SEWE 2018 brings more than 100 wildlife artists to Charleston

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) runs February 16-18. One of the highlights of the event is the more than 100 artists who come to Charleston from across the world. This weekend, Charleston Place will be filled with more than 2,500 pieces of original artwork.

SEWE Art Curator, Natalie Henderson, says, “It is all wildlife, sporting art, all nature inspired. You’ll find everything from North American big game to landscapes. It really runs the gamut.”

She says wildlife art has a way of taking you on a journey.

Henderson says, “That’s why I think representational art, wildlife art, is so meaningful to people. It really tells a story and shares history.”

One of this year’s SEWE artists is Peggy Watkins. She’s a former accountant turned full time painter. She draws inspiration from all sorts of wildlife, from hunting dogs in the Lowcountry to lions in Africa.

Watkins says, “I’m fortunate that I get to travel all over the world, and I gather my reference material, and experience the animals first hand. And because I do a lot of dog artwork as well, I get to go down to Thomasville and into those kind of places and do quail shooting myself.”

Watkins invited News 2 to her studio to check out a piece she is finishing for SEWE. She says the average painting takes about two weeks and they will be available in the SEWE Fine Art Gallery. Watkins is also putting herself to the test with a Quick Draw demonstration on Saturday.

She says, “It’s a very challenging event where an artist only has one hour to start and finish a work of art.”

When the hour is up, the piece is auctioned to one of the spectators.

Watkins says, “They stand around you and they watch it, and they ask questions, so it’s really great and interactive and a lot of fun.”

Tickets to the Birds of a Feather Ladies Brunch Benefit where Watkins will be doing the Quick Draw are available here. For more information about where to find Peggy Watkins’ paintings, click here. For a complete look at the artists who will have work on display this weekend, click here.

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