Stroll back through time along cobblestone streets and alleys lit by gas lanterns to Charleston’s historic French Quarter. Here, in the walled city originally settled by French Huguenots, merchants once peddled their wares in the streets while pirates spent their ill-gotten gains in the taverns. The walls are gone now, but many of the warehouses and colonial buildings remain intact and have been renovated to retain their old world charms.

Nestled in this renowned neighborhood bordered by the Cooper River waterfront on the east, Market Street on the north, Meeting Street on the west, and Broad Street on the south, you will find more than 30 galleries of fine art displaying the works of over 600 artists, representing a wide range of styles and mediums, from sculpture to oils and watercolors to mixed media.

Four times each year, these galleries extend their hours and invite art lovers from near and far to enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and fine wine while mingling with talented local and international artists. This coming Friday, October 5, 2012, is one of those days, and the festivities will begin at 5:00 and end at 8:00 PM. So put on your walking shoes and enjoy a smorgasbord of food, wine, lowcountry landscapes, coastal impressions, wildlife depictions, portraits, jazz and blues paintings, and many other artistic renderings.

A map showing the locations of participating galleries can be found on the French Quarter Association’s website:

For more information about the author, Dave Schneider, please visit my Google+ page.