Music Wafting Through the Trees, is the title of Nancy Mitchell’s latest collection of wall sculptures and oil-on-canvases on display at the Art League of Hilton Head
Once again, Nancy Mitchell captures all that is magical, wondrous, and musical, about living, working, dreaming, creating, and growing up in this Shambala, we call Hilton Head Island. And, she does it all from her family home, IMAGINE, in Palmetto Bay.
Having recreated South Carolina’s lowcountry scenes of morning mists, and marsh sunsets for thirty-plus years in oil-on-canvas landscapes, and commissioned murals all over the island, Nancy began sculpturing memories, inspirations, and people, in accessible wall sculptures, that she also paints reminiscent of shadow-boxes, but adding perfect, recognizable figures from the collective Hilton Head conscience.
Her work borrows from the fabric of Hilton Head’s quilt; decades upon generations of families reared in the marshes, lives sustained by shrimp boats, and oyster beds, children climbing live oaks, wax myrtle growing wild, and grand magnolia blossoms providing background perfume. Throughout this tranquil history, kids learned to play music under the stars, at the knees of fathers, mothers, and touring bands, who sang outside the marina bars, and restaurants, through the coming years of development.
One of the many glorious advantages about living in, and visiting this neck of the southeast coast (one that is oddly, under-promoted, in national marketing efforts), is the constant sound of live, ‘Music Wafting Through the Trees‘ wherever one wanders in the late afternoons, and into the wee hours of the next day, all over the island.
Whether riding the bike trails, or walking along the beach towards a boardwalk, or putting into the 18th hole of the HarbourTown golf course late in the day, outdoor live music beckons from one of the many restaurants and outdoor bars for which Hilton Head is famous.
Nancy’s husband, Matt Wicklund, a house painter, and former drummer for the local rock band, The Bonzo Brothers, helped her manage a household that included her own art studio, and accompanying… supplies, but also two kids growing up as musicians practicing rock and roll in the house, going to school, and playing gigs all around the island.
Which led to one of the many enduring gifts of having children musicians always practicing in the house and performing in venues nearby; the constant, cosmic-like inspiration for fresh art themes for Nancy’s projects, like this current show at the Art League of Hilton Head’s gallery location in the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina building at 14 Shelter Cove. (see below for exhibit & gallery hours).
So, what does it really take to rear two kids in the arts realistically, and successfully?
“You can only help them by driving them to gigs, running sound and reminding them to practice. Then let them go, creatively,” Nancy says.
On giving out creative advice: “I remember, the only times I ever noticed if Hannah made a mistake while she was performing, was when she would look over at her dad while he was doing sound. It was really funny, because I told her to stop telegraphing that she made a mistake, and maybe he wouldn’t notice either.” Nancy also remembers being critical of her son Luke who – later on – told her, that he remembers what she had advised, when he is on stage.
Most importantly, from the Oracle Nancy, “Sometimes being supportive is knowing when to be quiet.”
It’s not a coincidence that a hurricane sharing the moniker with Father Matthew, railed through Hilton Head almost a year ago, lightening up the spaces between the sandy southern coast, and the branches of the remaining trees, including a total ass-kicking at the Wicklund’s. Fully recovered from the devastation, the painted sign is back up above the front door, imploring guests to IMAGINE. Forget welcome. Artists and musicians OWN welcome. You’ve got to imagine, if you’re going to enter the House of Wicklund.
Music Wafted Through the Trees
Exhibition runs August 29 – September 23, 2017
Opening Reception, free and open to the public
Thursday, September 7, 2017, 5pm-7pm
featuring live music by Hannah Wicklund & Luke Mitchell
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday
10am – 4pm and 90 minutes prior to all
Art Center of Coastal Carolina performances.
For more information, call: 843-681-5060 or www.artleaguehhi.org