On October 2, Robert Lange Studios will be moving to a new location at 2 Queen Street while mounting perhaps its most ambitious show since its gallery opening five years ago. Starting at 5 p.m. on October 2, the anniversary of the gallery, artist Nathan Durfee will present “Thoughts Between the Sky and Sea.” Durfee’s popular original paintings, ink drawings, and sketchbooks will remain on exhibit through October.
Gallery owner Robert Lange says, “Nathan’s paintings ignite the imagination of creative people, drawing them into an uncharted nostalgic world of the curious and inconceivable. I can’t think of a better artist to jump start our new location.”
For the opening, Durfee has created over thirty-five of these curious and whimsical works. Durfee’s paintings will not be the only thing for patrons to enjoy; the massive 2700 sq. foot space will have new work from all twelve RLS artists, as well as some creative renovations and special touches.
The old antebellum warehouse where the gallery is relocating has been charged with creative energy since the early sixties. Local renowned sculpture, Willard Hirsch bought the building and turned it into his studio. It has remained occupied by artists ever since.
“The sculptures I walk by everyday in Washington Park were created in the room I will soon have my easel set-up,” says Lange. “The space has such a rich artistic history I feel inspired just entering it.”
The exterior of the 1840 building will remain the same and is build out of local gray brick. The lettering can still vaguely be seen reading C. Wulbern & Co. Warehouse No. 2. In designing the front entrance to the space over thirty years ago, Hirsch handcrafted metal sculptures to adorn the window panels. Lange will be adding his own personal touch to the exterior by hand painting the new gallery sign.
Still to be seen on the interior are the massive 12-by-12 foot beams, exposed brick walls, and arched windows. To bring an element of the Lowcountry into the space Lange purchased an 8-foot-by-16-foot wall of marsh grass floating in resin that will be backlit in one of the rooms.
“Between our five year anniversary, Nathan’s solo show, and the new space, I think there is a lot to celebrate,” says Lange. “Charleston’s art scene has embraced us for the last five years and I think the opening is a great way to say thank you.”
Social Wine Bar & Restaurant will provide the catering; while Charleston Grill provides specialty drinks and Chocolate will be making dessert treates. The opening reception is free and open to the public on October 2 from 5:00 to 8:00 at 2 Queen Street and coincides with the French Quarter Art Walk.