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Charleston, SC 29401

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Tag: Art

Opening Reception for Collective / Eclectic at the Studio 1/14/11

To kick off the new year, Beyond The Gallery has united three of Charleston’s premier and award – winning artists, Chris Dotson, Joyce Hall and Martin Ahrens for the upcoming exhibition, “Collective | Eclectic,” an exhibition celebrating diversity in the creative process. The exhibit will feature small and large works in a range of mediums from watercolors, pen & ink to oils, acrylics and pastels. Hosted by The Real Estate Studio, 214 King Street, in historic downtown Charleston, the exhibition will remain on view January 5 – February 15, 2011, with an opening- artist reception, free & open to the public, set for January 14, from 6-9 PM.
“Collective | Eclectic” has been developed to unite fellow artists and shed light into their imagination and distinctive personal approach. The exhibition unfolds with a general theme of diversity in the arts. Viewers can expect to encounter an eclectic selection of some of the artists finest works, inspired by life, their creative drive and everyday experiences. Works exhibited will further showcase the artists diversity of personality, style, subject matter, influences and artistic range.
Chris Dotson, originally from Newport News, VA, and now residing in Charleston, SC, received his B.F.A. from Appalachian State University in 1996 and has been involved in the visual arts for over fifteen years. His latest work is composed of a wide variety of mediums and ranges from visual realism to imagined realism and abstract. “I look for something beyond the representation of a subject, attention is given only to each shape’s interaction with surrounding shapes, and it’s color in relation to the other colors within the image.”
Joyce Hall, grew up in the heart of Maryland horse country where at an early age she began observing and drawing horses. After teaching the equestrian program for Tulane University and establishing programs for the College of Charleston and the Citadel she retired, devoting all of her time to painting and teaching art. Her works, composed primarily of oils, have been featured in major art publications and have earned her an extensive list of national awards, museum tours and international exhibitions, too numerous to mention, as well as memberships in many prestigious organizations. More recently Joyce was selected as a finalist for the Blossom II, Art of Flowers, international Juried art competition and national museum tour exhibition, premiering at the Naples Museum of Art, February 4th, 2011.
Born in 1933 in Louisiana, noted portrait artist, Martin Ahrens began painting in the 1950s while attending Tulane University. He attended the Chicago Institute of Art and for over forty years has been painting, sculpting and teaching, winning awards in national shows. In the early 1980s Ahrens completed a painting of the America Silver Medal Winner in the International Ballet Competition and was later selected to paint the 25th Anniversary painting for the Meridian House International in Washington DC. In 1986 Ahrens moved to Northern Maryland and founded Everedy School of Art & the Everedy Gallery. In 1990 Ahrens sold the Gallery and School and returned to New Orleans to marry Joyce Hall, a noted artist and horsewoman. He currently makes his home in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and with his wife, owns The Studio, a multi-media school of fine art in the West Ashley area of Charleston.

Rhett Thurman’s “Vacation Inspiration” paintings on display at The Real Estate Studio

Rhett Thurman’s “Band of Angels” is the cover art for Dunes Properties’ 2009-2010 Vacation Guide

Summer weather is here and the beach is on the minds of many. Some like to take a dip in the ocean, others like to relax on a screened in porch. Charleston-based painter, Rhett Thurman, is inspired by the bright bold colors and light during this time of year. A seventeen piece collection of her paintings will be on display at The Real Estate Studio, located at 214 King Street from May 18-June 29. The work is available for viewing Monday through Saturday 9am-6pm, Sundays 11am-4pm.
Thurman’s work is distinguished by her signature vibrant and fresh palette. She also impresses with her broad range of subject matter. Her extensive travels are a reoccurring inspiration for the artist. She approaches each painting, whether it is a street scene in Mexico, a field of strawberries in California, or a child playing on the beach with the same sentimental connection with the viewer.
Thurman has achieved national acclaim for both her oils and watercolors. She has exhibited with the prestigious American and National Watercolor Societies, been featured in national publications and is included in private, museum and corporate collections. She was the 2003 artist in residence for the Gibbes Museum of Art Poets’ and Painters’ program. Thurman is the recipient of the 1995 Outstanding Alumna Award from Queens College, where she earned her degree in studio art. Her education and painting experience include further studies in Europe and the United States. As Charleston is a destination for international art collectors, Thurman’s work has worldwide exposure and is gaining in popularity.
The artist says, “Whether painting at home or abroad, a complicated sidewalk café or a simple slice of melon, my quest remains the same:  pushing past what I’ve done before for a fresh spin of light, color, and relationships of people, places, and things”. She has served as president of South Carolina Watercolor, and a co-founder of Southern Exposure, offering national and international travel and painting opportunities. Thurman is represented by The Sylvan Gallery which is located at 171 King St. and open Mon-Sat 10-5,, 843-722-2172.

Downtown Charleston

Dunes Properties has three local offices and the most recent addition is our Real Estate Studio at 214 King St.

We’re so proud of this state of the art facility.  It’s a place to come and truly experience the Lowcountry Lifestyle.  We have private and public events and art openings, wireless internet, concierge assistance and of course we are open seven days a week for those of you looking for a no pressure real estate search experience.  Our agents are there to answer your questions and help you find what you want and are looking for.  Or if all you’re looking for is a great place to get a sandwich on a Saturday afternoon- we’re glad to provide you with some great suggestions.

We’re located right at the corner of King and Market St., across from Saks Fifth Ave.  It’s a great spot to just sit and have a cup of coffee and people watch if you need a break from your day or visit downtown.  Or if your party gets a little too distracted with all this fine King St. shopping and you just wish you had a place to escape from the stores- come on in.

Right now at the Studio is an exhibit of photos from Charleston Kids with Cameras.    There are some amazing photographs of local sites all taken by kids.  Stop by and have a look.

Dunes Properties is now a member of Lowcountry Local First. We are 10% shifting!

We at Dunes Properties and The Real Estate Studio are honored to become a part of
Lowcountry Local First
, a community alliance that educates the public on the importance of supporting the local economy, and encourages businesses and consumers to be environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. Lowcountry Local First created the 10% Shift campaign which asks local residents and businesses to shift just 10% of their existing purchases from non-local businesses to Local Independents (locally owned and independent businesses).  By doing so we would see thousands of new jobs created and millions of dollars of new economic activity in the Lowcountry.  We as a company, and as individuals, are committed to exploring ways we can 10% Shift, whether it be by locally sourcing a service we previously outsourced, or by going to one of our great local coffee shops rather than a national chain.

Dunes Properties is one of only two real estate companies in the Lowcountry that is part of Lowcountry Local First, joining 250 other locally-owned companies of all kinds.

Lowcountry Local First has minimum criteria that must be met to join:

  1. Business is privately held.
  2. Business owners who have a controlling interest of more than 50% live in the Lowcountry.
  3. Business make independent decisions regarding the name and look of your business, as well as all business purchasing, practices and distribution.
  4. Business pays all their own marketing, rent, and other business expenses.

We are proud to be able to meet this criteria and more, as since the company’s inception more than 20 years ago, we have always supported our local economy in ways that go beyond helping people to buy and sell homes in the Charleston Area:

1.      More than 70% of our business purchases and services are sourced locally for the Real Estate Division and for our Vacation Rental side, over 90% – from marketing and printing to linen services, insurance, architecture and beyond, we believe in working with the people you know, and your neighbors around you.  Just some of our local vendors include: JR Rowell Printing and Knight Press, Precision Mail, E-Group, Wulburn Koval, Neil Stevenson Architects, South Atlantic Contractors, Lowcountry Linen and Lighthouse Cleaning Services, Wynn & Associates and Crosby and Co.

2.      All of our banking is done with local and regional institutions – We like the local touch and feel, and we like that over the years we’ve formed not only business relationships with our local banks, but also friendships.  Some of the great ones we work with include: Bank of South Carolina and Atlantic Bank and Trust.

Setting up for Guerrilla Cuisine

3.      Support local artists – in our Real Estate Studio space downtown, we offer gallery space to local and regional artists free of charge in an effort to help them promote their art.  In addition, we have held numerous art openings here over the past two years including Rhett Thurman, Carol McGill, Kevin Harrison, and Brownie Harris (in conjunction with Guerrilla Cuisine), and Billy Cone.

4.      Support local non-profit organizations – we donate our Real Estate Studio space to local non-profits so they can host events and raise money to benefit their organizations.  We’ve helped Wings for Kids, The Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Bloom’ in Art among others. We also donate 3-night weekends in a Folly Beach vacation rental home to auctions that benefit local organizations:

5.      Concierge Service – through our concierge service, we help locals and visitors alike enjoy their time in Charleston by making dinner reservations at local restaurants, tee times at local golf courses, even setting up a kayak or jetski rental.

6.      Partnership with Charming Inns of Charleston – through our partnership with Charming Inns, we support each other with business referrals, share our downtown map and allow their guests to utilize our wireless network and computers.

7.      Adopt-a-Highway – Dunes Properties has adopted part of Palm Blvd for more than 10 years.  Every quarter, our agents and employees don their beat up old clothes to clean it up and make this beautiful place we live in, even better.

8.      Doin’ the Dunes on Isle of Palms – for several years our agents
and employees have helped to preserve the IOP beaches by putting up sand fencing and planting sea oats.

9.      Volunteer at the Annual Boone Hall Plantation Oyster Roast – each year in January a team of agents and employees rolls up their sleeves to serve hot steaming oysters to this events 1000s of attendees.

10.  Adopt-a-Family – Each year we adopt a local family in need for the holidays and collect funds and shop for and wrap presents for them through Families Helping Families

11.  Support the Folly Turtle Protection Program – In addition to providing a link to the program’s website from ours, for each of our Vacation Rental guests, we provide information about our Folly turtles and the local efforts to protect them.

These are just some of the ways we work with the local community as a company, and of course our agents and employees get involved in any way they can.  We are proud of all the amazing things they have done over the years!

We at Dunes Properties consider ourselves a family, and an integral part of this Lowcountry community.  For 20 years, we have pursued the ideal that to have a strong economy that creates wealth, stability and buying power for our Charleston citizens, we must keep it local in any way we can.  We must support each other both as individuals and businesses, because in doing so, as we like to say, ‘the rising tide lifts all boats.”  So thanks Lowcountry Local First, for having the vision to create this movement and the resources to pull us all together in one incredible, entrepreneurial, Charleston-lovin’ powerhouse of people.

The Real Estate Studio offers a glimpse of the Charleston experience with local art

In June 2007, Dunes Properties opened a location in the heart of Charleston’s historic shopping district that was less “office” and more retail store, designed to help guests discover everything they want to know about visiting and living in this glorious Southern city. Since then, this original concept has evolved into something greater. The Real Estate Studio is the perfect blend of cosmopolitan comfort, Southern charm and modern technology employing 50” plasmas for searching customized listing software in a warm, relaxed atmosphere. But in the name of promoting the Charleston experience to visitors both local and out of town, the Studio has also become a hub for social events and the local art scene.
Here at the Studio, we like to stay involved with what’s going on in town. It offers us a chance to meet some of Charleston’s most interesting characters, and it helps us to share the Lowcountry lifestyle with our potential buyers. It all started with the walls. When the space was remodeled, the gorgeous brick walls were exposed and the idea to showcase local art was born. The exposed brick offers a background for paintings and photographs that, like Charleston, is both charming and historic. With the art came art opening receptions and other events naturally followed. Before long, The Studio was being offered for charitable events, corporate gatherings, and private parties. With Dunes Properties’ involvement and sponsorships in many local festivals and annual events, it has become something of a social center point downtown. Our Studio’s main focus is and always has been to offer a totally new experience to our guests- a no-pressure atmosphere with high tech tools, the most knowledgeable agents, helpful support staff and all of Charleston’s real estate and vacation information just a click away. Add to that some of Charleston’s most prestigious events, like the BBT Charleston Food +Wine Festival, for which we sponsored and hosted the King Street Sip + Stroll, and you get an insider’s peek at the heart of our city. Charleston is fun! There is always something going on here, and we want to share with our buyers the energy and excitement of this unique community.
The Studio now rotates a new exhibit every six weeks, highlighting the work of local artists and supporting Charleston galleries. Stop by 214 King Street to see the current exhibit of works by photographer Jerry Siegel and painter Jean Glenn on loan from the Rebekah Jacob Gallery. Or visit us during the upcoming Spoleto Festival when Carol McGill will be showing her work as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Program. There is always something going on at the Studio, Charleston’s most unique Real Estate experience.

For information about the Real Estate Studio, call 843.722.5618, email or visit our website at

The Taste of Charleston

The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association
proudly presents the 28th Annual
” Taste of Charleston”

The Taste of Charleston is a three day celebration beginning Friday, October 10, at the Culinary Institute of Charleston Iron Chef Competition –  (Palmer Campus Downtown). The competition will introduce the Culinary Institute’s new, $10 million Palmer Campus with a competition that pits some of Charleston’s finest, nationally renowned chefs in a head-to-head culinary battle. 6:00-9:00 PM – $10 – for tickets call 843-577-4030.

On Saturday, October 11, Taste of the Arts on Gallery Row – Broad Street – Downtown Charleston Art Galleries – This art walk combines Lowcountry art with the culinary arts. Participating galleries in downtown Charleston will showcase the talents of local artists while offering festival guests a sampling of appetizers and desserts from Charleston’s finest restaurants. 6:00-8:00 PM – $10 – for tickets call 843-853-5002.

On Sunday, October 12, the grounds at beautiful Boone Hall Plantation will be transformed into a sea of culinary delights featuring 40 of Charleston and the Lowcountry’s finest restaurants

In addition to the wonderful culinary delights the “Taste” will feature the famous “Waiters Wine Race” sponsored by Electronic Merchant Systems, beer and wine tasting, our special Children’s Corner (with petting zoo), the “Best of the Taste,” East Coast Party Band (main stage) and Cooking Demonstrations by some of Charleston’s finest chefs including Enzo Steffenelli from Sea Island Grill at Wild Dunes, Craig Diehl from Cypress and others.

Gates open at 10:30 AM. Advance tickets for the “Taste of Charleston” at Boone Hall Plantaton will be available at all Charleston area Applebee’s Restaurants, through the Association Office as well as online. Food tickets will be sold in $1 increments at the event. Souvenir “Taste” t-shirts will also be available for purchase. Rain or shine. No pets or coolers, please.

As in years past, proceeds from the “Taste” will benefit Ronald McDonald House, Hollings Cancer Center and Charleston County Science Materials Resource Center.

The Taste of Charleston is supported by the Town of Mt. Pleasant. To date The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association has donated more than $1,000,000 to local charities.

-Celeste Fortier