North Charleston is quickly becoming known for having a good art scene.
The North Charleston Arts Festival, put on by the city of North Charleston, will begin its nine-day celebration Friday. Many of the events are free, and most of the main events will take place from around 4 to 6 p.m., so be sure to check it out.
On Friday, there will be a free Children's Festival for preschoolers at Park Circle from 9 a.m. to noon. Other activities on Friday include an old-fashioned sock hop and planned entertainment at the Northwoods Mall. The family-friendly Main Event Weekend will include more than 40 stage performances with magicians, dance groups, bands, theater troupes, vocalists, storytellers and more. Works of art by local and regional fine artists will be on display, and many of the works will be available for purchase. Admire the talents of young artists representing schools in the tri-county area, as well as the variety of fine crafts from artisans in the statewide competition, South Carolina Palmetto Hands.
The Lowcountry Gem & Mineral Society's annual show and sale also will be part of the weekend and would be a great way to support local jewelry makers and get a nice Mother's Day gift.
This weekend's festival really covers all the bases. There will be plenty of fun and creative activities for the kids, arts and craft booths for shoppers, and a food court where you can relax, eat lunch and enjoy some live music. This will be held at the Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center Complex in North Charleston on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission to the festival is free, as is the parking.
Saturday evening's Festival Gala will include nationally acclaimed band, Chicago. Gala package tickets include free parking, selected seating for Chicago, a pre-concert event with refreshments and entertainment, and a post-concert event where guests can dance the night away in the Embassy Ballroom. Gala packages are limited and are available by calling 745-1087.
The art and fun will continue throughout the upcoming work week, as well. There are many free and modestly priced ticketed events at venues all around the city. There will be lots of individual concerts featuring jazz, R&B, reggae, classical, Celtic, country and beach music.
There also will be magic shows, children's theater programs, a murder-mystery dinner theater, creative workshops, art demonstrations and installations, film presentations and more.
Three Charleston County libraries located in North Charleston will serve as host sites for free puppet shows, jazz concerts, literary events, theater presentations and Gullah culture programs.
Other host sites for special entertainment include Wannamaker County Park, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, local hotels and malls, and the Olde North Charleston Business District. Outreach programs, block parties and an art walk also are planned. All events for the week are open to the public.
To conclude, on May 12, there will be a reception for the second annual National Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Riverfront Park on the former Charleston Naval Base. The festival's grand finale will include a concert and an outdoor movie. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets for an evening under the stars.
In case of rain, the event will move to Sterett Hall Auditorium.
Full brochures detailing the nine-day North Charleston Arts Festival are available at all Charleston County libraries, visitor centers, and in the lobby of North Charleston's City Hall.
You also can call the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 745-1087 or visit the city's Web site at www.northcharleston.org.
French Quarter Art Walk
Since Friday evening is one of downtown Charleston's very popular French Quarter Art Walks, and it is quite a weekend for receptions, here are just a few galleries to check out. The French Quarter Art Walk starts around 5 p.m. Friday. The walk runs until 8 p.m. The French Quarter is located within the original walled city of Charleston between South Market and Tradd streets, and Meeting Street to the waterfront, past East Bay Street. For more information, call 724-3424 or visit www.frenchquarterarts.com. There are maps that can be downloaded at the site.
"Striking a harmonious juxtaposition between classic architecture and contemporary artwork, a one-night show curated by the Modernisme gallery will infuse the two-story lobby of the newly opened South Carolina Bank and Trust on the corner of Church and Broad streets with the work of five contemporary artists - Seth Curcio, Julie Henson, Kevin Hoth, Toby Penney and Nathan Durfee - from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. during the Art Walk," says Ida Becker, one of the art walk's organizers.
In addition to works on canvas, a large video art projection by Kevin Hoth will cover one wall. Spearheaded by S.C. Bank and Trust Senior Vice President Bill Medich, whose tie to the local arts scene includes service as the former president of the Gibbes Museum of Art's board of directors and a current chair of Spoleto's development committee, the bank will open its doors to local artists throughout the year. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carolina Galleries will present "New Works by Philip Juras and Betty Robinson" throughout May. A founding member of the Charleston Fine Art Dealers' Association (CFADA), the gallery upholds the centuries-old tradition of fine works of art of and about the South. This tradition continues with the new works by these two fine artists. An opening reception will be held Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Visit www.carolinagalleries.com or call 723-2266 for more information.
The Sylvan Gallery is showcasing works by sculptors and painters of formidable reputations consisting of Glenna Goodacre, Dan Gerhartz, Charleston's own John Doyle and Rhett Thurman, Tim Cherry, Scott Burdick, Susan Lyon, Nancy Bush, Walt Gonske and Ted Ellis, among others. "It is evident these artists are dedicated to their craft. Their representational works depict the world at large, as well as intimate slices of life and still-lifes that beg to be touched," says Joe Sylvan, gallery owner. An opening reception will be held Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at 171 King St. The Sylvan Gallery can be reached at 722-2172 or www.thesylvangallery.com.
Ella Walton Richardson Gallery
The Ella Walton Richardson Gallery will feature oil paintings created by internationally acclaimed California artist Craig Nelson. The upcoming exhibit of his newest work, appropriately titled "Luster & Light," opens Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. with an impressive range of dramatic West Coast landscapes, serene portraits of children in nature's most resplendent locales and lyrical tributes to travels abroad. Nelson will be present to greet collectors and share his experiences of finding artistic inspiration from California to Italy. Contact the gallery at 722-3660 or visit www.ellarichardson.com.
"Eva Carter first entered professor John Steele's classroom in 1959 and quickly realized that he was no ordinary art teacher. It was through their love of abstract expressionism and a mutual respect for each other's artwork, that the two have remained friends for almost a half-century. Empowered by her teacher's limitless dedication, his wit and his insightful cynicism, Eva Carter is ever grateful of the profound influence that John Steele has had on her life and her art. She is proud to present his work to the Charleston community," says Karin Olah of the Eva Carter Gallery. Featuring recent abstract paintings by both artists, "John Steele and Eva Carter: Fifty Years of Friendship" opens Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at 132 East Bay St. Call 722-0506 or visit www.evacarter.com.
The Wells Gallery
The Wells Gallery will present new works in oil and watercolor by artists Russell Gordon and Kim Weiland. An opening reception will be held for the "Two Man Show" at the gallery, 17 State St., on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. "Known for his still-lifes in oil, New York artist Russell Gordon joins precise Realism with a painterly luminosity, a stylistic combination reminiscent of Italian Mannerism and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings. Gordon's broad range of subject matter featured on May 4 shows a decidedly contemporary viewpoint, often enlivened by his highly personalized sense of humor," says Anne Fishburne of the Wells.
Kim Weiland is most inspired by the water. He primarily paints in watercolor, and believes that the transparent qualities of the medium respond well to the color and light of the coast. In 1999, Weiland received the status of signature member in the American Society of Marine Artists, where he served as president in 2003. The exhibition will run through May 18. Contact the gallery at 853-3233 or online at www.wellsgallery.com.
Mary Martin Gallery
Nationally recognized artists Richard Pankratz and Robin Daniels will be featured in a group show today at 5:30 p.m. at the Mary Martin Gallery of Fine Art, 39 Broad St. The gallery also will host another reception for Pankratz and Daniels to coincide with the art walk Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Pankratz is a master sculptor, who has been working with bronze and clay for the past 25 years.
Daniels, a painter, uses the encaustic wax method, where she mixes the wax with pigments on wood panels to create brilliantly colored, distinctive works that are often very textural since the encaustic method allows for things to be "stamped" into the work, so to speak. The gallery suggests coming to the intimate reception this evening to meet the artists and to appreciate the work without a big crowd. Contact the gallery at 723-0303 or visit www.marymartinart.com.
The Corrigan Gallery's new features the works by Kristi Ryba in a show titled "Keeping House" opening Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at 62 Queen St. Ryba's paintings and videos are contemporary art pieces made with dolls. She says, "Using dolls to serve as standardized human forms, my work examines cultural roles, relationships and common experiences, such as growth, transition and change. My primary interest lies in exploring the traditional gendered roles of women, principally motherhood and the domestic sphere." Find out more about this intriguing exhibit by calling 722-9868 or checking out www.corrigangallery.com.
Robert Lange Studios
Robert Lange Studios artist J.B. Boyd, famous for "The Africa Paintings and Dimensions," will unveil his latest show Friday night at 5 p.m. The new show, "Trees," takes an introspective and emotional look at the relationship between trees and sky. "Boyd highlights the unexpected forms of trees through a contemporary application of photography coupled with extreme dimensions. Then using oil paint, Boyd creates paintings that evoke the scale of the lush countryside, yet are delivered in a tightly cropped modern package. For instance, one panoramic painting boasts more than 350 trees on a panel the size of $8 bills laid side-by-side," says Meghan Lange, gallery owner. Accompanying the show, collectors can expect to find new work by artists Robert Lange and perhaps Gary Grier. The galleries are located at 151 & 153 East Bay St. and can be reached at 805-8052.
North Charleston Arts Festival
CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: 9 a.m.-noon. Felix Davis Community Center at Park Circle. Free.
KIDS SHOW: Storyteller Chetter Galloway. 6-7 p.m. Northwoods Mall Food Court. Free.
CONCERT: Long Bay Jazz Quartet. 7-8 p.m. Northwoods Mall Food Court. Free.
OLD-FASHIONED SOCK HOP: Concert by the Loafers. 7-9 p.m. Felix Davis Community Center at Park Circle. Free.
GOSPEL CONCERT: Doors open at 7 p.m. North Charleston Performing Arts Center. Ticket information at 764-2622 or www.mygracemag.com.
FESTIVAL MAIN EVENT: Four separate stage areas will feature performances, arts, crafts and children's activities. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Charleston Area Convention Center. Free.
GALA AND CONCERT: Featuring Chicago. Gala ($90) includes pre- and postconcert entertainment. 6 p.m. to midnight. Chicago concert ($49.50-$69.50) at 8 p.m. in Performing Center Arts Center. Call 745-1087.
FESTIVAL MAIN EVENT: Four separate stage areas with performances, arts, crafts and children's activities. 2-5 p.m. North Charleston Performing Arts Center and Convention Center Complex. Free.
CELTIC MUSIC: Concert by Highland Fling. 7-8 p.m. St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Free.
GOSPEL SHOWCASE: 5-7 p.m. Tanger Outlet Mall. Free.
SENIOR AFTERNOON CONCERT: Performance by Chocolate Thunder. 1:30-2:30 p.m. Felix Davis Community Center at Park Circle. Free.
ART TALK FOR KIDS: "Impressionists." 4-5 p.m. Northwood Recreation Center. Free.
AFTER-HOURS CONCERT: Jazz by Joe Cea. 6-7 p.m. Embassy Hotel Atrium, International Boulevard. Free.
JAZZ CONCERT: Del Rae. 6-7 p.m. Cooper River Memorial Library. Free.
POETRY READING: Michael Lythgoe. 6-7 p.m. Barnes & Noble, Rivers Avenue. Free.
CHILDREN'S PUPPET SHOW: Grey Seal Puppets. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Cooper River Memorial Library. Free.
CHILDREN'S STORYTELLER: David Novak. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Books-A-Million, Northwoods Mall. Free.
CHILDREN'S OUTREACH: That Puppet Guy. 4-5 p.m. Pepperhill Elementary School. Free.
AN EVENING OF POETRY: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Otranto Road Regional Library. Free.
AFTER-HOURS CONCERT: Congdon & Co. 6-7 p.m. Embassy Hotel Atrium, International Boulevard. Free.
QUILT LECTURE: Fabric artist Jacquelyn Mooney. 6:30 p.m. 10 Storehouse Row, The Navy Yard at Noisette. Free.
FAMILY SHOW: The Fettucini Brothers. 6:30 p.m. Dorchester Road Regional Library. Free.
CHILDREN'S PUPPET SHOW: That Puppet Guy. 10:30-11 a.m. Dorchester Road Regional Library. Free.
CHILDREN'S SHOW: Columbia Marionette Theatre. 11 a.m.-noon. Barnes & Noble, Rivers Avenue. Free.
ART 21 EXHIBITION: Community art project. Reception 5-6 p.m., art walk 6-8 p.m. The Meeting Place, 1077 E. Montague Ave. Free.
ART WALK: 6-8 p.m. Olde North Charleston Business District. Free.
R&B CONCERT: Drink Small. 6-7 p.m. Dorchester Road Regional Library. Free.
FILM SCREENING: Showcase of films and trailers produced by S.C. filmmakers. 7 p.m. Tanger Outlet Mall. Free.
CHILDREN'S STORY TIME: Lowcountry Tellers. 10:30 a.m. Cooper River Memorial Library. Free.
SENIOR OUTREACH: Jazzy Jazz with Bonnie Earl. 3-4 p.m. Driftwood Nursing Center. Free.
Children's Outreach: Art Project with Arianne King Comer. 4-5 p.m. Jeanene Batten Community Center, Dorchester Road. Free.
MUSICAL PRESENTATION: De Gullah Singers. 6-7 p.m. Otranto Road Regional Library. Free.
DINNER THEATER: Interactive murder mystery. 7-10 p.m. Charleston Area Convention Center. $25. Tickets must be purchased by May 7.
SCHOOL OUTREACH: Dance performance by Risk. 1-2 p.m. Charleston County School of the Arts. Free.
VISUAL ART PROJECT: Mosaic mural unveiling. 4-5 p.m. Northwood Recreation Center, Greenridge Road. Free.
COUNTRY CONCERT: The Shane Clark Band. 6-9 p.m. Festival Centre Shopping Complex. Free.
LATIN BLOCK PARTY: Music by Cristobal. 7-8 p.m. MeadWestvaco Park. Free.
LINE DANCING: 7:30-10 p.m. Felix Davis Community Center at Park Circle. Free.
OLDE VILLAGE BLOCK PARTY: Robert Lee Smith and the Original Tams. 6:30-8 p.m. Olde North Charleston Business District, East Montague Avenue. Free.
REGGAE BLOCK PARTY: Da Gullah Rootz. 8:30-10:30 p.m. Olde North Charleston Business District, East Montague Avenue. Free.
SIDEWALK CHALK COMPETITION: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 10 Storehouse Row, The Navy Yard at Noisette. Download entry form at www.northcharleston.org
OPEN HOUSE AND DEMOS: American College of the Building Arts. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 10 Storehouse Row, The Navy Yard at Noisette. Free.
BLUEGRASS CONCERT: Music by the Sounds of Grass. Noon-2 p.m. Wannamaker Park. Free with $1 park admission.
PROSE AND POETRY READING: Jonathan Sanchez. 2-3 p.m. Otranto Road Regional Library. Free.
CONCERT: Guitarist and vocalist Mark Schuller. 5-6 p.m. Books-A- Million, Northwoods Mall. Free.
OUTDOOR SCULPTURE EXHIBIT: 5-7 p.m. Riverfront Park. Free.
GRAND FINALE: Performances by public school students from 6-7 p.m. Concert by Leah Maria Suarez from 7-8. Evening concludes with outdoor movie on a big screen. North Charleston Riverfront Park. Free.
CRAFT/ART/PHOTOGRAPHY: All entries in the S.C. Palmetto Hands fine craft exhibition and the fine art and photography competitions will be on display throughout the festival. Charleston Area Convention Center complex. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 5; 2-5 p.m. May 6; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 7-11.
ART EXHIBITION: Presented by Redux Contemporary Art Center. 10 Storehouse Row, The Navy Yard at Noisette. May 4-12. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. May 5 and 12.
QUILT/FIBER: The Sewing Roots of Our Heritage: African-American Quilters and Fiber Artists. 10 Storehouse Row, The Navy Yard at Noisette. May 4-12. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. May 5 and 12.
OUTDOOR SCULPTURE: North Charleston Riverfront Park. Viewing daily dawn to dusk May 4 through March 2008.