Arts Council Exhibits

Local Artist Sheryl Stalnaker leads Plein Air Workshop

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Saturday brought a flurry of artistic energy as local artist Sheryl Stalnaker led her students and interested residents in a plein air painting class.
Stalnaker, who displays her work at The Martin Gallery, first came to Dewees Island a few years ago for a tour with a church group.

Sheryl’s first visit to Dewees in 2014. She says, “I  first visited Dewees as part of a women’s outing with St. Andrews Church. It was a gray, drizzly day, but we all had a fantastic time and enjoyed the peacefulness of the island. I returned with my family and another family for spring break that same year in 2014. I took my painting supplies on that trip and got up early several mornings and went out to paint on location. “

As she says in her artists statement on her website, she is drawn to wild places.

“My landscape paintings are inspired by the unspoiled places, which can be hard to find. I am mesmerized by interesting cloud formations, the light hitting a wave, or colors reflecting. I immerse myself in the landscape, gathering artistic inspiration while boating to remote areas, kayaking, surfing, or hiking in the mountains. I strive to pull the viewer into  participation with the scene, such as feeling the tranquility of a still morning or the rolling of waves in the sea. My still life and other low country scenes incorporate texture and light to make the paintings have energy and visual  interest.” 

There is a Dr. Seuss quote I like from his book Oh The Places You’ll Go that says, “It’s opener there in the wide open air.” That is the feeling I had on Dewees. I knew it would be a great place to hold an outdoor painting workshop with the added adventure of taking the ferry to the island and driving around in golf carts! There are fewer and fewer unspoiled landscapes in this area. 

So on Saturday morning, some of her regular students joined our artists group for some instruction in painting outside. Topics covered included how to gather reference material on location, how to simplify and zero in on a painting subject en plein air, and how to capture the essence of a scene quickly before the light changes or the rain moves in.

Island artist Kathy Warren lauded it as one of the best Plein air workshops she ever attended, and many others were equally enthusiastic in their praise.

Mother/daughter group Ann Sweeney and Sonya Demmler from Columbia were enjoying their first visit to Dewees, as were Chris Richardson from Sullivans Island and April Auerbach from the Isle of Palms.  Emily Painter, a senior in high school who is a home schooling student of Sheryl’s, enjoyed “Dewees’ pretty scenery”.

Susan Mashman, another island resident who had had her own art shows on Dewees, called the workshop “really inspiring. I’ve never worked in oils, and I am excited to try a new medium.” Esther Piazza Doyle, an island resident who exhibits both on Dewees and galleries in NC and Charleston’s Spencer Gallery, also had a great day outside.

As you can see, they had a perfect day for it:

The Dewees Island Arts council provides a wide variety of art shows, classes and field trips. We’re looking forward to more from this artist.

Our family stayed on Dewees the night before the Saturday workshop. We took the golf cart out towards Capers Inlet near sundown during a full moon high tide. I took the most wonderful photos of the landscape. Stay tuned for more paintings of Dewees!(to learn more about Sheryl, check out her website.)

Arts Council Exhibits

Art Show Saturday features both Charlie Evergreen Ceramics and Encore for “Coastal Colors” Exhibit

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Saturday night’s ceramics exhibit will share the gallery space with our outgoing exhibit.  The beginning of the month brought local artists Janie Ball and Elizabeth Middour to the gallery in the Huyler House.  Both plein air painters, Janie and Elizabeth did some painting on the island, and took scores of photographs to provide us with a great exhibit, and there are some beautiful works left if you’re looking for a holiday gift or a piece of Dewees to bring to your home in another city.

current exhibit with Elizabeth Middour and Janie Ball, Tom Jenkins, photographer


Elizabeth Middour and Janie Ball

For this weekend only, the paintings will frame the backdrop for a new exhibition of potter Charlie Evergreen.
Christie Drew, who has studied with Charlie, says this:
Its my great pleasure to guest post here on the Dewees Island Blog. I’m excited to introduce my friend Charlie Evergreen, a fellow ceramics artist working in Durham, NC. Charlie will be exhibiting in the Huyler House by invitation of the Dewees Island Arts Council starting November 4.
Charlie says “I’m happiest in life when I’m experimenting and learning, so I apply this to making art. To do so, I exercise control in my process, but intentionally leave part of the results to chance.”  The results are surprising and spectacular. Charlie makes both functional and sculptural art, all of which has an earthy, oceanic and sometimes otherworldly character.  You can preview the show from 4-6pm on Saturday November 4. And join us at  the opening reception to meet this vibrant ceramic artist starting at 6:30.

Arts Council Exhibits

POA Weekend Art leads into Tonight’s Art Reception and Toast

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The art for the annual meeting is always a great production.  This year’s theme was the Lake Timicau Restoration Project, kicking off this fall.  The artists who provided art for POA weekend wanted to bring attention to the shorebird species we would be helping, the areas that might change with new water flow, the ways people might use the restored areas differently, and the beauty of the environment.  Some of these pieces will be featured again tonight at the Art Reception and toast at 5:30.

Anne Anderson created a map of the future areas (and depths of Lake Timicau:

Jim Anderson made this model of what the new water control structure at six pipes looks like:

model of the new water control device

Barbara and Cori McIntyre and Barbara’s sister Kathy Showers designed many of the pieces in the main room. Stay tuned– Cori will be having her own show on July 15, where you can see more of her art on display.  The triptych above the fireplace featured the sun rising over the lake:

Barbara McIntyre with sunrise triptych
Birds and wildlife enjoying the benefits of the new Lake Timicau, by Kathy Showers, Barbara McIntyre, and Cori McIntyre
ways for people to enjoy the lake in the future

Jane Savage and Sue Mashman created a wonderful exhibit in the hall:

Diane Kliros, an island resident,  accomplished artist and now the chair of the Dewees Island Arts Council, did a series of studies portraits of shorebirds that will benefit from improving Lake Timicau.

They originally hung in the hall to the dining room, and are now featured above the fireplace.  They really capture the essence of these birds, reflecting the extensive research Diane did until she was happy with the portraits and colors. At tonight’s reception, Diane will be presenting the pictures to the photographers, and giclees of the art will become part of the island’s permanent collection.  In addition, the Arts Council/Conservancy will be ordering prints, giclees, and notecards if people are interested in their own copies.

Sanderling, by Diane Kliros


Red Knot, by Diane Kliros

Tonight’s toast to the shorebird collection will begin at 5:30 at Huyler House.  Champagne toast and munchies provided by the Dewees Island Conservancy.


Arts Council Exhibits

Art Exhibit, Differences and Similarities, features Susan Mashman and Esther Doyle

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The newest Arts Council exhibit at Huyler House features the work of Susan Mashman and Esther Doyle.  It has been up since January 16, and you need to be sure to catch it before it’s taken down for the annual POA Homeowner’s weekend.  Called Differences and Similarities, the show explores really interesting art from these two island artists. In addition, they are both donating proceeds to the Dewees Island Conservancy, so stop by and pick out your art whenever you get a chance.doylemashman

Susan Mashman is a calligrapher with 30 years of professional experience. She did extensive training with the Queen’s calligrapher, and ran a successful calligraphy business in Connecticut, where she and her employees contracted for weddings, stationary stores, etc. This exhibit is her first big art show, and it features her exploration of calligraphy and the intersection of art and the demise of the handwritten word.

Her work uses an ascemic language: the letters and structure are familiar but they have no actual meaning.  The fact that it’s not real language is her comment on the fact that students no longer learn handwriting in school, and with digital communication, the art of handwriting is fading with each year.

Asemic calligraphy

Susan says,

Changes in our society have been making the need for hand lettering less and less necessary, and this skill may even be on the verge of becoming defunct! Children are no longer pressed to learn penmanship; instead from an early age, they are using tablets to communicate. Adults are emailing and tweeting and facebook; shopping lists are on phones, and no one has a pen or pencil on hand.  Indeed, mankind seems to be losing the skill of handwriting.  To me, this loss is a tremendously important step. For thousands of years, mankind has written words creating a direct link between the writer and the reader.  Sadly this bond is, if not disappearing, certainly irrevocably changing the need to write by hand. We have also created the emoji, a symbol which can substitute for an entire paragraph or thought.  With this exhibit, I have tried to document these changes in our civilization.  My canvasses represent our past as our letters lose their meaning and become ASEMIC. They have remnants of hand lettering and are “letterly,” but are not legible.

Asemic Art by Susan Mashman

Esther Piazza Doyle is an island resident who works with a variety of media. Her work in this exhibition is an incredible series of drawings using scratchboard art, a medium Esther is drawn to because of the incredible precision it allows.

SCRATCHBOARD  art originated in the 19th century in Europe and is a form of direct engraving.  Under a top layer of black India ink is a layer of kaolin clay on a board.  Multi-colored layers can also be used or color applied after the etching, if desired.  It became a popular medium for illustrations due to its clear, fine lines that could be photographed without losing quality.  In the 1930s to 1950s, it was one of the preferred techniques for medical, scientific, and product printing.  The engraving is accomplished by using sharp instruments primarily, such as an Exacto knife or scalpel.  However, other tools such as sandpaper, steel wool, brushes, and any tool the imagination can provide are also practiced. Scratchboard is not widely known and is considered by many artists to be one of the most challenging mediums.  It is a very time consuming work as all textures are created by fine scratches.

Some of Esther’s work looks photographic, it’s so precise, and a single work can take days to complete.

Scratchboard Art with india ink by Esther Doyle
scratchboard art: Wolf, by Esther Doyle

Here are some more examples of the art from this stunning exhibit: