Apparently artists in Charleston are mostly family oriented and must be spending quality time with their loved ones this holiday weekend, as there isn’t the normal hustle and bustle of art openings.

However, I’d like to suggest that you keep your local creative community at the top of your list as you start your Christmas shopping.

Matt Overend

Artist Matt Overend’s paintings have been described as “originating in solitude.” Influenced by his surroundings in rural Smoaks, his still-life’s, landscapes and architectural studies often have a quiet, reflective feel about them.

Referencing this quiet solitude, the artist said, “As what an artist paints becomes what he sees, and what he sees eventually becomes what he feels, the paintings are influenced by living here in South Carolina. In particular, the landscapes, the road and field studies, the pine trees, are, of course, determined in every actual sense by the air, the light and, above all, the horizon — how land meets sky. The flat, straight-arrow edge of earth and sky, when placed in relation to the vertical and horizontal edge of the canvas, creates an immediate design — an architecture, an opportunity for variation and a motivation to search for an asymmetrical balance, an arrangement around the center of the canvas, the zero point about which that balance can be built.”

To me, many of these works seem to have quite a wintry feel about them. Perhaps it’s the quietness.

Overend’s paintings are being exhibited at Rick Rhodes Photography & Imaging, 1842 Belgrade Ave. in West Ashley, until the end of the month. Call 766-7425 or go to

Still on view

‘Lowcountry Reflections’: This exhibit by local artist Lisa Graves is inspired by travels throughout the Lowcountry. The collection remains on view through Dec. 30 at The Meeting Place, 1077 E. Montague Ave., North Charleston. As it’s a window display, the landscapes and seascapes are available for viewing 24/7. Go to for more.

‘Contemporary Cross Currents’: This group exhibition by members of BAMN’N LLC and special guests is on display through the end of the month at the North Charleston City Gallery inside the Charleston Area Convention Center. BAMN’N is an acronym for By Any Means Necessary, Now, and members include Marty Biernbaum, Arianne King Comer, Hank D. Herring, KTC and Addelle Sanders. Special guests featured in “Contemporary Cross Currents” include Susanne Frenzel, Andrea Hazel, Hampton R. Olfus Jr., Pedro Rodriquez, Francina Smalls-Joyner and Cookie Washington. The gallery is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 740-5854 or go to for more.