BY NANCY K. WELLARD
Special to the Packet/Gazette
Who knew that when Charlene Gardener – founder, owner and director of Four Corners Fine Art and Framing on May River Road in Bluffton – took her first woodworking class in high school in the Hudson Valley that the experience would contribute to her career direction all these years later?
“I always loved to create things with scraps of wood, the detritus of the beginnings of something or the end of something,” Gardener said. “So that was the beginning of me becoming the artist in me.”
“Ultimately our little family up and moved to Bluffton.”
Sometime after their arrival in the Lowcountry, an artist friend of Gardner’s mentioned that she had been in touch with several important artists who shared her interest in art, and they wanted talk about her see unique frames.
The very first gallery and framing location which was “home” to Gardener and her workshop was a kind of designated portion of Brynne Bowler’s studio. Gardener said that, Bowler, the daughter of artist Joe Bowler, was helpful in terms of encouraging her.
Gardener was so successful that she needed to expand the space of her framing operation. She developed a home studio, but ultimately recognized the need to move to her current location on May River Road.
Over the course of 16 years, Gardener met countless artists in various states of their artistic growth, among them Doug Corkern, Jim Lewis, Louanne LaRoche and Peggy Ellis. An impressive list of gallery associates began to form.
The upcoming exhibit at Four Corners Fine Art and Framing – “ Marge and Friends” – features the recent work of seven women artists.
Artist, musician, teacher and writer Nancy K. Wellard focuses on portraying and promoting the cultural arts, first in Los Angeles and, for close to 30 years, in the Lowcountry. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ‘Marge and Friends’ exhibit
“These girls just haven’t quit,” laughed Charlene Gardner, as she praised the work of the seven artists whose recent work fills the gallery walls at Four Corners . “Over the years, these incredibly talented and dedicated women have focused their attentions on the pursuit of their art, by perfecting their works, increasing their approach to their mediums and by participating in special art classes, lectures, and workshops.”
The work of these seven will be featured in the upcoming show, “Marge and Friends,” which begins with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. The artists include painters Clare Ellis, Nancy Dwight, Sally Hickman, and Susan Tarver. Marge Agin, is the standout and the lone photographer, and Nancy Waterhouse and Karen Dale work in pottery. Here’s a sample of their work.