Peter Max comes to Charleston

Peter Max’s “Statue of Liberty”

How many people can say that their artwork was put on a Continental Airlines super jet and a Woodstock stage?

For the past 40 years, Peter Max has had shows all over the world, from smaller, more intimate ones to record-breaking-attendance one-man museum shows. He’s painted several presidents and a number of celebrities.

In 1981, he became known as “America’s Painter Laureate” for the six Statue of Libertys he painted at the White House. He’s also been dubbed a pop icon, a neo-Fauvist and abstract expressionist.

“Peter Max was to art what The Beatles were to music. As The Beatles sang of the surreal characters in ‘Sergeant Pepper,’ Max’s bold beautiful colors painted a world of cosmic fantasy,” said publicist Allison Zucker-Perelman of the Relevant Communications firm.

Clearly, Max has led an interesting life, and he’s very much still painting and wowing folks the world over with his vibrant, iconic works.

Just recently, a piano he painted for Beatle Ringo Starr was donated to MusiCares, an organization that raises money to take care of aging musicians.

The piano, which was signed by the artist, Starr and Paul McCartney, was auctioned off for $175,000.

At the moment, he has been touring various cities unveiling new works of art, and he’s stopping in Charleston this weekend.

Karis Art & Design Gallery, based out of Hilton Head Island, will be hosting his works a little south of us as well as in Charleston. The old Kress Building on Wentworth Street is being transformed into a pop-up gallery to show some of his newest works.

“This exhibit features paintings of the magnificent PGA favorites, celebrity portraits, the iconic images of the Earth Day Series, the Statue of Liberty, Max’s famous ‘Flag’ pieces, ‘Umbrella Man’ and the prestigious 10-Cent Stamp bearing the title ‘Preserve the Environment.’ There will also be presentations of never-before-seen celebrity portraits,” Zucker-Perelman said. These works are all for sale.

This could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet this rock star painter in person as the Karis Gallery brings this extremely special but brief four-day opportunity to town.

Exhibit previews begin tonight and the exhibit ends Sunday. This weekend, he will make a special appearance 7-10 p.m. Saturday at the gallery and noon-3 p.m. Sunday.

Enthusiasts and collectors are invited to attend. RSVPs are requested.

Call 888-513-8385 or go to www.karisartgallery.com.

This evening, pop by the Footlight Theatre on Queen Street to see the Charleston Artist Collective’s new show, “Local Color.”

As the name suggests, these are works inspired by what we have the privilege of living around every day in Charleston.

Expect to see works by Susie Callahan, Lynne Hamontree, Mary Hoffman, Ann Keane, Anne Darby Parker, Dee Schenck Rhodes, Zach Collins and Whitney Kreb.

The Collective donates 15 percent of any works sold “to a local charity, and the proceeds from this show will be donated to the Footlight Players. In the past year, the Charleston Artist Collective has raised more than $20,000 for local charities,” organizer Allison Williamson said.

Call 513-2893 or go to www.charlestonartistcollective.org.

On Saturday, Chamber Music Charleston will perform the final concert in the Kuhn & Kuhn Law Firm Memminger Concert Series, “A Celebration of America.”

Not only will this be a great opportunity to listen to some really beautiful American music, but CMC has taken it a bit further by encompassing visual art into the mix.

“In addition to the performance by musicians of CMC, select pieces will have a visual connection to artwork projected onto a screen above the musicians,” said Sandra Nikolajevs, director and founder.

String quartets, flutists, bassoonists, trumpets and even a short piece by elementary school students will be part of the show.

I’m particularly excited to hear dear friend and composer Trevor Weston’s “Messages” for string quartet, flute, bassoon and trumpet.

Nikolajevs explains, “ ‘Messages’ is an original work inspired by the painting ‘Seeking’ by Jonathan Green, the nationally recognized artist whose artwork celebrates Gullah culture. ‘Seeking’ recalls the Gullah rite of passage into the church and adulthood that requires young teens to go into the woods to find their spiritual being. The youth then returns to the elders to be examined and, if accepted, baptized into the church. ‘Messages’ by Trevor Weston draws its inspiration from ‘Seeking’ and the traditional shout and response rhythms prevalent in traditional Gullah music.”

The doors open at 6:30 p.m., and guests are welcome to enjoy the preconcert picnic atmosphere in front of the stage inside the Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St. There will be wine and bistro boxes available for purchase.

The hourlong concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for bistro table, $25 for general theater seating and $5 for student tickets. Bistro boxes must be ordered in advance.

Call 763-4941 or go to www.chambermusic charleston.org.