Local Artists in Fast Lane

Warning local art fans and collectors, your favorite secret stash of incredible talent at unbeatable prices is not a secret anymore. The Charleston Artist Collective is bringing art to the masses.

When the art-savvy Allison Williamson started the Charleston Artist Collective a few years ago, she broadened the booming local gallery scene well beyond Chalmers Street's venerable Pink House and the many other quaint, quirky and/or classy physical spaces showcasing local talent. Her online virtual gallery is a rotating bounty of affordable, quality, original fine art from abstracts to landscapes to still lifes, and not only has become a go-to source for decorators like Jenny Keenan and others, it's been a boon to local nonprofits, as the artists donate 15% of each month's sales to a featured charity. 

Now Williamson and her bevvy of artists, many of whom I can vouch for personally as fab neighbors (Ann Keane, Elizabeth Middour), limber, lovely yogis (Susie Callahan), and multi-talented artists (Anne Darby Parker, Lynn Hammontree, Dee Schenck Rhodes), are getting a big boost from the King, or at least one of the e-merchant kings of interior decor and decorative must-haves: One Kings Lane. Their work is being featured through Saturday, and evidently selling like a California wildfire (be sure to check out the California landscapes from Susie Callahan, including Point Reyes, one of my favorite places).

I admit that I hadn't visitied the Collective site for a while, and was delighted to see several new artists, including the colorful Linda Elksnin (below), minimalist Emily Brown and Slava Roubonov.

What I love about the Charleston Artists Collective, besides being amazed by the talents of some of my friends, is that there's something for every taste, but the high quality remains consistent. If marsh sunsets aren't your thing, there's this from Roubonov:

Or this delightful jaunt on the water from Whitney Kreb:


"What a thrilling experience to be able to expose my artists to a nationwide audience of over 8.5 million people. I am humbled at the power of the internet, as I work out of my laundry room," says Williamson, who's hoping she can keep pace filling the orders.
This is the second time that OKL, as the popular site is known to its loyal shoppers, has featured the Collective, with the first listing selling out. The Kings are evidently "thrilled" with the event, too, according to an email sent to Williamson, and there's talk of an on-going arrangement. Which of course is great news for the Collective's artists, and to the local nonprofits who share in their success.
But it means the days of finding wow-worthy original art at equally wow-worthy prices may be coming to end. Guess I better buy that graduation gift now!