Charleston’s Final Art Walk of the Year

Charleston Art Walk December 2011‘Tis the season to be jolly, and in Charleston, that includes braving the brisk, southern winter to stroll the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter, drink wine, and see the latest artistic wonders the city’s fine artists have to offer.

The Dec. 2nd French Quarter Art Walk, the last of four held each year, brought a lively turnout of all ages and artistic connoisseurs. This traditional social event stretches from S. Market St. to Tradd, between Meeting St. and the waterfront, in the historic area of downtown. With over 30 galleries representing 500 artists, I began the 3 hour trek with my plan of attack in hand.

It’s impossible to see every gallery, but knowing my contemporary taste, I set out on a quest to hunt down a few hidden little gems that might be screaming from beyond the oodles of framed Rainbow Rows and typical Charleston fanfare. Dashing and darting through the streets, I found what I was looking for.

Art by KTC

Art by Karole Turner Campbell. “Veiled Whisper,” a mixed media collage in poured plastic, “Bad Hair Day Gone Good,” a mixed media bas relief, and “Praise Dance for the Ancestors,” a mixed media collage (clockwise).

Karole Turner Campbell is a self-proclaimed, eclectic artist, who seeks to engage the viewer in a “visual dialogue … a conversation to be evocative …  whether sublime or earthy … spiritual or profane.”  My favorite artists are those like Karole who push the limits and truly create something unique and exciting.  Karole’s art can be seen at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery at 160 East Bay Street or at

Art by Beki

Art by Beki. “One,” oil on canvas; “Ascension 2,” oil on canvas; and various artwork in Beki’s Broad Street boutique, Utopia (clockwise).

My other favorite gem of the evening was the art of Beki, a Bahamian influenced artist, and owner of Utopia at 27 Broad Street. Although, a unique store filled with fashion, jewelry, and good vibes, it is Beki’s art that makes this boutique a trip worthwhile.  Beki’s passion for oneness, femininity, and the sensual self, combined with the colorful influence of her upbringing in the Caribbean, make her a true find on gallery row. To learn more about Beki, visit her at Utopia or at

Overall the evening was a hit. I’m thrilled to see the Charleston art community branching out with a more diverse selection of artistic eye candy.  If you’re a Charleston resident, or planning a trip to the area, keep this special event in mind. It’s free and held on the first Friday of every March, May, October, and December. Wine, art, and people abound, what’s not to enjoy!

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