Archive for February, 2009

mary-walkerMarch brings fresh air and new works by Mary Walker to the Corrigan Gallery LLC in a show titled “On The Stage of Life.” Walker’s new series of paintings explores the emotional life of humans by presenting vignettes with bits and pieces of life coming into and out of the paintings. The show will open on Friday, March 6 with a reception at 5:00 p.m. and will hang through March 31, 2009.  This is Walker’s first solo show since the Griffith Lowcountry Artist Award show in 2007.  Walker is featured in the March 2009 issue of Charleston Magazine.

These new paintings began as a continuation of a series of works inspired by ballads. The music chosen consists of  “Strange Fruit,” “Norma” and La Voix Humain,” the last two being operas rather than ballads. The idea of a square format drew Walker’s attention as the square seemed like a stage or a circus where different players could interact.  Walker has begun pieces with a subject inspiring the work such as the ballads and operas but she does not emphasize the imposed themes instead letting the work develop on its own. The narratives presented in paint show threads of communications that might include heartbreak or joy – all emotions are fair game with indifference being anathema to the artist. The gloomy theme of “Strange Fruit” led to leaving the ballad theme behind yet a struggle began immediately and the artist felt a failing for losing the original themes. Letting the paintings evolve and to take on an energy of their own, the artist’s philosophy of life emerged.  A philosophy appears indicating that despite sorrows and hardships, life is a rich tapestry.
Many think that artists start with an image then draw the image on the canvas and then paint.
Walker does not follow these steps.  She may start with one central figure, add two during the process and end up with four. One of the most fascinating things about the stages of her paintings is seeing how they will turnout. Walker has often started with no fixed narrative, adding figures and a story develops. She likens it to being inviting several people to a gathering – never quite sure who will show up or when or what might develop. The ballads are portraits of a character, a single figure. In 2004, she organized “The Scrolls,” an anti-war project involving both national and international artists that has been exhibited in Charleston, Cincinnati and Washington, DC. As a narrative painter and printmaker, her main interest is with the figure or that of birds, horses and cats.
The Corrigan Gallery presents art with a future instilled with intellect. The gallery can be reached at 843 722 9868, art@lesecorrigan.com or http://corrigangallery.com.


Read Full Post »

yyyyyyLong time Margaret Petterson collectors, Gene and Lea Glowney of Augusta, Georgia recently donated one of their many Petterson paintings ‘Down the Way’ to the permanent collection of the famous Morris Museum of Art. The Morris Museum of Art is the first museum dedicated solely to the art and artists of the American South. On September 26, 1992, the Morris Museum opened its doors to the public and attracted more than ten thousand visitors in its first three months of operation. This museum also houses the Center for the Study of Southern Art, an important reference resource. Petterson’s work fits perfectly, as she is best known for capturing Lowcountry scenes in a uniquely colorful way. ‘Down the Way’ depicts a light filled country road framed by beautiful oak trees using vivid and eye catching colors.

Margaret Petterson moved to beautiful Charleston, SC at the young age of eight years old. Inspired by the warmth and charm of this visually rich historic city, she began painting more seriously in her twenties. Petterson has become one of Charleston’s most popular and respected artists, making a name for herself as a water colorist and oil painter, as well as mastering her unique style with mixed media monotypes. She opened her exclusive self titled Margaret Petterson Gallery at 125 Church Street in 1994, and remained the beloved owner and artist at this famous French Quarter corner for 15 years. Petterson has only retired from gallery ownership but continues to paint passionately in her country studio. Today, the John Carroll Doyle Gallery features Margaret Petterson’s work in the same location.

For more information on the work of Margaret Petterson, please visit or call the John Carroll Doyle Gallery (843) 577-7344 or visit http://johncdoyle.com.

Read Full Post »

Carolina Galleries will feature new work by artist Gary Grier during the March French Quarter Gallery Association’s first art walk of 2009. There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 6, 2009 from 5 to 8 pm, at which the artist will be present. Grier is Carolina Galleries’ primary portrait artist. The work will hang through the end of March.

Gary has been represented by Carolina Galleries since 2007, and since then has been named the 2007 Lowcountry Artist of the Year through the Coastal Community Foundation’s Griffith Visual Arts Fund and most recently was featured in his first solo museum show at the prestigious Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina. The new work will be a continuation of the momentum of these honors. Gary’s work explores the everyday experiences of his life, his family, and the world around him, seen through Gary’s unique perception. While working predominantly in portraiture, Grier also challenges himself to compose engaging landscapes and still lifes, many of which have very personal connections. In a first for the artist, Gary has promised to share the stories of these paintings, which will be featured along with each work of art.

Gary was born in 1976 in Jacksonville, Florida. His mother took a very active role in fostering Gary’s creative talents and encouraging him in the study of art. This aspect of his upbringing is frequently represented in Gary’s working through the mythological reference to Saturn and Jupiter, as his father and himself, respectively. Gary attended the Savannah, Georgia branch of the School of Visual Arts for three years, and after it closed, finished his degree in New York City. During his time in New York, Gary worked in the studio of renowned artist Jeff Koons and received his first commission from Sean Combs. Returning to his native South, Grier made his home in Charleston thanks in part to encouraging galleries and patrons. He feels his work belongs in the context of the vibrant Southern art scene, particularly in Charleston.

The work of Stephen Chesley, Craig Crawford, Julyan Davis, Johnson Hagood, Chestee Harrington, Tom McNickle, Margaret M. Peery and Mickey Wiliams will also be on view for the month of March at Carolina Galleries. For more information or images, please contact Carolina Galleries at info@carolinagalleries.com or 843.720.8622.

Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2009

Places to Go, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2009

Read Full Post »

In celebration of the National Art Advocacy Day and to support struggling local public high schools, the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association (CFADA) has donated over $18,000 to eleven public high schools located in Charleston County.

Each of the following high schools participated in CFADA’s High School Art Competition and receives a gift certificate from Artists & Craftsman Supplies. The participating schools are Academic Magnet High School, Burke High School, Charleston County School of the Arts, Clark Academy, Garrett Academy of Technology, James Island Charter High School, North Charleston High School, R.B. Stall High School, St. John High School, Wando High School and West Ashley High School.

Funds were raised at the association’s Tenth Fine Art Annual during a live auction sponsored by the Charleston Art Auction on Saturday, November 8, 2008. Each year, renowned artists from across the nation travel to Charleston to participate in the fundraiser.

“Every year, the donation from CFADA’s auction doubles to triples my standard art supply budget,” says Dona Dowling, art teacher at St. John’s High School. “This is an amazing gift. It allows me to teach with quality supplies and equipment, which means that my students have a higher quality experience. They are exploring more printmaking and sculptural techniques than would ever have been possible otherwise. We are now able to frame artworks, and partner with several businesses and organizations to have the students’ artwork viewed publicly.”

Some art teachers at local high schools have very little or no budget for supplies and equipment and students are charged a lab fee. In Title I schools such as St. John’s High School, a $25.00 lab fee is impossible for some families, and could stop a student from taking an art class.

“Adolescence is such a turbulent time. The self-expression, conceptual thinking and open imagination allowed in art classes encourages our next generation to think independently and creatively,” says Mrs. Dowling. According to the National Arts Education Initiative, students involved in the arts perform better in reading, social studies and math compared to their peers. Research also indicates that students involved with the arts are more likely to succeed in school and their professional careers as arts education strengthens students problem solving and critical thinking skills. Founded in 1999, the Charleston

Fine Art Dealers’ Association is the source of fine art in the South and consists of the city’s most prominent galleries. The association promotes Charleston as a fine art destination for talented artists, passionate art enthusiasts and avid collectors. Since 2000, CFADA has donated more than $200,000 to local high schools and arts’ organizations. For more information on CFADA, please visit http://cfada.com

Read Full Post »

rhett-turman1The Sylvan Gallery is proud to present the newest body of work by Rhett Thurman in a show entitled “Coloring Outside of the Lines.” The opening reception will be held March 6, 2009  from 5pm to 8pm and continue through the end of the month of March. The gallery is located at 171 King Street, in downtown Charleston’s historic district and antique row. The gallery is a member of the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association (CFADA) and a founding partner of the Charleston Art Auction.

South Carolina native Rhett Thurman is a focused dedicated painter whose wish is to push beyond the last completed painting. “Coloring Outside of the Lines” is a show of such works. Of her last show, Thurman spoke of pushing out the edges of the safety zone and wanting to move the work to a level where it transcends her past work and the limits of locale and experience. This exhibition shows what happens when she moves “outside of the lines!” Thurman provides the viewer with a sense of being in the moment whether at home in Charleston or traveling far and wide. Each painting is a refreshing, slice of life. Color and light is expressed in soft, luminous works of oil on canvas reflecting this soft-spoken Southern lady grace. Glowing with the light and joy of life and the recording of the lovely views around us, these highly collectible paintings bring warmth and a smile to the viewer.

Rhett Thurman has achieved national acclaim for both her oils and watercolors. She has exhibited with the prestigious American and National Watercolor Societies, been featured in national publications and is included in private, museum and corporate collections. She was the 2003 artist in residence for the Gibbes Museum of Art Poets’ and Painters’ program. Thurman is the recipient of the 1995 Outstanding Alumna Award from Queens College, where she earned her degree in studio art. Her education and painting experience include further studies in Europe and the United States. As Charleston is a destination for international art collectors, Thurman’s work has worldwide exposure and is gaining in popularity as we speak. Highly collectible and easily affordable, her paintings add dimension to anyone’s “portfolio.”

The Sylvan Gallery specializes in 20th and 21st century representational art and carries a large selection of sculpture. They are pleased to represent the work of thirty or so artists of world renown. The Sylvan Gallery can be reached at 843-722-2172, j_sylvan@msn.com or http://www.thesylvangallery.com. Gallery hours are 9:00-5:00 Monday thru Friday, 10:00-5:00 Saturday.

Read Full Post »