First Friday on Gallery Row will keep you busy

“Barrel Dancer” from Peter Justl’s “Hoofbeats and Heartbeats” collection.

Art Walk weeks are always so busy, it is quite tough to fit it all in here. Here’s an alphabetically listed smattering of “must sees” for this First Friday Art Walk from Gallery Row on Broad Street and beyond.

Unless otherwise noted, all receptions are free and open to the public and take place 5-8 p.m.

12-A Rutledge Ave.: In her third solo show, Austin Grace Smith explores natural wood grain, sunsets, sunrises and the ebb and flow of the tidal waters in Charleston. “The Beautiful Unknown” describes the process of her work, and the finished work itself. “I love picking out a piece of wood and letting the grain tell a story,” Smith said. The show will conclude Sept. 28. Email or call 364-5847 for more info.

Charleston Artist Guild Gallery: With her exhibit, “Hidden Treasure,” Dian Hammett wants the viewer to look deeply into each painting to find what may be “hidden” in her style of mixed-media painting collages. The gallery is at 160 East Bay St. Call 722-2425 for more.

Coco Vivo Fine Art: “It’s surprising what you discover when you take the time to really look,” said plein-air painter John Caggiano. View works by Caggiano and nationally known artist Stuart Roper in the exhibition “Inspirations en Plein Air.” The gallery is at 25 Broad St. Call 720-4027 for more.

Edward Dare Gallery: The gallery at 31 Broad St. is a haven for local artists with their special take on the Lowcountry. Get inspired by where we live. Call 853-5002.

Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art: For the past decade, the gallery at 58 Broad St. has shown the works of famed Russian-born artists Aleksander and Lyuba Titovets. “Their unprecedented work has garnered national and international attention over the years, with innumerable accolades and awards in the repertoire.” Call 722-3660.

Ellis-Nicholson Gallery: Painter Deidre Black and porcelain pottery artist Mary Nicholson have purposefully chosen to exhibit their work together. “Both accomplished artists in their chosen medium, thought it would be challenging to use inspiration from each other’s art as stimuli to create new works,” said gallery owner Jeannette Nicholson. The show is “Nightdreams and Daydreams.” The gallery is at 1½ Broad St. Call 722-5353 or go to

Galerie on Broad: Known for gallery owner Dee Beard Dean’s impressive plein-air work, this gallery at 29 Broad St. houses some interesting national and international talent. “We’re thrilled to now represent Ginar Bueno, world-renowned Spanish painter called the new Sorolla” Dean said.

Hamlet Fine Art Gallery: “As one of Charleston’s best-selling artists for over 10 years, she is nationally recognized for the poetic tranquillity of her images,” gallery owner Stephanie Hamlet said of exhibiting artist Alice Dobbin. Meet the artist and view her new “Water Lily Series” at 7 Broad St.

Lambert Gray Gallery: Accomplished painters Hilarie Lambert and Michael Gray of Lambert Gray Gallery have recently added contemporary painter Fotini Christophilis to their space at 54 Broad St. Christophilis formerly had her studio at Redux and she still teaches workshops there.

Mary Martin Gallery: Inspired by horse therapy for autistic and developmentally challenged children, nationally known painter Peter Justl has created a collection of works featuring these noble animals. “From the start, I was taken with their beauty, power, spirit, grace and playful exuberance. I knew then that I wanted to learn more about these magnificent creatures,” he said of the horses he now paints. Meet Justl in person at 103 Broad St. Call 723-0303 or go to

Martin Gallery: Check out the newest works by artist William Crosby at 18 Broad St. This abstract expressionist landscape painter will be showing small and large pieces this month.

Robert Lange Studios: Over the past few years, Charles Williams has graced numerous magazine covers and received all kinds of accolades. His paintings are a fantastic combination of a precise yet free-flowing style. The gallery is at 2 Queen St. Call 805-8052 or go to

Spencer Art Galleries: Now with three galleries on Broad Street, the Spencer galleries host a variety of different art and artists. Join them for the exhibition of new works focused on different artist’s travels called “The Artists’ Journey.”

Utopia: At 27 Broad St., this is a place where art and fashion are one. Owner Beki Crowell’s paintings adorn the walls of the boutique, creating a “Utopian environment of sensuality, vitality, authentic self expression.”

The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts presents the third annual OPEN Art Expo noon-4 p.m. Sunday in the Cistern Yard at the College of Charleston.

“OPEN is a multidisciplinary arts event open to the public and features an abundance of artistic and cultural offerings in the tri-county area,” said Maggie Hendricks, the acting executive director of the alliance.

Over the past few years, the expo has attracted more than 2,500 people with its diverse lineup of activities aimed at getting folks more involved with the various arts organizations in the area. Expect to see all kinds of performances, folks in interesting outfits, multimedia presentations, kid-friendly activities, giveaways and more.

“OPEN is not just the name of our event. Our goal for the expo is to serve as a literal open doorway that connects the arts community in Charleston to all of the people in the tri-county area,” Hendricks said.

This event is happening on the same day as the popular Second Sunday on King Street, so walk a block over to the Cistern and check it out.

Call 577-5288 or go to

Isabel Cristina Castillo-Mercer and her husband, Barry Steve, a professional nautical engineer, have spent the past 10 years on their 38-foot, double-masted sailboat, Arabella, sailing around the Caribbean, South Atlantic and South Pacific, said local artist Marty Biernbaum. “When they dropped anchor in Charleston, they decided to stay.”

One day, the couple were biking around downtown and decided to check out the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery. It was here that they met exhibiting artist Biernbaum. They decided to put together a special show at the Charleston County Library.

The exhibit, “Images of South America: Sailing with Art,” is intended to be a “multicultural art dialogue to promote educational interaction and goodwill between the two continents of the Americas,” Biernbaum explains. “One of Isabel’s major concerns is that the average American has little knowledge about our southern neighbors, typically lumping all of these culturally diverse countries into a single image. They hope that this art exhibit will help to change that impression.”

The exhibit will include poetry from Castillo-Mercer’s new book, “Sailing Through Life With Art,” art by South American artist Yaneth Lucia Castillo Cruz and works by nine Charleston artists: Biernbaum, Karole Turner Campbell, Danita Cole, Arianne King Comer, Andrea Hazel, Pat Huff, Brenda Orcutt, Addelle Sanders and Mary Sayas.

The monthlong exhibit opens with a reception 6-8 p.m. Friday in the lobby of the Charleston County Library.

There will be two other special events for the show: On Sept. 20, Castillo-Mercer will present her new book of poetry, and on Oct. 4, Jacqueline Kelm, a local author, will give a presentation about “The Art of Joy,” based on her book “The Joy of Appreciative Living: Your 28-day Plan for Greater Happiness in 3 Incredibly Easy Steps.”

For more information, call 795-6470.

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