CHARLESTON ART BROKERS
Mary Frances Bishop and Carol Williams founded Charleston Art Brokers (CAB) in order to bring extraordinary art into the everyday world. Knowing that great art can be found outside of a traditional gallery, CAB works to present, promote and broker the works of exceptional painters and photographers from all over the southeast. With the help of CAB, fine art—ranging from landscapes to representational, figurative, non-objective abstract paintings and photography—finds its way into the collections of individuals, interior designers, architects and more.
With a collection that currently encompasses over 20 artists, Bishop and Williams carefully select works that appeal to clients’ unique tastes and complement their spaces, be it at home or at work. If clients don’t initially find a piece that works for them in CAB’s online or satellite collection, Bishop and Williams work with their artists to either create a custom work or pull from each artist’s extensive portfolio. Facilitating the process further, CAB offers a wide range of fine art services, including framing expertise, artwork delivery and installation.
Charleston Art Brokers
BEN HAM IMAGES
Ben Ham has been making the connection between his camera and the South Carolina coast for most of his life. A photographer since childhood, Ham now depicts the Lowcountry’s distinct landscape in his large-format photography. Though living in Hilton Head, S.C., has lent the photographer plenty of scenes to immortalize on film, he also loves traveling to the top of the Rockies, to Southwestern 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. 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 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 about each adventure, written by Ham. Apart from the book, Ham only sells framed, limited-edition fine art pieces.
Ben Ham Images
LEPRINCE FINE ART
LePrince Fine Art, located at 184 King St., doubles as a studio for owner and artist Kevin LePrince. The gallery is open seven days a week and one can usually find LePrince, an impressionist artist, painting on-site most days. Guests are encouraged to watch and ask questions about the process.
The walls are filled with bodies of work from a select few emerging and mid-career artists from around the globe, including Mark Bailey, Tibor Nagy, Angie Renfro, Ignat Ignatov, Vicki Robinson and LePrince. While contemporary impressionism is a term commonly used to describe the overall theme of the gallery, each artist has a distinct style defined by brushstroke technique, palette and compositional choice.
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 website for constant updates or to browse before coming in.
LePrince Fine Art
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.
REINERT FINE ART & SCULPTURE GARDEN GALLERY
Owned by contemporary impressionist painter Rick Reinert and his wife Ann, Reinert Fine Art & Sculpture Garden Gallery showcases more than 40 fine classical painters as well as both figurative and abstract sculptors.
Reinert Fine Art recently expanded its presence on King Street by opening Reinert Contemporary Fine Art at 202 King Street. This third location features acclaimed Charleston- based abstract artist Eva Carter and abstract impressionist painter Susan Colwell. Reinert’s largest contemporary works are also offered at the beautiful new space in addition to a collection of artisan jewelry.
Each location is open seven days a week, with art events the first Friday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at both spaces. On the third Thursday of each month, the 179 King Street location offers the perfect trio— jazz, wine and fine art—at Jazz in the Courtyard.
Visit the galleries at 179 King Street or 202 King Street in Charleston, or at 1153 Main Street in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
Reinert Fine Art & Sculpture Garden Gallery
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.
Though you can find Tim Whitfield’s work in downtown Charleston, his camera is usually focused elsewhere. His wanderlust affords him the chance to capture images from the Pacific Islands to Eastern Europe. Among his favorite subjects to photograph are the villages and landscapes of Romania, where his wife is from. Lately, he’s centered his work around action sports, particularly surfing.
After taking up photography five years ago, Whitfield surrounded himself with accomplished photographers willing to show him the ropes. Now an accomplished artist himself, he recently opened Tara Vis Gallery—meaning “dreamland” in Romanian—with friends Patrick Kelly, Ben Reed, Brian Bielmann and Sorin Onisor. Located at 218 C King St., the space features regular special exhibitions with opportunities to meet and greet the artists.
Whitfield says, “I want Tara Vis Gallery to be a place where you can lose yourself in the images and stories, a respite from the mundane, taking you places that many people on this earth will never have the opportunity to experience.”
Debra Paysinger taught high school science and math for 10 years before she had her third child and decided to pursue art. Though she’s had a passion for needlepoint since the ’70s, it wasn’t until all the kids learned to drive that she began painting.
Now an artist for 14 years, Paysinger’s favorite subjects include birds—hers in particular happen to be grouchy ones. You could definitely say the artist’s master’s degree in biology has informed her subject matter, as she also paints lures, sea life and rabbits—or raddits, as she endearingly refers to them. She even trademarked the term “the raddit” as her own.
Paysinger gives a different human name to every bird she paints. While she has prints available for a few of her subjects, she doesn’t sell reproductions of her birds and raddits. She says, “I think it adds a uniqueness to the whole thing.”
You can find Paysinger’s works in Studio 151 Gallery in Charleston and Ellen Taylor Interiors + Design in Columbia.
CHERYL NEWBY GALLERY
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 a selective inventory of antique maps and prints.
A quick look around the antique side 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 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, the gallery represents 13 painters from throughout the country, including William McCullough (SC), the late Ray Ellis (MA), Paula Holtzclaw (NC), Martha dePoo (FL), the late Quita Brodhead (PA) and Mike Williams (SC). Three nationally known sculptors—Sandy Scott (WY), Gwen Marcus (NY) and Catherine K. Ferrell (FL) also have work in the gallery, as does fine ceramic artist Glenda Taylor (FL) and portrait painter James Crowley (SC).
Cheryl Newby Gallery
ELLA WALTON RICHARDSON FINE ART
With over two dozen artists from across the globe, Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art celebrates its 15th anniversary with the return of artist Craig Nelson, who has shown his work in the gallery since its debut. This fall, the gallery presents Romance Abroad, a body of over 30 exquisite European landscapes.
From village scenes in southeastern France to the side streets of London, Nelson captures the beauty and light of each place he visits. “I did a painting this morning in Venice,” he says. “Before, we were in the Austrian Alps for seven days, the Dolomites in Italy and Cortina d’Ampezzo, home of the first winter Olympics in 1956.”
Nelson currently serves as the department chairman of Fine Arts, Drawing and Painting at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. His art career began in 1970s doing portraits for album covers and film posters during his time in Los Angeles. “From there, I painted cityscapes, interiors and landscapes,” he says. “Inspiration is everywhere if you are open to it.”
Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art
CAROLINA FINE ART FRAMING
Founded in the 1950s, Carolina Fine Art Framing is located on East Bay Street in the historic Faber-Ward house, a Palladianstyle three-story home erected in 1832. Purchased five years ago by painter Wilfred Spoon, Carolina Fine Art Framing continues the tradition of crafting handmade, museum-quality frames in its new location.
You’ll also find premium reproduction frame samples produced using centuries-old techniques, including water gilding and hand-carving. The showroom is filled with such examples as well as Spoon’s original paintings and those of New York artist Mark Heyer.
In order to provide the best customer service—including pick-ups, deliveries and in-home consultations and installations— Carolina Fine Art Framing has transitioned to a by-appointment gallery. Helping customers find the best framing solution is a priority for Spoon, who loves the opportunity to create unique designs for everything from fine art and paper to canvas, photography, ceramics, textiles and more.
It’s worth a visit for any art lover or collector. Call for an appointment.
Carolina Fine Art Framing
STUDIO 151 FINE ARTS
Located near the corner of Church and Market streets, Studio 151 is filled from floor to ceiling with pieces from over a dozen local artists, who all use their art to respond to what’s around them here in the South. From Bob Graham, a Civil War painter, to Daryl Knox, who’s inspired by Lowcountry marshes and creeks, 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 Colleen Wiessmann, Lu Bentley, Gary Kunkelman, Sandy Scott, Amelia Rose Smith, Rosie Phillips, Jennifer Koach, Amelia Whaley, Dixie Dugan, Nancy Davidson, Debra Paysinger and Michel McNinch.
Styles and subjects can range from collage works to abstracts and traditional realism. But you’ll find more than canvas pieces here, because jewelry artists Shelby Parbel, Jean Norman and Lissa Block are there as well to ensure 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
Some of Tom Potocki’s earliest memories include helping his father paint large commercial images on walls and billboards. Such experiences led him to a fine arts degree at Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon University and then to New York City. There he became involved in the pop art movement, which impacted his art thereafter. “My art is a visual and emotional response to what I see and experience around me,” he says.
Potocki describes his work as refined graffiti. “The images that develop in my work are derived from a process of applying splashes and layers of color to a surface and letting go of the notion that I have to control every detail,” he says. “The finished pieces should entice the viewer to look beneath the surface of what we think we see around us and discover something new.”
In this way, Potocki invites viewers to use their imaginations, and become a part of the creative process as well as the finished product. Potocki’s work can be seen online and at Mitchell Hill Gallery at 438 King St.
Established in Asheville, North Carolina, by Gabrielle Egan in 2008, Atelier Gallery found a new home in Charleston four years ago.
Egan, who also owns Peyton William, both downtown and on Kiawah Island, and sells her handcrafted pieces there, curates every inch of space on her gallery’s walls, choosing artists for their individual approaches and innovative techniques.
The gallery is filled with everything from portraits to landscapes to sculptures, with each aesthetic working together to support and promote a variety of artists and merge the classics with the moderns. Whether it’s florals, seascapes, rustic barns or animals, Atelier has something to offer any art collector.
Though artists from across the country fill the space— including Patti Zeigler, Dana Johns, Eric Zener, Kathy Cousart, Gina Strumpf, Alicia Armstrong, Augusta Wilson, Christy Kinard, Tony Gill, Shellie Lewis, Erin Gregory, Spencer Herr, Carylon Killebrew, Judith Williams and Christopher Dotson—the gallery’s overall aesthetic remains firmly in the Lowcountry.
MITCHELL HILL GALLERY
It was six years ago that the impressively high-ceilinged Mitchell Hill Gallery came to Upper King Street. Filled with paintings, sculptures, custom furniture and photographs, the gallery offers the city a refreshing departure from the formal, traditional spaces so often seen in Charleston.
Since its opening, Mitchell Hill has accumulated the works of countless artists, with a total of 30 currently displayed there— particularly regional creators of both art and decor. This year, the gallery launched its own gilded metal lighting collection, which is artfully displayed throughout the space, illuminating the 5,000-square-foot art and design showroom.
Upstairs, Mitchell Hill offers full-scale interior design services. The gallery always pulls from its enormous inventory when building a project. “Often, we’ll use a piece of art as a leaping-off point. The two worlds really do collide,” co-owner Michael Mitchell says. “Our clients tend to be sophisticated art collectors, so the art is part of the process.”
Mitchell Hill hosts monthly receptions and offers an online shopping experience at shopmitchellhill.com.
Mitchell Hill Gallery
BETSY JONES MCDONALD
Charleston artist Betsy Jones McDonald began her artistic training as a teen with watercolorist Geri Davis of Columbus, Georgia. She went on to study fine art at Columbus State University, and her eye for design was later put to work as a design manager in her years working in visual merchandising.
After moving to Columbia, South Carolina, McDonald began doing murals, which is when she realized her true love lay in large-format painting. She’s pursued oil-on-canvas ever since and paints using only primary colors, custom-mixing all her own hues. McDonald also co-owned Island Art Gallery on Pawleys Island for four years, where she continues to regularly teach color-theory workshops.
These days, McDonald’s art is inspired by the marsh surrounding her Daniel Island studio. “I love the colors of the marsh and the way they change with the seasons and the tides,” she says. “Every time you look at the marsh, you see something different, and I’m fascinated by that.” You can find her paintings exhibited at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet and Island Art Gallery.
Betsy Jones McDonald
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 art-ists 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. Begin-ning in September, new exhib-iting members will be j uried 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
DANIELLE CATHER COHEN
John Carroll Doyle Art Gallery’s latest artist, Danielle Cather Cohen, is a colorist and impressionist originally from Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Her interest in art began at age six before she was later mentored for almost a decade by Evelyn Leavens, an internationally renowned painter, photographer and instructor.
With over 30 years of experience in the art world, Cohen’s preferred mediums currently include pencil, gouache and watercolor, though her primary focus is oil. Cohen’s works are vibrant, encompassing everything from abstract contemporary and figurative to wildlife and landscapes, especially nautical works and seascapes.
Cohen says her painting process is a very spiritual one. “I start my journey to an all-encompassing, almost indescribable place,” she explains.
John Carroll Doyle Art Gallery
Deborah Hill considers herself a contemporary impressionist painter. After owning a residential and commercial design business for 13 years, she returned to full-time painting in 2010.
Hill works primarily in oil on canvas, both in her studio and en plein air. Dividing her time between upstate New York and Seabrook, South Carolina, each location gives the artist yearround inspiration. 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 painting a landscape or the figure, my goal as an artist remains the same—to show the temperature and mood of the scene,” she says.
Currently, Hill is working on a new series called The Natatorium, based on a continuous subject: the natatorium.
Deborah R. Hill
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.
Michelle Bolton moved to the Lowcountry four years ago from Pinehurst, North Carolina, where she was an interior designer for her own custom design-build firm for 21 years. Though Bolton has also done professional photography for more than 25 years—she trained under Eva Longoria’s personal photographer— doing so full time in Charleston is particularly inspiring for this self-described free spirit.
One of Bolton’s biggest requests is for children’s portraiture. The subjects’ eyes are are her favorite focal point. “I also like lifestyle portraits and capturing a child in candid movement,” she says. In addition to architecture and kids, Bolton shoots outdoor weddings, events, families and pets. Much of her inspiration comes from the local landscape. “I love the Lowcountry scenery,” she says. “I try to capture that essence in my family portraits, whether it’s on downtown Charleston photo walks, at the beach at sunrise or on a beautiful plantation.”
Award-winning painter Hilarie Lambert will tell you she enjoys painting 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. You can reach Lambert at email@example.com and view her works at Meeting Street’s Principle Gallery, where she is artist-in-residence.