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A Gaggle of Galleries

West Ashley's Avondale district – already glittering with a recent facelift and an ongoing flux of fancy new commercial residents – has taken another step into modernity with ... Modernisme, a new contemporary art gallery in Avondale Station, next to Al di La at 21 Magnolia Rd. The gallery, opened Sept. 6 by owner Kristy Cifuentes, features paintings, sculpture, and fine art furniture from local and national artists. Cifuentes' vision is to offer fine art that is "fresh, edgy, and world class" while giving budding artists a place to show their work. "As the director for a contemporary gallery downtown, I noticed so many artists with no place to exhibit their work. These are talented, educated people with beautiful work with no wall to call home," Cifuentes says. "I wanted to give these artists a place to present." With prices ranging from $300 - $10,000 Cifuentes hopes to provide art enthusiasts the chance to purchase original works without breaking the bank. The name, she says, is "a Catalan cultural movement led by deeply individualistic intellectuals who attempted to update Catalan arts and ideas to uplift Catalan culture to a par with other European cultures." Modernisme is open Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and by appointment. For more information call 763-1551 or visit www.modernismegallery.com.

Over on the peninsula, local artist Chris Dotson has opened his own contemporary exhibition space, the Artists' Gallery of Charleston. Located at 177 1/2 King St., the space displays a variety of works, including sketches, ceramics, and oils on canvas, by Dotson and four other local artists. Dotson's art spans styles that include cubism, landscapes, self-portraits, and still-lifes, while the other featured artists incorporate their own styles, creating a diverse blend likely to offer something for everyone. In addition to the artwork, Dotson's got a framing shop on site. The artist also hopes to offer ceramics classes beginning in October, focusing on how to create sculptures, pitchers, vases, and other products to pimp up your dorm room or living room. The Artists' Gallery of Charleston is open Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sun. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. For more information about the gallery or to sign up for Dotson's ceramics class, call 577-5959 or check out www.agcharleston.com. –Christy Robertson

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