What exactly is art? Of course, there’s no singularly definable answer to that question. It’s many different things to many different people. In a nutshell, art is creative self-expression put into a recognizable form like music, literature, film, sculpture, painting, photography, fashion design — the list is endless.
In the Carolinas, there are a number of galleries that offer a plethora of just about anything you can imagine. We’ve collected some of the more notable ones here.
— At Bellagio’s studios, those who admire wearable art can choose from exclusive pieces produced by various featured artists. 5 Biltmore Plaza. www.bellagioarttowear.com
— BoBo combines the mood of a small dance club with the ambiance of an underground gallery. The goal here is to celebrate art, dance and music while demystifying the high art gallery experience and creating a comfortable, social environment. 22 Lexington Ave. www.bobogallery.com
Chris Tedesco’s ‘Amber Venturo Glass Handbag’ is on display at The Bender Gallery in Asheville.
— It’s the studio formerly known as Mountain Glass Art and it focuses on studio glass art, including delicately produced plates, bowls and sculptures. Talented artists’ imaginations produce kiln cast and sand cast glasswork with glossy textures and brightly colored finishes. From paperweights to Judaica, the entire spectrum of glass articles awaits exploration in the region’s largest glass art gallery. 57 Haywood St. www.thebendergallery.com
— This 30-year-old gallery features artistic pieces of furniture and functional items to decorate and inspire within the home, including ceramics, art glass, garden art, fountains, wall hangings, jewelry, wood, and furniture. 7 Boston Way. www.newmorningnc.com
— Featuring animated art originals, including an original sketch of Jerry from “Tom and Jerry” and others, you’ll find original gels and drawings of characters like the Incredible Hulk, Daffy Duck and Johnny Quest, among others. University Mall, 201 S. Estes Dr. www.animationandfineart.com
Don’t miss surrealist Rene Magritte’s ‘Enfants Trouves’ at Long Fine Art in Charleston, S.C.
— The artworks’ vivid detail and intricacy give this gallery a sophisticated atmosphere. Ann Long Fine Art specializes in paintings, drawings and sculpture by contemporary artists. 177 King St. www.annlongfineart.com
You can see Norma Morris Ballentine’s ‘Carolina Song’ at Low Country Artists Ltd.
— Lowcountry offers a variety of media ranging in style and subject matters, including oil, colored pencil, film, acrylic, watercolor, collages, portraiture, landscapes, still life and abstracts. They also feature pottery and glass works. 148 E. Bay St. www.lowcountryartists.com
— The paintings at The Waterfront Gallery depict still life and wild life native to the Carolinas, while the three-dimensional items are both attractive and well crafted. 215 E. Bay St. www.waterfrontartgallery.com
— Canvas Monkey adds a dose of humor to its gallery and retail store by featuring an eclectic collection of one-of-a-kind paintings from self-taught renegade artists, along with fun gifts and cards — there’s something new every time you visit. Look for a different artist exhibit each month. 3306-B N. Davidson St. www.canvasmonkey.com
Photographic art by Michael Schulz can be seen at the Joie Lassiter Gallery in Charlotte.
— Presenting regional, national and international artists, the gallery offers a range of artwork that incorporates the aesthetics found in New York and European cities. 1440 S. Tryon St., #104. www.lassitergallery.com
— As a non-profit contemporary museum of photography and film dedicated to education, the Light Factory offers exhibitions, classes, and lectures. It was incorporated 35 years ago to serve as an art space where people could view high quality works. 345 N. College St., Suite 211. www.lightfactory.org
— Clayworks is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the ceramic arts through classes, workshops, community outreach, gallery exhibitions and studio space rentals. Programs are designed to facilitate an environment of artistic exchange between students, instructors and working artists. 301 E. 9th St., Suite 150. www.clayworksinc.org
— The goal of this gallery is to promote appreciation of Latin art. Founder Teresa Hernandez established the gallery/coffee shop in 2001 and continues exploring the world, retrieving rare and exceptional tokens of her journeys. Popular items include Day of the Dead paraphernalia, hand-embroidered textiles and suzanis from the Middle East and Asia. 1521 Central Ave. www.puravidaart.com
Beautiful, one-of-a-kind glass sinks like this one are available at One Eared Cow in Columbia.
— This gallery showcases beautiful blown glassware, all of which is created by in-house artists and owners Mark Woodham and Tom Lockhart. In addition to their vases, bowls, paper weights, perfume bottles, flowers, lighting and sculpture, they are known for their distinctive collection of sinks for both kitchen and bath — they add a sense of individual aesthetic to any room. 1001 Huger St. www.oneearedcow.com
See oil and canvas creations by Jeanne Twilley at Two Art Chicks Gallery in Greensboro, N.C.
— Owned and operated by womyn, 2AC displays an eclectic array of abstract concrete art created by the owners themselves. They also offer classes on watercolor, calligraphy and sculpture for students and artists to explore different mediums of visual arts. 609 S. Elm St. www.twoartchicks.com
— Nestled in the heart of Hilton Head in Main Street Village, the Pink House Gallery is the Island’s favorite location for original artwork, prints, posters and unique handcrafted gift items. Winner of the South Carolina Business and the Arts Partnership Award (presented by the South Carolina Joint Legislative Committee on Cultural Affairs and the South Carolina Arts Foundation), for 20 years the Pink House Gallery has decorated Lowcountry walls with beautiful art and custom framing. You’ll find original paintings, prints and posters from leading Lowcountry artists. 1503 Main St. Village. www.pinkhousegallery.com
Grace Li Wang Art Gallerya fusion of Chinese and American characteristics in works depicting landscapes and animals. 319 Lochside Dr. www.graceliwang.com
Terry Zigmund’s metal and glass “Tree of Life” designs can be viewed at Twigs and Leaves Gallery in Waynesville, N.C.
— This gallery features nature-related art and fine crafts from Southern Appalachia, offering the works of more than 150 emerging and established artists. Twigs and Leaves offers pottery and clay art, rustic and finished furniture, locally made jewelry, landscape photographs and paintings, as well as quilted wall hangings, stained glass and metal fabrications. 98 N. Main St. www.twigsandleaves.com
The Charles Jones Art Gallery in Wilmington features
traditional African art and artifacts from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria.
— The Charles Jones Art Gallery features traditional African art and artifacts from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria, including facial masks, war equipment, photographic archives and books about African art. 311 Judged Rd., 6-E. www.cjafricanart.com