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“Go for the Art, Stay for the Friendship”

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Nina Liu and Friends
Reviewed 4 September 2013

Nina Liu and Friends is my favorite commercial gallery in Charleston. For more than twenty-five years Nina has operated her gallery and kept her home in an historic house (built by our nation's first ambassador to Mexico!) within the confines of the old walled city. I always take friends and colleagues there when they visit Charleston. Now they always want to go there to see what is on view and to visit with Nina.

Nina's stable of regional and national artists includes Aggie Zed, John Clingempeel, John Davis, Michael Johnson, Jeri Burdick and many others. Nina works in clay, and her bowls, plaques, plates and other objects are treasures that many of my friends collect with zeal.

Thank JamesIslandTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 February 2010

Nina is an amazing woman. My husband and I wandered into her gallery one evening just to take a look around.

Inside was Nina and a local artist, glasses of wine in hands, sitting on a piece of furniture currently being exhibited. She said "hello" as we came in. I asked about the exhibition. She offered us wine and bade us come, sit and chat for a while. And so it began.

Between talking and wandering the floors of this gorgeous gallery we were there for a few hours. We declined an offer of a bite to eat. I had to remind her to accept the payment for the bowl I had bought. There was no hurry really, I was coming back a few days later anyway.

When we returned a Danish artist was there, Nina's houseguest. This time we got serious about art - how one reads and experiences this or that work. I was intrigued to explore why Nina saw a piece as happy while I saw it as nightmarish. The visiting artist proved an able and good humored arbiter - sometimes siding with Nina, and sometimes siding with the ignoramus - me!

My husband and I bought another piece in the course of the day - I love it. I left without taking a few pieces that were seriously calling to me - inhibited by my anxiety over my conventional taste.

Nina's gallery has everything from the very avant garde - like a sofa made entirely of duct tape if I recall (very stable and comfortable by the way) to gorgous land and sea scape paintings and almost every kind of object and image style in between.

Most of all it was the spirit of the place, the owner, the guests who wandered in and out as we spent our day. The pieces I ordered were shipped in expert and timely fashion. The hard part is I miss my new friend.

Above all it was the ambience of the place - belonging perhaps to a more leisurely time, a time before e mails and text messages, a time when human being meant human BEING - the contemplative stance in the midst of life from which one simply enjoys moment, person, image, object.

Note: Nna does not do e mail or have a website. She picks up the phone herself though....

10  Thank ahegarty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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