SC Arts Commission 40th Anniversary
Forty Lists Project
Your favorite place to enjoy or buy visual art in South Carolina (museums, galleries, etc.)
These locations were submitted by fans. Don't see your favorite? E-mail Milly Hough to add your suggestion to the list.
Click on the location to read some of the comments submitted with the entries.
Locations by county
"It carries a unique variety works by local artists."
"Best selection of art and crafts from local artists with connections to Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, and Hampton counties. Priced from $1 to $3,000."
"The Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee will celebrate its 31st year in April 2008, with juried arts and crafts, live entertainment, history tours and delicious food. This event has twice been named “Best Festival in South Carolina in A Community of Less than 5,000” and multi-time winner of the TOP TWENTY for the Southeast Tourism Society. Its reputation for quality arts and crafts brings thousands to this small community by featuring items for the entire family and an opportunity to make an investment in the arts."
"Pendleton’s resident claysmith, Rob Gentry, creates diverse pottery that ranges from functional to collector's items with bowls, mugs, water fountains, aquariums, custom sinks and murals. His creative spirit continues to amaze his many followers who anxiously await his next inspiration."
"His is work is wonder...depicting rural America...in art, note cards & calendars....prices for all to take something wonderful home...the gallery (building) itself is a piece of art & of rural America."
"It is a wonderful folk art gallery just off Hilton Head Island, S.C., where you can find some of the best artwork from visionary artists in the country. Also, they have galleries in Washington D.C. They can find some of the best work in S.C. and in the country for you."
"Beautiful art, paintings, clay, sculpture. Everything handmade by S.C. artists."
"There are so many amazing local artists in that area whose
work is displayed and sold in the galleries."
"Georgia and Sonny Phillips offer a gallery for both enjoying and buying art, to meet other art lovers and many artists. They bring a vital arts sensibility to Beaufort that many people revel in."
"I really enjoy browsing and buying in this store...I have been going there for 12 years."
"Red Piano Too Art Gallery is charming and unique; overflowing with a wide array of African American art by local artists. Collectors will discover the fine art of painters like Jonathan Green and Diane Dunham, as well as the folk art, like the Gullah woodburning, by artist Johnnie Simmons. This gallery is by far the best location to purchase African American art in the Lowcountry."
"The Walter Greer Gallery at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina has approximately 2288 square feet of floor space available for paintings, sculpture, and other visual art displays. With a flexible lighting system and moveable walls, the room can be set up in a variety of ways. The gallery has six-eight shows per year with local, regional and national artists’ work on display and available for purchase. These amazing exhibitions run the gamut from themed shows such as the annual De Aarts Ob We People showcasing Gullah artwork, to solo shows for artists such as Walter Greer, Bernard D’Andrea, Jonathan Green, Coby Whitmore, Dean Mitchell and photographer Julian Dimock, to statewide collaborations such as “The African American Voice,” the S.C. Arts Commission's 40th Anniversary exhibition, and “Camera Man’s Journey” on loan from the S.C. State Museum and presented in cooperation with the Historic Beaufort Foundation. The Greer Gallery also exhibited “Tabby: The Architecture of the LowCountry” curated by the Historic Beaufort Foundation. There is always something exciting and wonderful to see at the Walter Greer Gallery on Hilton Head."
"It's a cultural treasure trove of the folkways of the Sea Islands."
"Quality of artists and their work."
"Johnson Hagood, the owner, is incredibly knowledgeable, and understands client service."
"I have known Johnson Hagood for many years. I like the work he shows and trust his advice."
"The selection of art for sale is of very high caliber. The staff is always helpful and informative."
"Good eye for southern art."
"He reps the best artists in the Carolinas!!"
"It is the most wonderful gallery in the state."
"This charming and welcoming gallery is owned and run by artists. They are knowledgeable and passionate about the art and artists they represent. While entirely professional, Carolina Galleries and its staff are also friendly and unintimidating. For the gallery-goer interested in the very best of "Charleston Renaissance" AND contemporary Southern art, whether established collector or neophyte, this is the go-to sales gallery in the Charleston area."
"Carolina Galleries has the most tasteful and beautiful variety of Southern art. The gallery on Church Street is lovely and the pieces are spectacular."
"I love the collection of artwork this gallery includes; it covers a wide range while remaining faithful to the Southern art genre."
"They have the best representative art of the Lowcountry and are very knowledgeable of both public and private works."
"The oldest continuously operating gallery in Charleston, Carolina Galleries (descendant of Carolina Prints and Frames) has for more than 40 years represented the best contemporary artists in South Carolina --Leo Twiggs, Bill Buggle, Chevis Clark, Art Rose of the previous generation--and it continues to do so today. In addition it has preserved and kept valuable and available the best S.C. and Southern art of earlier generations. I worked there in 1967-70 and it is still a high point of my education and my youth. The gallery is, by the way, older than the SCAC."
"First found the gallery while honeymooning in Charleston."
"We have been buying South Carolina art from Johnson Hagood for years. He always has several S.C. artists on display at all times."
"He's honest and fair in his pricing!"
"Reasonably priced variety of items all made in S.C."
"Charleston Crafts has new artists every year, being a cooperative. The crafts are all handmade in S.C., so they are local artists. The artists are working in the gallery every day. Even though I am one of the artists, I shop there all the time for gifts and it is one of the two shops I frequent for original art."
"The only place for entirely handmade items by local artists in Charleston."
"This is a local co-op with diverse media and friendly artists staffing the store!"
"The work is fresh and varied. I especially like Lynn Riding's paintings and Sue Wallace's fish prints."
"Unusual, contemporary art!"
"The Lese Corrigan Gallery always exhibits cutting edge contemporary art representative of many of the already established artists in S.C., but as well works of exciting new artists."
"Shows quality, innovative work, not the usual marsh scenes, etc."
"Best selection of artists, beautifully displayed, great bios and research."
"Wonderful selections in various media forms. Informative staff. Conveniently located."
"The museum houses a premier collection of over 10,000 works of fine art."
"The biggest and best collection of S.C. art in the state."
"The art shows are great, but even better is the information that goes with them. It is the best place to learn about contemporary art in Charleston, S.C."
"The Halsey is the only place I know of in Charleston that consistently provides thought-provoking cutting-edge art exhibitions."
"Most interesting & innovative art in this area."
"The Halsey Gallery has been a source of inspiration for me and is a gem for art in this city. Guided passionately by Mark Sloan's enthusiastic, whimsical, creative vision!"
"Mark Sloan and the staff at the Halsey bring the most cutting edge, thought provoking, contemporary art to an area that is in desperate need of these kinds of mind-opening experiences!"
"She has compiled some really fine artists from around the country, including our own West Fraser."
"All artwork is done by local, award-winning Charleston artists and features original Lowcountry scenes at affordable prices."
"Work is done by all S.C. artists, much representing images of the lower part of the state."
"Mary Edna has created some incredible work in various media that displays the beauty of the Lowcountry. I am proud to have over 10 pieces of her work in my private collection. She is a wonderful representative of the arts community in Charleston."
"Nina Liu has provided a very eclectic and challenging assembly of art in her gallery for over 20 years. She has managed to bring together diverse types of art in an intimate space, which also serves as her studio and home. She is an accomplished artist in her own right whose work rivals that of the artists she exhibits. She is a regular stop on any visit I make to Charleston."
"This gallery always features a diverse, vibrant selection of work by artists from S.C. and the nation. What is even better is that the owner, Nina Liu, is a delightful person who supports the arts and artists with passion and dedication. The Charleston City Paper has called her the "Queen of the Arts" in Charleston!"
"Anyone who has been to this gallery knows that it is the best "art place" in Charleston."
"Nina has a great variety of art and you always feel like you are at home when shopping in her gallery."
"Nina Liu shows interesting art in her gallery, and she makes great pottery."
"She carries interesting work, not your run-of-the-mill stuff."
"This small show is of a high quality. The folks who "make it happen" are dedicated to ensuring that both the artists and the visitors have a great time. It would be nice if Charleston would provide an indoor venue for the event to provide the artists with some protection from the sometimes unfavorable weather."
"Beautiful, Eastern-inspired ceramics."
"Redux to buy and Halsey Galley at CofC to view contemporary art."
"Quality and diversity of the art."
"This small gallery is offering exciting, intriguing exhibitions and promises to become an important center for discussion and expression in Charleston."
"This new gallery in Charleston is a great place to experience art that was not available in the area just a few years ago."
"Wide variety of artists and art forms."
"S.C. original art! Quality and many artists represented."
"Quality and variety are exceptional. Sold in beautiful retail center with bios available for all artwork. All items are unique and make wonderful gifts--gifts made by S.C.'s best artists!"
"The Center features fine juried work made by S.C. artists!"
"It houses the finest folk art and crafts of only S.C. artists."
"This place is a fine example of how the arts can help energize a community. It is a great facility, and the quality of the work that is for sale is very high."
"The Artisans Center has sold my work since its inception and has (helped) many other artists gain recognition. Art is an occupational choice and adds richness and heritage to our state."
"The center is a great place to find traditional and fine craft."
"Summerville’s permanent sculpture, from wildlife to engaging figures, invites touching. Most of the figurative bronzes can be found on a casual stroll along the paved pathways that wind through the thickets and landscaped beds of beautiful Azalea Park. Since 1999, 17 pieces of permanent sculpture have been installed, all designed to encourage “up close and personal” contact. Everyone can enjoy fine art that is both inspiring and accessible, 365 days a year at no charge."
"Their rotating exhibit highlights artists across the state and is always high quality."
"Great handmade clay objects."
"PRT has produced this excellent event for years. It is always good and always fun!"
"No place else like it in the world for the beauty of nature as well as the works of man, certainly nothing else in S.C. like it. I find it a wonderful place to draw as well as appreciate art and nature."
"Often a destination for Europeans, most South Carolina residents have never visited this incredible outdoor sculpture garden. My favorite work is the Seven Muses, which originally stood in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art. What a treat! Schedule your visit today."
"A surprisingly well-kept secret (according to a very informal survey of friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers I bumped into around the area), Brookgreen Gardens is a haven of an eclectic mixture of sculpture, horticulture, history, wildlife, and the arts in general. The Campbell Center for American Sculpture alone would be worthy of a separate entry in this category -- as would several of the smaller exhibition areas contained within the Gardens themselves, where different aspects of national sculptural techniques are explored. Then there is the Lowcountry Center, focusing on South Carolina history -- a history rife with tales from the rice plantations, slavery, big money, and later preservation. Add the zoo/wildlife preserve and the natural beauty of the location, and the whole endeavor could be described as one of South Carolina's finest educational institutions. The intelligence with which the board is staffed is exemplary. Outstanding individuals in each field -- whether it be horticulture or sculpture -- work to maintain very high standards of excellence in all Brookgreen ventures. Yeah, can you tell? I kinda like the place. . . . "
"A model artists' cooperative, Artbomb offers something in almost every style and medium and a chance to see and purchase work by serious contemporary artists."
"Wonderful artists' owned gallery on Main Street in Greenville, featuring a large variety of paintings, jewelry and glass."
"Large variety of art and artists."
"Local artists, many choices, very friendly."
"A stunning collection that includes important surveys of Andrew Wyeth and Jasper Johns, as well as historic and contemporary works related to the South."
"The Greenville Art Museum has a great collection of all types of art and offers exhibits from other collections. Curator Martha Severens' art talks about specific works are most informative and inspiring. She involves the viewers in interpreting the works. She contributes so much to visitors in appreciating what we have in our own museum."
Bassett Gallery, Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County
"Media variety. Easy accessibility. Free parking, free admission, free opening receptions with artists, coupled with entertainment events. Exhibits change monthly. Sale items reasonably priced."
"Thirty years of one-of-a-kind crafts, stoneware, and local drawings depicting the Lexington/Gilbert/Hollow Creek communities."
"Great exhibitions of works of Michael Story and of several local artists. Two terrific Nell Smiths were on the wall this summer."
Kudzu Kabin — Nancy Basket
" Kudzu Kabin Designs features basketry and papermaking and all things kudzu! Nancy’s Cherokee ancestors would be proud of her ability to turn a natural, plentiful plant into works of art."
"They have a wonderful selection of fine handcrafted items, not just from S.C. artists, but from all over. Pottery, glass, turned wood. The store was one of the early successful efforts to attract shoppers to a revitalized downtown Seneca."
"Warren Carpenter turns simple pieces of wood into works of art. Whether you want a simple wine bottle cork or a “one-of-a-kind” stool, Warren’s creations capture the unique qualities of each piece of wood. Warren is headquartered at The Arts Company, which features his work along with more than 100 local, regional and national artisans."
"Art Shack is so unpretentious, accessible and varied in its fare. People who imagine they are artists show there along with the gifted. It's fun telling the difference and rewarding the skilled and inspired."
"Best contemporary art gallery."
"Karen Brosius has brought the museum to a new level of awareness and participation in the community. She has also developed many relationships outside S.C. that benefit the community. The level of the exhibition offerings has risen considerably. The addition of the fountain to Boyd Plaza."
"The staff is professional, caring and honest and takes time with their customers."
"They have the most wonderful and unique face jugs that I have ever seen! All are by local artists!"
"When Wim opened If Art it was like a breath of fresh air for the contemporary art buyer in Columbia. If Art filled a need and is successful at it."
"McKissick Museum is the gem in the crown of USC's Horseshoe. They offer insightful exhibits that highlight Southern material culture and arts. McKissick is preserving traditional arts for generations to come to enjoy."
"Local art at great prices."
"Just absolutely beautiful, sensual glass."
"Portfolio is by far my favorite art gallery. I have been a frequent customer for over 10 years. It is operated by Judith Roberts, a former visual arts teacher. Maybe that is why she and I "bonded" and can share art teacher adventures! The gallery has a wide selection of art: jewelry, cards, pottery, paintings, metal sculptures and more. Judith knows you by name and remembers your tastes. It is that personal touch that makes a huge difference. Often, my husband travels to Portfolio to find a birthday or special gift for me. He knows he can never go wrong with anything from Portfolio. Judith also helps him select pieces! You can find unique gifts for everyone on your list and there is something for every price range. I highly recommend Portfolio to all my friends and family."
"Peter Lenzo offers beautiful regional pottery and ceramics at reasonable prices. Go visit him on Rosewood in Columbia."
"The art of Trahern Cook is groundbreaking, innovative, and captures the imagination. He takes the medium of one and two dimensional works and seamlessly blends the two, ostensibly creating a whole new medium, one that defies pigeon-holing. That, combined with the quaint, warm atmosphere of his gallery, is a welcome addition to visual arts venues in the Midlands."
"This is an artists' co-op studio with new shows bi-weekly of work of the resident artists and others. Always something new, always something good."
"There is a variety and high quality."
"Shows change a lot; good art."
From about 1990 through 2001 folk potter Billy Henson's kiln sales were highly anticipated art events that happened only twice a year. The sale was limited to just over 100 pieces of pottery since that is all his wood-fired kiln would hold. The work could only be purchased using a lottery system due to the demand for his work. This provided a unique opportunity for the people in his rural community who were welcoming to art-buying individuals from across S.C. and beyond that made the twice-a-year trek."
"A great little treasure trove of upcountry Carolina artists are represented in this welcoming space in Chesnee. It contains a variety of art from the functional to the aesthetic."
"The sales gallery has three stories of art in all media. They have regular receptions featuring one or a group of artists. The work is regularly changed and/or re-displayed so new work is always there. The proprietors are knowledgeable about art and the artists that they show. The whole operation is professional."
"The Gallery has an intriguing variety of visual art, from representational to abstract, and the owner, Ed Emory, is a delight and very knowledgeable."
"Excellent artwork exhibited and owners Ed and Shannon Emory are excellent people to work with."
"The new Chapman Cultural Center has a beautiful and spacious exhibition space, as well as a very nice gallery shop."
"BYOA at Hub Bub is a great opportunity for emerging artists to bring their work to sell. Its also a fantastic opportunity to buy art from local artists and talk with them about their art."
"The Showroom, the home of Hub-Bub and Hub City Writers Project, hosts three visual artists and one creative writer as artists in residence each year. The artists are young and edgy and create extraordinary pieces in a variety of media."
"It has art you don't see in the local galleries and museums—very different. It's a fun, cutting-edge alternative to the traditional gallery."
"This is an intimate space that is easily accessible—the large parking lot is right beside it—which makes a quick stop to check out the show quite possible. The Gallery features works by Converse faculty, students, alumni and visiting artists. Kathryn Boucher is currently the gallery director and is doing a beautiful job."
"Every spring, children from the S.C. School for the Deaf and the Blind have an art sale called ART ON THE LAWN. The pieces are all made by the students and all funds are split between the artist, summer arts camp fees and arts programming for the students. Each piece is unique and special! The sale is on the school's web site in the spring."
"I visited there for the first time about 2 1/2 years ago, and I was in awe. I loved the art galleries, garden site and the new developments."
"The gift shop carries artwork by artists throughout S.C."
"I like to make studio visits and buy directly through the artist."
"It is interesting to see artists in their own spaces."