Gibbes Museum of Art hosting 3rd annual Art Charleston festival

The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, SC will again host Art Charleston, a five-day festival of visual art from April 24 – 28, 2024. The festival, made up of numerous programs and events, celebrates Charleston’s strong and diverse human stories. In its third year, Art Charleston will continue to innovate, elevate and cultivate Charleston’s thriving arts culture.

With presentations that explore timely subjects like the role of art in public planning, to signature events like the Gibbes Museum’s annual Gibbes on the Street Party, Art Charleston offers global perspectives on the art world today, and lots of good old-fashioned fun!

Art Charleston’s 2024 lineup of events is as follows:

Art Charleston Signature Events and Educational Programs

Art of Design

(Wednesday, April 24, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

This beautifully styled, seated luncheon and lecture will take place in the museum’s classical European-style Garden and will feature Salthouse Catering, wine pairings and lively conversation. This year’s speaker, Hannah Cecil Gurney, Director of de Gournay, will take guests behind the scenes of de Gournay’s dreamy interior designs and share how she transformed the business started by her father from cult niche to industry leader.

Interviewing Ms. Gurney will be Flower Magazine’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Margot Shaw, a sought-after speaker and author on floral designs and lifestyle. Tickets can be purchased here by the general public for $200.

For Which It Stands Panel: Art and Public Planning

(Wednesday, April 24, 6 – 7 p.m.)

How can artists help us reimagine our cities? What is the role of the arts in city planning?

As Charleston continues to grow with new development projects dotting the skyline every day, join the Gibbes in discussing these and other critical questions with artists, city officials and design experts as we consider a vision of the future that invests in what the visual arts can bring.

This event is free, but advanced registration is required. Register here.

Exhibition Spotlight: Harvard Glass Flowers

(Thursday, April 25, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Inspired by the exhibition Rory McEwen: A New Perspective on Nature, which features the artist’s extraordinary large-scale botanical paintings and botanical studies that inspired his work, the Gibbes welcomes Jennifer Brown, the collection manager of Harvard’s iconic Blaschka Glass Flower Collection. These 4,300 glass flowers were commissioned by Harvard University as a teaching collection and a museum exhibit and invite people to consider the intimate link between botanical art and scientific models.

This event is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased here.

Gibbes on the Street

Gibbes on the Street Party at a previous year's Art Charleston festival.
Gibbes on the Street Party at a previous year’s Art Charleston festival. Courtesy Gibbes Museum of Art.

(Thursday, April 25, 8 – 10:30 p.m.)

The museum will once again celebrate the city’s world-renowned culinary scene at the annual Gibbes on the Street, a lively street fair under the Charleston night sky, stretching across one block of Meeting Street in front of the museum. The event will feature an open bar, live music and over 15 of Charleston’s top chefs serving sweet and savory dishes – allowing guests to dine at the city’s most famous restaurants with only one reservation.

Tickets go on sale for this event on March 1 and are $175 for members and $200 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased here.

Freshly Foraged Dinner

(Friday, April 26, 6 – 9:30 p.m.)

An intimate farm-to-table al fresco dinner in the Lenhardt Garden, this elegant experience celebrates Art Charleston honorary co-chairs, and longtime Gibbes supporters and local philanthropists, Mrs. Sally Smith and Mr. Roy Green. The evening features the culinary masterpieces of one of Charleston’s most recognizable and accomplished chefs, Kevin Mitchell. A four-course dinner will be served alongside a conversation surrounding the ingredients, the farm-to-table movement, sustainability and the sense of community that sharing a meal provides.

Tickets for this event are $600 and can be purchased here.

Artistic Visionaries: Paul Tschinkel, Art Documentary Pioneer

(Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

Imagine the grit and grime of East Village, New York City in the 1970s and ’80s with Andy Warhol sitting opposite Janis Joplin at the famed Max’s Kansas City club and music venue. This is the backdrop of documentarian Paul Tschinkel’s pioneering career as one of the first to ever broadcast live interviews with contemporary artists on television.

Guests can join the Gibbes for a special screening of one of Tschinkel’s rare artist interviews followed by a discussion about how the advent of new media, from television to Instagram, has changed our expectations of artists. Tickets to this event are $10 for members and $15 non-members.

Tickets can be purchased here.

A Conversation with Emily Eerdmans and Patricia Altschul

(Saturday, April 27, 2 – 4 p.m.)

Guests can join author Emily Evans Eerdmans and Patricia Altschul, who penned the foreword, for a panel discussion and book signing of Mario Buatta: The Anatomy of a Decorator.

As a protegee of the renowned designer, this book offers “never-before-seen archival material culled to present the design master as someone who remains impactful in today’s world of maximalist interiors.”

Admission is $35 and includes a copy of the book.

Artisan Fair

(Sunday, April 28, 1 – 5 p.m.)

To conclude a week of celebrating the visual arts, the museum will host an Artisan Fair for guests to shop a curated selection of artist vendors. With up to 40 skilled makers of all disciplines, there will be nothing short of unique finds.

This event will be free and open to the public, and all purchases go directly to the artisans.

A Tree of Every Color

In collaboration with the Charleston Parks Conservancy, the Gibbes will be the premier location for A Tree of Every Color, a community art project conceptualized and designed by artist Tuxedo Kat. As part of the dedication of a new permanent sculpture on the West Ashley Bikeway in May 2024, A Tree of Every Color will include over 200 three-dimensional hanging flowers constructed by kids and families in the Lowcountry.

Closer Look Tours

Closer Look: Blades of Glass

(Thursday, April 25, 2 – 3 p.m.)

Drawing on her knowledge of Harvard Museum’s Blaschka Glass Flower Collection including 4,300 specimens, collection manager Jennifer Brown will offer a new take on Rory McEwen: A New Perspective on Nature.

Closer Look: Art of Abstraction: Modernism in Quilting

(Friday, April 26, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.)

The Charleston Museum’s newest exhibition The Art of Abstraction: Modernism in Quilting pairs quilts from the Charleston Museum’s collection with paintings from the Gibbes permanent collection to the enrichment of both. Together, Curator of Historic Textiles, Virginia Theerman, of the Charleston Museum and Sara Arnold, Director of Curatorial Affairs with the Gibbes, will be in conversation, allowing visitors to examine the works with new perspectives.

This tour will take place at the Charleston Museum at 360 Meeting Street. This event is free for members, register here.

Closer Look: Flora and Fugue

(Friday, April 26, 1 – 2 p.m.)

Explore Rory McEwen: A New Perspective on Nature from a musician’s point of view with Lydia Chernicoff, Artistic Director of New Muse Concerts.

Closer Look: Bees and Blooms

(Sunday, April 28, 2 – 3 p.m.)

Local beekeeper and apiary expert, Tom Knaust, will lead a conversational tour of Rory McEwen: A New Perspective on Nature with Becca Hiester, Director of Education and Programs, from the pollinator’s perspective. Knaust is on the board of directors for The Bee Cause Project, is a lifelong beekeeper, and his local business, Queen and Comb, helps people manage bees on their personal property throughout the Lowcountry. This tour is free with admission.

About the Gibbes Museum of Art

Donté K. Hayes (American b. 1975) with 'Sanctuary' at Gibbes Museum of Art 2020. Photo courtesy of © MCG photograph
Donté K. Hayes (American b. 1975) with ‘Sanctuary’ at Gibbes Museum of Art 2020. Photo courtesy of © MCG photograph

Home to the Carolina Art Association, established in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art is recognized among the oldest arts organizations in the United States. Housing one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present, the museum’s mission is to enhance lives through art by engaging people of every background and experience with art and artists of enduring quality and by providing opportunities to learn, to discover, to enjoy and to be inspired by the creative process.

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