The Charleston art market is amazing and this is a fun event! The “Artwalk” is an excellent way to take it all in. First things first, you will need to know when the heck the art galleries are actually open for the “Artwalk”. It’s confusing. Some months it happens and in other months it does not. Some art galleries will open and others will close. How does an average art lover or someone just looking for something fun to do for an evening before dinner keep track of this crazy schedule?
Of course, you have to prepare for art walk so grab your friends or family and make a plan. Here are some tips for getting ready. You might want to dress up! Art galleries are fun and this can be a fashionable evening. Maybe you don’t care for the fashion and just love the art, that’s okay too. We are laid back artists after all, coming from all different backgrounds, regions, cultures, and age groups. Whatever you wear, make sure comfortable shoes are the choice. Lots of walking paired with Charleston's notoriously uneven sidewalks can be treacherous. You don't want to end your night before it has a chance to begin - so stylish comfort is the name of the game.
You definitely should measure any spaces in your home or office that you may want to fill with a new piece of art before you head out. Take a picture or better multiple photos from various angles. Make sure to include photos of the pillows, rugs, throws, and any accent colors. You never know when you may see the perfect painting and need a gallery to do a virtual preview for you on the spot. This way you will be ready to “talk art talk during art walk”. Can you say that three times in a row?
Things gets started at 5pm. You might want to plan to meet with your friends prior to the start for a quick glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail. Bin 152 is a super little wine bar on King Street and it is a great spot to gather your group before (or after for that matter). I almost forgot to mention that 167 Raw is only two doors down from the LePrince Fine Art Galleries on King St and they just opened Bar 167 on Fulton Lane. There are several great wine bars and restaurants all along the route so finding a good spot should be a breeze. Be prepared to make new friends. If you are coming by yourself, this is the perfect event to spend time with like minded art lovers in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by beauty.
NOW FULL DISCLOSURE, it’s important you know that no matter what you see other people doing in the City of Charleston; the City does not allow open containers and the police could arrest you or write you a ticket if you are carrying an alcoholic beverage on the street or sidewalk. Therefore, you should discard your alcoholic beverages every time you leave a gallery. The next gallery will likely have a fresh cup waiting for you and the distance between galleries is not that far!
By the way, you don’t have to buy art when art walking but you can. We certainly appreciate your support whether you are buying art or just admiring and appreciating it all. This is a no pressure fun event to introduce artists and art to the community. Things wraps up around 8pm so you may want to make some reservations for dinner before you get too far along. Okay, now you have all the basics you’ll need to plan your night. You are ready! What’s next?
Pick a starting point. There are many ways to do this. You might start on one end and work your way across. In this case maybe start off with a visit to Hagan Fine Art right by La Farfalle and Bistro a Vin located at the corner of Archdale St and Market St. The location is great also because you can park in the garage behind the Target located at the corner of King Street and Market Street. The entrance is on Market Street so you may have to circle around the block as it is one way there. There are also two parking garages off Queen Street right off King St. We strongly recommend that you consider Uber, Lyft, or a rickshaw and leave the driving to someone else. By the time you go through the hassle of finding and paying for a parking spot the costs of a ride hailing service just make more sense. Anyhow, from Hagan Fine Art it is only a short walk up King St to LePrince Fine Art. Make sure to visit both galleries right across the street from one another. They usually have different artists in each gallery. From there you can cut through the old SCE&G parking lot right by the Gibbs Museum and check out Principal Gallery and Meyer Vogl Gallery on the corner of Meeting Street and Queen St. Continuing east on Queen Street will take you right by several galleries including, Corrigan Gallery, Atrium Gallery, Horton Hayes, Angling Smith, and Robert Lange Studios. Turn south at East Bay to visit a few more then head West on Broad to finish it off. There are a number of galleries on Broad and just off Broad Street on Church Street that you’ll want to check into also (like the John Carroll Doyle Gallery and Helena Fox Fine Art). So that’s just one way you could do it. There is no right way, you will have to find your own path.
Now I certainly did not mention every gallery or way to go about all this. The Charleston art market contains as many art galleries as it does churches, so it’s a lot! You are probably thinking “How can I see them all?” and “Wouldn’t it be great if somebody made a map of all these great galleries to make art walking easier?” Whoa, someone did! Check it out below.
Local artists are sure to be present also. There will be artists from out of town showing off their latest paintings. When you go into the individual galleries you will likely notice that they are featuring one or several of their artists during the event. Prepare yourself, you are likely to meet some of these talented folks. Some artists will stay in town and paint in the galleries the following day so be sure to inquire. There is nothing better than watching an artist work in person.
Now as you are wrapping up, if you haven't gorged on all the snacks and hors d’oeuvres you might be thinking about diner. There are a number of excellent restaurants scattered about these routes such as:
167 Raw located at 193 King Street does not accept reservations. Hint: you can put your name on the list at the door and head over to LePrince Fine Art while you wait. They will send you a text when your table is ready.
If you are in the mood for Italian think about heading over to La Farfalle located at 15 Beaufain St. Their phone number is (843) 212-0920.
Eli’s Table is located at 129 Meeting Street near Principal Gallery. Their phone number is (843) 405-5115.
82 Queen is an all time classic and it’s located at 82 Queen St. Their phone number is (843) 729-7591.
If you haven’t heard about Husk by now then you have been missing out! They are located at 76 Queen Street. Their phone number is (843) 577-2500.
Oak Steakhouse is located at 17 Broad Street and they never disappoint. Their phone number (843) 722-4220.
Well there you have it. This is a very friendly city. If you have a question as you move along just ask - people will be more than happy to help. We hope to see you soon!