Painting a Picturesque Fall:

‘Color Guard,’ a watercolor painting by Richard Staat.  The painter is a member of the Associated Artists of Southport and the Oak Island Art Guild, as well as the Watercolor Society of North Carolina. Courtesy photo

‘Color Guard,’ a watercolor painting by Richard Staat. The painter is a member of the Associated Artists of Southport and the Oak Island Art Guild, as well as the Watercolor Society of North Carolina. Courtesy photo

What: Brunswick Arts Council Show
When: October 14th through 26th
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Franklin Square Gallery
130 E. West St., Southport
Cost: FREE

Though a Calabash firehouse is one unlikely spot for an art show, it indeed was the home for one of the Brunswick Arts Council’s first annual shows.

Formed in 1981, the Brunswick Arts Council seeks to promote art and artists throughout the county. As a non-profit organization, the group advocates support, appreciation, and education of the wide variety of art and cultural interests throughout the region. From children and students to experienced, celebrated artists, the council’s reach in the community  is unlimited.

Victor and Jeanne Gerloven, both now deceased, founded the council’s annual exhibition in 2000. “The main reason for starting the show was to bring all the artists together in Brunswick County,” Jo Ann Staat, president of the council, informs. “It has ended up as the best art show in southeastern North Carolina.”

Now in its 13th year, the Brunswick Arts Council Show returns as a fall exhibition and sale at Southport’s Franklin Square Gallery from October 14th through 26th. Artists from across the county have submitted their best works for visitors to view and judges to critique. Plus, all of the revenue from the show’s sales will go back to the artists.

“The show is limited to Brunswick County residents—or if you live outside the county, you must belong to one of the Brunswick County art guilds,” Staat notes. “Styles vary from abstract, seascapes, portraits, drawings, and pretty and funny sculptures.”

The exhibit will have a large variety of works ranging from two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, including wood,  pottery, sculpture and photography. Between 50 and 75 artists will display at least two pieces of art each. Some of the better known artists showcasing their work this year include: Susan Dade, Roger Tatum and Susan Mauney (watercolorists); Phyllis Riley and Sharon Bowling (oils); Joyce Gazetti (acrylic); Willis Whyte (photos); Jan Boland (pastels) and Betty Garbarino, (acrylic/watercolors).

The judging criteria will be based on each entry as an individual piece that relates to art, presentation and theme, and success of craftsmanship. Over $3,500 will be offered as awards for the different categories. Judging the two-dimensional pieces will be Treelee Mac Ann, and Michael W. Haga will judge the three-dimensional works. “They were selected as judges for their expertise and eye for the entries that stand out from others,” Staat reveals.

Treelee Mac Ann earned a BA in printmaking from the State University of New York and a MFA from Bowling Green State University. Mac Ann has been an art professor for over 33 years and is currently teaching at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. Throughout her career, she has won numerous awards for her work.

Michael W. Haga is the Associate Dean of the College of Charleston School of Arts. Haga has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Roanoke College and a master’s degree in arts and liberal studies from Hollins University. He has written many exhibition revues for publications such as Carolina Arts, the Charleston City Paper, Art Papers and the New Art Examiner.

An evening reception will be held on Friday, October 17th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Amongst food and drinks for all attendees, the main event will be the awards ceremony held at 6 p.m.

“My favorite part of the show is seeing an artist that has worked hard to bring their work up to show-standard being awarded a ribbon for their first win and watching the spark of an upcoming artist being lit,” Staat, who has handled many of the council’s past shows, describes.

The prize for Best of Show is $750. First place in two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and photography will earn $450 each. “We also have $500 in memorials ($100 each), $400 ($50 each) in merits, and $150 ($25 each) in honorable mentions awards,” Staat includes.

Admission for the reception, sponsored by the Associated Artists of Southport, is free. Regular gallery hours at Franklin Square are Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details about the show or Franklin Square Gallery, call (910) 457-5450.

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