The contemporary art scene in Charleston is expanding in myriad ways, and includes both the works at established galleries and newly opened ones.

I find that the contemporary art that Charleston exhibits owes less and less to its predecessors and influencers and more to the fearlessness of the artist’s creativity.

In that spirit, here are three contemporary galleries with bold offerings to indulge your thoughtful, adventurous side.

To begin, Redux Studios is having an unveiling that has been about a month in the making. A spatial sculpture installation from Vassiliki Falkehag opens Friday inside Redux’s fantastic new facility and ends with an artist talk and closing reception on Sept. 19.

Beyond that, now you know as much as I do about the contents of the organic installation, which makes it all the more exciting and intriguing to discover on your own. Sometimes not knowing what to expect is better than what you were expecting.

Don’t forget that Redux is offering plenty of adult studio classes for every artistic inclination, so consider indulging your inner creative urges at its studios.

Elsewhere, the George Gallery just received new paintings from minimalist artist Frank Phillips.

Phillips, an Alexandria, Virginia-based professional artist and teacher, creates purposeful, calming paintings that make specific use of lines, color and geometric planes.

Owner-curator Anne Siegfried expressed her affinity for Phillips’ work and his minimalist style in a gallery email by noting, “It takes a great deal of talent to make something simple but at the same time impactful.”

About Phillips specifically, she sums up his work: “After spending time looking at Phillips’ work, you enjoy the depth, weight and bare essentials required in any successful work of art. Each painting feels as if you are let in on a secret.”

But it is definitely the kind of secret that needs to be spread by viewing his work in person at the gallery.

And this week The Southern returns with new works from Dorothy Netherland, an exhibit titled "Fangirl."

A Charleston-based artist, Netherland examines themes of empowerment and identity, recently from the vantage point of being a mother with a teenage daughter.

As you might guess, that type of exploration can be tricky and explosive territory. Netherland doesn’t shy away from this challenge; rather, she offers a nuanced mixed-media response to the complexities of technology and our hyperbole-saturated days.

“I am obsessed with distraction and commingling of the real and the fake,” Netherland notes in a press release. “In a personal way, my work contemplates the current culture and my daughter’s growing involvement in it.”

This kind of bold envisioning coupled with a desire to address it in a meaningful way is only a part of what makes Netherland’s work so insightful. And it shows off yet one more reason why contemporary art in Charleston is awake and in tune with our lives.

Reach Scott Elingburg at

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