Art Guild Serves all Ages and Unites Community
The Charleston Young Artists Guild emerged at the end of 2016 as a solution to the limited opportunities for
local art education in both public and private settings. Founder Kristine Petersons who has taught in both,
noticed the gap between adult artist communities and the lack of options for young students enthusiastic
about art. She says, “The benefits of an art guild or community are numerous, and include creative
inspiration, motivation and accountability through peer and professional networking, as well as charity
through art, artist empowerment, and exhibition opportunities.” Peterson gained this insight
as the youngest member of one of the local adult art guilds.
Peterson watched her students struggle to develop and maintain a passionate practice of creating art outside the classroom. There was a need for peer encouragement, inspiration and connection with successful adult artists. “Board members Morgan Nuss and Elizabeth Anderson, parent of our first
young artist member, have been essential in the development of this organization, immediately seeing its inherent value and rallying for its growth
and success,” says Peterson.
The service provided by Charleston Young Artists Guild is twofold, serving both young artists and the greater Charleston region. “It provides students with diverse experiences and perspectives, and it unites them with opportunities to discover the reality that their voices and their art matters,” advises Peterson.
“We want these young artists, once grasping the value of their creativity, to then use their artwork to communicate ideas that can help others. These young
artists will grow up and hopefully provide a strong, educated community of adult artists who keep visual arts deeply embedded into Charleston's cultural
The organization is comprised of young artists in grades four through 12. Members attend monthly guild meetings to learn such aspects of artistic life as
meeting etiquette and organization, visual art production techniques, career exploration and charity toward others through the visual arts.
Volunteer opportunities are available for local artists to open their studios or offer their time to share skills
and wisdom with guild members. “Camela Guevara, outreach coordinator for Artist & Craftsman Supply, a
local art supply store, has generously given demonstrations for our members, opening their eyes to the latest
art supplies available to them,” notes Peterson. “Local printmaking studio Ink Meets Paper opened their doors
to us to show us the fascinating and preserved art of analog printing on centuries-old machines.”
Volunteering also involves Lowcountry business owners offering their spaces as exhibition venues.
“Everyone can help sustain the appreciation and celebration of our young artist members' artwork through
purchases or promotion,” explains Peterson. “We are currently displaying and selling blank notecard sets
with our members' artwork on them, and we'd love to have our notecards in your local business!” Income from the cards and art goes to the
membership of the Guild for generating more art or is donated to other local charities.
Charleston Young Artists Guild membership has doubled in its second year, and early projects include painting the Folly Boat, cultivating community at a
booth at the North Charleston Arts Festival (NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com) and organizing an art walk through downtown Charleston galleries, culminating
in meeting noted artist Ken Hamilton.
The Guild also helps members submit artwork to local and national exhibitions and competitions and they participate in local art events such as the Book
Nook Mural, hosted by Redux and EnoughPie. Recently, they participated in Unplug, Daniel Island, a 24-hour-long community fast from technology, by
hosting a Zen Coloring activity that invited people of all ages to slow down, socialize and create as an alternative to being plugged in all the time.
For more information, visitTinyurl.com/YoungArtistsGuild.