The Activity of Art

I am fascinated with the ability of humans to understand what they see. People don’t need everything spelled out for them, they can finish the lines I leave out.”

Art Meets Technology

Your text message pings Rebekah Jacob’s mobile device when she’s boarding a flight half a world away. You’re also at an airport, but in another time zone. New work by your favorite artist is at the Rebekah Jacob Gallery (RJG) right now. It’s alive with colors and textures, and the subject perfectly complements your collection.

Common Ground

Renowned painter Betty Anglin Smith has been represented all over the country, from New York to San Francisco and points in between. But here in Charleston she has her own gallery, Anglin Smith Fine Art, which features her work alongside that of her equally talented triplet children, painters Shannon Smith Hughes and Jennifer Smith Rogers, and photographer Tripp Smith.

Eclectic Tastes

Art galleries don’t generally get by on variety. Most focus on something particular—contemporary realist art, for example, or abstract and experimental pieces. Spencer Gallery, however, has done the opposite.

In the Spotlight

After 23 years in the art dealing business, Joe Sylvan has just two criteria when it comes to selecting his artists. “One, I have to like the work, because I can’t sell things I don’t like,” he says. “And two, I have to know and like the artist, because I’m too old to work with grumpy artists.”

A Grand Salon on Broad

It was 1989, and Candace Martin was anchored in her 42-foot ketch in the Ashley River along the western shore of her native Charleston. It had been an active hurricane season and when “Hugo” formed and started taking aim at the Southeast coast, Martin didn’t take any chances. She wisely set sail for the relatively safe harbors of Maine’s mid coast.

A Life of Observation

Strolling through Charleston’s historic French Quarter is a little like stepping back in time, especially early in the mornings or on a Sunday when the area’s residents are off at church and the streets are quiet. Painter John Carroll Doyle remembers a time when the city was always that sleepy, when there were no tourists or restaurants or galleries, when there were so few cars that the neighborhood dogs would sun themselves in the street without concern over becoming speed bumps.


One of our favorite places in the Southeast is the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, a cultural institution that preserves and celebrates excellence in the art, history and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent. Located in Charlotte’s uptown, the Center’s outstanding art exhibits, lectures, film screenings and performing arts workshops are nothing short of first-class.

A Window on the South

Recently, I made the short 20-mile drive from Charleston to The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island to visit its only fine art gallery: the Wells Gallery. The approach to the island, on a road arched with old live oaks and dotted by marshland, served, perhaps prophetically, to distance me even further from the hustle-bustle of the peninsula and prepare me for the artwork I was to discover.

Full Spectrum

Rich, vibrant colors and soft textures are some of the hallmarks of pastel paintings. One new gallery aims to introduce the beauty and timelessness of the medium to the Charleston art scene.

Pride of Place

Forget touristy souvenirs emblazoned with place names, if you want to give a gift that is functional, beautiful and rooted in the South, visit Carolina Clay Gallery.

Curating Life

Carri Schwab has a way of making you feel like the artists whose works line the walls of Principle Gallery are old friends.


I am a passionate museum and gallery crawler, having had the good fortune to visit and experience, on five continents, some of the world’s greatest…


Did you know that the only Southern-born member of the illustrious Hudson River School of landscape painters was from Charleston? And that his parents had…


For an introduction to the New South—the South, that is, as it’s evolved since the Civil War—you can do no better than to visit the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, N.C., which was founded in 1991. The museum’s exhibits, lectures, seminars and films encourage visitors to consider how the South has changed and continues to “reinvent” itself.

Art for Everyone

Mary Martin, owner of the Mary Martin Gallery in downtown Charleston, is convinced that everyone should build an art collection.

All Are Welcome

Let’s say you walk into a nice Charleston establishment in your grown-up clothes, and you spot a rope swing with a sturdy wooden seat suspended from the ceiling. Your first thought isn’t “What’s that doing there?” it’s “Can I swing?” If you happen to be visiting the Robert Lange Studios on Queen Street, the answer is, yes. Yes, you can swing, and there’s even a big sign that says so.

Different Strokes

Things can get a little unorthodox north of Broad, and that suits Mackenzie King just fine. In fact, she and business partner Kelly Wenner Grossman are instigators. “I think people want a change,” King says with a shrug. “They want options, and that’s what we’re offering.”

Enduring Images

It can take years for Ben Ham to finally get the exact shot he wants. And he’s OK with that.

Picture Perfect

A diamond-studded bathing suit, a slate shingle from an Irish cottage and an assemblage containing a broken guitar neck and KISS set list–these are a few things Dennis and Maryann Donovan have framed. At their Summerville shop, Donovan’s Custom Framing, they help clients preserve and showcase photos, art, certificates, jerseys, children’s creations and other treasures.