As you visit The Wells Gallery in historic downtown Charleston, you are greeted by a custom mahogany façade that leads into a space which features vaulted ceilings, custom oak floors and 2,000 square feet of inviting space to view an outstanding selection of fine artwork. The 130 year old building also features an interesting installation of glass flooring to view the original cistern which was discovered beneath the building during renovations. To compliment the beautiful exterior, the Wells Gallery features the work of several in-house artists with pieces ranging from paintings, hand-blown glass sculptures, hand-crafted glass jewelry, and much more.
For this year’s stroll, Wells Gallery will be featuring limited edition lithographs of Mark Catesby’s original watercolors to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of Catesby’s voyage fromEngland to America to document the flora and fauna of the South East. Catesby was an early naturalist from London who made two trips to America, once in 1712 and then later in 1722. While in America, he traveled extensively throughout the Lowcountry, including Kiawah Island and remained for seven years collecting botanical specimens and sketching the wildlife.
Catesby’s “The Natural History of Carolinas, Florida and The Bahamas Islands” was the first natural history of American flora and fauna. First issued between 1731 and 1743, this work would eventually include 220 prints, which for the first time systematically illustrated American birds, animals and plants. It was not only the first fully-illustrated natural history of North America but also a major contribution to both art and science. Catesby is considered one of the greatest
naturalists of the eighteenth-century. The Wells Gallery has a great opportunity to offer a diverse selection of the reproductions from Catesby’s original work. These unique prints were created by Alecto Historical Editions which was granted printing rights by The Queen in 1996. The editions are limited to fifty complete sets, numbered 1/50 through 50/50, only 10 in each set were released for public sale.
The Wells Gallery is pleased to welcome Social Restaurant and Wine Bar for this year’s Palette and Palate Stroll where their one-of-a-kind wines and culinary creations from chef Jesse Sutton are sure to compliment Catesby’s unique lithographs.
Social Restaurant + Wine Bar opened on February 13, 2007, and since then has received much acclaim and is noted as one of Charleston’s most exciting restaurants, offering the city’s largest selection of wines by the glass. Social is housed in a nineteenth century warehouse and features an exquisite four-thousand bottle display cellar, giving it a chic but casual atmosphere. For Chef Jesse Sutton, the finishing touch on a dish isn’t the sauce or the sides, but the perfect pairing with a glass of wine. Driven by cultural context, Sutton looks to the traditional ingredients and natural resources of a region to inspire what he creates on the plate.
Born in Carrboro, NC, Sutton grew up in Urbana, IL, and found his way into the kitchen by the age of 18 where his culinary journey began. Sutton enrolled at Kendall College where he received his AAS. His enthusiasm and willingness to learn quickly found him in an apprenticeship with the noted avant-garde chef, Grant Achatz at Trio restaurant. This experience made Sutton realize that the culinary world was ever-evolving and that it was a direction that he wanted to pursue as a career. In 2011, after five years at the Woodlands, South Carolina’s only 5-star, 5-diamond restaurant, Sutton took on the role of Executive-Chef at Social Restaurant + Wine Bar. At Social, in collaboration with owner and Sommelier Brad Ball, Sutton has found a home where wine plays a central part in each dish he creates. Drawing from the old-world wine regions of the world, Sutton is able to take diners on a culinary journey and create simple, elegant stories from around the world using only a wine glass, a plate and a vision.