Wednesday, November 11, 2015

American Surrealist in the ACE Basin

Barbara and Duke Hagerty stand with 'Aniche'
The Colleton Center in downtown Walterboro welcomed Dr. Duke Hagerty of Charleston on Thursday November 5. Jean Harrigal invited the now retired plastic surgeon to exhibit some of his artwork in the gallery, so that art patrons could review his style before the ACE Basin lecture. The new coffee table book American Surrealist captures four decades of colorful madness, which is the art of Richard Hagerty.

The book signing sometimes includes offhand sketches
The Hagerty family owns land on Edisto Island and they are conservationists and stewards of the ACE Basin, so he was glad to visit Walterboro to speak and to sell books. Walterboro resident Marsh Johnson was shopping at the local Goodwill Store and found a piece of modern art that she appreciated, by Duke Hagerty. Johnson was one of the first to have her copy of American Surrealist signed by Hagerty, and the artwork she purchased at Goodwill was on display too. That piece was dated 1998, and is just one of the hundreds of creations that Hagerty has put on canvas thanks to his prolific rate of production. 
Coffee-Table Book with 40-year retrospective

A keen birdwatcher, Dr. Hagerty showed a photo during his lecture of a Sandhill Crane that visited his Edisto Island pond in September. “I don’t hunt and I don’t fish, but I do watch the birds while mowing, and I do an awful lot of mowing out there,” said Hagerty. Serving a term on the board of the EdistoIsland Open Land Trust, Hagerty contributed to the strong conservation ethic found on the entire island today. To view my latest Lowcountry Birding Journal Observations click Sept. / Oct. 2015.

The image ‘Aniche’ on page 121 of the book was painted in 2008 and the premise is that Charleston will eventually disappear under rising sea water. Given that 6 of the top 18 all-time high tides recorded in Charleston came during October and November of 2015, this premise doesn’t seem all that outlandish.  Of the more than 20 distinct images present in Aniche, the prominent depiction of the now-extinct Carolina parakeet signifies Hagerty’s vision that change is already underway. For more information visit the Internet at

To view this feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

Art patrons attend the Colleton Center
To view past articles on the ACE Basin click on Trapping - 2015 Duck Finale - 25th Anniversary - 2012 Update / John  Frampton - 2013 Waterfowl Warrior Hunt - ACE Basin QDMA - Friends of Nemours - Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt - Colleton Plantation Tour - Mottled Duck Study - Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers - USDA Under Secretary - National Estuarine Research Reserve


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