Early Art in Charleston, SC. Heaven! Come quick!

Edward Hopper, Charleston 1929“Come quick! Have found Heaven!” penned Alfred Hutty, in a letter back home to his wife. The artist had stumbled upon Charleston on his way to Florida in 1919, and it was the beginning of a love affair for Hutty and Charleston, who would stay, to make art and to begin an art school for the Carolina Art Association. His paintings and etchings, at the Gibbes Museum, reveal a hand with true mastery of line. Alfred Hutty, oil (St Philips)

The Charleston Renaissance has traditionally been defined as the period between the World Wars, when the artists John Bennett, Josephine Pinckney, Beatrice Ravenel, DuBose Heyward, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, Alfred Hutty, Julia Peterkin, Laura Bragg, and Edwin A. Harleston wrote and painted and loved this place. They assisting in the rise of other national movements – such as historic preservation – as well as in recognizing African Americans in the arts. They ‘faced the tensions and contradictions of their time and place’ one writer noted. Charleston’s writing, art, and thought, according to Harlan Greene and James Hutchisson in their book Renaissance in Charleston (2003) had been considered pale and pallid, preoccupied with glorifying the Civil War, until now. The painting above is by Edward Hopper who simply visited the city in 1929 and painted her like he painted many others, with a sense of loneliness, and stark contrasts. She was a city of stark contrasts.

Today, the city is again enjoying a renaissance of art spirit, and artists continue to be drawn to her beauty and hospitality and art scene. Every summer, now, for 17 days, the Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with over 120 performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in disciplines ranging from opera, theater, music theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music, as well as the visual arts. Spoleto Festival USA has firmly established itself as one of the world’s major arts festivals, presenting over 100 world premieres and 93 American premieres since its inception in 1977….. Heaven! Come quick!

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I was called to be an artist. And as an old old midwife said to me "If the Lord wants you to do something, you won't have no good luck' til you do." So, here I am, sharing what I love, longing to illuminate the work of art, which is everywhere.

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Posted in architecture, art, Arts & Culture, Charleston South Carolina, creativity
2 comments on “Early Art in Charleston, SC. Heaven! Come quick!
  1. shoutabout says:

    Very nice blog. Soulful, rich and mysterious. Just like Charleston.

    Are you going to cover this year Spoleto Festival?

  2. What a delightful comment! Thank you, ‘Shoutabout”!(great user name, btw) Do hope to get to some. The symphony with the Gospel choirs at the AME Church and some James Dickey events…and the readings at the Library society, where Pat Conroy’s wife, Cassandra King (who loves food, too) will read. I will try to write something colorful! Cheers!

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What’s this?

Welcome to my blog about the Lowcountry of South Carolina, a place proud with beauty, history and art. Sometimes we feel a call, to be, to go, to do. I was called to be an artist, and as an old midwife from Alabama said, “If the good Lord wants you to do something, you won’t have no good luck until you do it.”

So here I am writing about what I know, about the 'under glimmer' as the poet Basho, says, the way I have learned to see, to notice. I am inspired by, and talking about the history and art and culture of this place that has called me to herself. By the ancestors.

My background includes a degree in fine arts from a small private college in Florida, and before that, four years of all girls' boarding school in Asheville. I worked as a professional photographer, helped my children grow up, and now and I love seasoned things, good food, better conversation, beauty, my beloved and beautiful Italian Greyhound, Beau. Moved by the sacred places and stories of this beautiful historic land called the Lowcountry, I am here in spirit and I hope to infect you with my love of this place.

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