A three-day celebration of wildlife and nature through fine art, conservation education, sporting demonstrations, and the people who honor them all, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition plays host to hundreds of artists, exhibitors, and experts in wildlife and sporting art, all eager to share their art and insights with more than 40,000 attendees from across the nation.
Each year SEWE generates an estimated $50 million, while providing the public with easy, affordable, enjoyable access to wildlife and nature conservation programs. The event also increases awareness about the need to protect and preserve our natural environment, all while celebrating our collective love for wildlife, nature, and our role in preserving them for generations to enjoy.
The 36th annual event will run February 16-18 at multiple venues in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. VIP events will begin on February 15.
SEWE will showcase the work of 100 painters, carvers, and sculptors in the Fine Art Gallery at Charleston Place. Kathryn Mapes Turner has been selected as the Featured Artist. A resident of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Turner was born and raised on the Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park, where she grew up riding the trails of the valley, learning wilderness lore, and gaining an eye for landscape.
SEWE also welcomes Guest Artist Joseph Sulkowski, who was featured in a new coffee-table book published by Sporting Classics. Sulkowski studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he learned to prepare his paints using recipes developed in the studios of Rembrandt. With work reflective of the Old Masters, Sulkowski paints beautiful sporting art from memories of his trips from South Georgia to the Scottish Highlands.
Visitors can watch SEWE artists create original pieces during the Quick Draw/Speed Sculpt on Friday in the Fine Art Gallery at Charleston Place. Working in designated exhibit spaces, each artist will have just one hour to create a piece from start to finish. Visitors can then bid on the works at a live auction.
Back again by popular demand will be “Duets and Quartets,” presented by artists Matthew Hillier and his wife, Julia Rogers, at 2 p.m. on Saturday also at the Fine Art Gallery. The couple will create an original painting while two sculptors create a piece of sculpture out of clay—all to the background of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Woodwinds Quintet. A live auction will follow.
The Charleston Gaillard Center will house SEWE’s live performances and the Marketplace, a curated collection of outstanding local, regional, and national artists and artisans. The Marketplace will include handcrafted furniture, woodworks, nature photography, knifemakers, and jewelry.
Jack Hanna, television personality, author, and conservationist, will once again entertain attendees at the Gaillard Center. One of the most respected animal ambassadors in the world, Jack’s enthusiasm and hands-on approach to wildlife conservation has won him widespread acclaim. Jack and his team from Columbus Zoo will present three performances throughout the weekend—two on Friday and one on Saturday.
SEWE’s Sporting Village, complete with outdoor outfitters, boats and equipment, and fishing/hunting/safari guides, will be at Brittlebank Park along with skillful retriever demonstrations, fly fishing, fly tying, and cast-net tossing instruction.
Marion Square will feature a conservation tent, live educational performances, food from area eateries, and live music. Through the Certified South Carolina/Fresh on the Menu programs, some of Charleston’s finest chefs will be conducting cooking demonstrations throughout the day all weekend. There will also be a wide variety of fresh, local products available.
High-end dealers of sporting art and decoys will be housed at the Charleston Marriott, which is also the site for a decoy auction by Guyette & Deeter. The sale will offer nearly 200 investment-quality decoys, with values ranging from $200 to more than $10,000.
Members of SEWE’s VIP program will enjoy perks and insider access throughout the weekend, including private art viewings, parties, exclusive lounge areas (with snacks and adult beverages), shuttle service, and priority entry to all venues.
SEWE day tickets are $15-$25, three-day passes are $50, and children 10 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult. SEWE provides free shuttle service between venues, and handicapped-accessible service is available.
For more information or to purchase general-admission or special-event tickets, visit sewe.com or call (843) 723-1748.