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A fresh look at fall art exhibits

About only 10 percent of the Earth gets treated to deciduous trees’ change in colors every autumn. Art exhibits for fall already are flaring across the Grand Strand, long before we see leaves change into flaming red, orange and yellow in time for Halloween.

Artworks by 28 members of the Georgetown County Watercolor Society surround the interior of The Rice Museum Prevost Gallery in Georgetown. This 33rd annual Member Exhibition, “Low Country Color,” all works made in water media, continues through Oct. 6.

During the show’s opening reception earlier this month, one artist, Margaret Little, the watercolor group’s president, spoke about how moving from Seattle prompted a change in her use of watercolors.

“I had to learn to paint differently and see differently down here,” she said.

Little finds the sun “stronger” here, with pine needles to paint as a tradeoff from glaciers and mountains.

Jill Saparito of Georgetown stood in front of her work, “The River, The Trees,” with a tree/horizon line colored by pink, blue and various colors. She said the work consumed her one weekend, going “back and forth” in hues.

The painting “Carolina Whelk,” by Bobbie Owens, includes a small crab sitting on the shell. The native of Tiffin, Ohio, said she’s not fond of “crabs or spiders,” but she thought adding the decapod added to the painting’s focal point.

“He has a big home now,” Owens said.

A walk around the gallery shows nature and everyday home life in a variety of perspectives, such as “Squadron,” an acrylic of three white pelicans by Dottie Dixon; “Through the Eyes of a Cat” by Patricia Givens, who made the feline’s whiskers glisten in the light; and “Yakety-Yak,” five chickens by Judy O’Brien – but only one bird has its beak open.

National exhibit at Brookgreen

Farther north on U.S. 17 in northeast Georgetown County, the National Sculpture Society in New York again has made Brookgreen Gardens the only site for the 79th annual Awards Exhibition.

Through Oct. 28, see 45 figures on display, mostly in bronze, with animal figures in one gallery, people in the other.

Two owls stand on guard at the entry to the former, with Tim Cherry’s “Wise Guy” and Paul Rhymer’s “Who Cooks for You?”

In “Echo & Calf,” Douglas Aja honors an African pachyderm who lived to age 64 until 2009, and shows her offspring almost in lock step by her right rear leg.

“Red Fox” by Rosetta, might look like wood in the entry display window, but it’s bronze, showing the fox looking up, its big bushy tail sloping downward.

In the back window of the gallery, “Nureyev” by Rikki Marley Saunders shows a life-size peacock, the same kind folks might see strolling at other zoos nationwide.

Each piece in the exhibits contains a wall card with some inspiration or something autobiographical by each artist.

For “Monkey/Turtle Discus Thrower,” Steve Worthington wrote, “This is a mischievous look at a classic. I’m a fan of both.”

“One World One Water” by Rik Sargent demands a walk all the around it to peer at the many life elements woven into its circular splash, such as a whale, turtle, fish, deer and bears, as well as a city, farm and clouds.

“Focus” shows a black-crowned night heron by Louise Peterson, whose narrative states that as a sculptor in residence at Brookgreen, this species was chosen in this work because it stood still the most. A pensive polar bear resting on all fours occupies “Waiting for Ice” by Bart Waller.

Across the pavilion, “Pivotal Moment” by Angela Mia De La Vega greets visitors, with a tall, thin girl looking to the side, but not at anyone entering.

In a back corner, relate to the burden of “Moving,” which depicts a man balancing boxes and wares on his back. The artist, Thomas McClelland, stated how the “mover may be any of us as we move from one existence to another.”

“Tango” by Jane DeDecker shows a couple intertwined in arms and legs, covering their floor, while Paul Moore’s “The Mourner,” has a man dragging heads of five dead horses, reflecting his sacrifice of his loves after the loss of a loved one.

Another opportunity for inner thought might arise in front of “Betwixt and Between,” a fired clay piece of a boy, wondering silently, with hands in his shorts’ pockets. The sculptor, Marlys Boddy, expresses the transition into pre-adolescence, or the tween years, when youth are “no longer children, but not quite year teenagers.” The artist had noted the struggle for identity and changes in physical and emotional feelings, hence that feeling of feeling “caught between.”

Abeles’ homecoming

Sigmund Abeles, who, raised a single child by his mother, grew up in Myrtle Beach from age 2, will have two exhibits for three months starting Oct. 7 at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach.

“An Artist’s Eye: A Journey through Modern and Contemporary Art,” with works by Abeles from the Columbia Museum Art’s permanent collection, will complement “Figuratively Speaking: The Art of Sigmund Abeles.”

Calling Monday from New York, where he splits time between the Big Apple and areas outside the city, Abeles said the idea for this two-part exhibit had its roots two summers ago when the Columbia museum, near his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, had a showing of his work. He said the Myrtle Beach art museum’s Patricia Goodwin, executive director, and Kay Teer, curator, saw that show and conferred with him about organizing a showcase for this fall.

Abeles said in planning show in his hometown, he and officials “deliberately wanted my show to be different than the works in Columbia” so it’s “not exactly a rerun.”

“Of course, I love to come home,” he said.

Abeles said this presentation will include “a lot of newer works,” such as in Gullah themes and autobiographical works, including a winter self-portrait drawing in a heavy coat, and the show will pay tribute to a tandem, Truman Moore Sr. and Jr., whose family operated a construction business. Abeles said museumgoers also can see a carving by the elder, his “father figure ... who really supported me” in ambitions to make a career in art.

“Truman was my best friend’s dad, and he was just a warm, kind, loving man,” he said, crediting father and son for persuading his mother to let him make time for art studies.

“I really see this as a tribute,” Abeles said.

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