This weekend will be a busy one in downtown Charleston.

In addition to the folks coming out for the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival this weekend, it’s also the First Friday Art Walk in the French Quarter.

The majority of galleries will be open to the public 5-8 p.m. showing the latest exhibits.

Here’s a smattering of what’s going on, but your best bet will be to just wander around the French Quarter, especially towards Gallery Row on Broad Street.

Gallery Row

Acclaimed artist Santiago Perez will be at the Mary Martin Gallery showing his magical, fantastical, realistic characters of murgatroids, eggmen and princesses. It’s hard to explain in writing how awesomely strange these are.

Visit Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art to see local artist Christian Snedeker’s signature marsh scenes, Folly Beach and church camp paintings.

Walk upstairs and check out the works of Hilarie Lambert, Michael Gray and Tina Christophilis at the Lambert Gray Gallery.

For a bit of a different flavor, see the landscape and figurative oil paintings of Beijing artist Hai-Ou Hou at Coco Vivo Fine Art.

At Ellis-Nicholson Fine Art, Judy Bauman’s impasto paintings really are “One of a Kind,” which is the name of her exhibit. These vivid works created by a thick application of paint with a palette knife convey emotions of fun and happiness.

At Robison and Richard Fine Art, Sharon Rusch Shaver of Nashville, Tenn., will be showing her oils remembering her many travels. Shaver is a member of the International Plein Air Painters.

Find out more at

Artist Guild Gallery

“It seems to me Charleston charms one to plant. The simplest and most beautiful camellia, the hardy climbing rose, the ever-blooming hybrid azaleas, and all the annuals fit to bloom. My garden and the surrounding beauty of the Lowcountry have become part of my life and take all the fruits of the spirit to endure. Cut flowers are one of the rewards that inspire me to paint,” Mary Stuart Hay said of her show at the Charleston Artist Guild Gallery.

Hay’s show focuses on the natural beauty surrounding us, especially floral still lifes.

Her show will be up through March at 160 East Bay St.

There will be a reception 6-8 p.m. Friday at the gallery.

Robert Lange Studios

In this group show called “Evolution,” 20 artists were asked to find a piece of art from their childhood and create a new painting referencing the older work.

In addition to showing both pieces of art, there will be a short description telling the story behind the younger work.

“ ‘Evolution’ has already become one of my favorite group show themes. Finding an older work forces the artist to really take a look at how far they’ve come, and there have been a lot of laughs as we’ve talked about those first paintings,” said Megan Lange, gallery co-owner.

Fellow artist, husband and gallery co-owner Robert Lange agrees and adds, “Our hope is for the work to inspire visitors to the show in their own creative endeavors.”

Artists participating in the show include: Robert Lange, Nathan Durfee, Amy Lind, Fred Jamar, Kerry Brooks, Jessica Dunegan, Joshua Flint, Ali Cavanaugh, JB Boyd, Megan Aline, Adam Hall, Erik Johnson, Mia Bergeron, KC Collins, Karen Ann Myers, Heather Horton, Shannon Runquist and Francis Sills.

Robert Lange Studios is at 2 Queen St. Call 805-8052 or go to

‘Steel Magnolias’

“If you can’t find anything good to say about anybody, come sit by me.”

That line is one of the most famous from “Steel Magnolias,” a funny, endearing and heart-warming story of a small group of women in a tiny town in Louisiana.

Directed by Sheri Grace Wenger of Midtown Productions, this show has been called “the funniest play ever to make you cry.”

The show stars Emily Giant, Leslie Vicary, Susie Hallatt, Hope Grayson, Susan Lovell and Joanna Cretella.

They’ve had sold-out performances for the last few weeks, and you’ve only got a few chances left to see “Steel Magnolias” at Midtown, behind the Walgreens at the intersection of Camp and Folly roads on James Island.

There are performances at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and March 7-9 with a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m.

For tickets, call 795-2223 or purchase online at