By Peter Ingle

Charleston’s two most iconic images have a lot in common.

It is well known, for example, that the congregation of St. Philip’s (“the oldest congregation in South Carolina”) built its first wooden structure in 1681 on the site where St. Michael’s (“the oldest church structure in Charleston”) now stands.

In 1727, St. Philip’s moved to its current location on Church Street and some 25 years later (1751-1752) the St. Michael’s congregation started building its own church on the Meeting Street site, where it held its first services in 1761. In 1835, the St. Philip’s structure on Church Street burned down and the main building was rebuilt in 1838, with the steeple added about a decade later. So when the math is finally done, St. Philip’s gets to claim the oldest “congregation” while St. Michael’s remains the oldest “structure.”

By Peter Ingle

A large part of Charleston’s charm is its endless array of vignettes, each unique, yet each nestled in a harmony of textures, colors and styles which offer more beauty in close proximity than perhaps any American city. In historic downtown you can stand almost anywhere, turn in a circle and see something exquisite at every point of the compass; a church, a gate, a wall, a window sash, a terrace, a porch, a balcony, a door — and more.

By Peter Ingle

More than 40 watercolors by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith remain on display in a special exhibit that is split between Middleton Place on Highway 61 and the Edmonston-Alston House on East Bay Street. Continuing through October 29, this is a rare opportunity to see a large group of some 50 works (on loan from private collections) that have never been displayed together and may never be again.

Alice Smith was an artist who saw a scene she liked and painted it. Simple as that. Yet, behind her simplicity looms a charm of ethereal beauty that renders her work as elusive as the artist herself. Of course, living during the emergence of impressionism and having a predilection for watercolor helped; the former with its emphasis on reflected light; the latter with its luminosity and sense of ease (despite watercolor being one of the most demanding mediums).

By Patra Taylor

As it turns out, you can go home again. Just asked commercial photographer turned contemporary artist, J. Kevin Foltz. After wandering the planet for most of his adult life, fueling his creative muse through the people and places he’s encountered along the way, Foltz recently returned to the Lowcountry and easily fell back into the grits-okra-oyster roast lifestyle of his youth. He admits that fishing and the shrimping (and living closer to his parents) also played a major role in his decision to make the move back to the area from South Florida which served as home base for his work for better than 15 years.

Under the Dome

By Lasley Poe Steever

It’s been a little more than a year since the Gibbes Museum reopened its doors after a two-year renovation and we are delighted by the response we’ve received from locals, visitors, sponsors and patrons, partners and the art community at large. We’ve seen more than 50,000 visitors, including 6,000 school-aged children; curated 11 new exhibitions; provided 20 tri-county schools with in-school art programs; hosted seven visiting artists; offered more than 65 programs and classes for adults; and by the end of the summer will have produced thirteen weeks of summer art camp. Our first floor Education Center includes four classrooms/studios to house our hands-on art programs and visiting artists as well as a lecture and reception hall perfect for film screenings, lectures, concerts and events. Having these dedicated spaces in the building has been a game-changer because of the opportunities we have been able to provide and we have loved it.


Mercury newspaper racks are located at the following locations:

The Meeting Street Inn

Clair's Service Station at 334 Folly Rd.

Harris Teeter on Houston-Northcutt Blvd.

The Square Onion in I'On

Mt. Pleasant Library on Mathis Ferry Rd.