Members of the Seacoast Artists Guild will show another way to take a seat all month long in September, all to help two local charities.
The guild’s members operate the Seacoast Artists Gallery at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach and have launched their “CHAIR-ity” cause with a display of creative artworks involving chairs. Sales will benefit Help 4 Kids’ Backpack Buddies program and youth art scholarships through the guild’s Cushman Youth Art Fund.
The variety in the seating objects-turned-art range from newly handmade works to recycled wares that have been given a whole new life and splash of color. See them at the gallery, 3032 Nevers St., and three other neighboring retailers: Centro Shoes and Francesca’s, both on Reed Street, and Lazy Gator, on Howard Avenue.
Sharon Sorrels of Conway, a longtime painter and a member of the Seacoast Gallery Committee and the guild’s secretary, helped with Millie Doud and Wayne Herndon to coordinate this local inaugural “CHAIR-ity,” which will culminate with the artist group’s “Art in Common” fall festival Sept. 27-28, held nearby in Myrtle Beach’s Valor Memorial Garden. Sorrels spoke about the teamwork in the process.
Question | How did this innovative way to meld creativity and recyclability with art for a good cause come to light?
Answer | We have seen these events in many areas of the country and the world. CHAIR-ity is a very popular way to help people, and a great deal of fun for the participants.
Q. | Was it easy to elicit donations from the guild’s artists?
A. | After presentation of the idea to them, they were very excited. It’s a fun project for us to do. I’m normally a painter; I do landscapes or people. The idea of decorating a chair was a fun project. We had so much fun finding the pieces we’re doing it with; we found them in flea markets, attics, and we had friends donate things. You would be surprised where we found some of these things.
Everyone has created a work of art. They are all signed, and they all have a name. And each piece will have a picture of what the object looked like before we started the work, so you can see it “before and after.”
Q. | How many seats make up this extravaganza, and what’s the range of objects?
A. | We will probably get maybe 50 pieces; they’re starting to come into the gallery now [as of Thursday]. They were big projects for some people who have never done this sort of thing before, working with wood, metal or whatever material they chose. Some of the pieces were old and very difficult to work with. They range in size from dollhouse furniture to adult-size objects. We have rocking horses, children’s chairs, a little wagon, a high chair all very creative.
Q. | How many youth benefit from the gallery’s Cushman Youth Art Fund, which provides scholarships to young artists to join Coastal Carolina University’s Summer Visual Arts Academy in Conway?
A. | This year, we provided three scholarships We have been providing these scholarships for three years now. The Cushman Youth Art Fund is an ongoing fundraiser. We sell small paintings at the gallery — little mini-paintings with an easel — and sales of those and donations from people go toward that fund.
It’s part of our mission to expose young people to the fine arts in any way we can, and we also wanted outreach to arts in the community. It’s also why we got involved with Help 4 Kids; this is our first fundraiser for them.
Q. | Speaking of another way to help the Cushman fund, how did the visit from Roy Wooley, special effects makeup artist known as the “King of Fabrication” from the third and fifth seasons of SyFy’s “Face Off” competition, carve a calendar spot for 2:30-4:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in the gallery?
A. | We have an artist who resides in Florence, a former graphic artist, and they’re having the “Florence Comic-Con” convention Sept. 14 in Florence. He was able to arrange for Roy Wooley to come here. I enjoyed watching him when he was on the show, and we thought it would be so different to have such as person here.
Q. | How fun is this monthlong lead-in to Seacoast’s “Art in Common” festival Sept. 27-28 in Myrtle Beach’s Valor Memorial Garden, heralding the arrival of autumn?
A. | After the silent auction Sept. 15-21, the chairs we have left will be at “Art in Common.” We also will be showcasing photos and paintings in the same thing; we’ll have those displayed.
Q. | What made you so happy about the process to paint and decorate two rocking horses?
A. | They’re both girls, with eyelashes and flirty eyes, with manes and ribbons, of course. I even gave them names. The zebra is “Zena,” and the other is “Bella” — she’s sort of themed after a carousel horse. That rocking horse was created by Wally Burke, a woodworker, and he was helped by Dan Dietrich. The zebra came from a consignment place. Burke, who’s a woodworker, donated a rocking horse that looks like a motorcycle rocker. He handcarved it himself. The two men also designed the motorcycle rocking horse, with the name “Easy Rider.”