Marie Carladous didn’t plan on opening a gallery, however because the proprietor of Charleston’s latest artwork exhibition house, she admits, “It’s funny how the universe works.”
Originally from France, Carladous moved to Charleston 10 years in the past to finish her studio artwork diploma on the College of Charleston, with a spotlight in movie pictures. Carladous, aka The French Darkroom, is a photographer with a ardour for capturing movie. She understands the wrestle of discovering a companion gallery: “With photography, either film or digital, a lot of galleries don’t want to touch it.”
When Carladous graduated from the faculty, and tried to search out gallery illustration, she discovered many wouldn’t settle for her beloved medium. Even tougher was discovering galleries that had been keen to indicate an rising artist.
With the Gap Gallery at 638 King St. opened in July 2021, Carladous is altering that narrative. The month-to-month exhibitions at Gap Gallery characteristic Charleston’s rising expertise, a few of whom have by no means proven in a gallery earlier than, alongside different established artists.
Carladous calls Charleston a second dwelling, having labored at D’Allesandro’s Pizza for the final eight years. Sibling homeowners Nick and Ben D’Allesandro started renting the house at 638 King St. with the eventual objective of increasing their enterprise. They requested Carladous if she can be concerned.
“One of the owners asked if I would run his next restaurant, and after sitting on it, I said, ‘I really appreciate it, but no — it’s too much of a commitment for me’ … and sort of as a joke, I said, ‘Well, you know, I could use the space as my art studio until you figure it out,’” Carladous recalled, laughing.
“Two weeks later, he came to me and said you know what, that’s a great idea. Come and get the key.”
When Carladous noticed simply how a lot wall house she had at 638 King, she determined to unfold the generosity her mates Ben and Nick had shared along with her.
Carladous referred to as upon her group of artist-friends, and inside two weeks, she was placing on a collective exhibition held at Gap Gallery in late July. The exhibitions, or “volumes,” have change into a month-to-month prevalence — the photographer-turned-gallerist hosted her fourth opening Nov. 19, with plans for the ultimate quantity on this momentary house, Volume Five, to be held on Dec. 17.
Artists featured within the gallery’s most up-to-date exhibition included painters Will Thornton, recognized professionally as Smug Lips, and Casey Rae Allen, combined media artists Anna Chen and Nicole Trimmer, and photographers Dontre Major and Jillian Thorvaldson, simply to call a couple of of the 22 artists complete who had been part of Volume Four. Applications are open by way of Dec. 5 for artists occupied with Volume 5.
Besides the month-to-month exhibitions, the Gap Gallery has additionally hosted reveals like “Diverse Artists of Charleston,” organized by transgender artist Lucas Romanova as a fundraiser. The exhbition featured queer and BIPOC artists, with 20% of the present’s proceeds donated to the Carolina Youth Action Project, a corporation that facilities political schooling and group organizing to construct energy amongst women and trans and gender-nonconforming youth.
Carladous is dedicated to creating house for rising, numerous artists, and to supporting what she feels is an underrepresented perspective in Charleston’s galleries.
Carladous is proud that, with each present, nearly each artist has bought work. Not solely are individuals displaying up — round 250 individuals got here out for the primary exhibition — they’re shopping for artwork, too.
Carladous continues to concentrate on showcasing numerous artists and artworks, particularly pictures.
“I’m really excited about this lineup,” she mentioned of the November exhibition. “I finally have photographers in here, a handful of them, and they all do really different work.”
From the dreamy digital still-lifes of Caroline Herring, to the emotive and highly effective movie of Dontre Major, Carladous, who as soon as had bother discovering illustration for her pictures, has created a spot the place she is ready to provide that illustration to rising artists.
The house at 638 King St. is momentary, and after the Dec. 17 exhibition, Carladous’ goal is to safe a everlasting house, ideally downtown. Stay tuned to the Gap Gallery and Carladous’ work by following @the_french_darkroom on Instagram.