.
    ( Provided )
    “Floral Wave” will be part of a Lara Neece exhibit.

  • The leading men in “Forever Plaid.”
    ( Provided )
    The leading men in “Forever Plaid.”

  • “Our Town” follows the lives of characters George Gibbs and Emily Webb.
    ( Provided )
    “Our Town” follows the lives of characters George Gibbs and Emily Webb.

  • “Our Town” follows the lives of characters George Gibbs and Emily Webb.
    ( Provided )
    “Our Town” follows the lives of characters George Gibbs and Emily Webb.

  • “Our Town” follows the lives of characters George Gibbs and Emily Webb.
    ( Provided )
    “Our Town” follows the lives of characters George Gibbs and Emily Webb.

If you’ve not yet been to one of Society 1858’s parties at the Gibbes Museum of Art, you need to change that.

Society 1858 is an auxiliary group of the Gibbes Museum that is geared toward young professionals and the arts. The Habanero Rhythym Party will be Feb. 8 in celebration of the Gibbes exhibition “Vibrant Vision: The Collection of Jonathan Green and Richard Weedman.”

“The auxiliary group’s winter party embraces the energy of the dance movement that was brought to Cuba by Haitian refugees in the mid-19th century. The slow and rhythmic dance celebrates African art and music,” said Amy Mercer, marketing and communications manager for the Gibbes.

Local artist Green and his partner, Weedman, will be the guests of honor at the event. Expect traditional jazz standards and Latin-influenced world folk music by Leah Suarez as well as a performance by the Garage Cuban Band. Nibble on Latin-inspired food from Moe’s Southwest Grill.

“This cutting-edge event provides intimate access to an acclaimed local artist, builds future arts leaders and the opportunity to give back to the Gibbes Museum,” Society 1858 President Helen Pratt-Thomas said.

Tickets are $50 for Society 1858 members, $75 for nonmembers, and can be purchased in advance online at www.gibbesmuseum.org/events or by calling 722-2706, ext. 21. Guests must be 21 or over, and tickets will not be sold at the door.

Lara Neece exhibit

Join mixed-media artist Lara Neece from 5-9 p.m. Friday at the Real Estate Studio, 214 King St. for her new collection.

Neece has had an interesting life, especially since graduating from the College of Charleston in 2009. She and her partner, Brian Young, renovated their 37-foot sailboat and sailed up and down the East Coast and the Bahamas.

Her artwork is inspired by the plants, animals and environments she comes into contact with. In 2011, she turned many of these drawings into designs for her eco-friendly clothing line called Forest and Fin.

“My artwork is a collection of imagery drawn from eco-systems that I come in contact with daily or during my travels,” Neece said.

She creates these pieces on wood, paper and fabric.

“Each piece is a contained environment or portion of an ecosystem that comments on such themes as natural order, interdependence, balance, evolution and environmental issues.

“Living on a sailboat for three years granted me the opportunity to take a closer look at the wind, tide, weather, and my impact on the plants and animals that share these environments,” she explains. “While traveling up and down the southeastern coast of the United States, I saw countless eco-systems operating and interacting with the same set of larger elements in both similar and drastically different ways. From oysters relying on the tide to filter water systems in the Chesapeake Bay to osprey in the Lowcountry of South Carolina using wind currents to travel between small and large bodies of water while hunting fish. In North Carolina, I saw a black bear on the banks of a canal in the early morning hours, and on a sail from the Exumas to Eleuthera in the Bahamas, a sea turtle as big as a Volkswagon. These experiences have illuminated the fine line between life and death, a balanced system and an unbalanced one, and how small changes in these environmental elements can have big effects.”

Friday night’s reception will include wine and light hors d’oeuvres. Call 722-5618.

‘Our Town’

“Beautiful and remarkable; one of the sagest, warmest and most deeply human scripts to have come out of our theater. ... A spiritual experience.” This is what the New York Post had to say of the original production of “Our Town” in 1938.

The play won the Pulitzer Prize that year and has been an American classic drama ever since.

Although that time period was plagued with fear, playwright Thornton Wilder made the play’s focus the strength and endurance of the human spirit.

“Our Town” will have local performances at 8 p.m. Feb. 7-9 and 14-16 with 3 p.m. matinees on Feb. 10 and 17 at the Footlight Players. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and military, and $15 for students. Student rush tickets are available at the door for $10 at 10 minutes prior to the performance with a valid student ID.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.FootlightPlayers.net or by calling 722-4487.

The play will take place at the Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St.

‘Forever Plaid’

This “deliciously goofy revue” will take you back to the ’50s, a time when “guy groups” were the top music makers.

Featuring nostalgic hits, watch as The Plaids gets “one last chance to perform the show that never was.”

Put on by the Flowertown Players, 133 S. Main St. in Summerville, the show will be at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Feb. 7-9, with 2 p.m. shows Saturday-Sunday and Feb. 9-10.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 875-9251 or online at www.flowertownplayers.org.