From The Blog

Kiawah Art Guild Paints a Community Picture for Island Artists

With Kiawah’s gorgeous landscape, it’s no surprise that a healthy number of community members are also artists. For them, the Kiawah Art Guild is a 32-year-old institution on the island, which welcomes all Kiawah visual artists (with the exception of photographers, who have a medium-specific club) who produce original art. The 47 current members include painters in oil and watercolor, mixed media artists, and even a sculptor. Dan Prickett, Mary Houston and Lisa Giles serve as the executive team.

The guild is made up primarily of amateur artists, who have retired from their original careers and can devote time to their artistic passions. It’s something that Dan knows well. The oil painter says that the pursuit is consuming. “You can get lost in that world, and work right through lunch.” Though Dan and some other guild members sell their work, others choose not to. “The commercial market is saturated with Lowcountry scenes,” and some artists prefer to give away or even paint over their works to reuse the materials. As a community for the island’s artists, the guild helps foster relationships with other Kiawah Island artists as well as their development through workshops, critiques, and demonstrations that any guild member can attend. According to Dan, “we learn from each other.”

By facilitating member-only gatherings, the artists are able to expand their knowledge and put new ideas into practice. This week, members attended a demonstration by Katherine Gagnon at the Sandcastle focused on using paper. The demo illustrates one of the benefits of the guild; Dan noted that he will attend the demo, even though as an oil painter he works on canvas or board. “I don’t think about paper,” he said. That’s part of the fun. For the 2023-2024 calendar, the guild has a number of constructive critiques, which any member can join to have their work reviewed by fellow artist members, and a three-day oil painting workshop at the Sandcastle.

Beyond the hands-on, the guild sometimes explores broader topics. At its annual meeting earlier this year, Kiawah Island resident and former copyright attorney Jon Baumgarten discussed art and generative AI. He prompted ChatGPT to generate two Shakespearean sonnets (see one below) about their meeting, then tied that into a discussion about art copyrights. While not directly related to art creation or technique, it was a stimulating discussion that got members to “think about the art world in an intellectual way.”

If you are a Kiawah artist interested in joining the guild, you can find membership information on their website at kiawahartguild.org. If you aren’t an artist but are interested in supporting these local artists, you can find links to their individual websites as well. You can also attend the Kiawah Art Guild Art Show at the Kiawah Municipal Center on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Art and Artisan Showcase at the Sandcastle on Nov. 17 and 18.


Initial prompt: Please describe in Shakespearean sonnet form, a meeting of the Kiawah Art Guild an organization of visual artists in South Carolina, to discuss generative AI.

ChatGPT’s Sonnet #1

In Kiawah’s heart, where artists’ spirits soar, The Art Guild met, their talents to explore. With brush and canvas, they create with grace., Yet AI’s potential filled the meeting space.

Generative AI, a topic of intrigue, In Shakespearean sonnet I’ll now oblige. They gathered ‘round, with passion in their eyes, To learn of AI’s creative enterprise.

In South Carolina’s beauty they convened, To ponder how this tech could paint, it seemed. With minds as open as a coastal breeze, They sought to merge AI and art with ease.

The Kiawah Art Guild, bound by their devotion,
To merge their craft with AI’s grand innovation.
In hope that through this union, they might see,
New horizons in their artistry set free.