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Behind-the-Scenes Pass

Motoi Yamamoto has created salt labyrinths and installations around the world since 1994. Photographs (3) courtesy of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

May 17, 2012

Behind-the-Scenes Pass
Watch artist Motoi Yamamoto turn common table salt into a transcendent installation at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

It’s just one week until Spoleto’s onslaught of performances, exhibits, and parties descends upon the Holy City. And though you won’t necessarily see it, many hands—those of dancers and directors, costume designers and event planners—are beside-themselves-busy with behind-the-scenes prepping for the 17-day artistic whirlwind. However, there is an opportunity to witness the amazing preparation and creation in progress at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto arrived in Charleston a few days ago and on Monday began transforming the 2,300-square-foot gallery floor into a mesmerizing tableau of salt, a symbol of purification in his culture.

Head to the Halsey to witness the making of “Return to the Sea: Saltworks” before the finished piece is unveiled at the opening reception on Thursday, May 24. Then return for additional viewings, CBS News correspondent Martha Teichner’s “Conversations With” Q&A session with the artist, and ultimately the dismantling ceremony on July 7, when everyone is invited to take a bit of the salt and “return it to the sea.”

“Return to the Sea: Saltworks”
May 25-July 7, Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Cato Center for the Arts at the College of Charleston, 161 Calhoun St. Free.
Artist Residency: Watch Yamamoto create his installation from May 14 to 24.
Opening Reception: May 24, Thursday, 5-7 p.m.
“Conversations With”: Martha Teichner interviews the artist. May 26, Saturday, 5 p.m. Recital Hall at the Simons Center for the Arts, College of Charleston, 54 St. Philip St.
Dismantling Ceremony: July 7, Saturday, 4 p.m.

For our “Best of the Fests” preview of “Return to the Sea: Saltworks,” click here.

For more “Best of the Fests” previews, click here.

For a full calendar of events, click here.

Thu, 05/17/2012