Variety is the spice of life, and Lowcountry art

Brad Stroman’s “Earth Art” will be on display at Ellis-Nicholson Gallery.

‘Summertime and the living’s easy” is definitely an accurate way of describing things here in the Lowcountry.

Painter Cecilia Campbell’s newest series, “Summertime,” pays homage to the natural beauty of our daily surroundings and brings to life the memories of slow, golden summer days and of figures lounging in the sun watching the ocean’s ebb and flow.

Born and raised in California and now living in South Carolina, her oil and pastel paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums, and at festivals on both sides of the country.

Meet the artist 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery, 160 East Bay St. Call 722-2454.

The Ellis-Nicholson Gallery is doing something a little different this month with the solo exhibit of works by Brad Stroman of Black Mountain, N.C.

The collection, called “Earth Art,” incorporates the Japanese Zen Buddhist aesthetic of wabi-sabi. Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of “finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay and death.” It reveres authenticity and simplicity.

“The artist creates a stage where both nature and man-made surfaces and objects play out their balancing act,” said gallery co-owner Jeannette Nicholson.

There will be an opening reception for Stroman 5-8 p.m. Friday at the gallery, located at 1½ Broad St. Call 722-5353 or go to www.ellis-nicholsongallery.com.

The Charleston Digital Corridor’s gallery Flagship hosts local emerging artists four times a year. Until Oct. 31, the gallery will be displaying “This is the Sun,” works by Tivoli Studios artist Kathryn Dale Barton.

“I’m always collecting subject matter to use in my paintings,” Barton said of her process. “Whether I find an image, observe an interaction or am inspired by a song, they all contribute to my work. Then, when my subject matter meets color, composition and pattern, I paint layer upon layer, back and forth, in search of balance. ... In search of resolution, I understand that each painting is a journey, not always a road to definitive ends.”

Join the artist for a reception 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Flagship, East Bay and Calhoun streets. Call 579-7659 or go to www.charlestondigitalcorridor.com.

The North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is hosting two concurrent exhibits at the North Charleston City Gallery this month.

One is the display of powerful photographs by Katherine M. Houghton, Ed.D., called “A Photographic Journey of Discovery: Women and Children Around the World.”

“The purpose of my photography is not to impose my worldview, but rather expose others to multiple views and layers of the lives of women and children,” Houghton said of her show.

The other is Megan Coyle’s amazing animal collages called “From Fur to Feathers.”

Ever since childhood, Coyle has been inspired by animals, whether at home or at the zoo. She strives to capture their rich complexities with her “paintings with paper.”

“The complexities that appear in nature — the diversity of feathers and fur, and the characteristics that make each species different and exciting — make animals a highly desirable subject for me,” she explains.

She said that collage allows her to capture the essence of a painting, “but broadens her palette to include textures, patterns and fragments of photographs from magazines.”

Join these two artists 5-7 tonight at the North Charleston City Gallery inside the Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive. Call 740-5854 or go to www.northcharleston.org.