For a mellow, introspective guy, John Duckworth is more than bold in his work. Take, for example, transforming City Gallery into a Zen den of sorts, as he did in his 2014 show “Awake.” Or the wildly ambitious “Wade in the Water” in 2016, in which Duckworth corralled photographers, gospel singers, composers, and artists to turn the abandoned roller rink above the new Redux into a multimedia meditation on climate change. In his John’s Island studio, the artist creates photographic landscapes and paintings that speak to an intrinsic connection between the inner self and the world around us, one that Duckworth, a father, adventurer, and advocate, feels strongly.

Creative juices: I’m motivated to inspire others to be curious about who they are and why, with the eyes of a student learning something new. I make little distinction among business, family, and art; it’s all a creative process. My challenge is rarely a lack of inspiration—it’s choosing among the things I’m fascinated by on a regular basis.

Article by Stephanie Hunt of Charleston Magazine /  Photos by Sarah Alsati


Artists will tell you they draw inspiration from a variety of sources. Often, those sources include their kids.

For Father’s Day, three local dads — two visual artists, one musician — shared with The Post and Courier the various ways their children have influenced their approach to life and to the creative process.

John Duckworth

Baze Duckworth is 13, athletic and already nearly 5-foot 8-inches tall. Apparently, he’s got his father’s height gene. Visual artist John Duckworth is 6-foot-4. Lately, Baze also has inherited his dad’s interest in photography.

Not long ago, they were taking pictures at dawn at Breach Inlet, attentive to the play of early light on the surface of the water, when Baze turned to his father and said, “Hey dad, I think this may be my thing.” So John Duckworth upgraded his son’s camera equipment.

Article by Adam Parker of The Post and Courier

THIS OLD HOUSE   /   PBS   /   Spring 2018


Charleston Single House: Built to Last

This Old House lends a hand on the renovation of an 1840's “single house” in Charleston, South Carolina, with the goal of preserving its unique character while creating a comfortable family home.

The second project of the upcoming 39th This Old House season will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, a town rich in history, with many architectural gems in need of saving.  The crew—along with apprentices from the American College of the Building Arts, the only school in the U.S. that offers a bachelor’s degree in traditional building trades—will help restore two of Charleston’s quintessential historic homes, both of which require extensive renovations to restore their original beauty while making them functional for modern families. 

Article by Jefferson Kolle of This Old House magazine  /  Photos by Kate Thornton


10 ARTISTS SHAPING THE ARTS IN CHARLESTON   /   Art Mag   /   10.23.2017

Over the past decade, Charleston has become a hot spot for contemporary culture. The growth of our city continues to foster new ideas and attract creatives who bring a fresh perspective to a charming city rich in history. In celebration of our 10th year, we take a look at 10 artists from the past decade who have helped shape Charleston into the art destination it is today.

Duckworth is a dynamic artist who’s best known for his iconic, abstracted landscape photography. His artistry includes work in video, sound, light, and installation.

Bringing experiential art to the masses, Duckworth’s 2014 AWAKE exhibition at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park turned heads at a time when technology had begun altering the way we look at art. His position on environmental and social change has given way to education being a main component of his exhibitions. Duckworth continues to surprise and delight through his multi-layered productions and unique ideas.

Written by Sarah Miller

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Brevard + Bikes + Beer   /   Charleston Mag  /   10.2017

Full disclosure, my husband and I are novice mountain bikers, so a day and a half navigating between trees and over stumps was plenty fun but just right. The rest of our weekend we spent exploring on our road bikes—our default mode. And for the road cyclist, the region’s options are equally robust and awesome, both in and around Pisgah and on rural roads throughout Transylvania and neighboring Hendersonville and Polk counties.

We gladly let our friend John Duckworth, a Charleston artist and avid cyclist who knows the area’s highways and byways well, lead the way. I serve on a board with John and have worked on a few projects with him; I know to trust his judgment, so when he insists, “You’ve got to ride 276. It’s a classic, an absolute must,” we oblige. Despite being well aware that Highway 276—a Forest Heritage Scenic Byway beginning at The Hub bike shop and leading to the Blue Ridge Parkway—is a long, winding climb and that John’s long, lean legs are stronger than ours, up we go, and we’re not disappointed.

Written by Stephanie Hunt

Photographs by Chris M. Rogers

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Artist John Duckworth Addresses Climate Change with Innovative Installation   /   The Post and Courier  /   5.18.2017

Artist John Duckworth is an interesting combination of meditative calm and frenetic creativity. A serious yoga practitioner, he has decided “to move in harmony with what is”: to embrace opportunity, to welcome collaboration and to accept what he cannot change.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t steaming mad about certain things. Like the dangers posed by the city of Charleston to bicyclists. Like consumerism and inertia and a strange resignation in the face of climate change.

Written by Adam Parker

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Case Study 01: Wade in the Water  /   Echoes  /   4.2017

Wade in the Water is a unique and innovative app combining Echoes’ location-triggered content with advanced indoor location technology. Artist John Duckworth (Charleston, USA) commissioned Echoes to fulfil a challenging design brief for an interactive indoor sound installation in a massive warehouse space.

The app utilises cutting-edge indoor location technology to sense the listener’s exact position within the space and trigger sound ‘placed’ in that location. For the listener, no extra equipment is needed apart from a standard smartphone.

As listeners walk around the space, a gospel choir sings a piece in which each singer’s voice is placed at a specific position, and you can walk through the performance as it’s happening, with each singer getting louder or quieter as you approach their location. Another part features testimonials which you can ‘discover’ by standing in the right position.

Echoes.xyz combined their existing location-based audio platform with brand new indoor location sensing technology to bring outdoor audio tours and experiences indoors.

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Wade in the Water by John Duckworth   /   Art Mag  /   5.18.2017

Known for creating art shows that spark conversation and push the envelope of artistic possibilities, artist John Duckworth took on leading edge smartphone activated locative audio technology to create an art installation titled “Wade in the Water.” This large-scale, site-specific art installation is presented by Enough Pie and housed in the 2nd floor of the new home of Redux, a 16,000 warehouse at 1056 King Street.


Working with 4-time Grammy nominated jazz musician/producer Quentin Baxter and composer Lee Barbour, the empty space will come alive with the sound of a gospel choir singing “Wade in the Water.” Visitors will be able to ‘walk within and around the sounds,’ as if walking directly into the choir. A central diamond-shaped room with dual projections of glaciers and flooded Charleston streets provides an inner sanctum for contemplation and bearing witness. In an effort to spark conversation, visitors are then able to directly participate by ‘leaving their voice’ in the final section of the room, lending commentary and feedback to create an ever-evolving space representing the pulse of the community.

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Awakening V: King Tide   /   Enough Pie  /   4.29.2017 - 5.26.2017

Charleston is at a crossroads. Flooded streets and rising waters affect us more and more. By 2045, Charleston will experience sunny day tidal flooding 180 days out of the year — averaging every other day.* The decisions and actions we take NOW as residents of the Lowcountry are critical to our future.

Enough Pie has assembled a team of artists, scientists, organizations and thought leaders to shine a light on rising waters through public art, parades, lectures, and events from April 29-May 26 across the Upper Peninsula. All are welcome as our programming is free. Do not miss this moment to make a difference.

WADE IN THE WATER / MAY 18 – JUNE 10 / John Duckworth

Lowcountry artist John Duckworth presents a large-scale, multi-media immersive art installation linking the melting glaciers to Charleston’s flooded streets.

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99 Problems: Exhibiting Artists  /   The Southern Gallery  /   10.19.2016

The Southern presents 99 Problems (but a print ain’t one), a HUGE print exhibition with 90+ artists and over 100 prints! We have set the opening of the exhibit on “Black Friday” in a deliberate effort to promote collecting original art during this holiday season. Each print will be available in an edition of five to ten and will be priced from the affordable to the investable. 99 Problems (but a print ain’t one) will exhibit artwork in the following disciplines: Woodcut, Linocut, Etching, Engraving, Monotype & Monoprint, Lithography, Screen Print, Digital Print, Transfer, or any combination thereof.
The exhibit concept is straightforward: we have some serious problems happening in our country. Art has always acted as a beacon for raising awareness, directing change, and to enlighten our daily lives. All these problems, but a print ain’t one.

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Wedge Gallery Hangs on to Pop-up Duckworth Exhibit   /   Citizen Times  /   9.28.2016

The pop-up gallery includes works from "Awake," Duckworth’s most recent show in the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Charleston. Far from the typical gallery exhibit, "Awake" was an immersive art experience that aimed to engage visitors in ways they might not expect – ways that he hoped would make viewing the art work more meaningful and thought provoking.

He plans to bring some of that same energy to his show at the Wedge, including his photographic landscape abstractions, which people often mistake for paintings.

“I like that they present as paintings,” said the artist. “That’s part of my intention. I got my first camera in second grade. At this point I think of myself as painting with the camera.”

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"Balance" Phil Durst and John Duckworth at Mitchell Hill   /   Charleston Gallery Association  /   5.15.2016


Phil Durst and John Duckworth exhibit: BALANCE May 15 - August 2016 Austin assemblage artist, Phil Durst, was first featured as Mitchell Hill’s 2014 Spoleto Artist. Durst is a civil rights attorney based in Austin, Texas and creates his highly detailed mixed-media creations in his free time. This year his quilt-themed works behind glass are going to be paired up with local photographer, John Duckworth. Many know Duckworth’s work from AWAKE at the City Gallery in 2015 and his photographic installation at FIG. No formal opening reception will take place for BALANCE but patrons are welcome to celebrate daily at Mitchell Hill throughout the duration of the show. 

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Charleston's 40 Most Influential Visual Artists (1670-2015)   /   Charleston Mag  /   5.2015


Artists have made an indelible impact on the culture of the Holy City, from European-born portraitists who brought their skills to the fledgling colony to painters documenting epic battles of the Civil War; from the etchers and sculptors who led the Charleston Renaissance to creatives defining the present scene. Here, we list 30 important artists throughout the city’s history and ask you to help select the final 10 from among the diverse talent witnessed today

And The Winners Are... In May, we presented “Charleston’s 40 Most Influential Artists (1670-2015)” and asked readers to help select the final 10 via an online vote. Nearly 2,300 people weighed in with their picks, and the results are in! Because we gave a list of 29 artists to vote on, plus a write-in option—we offer two top-10 lists, those suggested in our sidebar and those written in.

Top 10 Write-In Artists : John Duckworth

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Om at the Waterfront   /   Charleston Grit  /   11.10.2014

Duckworth has created much more than an exhibit with AWAKE, which opened Friday at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park. He's presented us with a journey, an interactive, immersive invitation into another realm, where we step out of the mundane, out of the habitual motions of our daily routines, and into a contemplative space, where the mind (your mind, my mind, all fuzzy and chaotic) is the true art object, and Duckworth's creations—serene digitized landscape abstractions, glaring and intense Buddha's layered and tattooed with graphics and images—become a mirror for consciousness. Sound heady and ambitious? It is. Sound cool and appealing? You bet.

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Painting Buddha   /   The Post and Courier  /   11.7.2014


A few years ago, John Duckworth attended the Art Basel-Miami Beach show, a potpourri of modern and contemporary artworks that attracts attention from critics and patrons around the world, but he wasn't impressed.

"It was disheartening," he said. Everyone was trying too hard to be different. The work lacked authenticity, he thought. "It was disingenuous. But I looked at what I liked and made a list."

Written by Adam Parker

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John Duckworth AWAKE   /   Charleston Visitors Bureau  


“These six pieces, currently on display at Fritz Porter, represent the latest release in my Landscape Abstracts series, a body of work that I have had the great fortune to produce since 2003. I never grow tired of it, as one of my greatest joys is to stand in the river, the marsh, or the pluff mud in my hip-waders with my camera creating artwork. This is my meditation and communion with nature, and thankfully the calming and meditative essence of my experience is translated through the art - the work tends to lower your blood pressure,” says Duckworth. 

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In the Studio with John Duckworth   /   HK Power Studio  


HKPS:: What age did you suspect or know you were an artist?

JD:: I was always drawing and coloring as a child. My folks had us doing ‘shrinky dinks’, pumpkin carving, ornaments, handmade cards, and our coloring designs printed to kitchen plates! But this was all just FUN. My first memory of being really proud of a drawing I was in the 6th grade. I drew in pencil a very realistic medieval knight on a horse. I think I still have that drawing somewhere.

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City Gallery at Waterfront Park Exhibition Features Alumnus John Duckworth ’99   /   The College Today  /   11.7.2014


Much of Duckworth’s art has an underlying meditative quality, embedded in works such as his Buddhist-inspired paintings and his most-recognizable photographs of nature. AWAKE will feature over forty art works in this exhibition that also highlights Duckworth’s creative and meditation practices.

“My meditation practice is fundamental to my creative process. It is through witnessing the results of a deeper inner awareness of habitual thoughts, words, and actions that I become more adept to finding balance in these uncertain times,” says Duckworth.

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Boundless   /   The College Today  /   11.3.2014


The future, what does it hold? With BOUNDLESS, the College of Charleston has a pretty clear picture: It’s a wide-open sea of opportunity (something like the artwork of John Duckworth ’99 seen here). For more than two centuries, we’ve navigated some pretty tough waters – storms, earthquakes, wars, financial downturns and, at times, our own stubbornness to change. But we always persevere. Because we believe, to our core, that a College of Charleston education is different. It’s the place, it’s the people – and together, they create a learning environment like no other in this world.

Written by Mark Berry

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AWAKE by John Duckworth at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park   /   Arts Daily  /   11.2014


“Balance, awareness and perception” are the three words contemporary artist John Duckworth uses to describe the unique nature of his upcoming multi-sensory exhibition, AWAKE. On view at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, November 7 through December 21, 2014. The opening day reception is 5:00-8:00 p.m. The gallery will be transformed into an immersive space within a guided exhibition layout, displaying Duckworth’s photography, sketches, paintings, video, and audio installation in his most comprehensive show yet. The exhibition will include a Video installation; The Buddha Chapel with 15 large format Buddha paintings; a series of sketches on paper and canvas which were preparatory works for the Buddha paintings; and Landscape Abstract Photographs.

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John Duckworth Hosts Open Studio: Art in a Barn   /   Charleston City Paper  /   7.8.2013


Throughout the month of July, well-known photographer and painter John Duckworth will be opening his state-of-the-art studio to the masses. Duckworth’s studio manager Ashton Chandler tells us that guests will be able to see the artist’s Landscape Abstract photography series, a sequence of photographs that “provide the viewer with a sense of place, while allowing each individual to embrace the image and channel their own visual history.”

The photographs are a mixture of surrealism and realism, characterized by focused horizons and saturated colors.

Written by Becca Schuler

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Top 50 Progressives  Charlie Magazine  /  2012

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Unfortunately the article is no longer available online. 

Photographs are by Sully Sullivan

Bring Your Canary: Studio Visit with John Duckworth   /   Art Mag  /   7.25.2011


Just a few bridges away on Johns Island, John Duckworth quietly works away in his studio, known by friends as The Ranch, where he spends his time cycling, photographing, painting and being a devoted father to his son and partner to the incredible Kelly Jean.  On Friday I headed out to spend some time with Duckworth, where chatted about his newest series of mixed media images–see the Buddha below, future plans and how much the art scene in Charleston has changed over the years.

Don’t miss his documentary !

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