Bluffton is brimming with all kinds of art—and artists. From eclectic creators to plein air painters, the artists in our little corner of the Lowcountry marked by meandering marshlands, scenic shores and ravishing rivers, inspires each in its own way. These creative souls aren’t just giving the locals and visitors something pretty to take home; thanks to them, Bluffton has earned the “Cultural District” designation from the South Carolina Arts Commission and garnered state recognition. Now it’s official—the entire Old Town area, from Calhoun Street to Promenade Street, is considered a “Cultural District” by South Carolina.
Don’t just meet these creative composers and expert artisans at the Historic Bluffton Art and Seafood Festival, October 15-23, 2016; stop by these studios and galleries brandishing their beautiful works of art and say thanks!
The Filling Station
3B Lawton St.
Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
When someone suggests heading over to The Filling Station, most people might think they’re referring to a gas station, but not in Bluffton. Located in the heart of the Historic District, The Filling Station is a gallery featuring an eclectic array of art. For years, the gallery was located in what was once a service bay of a gas station, but Owner Bernie Haag recently relocated to Lawton Street. Inside this gallery, guests will find the work of more than 50 artists ranging in price from $5 to $5,000. In addition to the original art and limited edition prints, also featured are pottery, glass art, jewelry and gift items.
La Petite Gallerie
One block away, La Petite Gallerie is nestled in a lovely little space next to The Store on Calhoun Street. This intimate gallery is filled with fine local art and features six of the area’s favorite painters, as well as a woodcarver. Their special collection of art is an ever-changing delight, with many pieces spilling out into the adjacent garden. In addition to the pastel, acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings, visitors will find lovely blown glass, whimsical and soulful clay pieces, wonderful steel cattails, fish, turtles, birds and other fun garden art. Stop by this special little gallery soon and you might even catch one of the artists on duty painting or carving on the shady garden deck!
Maye River Gallery
37 Calhoun St.
Daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Walk up Calhoun Street and discover a block chock full of creativity. This sensational street is home to the Maye River Gallery, where artwork is showcased in almost every charming corner of the space, all by artists local to the South Carolina Lowcountry. From fiber to photography, pastel pieces to fine paintings, this quaint gallery not only displays work in a variety of mediums, but is also home to a working studio, so don’t be surprised to find an artist absorbed in an abstract or perfecting a painting.
Pluff Mudd Art
27 Calhoun St.
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Right next door is one of Old Town’s premier art galleries, Pluff Mudd Art, voted “Best Art Gallery in Bluffton” for three consecutive years. Located in a charming cottage, Pluff Mudd Art Gallery showcases the work of 16 local artists and five consignment artists in the French “salon style” way with five rooms saturated with work from the floor to the ceiling. Upon entering this distinctive and cheerful gallery, visitors can view original paintings by artists Lynda Potter, Cheryl Eppolito, Terry Brennan, David Knowlton, Michael Pearson, Vickie Jourdan, Mary Lester and Irene Williamson. Also in-house are the award-winning bird carvings of Bob Berman, the vibrant photography of Ed Funk and Donna Varner, woodworking by Jim Renauer and Doug West, pottery by Steve White and the unique jewelry of Peggy Carvell and Marilyn McDonald.
6 Church St.
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Nestled on the corner of Calhoun and Church Streets, the SOBA (Society of Bluffton Artists) Gallery not only showcases a variety of work, but also hosts art classes, workshops and summer camps for kids at their Center for Creative Arts. A non-profit organization, SOBA was established in 1994 to promote a stimulating community environment for the visual arts and assist area students and artists in enhancing their artistic abilities. The SOBA Gallery has a completely new exhibit each month with a gala reception opening.
Bluffton Boundary Studios • Gallery
21 Boundary St.
Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Subject to Change)
Hop a street over and discover the newest contemporary art gallery of the Lowcountry—Bluffton Boundary, the Cambell Chapel AME Parsonage turned artist alcove in the summer of 2016. Featuring the work of Amiri Farris, Victoria Smalls, Dana Rose and Lynn Hicks, the space is not just a place to showcase work, but a studio spilling with experts in the eclectic, visionaries versed in visual arts and professionals passionate about paintings. Stop in and meet the artists working in their creative process and make an offer on their masterpieces.
30 Promenade St.
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, by chance
Continue back up Calhoun Street to Promenade Street and stroll into the little red shop—Reminisce. This fascinating space is unlike the other galleries in town, as it’s a sports galore and memorabilia shop, where visitors can discover the many forms of art, whether it be a small piece in their fun collection of prints or old photographs. Art conjures up memories and that’s exactly what owner Jerry Glenn hopes to do—get guests to reminisce. The shop even features two nationally known artists: Baseball Hall of Fame Artist Dick Perez and Steven Fowler, a dog and cat artist. Custom pieces are available upon request.
Four Corners Fine Art & Framing
1263-B May River Rd.
Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Ride down May River Road and you’ll run into another set of shops steeped in art, including Four Corners Fine Art and Framing. This uniquely Southern shop is a collector’s gallery, featuring one of the finest collections of artists. With works in oil, acrylic, mixed media, photography and clay, as well as pencil and woodcarvings, the gallery is loaded with Lowcountry flavor. What started in 1998 as a framing shop has steadily grown to include a gallery space featuring both traditional and contemporary artwork. Don’t just take our word for it; stop by and see for yourself!
Coastal Exchange Furniture & Art
1230 May River Rd.
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Meander a little further down May River Road to Coastal Exchange Furniture & Art to find unique pieces perfect for your home. Discover an array of works, from found-art sculptures to paintings and photography ready to hang in a new home. Coastal Exchange ventures away from fine art with a range of fun reclaimed and repurposed décor, as well as whimsical and scenic paintings and photography. From boats to fish, birds to beaches, there is a variety of Lowcountry subjects featured in the works, which are created on everything from canvas to wood and even steel.