Art + Music

Artists of the Lowcountry at Kiawah River

The ebb and flow of the tide and the water’s slow crawl to the sea set the pace for life in the Charleston Lowcountry and for life at Kiawah River. Being part of the sea islands, Kiawah River sits on the largest barrier island in South Carolina. Between its emblematic oak trees and breathtaking marsh views, there is nothing more iconic – and thus nothing more represented in regional art – than the scenes of the Lowcountry.

The state of South Carolina is commonly divided into three swaths of culturally-distinct, and therefore artistically-distinct, geographies: the Upstate, the Midlands, and the Lowcountry. The line that separates the Midlands from the Lowcountry, referred to as the fall line, marks the drastic change from the rocky ground of the Piedmont to the sandy floor of the coastal plain. It marks where the South Carolina shoreline used to be thousands of years ago. It’s this soil change that keeps the Lowcountry culturally and artistically separate from the rest of the state and thus culturally and artistically iconic.

One of the easiest and most aesthetically pleasing ways to take in the culture of the sandy-soiled Lowcountry is through its art, and Kiawah River provides the perfect space for that with our artist cabins.

Designed with the residents and visitors of Kiawah River in mind, these artist cabins will provide the perfect space for people to watch artists working on their crafts.

Each artist will spend a few hours each day working in a space that is open to the public. Visitors can watch them work, ask them about their craft, and maybe even take a stab at it themselves. The artists chosen for this task are going to be of the Lowcountry and their work Lowcountry inspired. Kiawah River wants the culture of the area viewed in these artist cabins. The art of the sea islands will be accessible to those visiting or living on the property.

The marsh scenes may hold a starring role in the paintings of the Lowcountry, but Kiawah River has more than just that. Between sculptors, musicians, painters, and weavers, there will be an endless amount of art and culture at Kiawah River. Sculptors will come showcase their process while guests can choose to simply watch or mold some clay pottery themselves. Basket weaving is another notable craft in the Lowcountry and is yet another craft represented in the artist cabins. The art of weaving these baskets, referred to as sweet grass baskets, dates back to the Civil War and before then, to Africa. Residents and visitors can sit down with an artist weaving a basket and learn their methods and maybe even try a few. The artist cabins will be an interactive place for people to learn more about the culture of the sea islands and to learn more about the art it inspires.

Paintings by Anne Darby Parker.

There’s a lot of history in a state as interesting and geographically diverse as South Carolina, and much of its story is represented in its art. The goal of the artist cabins is to continue that while fostering culture and arts in Charleston area. And who knows? Maybe an up-and-coming Lowcountry artist will get their start in these cabins and flourish among the nurturing support they receive from the visitors and residents at Kiawah River.