This story was featured in the February 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art February 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
It’s the largest event of its kind in the country. On President’s Day weekend, the 32nd annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition takes over the city of Charleston and brings 500 artists and exhibitors together to showcase the beauty of the natural world. Over 40,000 attendees are expected this year as the expo continues to support the local economy with its focus on the visual arts while promoting the conservation and preservation of nature.
The show hosts the world’s foremost experts in wildlife and natural art, conservation research, and environmental education. With artists representing nearly every genre and medium, SEWE treats visitors to a plethora of entertainment through fine art, conservation exhibits, sporting demonstrations, and special events.
This year’s featured artist is Chad Poppleton, a wildlife painter, avid sportsman, and conservationist. His painting HIGH GROUND is this year’s featured painting and subject of the official SEWE 2014 poster. “Chad is amazing. He’s from Hyrum, UT, and he’s a big outdoorsman,” says Mary Roberts, marketing director for the expo. “He spends a lot of time out in the field observing and taking pictures and captures a lot of his life experiences in his art.”
Participating artist Dianne MunKittrick brings a lifetime of nature and wildlife experience to this year’s expo. Having worked in the natural resource field and in vegetation studies across the country, MunKittrick now paints what she loves in a way that encapsulates the spirit of the animals and natural world she observes.
Three decades after its founding, the show continues to add to its reputation of having an eclectic mix of events to entice visitors. This year the Charleston Symphony Orchestra will play as two artists create an original painting to be auctioned. And a special sale titled 99 Bottles of Art on the Wall features bottles of wine adorned with original four-by-five-inch paintings created by participating artists. “We’re still holding true to the original mission,” Roberts says. “But the variety of art has grown; there are a lot of landscape paintings here, great sculptors and carvers. Our artist director works really hard to expand SEWE’s horizons.” —Joe Kovack
Featured in the February 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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