Art Appreciating in Pawleys Island

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It’s no wonder that the South Strand destination that plays host to a famously popular art and music festival every year also lays claim to some fabulous galleries in which we can view and buy art.

But contrary to its stuffy reputation, art buying, especially here in Pawleys Island and Litchfield, can be a fun and affordable way to broaden your mind, beautify your home, and bank away a vacation’s worth of memories.

Not in the market to buy? You can count on that southern hospitality to avoid any awkward no-thanks-I’m-just-looking exchanges with curators. Gallery owners and employees down here are happy to have you, regardless if you walk out with a purchase or not.

Here are a few of our favorite spots to peruse or purchase art.

Cheryl Newby Gallery: Come here for their sophisticated, comprehensive but exquisitely cultivated antique prints and maps, sculptures and paintings by nationally and regionally known artists, and a rotating roster of works chosen for their proficiency and distinction. Even the exterior of the building is lovely, with its porched southern clapboard charm. Works range from about $100 to well into the thousands, so there is something for most budgets. This is a must-do for serious collectors. Do note: they take an annual winter break but will reopen March 3.

Island Art: Stroll through the light-filled, interconnected rooms and enjoy the diverse collection by a number of owner and member artists. Serene seascapes, color-infused oil on canvas works, postmodern inks and Audubon-worthy watercolors fill the walls, and much of what is available is quintessentially Low country. There are many options available for the more budget conscious, and we love that so many of these pieces are a great way to remember a trip to the region. Expect to spend anywhere from $100 to a couple of thousand. They also offer painting workshops, if you are a budding artist yourself.

Grey Man Gallery: This is a great spot for those who are on a tighter art budget; you can get great locally created art, but also prints and posters, which tend to have a much smaller price tag. The self-proclaimed oldest gallery in Pawleys Island (all the way back to 1980), Grey Man is a dependable spot for some regional flavor — think lots of seascapes and inlet scenes. Ship bulky items home or go with a flat print; when bound in some it’s easy to pack. This place is low key, approachable and wonderfully original.

Looking to do some additional browsing? Check out some other Pawleys Island and Litchfield art spots here.

Fancy yourself a budding Basquiat? Head to Art Box Studio for oils, pastels, canvas, clay — you name it. Take a class, frame a favorite collectible, attend a workshop or just browse the artful delights they have on hand. This is a fun place to visit if you’re looking to get a little creative, or just blow off steam.

And don’t forget to block off some time for the Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art next fall. While the lineup has yet to be announced, expect fabulous music, gorgeous art, activities, food, crafts — the works.

Are you an art aficionado? Where do you like to go to buy art? Purchased anything fabulous? Share a picture here! 


(Posted: 2/27/15)