North Carolina State Reptile

The eastern box turtle, scientifically named Terrapene Carolina Carolina,  is known for having patterned yellow, orange, or red streaks. These turtles are also known for their strong homing instincts and their direction. If you rescue one crossing a road, take it to the side in the direction is was going. It knows where it wants to go! Visit the Museum of Coastal Carolina  January 21 at 11 AM for this exciting program! The Museum of Coastal Carolina is located at 21 East Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Admission to the museum is free for members. Non-member all-day admission is $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $7.50 for children (3-12), and free for age 2 and under. For more information about the Museum of Coastal Carolina, call 910-579-1016 or visit www.MuseumPlanetarium.org.

Brookgreen Gardens Opens New Indoor Gallery

The new Naomi and Stanley Bleifeld Gallery recently opened to the public at Brookgreen Gardens. Located adjacent to the Mary Alice and Bennett Brown Sculpture Court, the gallery is open daily and showcases the work of historic and contemporary sculptors whose subjects are taken from the natural world.  Most prominent in the gallery are works of art by Stanley Bleifeld. Other artist works include Anna Hyatt Huntington, Sandy Scott, Walter Matia, Dan Ostermiller, Grainger McCoy, and numerous other important sculptors, past and present. “The addition of the Bleifeld Gallery elevates Brookgreen’s status in the museum world and provides another indoor exhibit area to display some of our smaller and important pieces of art from our world class sculpture collection,” said Bob Jewell, President & CEO.  “Similar to the Offner Center, that opened several years ago, the Bleifeld Gallery was repurposed from an existing building that now has new life.” The artwork of Stanley Bleifeld, given to Brookgreen Gardens by his widow, Naomi (“Nicky”), will be installed in the gallery by the end of January 2017.  Nicky Bleifeld also gave the lead gift to construct the gallery in his memory.  Although Stanley Bleifeld was renowned for his sculptures depicting the human figure, he was also known for his sculptures in the round and bas-reliefs depicting landscapes and ocean waves.  Brookgreen’s  Marine Relief on the exterior wall of the Jennewein Gallery is a prime example of Stanley’s genius in this subject matter. Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and non-profit organization, is located on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and open to the public daily. For more information, visit our web site at www.brookgreen.org or call 843-235-6000.

American Civil War Corps Commander at Museum of Coastal Carolina on January 17

The Sand Bar Lecture Series continues at the Museum of Coastal Carolina featuring the American Civil War Corps Commander Tuesday, January 17 at 6 PM. Join presenter Douglas Elliott for an evening of enlightenment on life in the early 1860's and accept a promotion to the level of Corp Commander in the American Civil War. Our view of the world today is through 2017 eyes but he will step you back into the 1860's and change your view and perspective. He’ll explore how he got the job, what is needed to know, responsibilities, and the effects of your actions.  When done you will have a perspective on the military, political, and social impacts of decisions. Together the group will discuss how this new found knowledge was applied at the battle of Gettysburg and look forward to today to see how much has changed. Elliott notes, “I look forward to our time together and promise a night of learning, lots of interactive discussion, and time for questions.” Elliott’s background includes portraying an American Civil War reenactor for 18 years, a lifelong military history student, a member of the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry Living History Organization, and he has delivered 200+ lectures to students of all ages on the Civil War. He can be seen on the Documentary "Regiment" as a historical commentator. Admission to the museum is free for museum and dual museum/planetarium members. Non-member all-day admission (including NC sales tax) is $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $7.50 for children (3-12), and free for age 2 and under. For more information, call the museum at 910-579-1016 or visit www.MuseumPlanetarium.org.

Calabash NC gallery to feature works by wood carver Jim Comer and clay artist Brian Evans

Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, NC,  presents Elements of Nature from Saturday, Jan. 14 through Saturday, Feb. 25. The exhibition features the wildlife woodcarvings of Ocean Isle Beach artist Jim Comer along with clay vessels and art pottery by Wilmington artist Brian Evans. An opening reception is set for Saturday, Jan. 14 from 2 – 5 p.m. The public is invited.

Jim Comer, Green Heron, wood

Jim Comer began carving and painting birds and ducks as a hobby over 42 years ago, originally working in basswood on New York’s Long Island. These days, living in Ocean Isle Beach, NC, he prefers tupelo (black gum) wood because of its highly desirable working characteristics for stability and finely detailed surfaces.

Brian Evans, vessel, clay

As a young student, Wilmington, NC clay artist Brian Evans studied under Hiroshi Sueyoshi and Don Johns. He has since developed his own following, receiving many honors and awards, including a regional artist grant for New Hanover County. He says, “I make pottery because I find the tactile experience of artistic expression in clay exciting. The feeling of the clay in my hands and the rhythm of the potter’s wheel can be quite therapeutic… My pottery mainly consists of vessel forms, which I enjoy because they are an intimate part of the daily ritual in people’s lives.   Gallery owner Ginny Lassiter says, “This is a wonderful way to start the new year. Both Jim and Brian exemplify creativity and excellence. I’m excited to showcase their work in this special show.”   Sunset River Marketplace showcases work by approximately 150 North and South Carolina artists, and houses some 10,000 square feet of oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, mixed media, art glass, fabric art, pottery, sculpture, turned and carved wood and artisan-created jewelry. There are two onsite kilns and four wheels used by students in the ongoing pottery classes offered by the gallery. A custom framing department is available. There are realistic and abstract art classes as well as workshops by nationally and regionally known artists. For more information, call 910.575.5999 or visit the website at www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com. Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW (Hwy. 179), Calabash, N.C. Regular hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For daily updates, “like” the gallery’s page on Facebook

Art Museum to Present Companion Exhibits to Gee’s Bend Quilts

Created in the isolated African-American hamlet of Gee's Bend, Alabama, a unique style of handmade quilts was discovered by the art world in the 1960s.  These Gee's Bend quilts have been exhibited at galleries and museums around the country, among them the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC. The museum currently displays  Gee's Bend:  From Quilts to Prints, until April 23, an exploration into the art of making prints based on traditional Gee's Bend quilt designs.
Gee's Bend quilts also inspired a 2008 children's book by Patricia McKissack, titled Stitchin' and Pullin' a Gee's Bend Quilt, illustrated by New York-based artist Cozbi Cabrera. Nearly two dozen of these illustrations are featured in a companion exhibit to the Gee's Bend quilts, titled Stitchin' and Pullin': Painted Illustrations by Cosbi Cabrera. Along with Cabrera's paintings are several handmade dolls and quilts created by the artist, and a miniature replica of a Gee's Bend dogtrot cabin by Georgetown artist Woody Gruber. To enhance the intimacy of the exhibit, the museum has designed a reading nook for children.  Stitchin' and Pullin' will be on display from Jan. 10 - April 16.

Cozbi Cabrera, An Understanding Will Come Later (detail), 2008, acrylic, private collection

McKissack's book and Cabrera's illustrations tell the story of the community of Gee's Bend quilters through the eyes of a young child, as the women work together, sharing stories, songs and their common history as they "stitch and pull" thread through cloth.
In addition to her work as a commissioned artist and children's book illustrator, Cabrera is currently an Artist in Residence at the Lincoln Center's Manny Cantor Center (New York City), where she conducts a collaborative quiltmaking workshop to a diverse community of Anglo, Hispanic, Hassidic, African and Cantonese speakers.
A third exhibition, The Fabric of Our Collection, will open Feb. 11 and will feature works from the Art Museum's permanent collection that reference fabric, either by medium, subject matter or style. These will include Burgess, the Legacy, a photo-collage quilt by Carolynne Miller; Carl Blair's oil-and-wax painting Appalachian Spring; Jonathan Green's oil painting African Memories, which depicts a woman in straw hat moving between line-hung quilts, and other fabric-related works. Fabric will remain on display through April 23.
Gallery hours for all three exhibits will be from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 - 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the museum is free at all times but donations are appreciated.

Historian Joseph Opala Presents Gullah Heritage Program

Historian and anthropologist Joseph Opala will kick-off the 2017 “The Reign of Rice Lecture Series” at Brookgreen Gardens.  The theme for the three-monthly programs, which provide information about the complexity of Gullah Geechee heritage through the production of rice, is “Shared Cultural Elements of Rice Heritage.”  In recognition of Native American shared cultural vestiges, Opala will present “The Black Seminoles:  Gullah Freedom Fighters and the African Frontier in North America” at 1:00 p.m. in the Welcome Center Conference Room on January 21.  The program is free with garden admission.  Seating must be reserved at 843-235-6049. Opala, of Harrisonburg, VA, is known for his research on the “Gullah Connection.” He has spent 40 years using historical discoveries to bring Sierra Leoneans, Gullahs, and Black Seminoles together in a series of homecomings along the entire migration route, from West Africa to Mexico.  His talk will relay how some Gullahs used their rice farming skills to win their freedom.   Other events about Gullah heritage include an educational exhibit and two Wednesday programs.   “Shine On, Gullah.  Shine On.”, an exhibit of Story Quilts, Fabric Collages, and Prints by Fabric Chronicler Dorothy Montgomery of Charleston, will be displayed at Learning Lab I of the Wall Lowcountry Center from 12-4:30 p.m. daily from January 9 through March 12.  Her art reflects Gullah history and culture and her Gullah experiences, including language and traditions.  Each quilt uses a variety of mediums including fabric and acrylic paints, ink, crayons, embroidery floss, dye sticks, and appliqués.   The Wednesday “Gullah Geechee Program Series” will feature two guest presenters. On January 18, Montgomery will present a lecture about her exhibit. On January 25, Gillian Richards-Greaves, Ph.D., will present "Connections with Gullah Geechee and Caribbean/West African Cultures," identifying Africanisms/African retentions in both.  Richards-Greaves is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Geography and the Assistant Director for the Charles Joyner Institute for Gullah and African Diaspora Studies at Coastal Carolina University.  Each program will be at 1:00 p.m., in the Wall Lowcountry Center Auditorium and is free with garden admission. Seating must be reserved at 843-235-6049.   Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and non-profit organization, is located on U.S. 17 between Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and is open to the public daily. For more information, consult our web site at www.brookgreen.org or call 843-235-6000.

Quilts Translate to Fine-Art Prints in Art Museum Exhibit

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In the isolated African-American hamlet of Gee's Bend, AL, located along the Alabama River, women made quilts to keep themselves and their children warm in often unheated houses that lacked running water, telephones and electricity - from the post-Civil war era well into the 20th century. Along the way they developed a distinctive style, noted for its lively improvisations and geometric simplicity. These quilts, which came to the notice of the art world in the 1990s, are considered to be one of the most important African-American visual and cultural contributions to the history of art within the United States.
The 2010 The Quilts of Gee's Bend exhibition, presented by the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, remains one of the Museum's most popular and talked-about exhibitions, according to Museum director Patricia Goodwin.  A new exhibition, Gee's Bend:  From Quilts to Prints, examines the work of four well-known Gee's Bend quiltmakers and their recent exploration into the art of printmaking. The exhibit runs from December 8, 2016  through April 23, 2017; additional public programs to accompany the exhibit are planned for spring 2017.
"Having the occasion to bring the quilts back to the Art Museum while simultaneously opening up a new conversation about the translation of ideas between one artistic medium to another was an opportunity we didn't want to miss," said Goodwin.
The exhibit, which traces the artists' process of translating their ideas from fabric into print, includes 17 quilts, 15 etchings and six maquettes, small-scale quilt replicas used as templates for the layout and color selection for each print.
The maquettes would be pressed onto a copper plate coated with softground, a material made of a combination of wax and tar on which the design, fabric textures and even the quilters' stitches would create an impression, which would then be used for printing. Although created with the standard quiltmaking technique of piecing, the maquettes were made by the artists to be used as a tool for the printmaking process.
The scale of the finished prints, much smaller than the quilts on which they are based, is in line with other fine art works on paper. Displayed with a white matte and framed behind glass, these images convey the idea that they are works of art and not simply crafts, as many viewers perceive quilts to be.
Each print references the workmanship of the original quilt, as elements of color, line and texture in the fabric have been simplified and flattened to a two-dimensional form.  At the same time, the art form of the quiltmaker's design loses its cultural associations with textiles and its identification as something domestic, female and craft.
The translation from quilt to the fine art print medium also offered the makers the opportunity to create poetic or evocative titles for their works. Gee's Bend quilts were generally not titled beyond a descriptive word or phrase identifying the design.
The prints offered the additional benefit of continuing a tradition of art-making in the Gee's Bend community that, prior to the quilts' rise to fame, many feared was in danger of being lost, either from quilts' falling out of favor, or from a lack of interest in quiltmaking among the younger generation.
While Gee's Bend quilts have been exhibited in such prestigious institutions as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC),translating the women's textile work into the print medium opened up new avenues for their creativity.
For example, as a result of the four quilters' collaboration with Paulson Bott Press to produce etchings of their quilt designs, quilter Louisiana P. Bendolph was commissioned by the San Francisco International Airport in 2013 to translate her print New Generation (2007) into a large-scale ceramic tile mosaic to be displayed in Terminal 3 East.
Also, through a commission from the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) and its Lee Kimche McGrath Original Print Collection, quilter Loretta Bennett's Yellow Jack (2006) was selected for the collection, which is stored in Washington, DC, and made available to US ambassadors when they are choosing art objects with which to decorate their embassies.
Gallery hours for Gee's Bend:  From Quilts to Prints will be from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 - 4 p.m. Sundays, except for the period Dec. 22 - 26 and  Dec 31 - Jan  2 when the Museum will be closed for the holidays.

Coffee With the Authors Dec. 8 at Sunset River Marketplace

selph_book_cover_lowres Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, NC continues its ongoing literary series, Coffee With the Authors, with Eleanor Selph on Thursday, Dec. 8 from 10 to 11 a.m.  Coffee, tea and refreshments will be served. The event is free, however seating is limited so reservations are required.   Selph is the author of “Hamburger & Milkshake: Amazing Journey of a Southern Belle.” The writer says, “I was inspired to share my incredible life’s story (including miracle) with the public. From the time of my birth until present day, I have experienced incidents along life’s journey, which I believe will enable and encourage my fellow man to take more seriously their own journeys through life and take nothing for granted.”   The author is the owner of Selph Computing. She says that through her business she assists others in improving their work experience and encouraging them to see the brighter side of their daily existence, and to understand that this life is just a small moment in time.   To reserve a spot, call the gallery at 910.575.5999 or sign up online by visiting the gallery’s Coffee With the Authors blog at sunsetrivermarketplace.com.   Sunset River Marketplace showcases work by approximately 150 North and South Carolina artists, and houses some 10,000 square feet of art work in virtually every genre. Custom framing, painting and pottery classes and art workshops are also offered through the gallery. Since opening its doors in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has supported not only the visual arts, but literary and performing arts, as well. It has become a popular community center and art hub for both Brunswick County in North Carolina and nearby Horry County, SC   Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW, Calabash, N.C. Regular hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call the gallery or visit the website. For daily updates, “like” the gallery’s Facebook page.     author_selph

Marjory Wentworth Discusses Mother Emanuel AME Tragedy

Dec. 9 ~ Marjory Wentworth (We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuelat Carefree Catering 41sxgr8pzjl-_sx331_bo1204203200_On June 17, 2015, at 9:05 p.m., a young man with a handgun opened fire on a prayer meeting at the (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine members of the congregation. The captured shooter, twenty-one-year-old Dylan Roof, a white supremacist, was charged with their murders. Two days after the shooting, while Roof’s court hearing was held on video conference, the families of his nine victims, one by one, appeared on the screen – forgiving the killer. The “Emanuel Nine” set a profound example for their families, their city, their nation, and indeed the world. Written by Herb Frazier, Bernard Edward Powers Jr., and Marjory Wentworth, We Are Charleston tells the story of a people, continually beaten down, who seem to continually triumph over the worst of adversity. The writers not only recount the events of that terrible day but also offer a history lesson that reveals a deeper look at the suffering, triumph, and even the ongoing rage of the people who formed Mother Emanuel A.M.E. church and the wider denominational movement.   The Moveable Feast is held at area restaurants throughout the year on Fridays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. On occasion, an author’s book tour schedule is accommodated with a mid-week or even a Saturday Moveable Feast. For each feast, the chef prepares an exquisite menu, typically unavailable during the restaurant’s public hours. The presentation precedes the meal. Individuals, couples, friends, book clubs and other groups are assigned table seating. Each literary luncheon is followed by a book signing at Litchfield Books for those unable to participate in the feast. Each feast is $25 (occasionally more when the book is included); books are available at a 10% discount from Litchfield Books. For schedules and reservations, call 843-235-9600 or www.classatpawleys.com

American Civil War Corps Commander at Museum of Coastal Carolina on December 6

officerzouve-me-002The Sand Bar Lecture Series continues at the Museum of Coastal Carolina Tuesday, December 6 at 6 PM, featuring the American Civil War Corps Commander. Join presenter Douglas Elliott for an evening of enlightenment on life in the early 1860's and accept a promotion to the level of Corp Commander in the American Civil War. Our view of the world today is through 2016 eyes, but he will step you back into the 1860's and change your view and perspective. He’ll explore how he got the job, what is needed to know, responsibilities, and the effects of your actions.  When done you will have a perspective on the military, political, and social impacts of your decisions. Together the group will discuss how this new found knowledge was applied at the battle of Gettysburg and look forward to today to see how much has changed. Elliott notes, “I look forward to our time together and promise a night of learning, lots of interactive discussion, and time for your questions.” Elliott’s background includes portraying an American Civil War re-enactor for 18 years, a lifelong military history student, a member of the 140th New York Volunteer Infantry Living History Organization and has delivered 200+ lectures to students of all ages on the Civil War. He can be seen on the documentary "Regiment" as a Historical Commentator, a nationally syndicated award winning story of the 140th NYVI. Admission to the museum is free for museum and dual museum/planetarium members. Non-member all-day admission (including NC sales tax) is $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $7.50 for children (3-12), and free for age 2 and under. For more information, call the museum at 910-579-1016 or visit www.MuseumPlanetarium.org.