Upcoming + affordable local artists you need to know
One thing I miss about living in NYC– the art scene.
And I am not talking about the caricature artists sitting outside Central Park. I am referring to the mysterious pop-up galleries; being able to mix + mingle with the artist, personally, at a random rooftop showcase; and potentially, unknowingly, buying a Banksy off the street.
The best thing about all these creative instances– the price tag. With a multitude of artists sprawling across the five boroughs, it was incredibly easy to stumble across an emerging artist whose work spoke to your soul– without costing you your rent.
In moving to Charleston, and in living downtown, I wanted to embrace all the city had to offer– including museum mile. The galleries are impeccable, but the cost to buy said pieces… not attainable for me at this point in time in my life.
It was then that I went on the hunt. I had heard of the local art scene, how centers were cultivating the creative minds of the Lowcountry, plus with a backdrop like Charleston– inspiration flows here like the chocolate in Willy Wonka’s chocolate river. Sure enough, I found that the Holy City is filled with many an individual with talents ranging in oil paintings, photography, pottery, and even the most basic of mediums– pen + paper.
Scroll below to learn more about the upcoming artists who you need to Gogh see. (And who won’t cost you an arm + an ear).
Medium: Oil paint
Average cost: $50- $1,200
Deckman accepts pet portrait + floral commissions starting at $350
Focus: Bold, vibrant, + organic (florals + still life)
Inspiration: Light + color (the works of Georgia O’Keeffe made her fall in love with art)
Medium: Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas or linen
Average cost: $150- $1,000 (dependent on size)
Inspiration: The color + energy of the outdoors (think: earth tones, light-filled skies, + calming ocean waters)
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Average cost: Canvas: $300- $800 (dependent on size); Paper: $100 (come framed)
Inspiration (in her words): “I am largely inspired by the environment around me. My physical surroundings influence my choice of color especially. I draw from the relationships in my life for the material and compositions of my work. A common element found in many of my pieces is the use of organic shape to convey fluidity and movement.”
Medium: Acrylics; mixed media with fabric
Average Cost: $200- $500
Inspiration (in her words): “I am inspired by our beautiful Lowcountry. The colors, the textures, the smells… it all stirs my creative soul.”
Medium: Oil on canvas; pen on paper
Average cost: $300- $2,500 (typical average ~$750)
Focus: Figures, finding the line between abstraction + realism
Inspiration (in his words): “Often, I can be found in museums studying paintings and drawing from them. I’m drawn to figurative paintings and the emotions I find in them, particularly from the 17th, 18th, and 19th century. I recreate certain imagery and compositions and scrape away the surface until other imagery or emotions are revealed to me. It’s a product of my relationship with these figures that have past and it’s about finding the line between abstraction and realism. It reveals imagery that is not as pristine as the figures were previously painted. A more raw and real image of these figures comes to light. In my collection of work, I’m finding that the repetitive challenges of drawing with a pen realistically have led me toward painting and the freedoms it can give me.”
Medium: Oil paint; gold leaf on canvas
Average cost: $400- $10,000 (based on size)
Find her archival prints for $100 each.
Focus: Abstract (think: interesting angles of the Ravenel Bridge)
Inspiration (in her words): “My inspiration comes from considering the relationship between our surroundings and ourselves. I believe in optimism and awe. To gain a great new perspective, I will take images from a helicopter or under a train trestle, anything that inspires wonder.”
Medium: Watercolor; hand-painted textiles
Average cost: under $100
Focus: Abstract, geometrics, landscapes, + symbols
Inspiration (in her words): “Most of my inspiration comes from exploring the finite and infinite, the hard and the soft, the dark and the light, the material and the spiritual. That combined with my love of nature and family are the things that really move me.”
Medium: Paper + fiber art weaving
Average cost: $350 (small, unframed drawings) to $6,000 (large and/or complicated pieces or weavings)
Focus: Grid images (representing the collected energy field we all live within– she believes we are interlinked; if one is affected, we all are affected)
Inspiration: Through contemplation + art making, Perkins looks for the deeper meaning or metaphors around her soundings; and today’s events + the societal effects.
Medium: Watercolor + charcoal
Average cost: $250
Focus: Still life
Inspiration: The wonder of nature + movement
Medium: India ink on French paper
Average Cost: $200- $4,000
Focus: Contemporary, specializing in monochromatic renderings of the female form
Inspiration (in her words): “I am most deeply inspired by human connectivity. The unspoken ways in which we are connected to our own bodies and to one another stimulates me to create. I’ve discovered my own intimate connection to my body through my work, which often times draws heavily from the subconscious and dream symbolism. This has been quite healing and I am so happy to share it with others. My most meaningful pieces tend to incorporate both colors and titles derived through my dreams.”
Waghorn also has her own clothing + textiles brand which you can see here.
Average cost: $40
Focus: Interiors + lifestyle
Inspiration (in her words): “I’m always inspired by our beautiful city. It started with being captivated by Charleston and the historic architecture here, and grew into something I enjoyed documenting wherever I traveled.”
While I will never be a master artist (my skills go as far as drawing the lines to make the Superman ‘S’), with the several art centers/galleries we have (Straight to Art, Redux, Mitchell Hill, etc.) fostering the creativity of local makers + creators– at least my home can appear cultured.
Do you know an upcoming artist that needs to be seen by the world? (Or at least by more people in CHS?) Let me know in the comments below. (I have several more walls to fill…)