OUTDOOR ART EXHIBITION
MAY 26 – JUNE 10, 2017
Every year thousands descend into downtown Charleston for what is the city’s, and arguably the state’s, hallmark event celebrating local art: Piccolo Spoleto. And since May 25, 1979, the centerpiece of it all has been Marion Square’s Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition, where for two weeks the area’s most renowned artists emerge from their studios to reveal what they’ve been busy creating during the previous year.
This year over 80 artists solely from South Carolina will display their work in the free, open-air venue in the center of Charleston, bringing everything from oil on canvas to sculpture to photography to the event— and thus, connecting Spoleto Festival U.S.A. to the local community in a very vibrant and casual yet meaningful way.
During the exhibition the artists’ works will be available for purchase, but you can also shop for a special piece prior to or following the festival. Simply contact the artists through their websites.
OUTDOOR ART EXHIBITION
Monday to Thursday
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday to Sunday
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Floyd Gordon, critically acclaimed artist and one of South Carolina’s treasures, has a clientele of faithful collectors from coast to coast. He creates vivid, dazzling watercolors and potent acrylics from his studio gallery located in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
“I’ve always been fascinated by colors,” he says. “The first time I really remember applying my fascination was when I started school and the teacher gave us crayons and a coloring book. I was so fascinated by the colors and the pictures that I colored every page. I didn’t have another coloring book, so I drew pictures to color and took my book to the teacher,” he recalls.
Gordon says in order to paint a picture, he has to first see it in his mind. “I keep adding colors and details until it looks good to me. If it’s not right to me, it won’t be right to anyone else,” he says. “I have never done galleries, and I rarely do commissioned paintings—I paint pictures that I like, and if I do them right, other people will like them, too.”
LEPRINCE FINE ART
LePrince Fine Art, located at 184 and 183 King St., doubles as a studio for owner and artist Kevin LePrince. LePrince paints there six days a week and encourages guests to watch and ask questions about the process. The walls are filled with bodies of work from a select few nationally recognized, emerging artists from across North America. While the general look of the artists represented could be described as contemporary impressionism, each artist has a unique style defined by brushstrokes, palette choices and compositions. “I’m trying to encourage artists to push their creativity,” LePrince says. “I do this by giving them more wall space. That way, they’re not restricted, and they can get outside of their comfort zones, push the envelope a little.”
With 1600 square feet of open gallery space, high ceilings and hardwood floors, the gallery has been designed to highlight the art—a collector can relax and enjoy a painting from a distance. Unable to visit in person? Visit the LePrince website for constant updates or to browse before coming in.
LePrince Fine Art
South Carolina native Madison Latimer has spent much of her career depicting her feathered friends in oils and acrylics, but her work took on new meaning following a tragedy that claimed the lives of three relatives in 1994. “As my family and I healed from that loss, I began to understand and experience a deeper connection with the energy that provides life for all of us,” Latimer explains. “I felt directed to express this feeling through my art.”
Latimer paints the birds and other animals around her grandmother’s farm, which is now her home. Her work helps her tell stories of creation, disappointment and survival that are common threads in our collective human experience.
“I paint my guineas with expressions that are happy, joyful or even startled,” says Latimer, “because we all recognize those emotions and respond to them. Especially when we laugh, we’re acknowledging the energy of life that is in all of us.”
Although her paintings are often classified as folk art, Latimer feels she shares a greater connection with outsider art, which is defined as work produced by self-taught artists who are not part of the artistic establishment.
PETER NIGEL ESTES
Three years ago, Peter Nigel Estes coined the term “vibrant impressionism” to describe his new technique. “I started using a palette knife rather than brushes,” he says. “It was a big turning point in my method and my output as well.” Feeling more vibrant himself than before, Estes also changed color palettes at that time, and his reception has been exceptional ever since.
Using acrylic paint in gel, the Daniel Island-based artist is currently working on a new series that incorporates scenes from Porgy and Bess and, in general, more Charleston-specific scenery. “That’s been another turn for me over the past year, because it’s such an awesome place to paint.”
Estes has been represented by Lowcountry Artists Gallery on East Bay Street since January. You can also find Estes’ work on Saturday evenings at the Night Market on Market Street downtown, at Piccolo Spoleto and via his website.
Peter Nigel Estes
Kellie Jacobs has spent her life watching the seasons change among the marshes and beaches of the South Carolina coast. After graduating from the College of Charleston, Jacobs decided to pursue a professional career as a painter.
Working primarily in pastel, she paints landscapes using atmosphere and light to create mood and expression in her art. “I am fascinated with the light at the end of the day,” she says. “When the evening sun is low and warm, touching the tops of the sand dunes and grasses of the marsh—that is the time of day I love best.”
Jacobs’ juxtaposition of bright colors and soft textures appeals to both domestic and international collectors. Traveling to foreign locations has also enhanced her ability to manipulate her chosen medium of pastel to produce desirable and collectible artwork.
Many of her works hang in prestigious corporate and private collections, both nationally and abroad. Her art is also on view in Charleston galleries, including the Lowcountry Artists Gallery at 148 East Bay St.
South Carolina artist Sandra Roper was an art major at the University of South Carolina before her path led her to a career in advertising. But 17 years ago, the Greenville native left the corporate world to stay at home with her two sons. “I wanted to go to all of their ball games,” she says. “And then I started painting again and things just evolved from there—and I never missed any ball games.”
Painting in watercolors, Roper finds inspiration in the creativity and brilliance of Charleston’s eclectic styles of architecture and from the passion, perseverance and dedication people have for their work and traditions.
These days, Roper is working on a series of ordinary people doing extraordinary things—oyster shuckers, shrimpers, farmers, hog butchers—as a way of preserving the stories of waning art forms.
You can find Roper’s paintings at the Lowcountry Artist Gallery at 148 East Bay St. or on her website.
Amelia (“Mimi”) Whaley was born in Charleston, grew up on Edisto Beach and presently lives in Mount Pleasant. In 1985, her father gave her watercolor lessons for Christmas, and she remembers, “the moment the brush filled with paint and water touched the paper, something connected deep inside me, and I knew what I was born to do.” While watercolor is her favorite medium, she also works in acrylic, collage, mixed media, encaustic and oil. “Art is a journey,” she says. “The more I see, the more I listen, the more I experience, the more I learn to use the tools to make art, the better able I am to express my vision and emotional content through painting, collage, writing and other creative endeavors.”
Additionally, Whaley enjoys teaching and helping others discover their creative gifts. She frequently leads day or weekend workshops in painting, watercolor journaling, collage and the release of creative play. Whaley is also an active, registered City of Charleston tour guide, specializing in walking tours of historic Charleston.
Combining her love of art with a natural gift in math, Carla Johannesmeyer graduated with a degree in architecture from Virginia Tech, enhancing her education with studio art courses in drawing, printmaking, photography and film.
While she continued to draw, Johannesmeyer went on to have a successful career as an architect, environmental design leader and expert in process improvement.
With a keen eye for composition, Johannesmeyer blends a sense of geometric rhythm and lyrical freedom in her art. Her oil paintings are reminiscent of post-impressionist artists but border on expressionism. She prefers a large brush and paints with visible, confident brushstrokes, layering lush color to evoke light, shadow and reflections in her subjects. She continually pursues learning experiences that challenge her point of view, weaving these perspectives into her work.
This year, she continues her studies of the figure within architectural space and has a new series focused on the glow of cotton. Her work can be viewed at ArtFields 2017, Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition and on her website.
Artist Carole Carberry was born in Montana into a family that shared a natural artistic ability and a love for drawing. Specialized courses in fine art pencil and dry-brush egg tempera methods honed Carberry’s drawing skills and initiated a lifelong adventure with watercolor.
Her watercolors have been included twice in the prestigious traveling Show of the South curated by the Carolina Watermedia Society, where she is a Member in Excellence. Carberry’s acrylic on canvas Siesta Splendor was included in the Society’s annual SCWS show in 2014. That painting was a breakthrough for Carberry as it was the first of many acrylic works.
Long-necked birds are her favorite subject matter. “It is the graceful arch of a swan’s neck, the colorful beaks of herons and the ethereal quality of feathers that I find beautiful and attempt to share in my work,” she says.
Dividing each year between South Carolina and Montana, Carberry is in her fifth term on the board of the Sumter Artists Guild and is co-chair for two summer art festivals in Polson, Montana.
Known amongst his friends as the Saltwater Cowboy, Bob Graham is a Charleston-based artist and co-owner of Studio 151 Fine Arts (175 Church St.). For Graham, every person has a story to tell, and throughout his many travels, Graham is drawn to the faces he encounters. “It is the people of each place that make it special,” he says. “The ones you meet in line at the supermarket, while you are having lunch or simply pass by on the street; they make a place and give it life.” Those are the lives that Graham aims to capture in his work.
Graham’s extensive career has earned him no less than 500 local and national awards, including the Mayor’s Purchase award at the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit in 2014 and 2016, and in 2015 he received the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibit First Place award for his total body of work. In 2016 he also picked up the First Place award in the drawing category in the Piccolo Juried Art Exhibition at City Gallery.
DEBORAH R. HILL
Deborah R. Hill considers herself a contemporary impressionist painter, working primarily in oils both in studio and plein air. A full-time, classically trained painter, Hill earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in painting from the University of Buffalo. Dividing her time between Seabrook Island, South Carolina, and Upstate New York, Hill’s work is inspired by waterways, beaches, industrial settings and rural vistas. Her paintings convey a sense of familiarity with the subject matter while interjecting abstract elements by means of color, brushwork and paint application. “Whether I am in studio working from a still life or out in the elements plein air painting, my goal remains the same. I paint to capture the beauty and essence of my surroundings,” she says.
To learn more about Hill’s painting process, follow her on Instagram at deborahrhill paintings.
Deborah R. Hill
Mount Pleasant artist Patricia Fylstra started painting full time 10 years ago. She spent her early adult life as a pharmacist, with a degree from Purdue University, and later pursued a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina; however, a life-changing event persuaded the Pittsburgh native to pursue her lifelong interest in art.
A Lowcountry resident for over 25 years, Fylstra is inspired to paint flowers from the beautiful gardens and blooms found throughout Charleston. “There’s something about how the light changes color on the petals and each flower has its own unique carriage that is so engaging,” she says.
The artist is also inspired by the still life paintings of the great masters in museums around the world as well as living artists such as Michael Klein, Daniel Keys and Nancy Hoerter. However, Fylstra’s greatest influence has been artist Emmy Bronson, with whom she has studied for over a decade.
Currently, you can find her works at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery located at 160 East Bay St. or on her website.
Lisa Willits moved to Charleston more than 25 years ago from her hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. While working as a technician in a research lab by day, she began taking evening art classes at the Gibbes Museum School.
After experimenting with several different mediums, Willits chose oil painting because it best captured her love of color. With the encouragement of family and friends, she took the leap and began working full time as a painter in 2005.
Willits is most inspired by the natural beauty of the South Carolina coast and strives to capture its enchanting atmosphere. “My paintings explore the things about the landscape that fascinate me: the colors and glow of early morning or evening skies, the incredible cloud formations here on the coast, the ever-changing seascapes, and the vistas that stretch out to forever,” she says.
She is an exhibiting member of the Charleston Artist Guild and associate member of Oil Painters of America. Her paintings are currently on display at Lowcountry Artists Gallery at 148 East Bay St.
Armed with an unorthodox arsenal of knives, dry brushes and assorted unconventional implements, Tate Nation paints in multiple layers of acrylics on canvas-covered wood panels, creating vibrant paintings that are drenched in texture. His non-traditional paintings are a lively medley of bold compositions, festive themes and a vivid color palette influenced by Caribbean art.
Nation’s works have been commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service, Coca-Cola, Delta and United Airlines, Canon USA, and Time-Life, among many others. His paintings and prints are held in private and public collections worldwide and have appeared in numerous national publications.
A former freelance illustrator and featured artist for the 2000 and 2010 Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Nation has also illustrated more than a dozen books, served as illustrator-in-residence for the Gibbes Museum of Art, and has been awarded many honors for his fine art paintings and illustrations. Two of his original works have been exhibited in the Society of Illustrators’ Museum of American Illustration in New York City.
Painter Sheryl Stalnaker finds joy in depicting saltwater life and the beauty of her Lowcountry surroundings. “I love being outside and studying the scenes around me,” she says. “Looking at the moving, reflective water or changing skies and light is mesmerizing.”
Stalnaker often begins a painting on location, studying her subject live rather than simply working from photographs, which brings her works to life. With brushes and a palette knife, she builds layers of paint, adding depth and interesting textures. “My landscapes show a perspective that draws the viewer into the painting,” she explains. “I want to transport the viewers away from their hectic lives and into the scene, where they can hear the waves crash, feel the rippling current, smell the pluff mud or hear the blue crab scurrying away on the dock.”
Stalnaker also specializes in commissioned pet portraits. She says, “I love to capture the unique personality and expression of each animal, taking the time to paint the individual animal’s special character.”
Pat Forsberg is an award-winning artist who lives and paints in Charleston. She studied art at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, and for several years under esteemed artist Elizabeth Bronson.
For Forsberg the Lowcountry offers endless inspiration. “I feel that living in the Lowcountry is a blessing for any artist as it is rich with subject matter, and we have a community that appreciates art,” Forsberg says. “The water, marshes and architecture are all spectacular subjects, and I love painting them all. I’m especially drawn to still life. I love scouring local antiques shops for objects to incorporate into my setups—it is a great excuse to shop!”
From figures on the beach at Sullivan’s Island to Lowcountry creek scenes to sun-splashed floral arrangements, Forsberg’s works radiate her obvious love of nature. You can find her paintings at this year’s Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition as well as on her website.
The Charleston Lowcountry and its history have played an important role in Kathy Clark’s life and art. She often focuses on landscapes that reflect enduring feelings for the place she calls home.
“Having spent my entire life living on the islands of Charleston has definitely influenced my appreciation for history and the ever-changing tidal creeks, marshes, rivers and ocean,” Clark says. “For me, translating these visions on paper or canvas has been one of the most satisfying ways of expressing myself.”
Clark’s artistic abilities have developed from a number of sources, including studies with the Gibbes Museum of Art. More recent studies have explored palette knife painting with James Pratt, an artist from New Zealand, and figure drawing with Karen Vecchioni.
Clark’s work is a combination of impressionism with a touch of realism. She does not follow any defined approach. It is derived from a confluence of varied sources of inspiration. She connects with the subject and brings out the beauty of its meaning.
Principle Gallery artist-inresidence Hilarie Lambert paints the familiar—vintage toys, notable architecture or coastal scenes—but nothing about her work is “ordinary.” Through the filter of light in an egret’s wings in flight or the way a newspaper crumbles under just-caught blue crabs, Lambert reveals the beauty in what we might have forgotten or become too busy to notice: the magic of the everyday.
The world in Lambert’s paintings is seen through her love of whimsy and the edges of things—the side streets, the back doors. This style gives the viewer a definite sense of the artist’s hand and vision at work in the finished piece and deepens the feeling of connection between subject and artist.
From an early age, Colleen Wiessmann had a love for abstract art. After studying horticulture at the New York Botanical Gardens and fashion design, she worked as an interior plantscaper for 25 years, which transformed into a love of texture and design.
As an artist for 15 years now, Wiessmann tells stories in her abstract paintings through words, lines and symbols. She uses collage and layering techniques to create eye-catching, dimensional artwork. A New Jersey native, Wiessmann now lives on Seabrook Island. The award-winning artist formed and was, for eight years, president of the Seabrook Island Artist Guild. Her work can be found at Studio 151 Fine Arts Gallery at 175 Church St.
A native of Louisiana, Katherine DuTremble has been an artist since the age of 7.
Now in Charleston, DuTremble’s award-winning works in printmaking and oils are in private and corporate collections internationally.
She was named one of the Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art for 2016 and 2017 by Art Tour International and has exhibited at Piccolo Spoleto for over 25 years.
You can view DuTremble’s works and illustrated poetry book on her website or by appointment in her Mount Pleasant studio.
Charleston native Christine Crosby began painting at an early age. “I was gifted a set of oil paints at the age of 12 and sold my first painting at 15,” she says.
Since then, Crosby has won numerous awards and her artwork hangs in both corporate and private collections around the world. She says, “It is my hope that viewers of my paintings find the same peace and tranquility that I experience as I create them.”
Crosby’s work can be seen downtown at Studio 151 Fine Art Gallery and at Art Central in Summerville, South Carolina.
Laurie Meyer has lived and painted in Charleston for 34 years. A lover of the effects of light and color in oil paint and watercolor, the artist challenges herself to create magical elements in each painting she completes.
A primarily self-taught artist, Meyer studied early with master artists who subscribe to the concept of creating atmosphere and depth in an alla prima method. She has been an instructor for 10 years, striving to teach methods that impart beautiful light and color. “I am not unique in stating that my goal each time I visit a blank canvas is to create depth, dimension and a sense of space in atmosphere,” she says. “However, I try to give my work an authentic touch.”
Meyer and artist Marissa Vogl opened the Meyer Vogl Gallery at 122 Meeting St. in 2016. “It’s a warm and beautiful gallery that highlights our work and that of guest artists from a local and national platform,” Meyer says.
Marissa Vogl was born and raised in Montana where a love for the outdoors instilled an emotional connection to the landscape. Now with her roots in Charleston, Vogl enjoys painting the marshes, small, chubby birds and vivid abstracts. Her use of thick paint and bold brushstrokes brings an emotional vitality into her work.
A Montana State University graduate in graphic design and fine art, Vogl has also studied under such artists as Bill Davidson and local painter Karen Hewitt Hagan. She won second place in the juried 2016 Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition for her painting Summer’s Promise.
Vogl opened the Meyer Vogl Gallery with artist Laurie Meyer in March 2016. Exhibiting both local and world-class artists, Meyer Vogl Gallery has something for both beginning collectors and the seasoned vet.
Merrie McNair is a South Carolina native who spent childhood summers roaming the beaches and tidal waters of the Lowcountry. Having moved to New York in 1982, McNair attended Parsons School of Design and began using her love of color and textures to create interior spaces reflective of her clients’ lifestyles.
She now expresses herself through paint with a style that provides that special balance between realism and impressionism. “I hope my paintings evoke the senses … a vacation, a childhood memory or a feeling that only nature can inspire,” she says.
At the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition this year, McNair will display Lowcountry scenes, from creek sunsets to plated oysters, along with more modern palette knife interpretations of landscapes. A member of the Charleston Artist Guild, McNair sells primarily through private showings and her website.
After going to art school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Jennifer Koach spent 20 years as an interior designer in London, Geneva and Hong Kong, all the while indulging her passion for painting by creating backdrops in theaters and murals for commercial buildings. Now retired and living on Kiawah Island, Koach has followed her calling as a full-time painter for the past 15 years. When Koach isn’t putting a brush to canvas in her Meeting Street studio, she can be found in Church Street’s Studio 151, where she and 14 other local artists are featured. Primarily a figurative artist, Koach is currently working on a collection of works using oils on European newspapers, called the White Towel series. “I was inspired by women in Europe who walk around a gym locker room holding a towel, but never covered in one,” Koach says. “They were unashamed, and so this series celebrates the love and acceptance of your own body.
Jan Sasser takes an environmentalistic approach to her art. “I like to remind people in my work of what’s around us,” she says. “That there’s value in the landscape we’re losing, in the local habitats we’re losing.”
With a sharp realist’s stroke, Sasser depicts local birds, native plants and wildlife in her art. Using traditional layering techniques, she often takes weeks to complete— and perfect—just one piece.
A former social worker, Sasser has devoted more than a decade to her second career as an artist. A slow producer striving for quality over quantity, she recently resigned membership in a Broad Street gallery to focus on her show commitments. With her eighth Southeastern Wildlife Exposition just behind her, Sasser is eagerly preparing for her 11th appearance in the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition. She hopes folks will take advantage of this unique opportunity to visit and view a large body of her work in person.
Steven Hyatt is a photographer and printer based in Charleston. In addition to his photography, he is also president of a printing business called Imaging Arts Printing.
“My interest in photography emerged in my teenage years as an extension of a general desire to create,” Hyatt says. “Years later, as a philosophy and religious studies major at the College of Charleston, I would often spend time studying in the Unitarian Church’s incredibly unique and alive cemetery. Many years after that, I found myself back at the same church wondering how I could capture what I was both seeing and experiencing in that space.” The effort to meet that challenge gave birth to the Churches of Charleston Project, which has since expanded to include churches throughout the world.
Hyatt also does a wide array of photography ranging from architecture and portraits of birds of prey to landscapes and abstract fine art photography.