Celebrating Wildlife Art & the Sporting Life



SEWE counts it a great privilege to showcase an expansive collection of wildlife art from premier painters and sculptors in the genre. While the pinnacle of our year occurs in February when artists and collectors gather in Charleston, we represent artists and source new work year-round. We look forward to celebrating these new works with you throughout the year, and hope they bring you the same inspiration as they do us.  Stay tuned as new works will be released bi-monthly. See all available works at the Fresh off the Easel gallery.>>


English Setter, 24″l x 25″h x 7″d, Bronze, Edition 10, $7,500

“On a warm Fall day, a young Setter pup is let loose on her first morning in the bird fields. Gone in an instant. From the back of a horse, my hunting partner murmured almost to himself, “I sure hope the dog comes back.”  She did come back and on that day got both her name and began the first chapter of one of those dogs of a lifetime.”
– Walter Matia

Walter Matia possesses a vision of the world around him. His work is biographical; the subject matter is so much a part of his life that it is like a diary, personal art that comes straight from the heart. Walt was educated at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he earned degrees in Biology and Art Design. Upon graduation he worked in the Exhibits Department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and The Nature Conservancy.  He started his art studio, Curlew Castings in 1984. His works have been exhibited shows across the country. He is a Master Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, Fellow of the National Sculpture Society and Master Wildlife Artist at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. He resides in Dickerson, MD with his wife, daughter, son, Pip the Setter and Tink the Lab.

Here is one of our favorite videos about Walt produced by Orvis, a SEWE partner.

See all available works at the Fresh off the Easel gallery.>>


Can’t Miss!


Talk a walk on the wild side…. SEWE has invaded downtown Charleston! Celebrate the best of wildlife and nature all weekend long by visiting our five official venues: Charleston Place Hotel, Brittlebank Park, Gaillard Center, Charleston Marriott and Marion Square. Whether you’re looking for fine art galleries, sporting demos or hands-on fun for the kids, SEWE has a little something for everyone! Below are a few of this weekend’s can’t-miss events. Still needing to purchase tickets?  Click here for more information.






New: Jack Hanna Returns to the Gaillard, presented by Boeing 

Stop by the Fine Art Gallery at SEWE to meet Jason Tako, our 2020 Featured Artist and see this year’s featured painting, The Road Less Traveled. Jason is joined by nearly 100 others painters and sculptures. It’s rare to see this many wildlife artists of such a high caliber in one setting. Read more about Jason. 

New: Jack Hanna Returns to the Gaillard, presented by Boeing 

Television personality, author and conservationist, Jack Hanna, returns for the first time since 2018 to entertain and delight SEWE attendees at the Gaillard Center. Seating is first-come, first-served. See schedule for times. Show Times: Friday, February 14 at 2pm and Saturday, February 15 at 12:30 and 2:30pm.

New: Fly Fishing with Orvis

Orvis will be offering complimentary fly fishing casting lessons all weekend on the Gaillard Center Orvis Lawn. Try your hand at angling or improve upon your skills with the fly fishing professionals on-site. On Sunday, legendary angler Tom Rosenbauer will be demonstrating fly casting all day.

New: Jumbotron Viewing at DockDogs®
For the first time, SEWE will showcase its popular DockDogs® competition on the big screen. Now, attendees in Brittlebank Park can watch the action from the new jumbotron, which will show live jumps and instant replays. An emcee will also voice over the competition and explain scoring, canine abilities and discuss the rules and disciplines of speed retrieve, big air and extreme vertical.

New: Land Rover Off-Road Driving Experience
In partnership with Baker Motor Company, SEWE will create a Land Rover Off-Road Driving Experience at Brittlebank Park. SEWE attendees can demo the latest Land Rover models and test the vehicle’s off-road skills around a track made for the event. Learn from instructors on how to navigate various terrain and obstacles.

New: Expanded Retriever Demos
The retriever demos in Brittlebank Park have always been a popular event at SEWE. Able handlers and dogs of various breeds and ages put on demonstrations of retrieving skills for large crowds. In 2020, SEWE will expand upon these demos. The Boykin Spaniel Society will showcase the agility of a retriever and the pathway to a fully-trained gundog. Mossy Pond Retrievers with Orvis will feature how to train your retriever.

New: Sporting and Marine Village
The Sporting Village has expanded to become a Sporting and Marine Village to include exhibitors that focus on fishing, water sports and marine-based activities. Meet hunting, fishing and safari guides, outdoor outfitters and land professionals. Check out boats, ATVs and a host of John Deere tractors.

New: Expanded Footprint at Brittlebank Park + Kid Zone
Bring the kids! Children’s activities and games are now located in the Kid Zone at Brittlebank Park. Here you will find pony and camel rides, an exotic petting zoo, inflatables, fun games, educational programs and more.This year’s programming will also include a kid zone stage that will put a spotlight on various local authors and librarians. They will share stories inspired by nature and wildlife. Educational puppet shows will be hosted here, too.




SEWE Favorite: Quick Draw/Speed Sculpt & Auction

Witness the imagination, talent and process behind SEWE artwork. Watch participating artists paint or sculpt an original piece from start to finish in just one hour. A live auction will be held immediately after where attendees can bid on the one-of-a-kind pieces. Details: 13 artists participating, Charleston Place Ballroom, Friday, February 14, 3 pm – Auction to follow

SEWE Favorite: Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary will explore the wonders of natural ecosystems. From bobcats, foxes and birds of prey to alligators and snakes, SEWE attendees will get an up-close look at the animals that call these places home. Seating is first-come, first-served. See schedule for times.

Fresh on the Menu with South Carolina Department of Agriculture, hosted by the Lee Bros.
Watch more than a dozen of South Carolina’s greatest chefs, farmers and home cooks demonstrate how to prepare some of their favorite recipes with locally grown and produced ingredients. Sample products from the producers, processors and vendors that make up the Certified South Carolina program. See schedule for times.

SEWE Favorite: Center for Birds of Prey Flight Demonstrations
One of the most entertaining and educational shows during SEWE. Witness incredible flight demos from a range of raptors including falcons, eagles, owls and hawks and learn about the important role they play in our ecosystem. Presented by BP America at Marion Square. See schedule for times.

SEWE Favorite: The Orianne Society
Reptiles and amphibians are an integral part of our ecosystem. Learn why and how The Orianne Society promotes the conservation of these creatures and game species like quail, turkey and deer. This informative presentation features the Eastern Indigo Snake, Gopher Tortoise, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake and more. See schedule for times.

SEWE Favorite: DockDogs® Competition
Story: Watch dogs of all breeds and skill levels compete in various water jumping competitions in side-by-side tanks. “Waves” of competition held throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with finals Sunday afternoon. For more information or to pre-register your dog, visit dockdogs.com.  Details: “Waves” of competition held throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with finals Sunday afternoon. See schedule for times.

Sheep and Duck Herding Demonstrations
Join Windy Knolls Farm owner and master trainer, Bill Coburn, as he showcases the fascinating world of the Border Collie breed’s herding instinct. Watch his collies artfully muster sheep and ducks through various obstacles with only a whistle and a few commands. See schedule for times located at Brittlebank Park.


Live Auction Preview

From original art to hunting excursions to handcrafted furniture, preview the line up of unique auction items available to bid on during the SEWE Signature Gala and Auction, being held Thursday, February 13 as part of the SEWE VIP program. Happy bidding!   See the full VIP schedule for SEWE 2020 here.>>


Ultimate Guide to 2020

The ultimate guide to SEWE 2020. Browse this comprehensive book on the 2020 SEWE weekend, with extended information on all the new and favorite events . SEWE you soon!


A Big Night for Small Works

Our newest event that is sure to delight and surprise…A Big Night for Small Works.

Join us for an evening of art, entertainment and unexpected experiences at our newest event, A Big Night for Small Works. This exclusive celebration will exhibit the small details that make a big impact, from pocket-sized pieces of art and mini bites to grand displays and illusions. The night promises to surprise and delight guests with music, live performers, top-shelf libations, a menu that will inspire and more exciting twists and turns. A first for SEWE—this party will showcase a unique viewpoint for enjoying wildlife art and the finer things in life.

When: WEDNESDAY | 02/12/2020 | 6:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.


Tickets: $150 per ticket. Limited tickets available.

Dress: Cocktail




Meet Jason Tako


SEWE announces its Featured Artist and painting for the 2020 event, marking 38 years of excellence in wildlife art, conservation and the sporting life. Jason Tako (pronounced TAKE-O) has been named the 2020 event’s Featured Artist. His painting, The Road Less Traveled, has been selected as the Featured Painting and subject of the official SEWE 2020 poster.

“At its core, SEWE desires to present the finest wildlife art available. With that in mind, Jason Tako was an obvious choice for the 2020 Featured Artist. Jason’s western paintings are unmatched, and it is a privilege to showcase his work” says SEWE Art Curator, Natalie Henderson.

Jason Tako is in the unique category of being one of the few plein air artists who paints animals from life, and one of the few wildlife artists who paints en plein air. “I have only understood that drawing and painting from life was the best way to learn,” Jason says. The soul of Jason’s artwork has its origins in the wetlands and prairie areas of Minnesota. “Heading outdoors long before sunrise, I would spend hours in a duck blind just watching and listening. Those moments are with me to this day,” he adds.

“I was stunned for a while and couldn’t really do anything for several hours until it sunk in,” he replied when asked his feelings on what it was like to be selected as the 2020 Featured Artist. “Then there was the feeling of paranoia when I realized the quality of work I would need to create to live up to the honor.” Jason, who lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Rebecca and their five children, also added, “My wife and children were really excited for me and encouraged me to accept it.”

“With the artists present and engaging with collectors during SEWE week people often refer to the connections and relationships made here in Charleston,” Powell adds. “For those of us fortunate to view Jason Tako’s collection at SEWE 2020, I believe his work will connect all of us and tell a story about the love we share for the outdoors and our traditions.”


The Road Less Traveled depicts two big horned sheep in western North Dakota.

We asked Jason about the inspiration and process behind the concept and creation of the 2020 featured painting:

“Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota is a beautiful place teaming with wildlife, but the fact that it’s been rarely painted makes it a hidden treasure that I wanted to show the world. Having been raised in rural Minnesota, I have always felt a connection with more isolated and unknown places. And for me, this area represents that. The Road Less Traveled was inspired by several trips my family and I made to this relatively unknown and restful place. The landscape depicts the north unit, which has some of the most dramatic landscape in all the park. Bighorn Sheep can also be spotted here if one is fortunate enough.”

“Since you cannot have wildlife without habitat, I wanted a piece that told as much about the landscape as the animals in the landscape. I also wanted this to be a scene that any person would enjoy viewing. From a compositional perspective, the darks of the buttes bring out the strong back lighting on the sheep, which are making their way down into the canyon. The diagonal shapes are meant to give a downward movement to emphasize the height of the sheep’s location. The upper left, which acts as a type of window, also shows the height of the sheep and the vastness of the western landscape. The foreground rocks and grass were painted with thick impasto paint to help give them a three-dimensional feel and push the rest of the scene into the distance.”

A vast amount of land is shown without any sign of human development. The sheep feel almost isolated and we are privileged to be able to witness their untouched refuge. These are the types of emotions I’m given in a place like this. My hope is that the viewer will be able to make a similar connection and perhaps be inspired by The Road Less Traveled.

Tako’s original painting will be available at auction during the VIP Signature Gala and Sale, February 13, 2020. Purchase the Official 2020 Poster is here.>>

More about Jason:

The soul of Jason Tako’s highly sought after artwork has its origins in the wetlands and prairie areas of Minnesota. He spent the summers of his youth fishing at the family cabin and winters wandering through the nearby wooded areas and playing on frozen lakes.  During his senior year in high school, Jason put aside his sketchbooks and delved into music. Attending what later became McNally Smith College of Music, he studied bass guitar and jazz music theory and graduated top of his class with honors. He spent the next ten years playing in numerous rock, jazz, and country bands and recorded several albums.

Realizing how much he missed the serenity of nature, Jason picked up his sketchbooks again and headed back out into the wetlands of southern Minnesota. After spending several years in solitude sketching from life, Jason plunged himself into studio oil painting all while keeping up his discipline of plein air painting. “I was plein air painting before I ever heard the term or knew of the movement. I only understood that drawing and painting from life was the best way to learn. Heading outdoors long before sunrise, I would spend hours in a duck blind just watching and listening. Those moments are with me to this day,” Jason says.

Jason is in the unique category of being one of the few plein air artists who paints animals from life, and one of the few wildlife artists who paints en plein air. “I have always had an interest in history, and during my years of wandering through rural Minnesota I frequently thought about the American Indians; how close they were with nature and the unique privilege they had to live in an unspoiled land. And I’ve always enjoyed drawing the human figure. It finally dawned on me, almost by accident, that this would be a subject I would thoroughly enjoy painting as it combines so many aspects of my interest,” Jason says.


Carolina Billfish Classic

SEWE supports CBC

The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is proud to support the Carolina Billfish Classic with SEWE partner Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. As the third leg of the SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series, June 19-22, 2019, the CBC marks an exciting time for anglers in pursuit of one of saltwater’s most revered gamefish.

“The CBC is a highly regarded tournament on the East Coast and we are pleased to promote the event in any way we can,” says SEWE Executive Director John Powell.  “The Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina is an important and proactive partner with SEWE so getting behind the CBC along with the resort is natural for our organization. We have a lot of friends on land and at sea that weekend so we will be doing our best to celebrate a busy weekend in Mount Pleasant and a safe time on the water.”

The Carolina Billfish Classic is pacing ahead of last year’s entries and the tournament will boast some of the finest captains and teams from South Carolina and other ports along the East Coast. With Blue Marlin being seen regularly the last few weeks the number of participants will grow steadily over the next month. Drama builds as the boat count and cash prizes rise and the atmosphere on the docks and at the resort is thrilling during the CBC. With nightly events including Party at the Point during tournament dates, Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina will be bustling with anglers and their supporters.  Find out more and how to enter HERE>>.

Make it a weekend and book your stay at the Charleston Harbor Resort, the #1 resort in Charleston and the #2 resort in the South!  Make your reservations HERE>>.

And follow the build up to Carolina Billfish Classic>>.



Live Auction Preview

From original art to international hunting trips to a private dinner with Jack Hanna, preview the line up of fantastic auction items available to bid on during the SEWE Signature Gala and Auction, being held Thursday, February 14, 2019 as part of the SEWE VIP program. Happy bidding!


2019 Art Book

It is a great honor to release the third edition of the SEWE Art Book. This publication has gained momentum since first released in 2017 and each edition is a beautiful collaboration between the artist and what has become the premier wildlife art show in the Southeast. The works featured in the book are available for purchase (at the time of printing). SEWE is unique in its focus on the relationship between artists and collectors; if you have attended the Exposition and walked around the Fine Art Gallery you have no doubt felt the energy and excitement for the art that SEWE embodies. Browse the SEWE 2019 Art Book for a sampling of what the 2019 Exposition will entail. Please contact SEWE Art Curator, Natalie Henderson, with any inquiries.