Hungry to see art this summer? Whetting anyone’s appetite ought to come easily across the Grand Strand, especially on the first floor at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon P. Chapin Art Museum.
At the museum, at 3100 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, “Feast Your Eyes: Celebrating the Food of the South,” with more than 100 pieces in paintings and sculpture, and “Feast Local: Brant Barrett Photography,” have just opened, going through Sept. 17.
Also, Brookgreen Gardens will stay hopping through July 9 with “Ribbit the Exhibit,” J.A. Cobb’s traveling outdoor collection of large, copper frogs. Another historical landmark in Georgetown County, a few miles south on U.S. 17, Hobcaw Barony, will serve up “Art and Soul, Hobcaw’s Art Collection” for one afternoon, Aug. 16, highlighting works not usually on display, and covering the theft of a number of pieces, and their recovery and return in 2016.
At the art museum, as Karen Olson, from a crew of curators – with Liz Miller and Kay Teer – worked on putting up all the wall cards for each artwork on the day before the exhibits opened last week, she elaborated on the teamwork that came to the table that customizes “Feast Your Eyes.” She said invitations were extended for works by 60-65 artists, and scheduling allowed for 58 taking part in such “an incredibly positive response,” mostly from the Southeast, thanks to artists themselves and other exhibitors such as the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston and Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Ga.
Olson said American Indian, African and European cultures make up the three “foodways” that form the fabric in this, and that such exhibits focusing this way on food heritage have been rare, and although others have highlighted sweets, those goodies pepper this showcase, too.
Upon entry, visitors will notice two chandeliers that Linda Solomon Wills made with oyster shells, placed over a wood table made from logs salvaged by Muddy Waters from inland S.C. rivers.
“You can’t have a food exhibit without a table,” Olson said.
On one corner of a wall, a hog tray carved by the late Quinton Hughes shows art he fashioned from tupelo wood, and Olson thanked his family for lending a piece of his legacy for the summer.
Guests might notice the banners on South Ocean Boulevard in the museum’s proximity, an enlargement of Shannon Runquist’s “More Maters and Mayo,” oil on board that measures only 8 by 8 inches up close, but radiates a kitchen’s color and the freshness of a sandwich.
Mary Ellen Johnson’s “PB&J Full” reflects another staple sandwich, in an oil on panel about 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall.
Natalie Daise’s paintings magnetize viewers on two walls, with “The Collard Queen,” a woman sporting a gown ensconced in green leaves against a gold background, and a self-portrait premiering at this exhibit, showing the artist at work mixing ingredients for her cornbread recipe.
Patianne Stevenson made “A Slice of Coconut Cake” with recycled cardboard and dozens of bits of shredded pieces of paper for the shavings, and no one will walk out without a look at Peter Anton’s giant piece of pie, made of metal, another exclusive for “Feast Your Eyes.”
Olson said in composing the wall-card explanations, she loved researching for quotes and facts for each artwork. Standing beside Jonathan Stein’s “Open A Smile,” a Coca-Cola bottle about 20 inches tall in hand-cast bronze, and jewel encrusted with thousands of Swarovski crystals, she said so many popular colas today have Southern roots, part of the recovery after the Civil War, including Coke in Atlanta; Pepsi in New Bern, N.C.; Royal Crown in Columbus, Ga.; and Dr Pepper in Waco, Texas.
“We’re trying to present little gems of history,” Olson said, noting a walk through the galleries might inspire folks to “want to get something to eat.”
“Feast Local: Brant Barrett Photography,” occupying its own hall, proves in other ways that “Myrtle Beach is a food city,” said Patricia Goodwin, the museum’s executive director.
She said planning for a year and a half for both “Feasts” was timed to fete the museum’s 20th anniversary, welcoming everyone to “eat it up,” especially with a guest lecture series covering food subjects, on various Wednesdays from June 21 through Sept. 13.
More food for thought, on South Carolina’s beach scene, fills the museum’s second floor, with “Douglas Balentine: Beyond the Horizon.” Displays of the Charleston native’s works include several sets of studies and paintings.
Scan the changes made in the busy portrayals between his charcoal-on-paper drawing of “Sullivans Island” and the oil-on-linen result, such as the position of the ocean-sailing freighter, and the build of the person bicycling, in one case steering without hands, as a comfortable child naps on the sand in both, in the same area to the right.
Women also reflect brightly in Balentine’s works. Pastel-color clouds provide a high, fiery backdrop in “Woman with Horseshoe Crab,” an egg tempera on panel. Pause to sit on the bench before “Rachel,” a larger, oil on linen, showing a brunette subject in a one-piece, red swimsuit while sitting on the beach in a darker scene, with the light source strongest on the lovely face of her tightly coiffed head.
The introductory sign about Balentine stresses words he takes in looking at, and interpreting, the world – with implications way beyond art: “It is elemental: earth/sand, water/ocean, air/sky. Everything is moving. It’s never the same twice.”
Check out art all around the Strand
In this roundup of art, most sites have free admission:
▪ At Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon P. Chapin Art Museum, 3100 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays – “Douglas Balentine: Beyond the Horizon,” a collection of the Charleston native’s drawings and paintings, through Sept. 10; and “Feast Your Eyes: Celebrating the Food of the South,” with paintings and sculpture; and “Feast Local: Brant Barrett Photography” – both through Sept. 17. 843-238-2510 or myrtlebeachartmuseum.org.
Also at museum: “Food for Thought” nine-lecture series on Wednesdays, mostly 2-3:30 p.m. and $10 each, with reservations required – author Nathalie Dupree on June 21; “Collards – Why I Eat Them, Why I Paint Them,” with Natalie Daise, June 28; “Native Roots, Native Healing” with Dr. Will Goins, July 12, for free; “Say Cheese! From the Pawleys Island Sea View Inn to the Nation: Spreading the Love of Pimento Cheese and Other Southern Dishes,” with innkeepers Sassy and Brian Henry and cooks Vertrella Brown, Myrtle Edwards, Farella Smalls and Bessie Simmons, July 19; “Nyamming: Eating Gullah Geechee Style,” with Veronica Gerald, July 26;“The Chefs and Their Farmers,” with Heidi Vukov, Darren Smith and Joseph Bonaparte, Aug. 9; “Sweet and Sassy Southern Cooking with Tour, Demonstrations and Tastings,” with and at International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Aug. 16 ($20); “Food for the Spirit,” with the Rev. Joseph Tedesco, from Mepkin Abbey, Aug. 23; and “To Cook a Mockingbird: Symbolic Foodways in Harper Lee's Classic Southern Novel,” with Daniel Turner, Sept. 13.
▪ At Brookgreen Gardens, on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, across from Huntington Beach State Park, and open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily – “Ribbit the Exhibit,” a traveling outdoor collection of large, copper frogs sculpted by J.A. Cobb, through July 9; and “Recent Acquisitions, 2014-2016” sculpture exhibit, through July 23; and National Sculpture Society 84th annual Awards Exhibition, Aug. 5-Oct. 29. Free with admission, which lasts seven consecutive days – $16 ages 13-64, $14 ages 65 and older, $8 ages 4-12, and free ages 3 and younger. 843-235-6000, 800-849-1931 or www.brookgreen.org.
▪ Margi Weir’s “Bearing Witness” – with works in tapestry-like, spatially flattened compositions, and large ink and wash drawings on rag paper – July 17-Aug. 25 in Coastal Carolina University Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery, in Edwards College building, on main campus, accessed from U.S. 501 or S.C. 544 in Conway. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, and with closing reception, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Aug. 24. 843-349-6454 (call to arrange up-close parking for anyone with a disability or mobility matter) or www.coastal.edu/gallery.
▪ “Historic Horry County Photographs” exhibit, spanning more than a century, through December at Horry County Museum, 805 Main St., Conway, open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. 843-915-5320 or www.horrycountymuseum.org.
▪ At Collectors Cafe & Art Gallery, 7740 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, open noon-midnight Mondays-Saturdays – “Spring Art Show,” with works by people from across the country, through July 1; and “Summer Art Show,” July 12-Oct. 15. 843-449-9370 or www.collectorscafeandgallery.com.
▪ “The History of the Port of Georgetown” exhibit – a series of enlarged photographs, chronicling times from soon after the Civil War, through the lumber boom of 1880-1920, through the 20th century – at S.C. Maritime Museum, 729 Front St., Georgetown, open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays. Free. 843-520-0111 or scmaritimemuseum.org.
▪ “Art and Soul, Hobcaw’s Art Collection” – with works not usually on exhibit, and covering the theft of a number of pieces, and their recovery and return in 2016 –1:30-4:30 p.m. Aug. 16 at Hobcaw Barony, on U.S. 17, just north of Georgetown. $30, with room for 28 people, and reservations required at 843-546-4623 or hobcawbarony.org.
▪ Cheryl Newby Gallery, 11096 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, in The Shops at Oak Lea, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays – gallery “Artists Show,” July 8-Aug. 5; and works by Maryann Roper, Sept. 9-30. 843-979-0149, 800-435-2733 or www.cherylnewbygallery.com.
▪ At Sunset River Marketplace, 10283 Beach Drive S.W. (N.C. 179), Calabash, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays – “POV: Abstraction,” with abstract acrylic paintings by gallery owner Ginny Lassiter, through July 8; and “Tarheel Wandering: a Journey in Black & White,” sgraffito pottery by Raine Middleton, through July 29. 910-575-5999 or www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com.
▪ At Franklin Square Gallery, 130 E. West St., Southport, N.C., open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays – Through June 22, featured artists, Kimberly Smittle-Caroon’s students from classes at the Brunswick Community College Art Center – with their assignment, “Coils Gone Wild!” to create pots that incorporate coils somewhere in the design – and works by Anne McMath, a watercolors painter; “Summer Regional Show,” June 26-July 15; and featured artists Joann Norman and Greta Swaim, Aug. 1-29. 910-457-5450 or www.franklinsquaregallery.com.
ALSO, FOR AN EASY ESCAPE
▪ Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St., Columbia, open Tuesdays-Sundays, with reduced, half-price admission during building renovations, with scheduled completion in autumn 2018 – $6 adults; $5 ages 65 and older and military, $2.50 students; and free for ages 6 and younger, and for active duty military and their families through Sept. 4. Also, free admission for everyone on Sundays, and free parking Saturdays and Sundays on surrounding streets and in City Center Garage, 1227 Taylor St. 803-799-2810 or www.columbiamuseum.org.
Contact Steve Palisin at 843-444-1764.