Posts Tagged ‘Rhett Thurman’

Rhett Thurman of Charleston, SC, Among American Artists To Display Works in Paris – The Sylvan Gallery in Charleston will Offer a Preview at Thurman’s Studio and a Reception at the Gallery on Sept. 5, 2013

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Rhett Thurman is a long time supporter of our arts newspaper going back as far as being a supporter of our first paper, Charleston Arts. The Sylvan Gallery has been a long time supporter of Carolina Arts. That’s why I’m making an exception to the rule of only covering exhibits that take place in the Carolinas.

Thurman is also a mainstay of the Charleston visual art community in being a member of the “gang or four” including Thurman, Eva Carter, Margaret Petterson and Betty Anglin Smith – four great friends who were all leaders in Charleston’s second visual art renaissance.

Here’s a press release about the Paris Exhibition:

Ten artists, mostly from the Southern US, will present their work in the independent art exhibit, “Paris Welcomes American Artists” at the Atelier Z of the Centre Culturel Christiane Peugeot located in Paris, France. The exhibition, which features artists working in both the US and France, will be on view from Sept. 16 through Sept. 21, 2013. A reception is scheduled for Sept. 19 from 6 to 9pm.

“Paris Welcomes American Artists” will include dozens of installations reflecting the artists’ interpretation of Paris and France in an array of artistic styles and in mediums including painting, drawing and sculpture.

Artists displaying their work include Robert Calcagno, Lane Duncan, Kim English, Paige Harvey, Wayland Moore, Suzita George, Serge Ruffato, Jill Steenhuis, James Sutherland and Rhett Thurman. Most of the artists are from the South: Duncan, Harvey, Moore and Sutherland are Atlanta, GA-area residents. George, a world traveller, currently resides in Madison, GA, and Thurman lives in Charleston, SC. The American West is represented as well – English is from Evergreen, CO. The French influence will also be strong: Calcagno divides his time between Jasper, GA, and France; Atlanta native Steenhuis has resided in Provence since 1978 with her French husband and sculptor, Serge Rufatto, near Aix-en-Provence.

The exhibition is a result of collaborative discussion between Druid Hills resident Dr. James Sutherland, Atlanta resident May Spangler, gallery owner Madame Christiane Peugeot and Isabelle Zebourian, director of the Atelier Z.

“Everyone is thrilled to be going to Paris – it is a city of magnificent beauty and history,” said Dr. Sutherland. “France is a  Mecca of the art world and the birthplace of Impressionism, which has influenced so many artists over the years. I felt that if I did not act on this opportunity, I would regret it.”

The exhibition has been developed with Dr. Sutherland’s organizational lead, along with the generosity of the Atelier Z of the Centre Culturel Christine Peugeot. The address of the gallery is 62 Ave. De La Grande Armee, Paris. The artworks will be on display from 2 to 7pm daily.

The Atelier Z was founded in 1991 by Christiane Peugeot, in honor of the painter Zévaco, Peugeot’s friend. Located in Paris, near the Arc de Triomphe, it is open to, and hosts, all forms of art and culture, promoting artists of all ages. Each year Atelier Z offers 20 exhibitions promoting international contemporary art events, allowing artists to participate in a contemporary art contest. For more information please visit (

Together through the determined inspiration of Dr. James Sutherland and the generous hospitality of the Atelier Z, “Paris Welcomes American Artists” has been developed to provide artists the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present their work in the city that has impacted art and painting throughout the world.

For more information, visit (


Rhett Thurman offered some comments about this exhibit, “I have painted in France many times, and taught a workshop in Amboise. For me, the experience is a combination of the light, and painting on hallowed ground – i.e. where the masters painted.


“The last time I painted in France we were in the St. Remy area. I was painting in the middle of a lavender field, which was not only incredibly fragrant, but was also HUMMING, it was so full of bees. I turned to Harry and said, “I don’t even CARE if this painting works. I’m painting in the middle of a lavender field in Provence!” I could tell from the look on Mr. Left Brained Business Man’s face that he was not COMPLETELY in sync with that line of reasoning!”


“Finally, I must say, that although I am after light and what it does to color, the subject matter that intrigues me (and most of us) has become a cliche. (The same things intrigued the masters – lavender fields, sidewalk cafes, etc.)  So the feat becomes taking this tired old subject matter (in this extraordinary light) and putting your own individual, unique spin on it – your own fresh eye. One of the greatest compliments a friend once gave me  is, ‘Rhett’s work has her DNA’, adds Thurman.

On Sept. 5, 2013, The Sylvan Gallery will be hosting a preview and sale of Rhett Thurman’s “American Artists in Paris” collection from 5:30-7:30pm.

The event starts at Thurman’s Studio at 241 King Street in downtown Charleston, from 5-6pm and a reception follows at The Sylvan Gallery, at 171 King Street (just a short walk down King Street) from 6-8pm.

For further info call The Sylvan Gallery at 843/722-2172.

4th Charleston Art Auction Takes Place Nov. 7, 2009, in Charleston, SC

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

The 4th Charleston Art Auction will start at 7:15pm on Nov. 7, 2009, at the Renaissance Charleston Hotel, located at 68 Wentworth Street, in historic downtown Charleston, SC. If you want to be in on one of the most exciting events taking place in Charleston’s visual art community – you better get cracking right away to make sure you have a seat with your name on it.

Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. Tickets are $50 (contributed to the Charleston County High School Art Programs, this includes a fully illustrated sales catalogue) per person. For ticket reservations call 843/722-0128 or 843/842-4433. The Renaissance Charleston Hotel offers a special group rate for the weekend. Call 800/605-1498 and ask for the Charleston Art Auction group rate.

The Charleston Art Auction was founded in 2006 by Morris & Whiteside Galleries located in Hilton Head Island, SC, and The Sylvan Gallery located in Charleston, as the premier Southern art auction. Auction principals Jack A. Morris, Jr., J. Ben Whiteside and David G. Leahy have over twenty-five years experience presenting fine art to collectors throughout the United States.

Mark Horton

Artists presented will include Bobby Bagley, William Berra, Joe Bowler, Armand Cabrera, James Calk, Marc Chatov, Elaine Coffee, Jim Daly, John Carroll Doyle, Ray Ellis, Ted Ellis, Dan Gerhartz, Cassandra Gillens, Glenna Goodacre, Lindsay Goodwin, Russell Gordon, Jonathan Green, Chris Groves, Michael Harrell, Betsy Havens, Nancy Hoerter, Mark Horton, Mandy Johnson, Karin Jurick, Michael B. Karas, Milt Kobayashi, Jeff Legg, Joseph Lorusso, Dan McCaw, Danny McCaw, Dean Mitchell, Joseph Orr, George Pate, Pino, Joan Potter, Laura Robb, Jennifer Smith Rogers, Helen Rundell, Shannon Runquist, Marilyn Simandle, Betty Anglin Smith, Linda Kyser Smith, Shannon Smith, Loran Speck, Linda St. Clair, Sue Stewart, John Stobart, Rhett Thurman, Michelle Torrez, Karen Larson Turner, William Whitaker, Mary Whyte, Mickey Williams and Stephen Scott Young.

Mary Whyte

This year there will also be an expanded offering of important works by deceased Southern masters including: John J. Audubon, J. Stewart Barney, Wenonah Day Bell, Virginia Fouché Bolton, Richard J. Bryan, Valeria Chisolm, Eliot Clark, Bette Lee Coburn, Jesse Conklin, George Cress, Edward von S. Dingle, Frank Galsworthy, William Halsey, Alfred Hutty, Joseph Jackson, Minnie Mikell Katherine Huger Middleton, Augusta Oelschig, May Paine, Hobson Pittman, Antoinette Rhett, Hattie Saussy, William Posey Silva, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Warren F. Snow, Stanley Sobossek, George W. Sully, David Thimgan, Eugene White and George Hand Wright, among others.

If you don’t know much about these artists, you can always go to Google and type in a name and then Carolina Arts, and most likely you’ll find an article we have posted sometime since 1999 about the artist. You can see images from the catalogue at ( Of course the best thing is to register and get your hands on the auction catalogue – which has images, info, price estimates, and other info about how the auction operates.

I’m interested in Lot #64, a lithograph by Alfred Hutty which is very similar to one we own. And, I found the etchings by Antoinette Rhett very interesting – I haven’t seen a lot of her works before. She took lessons from Hutty in Charleston and you can see it. There are six prints by this artist in Lot #77. These prints could go for as little as $250 each – that is if you are the high bidder and it goes for the high end of the estimate ($1,200 – $1,500), plus the 15% premium. Don’t forget about the buyer’s premium. It will be added to the final high bid. So when you figure what you are willing to pay for one of the Lots, don’t forget to add 15% to that figure to get the final price you will pay. If you go prepared – you won’t be surprised during the auction.

Alfred Hutty

Antoinette Rhett

These images were scanned from the auction catalogue, so they are not the best reproductions.

Also be aware that the bidding goes up in different increments depending on the estimate of the work up for bidding. Like if you we making a bid on Lot #28 an oil painting by John Stobart – estimate ($30,000 – $50,000) the auctioneer will raise the bids in increments of $2,500 a pop. You’re not going to hear the auctioneer asking for a bid of $30,100 – it will be $32,500. Research!, Research!, Research! Of course most of the evening it will be increments of $100 and $250.

Another bonus to the auction will be the offering of works created during the ever-popular plein air event, Painting in the Park. The event takes place at Washington Park in Charleston on the Saturday morning of the auction as part of the Charleston Fine Arts Annual, hosted by the Charleston Fine Arts Dealer’s Association. These works created by artists represented by the CFADA member galleries will be auctioned off at the Charleston Art Auction to benefit the Charleston County High Schools’ art programs. Which to this date has raised $140,000 for those art programs.

Wow, that’s a lot of art – a lot of opportunity to be the highest bidder on one of these contemporary works or those by a now famous deceased Southern master.

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat – the auction will run like a fast paced sporting event where if you take your eye off the ball – someone else will walk away with the prize of the day. Yes, there will be intoxicating libations, scrumptious morsels, and gossip, to distract you, but if you are serious about grabbing that brass ring – be in your seat, be focused, and raise your bidding number high – for tomorrow you can rest – knowing you brought home the bacon. And, tomorrow the gossip will be about you.

How can you not be there?

Well, collectors who are unable to attend the sale in person should contact Charleston Art Auction to make arrangements for absentee and telephone bidding prior to 5pm on Nov. 6, 2009. Call 843/722-0128 or 843/842-4433.

The sale results will be posted at ( the week following the sale.

Doing the Charleston with Judith McGrath

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

For any regular reader of Carolina Arts over the last eight years, commentary from Judith McGrath – all the way from Western Australia – has been a sort of sounding board as to what’s going on in the visual art community – around the world – or at least the other end of the world. Although Australia is 24 hours of flight travel away from us in the Carolinas, it seemed at times that McGrath was writing about the art community right here. I know there were times when I wondered if she had installed some kind of spyware in my computer to monitor my commentary. When her e-mail would arrive – out of the blue – it often mirrored what was on my mind. Believe me, it was spooky at times.

It all started when Scottie Hodge, owner of Tempo Gallery in Greenville, SC (now closed for some years) sent me an e-mail about an article she read that McGrath wrote for an online publication called, Art Thought Journal. After reading the piece I contacted the editor of that publication to see if I could run the article in our publication. He said I’d have to take that up with McGrath. I contacted McGrath and in our Nov. 2000 issue we offered a guest commentary entitled Visual Art vs Entertainment.

The reaction to that guest commentary was very favorable – mostly because of the article’s content and insight, and some as relief from my views. So, from that day on we have offered the occasional – View From Down Under. You can see that first article and all others she offered archived on our website at (

Who was this voice from down under? We have posted this description after each installment: Judith McGrath lives in Kalamunda, Western Australia, 25 minutes east of Perth. She received a BA in Fine Art and History from the University of Western Australia. McGrath lectured in Art History and Visual Literacy at various colleges around the Perth area, and was an art reviewer for The Sunday Times and The Western Review both published in the Perth area. McGrath is currently a freelance writer and reviewer for various art magazines in Australia. She also co-ordinates the web site Art Seen in Western Australia found at (

Well, as I mentioned in commentary in Carolina Arts a few months ago, McGrath was planning a trip to the east coast of these United States and was planning a trip to South Carolina. She was actually planning to visit Bonneau. When they asked about hotel info in Bonneau – when Linda (my better half) and I stopped laughing, we explained that we might have to direct them to another city close by.

Oh – how interesting that could be – Judith McGrath in SC – in Charleston! I didn’t get my hopes up as I know all the things that can happen to derail the best laid plans. Just look at John McCain. His “straight talk express” ran aground in Alaska – much like the Exxon Valdez did. They’re still cleaning up that mess.

But on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008, I was driving Judith and her husband Owen from Summerville, SC, to downtown Charleston for a look at what the visual art community had to offer.

I had made some plans as to what and where we would go, but like I said before – the best laid plans sometimes have to be adapted. We had to deal with what would be open on Sunday and Monday, and unfortunately, that took some galleries off my list. And, we found that some galleries are not going by the hours posted in Carolina Arts‘s gallery listings. And, on the other hand, fortunately some galleries that should have been closed were open.

McGrath’s tour of South Carolina began in Spartanburg, SC, where her visit was front page news, but in Charleston we would be traveling under the radar – much like I do. If you have followed my commentary about the good Mayor of Charleston, I have to look twice – both ways – before I cross the streets in Charleston.


First off, the weather was great the two days they were in Charleston. It’s like we were actually having Fall weather in South Carolina. Our weather is the complete opposite of what they have at the same time in Australia – our summer is their winter.

After a short driving tour of Charleston, our first official stop was at the Gibbes Museum of Art. Although the couple was somewhat fatigued in visiting Art Museums up and down the east coast, McGrath did fall in love with Alice Huger Ravenel Smith’s watercolor landscapes – not her works with people, but the landscapes. But, what she really wanted to see was the commercial galleries. So we headed out to see who was open.

The great thing about Charleston’s commercial art community is that it is concentrated in a few areas of the city. You can park in one stop and visit dozens of galleries in just a few blocks of each other.

After leaving the Gibbes we first ran into the sidewalk display by a few members of the Charleston Artist Guild – a Charleston Fall tradition. We next headed “by request” to Charleston’s Market area. McGrath had spotted the area on our driving tour around the city. At first I couldn’t think of what area she was describing – the Market is not usually on my tour itinerary for visitors, but I soon realized the McGraths were also interested in the full view of Charleston – including the Market and antique shops on King Street. I’m a flexible tour guide so we adapted some more.

The Market helped add to the McGraths’ worldwide collection of snowglobes.

From the Market we headed into the heart of the French Quarter Gallery Association’s district, but found few open galleries there. It’s a good thing we still had Monday for our tour. We then headed to Broad Street where we found more open doors. The couple’s favorite gallery of our first day of touring was the Mary Martin Gallery. They were really taken by some sculpture there of wooden violins made by Philippe Guillerm.

After walking and driving around one end of Charleston to the other in search of open galleries, we left Charleston heading to the promise lands of Berkeley County for some barbecued ribs and corn-on-the -cob at the headquarters of Carolina Arts in Bonneau, SC, on the shores of Lake Moultrie. The McGraths live at the edge of Australia’s OutBack and I explained that Linda and I lived in what most Charlestonians think of as Charleston’s OutBack – Berkeley County.

As it always happens – when it rains it pours. We didn’t know exactly what day the McGraths would arrive, but at the same time Linda’s sister arrived for a visit as well as some good friends from North Carolina who have a house at the lake, so Linda didn’t get to do the Charleston with us.

On our second day of touring Charleston art galleries we found more open doors, but there were still a few galleries that were supposed to be open but were not when we arrived at their door. And, we missed a few that don’t open until Tuesdays, but we visited 80 percent of the galleries in downtown Charleston in our two-day adventure. And, my feet were feeling it too. I’m used to trekking the streets of Charleston and many other cities in the Carolinas, but I usually don’t take in the antique shops too. But I learned some things in our travels that was well worth the effort.

Some galleries don’t seem to be displaying the copies of Carolina Arts we drop off every month. I made a list and will be checking this out and when we find that someone is not displaying the paper, we will stop leaving them there and take out the free gallery listing we have been giving them. Most galleries had them well displayed, a few had them hidden, but we made a game out of seeing who could spot the Carolina Arts first.

Highlights this day included a visit to Rhett Thurman’s studio where we were lucky to catch the artist at work, a visit to Nina Lui and Friends (all three floors), Plum Elements for a peek at some Japanese prints and what was hailed by McGrath as her favorite gallery in Charleston – the Eva Carter Gallery. It was a special moment of pride when I got to brag that we owned a work by each of the artists represented by the gallery. It was there that the couple almost purchased a work by Karin Olah – not having seen any work like it before. Now, that’s saying something from this world traveling couple.

Work by Karin Olah

But the joke of the two day tour was, “Owen, you’re gonna need another suitcase!” The McGraths were already going to have to purchase a very large suitcase to fit all their purchases made in the US while visiting. An extra suitcase on their 24 hour return flight home was going to be an expensive item. The thought of another one was an instant headache – for Owen.

The McGraths took lots of contact info from galleries we visited and they will let UPS do some deliveries for them once they get back home. After all, it is a small world these days.

After our second day of trekking we headed back to Summerville talking about some of the places we didn’t get to see, but I think Judith and Owen had an enjoyable tour and saw a lot of interesting art and got a small glimpse of Charleston. On the subject of the bad rap Charleston’s art scene often gets from some other areas of the Carolinas – the so called love Charleston artists have for painting the city and the surrounding environment – the two world travelers said that you see that everywhere you go around the world.

I don’t know if Judith McGrath will write anything about her visit to Charleston or what she will say. But, for me it was a great opportunity to have a give and take dialogue about what we were seeing, art in general, and various subjects covered in both our commentaries. It was also a great pleasure to meet the person who has contributed to Carolina Arts from afar for the last eight years and her husband. I hope the exchange will continue for many years.

Judith – Owen, thanks for coming to see us.