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Nov 18 2021

Gary Kunkelman Named Seabrook Island Artist Of The Month For December

By Sharon Peck for The Island Connection

Painter and teacher, Gary Kunkelman will be exhibiting some of his Lowcountry scenes and marine works at the Lakehouse throughout the month of December. 

Kunkelman’s exhibit will kick off with a reception at the Lakehouse on Wednesday, Dec. 1 from 5-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served and masks are required in the Lakehouse, but may be removed while eating and drinking. Kunkelman works in oils and pastels in a variety of areas— still life, portraiture, landscapes, and increasingly, marine art. “Over the past few years, I’ve been doing a lot of maritime subjects for corporate clients, especially America’s Cup racers and Colonial and Revolutionary marine scenes.” I’m working now on a large painting of the British landing on Seabrook in 1780, which was the start of the occupation of Charleston. I’m hoping to have this done for December.” On another current project, he’s working with Middleton Place on a painting of British warships at the plantation. Kunkelman says he’s also glad to be returning to landscapes, “especially with the incredible light and skies we have here.” He says that he has been moving toward a traditional studio approach, often using numerous layers of transparent glazes. “It takes a lot longer to do a painting, but I think it produces depth and luminosity that’s hard to get with more direct painting.” Following a 20-plus year career in journalism and advertising, he was hired by Penn State’s Berks College to teach professional writing, over the next 21 years there, he eventually taught studio painting and American colonial history — which no doubt helps explain his interest in painting historical subjects. Kunkelman studied for nearly a decade with marine artist Jack Coggins and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Kunkelman and his wife Kathy moved to Seabrook full-time in 2014, after he retired from Penn State. Kunkelman is a past co-president of the Seabrook Island Artists Guild. 

To learn more about the Seabrook Island Artist Guild, events, workshops and membership visit the website at

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