Neil Rizos receives a major art award

“Matrix Energetics” by Marissa Vogl

Charleston is a great city for avian life. Even as I write this, the birds are signaling sunrise with their lively calls and a white ibis just strolled down to the neighborhood pond in search of food.

Most of the bird life, however, has to be sought; it won’t come to you directly.

And that’s a trait that artist Neil Rizos, an artist represented by The Audubon Gallery in Charleston, surely understands.

Recently, Rizos’ avian work earned him the Marilyn Newmark traditional art award at the 2015 Allied Artists of American exhibition. The award was given for his bronze sculpture, “Marbled Godwits.”

The Newmark award is given to an artist working in traditional medium and depicting animal life.

For Rizos’ sculpture, he captured the essence of marbled godwits, shorebirds that scurry rapidly while searching for food.

Rizos was drawn to the way these birds move and change in the wild. His sculpture, as well as his own personal research on the birds, reinforce his long tradition of capturing birds in their natural habitat through his artwork.

Rizos has traveled to the Arctic and the tropics seeking inspiration and studying the natural habitat and beauty of birds. But this is the first time Rizos has submitted a sculpture to the Allied Artists of America annual exhibition.

His etchings are featured in the book, “The American Sporting Print: 20th Century Etchers & Drypointists,” and he is a regular seasonal visitor to Charleston.

See his artwork at The Charleston Audubon Gallery, 190 King St. For more information, call 843-853-1100 or go to

The Mitchell Hill Gallery is a unique combination of art, decor and interior design shop.

The shop offers an array of furniture and home decor pieces, some designed by the Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill, two Southern entrepreneurs who took their design work to New York City.

Instead of offering cookie-cutter wall art for your home, Mitchell Hill Gallery displays artwork from more than 30 nationally recognized artists.

As the description states on their website, “The art in this gallery reflects what we’d like to introduce to Charleston.”

If the art of Marissa Vogl, which is on display through November at Mitchell Hill, is an indication of their mission statement, then Vogl fits the description.

Her latest exhibit, “Abandonment,” is a testament to fearlessness and vibrancy.

“Doubt, fear and guilt,” Vogl says of her new work, “are just a few mental blocks we all share.

Vogl is known for her landscape paintings but in her latest exhibit, she abandons all doubts and throws her efforts into abstract paintings.

For most artists, abstract painting can be a scary prospect, but Vogl is clearly up to the task. Filled with energy, color and a working knowledge of composition, Vogl’s pieces are not only enticing from a viewer’s perspective, but also could make a worthwhile and essential addition to your home from a top notch design shop.

Find her art at Mitchell Hill Gallery, 438 King St. For more information, call 843-564-0034 or go to

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