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New shows surface in the wake of a wintertime Art Walk

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The French Quarter's art walk put a slew of styles on display
  • The French Quarter's art walk put a slew of styles on display

The French Quarter Gallery Association has been plugging Charleston as the place to come for paintings for nigh on three decades now. But it isn't resting on its laurels just yet. Last weekend the FQGA unleashed a slew of new shows on an entirely suspecting public, all of them just in time for their quarterly Art Walk.

The Association is made up of 32 galleries within ambling distance of each other, bordered by South Market Street, Meeting Street, Tradd Street, and the waterfront. That doesn't stop nonsponsors of the Art Walk from getting in on the act, though -- or maybe it's a coincidence that some other intriguing shows have opened at this time. In any event, space constraints prevent a full accounting of every new show in the area, so a round-up seems to be in the offing.

All Women Art Exhibit
MUSC's Wellness Center,
45 Courtenay Drive
On view through March 31
Just in time for Women's History Month, 25 female artists gang up for this mother of a group show. Contributors include local faves Lese Corrigan, Ella W. Richardson, Betty Anglin Smith, and Sally Hughes Smith. In a similar display of sisterhood, the show's co-sponsored by the Center for Women, MUSC, Women's and Gender Studies Program at the CofC, and YWCA of Greater Charleston.

Kathleen Earthrowl: Abstracted Landscapes
Eva Carter Gallery
On view through April 14
Earthrowl paints ponds. Mesmerizing blue ponds with golden brown banks. Watery pools unsullied by man recur throughout the nationally-known artist's oils, which complement Eva Carter's own soulful abstracts perfectly.

Small Works
Robert Lange Studios, 151 & 153 E. Bay St.
Artists include: Robert Lange, Gary Grier, Mickey Williams, Kevin LePrince
About 100 tiny pieces are on display in this popular annual event. Each frameful of bijou brushstrokes is small enough to fit in a cluttered apartment but big enough to brag to your friends about.

Through My Eyes
Sylvan Gallery, 171 King St.
Featured artist: Rhett Thurman
On view through March 31
Local lady Rhett Thurman's loosened up her style in this show full of new regional, figurative, and travel paintings. One of the fun things about Thurman's oil and watercolor work is the way she adapts and improves it with every show.

In a Different Light
Edward Dare Gallery, 31 Broad St.
Featured artist: Jim Darlington
On view through March 31
Darlington's strongest paintings are his jazz-pepped portraits and abstract, honey-hued experiments. They cleverly mix loose fat brushstrokes with more elegant Asian themes and composition.

2007 Southeastern
Equine Exhibition
Dog Art Dealer/Horse Art Dealer,
4 N. Atlantic Wharf
On view through April 7
Now they've had a month's breather from SEWE, it's time for the canine canvas collectors at Dog Art Dealer to present SEEE, where mighty steeds bypass the glue factory and are immortalized in oils and watercolors. The show will benefit The American Academy of Equine Art.

Mountains to the Sea
Horton Hayes Fine Art, 30 State St.
Featured artist: Chris Groves
On view through March 17
Courting confusion with fine-furniture store and gallery Mountains to the Sea on East Bay, this show's title aptly captures the range and breadth of Groves' work. Sunlit lakes. Stormy skies. Snowy pines. Groves depicts them all with vigor. You might even see a couple of mountains and seascapes, too.

The Heart of the Matter
Hatfield II Fine Art Gallery, 38 Queen St.
Featured artist: Sally Hughes Smith
On view through: Mar 10
Catch Smith's impressionistic plein air paintings quick, because her blink-and-miss-it exhibit's closing soon. That's a pity; although her blue and purple-lit work could best be described as dependable, five percent of the proceeds from The Heart of the Matter will go to a great cause -- research for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other diseases related to age.

Sewn
City Gallery at the Dock Street Theatre,
133 Church St.
On view through April 6
We never quite know what to expect from the City Gallery. This month, they've let Stephanie Smith fill it with thread-feathered friends, all depicted with collaged fabric and paper. The little peckers are imbued with the speed and buoyancy of their real life counterparts.

New Works
Carolina Galleries, 188 King St.
On view through March 31
This group show's worth checking out for Julyan Davis' painting of crooked-looking houses and Evan Wilson's colorful work, which includes elements of 19th-century composition and 20th-century realism -- a tasty entrée to the Charleston Renaissance work at the Galleries.

French Hare, 418 King St.
Featured artist: Gerardo Leccese
On view through March 31
Leccese owns the Benito's restaurant in Mt. Pleasant. He's so fresh off the boat from Italy that he's hard to understand when he talks. Like all Italians, though, he's well-versed in the language of love and he speaks it via his photographs; people-watching street scenes, shadowy structures, artistic color work all tie in with gallery owner Susan Lucas' own shots of regional wrought iron.

Expressionistic Professorism
Bogard St. Gallery, 53 Bogard St.
Featured artist: Scott Debus
On view through April 1
Yeah, professorism isn't a real word, and this new gallery/apartment on Bogard St. is well outside the French Quarter. But we'll let Scott Debus off since he's done such a sterling job of salvaging discarded paintings and reprocessing them.

Water Ways
Lowcountry Artists LTD, 148 E. Bay St.
Featured artist: Rick Dean
On view through March 31
Don't read the titles that accompany these fine art photos -- look at the image instead and play "guess the object." Rick Dean finds the abstract in the everyday, from details of whelk shells to peaceful seascapes.

Delicate Color
Spencer Art Gallery II, 57 Broad St.
Featured artist: Pat Van de Graaf
On view through March 23
Van de Graaf's best etchings are simple and clear-cut, giving his natural subjects room to breathe. His experiments with color ("Blue Moon," "Women Interwoven") are strong examples of the versatility of etched art.

Mary Martin Gallery of Fine Art,
39 Broad St.
Featured artist: Randall LaGro
On view through March 31
"I want to speak to the poets, artists and philosophers," says LaGro, "but I don't want to lose the guy on the tractor." No worries. Part religious icon, part storybook illustration, part dream, his intuitive paintings are accessible enough for partisan ploughmen to dig.

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