The City Magazine Since 1975

Eyes on the Edge

Eyes on the Edge
July 2016
An aerial look at our fragile coastline

Best known for his “Industrial Scars” series—gorgeous images, almost abstract-expressionist in nature, on the damages caused by pollution, from oil spills to coal mining to industrial waste—Charleston-born aerial photographer and environmental activist J Henry Fair has turned his lens to the coastline of his beloved home state. With rising sea levels and increased coastal development in mind, Fair took flight over our unique barrier islands, marshes, maritime forests, and intricate estuarine systems to capture the beauty and frailty of this land.

“NOAA predicts that Charleston will suffer 30 days per year of flooding by the year 2020,” says Fair. “One of the most important foci of The Coast Project is examining our boundary with the water. As the beauty of our region draws more and more people, it’s a call to action to be more realistic about development, building codes, and wetland setbacks.”

Here, get an exclusive first glimpse at Fair’s recent works,  which will debut at Columbia Museum of Art next month with 25 additional dramatic, large-scale photographs.

The Exhibition:
“Eyes on the Edge: J Henry Fair Photographs the Carolina Coast”
August 19-October 23

View a selection of 25 photographs, measuring 50 by 70 inches, that are both abstract and highly realistic. On Friday, August 19 at noon, chief curator Will South will host a Q&A with the artist in the Lorrick Auditorium.

Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St., Columbia; Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. -5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; & Sunday, noon-5 p.m. $12, $10 senior/military, $5 student, free to child age six and under. (803) 799-2810,