Whether you are looking for an original fine art painting, hand-carved bowl, bespoke bauble or fun art class or workshop, you will discover an enchanting emporium at ART on the Square in the Nexton community just outside of Summerville. “It’s a grown-up version of Art Central,” says Debbie Grogen, one of the nine owners of the fine art gallery.
Grogen has lived in the Lowcountry her entire life. After studying in high school and college, she was a nurse for more than 34 years before she studied with numerous local and international artists and circled back to her true passion. She and eight of the original founders of Art Central moved the gallery to the Nexton community in November 2019, rebranded and began a new chapter after enjoying 20 years in downtown Summerville.
The next chapter in the gallery’s story is brimming with hope and happiness. Grogen is delighted that people visiting ART on the Square can enjoy all the perks of its stellar location in one of the fastest-growing locations in the tri-county community. “It’s conveniently right off I-26 and offers premier shopping and dining. You can find virtually anything in the bustling community … sushi, collard greens, steak,” she says.
ART on the Square represents more than 30 award-winning artists and showcases works from consignment artists, including jewelry, pottery, sculpture, hand-carved wooden bowls and photography. The eclectic collection offers shoppers, at any price point, an array of ways to decorate their lives. “No matter what you have to spend, you can buy original art that you will enjoy,” notes Grogen.
The galley is brimming with original pieces that “Junk Dog” artist Larry Alexis created from recycled materials. Although Alexis has not had any formal art training, he always loved drawing and got hooked once he took a painting class in 2018. He subsequently joined a guild, was awarded multiple prizes and had his works displayed in local and national shows. ART on the Square is a great forum for him to showcase his work, engage with other artists and meet art lovers and prospective customers.
ART on the Square has provided a haven for art lovers to enjoy art, take classes and workshops, and connect with artists during the pandemic. The founders are dedicated to promoting arts and artists, engaging the community and providing art education. “It’s been a wonderful turnout of people for the classes and workshops. The community is hungry to learn,” says Grogen, who invites people to come in, relax and enjoy a class. She notes that the class fee includes all the materials, and you leave with a finished piece.
Upcoming classes include Mosaic Arts with artist Linda Scavio, who creates beautiful textile collages with fun fabrics. Scavio enjoys teaching students to manipulate thousands of pieces of fabric to design creative creatures. Jan Dalton will lead a class on watercolor batiks on rice paper, while Renee Bruce will instruct classes on watercolor and acrylic painting. Grogen and Belle Anderson join to teach a class using alcohol ink, and Sally Accetta will lead a wonderful acrylic watercolor workshop.
“All artists are just a joy to be around,” says Grogen, who says that many of her customers turn into artists. Stop by the 2,000-square-foot gallery, where you will find free parking and a plethora of ways to spend the day. *
Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle, luxury and travel writer. Her works have appeared in Art New England, Boston, Boston Common Magazine, Coastal Design Magazine, Charleston Style & Design, Modern Luxury Chicago, Ocean Home Magazine, Playboy.com, RD.com and many others. A lover of big words and little white dogs, Stacey’s biggest joys are found in life’s simple moments.