LOCATED on Broad Street’s historic Gallery Row, Sweetgrass Fine Art Gallery showcases the incredible talent of local and internationally recognized artists. The 1852 colonial home turned art gallery features six separate salons, four fireplaces and a bricked courtyard. This gallery’s impressive roster includes owner and artist Mick Elam, renowned painters Anne E. London, Holly Glasscock and Alana Knuff.
Mick Elam’s first two careers were immersed in realism. As a fighter pilot, if he didn’t keep things right, the chance of not getting the job done (or worse) was a real possibility. As an engineer, slipping off into the direction of non-realism happened too often. These slips were called “mistakes” and is what an engineer strives very hard to avoid. Elam views his third (and final) career as being “pretty darn nifty.” Water encompasses a majority of his painting; however, he also paints a lot of Lowcountry scenes. Although his oil painting style would be defined as realistic, he notes, “I do what I do with no limits.”
Holly Glasscock is a full-time studio artist who blends originality and tradition through her realistic and coloristic style. Her predominant medium is oil. She is noted for her landscapes and wildlife of the South Carolina Lowcountry, and she has an affinity for the rich, low light of the dawn and dusk hours. Glasscock studied advertising and graphic design at Winthrop University but is largely self-taught in the fine arts. She recognizes the importance of continuing her artistic education and diligently works at her craft of painting by participating regularly in workshops offered by notable artists. She also teaches adult art classes in her home studio weekly.
As young as 5, Alana Knuff drew. At age 9, she entered a national art contest and won second prize. The sponsor, Kellogg, was impressed by her talent. Both the analytical and the artistic shape her life. Her mother, a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, and her father, an engineer from Case Western Reserve, influenced her studies. Knuff excelled in life drawing in college and graduated with a degree in mathematics. Much of her artwork is oil on linen. Her subjects are portraits, figurative and marine art. Primarily self-taught, her artwork displays remarkable draftsmanship with compositions intentionally leading the viewer. She terms her style “romantic realism.”
Nature-loving artist Anne E. London has developed a remarkable career as an internationally acclaimed artist and champion of the conservation of endangered species. “I have always known, even as a small child, where my destiny was headed,” says the wildlife artist. During her early career in movie studio graphic design, London began working with the actress Tippi Hedren, doing storyboarding and logo design. Hedren founded the Shambala Preserve, a refuge in California for big cats, elephants and many other endangered species. It was then that London first realized she could meld her artwork with her love for animals. In the decades since, she has developed a remarkable career as both an internationally recognized artist and a champion of animal conservation.