We’ll take any excuse to traipse around downtown’s art galleries, but when you throw in trays of food prepared by some of the city’s best chefs, it’s impossible to say no. Ten of the Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association’s galleries teamed up with chefs and staffers from local restaurants for the event. I’ve learned from experience that tackling all 10 galleries requires some advance planning, so I carefully mapped my route and the time allowed at each stop — with a total two-hour event run time, minus the time it took to rush between galleries, we had a little less than 10 minutes at each stop to enjoy the food, chug a glass of wine, and do a quick browse of the artwork.
We started at Ella Richardson Fine Art with some light appetizers of Geechie Boy figs and compressed melon with Serrano ham. Martin Gallery had La Bubbly and compressed local watermelon topped with housemade boursin and fried arugula from Social, and we got a chance to check out Don Dudenbostel’s Smogasbord exhibit. Sean Brock was front and center (unlike a lot of other chefs) at Smith-Killian Fine Art dishing out mortadella meatballs, while Corrigan had charcuterie from Cypress and the Happy Camper Snoballs airstream parked outside. While few of the galleries unveiled exciting new shows for the event, Robert Lange Studios was a highlight with the What We Choose exhibit, not to mention macaroons and chocolates from Charleston Grill.
The crowds were noticeably smaller than in recent years, which gave us mixed feelings. It was nice not to have to wait in line for food and drinks, reducing the rush factor. At the same time, the energy level just couldn’t compare to previous strolls. Hopefully, despite the smaller crowds, the event was still able to raise plenty of funds for CFADA’s visual arts scholarship fund.