Vic Gillispie just wanted to help some local heroes.
That’s why the Little River resident and Army veteran from the Vietnam War painted a commemorative work for the American Red Cross Coastal S.C. Chapter, to help raise funds for its biggest annual fundraiser, the Heroes Campaign.
The Red Cross chapter, based in Myrtle Beach and serving Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties, will have its seventh annual Heroes Campaign kickoff celebration 5-8 p.m. Tuesday at Hard Rock Café at Broadway at the Beach, at 29th Avenue North and U.S. 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach.
B.J. Thomas of Myrtle Beach, handling publicity for the event, said all the money raised through this cause stays local, so the Red Cross can help on a scene as quickly as possible, such as in the Carolina Forest condominium complex fire last March.
Gillispie joked that age 70, “I’m as old as dirt,” but in his fifth decade of painting, he enjoys donating his work to help area causes, such as the American Heart Association, hospice agencies and the Red Cross, for which he created a Myrtle Beach shoreline landscape. The setting includes the boardwalk, the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel in the left forefront, and a single-engine propeller plane over the ocean and streaming a banner with the words “Heroes Campaign” flanked by Red Cross logos, with Pier 14 in the background.
In the wake of two ice storms striking the Southeast within three weeks this past month, the scene of shorts-clad beach walkers, and chairs and sun umbrellas lining the sands, might warm anyone’s heart in an instant as spring begins its crawl northward.
Gillispie explained his love of the Carolinas and his way of expressing its charm through his hands, brushed and canvases. Smaller scale prints of the acrylic-on-canvas Red Cross painting, which Gillispie said was not named, are $100, or $160 including framing, all to benefit the Heroes Campaign.
It was a tough painting to do, because it was so many individual things you have to have exactly like you needed to blend in. ... It wasn’t just sitting down and doing a painting; I had to do a lot of research. ... I’m happy how it came out.
In art, a lot of that is luck, just being in the right place and meeting the right people. I’ve had that happen to me several times.