Artists Dedicated to Their Art and Their Community
It all began with a vision.
Seven years ago, Allison Williamson, Director of the Charleston Artist Collective, set out on a mission to challenge the way that Charlestonians and people around the world found and collected art. Tom Freston, an American entertainment industry executive, said, “Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.” In 2010, Williamson and her team of artists did just that.
Combining technology with the art collection process, The Collective is distinguishing itself as one of Mount Pleasant’s most innovative and diverse art galleries.
Without the need for a brick and mortar store in the beginning, the Charleston Artist Collective primarily operated online—through their website, newsletters and social media. With a strong online presence, the organization has succeeded in shipping local, original artwork to thousands of homes in the Lowcountry and beyond. Williamson explains that while most art galleries require that you walk in to see the artists that they represent, Charleston Artist Collective’s online presence has allowed them to get their artwork in front of more eyes than ever before.
“Our goal is to make artwork assessable, affordable, and not intimidating,” Williamson says.
Since its inception, the Charleston Artist Collective has grown to include sixteen local artists. While many may think of art as a primarily solo activity, The Collective challenges the traditional ways in which people think of art. Artists from Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms bring their own unique vision to the gallery, yet unite as a “collective spirit” for the same ultimate purpose and goal:
“We are a collective of local artists who are dedicated to giving to local charities. We have a mission to provide the world with access to affordable, original art.”
Each month, artists meet to decide on quarterly themes. In addition, they choose one local charity and donate five percent of all sales proceeds to the selected charity. Since their launch in 2010, the Charleston Artist Collective has donated over $100,000 to local charities in Charleston and the surrounding area.
Until Christmas of 2016, the Charleston Artist Collective has primarily operated online. Now, Williamson and her team of artists are excited to announce the opening of their new Mount Pleasant studio gallery and welcome everyone to stop by. The beautiful new gallery, centrally located in Mount Pleasant ’s Old Village on 414 Whilden Street, is a space where one can meet the artists and view their work.
“Until now, I’ve had all of this [work] in my home,” Williamson says. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with our location, and now that we are in this space, I hope we can host more events.”
Abstracts, figurative, traditional, folk art and more—there’s something for everyone at the Charleston Artist Collective. Not sure which piece will work with a space? The Charleston Artist Collective offers art consultation services to ensure customers find the perfect piece (or pieces) for their home.
For news, shows, events and more, please visit Charleston.ArtistCollectives.org.