Oil paintings to benefit Mepkin Abbey

CHARLESTON — Original canvas oil paintings of some of the scenery at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner will go on sale this weekend to benefit the abbey itself.

The paintings will be on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 21-22 at Southeastern Galleries in Charles ton, located at 1885 Ashley River Road.

A portion of the sales price will be donated to the abbey. Mary Jeffcoat, spokesperson for the abbey, said any money will go toward the general upkeep and daily work of the monastery.

The paintings’ subjects include the abbey church, the Nancy Bryan Luce Gardens, the Cooper River, lush moss-draped oak trees on the grounds, and other scenes around the former rice plantation.

Bill Cooper, owner of Southeastern Galleries, said 14 paintings will be on display. The artists come from around the United States and from other countries, he said.

Cooper said the idea for the sale started several years ago when he worked with the late Abbott Francis Kline. The gallery commissioned a painting of an avenue of oaks at the abbey, which sold well.

“That gave me the idea that we could do something with paintings that would be a continuing benefit to Mepkin Abbey,” Cooper said. “I have had a dream to do something for the monks.”

Cooper said customers also have the option of making special requests if the paintings on display are too large for their available space.

“The artists can take any subject featured in the larger paintings and redo it in a smaller size,” he said.

“We are trying to bring Mepkin into the lives of more South Carolina residents because we think it truly is a South Carolina treasure,” Cooper said. “It’s really something that all South Carolinians should be proud of, and this is one way to get the Mepkin Abbey story out to more people.”

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call (843) 556-4663.