Mount Pleasant Magazine Jan/Feb 2022

28 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www.MountPl easantPodcas t . com viewed it as the official kick off to the Charleston tourism season. This year, SEWE will be spread throughout five different Charleston venues, with the focal point at the Charleston Place Hotel. Similar to many organizers hosting events and festivals, SEWE’s made the decision to cancel last year’s expo. It was an unprecedented move, marking the first time in SEWE history that the event wasn’t held in person. “Like most others, we were trying to figure out what we could do and what we couldn’t do,” recalled Powell. Following discussions and deliberation, SEWE’s coordinators created a plan for an amended show that offered as many virtual events as possible and promoted artists through their website to help facilitate sales. “We just weren’t ready as a society to gather in mass,” reflected Powell. With more individuals getting fully vaccinated and receiving boosters, that script has flipped, and people are feeling comfortable attending gatherings again. “It’s been great to see large events held safely,” remarked Powell, noting the return of the Cooper River Bridge Run last September. He has seen people energized about SEWE ticket sales for the 2022 expo. The event generally draws visitors from all over the Southeast. CELEBRATINGWILDLIFE ART AND CONSERVATION SEWE is a wildlife art-based event featuring talented artists from around the country, exhibiting paintings, sculpture and carvings. As SEWE has grown, its conservation mission has evolved as well, explained Powell, inspiring attendees through its art and demonstrations. The expo includes canine demos, live musical performances — including seated performances at the Charleston Gaillard Center — cooking demonstrations and more, in addition to a fine art gallery displayed at Charleston Place Hotel. “There’s something for everyone at SEWE,” noted Powell. He added that one of the most thrilling aspects is that attendees can expect a normal SEWE in 2022, with the typical in-person gatherings. “I think there’s so much excitement about being back together.” This is especially important for SEWE because the artists are accessible on site to engage with guests. “One of the things that’s special about SEWE is that the artists are present throughout the event,” said Powell. “It creates a personal interaction.” The featured artist for 2022 is painter Julia Rogers from Maryland. There will also be an encore presentation of work from 2021’s featured artist Mark Kelvin Horton, a Charleston-based painter. SEWE’s guest artist for this year’s event is Kathleen Dunphy of California. Although SEWE has evolved and expanded over the years to include the canine demos and cooking demonstrations, the focus remains on wildlife art and showcasing wildlife artists. “SEWE’s core is and always will be wildlife art,” concluded Powell. CHARLESTONWINE + FOOD FESTIVAL BACK FIRST WEEKEND OF MARCH Gourmands rejoice! The 2022 Charleston Wine + Food festival (CHSWF) returns March 2-6 for the 16th installment of this celebration held annually during the first full weekend of March. Ticketed events are located in different venues throughout the greater Charleston area, including several East of the Cooper, such as the Hip Hops Day Party and Pinot Envy! — both events held at the Lawn at Embassy Suites — and A Day on Dewees. East Cooper restaurants hosting festival events include Coda Del Pesce, The Longboard, Malika Pakistani Chai Canteen, Post House Inn and Grace & Grit. Founded by a group of community leaders in 2005, CHSWF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that launched its eponymous festival in 2006. The purpose was to create feature