Villa Voice Summer 2017Museum Musings
Museum Musings | A Message from our Board Chairwoman
Have you ever gone to an art museum and left hungry? Feast Your Eyes: Celebrating the Food of the South is the wonderful summer exhibit at the Art Museum that will leave your stomach growling. This unique and fun show focuses on food of the South and has something to please everyone…including children. Come and be treated to beautiful, evocative art that indeed will make you hungry for more.
For this our 20th anniversary year we will exhibit approximately 200 works of art from the private collections of Grand Strand residents. Grand Strand Collects, opening September 28, 2017,is a unique opportunity to see extraordinary art that you would never see unless you were invited to the owner’s home. All of our galleries will reflect the tastes, passions and pleasures of our local collectors. We thank the collectors that allowed Liz Miller, our curator, to visit their homes and see the art inside. This will be a unique exhibit you don’t want to miss.
Speaking of our 20th Anniversary – can you believe that for 20 years the Art Museum has been presenting art and education to visitors and residents of the area? Art is so important to a community, inspiring and challenging children to create and express themselves, providing beauty in a world that is not always so pretty. The Art Museum has many to thank for its past success: the founders who had the vision, passion and patience to make the Museum a reality; our sustainers who over the years have given their time and money to make the Art Museum a recognized regional art center, and our staff, few in number, but oh so effective and innovative. Their commitment to art, the community and Museum inspires all of us.
If you haven’t been to the Museum, there is no better time to come see us. Become a member and be a sustainer; you will assure that the Art Museum and all the creative energy and inspiration it provides will be there for you and others long into the future.
Thank you…come Feast Your Eyes.
Chair, Museum Board of Trustees
A Message from our Executive Director
As many of you know, the Art Museum celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. To mark this wonderful milestone, we wanted to create an exhibition that was uniquely our own – that spoke to our Museum, our city, our state and our region. And what speaks to the South more than food? So, in creating this exhibit, we wanted to bring together art – in all media – and food, with liberal dashes of creativity, color, taste, memories, history and humor. And we’ve done it all in one tasty package that we’ve titled Feast Your Eyes: Celebrating the Food of the South.
To “feast your eyes” is to take great pleasure in looking, and this exhibition invites you do to just that. There really is something for everyone in Feast Your Eyes – and that’s always the way we’ve felt about our Museum, too.
We wanted to be a museum for everyone – adopting our free admission policy in 2003 just six years after opening and leaps ahead of many other museums who have since embraced the same concept.
If you haven’t yet seen this exhibition, believe me, you’re in for a treat. It’s been a delightful journey working with an equally delightful team of curatorial talents: Museum Curator Liz Miller, former curator Kay Teer and Museum Special Projects Coordinator Karen Olson.
We’ve been asked by artist and visitor alike, how did you come up with this exhibit and find the works included in it? Well, it took some fits and starts but we finally came up with a list of Southern foods that we felt just had to be included in the exhibit. And then we went looking for the art. Early on, we were led to a few artists by the Southern Foodways Alliance in Oxford, MS. And we had also worked with regional artists whose work we knew would be a good fit: Alice Ballard, Tarleton Blackwell, Jonathan Green and Logan Woodle, just to name a few. Then we let the food choices lead us to the artwork. Since we wanted the exhibition to include not just contemporary works, we reached out to other art museums like the Gibbes Museum of Art, the Columbia Museum of Art and the Morris Museum. They, too, were intrigued with the theme.
All told, there are 112 works in the exhibition by 60 artists. Karen Olson created the labels with the idea of researching and writing about the subject or food. Her idea was to have writers, cookbook authors, chefs and historians bring us up-close-and-personal with the artwork and its subject. And the labels are a highlight of the exhibition. Who doesn’t want to hear from Pat Conroy, Nathalie Dupree and John Edge? They are delightfully interesting to read and may even cause a chuckle or two.
For example, the label that goes with Peter Anton’s four-foot-high piece of bacon reads: “Never fry bacon naked,” by Texas broadcaster Ray Palla. Always good advice.
And we have a tablet to scan featuring biographical information on all 60 artists.
This exhibition also provided us with the opportunity to design Food for Thought, an exhibition-themed lecture series. Over the years, our lectures series have been the favorite summer pastime of many of our members, and this summer is no exception. Nine lectures are being offered throughout the summer; after July 12th, six talks still remain -although many are already sold out. So please check the Museum’s website if you’re interested in attending.
We ‘re also featuring Feast Local: Photography by Brant Barrett in our Reception Room gallery. In 24 engaging photographs, Brant’s lens captures our area’s sense of taste, as well as our unique sense of place.
Of course an exhibit like this one would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Special thanks to Susan Stevens, the Burroughs and Chapin Company, The Chapin Foundation, IBM, The Moglia Family Foundation, SCE&G, South Atlantic Bank, South Carolina Humanities and Wells Fargo for making this exhibition happen.
And while we are expressing thanks, we also offer our deepest gratitude to all those who made all of this – our Art Museum – possible; those who are still active in the Museum and those who are no longer with us. We are forever grateful. So, thank you to our sponsors, to our artists, board, staff, volunteers and all of you members and friends for being on this incredible journey with us. We look forward to enjoying the rest of the summer “feasting o ur eyes” and celebrating our special Art Museum – recognizing that this summer is the beginning of our next 20 years of being one of the finest art museums in the Carolinas.
Thank you to all of our generous sponsors for Feast Your Eyes | Celebrating the Food of the South.
Education Corner with Arielle Fatuova and Tracey Roode
Our education department has been busy both on-site and off-site, filling our community with creative opportunities for its young members. The Museum’s newest staff member, Tracey Roode, has been visiting area pre-schools teaching the elements of art to 3- and 4-year- olds – over 355 each month, at eight different preschools and day cares. So far, the children have been introduced to shape, color and space by incorporating story-time and an art project that Ms. Tracey takes to their classrooms. Over the next few months, the children will move on to pattern, line and form. It’s very clear they love seeing “Ms. Tracey, the Art Lady” every month!
Ms. Arielle has taken her supplies on the road a few times as well. First stop was St. James Elementary School, where she brought materials for the students of Ms. Vanlandingham’s Art Club to make their own paper. Ms. Vanlandingham, who will soon be a third-year teacher, was an Art Museum intern from Coastal Carolina University in 2012. We love seeing how our Museum has helped foster creativity in our community and continues to build strong relationships with our school systems and their hard-working teachers.
In April, our Museum participated in its third ArtMakers event, part of the annual nine-day art competition ArtFields held in Lake City, SC. During ArtMakers, participants ages 5-18 have the opportunity to select from a variety of art-based activities and create their own personal works of art, working with artists and organizations from across the State. This year, Ms. Arielle and interns traveled to Lake City with materials to promote our summer exhibition, Feast Your Eyes: Celebrating the Food of the South . We made prints using a variety of fruits and vegetables – teaching the kids that they could make art using everyday materials!
That same month, the Museum hosted an opening reception for the 18th Annual Horry-Georgetown County High Schools Art Exhibition. This year, we had over 300 submissions from 12 participating schools; out of those, 80 works were juried into the exhibition. A breathtaking painting titled A Girl With Two Pearl Earrings by Timothy Hunter of the Academy of Arts, Science & Technology won the Best in Show Award. Each year we are blown away by the talent in our area high schools, and this year was no different.
We took a break from our busy summer preparations to help make the family shelter at New Directions a little bit more cozy and welcoming by painting a tree of life in the children’s area. Arielle also worked with a local Girl Scout troop to paint positive quotes and designs on canvases to decorate the rest of the shelter. Adding those colorful touches really makes a positive difference for all.
Now that summer has arrived, we have already welcomed lots of children ages 5-12 to tour Feast Your Eyes and create a project inspired by the exhibit in our Studio . At our first summer camp for 5-to-7-year-olds, participants created “ArtFul Gardens.” Through a variety of activities and experiments, the children learned about the development of plant life and about the basic steps in growing their own gardens. Campers painted their own planters and sowed their own seeds – and some have already started to sprout. We even incorporated a little “garden yoga” to create good energy for our plants to grow strong! Another session for this camp will be offered July 11- 13.
Our 8-to-12-year-old summer campers have been working on their own stop- motion films bringing the foods depicted in Feast Your Eyes to life – as characters in their films. Just to name a few, their characters include President Cucumber, Collard Queen and many more!
This season we’ve already had groups visit us from Palmetto Preschool, Bibleway Summer Camp from Georgetown, Georgetown YMCA and Kiddie Park Day Care. Children visiting with these groups have created beautiful prints using a variety of fruits and veggies. Lots of creative projects from these little munchkins!
We’re looking forward to many more visitors this summer as we celebrate the food of the South. Stop in and see us – you may be hungry when you leave!
Volunteer Jane Licata Finds | Art Museum Staff and Visitors a Cut Above
As someone who spent a two-decade career as a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship, Museum volunteer Jane Licata may be seeing a lot of similarities at the Art Museum.
“It’s an amazing place,” she says, “With very little staff, and I’m sure a limited budget, they put out some wonderful exhibits as well as doing great outreach programs, to kids and adults.”
A native of Williamstown, NJ, Jane and her late husband, Joseph, also a professor, had always wanted to retire near an ocean; five years ago, they chose Little River. Sadly, Joseph passed away two years ago. Afterward, Jane says she decided to make her life “what I’d always wanted it to be.” Based on a lifelong love for museums, she grabbed an opportunity to volunteer at the Art Museum last October. It turned out to be just the missing ingredient she’d been looking for.
“I was really missing the intellectual stimulation of working,” she says. “Here, working at the front desk, I have to give a little spiel to the visitors about the exhibits and so on. I have to be on my toes. You’re busy all day, and before you know it, you’re closing the doors for the night.”
Jane says she enjoys meeting and talking with people – who often are from one of the many places where she and her husband lived during their working careers. But she also finds Art Museum visitors to be a cut above the typical beachgoer in Myrtle Beach.
“It’s a different kind of people who come here,” she says. “They’re museum followers, people who look for museums wherever they go and who are serious about artistic endeavors. A lot of them come back every year . . . and they’re never disappointed.”
Jane has nothing but praise for the staff members who helped orient her to the workings of the Museum when she arrived – a time when she says she was “a bumbling idiot” on the phone and computer systems, among other things. She also gives high praise to the thoroughness and the depth of planning that staffers put into each exhibit.
“It’s a lot more than just putting up pictures or putting out sculpture,” she says. “Nothing is left undone. Besides the exhibits, the Museum offers, from time to time, docent tours, lectures series and other activities. And Karen Olson, the buyer for the Museum Shop, finds interesting items for the gift shop, things that are relevant to the exhibit. For example, for the current exhibit (Feast Your Eyes), she’s brought in Gullah grits, special honeys, Carolina Gold rice, even cookbooks – things that the exhibit might whet your appetite for!”
In addition to greeting visitors and giving them an overview of the current exhibits, Jane can be involved in a variety of tasks from helping assemble mailings to proofreading text in mailers or internal documents. Part of the appeal of her duties – which she describes as “not work work” – is the knowledge that the staff are depending on her and that they clearly appreciate everything she does.
“I probably get way more than they get from me,” she insists. “I really cherish this form of giving back to the community. I get to spend a day in the company of people I really like – these people are very good – and I definitely feel appreciated.”
If you’d like to get to know Jane better, stop into the Museum any Tuesday, when you’ll find her at the front desk – or nearby. She always enjoys hearing about visitors’ hometowns and about their impressions of the Myrtle Beach area.
“I like to talk,” she says with a laugh. “I guess that’s why they put me on the front desk!”
Feast Your Eyes Poster in our Shop
Feast Your Eyes Poster in our Gift Shop
We all love the exhibition poster for Feast Your Eyes: Celebrating the Food of the South … and we think you will too. Illustrated with Shannon Runquist’s painting More Maters and Mayo, the poster is bound to put a smile on your face, if not send you out to the garden for a sun-kissed, vine-ripened tomato and back to the fridge for your jar of Duke’s. Measuring 24 inches by 18 inches to fit in a standard frame, the poster sells for $10 – just $9 with your member discount. And if your membership is at the Advocate or Leader level ($500/$1,000), be sure to ask for the free poster that comes with your membership level.