Villa Voice December 2019Museum Musings | A Message from our Board Chair
A Message from our Board Chair
Dear Friends and Community,
On behalf of the Franklin G. Burroughs and Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum,
I invite you to come visit this very special place. Enjoy the visual art exhibits,
the permanent collection, the art reference library, the Museum Shop or sign up for
an art class or a pottery studio class. And just to let you know, the Museum offers an exceptional early childhood education outreach program for children along the Grand Strand as well as an expanded KidsArt Program.
I am delighted to introduce three new staff members who bring a wealth of expertise and energy to our Museum: Pottery Studio Manager Natalie von Loewenfeldt, Children’s Art Educator Devann Gardner and Museum Services Coordinator Victoria Carter. With strong staff leadership, 2020 promises to bring many rewarding and exciting opportunities for all of us to experience.
I am thankful to all who support the arts for our community. Your gifts, time and talent are much appreciated and because of you, the Art Museum remains strong.
See you at the Museum.
Chair, Museum Board of Trustees
Image: James Calk, Essence, oil, 16″x12″, 2018
2019 l What a Wonderful Year!
A Message from our Executive Director
As the Art Museum’s 22nd year comes to a close, it is rewarding and inspiring to look back at the last 11-plus months and marvel at all that has been accomplished – with your help and support.
The year opened with the installation of all new flooring in our galleries, offices, Library and Museum Shop. What a difference new flooring can make after 21 years of carpet. What was now under our feet was setting the stage for other renovations that would come later in the year. Special thanks to The Chapin Foundation and the Jackson Family Fund for supporting this first in a series of gallery improvements.
After a busy winter/spring, details were falling into place for our summer exhibition Can’t You Sea? | Ocean Plastic ARTifacts, a provocative collection of artwork made from plastic waste found in the ocean. Installation of this exhibition would be preceded by the second round of renovations – the removal of the gallery wall carpet in the Museum’s main floor galleries and the installation and painting of new drywall. This clean new look provided the perfect backdrop for the Can’t You Sea? exhibition which was one of our most successful and impactful exhibitions to date. Again, thank you to The Chapin Foundation for supporting the installation of our new gallery walls and new gallery look. Many visitors told us the space now looks like a brand new museum.
So many of those who experienced the Can’t You Sea? exhibit, including Museum Board, volunteers and staff, felt that this exhibition was life changing – we would never look at our use of plastic in quite the same way. Also touched by Can’t You Sea? were over 1,100 children who participated in our summer KidsArt Program. The children from both Horry and Georgetown Counties attended the various KidsArt programs created by our Education Staff to coordinate with the exhibition.
Kudos to curator Liz Miller for identifying and working with six of the best contemporary artists working today in the field of plastic and for designing an awe-inspiring Museum experience.
How was it possible, then, to follow the Can’t You Sea? exhibition. Enter Georgetown artists Betsy Havens and James Calk. Our newly renovated galleries were just waiting, it seems, for their colorful exhibitions. Betsy Havens: Congregate and James Calk: Rhythm & Hues. A delightful couple, married to each other, who paint side-by-side almost every day, Betsy’s figurative works and Jim’s abstract landscapes were brought to life beginning September 26 and have delighted our many visitors these past 12 weeks. In addition to charming our opening reception guests, Betsy and Jim have hosted three gallery tours and taught two KidsArt programs as well as bringing friends and clients from across the state to our Museum. Betsy and Jim attended our Bag Ladies Luncheon and painted bags for the Luncheon auction. We are so sad to see their exhibitions go but certainly lifelong friendships have been made.
In addition to the above, our Pottery Studio, now in its second year of operation, has continued to add classes, camps and open studio hours, including a pottery class for disabled art enthusiasts. With regret, in September, we said goodbye to Pottery Studio designer and coordinator Arielle Fatuova who left us for other rewarding pursuits. Before leaving, Arielle introduced us to ceramicist, teacher and art administrator Natalie von Loewenfeldt. From her first day in the Studio, Natalie has proved to be a wonderful addition to our Museum Family.
And in November, our delightful and popular Bag Ladies Luncheon celebrated its 15th anniversary (see separate article elsewhere in this newsletter). This year’s event, with host artist and storyteller Natalie Daise, was one of our best attended ever. The event featured hand painted handbags created by local and regionally noted artists, a beautiful selection of jewelry, health and beauty packages and the chance to win a stunning Valentino handbag. Thank you to Bag Ladies Co-chairs Sharon Clayton and Theresa Jehle for coordinating such a great event.
We want to take this opportunity to wish you the happiest of holidays. Please note that the Art Museum will be closed from December 17, 2019 through January 14 to complete our second floor gallery renovations. During our renovations, please call for Shop hours.
Once again, thanks for helping make 2019 another banner year at the Art Museum!
Image: Artist James Calk chats with Museum visitors.
with Tracey Roode & Devann Gardner
It was a busy and successful summer for the Art Museum’s Education & Outreach Coordinator Tracey Roode, and Children’s Art Educator Devann Gardner — who joined the Museum staff in May. Together, the Art Education team managed to serve 1,100 youth through a wide array of programs.
In a short time, Devann has proven to be an invaluable member of the Museum family. She has worked hard to expand KidsArt programs and provide opportunities for more students to participate. Starting in January, we will be offering more Mommy & Me (and Daddies Too!) classes, as well as alternative dates and times for our ever-growing Saturday Adventures classes for ages 8-12.
This past fall, we introduced a new program titled The Painter’s Palette. This one-class-per-month program, taught by Devann, is designed to introduce and hone painting techniques for students ages 12-18. Devann is also creating web access to her lesson plans, through the Museum’s website, for parents who wish to join in on the creative fun at home. Sharing is caring!
Fulfilling a long-time goal of the Education Department, Devann helped to make online registration a reality. The Winter/Spring Registration process opens Dec. 17 and will allow parents to view available classes and register their children for multiple classes.
Another milestone: The Art Education Department is going paperless! From now on, we will email class brochures to those on our KidsArt email list, as well as posting our Winter/Spring Class Schedule on our website. To join our email list please contact Devann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With an impressive jump in participation in our fall KidsArt classes — every seat filled in every class with a growing waiting list— Devann has expanded opportunities in our Winter/Spring term. These classes include a wide range of experiences in many forms of artistic expression.
Among the highlights of our fall classes were Guest Artist classes with the Museum’s exhibiting artists Betsy Havens and James Calk, for both the Teen Art Program and the Saturday Adventures for 8-12 year olds. We also had metal sculptor Jim Swaim, who created the Museum’s lawn sculpture of Ringo the trash-filled octopus. Jim visited our teen class and introduced them to the world of metal works. In the Painter’s Palette classes, students were introduced to various styles throughout art history and learned multiple techniques of painting.
Saturday Adventures experienced a broad range of art media and styles with classes in hydro dipping, marbling, alternative paint materials, portraiture, abstract art and many more. In our increasingly popular Mommy & Me (& Daddies Too!) classes, the children got to participate in interactive activities following a story reading by a member of the Chapin Memorial Library staff.
As Devann says, “Seeing the growth of the Art Museum and its community of young, budding artists amazes me and continues to fuel our efforts to bring our community more artistic opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Education and Outreach Coordinator Tracey Roode has continued to expand the Museum’s reach in our two-county community. This fall, the Museum brought free art classes to students attending YMCA after-school programs at six public schools in Georgetown County and to students at the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand. These two groups, a total of 250 students combined, have been working on mixed-media murals to be installed at the Georgetown YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club by the end of December. The Art Museum looks forward to sharing photos of the installations and process through social media.
In our fall season Early Art Education classes at the twelve participating child development centers in Horry and Georgetown counties, students learned about texture, color, shape, line, and how to “draw” with scissors like Henri Matisse. They also learned how to express their emotions with color and art through the following books: Have a Look, Says Book by Richard Jackson & Kevin Hawkes; Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter; I Feel Teal by Lauren Rille & Amy Sicuro; and Sometimes Rain by Meg Fleming. Ms. Tracey is currently creating an online exhibition on the Museum’s website in order to showcase the work of our Early Art students. Ms. Tracey says, “Each month, I pass out the same art supplies to about 400 three-and-four-year-olds and each month I am amazed by how no two works are the ever same.”
The Art Museum also brings free art classes to area libraries each month for students ages 6-12. This past season, students created medley paintings of their favorite things inspired by the work of Betsy Havens; learned about synesthesia and painted to music — a class inspired by the work of James Calk — and created black and white abstract prints inspired by the work of Abstract Expressionist painter Franz Kline. They also learned about color theory in a “slime”-making workshop — a messy but hugely popular medium among kids which is made with glue, water and borax. To learn more about our Library Programs please visit our website or contact Tracey Roode at email@example.com
The Museum’s Outreach efforts would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors: The Bunnelle Foundation, The Chapin Foundation, PNC Grow Up Great and the Waccamaw Community Foundation.
Image: Children’s Art Educator, Devann Gardner, with students from her KidsArt classes.
Meet Our New Pottery Studio Manager
Natalie von Loewenfeldt
To those of us who loved playing in the mud as children, Natalie von Loewenfeldt seems to have the best job in the world. As the Art Museum’s Pottery Studio Manager, Natalie can get elbows-deep in mud — or clay, that is — any time she wants.
“I love to play in the mud!” she admits. “As a sculptor, I love to create things from my mind, from a model or a still life, and then make it in clay. And I love the (pottery) wheel. It’s kind of a Zen thing, it’s very relaxing.”
Natalie joined the Art Museum staff in September. Her responsibilities include managing a budget, purchasing, scheduling classes and coming up with ideas for new ones, as well as teaching pottery classes. Beginning in January, that will be five per week. She’s also responsible for firing up the studio’s kilns — to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit — and keeping track of the pieces inside as they go through the various processes, which can take 2-1/2 to 3 days to occur.
Managing a pottery studio means wearing lots of hats, from teaching kids, adults, special-needs students and disabled veterans to mixing glazes or “slip” — a watery combination of clay and a coloring agent — which the aspiring ceramics artists can use to decorate their works. Since each piece goes through two separate firings — a “bisque” firing to solidify the clay and the second, “glaze” firing to harden the finished surface glaze — this allows for multiple opportunities to create and embellish unique works of art.
“Pottery is a wonderful creative outlet,” she says. “It allows for expression in a more tactile, more three-dimensional way than other art forms. It’s a different experience than anything I can think of.”
In addition to the already diverse class offerings, Natalie would like to be able to offer additional art therapy classes; some bazaar-style student art sales; and specialized workshops for more advanced students, making items such as tea pots, bottles, advanced slab building, platters and others.
Although originally from Boulder, Colorado, Natalie lived much of her adult life in Savannah, Georgia, where she taught art at the Jepson Center for the Arts in the Telfair Museums complex and worked in public art at MeadowLark Studio. But she’s had the occasional non-art-related job as well — like working as a diver at Ripley’s Aquarium, which she began in 2016. Natalie and her husband, Rob, moved to Myrtle Beach in 2013. Rob’s job is pretty interesting too — he’s a senior special agent with SLED who functions in bomb squad, SWAT team, dive, maritime and K-9 operations. Imagine the dinner-table conversations at the von Loewenfeldt home!
Natalie admits there are some challenges in learning the art of ceramics. Everyone enjoys it once they become familiar with the craft, though it’s obvious some are apprehensive about getting started. And then there’s learning how to work on a potter’s wheel.
“The wheel is very particular about how you throw (a piece of clay) on it,” she says. “You have to really pay attention. It can be tricky to learn, but once you get it, it’s like someone flipped a switch.”
And even those who were nervous at the start get a big reward in the end.
“You can see how happy they are,” Natalie says, “when they see this thing that they made, that they’ve put all this time and work into, and when it’s finished they have something useful and beautiful that they can see and hold. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment.”
Image: Natalie von Loewenfeldt
Bag Ladies Luncheon Provides Multiple First
The Art Museum’s 15th Annual Bag Ladies Luncheon, held November 7, offered lots of wonderful treats for the eyes as well as a delicious autumn-inspired meal for the taste buds. With 275 happy participants, the event was one of our best attended to date.
Storyteller and artist Natalie Daise served as hostess. She opened the program by singing a gospel song entitled “We Are” by Ysaye M. Barnwell, that set the mood for an inspiring talk. Other special guests at the luncheon were exhibiting artists Betsy Havens and Jim Calk.
For the first time, the silent auction of gorgeous handbags featured original handpainted bags created by 25 local and regional artists — truly one-of-a-kind items — in addition to a wonderful collection of handbags, fine jewelry and beauty, health and wellness products. We are grateful to Museum Trustee (and participating artist) William H. Miller for coordinating the artist handbag portion of the Luncheon. This year’s special prize was a gorgeous black leather Valentino handbag.
A special thank you to Bag Ladies Luncheon Co-Chairs Sharon Clayton, Museum Trustee, and Theresa Jehle for creating and organizing such a successful event.
As always, we offer thanks to our event sponsors: Presenting Sponsor ChoiceHealth; plus additional sponsors Bob Swanson Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry, CRG Companies, Realty One Group, Natasha Thomas MD and Webster Rogers LLP. Media support was provided by Grand Strand magazine.
Image: Bag Ladies Luncheon, November 7, 2019, at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club
Art Museum Sets 2020 as Year of Women in Art
The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women in America the right to vote. But more than a century later, women have yet to reach full equality in our society — and this is painfully clear in the field of fine arts. Nearly half of all visual artists in the United States are women, but on average, they earn 74¢ for every dollar made by male artists, according to the National Endowment for the Arts.
And a recent survey of the permanent collections of 18 prominent art museums in the United States by the Public Library of Science, a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization, found that out of over 10,000 exhibiting artists, 87% were male.
At the Art Museum, we think it’s time women artists receive their due. That’s why we’re launching a full year of exhibitions by a diverse group of women artists, to highlight the wide range of contributions by women to the visual arts in America.
We start the year with two new exhibitions featuring works by no less than five women artists. Opening January 14 and running through April 11 is Sara Golish: Birds of Paradise, a collection of portraits in oil that depict women of color through a lens of eco-feminism. Golish fills her paintings with ethnically diverse female subjects in bold colors and accompanies them with exotic birds and plants that symbolize strength and fortitude of spirit.
And on January 19 we open Voice Lessons, a multi-media visual-arts narrative of women’s lives featuring works by Eli Corbin, Fran Gardner, Lisa Stroud and Beau Wild. Using media from paint to stitchery, the work of these four Southern women elaborates on the multi-dimensional reality of womanhood. The exhibition also runs through April 11.
We add to the mix on January 30, when we unveil The Power of She, a selection of works curated by Liz Miller from the Art Museum’s Permanent Collection featuring art that celebrates both womanhood and female artists.
On June 9, we kick off our summer with an exhibition of paintings, as well as a site-specific installation, by Yvette Arendt, an artist whose works explore the complicated path of youth, beauty and femininity — as well as the emotionally charged topics of child abuse, adolescence and maternal struggles.
Arriving June 20 is an extraordinary exhibition titled Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women of Louisiana. Created by Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane in partnership with formerly incarcerated women, community organizations and others directly impacted by the prison system, Per(Sister) presents the personal and intimate stories — through works of art — of 30 women who have “persisted” in their drive for physical and emotional survival.
In September we feature Mana Hewitt: Persistence. An artist and art educator (she is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Art Department of the University of South Carolina), Hewitt works in ceramics, painting and metals. Persistence features over 50 commemorative medals of women in recognition of their courage and perseverance in challenging societal perceptions and working to improve conditions for all. Some honorable women included in the exhibition are Indira Gandhi, Sandra Day O’Connor, Sojourner Truth and Margaret Sanger. Also on display will be exhibitions by Maura Kenny, painter and art educator at Coastal Carolina University; and Sara Farrington, a painter, installationist and art educator based in North Carolina.
As Michelle Obama once said, “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
We believe our exhibitions of women artists’ work will offer graphic proof of that sentiment.