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The Villa Voice: June 2016

Museum Musings

A Message from our Chairwoman.

What is art? The dictionary defines it as a human creative skill, works created for beauty and emotional power. Beginning June 11th the Art Museum will present The Art of the Brick®, one artist’s interpretation of how LEGO® bricks can be used to create beauty and emotional power.

Do you remember playing with LEGO bricks as a child, expressing your creative skill to turn plastic bricks into a tower or maybe a bridge, whatever your imagination created? Artist Nathan Sawaya has moved on from bridges and towers, taking these bricks and infusing them with his imagination to create a new kind of beauty. The Art of the Brick will fill you with wonder: just how does he turn a plastic brick into such shapes and forms? It is beautiful; it is powerful, and it is a new definition of art. Come experience this extraordinary exhibit for yourself; allow it to inspire your creative skill and redefine what is possible for you.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors for their support of The Art of the Brick and to encourage you all, as you marvel at this amazing exhibit, to express your enjoyment with a donation to the Art Museum. We cannot bring such extraordinary exhibits to the Museum without your support.

Thank you.

Nancy Cave
Art Museum Board of Trustees Chair



Building LEGO Exhibit a Real Team Effort

A Message from our Executive Director.

The Art of the Brick® exhibition is here!

Our long-awaited summer exhibition, The Art of the Brick®, is about to be unveiled, on June 11. If you’ve been keeping up with our newsletters, social media posts and mailings, you know that this exhibit is a globe-touring, much-written-about, captivating collection of sculptures created entirely from LEGO® bricks. Not only has the exhibit filled our entire Art Museum, from top to bottom, it will be the focal point of all our summer educational programs – including a robotics camp –  as you’ll read in Arielle’s Education Corner column in this newsletter.

Yellow by artist Nathan Sawaya
Photo courtesy of

Perhaps not surprisingly, The Art of the Brick has also been one of our most challenging ever to assemble and prepare for viewers, which required us to close the Art Museum for an unprecedented two weeks.  Over the 14 years that I’ve been Director of this wonderful Art Museum, there have only been a few times that we’ve had one exhibition in all Museum galleries – both the first and second floors.  We filled the Museum twice in 2005 with the still-talked about exhibitions Myrtle Beach Collects (January 7 – February 27) and From Goodnight Moon to Art Dog: The World of Clement, Edith and Thacher Hurd (June 9 – September 11).  And I’m sure The Art of the Brick will join those exhibitions as an all-time favorite summer exhibition.

Led by our fabulously talented Curator, Liz Miller, the entire Museum staff was involved with the installation, and we even welcomed Kay Teer and her husband Stewart back to join the team.  No one is better at hanging art work from the ceiling than the Teer Team.  You’ll see what I mean when you visit.

Writing this column is a wonderful opportunity to thank not just the staff but also our wonderful cadre of Museum volunteers who will be overseeing the various interactive LEGO building stations on the Carolyn Burroughs Tea Porch, in the reception room and on the ground floor.  The Art Museum is so very fortunate to have a most dedicated group of volunteers who are willing to commit their time and talents to the Art Museum and our summer exhibition.

And, of course, bringing The Art of the Brick to our residents and visitors alike would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors which include the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation, Burroughs & Chapin Company, Inc., Canfor Southern Pine, The Chapin Foundation, Grand Strand Technology Council, IBM, The Moglia Foundation, SCE&G, South Atlantic Bank and Wells Fargo, along with the City of Myrtle Beach and the South Carolina Arts Commission.

It is in the spirit of community and turning our dreams into realities that the Art Museum brings The Art of the Brick to Myrtle Beach.  Through the exhibition and the exciting educational KidsArt programming, we hope to stimulate dialogue and ingenuity in the minds and hearts of our imaginative-minded visitors.  All summer long, we look forward to sparking interest in creativity and creating.


Patricia Goodwin
Executive Director



New Website Design Coming Soon…

It won’t be long before you can go to on your computer or mobile device and find a fresh, lively new design that’s informative, functional and completely delightful to view.

The local web designers at Three Ring Focus are working diligently to bring the Art Museum up-to-date with a responsive website that will adapt to whatever device you’re using to view us. We’ve also enjoyed working with photographer Carl Kerridge, another local, who recently captured beautiful springtime exterior shots of our vintage Myrtle Beach building from sunrise to moon glow. He also focused on stunning details in our galleries, the studio and throughout the building. And we had a ball trying to choose the very best photos from the last few years-especially enjoyed looking at all the kids at work in our studio and in the galleries and at all the activities during our Community Family Days.

With our new design, you should find it easier to keep abreast of all that’s going on at the Art Museum, and you’ll be able to connect with all our social media sites with just a few simples clicks or taps. We hope you’ll enjoy our progress–the advances in website technology the last few years leave us breathless, and we’re excited about all we’ll be learning as we maintain our new site.



Education Corner with Arielle Fatuova

Needless to say, all of us at the Art Museum are excited about our summer exhibition, The Art of the Brick®, a global touring exhibition in which artist Nathan Sawaya uses LEGO bricks as an art medium.  Since the Museum will be filled top to bottom with this exhibition, all of our summer programming will be based around building with LEGO® bricks.

Children participating in our KidsArt camps, community group visits, and our Art and Books Collide program (with the Chapin Memorial Library) will have a chance to experience Mr. Sawaya’s unique art forms. Afterward, they’ll have lots of hands-on building activities using LEGO Education’s StoryStarter packs. StoryStarter is a motivating tool that encourages children to use their imagination to create narratives, characters and storylines while developing skills in speaking and listening, reading, language, writing and areas of technology and digital learning.

But there’s much more happening at the Museum this summer. We’re excited to announce RoboArt, a summer robotics camp for rising 5th to 8th graders.  In this three-day camp, participants will dive into the innovative world of robotics and art.  Using LEGO Mindstorms robotics as their medium (provided to us by GS Tech Council), campers will learn to build and program a LEGO robotic creation that can transform a blank canvas into a work of art.  By combining natural curiosity with the joy of creative exploration, participants will come away motivated to recognize the many ways science and technology inspire artistic expression.  These exclusive Robotics Camps will be instructed by Louis Rubbo, President and FLL (FIRST LEGO League) Affiliate Partner, and Brandy Incorvia, Santee Cooper’s Community Relations Education Representative.

As well as planning this exciting summer, our Education staff has been immersed in our regular scheduled programs. Miss Arielle and interns traveled to SOS Healthcare, a local nonprofit organization working with autistic children, to provide them with an artistic experience to remember.  We look forward to seeing this newly developed relationship blossom.

2016 Best in Show Winner: Zoe Williams from the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology

And once again, the Museum hosted our Horry-Georgetown County High Schools Juried Art Exhibition for an amazing 17th year.  From over 350 submissions, 94 pieces were selected for display at the Museum from April 17th through May 22nd.  This diverse array of works filled the second-floor galleries with color, life and originality, while giving students the experience of having their artwork exhibited in a professional setting.  This year, our judge was Coastal Carolina University Gallery Director and artist Jim Arendt, whose works in denim appeared in our recent Rice and Indigo exhibition. Mr. Arendt judged both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works, each category receiving a first, second and third place ribbon, as well as a Best in Show and eight honorable mentions.  Congratulations to our Best in Show winner: Zoe Williams, a senior at the Academy of Arts, Science and Technology.

We look forward to seeing you during this fun-filled summer at the Art Museum!



Volunteer Helen Bowden Finds a ‘Warm’ Home at the Art Museum

While many Myrtle Beach transplants moved here to escape the cold Northern winters, Art Museum volunteer Helen Bowden came for a different sort of warmth: the people.

Helen Bowden

Helen and her husband, Ned, were ready to retire from their respective careers: he as an Episcopal minister, she from more than 45 years as a registered nurse. The couple had acquired a lovely, 100-year-old waterfront home in New Harbor, Maine, which they had begun renovating. But its location was a tad remote for a couple who weren’t kids anymore – especially in the snowy winter months.

The couple had vacationed here from time to time since the 1990s. One day, Ned asked, “How would you like to retire to Myrtle Beach?” In slightly more than a heartbeat, Helen answered yes.

Happy to find the South Carolina locals to be friendly, she quickly settled into volunteer activities: joining a Kiwanis group, then Angel Threads Ministry, making hand-crocheted afghans for babies. But still something was missing – and she found it at the Art Museum.

“I’m a real people person,” she says, “and I love the people and the work there – although I don’t call it working, I have too much fun.”

Working every Friday at the Museum, her main duties are staffing the front desk and helping out in the Museum Shop. While making introductions and offering suggestions on what to see in the Museum, Helen gets to enjoy her favorite pastime: finding out where the visitors are from.

“We get people from all over the world: English, Germans, Balkans,” she notes. “And from all over the United States. Just the other day I met people from Oklahoma, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Georgia, all in one day.”

On occasion she has been able to help Education Coordinator, Arielle Fatuova with a KidsArt  project, and she says she finds it hard to praise “those kids” enough for their creativity and inventiveness.

In fact, she offers high praise for all the Museum staffers – she refers to them as “the girls” – and for Executive Director Pat Goodwin, whom she calls “the Steel Magnolia who runs the ship.”

Speaking of ships, Helen and Ned have discovered a new love since retiring: taking cruises. Although Helen was reluctant at first – “I saw The Poseidon Adventure years ago, and you know how that ended,” she says – eventually she put a toe in the water, so to speak, and found she was hooked. They’ve since traveled to the Mediterranean, multiple trips to the Caribbean, and as you read this, they’re currently touring the Baltic. Helen was especially excited about visiting the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, on her 73rd birthday, and this fall, making a pilgrimage to Normandy, France, where she hopes to say thanks to the fallen soldiers buried there.

Like the rest of the Museum staff and volunteers, Helen is excited about the upcoming exhibit of LEGO® creations, The Art of the Brick®. “They haven’t even advertised the exhibit yet, and we can already tell there are going to be huge crowds,” she says. “After all, who doesn’t love LEGOs?”

For Helen, it’s bound to be a busy and enjoyable summer, with so many new people to meet.

“I can’t draw a straight line, but I love art, and I love meeting people,” she says. “You don’t have to be an expert (in art) – if you enjoy being with people, working at the Museum is a ball.”



LEGO Fun in the Museum Shop

When the entire Museum buzzes with The Art of the Brick® all summer, our Shop will be no exception.  LEGO® lovers of all ages will be enthralled with a wide array of tantalizing books, DVDs and gifts.

Our book assortment of beautifully produced hardbacks includes artist Nathan Sawaya’s The Art of the Brick, A Life in LEGO – a title that should appeal to AFOLs (adult fans of LEGOs-yep, that’s right) as well as legions of young LEGO builders.  We also are offering three official LEGO titles from DK:  The LEGO Ideas Book, The LEGO Play Book and The LEGO Book along with a number of LEGO reading adventures for young readers.  For movie lovers of all ages we have the acclaimed The LEGO Movie and A LEGO Brickumentary, a film that will open your eyes to those tiny LEGO bricks and their world-wide impact.

From The Brick Engraver in North Carolina we are stocking custom The Art of the Brick LEGO magnets featuring Nathan Sawaya’s sculpture Yellow, as well as a wide assortment of endearing minifigure magnets and LEGO keychains for everyone’s keys.

LEGO builders will have fun with offerings from Klutz – LEGO Chain Reactionsand LEGO Crazy Action Contraptions – creative idea books with LEGO bricks included for a variety of projects.


Cerebral LEGO fans will enjoy the new assortment of “school supplies” from Santoki-pens, colored pencils, markers, pencil sharpeners, pencil boxes and journals-all ready to attach to your own LEGO mini-figures and constructions.  And finally there’s our Emmet LED Lites, featuring the star of The LEGO Movie; touch his chest, and his feet will shine a light on your world.

Lots of fun ways to enjoy and share your Museum visit!  And don’t forget, you pay no sales tax, and members always enjoy a 10% discount in the Museum Shop.  Hope to see you soon!


Myrtle Beach’s Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum strives to be one of the finest visual arts museums in the Carolinas. With 11 galleries that change throughout the year, Myrtle Beach’s only art museum offers exhibitions featuring paintings, textiles, sculpture, photography, video, ceramics, assemblage, collage and more. A visit to the Art Museum’s exhibitions can be enhanced by its lively programming, including artist receptions, tours, lectures, workshops and classes for both adults and children.