NORTHERN EXPOSURE

BY ANNE SHULER TOOLE

Late artist Joan Miró once said: “You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” Art is different for everyone, and Reinert Fine Art brings works of all kinds to life-art of a caliber that lingers in the mind.

“I loved painting when I was younger but moved away from it for a few years to raise a family and do other things,” gallery owner and artist Rick Reinert explains. “I had an epiphany to get back into it about 16 years ago. I painted almost all night for four years to get enough clients so I could paint full time.”

After a few years showcasing his contemporary impressionist oil paintings at different galleries, Reinert opened his own gallery on King Street in 2010 and soon expanded to a second location one block away. This summer, Reinert and his wife, Ann, will open a seasonal studio and gallery in East Boothbay, Maine, where they will spend their summers.

“We are very excited about the new studio, which is located in a little inlet in East Boothbay. It will be a gallery of my work and my studio as well. Ann, our Bichon, Lucy, and I will be there from May through October. It’s a nice place to get away to. It will be a bit cooler in the summer [than Charleston]. And there’s great lobster and fresh seafood,” Reinert says, with a smile.

Reinert’s disciplined lifestyle, however, won’t change. “I’ve been painting seven days a week for 15 years. And I’ll still be painting up there.”

In Charleston, Reinert Fine Art’s locations are thriving. The two King Street galleries showcase around 60 well-respected artists in addition to Reinert’s work. The gallery at 179 King St. also boasts an inviting sculpture garden filled with bronze works.

“We handle the work of some of the great artists—both painters and sculptors—each with a very unique style,” he continues. “In fact, seven of them are masters in the Oil Painters of America—some of the best in North America.”

Charleston, Reinert explains, has become a mecca for art. “We see a lot of people who have traveled to Charleston specifically to purchase art. There are plenty of galleries here, and more coming in all the time, which is good. People come here from New York, Boston, Chicago and other areas to buy the perfect painting,” he says. “Those places all have their own art galleries, but Charleston’s galleries offer art that is more representational, and that appeals to a lot of people. Plus, in many cases, it’s more affordable than what would be found in Manhattan.”

On the first Friday of every month, Reinert Fine Art invites art lovers to the 179 King St. location for wine, hors d’oeuvres, and to enjoy a memorable evening walking the sculpture garden and taking in beautiful paintings in a lively atmosphere.

Reinert, whether he’s in residence in Charleston or East Boothbay, says he looks forward to continuing his work. “Life is good; I paint all the time. In fact, if I don’t paint for one day, I feel like I’m missing something. Charleston and Boothbay are beautiful places filled with endless inspiration, and that’s what drives me,” he says. “I enjoy challenging myself and doing different things. I try to say as much as I can with the least number of brushstrokes. This summer, Ann, Lucy and I look forward to broadening our sources of inspiration while we explore Boothbay and other coastal regions in Maine. If you’re up in the area, come see us!”

Anne Shuler Toole is a freelance writer in Mount Pleasant and owner of Be Present Marketing.