Attending the Big SEWE Weekend!
By Rachelle Siegrist
Maloney Point overlook
It was a gorgeous day, when we left our home here in the Smokies last Wednesday, and headed to Charleston, SC to participate in the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. Our winding drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was delightful and we decided to take full advantage of the amazingly beautiful weather and sunshine, with a picnic atop the Foothills Parkway. We enjoyed our sandwiches, while parked at an overlook offering a grand view and lots of warmth from the sun to boot!
Picnicking on the Foothills Parkway
We arrived in North Charleston that evening and I was thrilled to find that we had a lovely view of a Cypress Hammock complete with swamp below, from our hotel room! As the sun set, Spanish Moss laden Cypress Trees were outlined against an evening sky painted in shades of pink and yellow, creating a most stunning view indeed!
Early Thursday morning, we made our way to the Charleston Place Hotel, where the art would be displayed in the grand ballroom. By early noon, our miniatures were hung and arranged, and after a quick bite to eat, we were ready for the show to start. Later that afternoon we walked down to Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, located in downtown Charleston, where we enjoyed a delicious Greek meal! Sitting at a tall table nestled in a large window, passerby’s entertained us as we ate, parading by with their beautiful dogs of all shapes and sizes!
Standing on the grand staircase inside the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel
After changing into formal wear, or what we call our “Superman switch”, taking place in the back of the van, we were ready for the big event that evening. We were delighted to see several of our collector friends there, and to sell paintings as well! The air was festive and alive, as the sea of tuxes and evening gowns filled and mingled about the room.
Wes and I with our miniature paintings at the opening
Just a fraction of the large crowd at the opening
Friday was another good day at the show, and we enjoyed returning to Taziki’s for dinner, along with artist friends, David and Cathy Lanier. Saturday evening treated us with a delightful dinner with several dear collector friends, at a wonderful restaurant called FIG, located not too far from the Charleston Place Hotel. The camaraderie was wonderful, as we told stories and shared much laughter, all of course while eating delicious food! My dinner featuring slow baked Beeliner Snapper, nestled on cabbage and topped with delicate black trumpet mushrooms, pecans, and fino sherry was absolutely delicious, and the Citrus Soufflé topped with blood orange, crème fraîche, and a generous amount of chopped pistachios, was absolutely scrumptious, with Wes and I deciding it was one of the best desserts we had ever had!
Dr. Bob, Teri, Boon, me with little buddy Sean, Wes and Eugene at FIG
Mmmmmm . . . my beautiful and delicious Red snapper dish!
Even bigger Mmmmmm . . . our scrumptious Citus Soufflee!
The last day, Sunday, started off with a “trip around the world” while viewing an amazing collection of photos which two of our collector friends have taken during their trips globally, and had on their I-pad . . . a true visual delight indeed! Unfortunately by that evening, Wes was feeling a bit under the weather, so we had to forgo our traditional Sunday evening dinner with friends at T-Bonz. The weather forecast for traveling home Monday looked ominous with a wicked winter storm approaching. Thankfully Monday morning proved otherwise, so we started the journey home.
A very happy attendee at the show
With Wes resting in the passenger seat, I drove, for the first time, through falling snow and sleet for a couple of hours. Not the easiest of tasks by all means, but nonetheless I felt as if I had really accomplished something! Having only slid a couple of times, I decided I had done pretty well indeed! Safely back home, Wes is slowly improving while I’m trying to get caught up on things. Hopefully he’ll be feeling much better soon, and once again back in the grove, we can start getting ready for our next show, NatureWorks, in Tulsa, OK, in a couple of weeks. Many thanks again to all of you who happily took our miniature paintings home, making the show a success for us!!
Currently from our backyard, which I call “Frozen World!”
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~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~
Wes recently finished a painting of a Mallard duck trying to navigate the swift water in the Ohio River, which is excitedly already sold!
Until next time . . .