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Couple with Flat Rock roots open art gallery

Fred and Angie LeClercq at their gallery. Fred and Angie LeClercq at their gallery.

FLAT ROCK — Fred LeClercq leads a visitor around his art gallery, which recently opened in the historic Andrews house, across from Little Rainbow Row. He points to a landscape by Ricardo Chirici, an Italian painter.

"I feature him in our gallery," says LeClercq. "He's the finest living painter that I know."
He means he knows him personally. Chirici has painted mountain scenes in and around Flat Rock.
"There's a waterfall on the Green River," he says, pointing at another painting, "and I was with him when he painted the trout pond on the Green River."
GalleryToysFred LeClercq shows an antique toy plane.Fred and Angie LeClercq are new to the small cluster of retail in Flat Rock but not new to art sales or Flat Rock.
Fred owns and operates the Alkyon Gallery in a historic building at 120 Meeting Street in Charleston, where the couple live four days a week. They split time between the Charleston residence and a home on Lake Summit.
Angie's great-grandparents built "High Hills," a cottage at Highland Lake, in 1917. The large home later known as the Saluda Cottages was owned, as Sans Souci, by the Sieglings, the family of Fred's father on the maternal side (Fred's grandmother was a Siegling).
After leasing a boathouse for many years at Lake Summit for their summer visits, the LeClercqs in 1998 bought a 1920s home that had been built by "Chief" Bell, the owner of Camp Mondamin.
The LeClercqs have a history in Flat Rock, and they care about their Flat Rock connection.
Some of the paintings come framed; others Fred has had done using ornate gilded frames he's bought at auctions. A retired law professor at the University of Tennessee, LeClercq has been an art collector for many years. He speaks French, German and Italian and is studying Spanish.
"That's the Battle of Cowpens," he says, pointing again. "That's 'don't shoot till you see the whites of their eyes.' We beat the British unfairly. The squirrel hunters of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina hid behind trees and shot them."
Angie, who was a university librarian at UT and later at the Citadel, has written two books about her family's history.
The LeClercqs, who have been strong supporters of Historic Flat Rock, helped save the Andrews house by buying it. It had once been a livery stable. It was the scene of an animal hording episode when the Historic Flat Rock bought it. After a complete renovation, the house serves as a gallery and represents the first retail across the road, to the west, from the Wrinkled Egg.
The LeClercqs have also landscaped the back yard and taken down trees to open up a view of a small lake at Ravenswood.

Alkyon Gallery, 2731 Greenville Highway, is open Thursday through Sunday and by appointment.