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Guests stepped through the doors of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art for the opening reception of Call and Response: Africa to America and found themselves in the midst of a truly amazing sensory experience.

Beats from the Djole Dance and Drum Company pulsed through the space while the festively dressed crowd soaked up the vibrant hues and incredible aesthetic of Nick Cave’s “Soundsuits” and Phyllis Galembo’s stunning photographic portraits. The reception was sponsored by Charleston and Charleston Art magazines together with Social Restaurant and Wine Bar, and marks the official opening of Call and Response, on view through June 26, 2010.

Call and Response explores the contours and rich culture of West African masquerade. Cave’s magnificent sculptural “Soundsuits” and Galembo’s evocative photographs are being shown together for the first time, and the combination of these two artists’ work is “a powerful celebration of creativity, imagination, and cross-cultural communication.”

The energy was high throughout the reception, but the excitement became contagious as the Djole Dance and Drum Company took the floor. Party-goers crowded around to catch each dynamic performance, and the people watching was fantastic thanks to the costume contest hosted by Charleston Art magazine. Costumes ranged from elaborate masks and authentic African attire to a full Spiderman suit, but only five lucky attendees got to take home prizes. The evening was a fabulous success, and this exhibition is not to be missed!