You have walked down King Street or Meeting Street a time or two. You have noticed the windows displaying frame after frame of artwork but, if you are like most, you have simply walked by in the haste of downtown chaos. Maybe you have never really gotten around to finding the time to visit a gallery, or maybe you do not know which one to choose considering the overwhelming amount of options.
Picture this: as one hand clutches a glass of Pinot Noir, the other gently sways to acoustic music, and the weekend has officially begun. Walls crowded with artwork surround you and you become absorbed in the acrylic cityscapes and portraits on display. Each one tells stories of artists from all over the world. As you leave, a crisp fall breeze nudges you along and persuades you to enter another gallery. And from one gallery to the next, you travel through a maze of beautifully historic Charleston streets. You pass the crowd of bar-hoppers outside of the bars and clubs of upper King, and as you do, the streets calm and the pace of the evening slows. As the sun begins to fade behind the buildings and the candlelight street lamps provide a warm ambiance, you are welcomed to the second to last Charleston Gallery Association ArtWalk of the year.
The Charleston Gallery Association hosts ArtWalks like this one on the first Fridays of March, May, October and December. Downtown galleries open their doors for the Charleston art community to view artists’ new works. This event allows the community an opportunity to meet artists, become acquainted with other local art appreciators and truly experience all that the galleries have to offer.
Of the many galleries, LePrince Fine Art, located at 184 King Street, welcomed its visitors with red and white wine. Carefully positioned frames lined each wall, displaying dreamy landscapes and street scenes created by Kevin Le Prince. Paintings by artist Ignat Ignatov created in the midst of Hurricane Matthew were also displayed. Each one captures views before and during the storm.
Just a few doors down, located on 195 1/2 King Street, artist Katriel Srebnik was found painting near the window. With the lull of music streaming through the open door, Strebnik was absorbed in the sea of pastels laying before him as he formed a portrait with each stroke of the brush. The creation of another master piece was undoubtedly in the works.
The Principle Gallery, located on 125 Meeting Street, drew pedestrians in with live acoustic music playing amid the sculptures and paintings that engulfed the room. All around, tourists and locals alike stepped away from the usual speed of a Friday night and into the landscapes, portraits and abstracts that lay before them.
The three galleries offered only a taste of what the CGA ArtWalks have to offer. With over 40 art galleries in the area, CGA works to grow Charleston into an art destination — and it has been doing so for over 20 years. Each gallery provides a unique atmosphere and experience for all art enthusiasts wanting to embark on the adventures that lay within.