Hilton Head Art, ‘Life is a Carnival’, by Nancy Mitchell

Fire-Eating sculpture, Mr. Inferno

Fire-Eater, “Mr. Inferno,” sculpture hangs on wall.

Want to see what happens if you pursue your heart’s desire?  Check out Nancy Mitchell’s most recent handmade, hand painted sculptures at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina’Walter Greer Gallery, sponsored by the Art League of Hilton Head.  Her show is inspired by the Savannah Carnival, put on annually by the Shriners.

Made from clay, wood, and painted with acrylics, each work is an exquisite, detailed creation, comprised of many meaningful levels, and signifiers.  One will observe something new on each viewing of the same piece, and feel the same childlike delight as though seeing it for the first time.

A surprising pleasure; some of the larger sculptures move with motorized parts for an enchanting display, such as the “Country Carousel,” and “Country Ferris Wheel,” (see close-ups below).

Pie-winner on ferris wheel

Blue-ribbon pie-winner rides the moving ferris wheel in “Country Ferris Wheel.”

Carousel sculpture

Detail of motorized, “Country Carousel”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, each one tells its own story.

Sideshow Tent

Sideshow Sculpture, “Step Right Up.”

Guitar Girl from sideshow

Sideshow close-up of Guitar Girl.

Like the girl playing guitar in the sideshow sculpture (see close-up, left) inspired by Mitchell’s daughter, real-life musician, Hannah Wicklund, singer in the rock band, The Steppin Stones.  Or, the man selling cotton candy, in “Cotton Candyman,” (wall sculpture, below right), based on the Italian vendor who worked the cotton candy stall.

sculpture of cotton candy man

“Cotton Candyman,” wall sculpture.

"Tough Crowd," sculpture

“Tough Crowd,” offers the whimsical perspective of the festival crowd.

Unique angles, whimsical characters, and bright colors hold the gaze as all the details come into focus, as in the sculpture, “Tough Crowd” (below, left). This work provides a rarely explored glimpse of the carnival audience enjoying the show.  A true joy to behold.

Carnival man on stilts

“Things are Looking Up.”

Such it is also, for the tall man on stilts, making balloon animals for kids (right), in the cleverly titled, “Things are Looking Up”.

There are multi-textural, multi-layered works that tell several stories at once.  And you don’t have to be privy to all of them to appreciate the piece in its entirety.  “Rock and Roll Funhouse,” is one such sculpture (below).  To see what Mitchell has added to the guitar’s fingerboard and head stock, you’ll just have to check out the exhibit this month.  Believe me, nothing disappoints.

Guitar-shaped funhouse

“Rock and Roll Funhouse,” displays the artist’s incredible attention to detail.

Wicklund family

Nancy Mitchell flanked by husband, Matthew Wicklund (l) and daughter, Hannah Wicklund (r). Not pictured, son Luke Mitchell.

 

Mitchell will gift 5% of the proceeds of her sculpture sales to the Shriners Hospital fund, in honor of Mark Bradley, Jr., a childhood friend of Hannah’s, who played drums in her band when they were kids.  After being in a plane crash years ago, he sadly passed on in a Shriners Hospital burn unit, after being treated for three months.  The donation is also a nod to her uncle, who was a Shriner, and is in recognition of the Savannah Carnival, which the organization sponsored annually.

sculpture of kids eating

Playful, “Sweet and Salty” wall sculpture.

Nancy Mitchell’s, “Life is a Carnival,” show of original, hand made sculptures, presented by the Art League of Hilton Head, can be viewed in the Walter Greer Gallery at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina this month.  

An opening reception will be held, Thursday, April 9, from 5 to 7 pm.  Dates – April 7  through May 3, 2015.; Days and Times- 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday – Saturday; Location-  Mid-island, 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC;  Contact-  (843)681-5060 for more info.    Cost- Featured art is for sale, event is free and open to the public.

Pet-Friendly Hilton Head is Perfect Winter Retreat

Don't Wait For Me

What Are You Waiting For?

Hi!  Sam, again.  As you may, or may not know, Hilton Head Blog Angel has a new gig.  A gig that has absorbed her thoughts to herself, as well as in conversations with family and friends, AND her musings on our walks and beach days.  Obviously, she cannot handle both, a newspaper gig, and, a blog gig, otherwise she’d be plugging in some copy here a little more frequently then once every couple of months.  As it is, I gotta’ keep the machine rolling along like it’s well-oiled, so you guys don’t notice the big, widening gaps in between her blog posts.

Now, you may wonder, why it’s such a big deal, if she’s only writing a column twice a month – every other Monday – about Hilton Head, why then is it so difficult to handle that, AND  a blog?  Well, we were wondering that ourselves, me and Johnny D.  Like, how long does it take to think about a topic, and then write about it, and you only have to do that like, every two weeks, right? Well apparently, we shouldn’t have been wondering that stuff out loud in front of Blog Angel, because, being a fragile, creative, word artiste (as she describes herself on a good day), she is constantly misunderstood by us less-evolved neanderthals.   I really don’t know what she means when she says things like that, but Johnny D doesn’t appreciate it either.  So, we just get up and watch TV in the other room, so she can have her space to, you know, flesh out ideas, and create.

water fountains

A Fountain For Everyone In the Family

Which brings me to my promo.  Those of you who have pets, should ask them where they want to go, and I’ll bet they say, ‘Hilton Head, please!’  And do you know why?  Well, I’ll tell you why.  Two reasons: 1) Great, easy-to understand leash laws for the whole island, including beaches.  And most public places, you’ll see containers with signs offering plastic bags for free, while you’re walking your best friend, in case you forgot to bring your own.  They even set us up with showers and water fountains, here on Hilton Head Isle.

Hi George.

That’s My Man, George Evans. Always ready with a treat.

And b.) the people that work here love pets!  Can you believe it?  Everywhere I go with Mom or Johnny D, I get treats.  There’s even some restaurants that let you sit outside and eat with your dog, like they do in the Old Country.  Wherever that is.  In the mornings, when we walk the golf course, the Guys, like Steve and Grady and Joe, take care of me with biscuits.  They know how hard I work treeing squirrels, so the golfers can play through, undisturbed.  It’s not easy being me, down here.

Leaving Sam's scent

Back Roll in the Sand, Leaves a Good Scent for Everyone. Sam was Here!

I know it looks simple, but taking care of Hilton Head Blog Angel and Johnny D, is like, the hardest job you could ever ask for.  You don’t know what I’m up against. So, make sure you are nice to the security guards and the bag boys and caddies while you’re here, because they’ll all take care of you, while you’re here in the middle of the winter, sneaking a break from those crazy snow storms up north, east, and west.  Really.

Who’d ‘a thunk, it would be warm enough to hit the beach this past weekend, right?  But there I am, living large, happy to be here, sharing my scent with anything that will let me roll around backwards and bark.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

2014 in review- Hilton Head Blog Angel Thanks Friends and Family for a Stellar 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Hilton Head Aria Weekend, Like Eating the Icing First, Says Sam, the Beach Beagle

Beagle on sofa

Sam Gears Up For a Night of Arias on Hilton Head

Hi.  Sam here.  It’s been a while, I know, and I wasn’t planning to make this a habit, but Blog Angel asked me to do her a solid.  And apparently, a “solid” doesn’t mean, what I did next to the tennis courts on our way back from yesterday’s run, which is why there was some confusion on my end, about when to get this thing out to the reading public.  You see, my way of getting the daily news, is a whole lot more interesting than the way you guys do it.  I sometimes forget how far behind the homo sapiens species is, when it comes to communicating with one another.

La Scala Poster

IACHH Offers Islanders an Aria Weekend

Be that as it may, HiltonHeadBlogAngel, is quite busy these days promoting the Italians and working for The Man.  Not sure what that means, just checking her notes here, and that’s all she wrote. Literally… that’s all she wrote… down for me, here… so bear with me.  Oh yeah, and she’s still working on some other big project, which is taking up, like, half a life-time, to complete.  It better be some project, is all I can say, because I am tired of picking up the slack around here, I can tell you.  And, she’s tired of picking up after me, is what she would say, in retort to my uppity attitude. All right already, moving on…

For those of you who live in a deep hole in the ground, under a bucket, and also, those of you who may live up there in the New England area, like Rhode Island; you may have missed the biggest, best, Italian Heritage Festival on Hilton Head, there ever was.

But that’s okay, all is not lost.  See, this month, being October, the 10th month of 2014, you can still catch up with those crazy Italians in the American Southeast Coastal Corridor region.  But only, if you’ve got the moxie to just get-up-and-go, for a good time, and a long weekend, of fabulous, classy arias, and Broadway show tunes, and even spend a day at the beach.  Check this out:

Tenor for La Scala weekend on Hilto Head

John Kaneklides, Award-winning Tenor

The Italians on Hilton Head are bringing EIGHT – count ’em – EIGHT, major opera singers to the island to sing only your favorite tunes, with their favorite accompanists.

Singer

Krista Rose Wilhelmsen

Now, I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I just want to hear my favorite songs from a story.  Y’know? I don’t want to have to sit through the whole first act, and unfolding plot-points, monologues, and choruses, just to finally get to hear a rousing, rendition of Maria, from “West Side Story”, or to suffer the pontifications of the king in “MacBeth”, just to hear someone finally sing, Come dal ciel precipita, which is what you’re pretty much in for, if you buy tickets to the opera in Vienna, or someplace like that.

Will_Jacob

Will Jacob

No way.  Not here in Coastal, Italian Lowcountry.  They like to get right to the point of things when it comes to entertainment.  Like, eating the icing off the cake first, so to speak.  Kind of like Johnny D, the president of the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head (IACHH), who pretty much lives his whole life eating the icing off the cake first.  Those of you who know Il Presidente personally, know what I’m talking about.  (FYI: He’s the one who lent me the sunglasses for the photo shoot up there on the leather sofa).

Lacquavia Alston

Lacquavia Alston

So, rather than making you buy an expensive season of tickets to watch a bunch of three-hour shows, just to hear your ONE favorite song, the Italians on Hilton Head, are condensing it into one easy night out: great singers, performing only the best arias and Broadway showstoppers, for a night of pure, uninterrupted, musical joy. Wooo-heee!

Opear Singer

John Fowler to Sing, 10/25 & 26, on Hilton Head

You can’t beat that kind of upscale entertainment with a stick, especially when you consider that all the proceeds go to local charities and scholarship funds.  This is the best of the best, singing the best of the best, all for you, dear music lovers.  So don’t waste any time, buy your tickets today, by clicking here, or you can call 888-860-2787,  or call Johhny D for more information, 401-524-1416.  Then, don your opera-night-out-duds, and have a great time!

Singer Stallard

Tina Milhorn-Stallard

singer headshot

Harold McIntosh

Marc Rattray

Marc Rattray

And this is all being made possible, thanks to the generosity of our presenting sponsor, Coastal States Bank, without whom, it wouldn’t be possible-which- okay… I already said that. Thanks, Coastal States Bank for being our presenting sponsor.

Bank logo

La Scala to Broadway, Presenting Sponsor

So here’s the nuts and bolts:

La Scala to Broadway  is playing ONE NIGHT ONLY at the Arts Center of Hilton Head, on October 25th, 2014.

Buy your tickets online, or call the box office: 888-860-2787, or for more information: 401-524-1416

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; An Oasis For Artists

Nancy Mitchell paints outside on Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island Plein Air Artist, Nancy Mitchell, loves to work outdoors whenever possible.

*One of the joys of living on Hilton Head Island is knowing that, when it comes to retiring from a lifetime of ‘the grind’, the relocation aspect is already knocked.  The next thing to check off – while taking that last ride home on the commuter train – is pursuing a lifelong passion that, for many people, is to follow an artistic vision.  So now, the question arises, if one is a working artist, living in Hilton Head, South Carolina, where does one go, and what does one do, when it’s time to retire?  Hmmmm.

Brucie Holler, Artist, works in her studio.

Impressionist painter, Brucie Holler, at work in her studio.

Hilton Head’s natural surroundings are further blessings to those lucky enough to wake up here each day.  To many people around the world, the natural habitat of the lowcountry, is truly a work of art, and cannot be overstated as a luxury, especially, when considering that much of this community’s resort development began during an era when little, if any, consideration was given to the environment, and greenhouse gases hadn’t even made it into the political lexicon.  Landscaping in the sixties and seventies on the east and west coast of the United States consisted of razing shoreline forests to erect high-rise dwellings with penthouses, and city skyscrapers.   It simply wasn’t vogue to leave trees standing, where rent could be collected.

Joe and Marilyn Bowler

Portraiture Artist, Joe Bowler pictured left, with late wife, Marilyn, in 2008

Yet, in spite of this, Hilton Head developed as it did, creating a land/seascape on the southeastern shoreline, second to none.  Ancient live oaks, veiled with Spanish moss, and wax myrtle trees grow unhindered, where alligators, snowy egrets, and herons fish standing next to each other.  Really, one can almost hear them talking to each other.  And, as recently as two years ago, Asian community developers began visiting Hilton Head to understand what made it so aesthetically pleasing to investors and vacationers, so they could mimic it in their own resort planning.

Which begs the question, how does one feel artistically inspired in a place that is itself, a natural work of art?  Hilton Head Island is a glorious little nook, a most pristine example of developed shoreline in the lowcountry along the eastern seaboard.  The answer is that inspiration resides within the artist, evidenced during the research and interviewing of this article highlighting four distinctly different, renowned Hilton Head working artists who live and create just around the corner from one another.

I. Robert Rommel

predator bird catches fish

‘Osprey Catches Flounder’, in this award-winning photograph, by Robert Rommel.

Schoolteachers on Hilton Head make great use of field trip opportunities inherent just by virtue of living and learning on the island.  Any numbers of locally protected areas easily bring textbook illustrations to vibrant life, so that everything learned in the classroom, can be applied to the immediate natural habitat.

Fortunately, the lowcountry is a veritable biosphere of wildlife, encouraging constant outdoor studies.  Science classes often include trips to the beach, trolling for shells and exoskeletons scattered, layered under eons of tides.  With this as background, research biologist/wildlife photographer, Robert Rommel, takes advantage of his surroundings to amplify the range of his own camera art, as well as, to give him a unique perspective when teaching photography workshops.

Photographer Shoots Fiddler Crab

Wildlife Photographer, Robert Rommel Waits Out the Fiddler Crab Mating Ritual With Extraordinary Patience

Fiddler Crab close-up

Fiddler Crab Prepares to Impress His Date

 

 

 

Fiddler Crab Dance

Wow, She’s Impressed. I am, too.

 

 

 

 

His current project, conducted on location at Fish Haul Creek Park at Port Royal Plantation beach, includes a scenic trail walk through the park, opening out to one of many of Hilton Head’s awesome, natural surprises.  A constantly changing seascape view including shoreline, huge rocks, tide pools, and just over the waterway, Port Royal Plantation.

The mating ritual of the sand fiddler crab fascinates Robert and his Nikon today.  Yes, fascinates.  In fact, until he gets his shot, one goes on blind faith that the silent, patient, wildlife photographer, lying stretched out prone, for hours on the sand, knows that what he is waiting for, flat on his stomach, is going to be worth it.  And the resulting photos don’t disappoint, (see captioned photo) as he catches the male sand fiddler crab doing quite a dance with one claw waving madly about, trying for the attention of a mate, who has to be totally impressed by this.  But what more could a female sand fiddler want, out here at 10:00 am in the salt marsh of Port Royal? Breakfast at Tiffany’s?
Robert’s work recently won a Wildlife in Focus Contest and a portfolio of his work can be found on his website, http://www.robertrommel.com, where one can also find out when and where he teaches photography workshops.

Impressionist painting, 30 Panels

‘Murmurations Squared,’ by Impressionist Painter, Brucie Holler

II. Brucie Holler

In the Gallery of Shoppes, overlooking Greenwood Avenue just before the Sea Pines gate, Brucie Holler’s more recent “starling murmurations” –inspired paintings can be found.  Vibrant acrylics on paper abstracts decorate the walls, floors, and tables of her studio, compelling the gaze over and over as her brush strokes mimic the reverberations of a flock of starlings that hauntingly sweep the skies.   YouTube videos set to music, illustrate this wildlife phenomenon, and Brucie’s abstract interpretations are breathtaking.

“As a non-representational painter, I am interested in exploring the source of inspiration,” writes Brucie.  She wonders how people experience the natural world, life, beauty, music, language, “and translate that into authentic, personal transcendent art?”

Prior to the mixed media murmurations studies – a wondrous, mixed media panel consisting of thirty, eight by eight-inch squares, can be bought as individual squares, or as a whole (see captioned photo, above) – and concurrent with this work, is much of Brucie’s abstract art which distinguishes itself by the use of multi-layered aqua-teal colors, and charcoal strokes (see abstract painting, right).  Her work is mainly informed by two constant sources, language and the natural world.  Language, as expressed through poetry, as well as the natural energy created by wind, gravity, and stillness, inspires her lines and what happens between the forms as aroused by the starling murmurations.

Impressionist painting, oil on canvas

‘Sky’s Big Hand’, Oil on Canvas, 60×72

A South Carolina native, Holler pursued graduate work at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, after receiving a BA in painting at Florida State University.  She has pursued her artistic vision through teaching art, and working administratively, while constantly honing her own craft studying with other internationally known artists, including Richard Smith, and Truman Lowe.  Her work has been shown in galleries in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Colorado.

Represented by Camellia Art locally, and Parker Gallery on St. Simons Island, Brucie appreciates that she can be prolific and evolve, as she is inspired.  Her work can also be viewed online, at http://www.brucieholler.com/

III. Joe Bowler

Portrait of Little Girl, Regan Boyse, by Joe Bowler

‘Whistler’s Daughter,’ by World-renowned Portrait Artist, and Long-time Island Resident, Joe Bowler

One island neighbor, award-winning and world-renowned commissioned portrait artist, has lived locally in surprisingly, well-preserved privacy, since 1972.  What an honor for native islanders to grow up near such an eminent, prolific artist, whose credentials extend from 1952, when he was elected to the Society of Illustrators, all the way to 1992, being inducted into the Illustrators Hall of Fame.  In between, Joe established himself as an internationally acclaimed illustrator/portrait artist, whose commissioned work has kept patrons queued up for ten years at a time.

After contracting polio in 1958, Bowler nonetheless, committed himself to his art; indeed, grew and evolved, with each passing decade from the business world of nationally recognized illustrations, to commissioned portraiture on Hilton Head, where he found time to create his own inspired art between and around commissions.

Joe Bowler portrait, Regan Boyse

Portrait, ‘Regan Boyse – 2010′, by Joe Bowler

Referring fondly to his years working as errand boy, palette and brush cleaner at Cooper Studio in the early years, his first break came when Saturday Evening Post artist/illustrator, Coby Whitmore, took a sample portrait the nineteen year-old Bowler had been working on, and sold it for him to Cosmopolitan magazine for $1000.  Bowler made $35.00/week at that time.  In 1967 the Artists’ Guild of New York named Joe their Artist of the Year, and by this time, magazines were commissioning him to do portraits of well-known people including a McCall’s article portraying eight presidential candidates’ wives; works that landed the covers of such well-known publications as the August 1971 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal portrait of Rose Kennedy, and a Saturday Evening Post cover of Julie and David Eisenhower.

Encouraged, and managed by his late wife, Marilyn (see captioned photo near the top, by Mark Staff), Joe drew inspiration from her tireless support, inherent understanding of the working artist, and fifty-eight strong years of marriage.  Currently, daughter Jolyn Bowler, is the organizer and keeper of the Bowler flame.

Joe Bowler’s works can be viewed online at http://www.joebowler.com,  http://www.morriswhiteside.com, or in person at the Morris-Whiteside Gallery at The Red Piano, 220 Cordillo Parkway, Hilton Head Island, SC  29928; phone, 843-842-4433.  Anyone with inquiries regarding portraits or non-portrait works can either call Jolyn Bowler, at 843-671-2702, or send an email to bowlerportraits@gmail.com.

IV. Nancy Mitchell

Recent painting by Nancy Mitchell

‘Gullah’s Ark’, by Hilton Head Artist, Nancy Mitchell

For the same reason Hilton Head Island stands alone as an incredible testament to the art that is inherent in nature, renowned muralist, wildlife painter, and now, sculptor, Nancy Mitchell, has carved out an artistic niche for herself over the past thirty years; the shared motivation being, environmental respect.  Because, just as Hilton Head Island’s early developers insisted on maintaining the natural beauty of the island during building, Nancy’s profound respect for native flora and fauna is always evident in her work.  And, not only does she draw inspiration from local land/seascapes, she belongs to the Lowcountry Plein Air Society, an organization devoted to nature, and painting outdoors.

Nancy lives her art, and her art lives within her.  There are no other words to describe this totally dedicated, talented, authentic, artist on Hilton Head.  Her work evolves through natural textures and hues, and she is unafraid of learning new tricks.  As a commissioned muralist through the years, she graciously gives of herself through her art donations to animal relief charities and other non-profit organizations.  A true renaissance woman in the new millennium, Nancy’s artistic output is matched only by her glowing smile and sincere desire to return to the earth its natural resources, in any way possible.  If Hilton Head Island were personified as an artist, Nancy Mitchell would be its muse, without a doubt.

“Making a living as an artist has only been possible because of diversity. Murals and faux finishes are still an important part of my repertoire as is commission work for clients and designers,” states Nancy.

Nancy Artist, Plein Air Society Artist

‘Beachpath II’, by Nancy Mitchell, Was Recently Completed on the Easel in Her Back Yard (see Photo at the Top of Artist at Work)

Her love for animals, especially rescued pets, and the local marsh tackies indigenous to coastal Carolina, has led her to animal drawings, mixed-media works, and animal sculptures more recently.  Much of what she has learned has been adding to a fifteen-year brainstorm that has culminated in her current work-in-progress, Life is a Carnival, which will include large, highly textured, sculpture pieces of mixed media, silhouettes, and dynamic shadows, a project inspired largely by the Shriners’ Savannah Carnival.

Represented by The Red Piano Too, Art Gallery, 870 Sea Island Pkwy, St. Helena, SC 29920; phone, 843-838-2241, http://www.redpianotoo.com/ Email: redpianotoo@islc.net, The Filling Station Gallery, 69 Calhoun Street, Bluffton, SC;  phone, 843-263-4796, Mitchell divides her time between shows, commissioned works, and selling her art at farmer’s markets, and weekend art festivals.  Those who would like to learn more about Nancy’s passion for oil painting, can take her October 2014 workshop, at the Art Academy.

Each of these artists works in a unique setting of their choosing.  Joe Bowler and Brucie Holler prefer their own studios, while Robert Rommel and Nancy Mitchell would rather work outside.  The two things they all have in common are 1.) inspiration to create, which only comes from within, and 2.) the extraordinary protective landscape that is Hilton Head Island.  Of course, a work of art in and of itself.

*Please note: This article was commissioned by, and first appeared in, the July, 2014, issue of Hilton Head Monthly on page 22, in the magazine’s, Vibe section.  This is the writer’s uncut, final version.  Any errors of spelling, fact, or inaccuracies that occur herein, please email me, Carmen Hawkins DeCecco, carmenhawk1@gmail.com, with your concern and contact information, and I will address promptly.  Thank you.

Picture This; Renowned Hilton Head Artist, Mira Scott, is also Patron of the Arts

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is;  artist, Mira Scott and partner, photographer, Mark S. Tierney, create their own exquisite art, while also promoting all of their regional, neighboring, and not-so-neighboring artists (see Robert Stark, from Pennsylvania – recent October exhibition).

Mira Scott, 1980's

Mira Scott Portrait, by Mark Tierney

What does that mean?  I’ll tell you what it means; contrary to our parents’ thoughtful counsel to cut our hair and get real jobs in this day and age of high-tech, global, corporate, conglomerate, market-share, bail-out-or-bust, high finance, it means that, one can follow one’s passion for creative expression as a legitimate trade, and survive.   Not only survive, but do quite well, thank you very much.  Let’s face it, almost everywhere on Hilton Head Island, we are treated to some form of artistic representation, OR we attend a celebration that has been created, produced, and funded, by local artists and their patrons.  Two of these fully-engaged patrons of the arts, are Ms. Scott and Mr. Tierney.  We don’t know how lucky we are to have their talents right here on Hilton Head Isle, right along down Arrow Road at 78 Cypress Square.

Mira Scott, artist

Artist Mira Scott, Hilton Head’s Own Patron of the Arts

Painting by Mira Scott

Butterfly Metamorphosis by Mira Scott

Originally from Quebec, and influenced early on by her father’s appreciation for animals – a zookeeper – Mira began watercoloring wild beasts on canvas from a young age.  And from her mother’s side, a

Russian-Polish persuasion can be detected in her use of repetitive patterns, similar to European folk work.  But what is essentially Mira; ie, what only she brings to the artistic tableaux (as it were), is the bright, cheery palette she uses to define her shapes and images.  Unmistakably, clear, festive blues, bright yellows, orange hues, and pinks, reminiscent of the hippie, flower-child era, yet touched with a linear maturity, elegant lines, and faces, are evidenced in all of her subjects.  A delight to behold, Mira’s paintings would be perfect starting points for decorating any room if one needed inspiration.

B&C Landing, Photo by Mark S. Tierney

B&C Landing, Jasper County, SC by Mark S. Tierney

Brick church ruins in Sheldon

Spanish moss enhances drama of Sheldon Church ruins, only by Mark S. Tierney

Mark S. Tierney (Mira’s partner), a talented photographer, whose work reflects a profound intensity to his subject matter, came to Hilton Head via submarine, back in the day.  Based in Charleston with the Navy during the early eighties, he became drawn to the lowcountry geography and landscapes, such as swamp cypress trees growing

out of the brackish water of Savannah, and acutely aware of the effects of the ephemeral shadow-play of Spanish moss on structural skeletons like the Sheldon Church ruins (images that became part of a later photography exhibit).

He is unafraid to explore nature’s drama with black and white choices, nor to plumb the depths of his own grief with blunt intimacy in his self-portrait nudes against the unforgiving backdrop of outdoors; as though trying to find his own place in the world, or rather, a Mark-shaped hole where he feels he fits, in the proverbial grand scheme of things.

Man in Tree Hole

Tierney explores grief in this untitled self-portrait – one in a series – 2010

Powerful imagery, no matter how you view it, and truly unique to him.

Mira Scott's art

Art panels of Mira’s work at Picture This Gallery on
Hilton Head Island, SC

Together, they fill the space at 78 Cypress Square with vivid art, carefully selected crafts and jewelry, and a constant stream of exhibits by other local artists, as well as fundraisers (usually catered by Trattoria Divina, another of my Hilton Head Island favorites), and of course, a little champagne (what self-respecting gallery host wouldn’t supply champagne or wine at the opening night of an exhibit?).  Mira’s attention to detail is evidenced everywhere, as she work the room, selflessly promoting other artists’ work, putting local personalities together for business, for future fundraising partnerships, or just for a good laugh… you couldn’t ask for a better, more sincere or gracious patron of the arts, than Mira, whose work is, in and of itself, full of inspirational charm that makes you never ever want to leave this island again!

For a look at recent popular events hosted by Mira and Mark, like the Concours d’Elegance Poster Exhibit, All Things Indigo, Art; Bubbly, and Cakes, check out their Sales and Events page, or for a schedule of classes and upcoming events, call 843.842.5299.

Also featured in the gallery are local, hand-made, creations, such as Gullah Sweetgrass Baskets, lowcountry sculptures, and an extensive selection of hand-crafted jewelry.  And if fabulous, original, local art isn’t enough to get you in the door, framing services are also the business du jour, at Picture This (in case you were wondering what they do with all their spare time).  But, truly I speak from firsthand experience, when I say you won’t find better attention to detail and pricing for picture framing. Call for more information on framing services, 843.842.5299.

What else is there to say?  Stop buy Picture This, during this holiday season and support your local artists, of course!

Picture This Gallery, 78D Arrow Road (in Cypress Square), Hilton Head Island, SC  29928

Hours: Mon – Fri 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Sat 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, or by appointment.

Phone: 843.842.5299

Email: bozena@hargray.com

Ciao, Hilton Head!

George Paletta & John DeCecco

‘The George’ Paletta, Vice President, with the ‘Legendary Johnny D’, President, of the Italian-American Club of   Hilton Head at 2012 Italian Heritage Festival, Drown the Clown dunk tank.

Okay.  You knew there was no way I could let Hilton Head’s 2013 Italian Heritage Festival get by without posting a blog about it.  Last year, I had to bite down on my nails to keep from commenting on, and displaying the proud images I now depict.  No, last year, I had to limit myself to sending these visual gems in covert emails with restrained captions, to close friends and associates near and further north, because it might smack indecorous, given that the two gentlemen portrayed thusly, en masquerade, are also Board Dignitaries of the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head (IACHH).

Please note, I have exercised enormous restraint in recent print media descriptions over which I had some control, by not taking advantage of all the literary parallels, puns, metaphors, and ironies implicit in two Italian-American men being dunked at the Drown the Clown booth – one’s face covered by an Obama mask, the other, behind Italian flag sunglasses – during an election year in America… and BOTH wearing fuggetaboutit! t-shirts.  The only inappropriate, tactless item that seems to be missing is a bottle of non-FDA approved jug of homemade grappa from Cousin Luigi’s backyard cantina (thankfully, that was hidden somewhere during this auspicious photo-op… along with Cousin Luigi).

Yes, I held off the laughs, in deference to my husband’s sincere commitment to the IACHH, a wonderfully philanthropic community organization that donates proceeds from the annual Italian Heritage Festival  (along with that of four other yearly events) to local island non-profits, and high-school graduate scholarships.

So now I bask in some relief, knowing that I have finally shared one of the funniest pictures ever taken, with all my friends and patient readers.  And it brings me to question why, for the life me, they, didn’t publish it alongside the article in September’s issue of Hilton Head Monthly – that classy, sophisticated publication, with accompanying cerebral content – that sits on the coffee tables of our most stylish vacation beach homes, residences, and gets mailed to subscribers all over the world.  Why on earth would they choose images of lovely children and cultural activities, and not the above delicate portrait of two pillars of the Hilton Head community?  One can only guess at the wisdom of such censorship.

Which brings me to my plea.  If you thought you might, y’know, lay low, this weekend because you just need to rest, or you can’t get a babysitter, and you can’t get too excited about anything after weathering the most humid, wet, summer-from-hell in the lowcountry, please reconsider, amicos.  First of all, this is a family-friendly event, and children under 10 enter free.  Secondly, this Saturday at Shelter Cove Park, from 11 am – 4 pm, the 4th Annual Festival being held in honor of the Feast of St. Gennaro, will be bigger and better than ever.  And, as in the past, the Island Recreation Center partners with the IACHH, and the proceeds go to local non-profits and scholarship funds.  And if you need more encouragement, see the video below for Flash Mob activity at the 2012 Italian Heritage Festival.

There will be food prep demonstrations, grape-stomping, stickball, bocce ball, live music, and the incomparable cuisine prepared by the best Italian restaurants south of the Mason-Dixon.  And that’s saying something.  See below for further details, or IHFestivalProgram2013.  Or, if you prefer a more high-brow article and pictures with details, you can click here, or here.  Otherwise, always check with HiltonHeadBlogAngel for the fraternity-level take on anything.

What: The 4th Annual Italian Heritage Festival in Honor of the Feast of St. Gennaro

sign

Italian Heritage Directional Signpost

Where: Shelter Cove Park, 39 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head, SC  29928

When: Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Cost: $6.00 at the gate, children 10 & under, free

Contact: 843-682-4625

Why: fuggetaboutit!

Father’s Day Special – Hilton Head’s Own, Steppin Stones, Featuring a Chip Off the Old Block

Rockin on Hilton Head

Steppin Stones Drummer, Ryan Tye, Vocals and Lead Guitarist, Hannah Wicklund, and vocals & bass guitarist, Mick Ray

Have you ever gone completely slack-jawed, blown-away by a live band that you’d never heard of?  Well, now I have.  And that band is Hilton Head Island’s own, Steppin Stones, born and bred right here on the South Carolina geologic tennis shoe.  I first saw this band at the Chamber of Commerce Christmas After Hours party 2012, where I had gone to connect with local businesspeople and promote myself.  I ended up connecting with exactly – goose-egg – new business contacts, except for Gregg Russell and Mira Scott (two of Hilton Head’s most renowned artists, whom I already know, and who don’t need my services by any stretch of the imagination), who were also hanging out front row while the Steppin Stones blasted out “Gimme Shelter like nobody’s business.

It might amuse you to know that the Steppin Stones is comprised of three teenagers, who rock down the chandeliers with as much talent and  gusto as their predecessors, a la Steppenwolf, and the Rolling Stones; two bands by the way, who entertained us waaayyyyyyyy back yonder before these kids were born.  But you knew that already.  The great thing about this band is that you can bring the whole family and totally rock yourselves OUT.  Your kids will love this group, because they’re watching their contemporaries on stage, while you will also love them, because they’re playing our favorite tunes from our own, said, formative years.  The whole event resolves the paradox of being safe AND totally cool.  And, as everybody knows, that’s really hard to do these days.

band poses for album

Picture from self-titled 1st cd portfolio shoot.

How did such a trio begin?  Well, apparently, while many kids around the age of seven are watching tv and playing video games after school, these three decided it was more fun to make a whole lot of racket in the garage.  So, under the watchful tutelage of two well-known island artists, Nancy Mitchell and Matthew Wicklund (lead singer, Hannah Wicklund’s, parents) the Steppin Stones emerged out of Palmetto Bay bedrock.  Oh joy, you say, will they be on America’s Got Talent?  Not any time soon, since this band is already booked all summer long, and everybody within lowcountry regional earshot has already heard of them.  Lead singer and guitarist, Hannah Wicklund, and bass guitarist, Mick Ray, started out playing piano when they were each six years old, and went on to take guitar lessons for five more years.  Ryan Tye began drumming at age eight.  Their manager/roadie/sound guy is Hannah’s father Matt Wicklund, who is the go-to man if you want ever want to book this group.  Mom, Nancy Mitchell, is renowned for her paintings and murals that can be seen in various island public venues and private homes.

Since officially forming the band in 2006, Hannah, Ryan, and Mick, have improved and honed their repertoire substantially, taking on classic rock songs with edge and confidence.  Not afraid to tackle the difficult ranges of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Mick Jagger, they will transport you to a time when young up-and-coming bands actually played instruments and wrote their own music.  And in keeping with their rock muses, the Steppin Stones also write and produce their own music, which is for sale on cd’s at any of their concert showings.  Sample the video below, where they sing one of their original songs, “Make Up Your Mind,” (starts about four minutes in).  This past January, their 2nd cd hit the Internet called, Handle Me, and is doing quite well.  Currently appearing three nights a week at different Hilton Head venues (see schedule below), Hannah and her bandmates – now, age sixteen, Mick, seventeen,  and Ryan, seventeen – graduated high school this year, and are looking towards their own careers in music.  So, if you want to catch up with them before they are too famous, and tickets to their concerts are the price of a small mortgage payment, you will most definitely want to check them out this summer on Hilton Head Island.

SUMMER, 2013 SCHEDULE:

Thursdays 6:30-8:30 pm, Coligny PlazaFridays 4:00-7:00pm, Hilton Head Beach and Tennis; and Saturdays 7:30- 9:30 pm, under the Liberty Oak in Harbour Town 

For info and bookings, call: 843-842-2380 or email: thesteppinstones@aol.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And finally, in honor of Father’s Day, I implore only islanders who have been here since the early ’80’s to read on (anyone else will be bored to tears beyond this sentence).  For those of you who may or may not have been of a certain age and living in Hilton Head thirty years ago, you may wonder, from what pedigree doth Hannah Wicklund spring?  Ah… I am pleased to connect some dots for those of you who weren’t drowning in a beer bong at that time (or maybe you were).  There once was a seaside cantina upstairs on the beach side of Coligny Plaza, in what is now known as The Big Bamboo restaurant.  The cantina was known to local ne’re-do-wells as Dos Borrachos, which translates (most inauspiciously, I might add) to Two Drunks.  Yes, I know.  We are so proud, that this classy, gentile, family-oriented island was once home to a Mexican restaurant so named, Two Drunks.  Very impressive.  Well, it certainly spoke to the clientele, as I remember visiting (for entertainment and educational purposes only) with my best friend Amy on occasion, which would make us, dos senoritas entering to enjoy con queso and imbibing mucho cerveza, and exiting as dos borrachos.

Why do I mention this short-lived late-night dining pleasure from back in the day?  Because starting at the early-bird crack of 11:00 pm, playing until the wee, 3:00 a.m.-ish on the weekends, we would rock out like idiots to the vivid music of Joe Walsh, Lou Reed, and the Young Rascals, as played by a  local musical ensemble known as, the most prestigious, Bonzo Brothers (who later became the Truly Dangerous Swamp Band).  Again, you ask… the point?  Well, the point is, the drummer for the aforementioned Brothers Bonz’, was the one and only manager/roadie/sound guy of today’s rockin’ Steppin Stones, Matthew Wicklund, FATHER of lead singer, Hannah!  (Whew… wasn’t sure I could put all that together coherently for you; or maybe it wasn’t very coherent, I’m sure I’ll find out.)  So how cool is that?  A Truly Dangerous Bonzo Brothers Legacy, lives on as we live and breathe on Hilton Head Island.  Now, wasn’t that worth reading all the way down to this point?

And if I wanted to riff on the Dos Borrachos connection all day long (but I will spare you my immature ramblings for the most part, except for this one more thing), I could mention that sometimes, I went to the late-night cantina with both Amy, and another best bud, Steve; then I could say that three amigos entered the bar known as Two Drunks, and came out as Tres Borrachos.

Okay, that’s all.  I’m done now.  I think that’s enough double-pun-entendres.  Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

A 2013 Wish From Sam, the Hilton Head Beagle Blogger

Sam the Beach Beagle

I’m Sam. Standing in for HHBlogAngel Today.

Hi.  My name’s Sam.  I’m subbing for BlogAngel today, because she’s sick with something called blog-writer’s block.  At least, that’s what she calls it.  If you ask me, it’s more like, laying-around-in-my-pajamas-with-an-attitude-in-the-middle-of-the-winter-writer’s block… but that’s just me.  What do I know, right?  I’m just a hound dog she sprung from the can a few years back, and nobody asks what I think about anything.  Now, I’m no Einstein, but I can tell you one thing, you aren’t going to burn up the tar to riches, sitting around in your pink, checkered pajamas, while the early birds are out there catching worms, and you’re just catching some more zzzzz’s (Johnny D says stuff like that when Mom’s moping around, and it really ticks her off).

So, I thought I’d sneak up here on this fun, swivelling chair, and take a stab at this writing thing, which, by the way, looks really booorrrrring to those of us who’d prefer to run around in crazy eights on the beach.

Hey. How hard can it be, right?

Sam and John type

This typing looks pretty easy…

You just sit here and push down on these keys, and you don’t even have to have opposable thumbs; I know, because when I need Johnny D’s attention, I have to stand on his desk and stare at him, and that’s when I see him typing with just his two index fingers, really slow-like (sometimes swearing in between the key punches, and sometimes shouting down to Mom – that’s BlogAngel – “How do you spell, mozzarella?“).  So I know, any idiot can do this writing thing.

Anyhooo… woops, i just hit an extra “o” on ‘hoo”.  Didn’t mean to do that.

So, I’m known around here as the Beach Beagle, but I didn’t start out as a ‘beach’ anything, because, well… I’m from Providence – which is a city in Rhode Island, a BIG city, the capitol city where Johnny D’s from, too – and to be truthful, I’m a beagle mix.  Which, really doesn’t mean anything, Mom says, except that the “mix” part of that label adds spice to my character.  She’s always saying stuff like that about me, because… well, Mom loves me.

I mean, REALLY loves me.  I know, I know, you think you love your dog as much as Mom loves me, but there’s no way… no.  She’s my soul mate.  I knew it the first day I laid eyes on her and she knew it, too.  We HAD to be together forever.  But, there was just one problem with our romance back then; see, I was living in the city shelter, on account of, I got cut loose by my hunting pack, and I kinda’ had a rough time of it for a while in those early years.  I got picked up a couple of times for stealing food, and both times, nice families came and bailed me out (with just a few dollars, called an adoption fee).  But, for some reason, I dunno… something about chewing, biting, baying (What the heck is baying anyway?), the families kept dumping me back in the can.  They were always sorry, but we had a good time, right?  Jeez!  How was I supposed to know that the rubber bone I was chewing while lying on Grandma’s lap, was an oxygen hose!  Who knew?  Why didn’t someone say, “Sam, don’t chew Grandma’s oxygen hose?” or,  “Here Sam, have a treat, Grandma needs the hose to breathe.”  No.  They just all assumed that because I was housebroken, I knew everything already.

So anyway, Mom had a husband named Johnny D, who would never, never, NEVER, allow a dog near their apartment because he thought they should own a house before getting a dog, and…  Okay, so I guess that’s two problems we had with our early romance; I was in the can, AND she had a husband.  Oh boy, when I say it that way, I don’t know how we ever made it this far – wait… quiet… I hear the key in the door –

Beagle and Johnny D

I’m Ready for My Goodnight Belly-Scratch & Smooch

Uh-oh, Mom’s coming, and I’m not supposed to be climbing up and all around the desk, so I’ll have to wind this up, quick;  I just want everyone to know, if you’re even thinking about a pet for your family, then please think about springing one of us out of the clink before shopping around the breeders and puppy mills.  We really appreciate it, and I was thinking last night while Mom was smooching my neck and scratching my belly (she does that after Johnny D. falls asleep on the couch while watching a movie), that if I had one wish for 2013, it would be that ALL my compadres from city shelters everywhere, could have what I have now.  Who would believe, after getting picked up for loitering in Cranston, Rhode Island four years ago, I’d be so lucky to be living here in the lap of luxury on Hilton Head Island, with a dizzy blonde cuddling me every night?

It just goes to show you – woops, here she comes.  Gotta go…

OKAY Mom, I’m done over here! … No, I wasn’t doing anything wrong, and I did NOT chew that yellow sticky-pad on the floor over there… No… it was there, all chewed up like that before I even came into the room…

Hilton Head Humane Association

10 Humane Way, Hilton Head Island, SC  29926

843-681-8686

Providence Animal Rescue League

34 Elbow St., Providence, RI 02903

401-421-1399

 

Great News for Hilton Head Porsche Lovers!

911 S Carrera

Yellow Cabriolet Model is Newest Design in Carrera 911 Evolution; ie, 991 Series

JohnnyD Porsche

‘Which one will I buy?’

What a relief for all my friends who have told me through the years that as much as they love Porsches, the reason they don’t own one is because there’s really no place on Hilton Head Island where they can open it up so the engine can get the exercise it regularly needs.  Apparently, they say, the frequent shifting of gears on paved, flat roads, with rotaries, and stoplights interrupting the flow of traffic, would simply be too hard on the engine of this Stuttgart-bred machine.  Therefore, their reasoning goes (usually after several Jaegermeister snorts, and loud interruptions), in deference to the well-oiled, coiled inner workings and pedigree of said Porsche, they’ve decided – somewhat magnanimously, I must say – to allow the next guy in line to buy it, and they would instead settle for the more eco- and island-friendly Fusion.  As you can see, we are careful to select friends whose priorities place the environment, and the feelings of German-made machines, well above their own selfish impulses to own them.

Well, good news friends!  Your sense of compassion and patience has paid off.  Now, you can sign on and drive off with a Porsche, with no ill-effects to the engine or the environment!  Yes!!  We just found out that there’s a racetrack nearby that Porsche-owners have access to, for stretching their little Turbo Olympians, without upsetting the local laws or noise ordinances.  Isn’t that great?  Located outside Savannah, the Roebling Racetrack is home to the Coastal Empire Region Porsche Club of America’s (CERPCA) quarterly rallys sponsored by Porsche of Hilton Head dealership.  And boy, they really know how to roll out the red carpet for their members, who are also very generous when it comes to sharing the joy with non-members,  the wanna-be’s, the maybe’s, and the can’t-get-out-of-our-lease-until-next-yearly’s.  Johnny D and I fall into the last category, but our good friend with a great sense of humor, Roy Stine (aka, Porsche Client Advisor, Extraordinaire), doesn’t let little details like contracts get in the way of Johnny D’s day on the racetrack.  Remember Ferris Bueller? No Siree, Bob, nothing’s getting in the way of Johnny D’s day to burn up the track.

And, especially now that Johnny D has been elected to President of the Italian-American Club, Hilton Head Chapter, for the next year 2013!  JUST YOU TRY TO STOP HIM! RUN FOR THE HILLS , if you think for one minute you will not be swept up in IL PRESIDENTE’s New Year’s wake as Johnny D shows us all how it’s done down here in the Lowcountry (more on this recent development in international political news will be forthcoming in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned, breathlessly, and I will regale you with the details in a couple weeks. I know, you’re dying to know more right now, but I’ve already digressed too far.)

woman rides in porsche

Going for a Ride, Clyde.

Back at the track; the New River Auto Mall catered this special day with a lunch buffet from Jim & Nick’s BBQ at noon.  Then, a presentation by industry professional race car driver, Andrew Davis (who recently won the Rolex GT Series), followed by an afternoon rolling around the track, test-driving the newest Boxster and Carrera S models, or as in my case, riding shotgun with Davis, while white-knuckling the little side handle-thingy’s.  After that, the Club members took their own cars out and yes, exercised their little protégés.

So, there you have it.  No more worries about where you can open up the engine and bust 130 mph, you can go buy that brand new Boxster Spyder, or Carrera 911, secure in the knowledge that you will be able to give it the exercise it needs.  Call Porsche of Hilton Head, 866-831-9008, visit the website, or just go there now and buy one. After all, it’s the New Year, we’ve survived the end of time, as the Mayans would have it, AND you can open up that baby at the Roebling Racetrack, with no fear of upsetting the very serious German automakers who worked so hard on it.  In fact, that is my New Year’s call to action to Hilton Head road lovers; GO BUY THAT PORSCHE YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED NOW!

And if you still need a little further motivation, check out the overview of our day in the video below.

Porsche of Hilton Head, New River Auto Mall, 107 Drivers Way,
Hardeeville, SC 29927 Phone: 888-370-3590

Porsche of Hilton Head was established at the New River Auto Mall in 2005. The dealership sells new and pre-owned vehicles, and has a service and parts department that is available to maintain both new and older-model Porsches. With many vehicles in stock, Porsche of Hilton Head has a wide selection from which to choose, and there is also the option of ordering custom vehicles from the manufacturer. The dealership also sells a wide variety of other pre-owned luxury automobiles. The sales associates and technicians are constantly trained and kept up to date on the newest technology and features that Porsche has to offer, so customers can be assured that their needs are met.

http://newriverautomall.com

Open M-F, 9 am – 8 pm, Sat, 9 am – 6 pm, Sun, 1 pm – 5 pm.