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The Charleston art scene, a play-by-play

Charleston's Historic Museum Mile
Charleston's Historic Museum Mile
artwork by Haley Doty

The new year has ushered in a tremendous and exciting onslaught of art to the Charleston area.

Beyond the art-rich downtown, other neighborhoods are presenting their own unique and lively contemporary art.

Whether you’re on vacation, new to the area, or a long time Charleston resident, art in town can be found to suit almost anybody’s taste.

Take a tour of the major arts neighborhoods throughout Charleston.

In Downtown Charleston, Gallery Row is a top destination for the major art collector. A series of galleries are located along Broad Street, with a variety of media available to view and purchase. This historic street is not only a great location to find work by artists from Charleston, but also features several galleries that represent international artists.

Museum Mile, also downtown, is located on Meeting Street between Ann Street and Broad Street. Here you can find over 30 museums and cultural sites, such as historically significant churches, magnificent homes and other landmarks. Take a leisurely walk up Meeting Street, so not to miss all of the important sights along the way.

For a flavorful assortment of styles, visit King Street downtown. Upper King is also known as the “Design District,” with stylish design showrooms, wine bars and a few small nightclubs. Middle King has several unique jewelry and clothing designers, a variety of restaurants and bistros, and a lively local scene. Lower King is where several galleries are located with styles and prices to fit a variety of budgets.

Not be missed, outer-lying neighborhoods you can reach by just a short drive or bus ride out of the center of the city. Mount Pleasant is located over the recently constructed Cooper River Bridge, which is a work of art in itself. The galleries are more relaxed and can be found scattered around Jonnie Dodds Boulevard and Ben Sawyer Boulevard, in addition to several other areas of the city.

Folly Beach and Sullivan’s Island have a more bohemian climate with small galleries showcasing local artists. Beach culture abounds with vacation crowds reaching their peak in the warm summer season.

For a scenic drive out of the city suburbs, Kiawah and Seabrook Islands are the place to go for beautiful beaches and fine art. Galleries here are primarily found in Freshfields Village to serve the high profile art buyer.

Where ever you may choose to find contemporary art events this year, your options are nearly limitless when it comes to the galleries and museums of Charleston.


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