You may know Kelly Wenner Grossman as the co-owner of The Art Mecca of Charleston, but did you know she's a jewelry designer too?
Kelly combines metals and stones to create unique, one-of-a-kind works of wearable art that are decidedly feminine. "I like making jewelry because it's like solving puzzles. I make a big mess on my work table then just start blending metals and stones to create something beautiful and unusual," Kelly says.
Kelly says her inspiration comes from noticing details and color combinations in nature. This year she is exploring different hand wire wrapping techniques of suspending stones with wire in unusual places.
"I have a passion for mixed metals, faceted stones, found objects, hardware, wire wrapping, delicate and dainty and also thick and chunky," Kelly says. "I love to design, and I have over 30 different styles and lines of jewelry."
Kelly's big, messy worktable where beauty comes from chaos...
We think locally made art is one of the best souvenirs you can bring home. Many of our local artists are inspired by Charleston culture and our beautiful landscapes, so when you come to Art Mecca you have lots of choices. Here are some of our favorites:
"Joy of the Beach" by 150Claudia Hartley - $850
"Crab" by Carolina Jewett - $150
"Driftyard" by Jane Ann Sweeny - $245
Framed Charleston maps by Allyn Graham - $145 to $210
"Three years ago I was in a small studio space on the old naval base next to my friend Kelly Wenner Grossman, and day we had an idea: Open a progressive art gallery that would allow us to highlight local emerging artists, have live art demonstrations and events, and have studio space of our own," says Mackenzie King, co-owner of the Art Mecca of Charleston. "While Charleston has plenty of art galleries, we felt like there was a place for something different. The Art Mecca was born."
Kelly Wenner Grossman agrees. “There are so many outstanding contemporary artists locally, We wanted to create a unique place where they could show their work and connect with visitors and locals who are looking for something different,” she says.
Kelly received her sociology degree from the University of Georgia and took metalsmithing and other jewelry classes outside of school. Her handmade pieces are frequently seen on Charleston brides and can be found at Sasanqua Spa on Kiawah and at the Columbia Museum of Art.
Mackenzie received her bachelor of fine arts in metalsmithing from Kent State and went on to study with jewelry artisans in Florence, Italy, before moving to Charleston. She creates jewelry from recycled metal, then hand enamels it in bright colors. Her one-of-akind jewelry has won awards, including an honorable mention in the 2012 Palmetto Hands traveling show.
Kelly and Mackenzie both have studios in the gallery and you can usually find one or both of them in the gallery, talking to visitors, locals and collectors about the unique work created by local artists.