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Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

February 12-14, 2016

— 34 Years and Counting —


by Stacy Huggins

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is the largest celebration of wildlife art and the sporting lifestyle of its kind, and every year tens of thousands of visitors flock to marion square to take it all in…

the crowds, the dogs, the birds, the camo, the food, the whole entire scene. It’s quite the spectacle to behold whether you’re a SEWE virgin or veteran

Quick Draw Speed Sculpt Event (3)Gather your friends and put on your dancing shoes for the SEWE Siree on Saturday night at the Charleston Visitors Center Bus Shed. It’s a laid back, good old- fashioned party with great BBQ, oysters, booze, and live music.

Definitely check out the art in both Charleston Place and Gaillard Center.
The nation’s top wildlife artists—both traditional and contemporary—will be displaying a breathtaking variety of artwork, all available for purchase.

The expo is, at its heart, a celebration of the natural world; conservation, education, and preservation are just as much a part of SEWE as the flashier events. Learn something while you’re having a great time.

Meet the 2016 SEWE Featured Artist: Kyle Sims

2016 Featured Piece by Kyle Sims_Power and Grace 38x50 OilKyle Sims’s painting Power and Grace was selected for the 2016 poster; the original oil painting is magnificent in person and will be auctioned off at theVIP gala.

“You just gotta go driving around the dirt roads and you’ll find inspiration,” he says.

Living in Montana, Sims doesn’t have to go far to find that inspiration; much of it comes from Yellowstone National Park, traveling up north in Canada, or just exploring his own back yard.

Featured Artist, Kyle Sims (3)_Near the Tetons

Featured Artist, Kyle Sims (4) Montana Heights shot2 30x50 Oil 2013 $15,400

Painting in the field is a great tool that informs Sims’s masterful paintings. Most of his plein air work actually comes from his vacations. “They’re pretty little mementos from the trip. You’re there for an hour, two hours tops, and you can remember so much more by doing those and keeping them…I can’t bring myself to sell them, because they’re that treasure. We frame them up and put them in the house… they’re great little educational tools. It starts changing how you see, how you interpret your photographs.”

“The camera sees a certain way— everything is in focus, everything is so sharp, the camera sees everything at once, and your eyes can’t see that way…I’m after what your actual experience would be like. That’s the point of doing this, sharing my experiences…some people write and share their experiences that way; mine is visual,” says Sims.

Sims grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming and began painting as a small boy. He began taking painting workshops when he was 16 years old—that’s when he realized that he wanted to paint for the rest of his life. He was also very fortunate to meet his lovely wife Joy at an early age; they’ve just celebrated 10 years of marriage. At just 35 years old, Sims has already hit many of the benchmarks he set for himself. Returning to SEWE as the Featured Artist is a decisive feather in his cap, and he is thrilled to come back to Charleston.

See you in Marion Square!

Marion Square Overview


Your SEWE Guide:

For the art enthusiast:

Charleston Place
Gaillard Center

For the decoy enthusiast:

Marriott Hotel

DockDogs at Brittlebank Park (2)

For the outdoor enthusiast:

Marion Square: Foodie heaven, Birds of Prey demos, exotic wildlife, vendors

Brittlebank Park: Fishing demos, Dock Dogs, more vendors, carnival food


Flight Demos with the Center for Birds of Prey (3)


Posted in Visual on January 19, 2016 (Winter 2016) by Matt Mill.

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