News > Lions and Tigers and Bears


by Sarah Miller

Kevin Taylor, Transfiguration, 24″ x 48″ oil and acrylic on panel, $4,800

Lions and Tigers and Bears is a pleasant derailment from Charleston’s traditional art scene.

Stepping into The Vendue Art Hotel’s lobby, you’ll be greeted by an extraterrestrial giraffe made of sewing machines parts and a pug in a yellow polka dot bikini. Located at 19 Vendue Range, The Vendue Hotel is spicing up the Charleston art market.

Ricardo Solis, Coffee Bear II, 27.5″ x 35.5″ mixed media oil and indian ink on canvas, $1,500

Since opening as Charleston’s Art Hotel in 2014, The Vendue has hosted a variety of thematic exhibits, but this one is certainly grabbing attention. Director Emily Rigsby explains, “On the heels of such a highly academic show [From the Academy: New York Academy of Art Faculty and Alumni Exhibition], we knew we wanted to bring something whimsical and relatable to our walls—What’s more relatable than animals? When we approached the artists, we told them to have fun with their submissions, and I think every single one of them did that.”

Guests to this exhibit find it incredibly relatable. Sports fan? Check. Animal activist? You got it. Fan of contemporary realism? You’ve stepped into artistic heaven.

Susan Harrell, Follow the Leader, 36″ x 8.75″ oil on aluminum panel, Sold

Rigsby has been with The Vendue since 2015. She previously held court at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, where she played the role of Membership & Development Coordinator. Her creative collaboration with the folks over at Robert Lange Studios resulted in some pretty impressive artists joining in on the exhibit. Paintings by Charleston-born Kevin Earl Taylor show beautifully alongside “Leo,” a lion made of live rounds by Mary Engel, and show-stopping faux-taxidermy by Kelly Jelinek.

Mary Engel, Leo, 33″ x 52″ x 18″ mixed media, $30,000

Each exhibit at The Vendue kicks off with an artist dinner the night before the opening. Those who choose to join in on the fun not only get a preview but are also served a variety of thoughtful dishes by Chef Forrest Parker, who uses the artwork as inspiration. Displaying over 400 pieces of original artwork throughout the property, a resident artist studio, and two rotating gallery spaces, you’re invited to be “inspired at every turn.”

Elizabeth Foster, Night Swimming, 54″ x 30″ oil on panel, $4,800

Robert Lange, Pretending, 12 x 12″ oil on panel, $2,500

Sam Malpass, Wild Maze, 48″ x 72″ acrylic on canvas, $12,000


On view until the end of March 2017
The Vendue | 19 Vendue Range, Charleston 29401


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Posted on January 13, 2017 by Matt Mill.

Categories: Visual Art

Tags: Art, Charleston, Charleston Art, Contemporary Realism, Emily Rigsby, Kelly Jelinek, Kevin Earl Taylor, Mary Engel, The Vendue Art Hotel, Visual Art

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