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.

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).

Keeping up with King Street 

By Susan Lucas

It’s oyster season.

Here in the Lowcountry, on any given day — if the wind is right — we can smell the ocean. If we’re oyster fans, we can taste it. September is typically thought of as the beginning of the “r” months and the oyster harvesting season, but, in Charleston, January and February is the time when scores of fundraiser oyster roasts occur. The world’s largest, the Lowcountry Oyster Festival at Boone Hall Plantation, is held at the end of January, inspiring all those that follow. More so than any other time of year, this is oyster season.

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.

The Face of Charleston with Johanna Spinks

By Katharine Mengedoht

Painted by international artist Johanna Spinks, this series is entitled the Face of Charleston; Charlestonian Katherine Mengedoht is the co-creator. The purpose of this public art project is to highlight our city by offering the portrait and story of one individual per month. Each portrait is painted in a single two-hour sitting with no further adjustments or changes. Johanna, Katherine and the subject get to know each other during the sitting and the life story of the sitter is gleaned from their time together. This is award-winning portraitist Johanna Spinks’ third installment of “The Face of …” project. To find out more, go to


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.