Charleston Review

Charleston Review

Kevin LePrince: A Glowing Success

by Jillian McLaurin 

Making a career change from investments to the art world is a risky venture. For up-and-coming artist Kevin LePrince, however, the move is proving to be a very wise decision. Using his degree in economics, LePrince was working as a vice president of investments for Wachovia Securities when he realized his enthusiasm for the brokerage industry was fizzling out. He wanted to rekindle his love for art, a passion he had harbored since childhood. The result? A successful and still-blooming romance that is now spreading to the hearts of art lovers everywhere.

While visiting the gallery of renowned artist John Carroll Doyle, LePrince met with the painter for some one-on-one advice. Doyle took the new artist under his wing, and the two began private lessons of formal art training. “I received knowledge and references from Doyle that I would have never gotten in a public class,” says LePrince. Also studying under master David A. Leffel at the Arts Students League of New York, LePrince learned many important fundamentals of painting, form technique to use of color to understanding light and shadow. Through comparison of these mentors' works, LePrince identified the most compelling aspects of each artist and cultivated his own style.

Painting mostly in oil, LePrince uses the alla prima style, meaning “at once.” Already an accomplished painter in the art community, LePrince is still striving to improve his abilities. He is always looking for opportunities to take workshops and learn more about certain practices and techniques, and he says he does this through constant painting. “There are tons of photographs that I have taken but haven't even gotten around to painting yet,” he says. While many admirers of LePrince's work are enthralled with his Lowcountry scenes, LePrince is beginning to expand his subject matter. The nature of his subjects is really a reflection of what he is most interested in at the time. He is now moving into studies of horses and dogs, gathering inspiration from artists such as William Merritt Chase and John Emms.

Collectors and galleries alike are anxious to see more of LePrince. The Wells Gallery in Charleston took an interest in LePrince work early on and is having a hard time keeping his work on the walls. “He has been very successful at a very rapid pace.,” says Wells Gallery owner Hume Killian. LePrince's work attracts a wide variety of buyers from all walks of life, ranging from local art enthusiasts nostalgia for his landscapes to world travelers who love his depictions of one their destinations. LePrince's work is included in the collections of Bryon Davis, former CEO if Fisher-Price, and Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric Corporation. “Buyers are always drawn to the whimsy and color palette of his birds,” says Killian. “His peaces are just fun.”

Not only does the Wells Gallery in both the Charleston and The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island locations keep LePrince's work on display, his paintings are also shown in other areas, including galleries in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. LePrince's peaces have also been featured at many events and auctions held by the Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association, and his work has been on display at Charleston's Piccolo Spoleto festival for the past four years and counting. Killian says, “It has been fun watching his progression; it will be very interesting to to see where he is in five or ten years.” With success like this there won’t be any slowing down for Kevin LePrince anytime soon as he continues to ignite attraction from admirers in every facet of the arts community.