Arts & Culture

A Southern Artist Returns Home

Kentucky-born Elliott Puckette debuts her first Southern solo show at Charlotte’s SOCO Gallery

Photo: Ariana Clare

SOCO Gallery founder Chandra Johnson (left) and artist Elliott Puckette in front of her painting, Blue Ridge Parkway.

If you’re a fan of iconic modern art, make a beeline for Charlotte, North Carolina, this month to see Elliott Puckette’s Recent Works show at the SOCO Gallery. It’s a homecoming of sorts for the Kentucky native and artist—marking the first time she’s traveled South for a solo gallery opening and the first time her work has been on display publicly in the South since a show at Cheekwood Mansion in Nashville in 1999.

“I have been a huge fan of Elliott’s work for years,” says SOCO Gallery founder Chandra Johnson. “There is a refinement in her work that feels particularly Southern. I find her work expressive, lyrical, and gestural.”

Puckette was born in Kentucky, raised in Tennessee, and is now based in New York, where she began her career nearly three decades ago and lives with her husband, the artist Hugo Guinness, and their daughters. Her calligraphic paintings, known for their strong movement and flourish, are included in permanent collections from the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama to the Whitney Museum of Art in New York City.

Photo: Lydia Bittner-Baird

Puckette’s Recent Works show on display at SOCO Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Puckette, who creates her pieces by carving delicate etchings into gesso or saturated ink washes or drawing in ink on swaths of paper, completed twelve works specifically for SOCO Gallery, including one titled Blue Ridge Parkway, inspired by, fittingly, a trip home.

“I fondly remember my first North-to-South road trip,” Puckette says. “We hit the breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway at dawn. I loved sucking in the mountain air and the way the road undulated. And I was excited to be heading home.”

The show runs through October 27. To see all twelve pieces up close and personal or for more information, visit