Nov 24 2022

Seabrook Island Artist Guild Names Gary Kunkelman Artist Of The Month

By Seabrook Island Artist Guild for The Island Connection  

Gary Kunkelman works in oils and pastels in a variety of subject areas, including marine art, Lowcountry landscapes and portraits. In recent years he’s done numerous works for corporate clients, mainly maritime scenes from the colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War eras. 

As a studio painter he typically works on a painting – particularly detailed ship and historical works – over weeks or months, using layers of transparent glazes. Kunkelman noted, “It’s not a fast way to paint, but the result is something I don’t get with a more direct approach.” 

One of those detailed paintings now in the works, is a large canvas for the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the American Battlefield Trust.

Kunkelman stated, “It’s a Revolutionary War scene that actually took place on Seabrook. The British landed tens of thousands of troops here in 1780, beginning the Siege of Charleston and the war in the South. The painting’s from the vantage of the British on North Beach, with troops in the foreground and ships beyond. It’s a little-known piece of history.” In addition to maritime and Lowcountry paintings, Kunkelman plans to show a few “different things” at the December exhibit, including paintings of people. 

Kunkelman studied for nearly a decade with marine artist Jack Coggins and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 

Following a career in journalism and advertising he taught professional writing at Penn State. 

Over the next 21 years at Penn State, he also taught studio painting and American history. 

He and wife Kathy moved to Seabrook fulltime in 2014. There will be reception on Thursday, Dec. 1 for Kunkelman. Come out, talk with Gary and enjoy viewing his magnificent works of art. 

You can also see his work at

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