Imagine; From ‘Chaos Springs Creation’ Wafting From a House Called Imagine…

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

Music Wafted Through the Trees Gallery

Art League of Hilton Head’s Exhibiting Member, Nancy Mitchell’s, ‘Music Wafted Through the Trees’, wall sculptures and oils exhibit in the gallery at 14 Shelter Cove through Sept. 23, 2017, with a special reception on Thurs. Sept. 7th, from 5 – 7 pm, featuring live music from Mitchell’s children, Hannah Wicklund and Luke Mitchell.

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.

UnderOak

‘Under the Oak’, oil, $1200.00

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.

LoveSong

‘Love Song’, clay, $350.00

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.

TikiHut

‘Tiki Hut’, clay, $275.00

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.

Oil on Canvas, Nancy Mitchell

‘High Divers’, oil, $850.00

 

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.

Mitchell_Hannah

‘Hannah’, oil, $1200.00

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.

Family Tree Mitchell
***’Family Tree’, clay, commission example piece, not for sale.*** Ask Nancy Mitchell for more information about this excellent COMMISSIONED GIFT IDEA; a personalized Family Tree tailored to your family!

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

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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.

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 Hannah Wicklund & 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  You can also check Hannah’s Instagram page, for up-to-date photos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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.