[image-1]The next time you’re in the French Quarter, you may notice that the M Gallery has a new sign. The space is now in the capable hands of the Principle Gallery of Alexandria, Va. Newly named Principle Gallery – Charleston, the gallery will still focus on American and European contemporary realism but its director position will be held by bubbly local treasure Carri Schwab.

Schwab, a What If? Productions actress and recent Charleston City Paper “Most Dramatic Style” winner, is familiar with the former M Gallery, having worked with them on various projects in her previous position as director of Robert Lange Studios. As director, Carri Schwab is now responsible for keeping up communications with artists, working on new projects, events, and exhibits, and navigating current trends in the art market.

“I’m super energetic and this town has so much energy,” says Schwab. “I have a lot of experience herding artists and I want to create fun events for the gallery. I think it will be a great fit.”

The grand opening during this month’s Art Walk went off without a hitch, even though the new coat of paint was still drying. “We had a giant show in here last week,” Schwab says. “We had friends from Charleston and Virginia pack that gallery-wide show, paint the walls, and bring art right off the easels from brand new artists. It took a lot of coffee beforehand and a lot of wine after.”

The partnership with Virginia’s Principle Gallery will allow both galleries to share art between the two locales and open local artists to a different market farther north.

There is no set schedule for 2014 yet, but Schwab is brainstorming ideas to help open the gallery to charity events and kids’ workshops without charging organizations. You can also expect more than just the once-a-month art walk. “We really want people to be able to enjoy the space,” explains Schwab. “It’s so important to help children understand art. It can open them to new ways to problem solve and create.”

Learn more about Principle Gallery Charleston on mgalleryoffineart.com.