A look at Charleston's outdoor murals and street art (Update: More, more, more)

Image by Amanda Click / TheDigitel Patch Whisky's new work out in Park Circle

Updates are at the bottom:

When you think of Charleston, you don't usually think street art. Rightfully so, the Holy City is most well known for her gorgeous architecture, historical significance, bustling port and delicious food. However, there is a strong presence of unique and beautiful street art and outdoor murals that dot the Lowcountry landscape. I've made it my personal mission to document the best of the best.

The first stop on my adventure was to the street art mecca on Folly Road. If you've lived in Charleston for at least a year, you've most likely heard about or seen Douglas Panzone's expansive work on the walls behind the building that houses Rogue Motion and Buffalo South on your way out to Folly Beach. If not, you need to make the trip. Panzone's work is top notch. The colors will blow your mind and the subject matter is both eclectic and engaging.









You can take a look at 55 other images of Panzone's work from all around the Lowcountry and the rest of America on his official website, DynastyaMuralWorks.com.

Next, I headed back downtown to snap some pictures of a more recent serial tagger. I have yet to figure out exactly who this artist is, but he/she has a two stencil combo that has popped up in multiple places around town with the tag "Tomate." I first noticed their work in the Garden Theatre parking lot on King Street, just across from Urban Outfitters. That has since been covered up, but their work can still be found outside of the Starbucks on the corner of East Bay and Calhoun streets as wells as further up East Bay beside Moulf's Supply. These stencils, always grouped together, have a message; check them out below.




If there's one name that's synonymous with street art, it's Shepard Fairey. In December of 2010, Fairey, a Charleston native and controversial art icon, added a new work to the Charleston streetscape. You can find his work on the facade of 103 Spring Street, home of Eye Level Art.






**UPDATE** The Shepard Fairey mural has been covered over by local artists John Pundt and ISHMAEL, among others. The new look of the 103 Spring Street wall can be seen below.

Eye Level Art



To round out this first smattering of photos is the mural on the side of Willow Salon, located downtown at 4 Liberty Street. The new mural was done to celebrate the switch from Elysium Salon to Willion Salon. The artist's name is Anson Cyr.



Keep an eye out for the second part of this post that'll be coming at you early next week. If you'd like to witness some live street art, be sure to come out to the Burger Babies Urban Picnic and watch Matt Schrock live paint. Until next week!

Update September 20: As part of the Charleston Pour House's 10th anniversary celebrations, a handful of local artists decorated the music venue's walls with some love via murals.

A competition was held to see which mural people liked best, and I'll tell you which artist won, but not until you take a peek at rest of the brand new art adorning the Pour House walls. 


"If I Only Had 8 Arms..." by Amanda McLenon


"Elaine Brown 4 President" by Beth Harley


"Where Everybody Knows Your Name" by Kyle Kramer


"Cary Sings" by Willis Tant


"Metamorphosis of Song" by Michele Levani


"Jazz" by Bly Triplett


"Man & Hibiscus" by Sierra Gibson


"Hindsight 51/50" by Jack Powell

And the overall winner was -- "Man & Hibiscus" by Sierra Gibson.

Update January 26: The ChART Outdoor Initiative, led by Lava Salon co-owner Geoff Richardson, has one mission: to bring art to all the nooks and crannies of Charleston.

The chART Outdoor Initiative & Gallery consists of public community art spaces supporting contemporary artists working in the visual arts which kicked off in the Avondale neighborhood of West Ashley. You can get a look at the photos of the Avondale art here.

ChART recently expanded to the Park Circle area of North Charleston with fantastic (yet incomplete) works by Patch Whisky, Ishmael (the gorilla) and Molly Rose Freeman (blue mural). Below are the newest outdoor mural installments which can be found adorning the walls of an unassuming building located at 4845 Jenkins Avenue.

Patch Whisky mural

Patch Whisky

Patch Whisky

Patch Whisky

Patch Whisky at work



Molly Rose Freeman


Update April 2: There have been some new stencil sightings in town and they are pretty hilarious.

A pirate guinea pig!

You can see these little guys on the the side of the old towing company's building right next to Tattooed Moose on Morrison Drive or on the wall of Dudley's on Ann that faces the Charleston School Of Law. As you can see below, the pirate guinea pig near at Dudley's has a little friend.





Update April 5: Josh Curry over at the Charleston City Paper went on his own mural hunt and has come back with some great photos.

Some images overlap with what we've already posted, but he does have a nice set of the ChArt murals in Avondale, the GrowFoods Carolina mural on Morrison Drive and works by children involved in the Yo Art! Project.

Hop over and take a look.