Monday, November 17, 2014

Exploring the French Quarter Art Walk in Charleston, SC

The Forge, Robert Liberace 40x60

Last November a friend and I went to the French Quarter Art walk in Charleston.  The day was perfect, sunny with just a touch of fall in the air, we walked and visited galleries until we realized they had all closed.  

The art walk is a lovely way to explore Charleston. The French Quarter is located within the original walled city of Charleston. The area is well known for beautiful architecture, historic homes, art galleries, small businesses, gas lamps, and tree-lined cobblestone streets.   

Around Thirty galleries participate and all are within walking distance of one another. The atmosphere is always fun and inviting as you step through the doors to see what's inside. 

Charleston has become known as an arts destination. Galleries graciously open their doors to art lovers of all types. On their wall hang fresh paintings by local and internationally known artists. Exhibiting artists are often on hand giving you a chance to chat and hear their insights pertaining to their works.

In Front of the Plaza, Betsy Havens
Start wherever you like. Self-guided maps are, available and help you navigate the gallery tour. If you were as ambitious as we were, consider your footwear before heading out.

We began early in the afternoon starting with our list of must see galleries. We definitely wore comfortable shoes.

Sylvan Gallery
We parked on Queen Street and started on King Street at the Sylvan Gallery. We wanted to see the current work of our friends and teachers Betsy Havens and Jim Calk. The Sylvan Gallery also had a wonderful display of Susan Lyon and Scott Burdick's work.   

The Principle Gallery, Post Show

Harvesting, Lina Liberace

The Principle Gallery, exhibit was titled "The Ties that Bind" a mentor-mentee exhibition.

The show consisted of eight featured artists  and their mentees. Both mentor and mentee were asked to paint a piece for the show. The paintings were hung on separate walls (see photo above) with colored string running up the wall across the ceiling and down another wall connecting the mentor and mentee.

Purple Plums and Lavendar Butter,  Lina Liberace

One of my own mentor's work, Robert Liberace was on exhibit, Rob had picked Lina Liberace a very talented artist and his wife as his mentee.   

Horton Hayes Gallery
After visiting the Principle we headed down Queen Street to Horton Hayes, one of my favorite galleries.  Here, Mark Horton had a wonderful display of paintings. Most, if not all, of the featured artists, had traveled to Charleston and were in painting and talking with gallery goers.  

Horton Hayes Gallery
This side story is titled:  "Marc with a "C"
Pardon the side story but's it's very funny and full of serendipity which I love. On Monday morning the week of the art walk, I opened my Facebook page and saw a funny post from a friend in Arizona. 

She knew a friend who had gone into a coffee shop, ordered a coffee, and when asked his name, he said Marc with a "C".  When he received his coffee the cup had "Carc" written on the side. The FB post showed a picture of the cup. 

This Facebook posting wouldn't leave the top of my home page and it remained there most of the week. 

Friday night I was introduced to Marc Hanson, a Horton Hayes featured artist. Something was so familiar about him. As we talked we tried to find the connection. We went through a list of other artists we knew. Still nothing. We talked about how small the world of artists was becoming or at least the ones we knew. 

Marc with a "C" and Me by one of his wonderful paintings
There were two Mark's at the gallery that night. As Marc Hanson and I were talking someone referred to him as Marc with a "C". What fun, all of a sudden the world became much smaller. I said. "You are "Carc" and he said he was. We had found the connection.

The friend who shared the posting on Facebook lives in Arizona. Marc lives in Colorado and they met in Texas at an Oil Painters of America Event. All week on FB I kept seeing his name. Little did I know that in a few days, I would get the pleasure of meeting Marc in Charleston, SC. 

Pat took pictures of Marc and myself with each of our phones. At the same time, we each texted pictures of us together to our friend in Arizona. I so love those moments in life, truly one of my favorite things.

Shortly afterward we went to the Galleries on Broad and I believe we visited every gallery.

Spencer Gallery
My friend Pat Puckett is a talented artist and represented in Charleston by the Spencer Gallery. We stopped by Spencer for a while giving Pat time to greet people. It was late and I was happy to find a chair, sit and enjoy the paintings. 

Pat S. Puckett
Afterward, we went to dinner and discussed our day; our favorite gallery, favorite still life, favorite landscape, favorite figurative piece, most energetic Gallery Director. We had a blast - an art blast! 

Head to Charleston to visit these galleries and more. You may find something perfect that works for your home. If you can't visit Charleston look around your community and spend an afternoon visiting local galleries and interacting with local artist. 

Locals to Pawleys Island can enjoy Cheryl Newby Gallery, Island Art Gallery and the Seacoast Artist Gallery in Myrtle Beach. Island Art and Seacoast specialize in local artists work. Betsy and Jim are represented locally by Island Art Gallery.

Thanks for joining me, and please continue to send me your comments.  I have been receiving emails, comments on the blog and on Facebook. I enjoy receiving your ideas, questions, and input. It's great to be bringing this to you. If you like this article please feel free to share this post with your friends or on Facebook.

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Artfully Yours,

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One last painting from Rob

Robert Liberace

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