Arts

MELISSA ANDERSON STUDIO

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Southern painter Melissa Anderson uses thick brushstrokes to convey a sense of movement —her impressionistic paintings are full of texture. The way that the paint is applied to the canvas, using color and tools to soften the edges of the initial design, is a signature of her work.

Anderson’s work is firmly grounded in the South, focusing on the shapes and the colors of the region—whether that be a figure, still life or landscape. Her roots in South Carolina are generations deep, and her paintings reflect that personal history.

Anderson’s summer exhibition Elegance of Native Soul represents a collection of paintings that, through color and brushwork, reflect places and things that she finds elegant in their simplicity. “These colors become the expression of the mystical and magical things that speak to me through their history, and the colors carried from brush to canvas,” Anderson says.

The show Elegance of Native Soul will be featured at the Mitchell Hill Gallery on King Street from June 15 through September 15, 2015.

Melissa Anderson Studio
melissaandersonstudio.com

CHARLESTON ARTIST GUILD

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The Charleston Artist Guild (CAG) was founded well over half a century ago by a small group of local artists—including Anne Worsham Richardson, Alfred Heber Hutty and Elizabeth O’Neill Verner—who sought a way not only to display their own works, but to network with other artists in the city and to become more involved with the community. Today, over 70 artists are featured in the extensive gallery, now at 160 East Bay St., all of whom contribute to the organization’s outreach programs. A non-profit organization, CAG is constantly busy fulfilling the wishes of its founders. To that end, the Guild works with Arts for Alzheimer’s by providing awards for their high school scholarship program, and it works with Extraordinary Arts and Pattison’s Academy. Beginning in September, new exhibiting members will be juried in to the gallery. September is also when CAG’s monthly meetings with art demonstrations—always open to the public—will resume. The Guild now has nearly 700 members, many of whom will be featured at CAG’s annual Members’ Exhibition at the Charleston Visitor Center in February.

Charleston Artist Guild
843-722-2425
charlestonartistguild.com

VICKI ROBINSON

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Vicki Robinson has painted full time for the past 15 years, but her first career was in interior design. “Because of my design background, I already had a love of color,” she says, “so painting was a natural fit for me and gave me that creative edge I needed.” Robinson specializes in impressionism, though some of her paintings are more tightly constructed still life pieces. “It all depends on the subject, which tells me whether it needs to be playful or serious,” she says. While working with interiors, Robinson was always drawn to mixing old with new, and she finds herself bringing that aesthetic into her art as well. “I like old things in a painting,” she says. “I find myself borrowing things from friends or antique stores or estate sales.” As for more loosely created, impressionistic paintings, Robinson looks to her Lowcountry surroundings for inspiration. “I never saw it before I started painting, but now I see all the mauves and blues and greens on the marsh. It’s amazing what painting does to your vision. It gives you a whole different dimension.”

Vicki Robinson
vickirobinsonart.com

STEWART FINE ART

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Conveniently located in Charleston’s French Quarter, Stewart Fine Art gallery showcases four Southern representational artists. All with bachelor’s degrees in fine art, Robert Isley, Margaret Dyer, Charles DeAntonio and Sue Stewart have continued their experiences in painting both on location and in the studio.

Behind Isley’s humble nightscapes or everyday scenes is a complex understanding and execution of composition, color theory and paint application.

Master pastelist Dyer captures, with exceptionally vibrant pastel marks, dramatic impressions of the figure. Her works exhibit a separation of light and shadow that is sensational.

DeAntonio creates striking portraits of adults or children, capturing pleasing likenesses and his subject’s character through expression and gesture. He also creates beautiful studies of Charleston architecture.

Stewart, attracted to Charleston’s always stimulating diversity, bundled her brushes 20 years ago and moved here to assign the city’s allure to canvas.

We hope you’ll be moved to come visit our gallery.

Stewart Fine Art
843-853-7100
suestewartpaintings.com

PRINCIPLE GALLERY

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Michele Ward opened the first Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1994 and decided to give the gallery a Charleston presence over two years ago. With Frank Conrad Russen recently established as the new director, the gallery consistently ushers in new works of contemporary and classical realism from established artists the world over.

The sunny space currently showcases pieces from over 60 artists, including Rett Ashby, Jeff Erickson, Nancy Bush, Kevin Fitzgerald, Douglas Fryer, Barbara Flowers, Jane Chapin, Jorge Alberto, Gene Costanza, Greg Gandy, Frank Gardner and David Hettinger. Several times a year, visitors can attend a live painting demo, with a recent event featuring artist Teresa Oaxaca from Washington, D.C.

This fall, Principle Gallery will host its second annual Women Painting Women, a juried exhibition highlighting female artists portraying female subjects.

Principle Gallery
843-727-4500
principlegallery.com/charleston

LOWCOUNTRY ARTISTS GALLERY

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Ten visionary local artists opened Lowcountry Artists Gallery on Hasell Street over three decades ago. Now on East Bay, the gallery is an expansive space inside an old wharf warehouse, with two rooms situated high off the ground. Co-owner Lynne N. Hardwick says the raised floors and exposed brick inside add to the sentiment of the building and its deep connection to the historical Holy City. Hardwick shares ownership with seven other local artists: Joyce Harvey, Norma Ballentine, Rana Jordahl, Laura Cody, Sandra Roper, Marty Biernbaum and Kari Swanson. Guests can expect to be greeted by any one of the above during their visit to the gallery, where over 500 works are always on display. With subjects ranging from portraits and landscapes to still lifes and abstracts, the artists present not only paintings but blown glass, sculpture and pottery. You can also currently view the Lowcountry Artists’ works inside the bar of Charleston’s newest culinary attraction, Ruth’s Chris. Such a spotlight can only aid in the artists’ ultimate goal: “We want to be the number one art destination in Charleston,” Hardwick says.

Lowcountry Artists Gallery
843-577-9295
lowcountryartists.com

CHERYL NEWBY GALLERY

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There aren’t many galleries where you can browse both antique and contemporary art in a single visit. At the Cheryl Newby Gallery in Pawleys Island, however, you can—owner Cheryl Newby maintains an extensive selection of contemporary paintings and sculpture alongside an equally extensive, selective inventory of antique maps and prints—mainly natural history prints.

A quick look around the antique side of the gallery will turn up works by the likes of John James Audubon, George Edwards, Mark Catesby and John Gould. If those don’t satisfy, Newby will gladly try to find something more to your taste or hunt down prints by a particular artist should you have one in mind.

When it comes to contemporary artists, Newby represents 16 painters, sculptors and ceramic artists. “We offer so many different styles,” Newby says. “What we emphasize here is quality and diversity—our artists are from all over the country.” The late Ray Ellis, Martha dePoo, the late Quita Brodhead and Paula B. Holtzclaw are among the artists whose work you’ll see hanging in the gallery.

Cheryl Newby Gallery
843-979-0149
cherylnewbygallery.com

GAYE SANDERS FISHER

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Gaye Sanders Fisher grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, but her passion clearly lies in the Lowcountry, where she opened her gallery in Charleston more than 20 years ago. Situated amongst the pastel, picturesque homes on Church Street, the pale yellow house is where Fisher displays all of her watercolors and prints of Lowcountry scenery. From spring flowers and Holy City steeples to firehouse fronts and marshland fowl, Fisher finds plenty of inspiration from her immediate surroundings. She’s even painted and penned a bit of prose about the gallery’s neighborhood cat. The book, Daily, the Gallery Cat, is about a yellow feline that gets into all kinds of adventures behind the walls and down the alleyways of beautiful downtown Charleston. Published in 2003, the 30-page illustrated book remains a charming way to remember Daily, a special old friend. The gallery regularly participates in the French Quarter Art Walks and is open to the public seven days a week.

Gaye Sanders Fisher
Fine Arts Gallery

843-958-0010
gayesandersfisher.com

NANCY RUSHING

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A native of Wisconsin, Nancy Rushing moved south at the young age of seven. She attended school and college in South Carolina. Shortly after college, she married and moved to Charleston with her husband who came to teach chemistry at The Citadel. She earned a master’s degree in learning disabilities at night and taught during the day.

Rushing has been involved in drawing and painting as long as she can remember. When she was young, her mother drew paper dolls and made clothes for them. Rushing gradually began creating her own and has since spent many years in self-study, especially in the areas of color and value. She has enjoyed working in both watercolor and pastel.

Rushing says that the feeling she gets when painting has little to do with words. When using watercolor, it’s all about the delicious feel when one color is dropped into another. With pastels, it’s the soft, buttery texture of her favorite pastels combined with the intensity of pure pigment layered together or juxtaposed next to one another that lead to a feeling of delight as she works.

Nancy Rushing
843-810-9123

LAURIE MEYER

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Surrounded by water and endless inspiration, Laurie Meyer paints every day at her home studio on Daniel Island. Formerly a teacher, Meyer made art her full-time career 18 years ago. Using an impressionistic technique, the artist creates images of everything from downtown Charleston homes and churches to island scenes of marsh, birds and vegetation.

“I use a painterly approach, trying to always enhance light and recreate light as best as I can while focusing on thick applications of paint and beautiful color,” she says. “I’m experimenting with more tonal colors and large landscapes, but I always find myself returning to beautiful color and light.”

Meyer also loves to capture beautiful scenes in other countries— the canals of Venice, for example. “I’m inspired by my travels to Italy, Mexico and parts of the United States,” she says.

Meyer’s studio serves as a learning space where she teaches the fundamentals of oil painting and conducts workshops in color. Her art can currently be seen inside Hagan Fine Art Gallery at 27 1/2 State Street.

Laurie Meyer
843-881-2893
lauriemeyer.com

FLOYD GORDON

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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.”

Floyd Gordon
803-539-1782
floydgordonart.ecrater.com

KATHY CLARK

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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.

Kathy Clark
843-509-6818
kathyclarkfineart.com

CAROLINA FINE ART FRAMING

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After years of creating his own art, Wilfred Spoon decided to frame his own works as well. That eventually led the artist to purchase Carolina Fine Art Framing more than five years ago, a company that’s been around since the 1950s. These days, it’s where Spoon, an art school graduate, happily hides away crafting handmade, museum-quality frames used by everyone from private enthusiasts to the Gibbes Museum of Art. Situated in a house upstairs on Spring Street, Spoon’s shop walls are filled with samples representing styles that range from Oriental and Gothic tabernacle to Art Deco. The craftsman prides himself on using techniques that date back several centuries, including hand carving. Carolina Fine Art Framing does custom frames not only for works of art, but also for things like flat-screen TVs, plus Spoon is glad to personally install a frame, offer advice at your home or restore an antique. Customers are welcome to stop into the workshop or studio for private visits and to discuss specific framing needs.

Carolina Fine Art Framing
843-723-2266
carolinaframes.com

BEN HAM IMAGES

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Ben Ham made coastal Carolina his home over 20 years ago, and he’s been using its landscapes in his large-format photography ever since. Though living in Hilton Head has lent the photographer plenty of scenes to immortalize on film, he also loves traveling to the top of the Rockies, to Southwest deserts and through Pacific vineyards, all the while using a wooden field camera to capture his stunning images. Located on King Street, Ham’s new, expanded gallery comprises over 2,000-square-feet of space in which to absorb the artist’s enormous detail-rich works. Meanwhile, his gallery on Hilton Head Island is twice the size and is also the site of Ham’s fully equipped studio, complete with a darkroom and a frame shop. In 2009, he published Vanishing Light, a 144- page book filled with nearly 70 images printed on heavy LumiSilk paper. The photographs are complemented by stories written by Ham about each adventure. Apart from the book, Ham only sells framed, limited-edition fine art pieces.

Ben Ham Images
843-410-1495
benhamimages.com

REINERT FINE ART

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Started by the locally based impressionist painter Rick Reinert, Reinert Fine Art represents more than 20 fine classical painters as well as a handful of both figurative and abstract sculptors.

Reinert himself is nationally renowned for his sensitive, light-filled paintings, which are impressionist in the fullest sense of the word. Replete with thick brushstrokes and a confident use of color, Reinert captures the essence of whatever he’s painting, be it a harbor full of boats or a King Street streetscape. This strong command of craft is something you’ll notice in all of the artists Reinert represents in his gallery: most are classically trained, with the painters working in either the classical realist or impressionist style. The gallery’s three sculptors, David Erdman, Josephine Pratt and Greg Johnson, span both the figurative and abstract styles.

The gallery recently added a Small Works room, which expands its already large selection even further. The next move, according to Reinert, is to add a sculpture garden in back—look for that to be completed some time this year.

Reinert Fine Art
843-345-1785
rickreinert.com

MARK BETTIS

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This June, the Ella Walton Richardson gallery is presenting a solo show, Get Lost, by Asheville, North Carolina-based painter Mark Bettis. Born into an artistic family, Bettis began drawing at an early age. He studied art and design in Florida and has since juggled his career as an art director with his own burgeoning painting career. Bettis has won numerous awards, and his works are in public and private collections worldwide.

Of his works Bettis says: “My paintings are a synthesis of color, line, texture and form. … I apply multiple layers of oil paint, cold wax medium, marble dust and other elements and then cut, scratch and smooth with great energy to let the painting evolve into an abstract interpretation of these elements.”

Each element Bettis constructs is designed to contribute to a wholesome composition; no stroke is superfluous. The painstaking care he takes allows his art to transcend the eye, seeping into the viewer’s subconscious like the cool wax he uses in his work.

Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art
843-722-3660
ellarichardson.com

ROBERT LANGE STUDIOS

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Megan and Robert Lange opened Robert Lange Studios a decade ago, and it has since expanded into the spacious 6,000-square-foot creative hub it is today. Inside, exposed brick and beautifully imperfect hardwood floors frame the space that houses works from over 20 artists, including Lange himself, Nathan Durfee, Karen Ann Myers, Kerry Brooks and Mia Bergeron. Uncrowded walls and comfortable places to relax lend the gallery an atmosphere that welcomes folks to come, clear the mind and stay awhile. With a focus on contemporary American realism and abstraction, the studio regularly hosts international and national artists in its residency program, where artists can actually stay at the gallery’s renovated two-bedroom space inside the centuries- old building. Constantly cultivating art from the area and beyond, Robert Lange Studios regularly works with the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and Redux Contemporary Art Center to house their visiting artists, too. Last year, the studio began curating works inside the exhibition space at the nearby boutique hotel, The Vendue.

Robert Lange Studios
843-805-8052
robertlangestudios.com

LEPRINCE FINE ART

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Kevin LePrince opened LePrince Fine Art on King Street nearly five years ago, but the gallery has only been in its new space across the street since April. One thing that hasn’t changed is LePrince’s open-door policy. Since the gallery doubles as a studio, LePrince is there painting six days a week and encourages guests to stop by. The gallery also features works by contemporary artists Ignat Ignatov, a native of Bulgaria, as well as Colorado-based Mark Bailey, whose most recent work focuses on the culinary world. “It embodies a lot of what draws me to painting,” Bailey says. “I like painting people, but I’m also drawn to color and lighting and emotions, so restaurant and urban interaction has great inherent palettes for that.” Bailey’s In the Weeds, for example, depicts a chaotic moment in the kitchen of Basil restaurant on King Street. “Restaurants have so many stories going on—at tables, behind the scenes with the waitstaff and line cooks,” he says. “And narratives have always been the common thread with my paintings.”

LePrince Fine Art
843-442-1664
leprince.com

JOHN CARROLL DOYLE GALLERY

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Beloved Charleston artist John Carroll Doyle passed away on November 12, 2014, but his legacy as well as his gallery live on at 125 Church St. “It was John’s wish to have the gallery continue in his name, and we have plenty of original works as well as an extensive offering of reproductions on canvas and paper,” says Angela Stump, who has managed the gallery for 10 years. “He is one of the most renowned artists to come out of Charleston. … His work stands the test of time.” Though he began making a name for himself with sport fishing paintings, Doyle became well known for his light-filled, large-scale pieces that can be seen in restaurants like 82 Queen in downtown Charleston. Doyle created his oil paintings inside his King Street studio for 25 years before opening up his own gallery on Broad Street in 1997. In 2008, he settled into the current space, which was the former home of local artist Margaret Petterson. For this reason, only Petterson’s and Doyle’s works are featured there today.

John Carroll Doyle Art Gallery
843-577-7344
johncdoyle.com

ATELIER GALLERY

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Beauty abounds in the lightfilled space of Atelier Gallery. Nestled among King Street’s antique shops, the gallery’s surroundings suit its mission to mingle classics with modern pieces. Established in Asheville, North Carolina, by Gabrielle Egan in 2008, Atelier found a home in Charleston four years ago.

Egan, who also owns and sells her handcrafted pieces at Peyton William both downtown and on Kiawah Island, curates every inch of space on the gallery walls, choosing artists for their individual approaches and innovative techniques.

Though artists from all over the world fill the space, like Patti Zeigler, Dana Johns, Eric Zener, Kathy Cousart, Gina Strumpf, Alicia Armstrong, Augusta Wilson, Christy Kinard, Tony Gill and Sarah Atkinson, the gallery’s overall aesthetic remains firmly in the Lowcountry.

Atelier Gallery
843-722-5668
theateliergalleries.com

MITCHELL HILL GALLERY

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Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill of Mitchell Hill are so much more than interior designers. Not only can they design your space, they can also design the furniture and lighting fixtures to fill it, not to mention select the art that hangs on the walls. And it doesn’t matter whether you want to go very traditional or totally contemporary—they’ll work with you wherever your style lies.

“Each one of our projects is tailored to the client, so no two ever look same,” Mitchell says. “I tend to like a clean, modern, traditional look fused with contemporary art.”

Mitchell’s name might be best known in Charleston for the Michael Mitchell Gallery, the impressively high-ceilinged art gallery on Upper King Street that Mitchell opened several years ago. Mitchell and Hill often pull from their large inventory of paintings, sculptures and photographs when building a project. “Often we’ll use a piece of art as a leaping-off point. The two worlds really do collide,” Mitchell says. “Our clients tend to be sophisticated art collectors, so the art is part of our process.”

Mitchell Hill Gallery
843-564-0034
mitchellhillinc.com

AMANDA MCLENON

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Amanda McLenon discovered her talent for painting only five years ago. After working as a teacher in Michigan, she moved to the Holy City to earn a master’s in marine biology and found an artistic path by surprise. Just before graduating from the College of Charleston, McLenon started painting for fun and realized she had the skill for portraying wildlife. It wasn’t long before a gallery on Folly Beach showed interest, and McLenon began making art full time, proving that an unplanned career change can be great one. “You don’t have to let the first thing you chose dictate the rest of your life,” she says. Her life as a marine biologist—observing creatures from Africa to Antarctica—is what led the Daniel Island artist to her muse. With a focus on birds, McLenon creates large-scale pieces as well as decorative pillows that illustrate crab, egrets, turtles and more. Her most recent collection of paintings, Spring Preening, can be viewed at the Charleston and Daniel Island farmers’ markets as well as at Atelier Gallery on King Street.

Amanda McLenon
734-846-4843
amandamclenon.com

STUDIO 151 FINE ARTS

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Located near the corner of Church and Market Streets, Studio 151 is filled from floor to ceiling with pieces from 15 Lowcountry artists who all, in some way, use their art to respond to their surroundings here in the South. From Bob Graham, a Civil War painter, to Roger Tatum, who uses watercolors to depict crisp, vibrant Charleston scenery, a passion for this unique corner of the country is evident throughout the gallery. Studio 151 also features watercolors, oils, monotypes, photography and mixed media from artists including Colleen Weissmann, Rosie Phillips, Amelia Whaley, Dixie Dugan, Nancy Davidson, Debra Paysinger and Gina Brown. Styles and subjects can range from collage works to abstracts and traditional realism. But you’ll find more than works on canvas here— jewelry artists Shelby Parbel and Lissa Block ensure that you can also wear your souvenir when you leave. Artists are in-house daily to greet and discuss their works, and the gallery is open every day of the week.

Studio 151 Fine Arts
843-579-9725
studio151finearts.com

JAZZY JORDAN GALLERY

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Using watercolors and colored pencils as her weapons of choice, Jazzy Jordan’s art focuses on often-overlooked architectural details found around Charleston. The ironwork on downtown gates and the shadows they create on the cobblestone streets, for example, are common subjects for the Mount Pleasant native. “I also like looking down an alleyway and focusing on the road itself instead of the stuff other people may see if they were looking down the same road,” she says. Only 20 years old, Jordan has already taken a large leap of faith and opened the Jazzy Jordan Gallery on June 5, following in the footsteps of her father, renowned Charleston artist Steve Jordan.

The Mount Pleasant space features everything from copper art and blown glass to porcelain pottery, wooden art, oils and acrylics by 13 other local artists—including her father, Danielle Dungo, Tanya Craig, Michele Blank and John Donehue. She says, “I want to follow my own dreams and help other people do the same by having them in my gallery.”

Jazzy Jordan Gallery
facebook.com/jazzyjordangallery

JENNIFER BLACK

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Award-winning Charleston artist Jennifer Black has painted for most of her life. From the drawings she sketched at the age of eight to the art commissions she received as early as high school, Black has always been influenced by what’s around her. “I don’t make things up,” she says. “I tend to paint my surroundings, wherever I am.” With a focus on what she describes as impressionistic realism, Black’s favorite subjects are figures in the landscape, highlighted with dramatic light. “I like to catch the feeling of the subject, and light is very important to me,” she says. Blending colors together in the alla prima (wet-on-wet) technique, Black could be considered the Monet of the Lowcountry. Her private studio sits on the Ashley River where a stunning vista of the marsh gives the artist endless inspiration. Black’s paintings can currently be seen inside a window display at 265 King St., or folks may visit her studio by appointment.

Jennifer Black
843-763-0861
lowcountrystudio.com

ROBBIE KING STAUBES

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When Charleston native Robbie King Staubes was a music major at Converse College, she had no idea she’d have a career in art one day. Though she’s always loved to draw, it wasn’t until Staubes lost her son 20 years ago that she really began to pursue her love of painting. Ten years later, Staubes retired from teaching kindergarten at Ashley Hall and has since created art full time. At first, her focus was watercolors before she turned her attention to pastels and portraits. These days, Staubes draws inspiration from the Lowcountry landscape. “Charleston is just a treasure trove of beautiful things to paint,” she says. From the beaches of Kiawah Island to the gardens at Middleton Place and Ace Basin’s country roads, Staubes always finds the light. “For me, the light shows the life,” she says. Also a member of the Charleston Artist Guild, Staubes’ works can currently be seen in a window display at the corner of Chalmer and Church streets.

Robbie King Staubes
charlestonartistguild.com

KIT COKER

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When it comes to Kit Coker’s art, endearing Southern imagery reigns supreme. From old-time corner stores and scenic Charleston sidewalks to red barns and tractors, Coker’s love of Carolina living spills out onto her canvas. “Everywhere you look the scenery is amazing,” she says. “I think my favorite is figures in the landscape, people on the beach.” Coker was born in South Carolina but grew up in California. Every summer, her family returned to the South to vacation on Pawleys Island. After college, she headed to the South again where she worked in real estate, raised a family and later worked at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, which cultivated her love of design, colors and the creative process. Now retired, Coker has called Charleston home for 18 years and now spends her time honing her art skills. “I keep striving to get looser and use bolder brush strokes,” she says. “It’s a process of learning and getting comfortable with painting.”

Kit Coker
kitcokerfineart.com

CHRISTINE CROSBY

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Charleston native Christine Crosby worked in the financial industry until a heart attack followed by triple bypass surgery at the age of 34 made her take stock of what was important in her life. A lifelong love of art led to a new and less stressful career. What began as therapy quickly became her passion. She took workshops with several well-known local artists and then branched out, studying on her own to develop her personal and distinctive style.

A lifetime of exploring the Carolina Lowcountry has dictated her subject matter. The marshes, beaches and swamps and the creatures that inhabit them are her inspirations. “Art is my escape,” she says. “It is my hope that viewers of my paintings find the same peace and tranquility that I experience as I create them.”

Christine Crosby
christinecrosbyfineart.com

VICKI MAGUIRE

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For local artist Vicki P. Maguire, the excitement of learning never ends. After earning a bachelor’s degree in her native New Mexico for advertising and layout/design, Maguire has spent the past 16 years in the Holy City honing her art skills with such mentors as palette knife wiz, James Pratt. Lately, Maguire’s focus has embraced coastal abstracts in oil using palette knives. She also draws inspiration from the vibrancy found in her travels around the United States and abroad. For heavy surf, rocks and fog, she heads to Laguna Beach, California. “I strive to recreate the light, mood and sounds of any moment or place,” she says. Last year’s adventures involved recreating the Gulf’s teal water hues on canvas, while new plans include painting sea birds. Maguire is a juried member of Oil Painters of America, Charleston Artist Guild and American Women of the Southeast. She will be exhibiting at Roper Hospital August through October.

Vicki Maguire
843-425-2889
vickipmaguire.com

STEVEN HYATT

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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 to portraits of birds of prey to landscapes and abstract fine art photography.

Steven Hyatt
stevenhyatt.com