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Keeping Busy

I’m having a hard time believing the year is almost half over, but here we are well into June. I also realize I haven’t been doing a great job at stopping to enjoy the little moments this year, its just very easy to get caught up in “whats next?”. So, I thought I would try and take a moment here to reflect on what has been accomplished so far in 2019.

After kicking off the year with “Two Top” at The Miller Gallery, and completing a short residency at The Vendue, I was worried it might be difficult to keep the momentum going. However, back in March I was notified I received the Griffith-Reyburn Lowcountry Artist of the Year grant, and I’ve been on cloud nine ever since. I am just overwhelmingly honored to have received such a generous grant that is truly supportive of artists. I have begun work on my piece and will write a post dedicated to this opportunity, but I wanted to share the news of what is certainly one of the most exciting achievements in my art career to date.

pictured on the left are “TWO!” pieces, on the right is my submission for “Fortunate”

Exhibition wise, being represented by The Miller Gallery is a dream come true. In addition to having most of my inventory available for purchase through the gallery, I currently have a piece on display for their birthday show “TWO!” and another on display for “Fortunate” at The Vendue. Rachael Nerney and I will also be participating in a collaborative Pop-Up event at the gallery in August with S.N.O.B., stay tuned!

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For the past two years, I have been serving on the board of Redux as the artists representative. I bring my perspective as a creative and studio renter to the table when discussing how to connect with our Charleston community, serve the artists who rent studio spaces, and keep our non-profit organization thriving. Being a part of Redux has changed my life and I am passionate about the organization as well as my fellow artists who run their businesses within our studio spaces. We are constantly working to improve our events and programming, and planning for this year’s auction has officially begun! The annual auction is the organization’s primary fundraising event which provides essential support for our comprehensive exhibition program, our robust education and outreach programs, and allows us to directly support emerging visual artists’ ideas and work. Save the date for this year’s auction on Saturday, November 16th!

Now that I am (almost) a full-time creative, I have more opportunities to connect and collaborate with other artists and institutions. For example, I was able to attend the “Together SC Summit” in Greenville and visit the Greenville Center for Creative Arts. GCCA is basically the Redux of Greenville, and it was so inspiring to meet fellow artists and administrators working to enrich their community with creative programming. I enjoyed my time in Greenville so much I decided to go back in July and teach a Pet Painting workshop at GCCA! My class is on Sunday July 21st, and you can sign up here. If you’re in the Charleston area, I am also teaching a Paint Your Pet workshop at Redux on Tuesday, July 9th.

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Yep, 2019 has been a busy one. Stay tuned for more to come!

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Represented by the Miller Gallery

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So far, this year has been the most exciting year of my career. Kicking things off with “Two Top” at the Miller Gallery was phenomenal, and I have been working hard to keep the momentum going. Fortunately, the Miller Gallery offered me representation in their beautiful, dynamic, and exciting space. I couldn’t be happier about this partnership.

Being represented by one of Charleston’s only contemporary galleries is an incredible opportunity and invaluable step in my career as a visual artist. While I know gallery representation isn’t the right decision for every creative, it is the perfect fit for me. Representation allows me the time and space to focus on my work and develop, grow, and evolve as an artist. I already feel more free and inspired to produce interesting work.

No two galleries are created equal. I feel fortunate to have made a relationship and partnership with this particular gallery. Miller’s mission values both their clients, and just as importantly, their artists. Being a part of Miller also exposes and affords me amazing opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. My residency at The Vendue is a result of my representation, and I can see more exciting developments on the horizon. Sarah Miller Gelber and the women behind the gallery magic make me feel welcome and supported. I trust that my work is in caring hands and my goals are understood and valued.

So humbling to be working in the Vendue’s studio space.

So humbling to be working in the Vendue’s studio space.

If you can’t tell, I feel like I’ve won the lottery. Yes, I have been working incredibly hard for the past 5 years, but success also takes a bit of luck and I am doing my best to appreciate every moment of my good fortune. Thanks to Sarah, Rachael and Kathleen for your support and friendships, I am really grateful my work has a home with Miller Gallery.

“Two Top” views

“Two Top” views

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Find me at The Vendue

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The Vendue is known as Charleston’s Art Hotel, and for good reason. The art program is exceptional with over 300 pieces of original art and 2-3 exhibitions throughout the year. Their resident artist, Fred Jamar, is going to be taking a nice long vacation, so they asked me to come create in their beautiful studio space for about 6 weeks! I am really excited for this change of scenery, and especially for the double doors opening onto Vendue Range.

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Being the Vendue’s guest for this time means I will be working in the studio space located at 26 Vendue Range. I will also be live painting every Tuesday night in the Drawing Room. My residency is from March 5th to April 22nd, I hope you’ll come visit and check out the rest of the amazing art and exhibitions currently installed. March and April also happen to be the perfect time to take a stroll down East Bay and along the battery.

I have been preparing some new pieces to work on during my residency. I’ve chosen some beautiful Charleston locations to interpret using vibrant colors, and I am looking forward to sharing my progress. Maybe I’m working on your favorite local venue, come visit me and find out.

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What "Two Top" Means to Me

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Two Top opens tonight at The Miller Gallery and I am so grateful for this opportunity. Best of all, I am really proud of each piece I created for this collaborative show. It’s always easier to create when truly inspired, and I am deeply inspired by Charleston’s food and bev community. I decided to share the reason's I approached each piece, I hope you’ll come see them in person!

“A Favorite Routine” 8x6 oil on wood panel

“A Favorite Routine” 8x6 oil on wood panel

“A Favorite Routine” is inspired by the Harbinger Cafe. Whether I am working in my studio at Redux, or a shift at Artist & Craftsman Uptown, I am very lucky to only be a few blocks away from this perfect shop. Everything from their amazing baked goods to delicious salads are thoughtful and fun, and their decor/design is so very charming. It’s a cozy and welcoming place, I make the quick trip up King to grab a coffee (and probably a sriracha mama) at least once or twice every week.

 
“Waiting for Saturday” 16x16 oil on wood panel

“Waiting for Saturday” 16x16 oil on wood panel

“Waiting for Saturday” is inspired by the Scram food tuck. Every Thursday through Sunday, Scram posts up on 1291 Folly Road and serves the BEST breakfast sandwiches you’ll ever have. Melanie Durant is the chef inside the truck, and she was previously the pastry chef at FIG, so the treats and buns are no joke either. I live in Riverland Terrance on James Island, so the drive up Folly is an easy one to make, thank goodness she’s not open every day…

 
“Vodka Grapefruit, Please” 14x14 oil on wood panel

“Vodka Grapefruit, Please” 14x14 oil on wood panel

“Vodka Grapefruit, Please” is inspired by my favorite Charleston bar, The Belmont. I started frequenting this fine establishment when I moved back to Charleston in 2012, and it quickly became my favorite haunt. They play old black and white movies on their back wall, have special ice cubes for their delicious drinks, serve up amazing charcuterie and adult pop-tarts (get the nutella banana), and they squeeze my grapefruits fresh. Even on busy weekend nights, they don’t allow the space to be overcrowded, which means you can always be sure of a lovely experience.

 
“Two for the Bar” 24x30 oil on wood panel

“Two for the Bar” 24x30 oil on wood panel

“Two for the Bar” is inspired by the one and only FIG. I was a freshman at CofC when FIG first opened, and I was a junior when I first dined there. I remember feeling incredibly impressed then, just as I do every time I get a chance to eat there. My favorite place to sit is at the bar, making conversation and friends with the staff and other customers alike. FIG deserves all the accolades and press it receives; the staff is passionate, knowledgeable and kind and the food is creative and incredibly delicious. It’s a memorable treat every visit.

 
“Special Memories: 18x12 oil on wood panel

“Special Memories: 18x12 oil on wood panel

“Special Memories” is inspired by Chez Nous. Going to this restaurant feels like stepping into a European home (with an exceptional kitchen). The menu changes daily (and is handwritten) and the ingredients are as seasonal and fresh as it gets. Chef Jill is an incredible talent. She and her husband both create masterpieces in the kitchen and its so fun to experience them. Last year around this time, Dylan and I stopped here to share some champagne after we got hitched at the courthouse, and it was the perfect way to celebrate.

 
“Front Door Goals” 16x20 oil on wood panel

“Front Door Goals” 16x20 oil on wood panel

“Front door goals” and “Add Sticky Rice” are both inspired by Xiao Bao Biscuit. This is hands down one of my favorite places to eat. The food is so damn good, and really fun share with a group of friends. Most importantly, its accessible and consistently a great experience. I recommend it to anyone who asks where they should eat.

“Add Sticky Rice” 6x8 oil on wood panel

“Add Sticky Rice” 6x8 oil on wood panel

 
“Tu Cool” 18x12 oil on wood panel

“Tu Cool” 18x12 oil on wood panel

“Tu Cool” is inspired by Xiao Bao’s sister restaurant, Restaurant Tu. They recently switched up their concept to an Indian fusion (which I am pumped about), but their original plan was pretty spectacular as well. The menu was beyond creative and the interior design is so much fun (they even have a “selfie bathroom)”. We celebrated our marriage with our closest friends in their disco room, it was a delicious blast.

 
“Family Matters” 8x8 oil on wood panel

“Family Matters” 8x8 oil on wood panel

Last but not least, “Family Matters” is inspired by 167 Raw. So many of my loved ones work in this small, but amazing place. Dylan has been there for several years and is now their beverage director, while our best friends are the talented chefs creating amazing dishes that keep the place packed year round. There is usually at least an hour wait, but once inside you realize why: they only have about 24 seats to accommodate the hundreds who flock there daily. I am so proud of my boys and love visiting them in their element when I can.

 
Doing what we do best in the Disco Room at Tu

Doing what we do best in the Disco Room at Tu

A big thanks to miss Lizzy Ervin who captured all these beautiful pictures, working with her is always wonderful :)

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