Resort Guy Local to Know: William Means Rhett III

May 27, 2015

The scene was the new Sunday afternoon art festival at Palmetto Bluff. I was having brunch at Buffalo’s when a painting caught this Resort Girl’s eye. It was propped up in the green grass, against the background of the rippling May River. On the canvas was a beautiful blue and yellow fish and, liking clean lines and crisp colors (and fish too!), I was drawn to the artwork.


The artist, William Rhett III, and his fiancée enjoyed the water’s view, which served as a perfect backdrop for their artistry and photography – or what was left of it. It was a successful sales day – especially for his hand-painted antique piano keys. Mr. Rhett and his parents are locals to know in the historic small town of Beaufort, South Carolina, according to a Southern Living article, Small Town We Love: Beaufort, South Carolina.

Local To Know

Artist William Rhett III can paint grassy details of a wide marsh scene on the ivory face of a single antique piano key. He can also advise on all sorts of practical local topics. “A johnboat is about all you need around here,” he says. Just 30, William works at his family’s Rhett Gallery ( on (901) Bay Street, where you’ll often find him telling stories. Like the one about catching 67 crabs in just 12 hours in two pots from the dock behind his house.


It was a great day at the art festival, and it was even better getting to spend time chatting with William about his beautiful artwork. His family gallery also offers guns, guitars and antiques. So, make it a point to stop by one Sunday or visit their historic gallery in Beaufort at 901 Bay Street.

This Resort Girl might just need one of those antique piano keys!

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