A spring walk through Beaufort's art scene

You'll find work from several artists in several mediums at Thibault Gallery in downtown.  Photo courtesy Eric R. Smith
You’ll find work from several artists in several mediums at Thibault Gallery in downtown. Photo courtesy Eric R. Smith

By Emily Scott Pack | Beaufort’s Spring Art Walk was such a wonderful evening spent strolling about Beaufort’s downtown streets with all the gallery doors wide open welcoming in visitors after hours. The Downtown Art Walk was a night full of inspiring works from local artists, good food, and fine drinks….and even finer local art.

I was particularly excited about this evening not only because of the art that I would get to see but that I would finally be able to enjoy it with my husband on our first date since his return from deployment. An Espresso was first on our agenda and it gave us a minute to check out the local paintings and photography that hang on the walls over at Common Ground Coffeehouse. I love this amazing coffee spot and that they are one of the many vendors downtown that play into the success of local artists by hosting their works on their walls.

Beaufort has such a great and inspiring art community especially for those wanting to share their talents with the public, and I’m so happy to see this in action.

We started at the Salt Gallery and saw beautiful works by multiple local artists and photographers. The gallery was setting up for a local musician to come play so we did a quick little tour hoping not to disturb anyone. I love that the gallery is open to more than one form of art. I can’t wait to check out the next vocal session and enjoy the art then as well.

Bill Mead.  Photo courtesy Mary Thibault
Bill Mead. Photo courtesy Mary Thibault

Thibault Gallery was calling our name as I was so excited to see the amazing work by Bill Mead and the numerous other greats that exhibit there. I am just in awe of his talent and creativity. I love how Bill Mead merges multiple objects of everyday life with realistic Lowcountry landscapes. His skill and artistry is shown in the perfect realistic rendition of each image and in pairing his creative subjects as well as in his vibrant and enticing color palette. He has a true knack for keeping the audience engaged with these amazing surrealist fruitscapes. I think I could sit in front of them for days. If you haven’t stopped by to see his work it is well worth the visit to see them in person.

There are so many other great artists on show at Thibault Gallery as well, from painters to glass artisans, to sculptors. They have art for everyone to enjoy no matter what your fancy. We spent a lot of time admiring the instillation work of Terry Brennan. His eye for marrying found objects and transforming them into beautiful works of art is so inspiring. He has a strong ingenuity of shape and form mixed with alluring colors. They really have a familiar feel to them when you recognize what you see being upcycled and converted to something beautiful. I think it really brings the audience into the piece and allows them to believe what they see.

Next on our list of must see galleries was the upstairs conversion of the Lipsitz Department Store known as Atelier on Bay. This grand space has a total of 14 working artists suites that are a phenomenal explosion of creativity and inspiration that comes in multiple different forms. Upon entering it feels like a home with lots of love adorning the

Atelier on Bay, artist galleries.  Photo courtesy Kim Bisger
Atelier on Bay, artist galleries. Photo courtesy Kim Bisger

walls. Its not stuffy or intimidating like some galleries can be. It feels historic, warm, and it’s the most welcoming gallery space I’ve experienced in a while. We could have stayed there for hours visiting with the artist and admiring the beautiful works.

We journeyed through each artist space tasting the delicious foods and discussing the techniques, subject matter, and color choices. We washed the paintings down with lovely wine and picked our favorite works from each wall before moving on excitedly to the next suite. I felt like a small kid in a candy store, so excited about what was in the next jar or around the corner, all along steeling sweet nudges and kisses from my love. I think we both were floating around to be honest.

Paul Frederick’s studio caught our eyes from afar that we rushed in so eager to explore. We were both enthralled in Paul’s pastels and his amazing use of light and contrast in his works, especially his clouds. My husband felt drawn to his realistic style and this made me happy to see his interest. We enjoyed talking to both Paul and Jan and learning about his pastel techniques and various papers. We even asked for workshop details for our next date. How fun would it be to go learn a new skill together?

Continuing on we found Sandra Baggette in the next studio over and her work lured me in right away. I love her beautiful impressionist style and her color pallet just sang out to my heart. It’s amazing how art can make you feel. I love the Salon style Sandra had in her space with all her works framed and hanging one on top of each other from floor to ceiling. It felt as if we were in her garden with her. It was a beautiful place to be and I can’t wait to visit her again.

After seeing as much as we could drink in, Preston and I continued to stroll the downtown streets and enjoyed the moment with each other as we popped in and out of various galleries. I have to admit it was the best feeling having two of my favorite things paired in the same moment, art and my love.

I feel like we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful city that has so much culture and art to experience. There is such a great opportunity for anyone to get out and see, explore, and learn all the various forms of art. I am so thrilled to be able to be a part of this and I can’t wait for the next Beaufort Art Walk this fall.




To find out more about Emily or learn to paint with her, visit www.emilyscottpack.com or www.popuppaints.com.  She’s hosting painting parties all the time.
Also, be sure to check out her encaustic paintings on exhibit at Wined It Up on Bay Street in downtown Beaufort.emilyscottpack3