Visiting Charleston is an experience unlike any other. Its large historic district includes businesses and homes dating back centuries. There is ironwork that predates the civil war, cobblestone streets, hidden alley ways, window boxes overflowing with whatever is in bloom, parks and private gardens.
In most cities the Visitor Center is a great place to start. And the same can be said for Charleston. The folks at the Visitor Center on Meeting Street supply helpful information on tours and attractions. But, some of our readers have let us know that they love to start their visit at the Gordon Wheeler Gallery.
Gordon Wheeler is a self taught artist who has been painting since he was a teenager. Born in Pennsylvania, Gordon joined the Army at a young age. After his discharge, he and his wife lived in several states, eventually moving to South Carolina. While painting a series of commissioned originals for the State of South Carolina, he was encouraged to have his paintings printed. Early success with the first prints led to a full time career as a professional artist. Gordon was commissioned by the PGA for various PGA events, beginning with the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah. In 1990, he and his family moved to Charleston and opened Gordon Wheeler Gallery.
Visitors from all over the United States come back to this gallery year after year to see what new Charleston scene Wheeler has captured with his art. The colors, light and architecture of the city are something visitors want to remember and take home with them. People usually react to Gordon’s work by saying they feel like they are a part of the painting – like they are right there. This artist’s work hangs in Istanbul, Paris, London, Ireland, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan. Whether it is Rainbow Row, Charleston Battery, a home on Legare Street or a painting of Philadelphia Alley, Charleston is being fondly remembered in so many homes and businesses around the world.
Charleston Gateway’s Map Guide plays a part in this story as well. Visitors will see the beautiful scenery represented in Wheeler’s art and want to know where to see it in person. The gallery staff can point out on the map where each landmark is located!
Two of Gordon Wheeler’s well loved works, Wisteria on Legare and Afternoon Alley are pictured here. The first is of a home on Legare Street which captures all the features of a home within the old walled City – the wrought iron gate, earthquake bolt, chipped stucco over brick, gas lamps, Palmetto trees and the live oak tree growing out into the street. People who have taken horse carriage rides or walking tours have heard all about these and are happy to have them all here in one piece. The second is of a spot on Philadelphia Alley which is the old dueling alley in Charleston.
This is a one-of-a-kind place to start your visit.
Stop by the gallery at 180 East Bay Street, call 843-722-2546 or visit www.gordonwheelergallery.com.