Arts & Culture

A New Southern Source for Affordable Art

What started in 2010 as an online “gallery” for Charleston, South Carolina, artists to sell their work has now expanded

Anne Darby Parker

If you love supporting Southern artists, but can’t quite swing bringing a Bill Dunlap home, Charleston Artist Collective founder Allison Williamson has an app (er, Instagram account) for that. What started in 2010 as an online “gallery” for Charleston, South Carolina, artists to sell their work has now expanded to include Atlanta artists, with a Nashville Artist Collective debuting in the fall.

Williamson’s brainchild arrived just as online art-buying began to take off. “I wanted local art to be delivered to people’s desktops—at their computers, phones, and through social media,” Williamson says. “I realized some people wanted art, but didn’t have time to visit galleries or couldn’t afford their prices. And I believed that if it could work in Charleston, it could grow to other cities. “It’s so rewarding to give these artists the confidence to grow their talent.”

Like many Internet businesses from Amazon to Warby Parker, Williamson is going old-school, too, with a brick and mortar gallery and studio with artists at work set to open in Charleston this September. “I am really looking forward to being able to connect face-to-face,” Williamson says. “The opportunities for increased artist-to-artist and artist-to-client communication will only improve what we do online.”

We asked Williamson to share a little more about the Holy City artists that inspired her enterprise—and works that say Southern summer to her. They follow below and are shoppable (you guessed it) online at and @charlestonartistcollective.

Summer Rush
Southern artist: Emily Brown
Medium and Size: 24” x 18” acrylic and oil pastel on canvas
Price: $525

“Emily Brown works out of her studio in her home on Sullivan’s Island. She has a great eye for layering paint and line and sometimes incorporates paper to add unexpected texture. Her work embodies the light-hearted feel of summer in the South because of her use of bright colors. I love using her large abstracts in a living room or a bedroom for pops of color and her small pieces work beautifully in bookcases.”

Sitting Nude with Palms
Southern artist: Anne Darby Parker
Medium and Size: 18” x 24” ink and acrylic on paper
Price: $500

“Anne Darby Parker’s studio is in her house on Sullivan’s Island. She is very prolific and it is so interesting to see how her work has evolved through the years. Her figure paintings add a sophisticated element that I really enjoy. They are so versatile. And this figure painting with yellow and purple drips epitomizes a hot summer day in the South.”

Storm Swell
Southern artist: Cindy DeAntonio
Medium and Size: 11” x 14” mixed media on canvas
Price: $400

“I was first drawn to Cindy’s work because I liked her use of graphic lines. Her studio is located on the Isle of Palms. She is drawn to cool colors as her compositions are typically inspired by the marsh or ocean of the Lowcountry. This piece was inspired by the late afternoon storms we get here on the coast during the summer months.”


Southern artist: Ann Keane
Medium and Size: 12” x 10” oil on linen-covered birch board
Price: $275


“Ann Keane’s studio is in the backyard of her home in the Old Village in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She has an amazing view of the marsh from her front porch. She started out painting more representational landscapes and seascapes and has gone more abstract as time has passed. I like her use of vertical and horizontal lines and how she still suggests elements of a landscape.”

Patches of Green
Southern artist: Shannon Wood
Medium and Size: 12” x 36” oil on canvas
Price: $850

“Charleston artist Shannon Wood works in oils and uses a lot of turpentine to thin out the paint and treat her pieces more like watercolors. She likes to paint on different sizes and shapes of canvases. Sometimes she will even sew marsh reeds on to the canvas. Her work captures the peace and tranquility drawn from the ocean and quiet marshes.”

Come Sail Away
Southern artist: Janie Ball
Medium and Size: 40” x 16” oil on canvas
Price: $1,300

“One of my favorite things to do is watch the sailboats and regattas in the Charleston harbor and I love Charleston artist Janie Ball’s sailboats because they have an amazing depth that mimics wind in the sails and her panoramic shaped canvases mimic a real view of the harbor.”