CSA fall share  artist, Alex Waggoner has been very busy getting ready for the upcoming artwork release and her recent exhibition in Alaska. Luckily, co-founder Camela Guevara was able to catch up with her to talk in depth about her work, favorite music, and a surprising fact about avocados and dogs.

CG: Are there any other creative endeavors, besides your paintings that you are working on for CSA, that you would like to try?

AW: I just recently got my first 35mm and have enjoyed experimenting with that. My dad also gave me the Minolta I remember him using when I was a kid.

Update: Chris just got me a guitar for my birthday. It is a beautiful 1978 Washburn. Going through the very beginner steps of sore fingers and frustratingly slow scales and chords.

CG: Your work documents some run-down and forgotten areas in a truthful, yet dreamy manner. What is a destination you’d like to see and use to inspire new paintings?

AW: I loved living in Raleigh for six months last year and being inspired by the very different and new architecture relative to Charleston. As weird as this may sound I kind of would like to go to Florida and get immersed in some 1940-60s neighborhood weirdness. I got a taste of it in Fernandina Beach this summer and couldn’t get enough. Maybe like rural Midwest too. And of course France, Italy, Spain. That would probably do wild things to my paintings.

CG: What do you normally listen to in your studio?

AW: A little bit of everything. Music till I get tired of that and podcasts and movies and tv shows and sometimes nothing. Lately I have been really into The Beach Boys, Courtney Barnett, Leon Bridges, The Zombies, Tuscadero, and when I just don’t know always Zeppelin.

I have gotten super into Paul Simon as I am finishing up my CSA.

CG: Tell us something you’ve learned recently that was surprising to you.

AW: Avocados are bad for dogs. I have given Bishop the brown part of day old avocados so many times. Whoopsie

CG: What was the last museum show you visited that knocked your socks off?

AW: Went back to Dia beacon while I was in New York. Standing inside of Richard Serra’s Torqued Ellipses is one of my favorite feelings ever.

CG: Describe your ideal meal.

AW: I love food so much so honestly just a ton of different things. Or, a perfect summer meal of tomato pie, fresh corn, limas, and watermelon and some dry, Provencal rosé.

CG: I enjoyed seeing your home and studio space. How does living with your partner and fellow artist Chris Nickels influence your work and art practice?

AW: Chris sits down to do work and he will do it for like 12 plus hours. I on the other hand get distracted with a home studio but am trying harder to take a few notes from him! As far as our work it’s awesome to have someone there who you can get instant crits from. I really valued that at school. It’s great to have some other eyes on things to let you know when things are terrible or awesome or somewhere in between.

CG: What blogs or other media, art-related or otherwise, do you read regularly?

AW: I get Artforum but I have to admit I don’t do the best job at reading them all.

I am all about Instagram though. It’s such an immediate way to see what’s going on. My latest favorites are Max Seckel and Kristen Liu-Wong

CG: What are some goals you have for your work and artistic career?

AW: To quit my day job! Haha.

Artist Alex Waggoner at the 2015 Meet + Greet.

Artist Alex Waggoner at the 2015 Meet + Greet.


Alex Waggoner is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.



CSA co-founders AnneTrabue Nelson and Ann Simmons recently enjoyed a Q+A session with Fall share artist Lisa Shimko. Read on to learn about how she to came to live in Charleston, how her surroundings and her formal education affect her work, her favorite places to experience art, and more!

CSA: You grew up in York County, PA, and then studied at the University of Arts in Philadelphia before moving to South Carolina in 2000. What brought you here? Did the change in your surroundings significantly impact your work?

LS: I moved from Philadelphia to Hilton Head Island, SC with a guy I was dating, ultimately with or without him, I was looking for a change after spending my life, up until then, in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast.  Almost a decade before my move to the South, before there was internet and google, the university library had a photo reference section where I was a bit obsessed to find scenes of live oak trees with Spanish moss of the south, which aided in sprouting my still ongoing series of “tree canopies”.

CSA: Part of your formal education is in Art Therapy. How does that play into your work and studio practice?

LS:This is a tough question to answer. Art Therapy is the study of Psychology with the emphasis of using art as a tool in therapy; ironically self-analyzing the impact on myself is a bit difficult.  What I will say comfortably is while studying/practicing Art Therapy, participating in teaching and various art outreach programs over the years, I see how important art is, not only therapeutically, but also in the possibility for learning/teaching.  Perhaps this is evident in my attempts to create aesthetically pleasing paintings with underlying environmental/wildlife conservation messages.

CSA: Your work is heavily inspired by the natural world and you do a great deal of research and explore many references to create your paintings. Can you discuss how your work plays a role in your environmental activism?

LS: I feel I still have a long long way to go, both educating myself and better communicating via my art.   Part of my art process is stream of consciousness so I have to trust all my research/experience will filter out into my paintings organically on some level.  Its a fine line because I don’t consider myself an illustrator, forcing a specific piece of information in a linear way. The stream of consciousness process imbues my paintings with the surreal aspects that I feel get closer to a sensation, something other than an intellectualized rendition of a factoid.  With all of that said, I have been wanting to create a visual book and the struggle is finding a way to keep a bit of the stream of consciousness but still have ideas understandable.

CSA: Do you remember the first piece you ever made?

LS: I don’t remember the first piece per se, but when I read this question thought of horses. Common for little girls to be obsessed with horses. I learned the anatomy and drew horses around me all the time. In 5th grade much to every one’s dismay I built a life size paper machè horse.

CSA: How did you find your style and how has it changed over time?

LS: When I was in college there seemed to be two schools of thought among my professors; pick a “style” and stick to it, the other, which I adhere to, is keep searching honestly and see what comes out.  I am earnest, honest, and sincere in creating art so feel over the years certain attributes that can be seen as my “style” have emerged, but really feel like its a hindrance to put the walls of a box around my creative process by subscribing to a self-imposed style.

CSA: Where will your artwork be one day? Who are you creating for?

LS: Really would love to have my art be more international. Would be great to be in galleries in many countries of the world. Perhaps if I do figure out my book that’ll be a ticket to international eyes.

CSA: What do you hope viewers take away from your art?

LS: This is a tough question to answer mainly because just like avoiding a self-imposed style hasten to comment on how I hope people will respond.  Of course I can say I hope there is a positive response, that perhaps the art can provoke thoughts of nature around them….but everyone is so different with their aesthetic inclinations.  If I think too much about what I hope other people will or will not see/feel in my work it will take away from my art-making process.

CSA: Did you always know you were going to be a working artist?  Did you come from a home where that was encouraged?

LS: It’s always been a dream to live a life with art in it somehow.  Not being cheeky, but honestly still continually learning how to be a working artist!  Come from a hard-working middle class family, don’t think making a living as an artist was a clear vision anyone could see, guess its less blurry as the years pass.

CSA: Are there artists in your family? If yes, have they directly influenced you as an artist?

LS: My mom was artistic but never pursued a career in art, though she was a nurse, and like any practice/career it takes its own creativity.  She did teach me a lot of art basics; an early memory is her ditching my crayons, breaking out nice oil pastels and teaching me how to create skin tones using layers of colors in one of my coloring books.  My grandfather (mom’s dad) was a musician and draftsman, unfortunately did not see much of him in my life, so may be proof of art genes?

CSA: What is the most indispensable item(s) in your studio?

LA: A good paintbrush, as in with a good tip for exact lines and detail work.

CSA: Where is your favorite place to experience art?

LS: Philadelphia Museum of Art.  I’ve grown up roaming the rooms of the PMA.  Still find solace, inspiration and wonder in this museum, never tire of it.

CSA: Outside of creating art, what do you love to do?

LS: Really love to be out on a boat here in the Low Country, the light, smells, textures.   Also love to hike in the mountains.  Guess its the needed polar opposites for balance.

CSA: What are some of your favorite places to go in Charleston for inspiration?

LS: Again I mention the waterways.  Anywhere by the water is my favorite.


Artist Lisa Shimko at the 2015 Meet + Greet.

Artist Lisa Shimko at the 2015 Meet + Greet.

Lisa Shimko is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.



Nina Garner‘s work, is delicate, earthy, and intuitive.  CSA co-founder, Kristy Bishop, had the chance to interview her and learn in depth about her travels, familial influences, and process. Read on to learn more about Nina’s work.

KB: How has living and traveling in Japan influenced your work?

NG: It’s hard to say exactly how living and traveling in Japan has influenced my work because I have a complicated relationship with my Japanese heritage. I am half Japanese (Okinawan, to be exact) but I don’t fully speak or understand the Japanese language so there has always been this barrier there. I think some of my work, especially my most recent work, has been about that barrier and documenting my travels as an outsider and using photography as a means to communicate with my Japanese family. Photographing someone can be a really intimate thing and it doesn’t take much language to do it. So in way, we are speaking to each other, even after I’ve returned home and I work with my negatives and produce a new piece. For me, it’s a constant dialogue.

KB: When creating a piece, what is your work flow like? Do you plan a piece out or is it more intuitive and fluid process?

NG: I usually just start with a photograph and let things flow naturally from there. I hardly plan out what I’m going to do. If I do, things just don’t seem to work out. Things can be so perfect in my head and then on paper it’s just a sad copy of that perfection.

KB: The materials that you use are a beautiful mix between natural finds and synthetic man-made objects. How have you come to that juxtaposition in materials?

NG: I love using natural materials (dried flowers, leaves, insects) because they are so pure, straight from the ground and they produce a nice earthy palette which gives my work an aged appearance. Lately though I have been draw to bright colors and textures natural materials just do not possess like neon pink. So I have been experimenting with this mix of natural and synthetic materials. I think I’m trying to find a balance between rustic simplicity and the hyper cute.

KB: What is the most unique or significant item that you’ve included in a work?

NG: This might be a little weird to some people but over the years I have been collecting my own grey hair. I’ve used this hair in a piece before and plan to use it more in the future. Though I’m still pretty young, I have a lot of grey hair and it’s a constant reminder that I am getting older. It’s a little grotesque, I know. But it’s helping me find the beauty in aging.

KB: What role does family play in your art?

NG: Family plays a huge role in my life and therefore naturally that transitions to my art. I love my family and I treasure the time I spend with them. In a way, my work helps me strengthen those familial relationships. For instance, my Japanese Grandfather is struggling with cancer. Even though he is so far away, it is difficult to know he is suffering. This has been a difficult stage in my life and a big influence on my work right now. I plan on creating a series that honors him and the beautiful life he has lived.

KB: What makes you choose a certain book to be the canvas of a piece?

NG: I have a collection of old books that I work with. I like books that are interesting colors and shapes. But I don’t really think about it that much when choosing. Whatever jumps out at me at the moment is what I’ll work with.

KB: Are there any new materials that you can’t wait to try out?

NG: I’m really interested in working with more textiles, silks and tulle. I’m also excited to get a new batch of insects from my friend’s farm on Johns Island, he’s been collecting some that he’s found in his barn.

KB: What makes film photography a special medium to you?

NG: I love film photography because it’s a slow medium in a world of instant gratification. You can’t rush the process, you have to be patient. Also nothing beats looking at a new batch of negatives and seeing all the possibilities.
KB: What do you like to listen to in your studio? Any podcast or music recommendations?

NG: I have a number of things I keep on rotation while working in my studio. I’ll either be listening to Morrissey or watching crime shows on my laptop. I also really like This American Life and I’m relistening to Serial (I still don’t know what to think!). I’m also a big fan of the podcast from Adam and Joe on the BBC. If you like British humor and nonsense then check it out.
KB: Every artist has a creative block at some point during working. What do you do to get your head and hands back into creating?

NG: When I’m in a rut it’s always good for me to go out and just shoot some new images and be re-inspired. Or just going out and finding new materials to work with is helpful. Other times I just have to sit and work through my block. I’ll sit with something for hours not liking what I’m doing then suddenly something will just come into place and I end up loving it.



Nina Garner is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.



CSA co-founder Erin Nathanson spoke with fall share artist Jordan Fowler about being a sculptor, his aspiration to exhibit works in public spaces, and learning from a young age that building things is second nature.

EN: What creative goals do you have on the horizon?

JF: I really want to push past the boundaries I have been working in for the last couple of years. Specifically, I am interested in experimenting with new materials and making some of my work into installations and hanging pieces rather than just individual objects.

EN: How has being at the College of Charleston and having access to the sculpture studio shaped your studio practice?

JF: It’s made all of the difference and has been a tremendous shortcut to diving straight into difficult work. The investment into the tools and space required to make my sculptures is an enormous expense and is increasingly difficult in the growing Charleston area. Access to the studio has given me a nice buffer zone while I accumulate my own tools and also offers me the ability to carry out other small projects which can be used to fund my sculpture. As a studio manager, I help students on a daily basis and I get a lot of inspiration from the creative things they are constantly generating.

EN: Do you work on multiple pieces at a time? Before you begin a piece how do you prepare?

JF: I always work on several pieces at a time, mainly because I get better ideas halfway through the creation process and my mind can’t rest until I begin the new idea. This generates a lot of incomplete projects that keeps me busy on a handful of pieces at once. Most of my work starts by playing with metal scraps and is then recreated on a larger scale. The preparation for this work involves either finding or making enough interesting building blocks to keep me on a creative path.

EN: What’s your earliest experience with sculpture? Which artists do you look to for inspiration?

JF: You could argue that my roots in sculpture stem from my fascination with making things as a child, especially with LEGO’s. I’ve built things with my hands my whole life but I was never passionate about sculpture until I began college and saw that I could create anything I could dream of in the studio space.

EN: Do you think sculpture has a place in Charleston? Are there opportunities for you to share your work easily?

JF: I think there is a growing space in Charleston for sculpture. It’s a growing city with businesses and public spaces that are increasingly spreading from the downtown area. The center of Charleston is beautiful and artistic on its own, but its expansion will need new ideas and new work to maintain its artistic reputation.

EN: Where will your work be one day? What is your dream exhibition location/institution?

JF: Hopefully outside in public areas. I’d love for my work to be a person’s favorite place to sit outside during their break at work. I also like the thought of making large sculptures that are found in distant places, such as a clearing in the middle of acres of woods.

EN: What do you do in your spare time?

JF: I try to spend time with my dog when i’m not busy in the studio, sometimes I will try to go surfing if the weather permits. In reality, most of my spare time is spent in the studio making sculptures.

EN: What advice do you have for aspiring sculpture artists?

JF: Become an expert with as many materials as you can. There is always a way to physically accomplish something that you think of; learning a variety of skills, tools, materials has been the most helpful thing for myself.

Artist Jordan Fowler at the 2015 Meet + Greet.

Artist Jordan Fowler at the 2015 Meet + Greet.

Jordan Fowler is one of the Fall share artists.




Camela Guevara had the chance to peek into Fall share artist Alex Waggoner’s studio in her home near Hampton Park a few weeks ago. It was a misty, overcast day when she arrived at Alex’s house, tucked away from the street. She shares the home with her boyfriend, Spring share artist Chris Nickels, and their distinguished pup Bishop.

Untitled-1 copysfds


Alex creates her thoughtful paintings in what she playfully calls their “would-be laundry room,” which is really a brightly lit nook. Bishop is usually at her feet. Chris works a few feet away at this own desk, in their cozy home with tall ceilings. Bishop always needs to investigate. Most of the photos of her turned into brown blurs of fur.




Here’s a work by Chris hanging in Alex’s workspace. He has one of her paintings above his desk as well. <3


With all of her supplies within arm’s reach, Alex creates her 32 works for Charleston Supported Art with great efficiency. Here’s a little peek at the color palette for one such work!





Alex Waggoner is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.



CSA co-founders AnneTrabue Nelson and Ann Simmons recently paid a visit to the studio of fall share artist Lisa Shimko. Lisa has created a cozy live-work space in her home on the second floor of a charming, bright green single house in downtown Charleston, where she’s lived since 2006.

Lisa Shimko single house

Lisa utilizes two rooms to create her work. One of the rooms, which also serves as her office and living room, features a custom-made, heart pine table gifted to her by a woodworker friend, which she paints on often. LSStudio1

The second room is more of a dedicated art space, where she stores her materials and lays out pieces in progress. She often works on multiple pieces at one time.



Lisa works in acrylic paint and keeps her materials in portable containers that can be moved easily between the two rooms.



A typical painting session involves drinking a lot of coffee, listening to NPR or podcasts, and studying reference photos.





Lisa Shimko is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.






Last week, CSA co-founder Kristy Bishop, had a visit with fall artist, Nina Garner, at her home studio in West Ashley.  Nina’s studio is full of welcoming light.  Her shelves and table tops are covered in a mix of supplies that she is using for her upcoming work.  Whether it’s tingled pompoms or dried flowers,  her studio is filled with tiny surprises from nature and the manmade.




Nina’s studio is a juxtaposition between the organic and synthetic, like these dried flowers and a roll of pink bubble wrap that also plays the role a vase.


Her work desk has a glass top where she can display collected items and past work.










Nina Garner is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.



Co-founder Erin Nathanson visited the expansive sculpture studio of Jordan Fowler, located at the College of Charleston. In this space, Jordan is creating 32 metal objects for the 2015 fall season.


Jordan built a crate on casters to function as a mobile work space. The crate provides secure storage for his smaller works and tools.


The sculpture studio has materials strewn throughout. These metals are ready to be melted down and given a new form.


Protective-wear is on a whole other level in this studio. Jordan shared some of his top tools for staying safe. 1. Gloves: the perfect pair is leather with Kevlar stitching with flexibility to hold small pieces while welding and sanding. 2. Respirators protect against fumes and harmful particles. 3. Face shields provide a barrier from sparks and enable the artist to see more clearly. And last but not least ear muffs with audio capabilties.


One of Jordan’s main work tables.



When finishing a sculpture, Jordan considers many things like where will this piece live? An interior or exterior space? How will it function? Will people sit on it, hang on it? How will the surface handle the environment over time? And the list goes on!


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You can view one of Jordan’s recent sculptures in the town of Mount Pleasant, SC. Embracer  was commissioned by the city and installed on Coleman blvd. in front of Moultrie Middle School.

We cannot wait to share what Jordan creates for the fall season! You can reserve a fall share today and join us at the Pick-Up event on Thursday, November 5th.



Jordan Fowler is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.




We begin our Fall blog series with Jordan Fowler. Jordan is a sculptor inspired by the universe, ancient Greek sculptures, and everyday movement.


I am greatly inspired by the cosmic forces that govern our universe; my sculptures are an illustration of these forces at work. I often incorporate revolving lines and curves around a central negative space; this is an ode to my fascination with the mysteries of black holes. I also like to imagine the effects of gravity on the geometry of the piece and its competition with the gravity of space it exhibits and the surface on which it stands.

A black hole is a geometrically defined region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—including particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it.

I like to imagine a black hole resting in the center of my pieces, as an unseen negative space that greatly shapes the surrounding geometry.  The paths of revolving lines that I bend around this space is often reminiscent of the orbital mechanics of planets and other celestial bodies.


My pieces often resemble a figure or a dynamic pose; this is often a starting point in my designs. As an undergraduate, I initially found a lot of inspiration in the marble structures of ancient Greece and the Renaissance.

(Left) The Discobolus of Myron, a Greek sculpture that was completed towards the end of the Severe period, circa 460-450 BC. (Right) Sketch, Jordan Fowler

Stripping away the figure and focusing on the pose leaves behind a beautiful network of abstract lines and arcs. Since then I have extended my search for poses to everyday life, and I often find them in non-human objects that seem posed and figural.

Embracer, Jordan Fowler

Sketch for Microscope. Jordan Fowler


The monolithic forms and stacked structures of ancient civilizations have always fascinated me; especially in their aged and dilapidated form. I’m greatly influenced by the way in which some of these forms have survived. Some of my work has been an exploration of the partially stacked components of ancient megalithic architecture.

(Left) Machu Picchu, Peru. (Right) Black Totem, Jordan Fowler

I am equally fascinated by movements in modern architecture that have been influenced by the balance, and crude monumental poses of ancient work. Specifically the constructivist era, brutalism, and futurism have been very influential on both my form and material choices.  One of my favorite artists, Lebbeus Woods, is an  experimental architect who I am especially drawn to. His work imagines a future in which complexity, chaos, and scale overflows the boundaries of current architecture.

(Left) Lebbeus Woods, Inhabiting the Quake

Jordan Fowler is one of the 2015 Fall share artists.