Eyes on the Edge

J Henry Fair Photographs the Carolina Coast

August 19 - October 23, 2016

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Twenty-seven dramatic, large-scale photographs that teeter between abstractions and high-resolution imagery of the land.

American photographer and South Carolina native J Henry Fair captures images of the Carolina coast in this new collection of work that debuts at the Columbia Museum of Art. Fair documents our spectacular coastline through 27 dramatic, large-scale photographs that teeter between abstractions and high-resolution imagery of the land.

Check out our multimedia tour
Take a look at our multimedia TAP tour for the exhibition, then come on in and see the works yourself! Tours are available on your smart device (we can lend you some headphones), or you can always check out an iPod for free to access the tours while you're here.

Have you seen the exhibition?
Tell us what you think! We're willing to bribe you with prizes - each week, two survey participants will receive two free passes to the CMA and two catalogues for Eyes on th Edge.

"Growing up cruising the rivers of the South Carolina coast in a johnboat, I was essentially oblivious to the staggering beauty of this place. After two years of flying repeatedly over these inaccessible places where I wandered as a boy, words seem trite when used to describe the singularity of this region.

But nothing stays the same. Things evolve with God’s will, and are manipulated by the hand of man. The winding marsh-lined creeks where I learned to slalom are now crowded by houses with docks. The rivers where I cast my net now post warning signs about the mercury content of the fish. A giant condominium is falling into the ocean on the end of the Isle of Palms, coastal forests are being cleared for tract houses, and the traffic everywhere is a mess.

Meanwhile, as we crowd ever closer to the shore, demanding federally funded flood insurance to protect our investments, the ocean is rising to take them away. The city of Charleston is predicted to have 30 days per year of flooding by 2020. And all the while 48 people per day move into the region, congesting new roads and bridges as fast as they can be built, and placing a tremendous burden on infrastructure.

Is this just the nature of progress, that all good things must be cut down or paved? Or are there effective limits to growth that will preserve this region into the future?"

 - J Henry Fair

From the Exhibition

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Morning Beachgoers (7/2/2015), Myrtle Beach, SC

J Henry Fair

Morning Beachgoers (7/2/2015), Myrtle Beach, SC (2016)

J Henry Fair

Color photograph

Courtesy of the artist

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A Brick Hurricane Shelter for Slaves Working in the Rice Fields Sits in Coastal Wetlands Flooded after a Recent Hurricane (10/12/2015), Santee Coastal Reserve

J Henry Fair

A Brick Hurricane Shelter for Slaves Working in the Rice Fields Sits in Coastal Wetlands Flooded after a Recent Hurricane (10/12/2015), Santee Coastal Reserve (2016)

J Henry Fair

Color photograph

Courtesy of the artist

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City of Charleston under Approaching Storm, Seen through Harbor Entrance (1/7/2015), Charleston, SC

J Henry Fair

City of Charleston under Approaching Storm, Seen through Harbor Entrance (1/7/2015), Charleston, SC (2016)

J Henry Fair

Color photograph

Courtesy of the artist

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Fishing Boat Offshore from McClellanville (10/12/2015), McClellanville, SC

J Henry Fair

Fishing Boat Offshore from McClellanville (10/12/2015), McClellanville, SC (2016)

J Henry Fair

Color photograph

Courtesy of the artist

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Housing Development Cut Out of Forest (4/9/15), Hardeeville, SC

J Henry Fair

Housing Development Cut Out of Forest (4/9/15), Hardeeville, SC (2016)

J Henry Fair

Color photograph

Courtesy of the artist

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Housing Development (5/5/2015), Myrtle Beach, SC

J Henry Fair

Housing Development (5/5/2015), Myrtle Beach, SC (2016)

J Henry Fair

Color photograph

Courtesy of the artist

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Fragile Coastal Peninsula under Development Threat (4/9/15), Captain Sam’s Spit, Kiawah Island, SC

J Henry Fair

Fragile Coastal Peninsula under Development Threat (4/9/15), Captain Sam’s Spit, Kiawah Island, SC (2016)

J Henry Fair

Color photograph

Courtesy of the artist

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Container Shipping Terminal (1/7/2015), Mount Pleasant, SC

J Henry Fair

Container Shipping Terminal (1/7/2015), Mount Pleasant, SC (2016)

J Henry Fair

Color photograph

Courtesy of the artist

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Art Break: Geology of South Carolina Coastal Regions

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Christian Maloney Cicimurri is a USC geology professor and curator of natural science at McKissick Museum. In this geology-themed gallery talk from September 13, explore the SC coastline that inspired J Henry Fair’s works.

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Speaking with Photographer J Henry Fair

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Will South, chief curator

On a beautiful March afternoon, I sat down with J Henry Fair in his fifth-floor walk-up on East 9th Street.

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Conservation and Photography with Dana Beach

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Dana Beach, the executive director of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, talks about the relationship between photography and conservation throughout history.

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A Conversation with Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby and J Henry Fair

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CMA Director of Education & Engagement Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby had a sit down conversation with American photographer and South Carolina native J Henry Fair on the opening day of the exhibition of his work, Eyes on the Edge.

Audio only. Recorded on August 19, 2016.

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J Henry Fair Photographs the Carolina Coast

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American photographer and South Carolina native J Henry Fair captures images of the Carolina coast in this new collection of work...

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The CMA would like to thank the following sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

  • Susan F. Boyd

Contributing Sponsors

  • Cheryl Holland and Doug Quackenbush

Grantors

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Friend Sponsors

  • Margaret Anne and Theodore B. DuBose
  • Harriott H. Faucette
  • The Hilliard Family Foundation, Inc.
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  • George and Rab Finlay Thompson

Lipscomb Sponsors

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  • Marcia and Allen Montgomery