Remember 1997? The top-grossing movie that year was Titanic; the top-rated television show was Seinfeld; and Bill Clinton was President.
And in Myrtle Beach - in June, to be exact - a group of art enthusiasts celebrated the opening of the City's first and only visual arts museum. This exciting process had actually begun some 14 years earlier when the Springmaid Villa itself was moved from 5429 North Ocean Boulevard to its present location. The Museum's full story can be found on our beautiful new
To some this may all seem like yesterday; others can't even remember when there wasn't an art museum gracing the south end of Ocean Boulevard. This was two years after the opening of Broadway at the Beach and long before the nearby Market Common district was created.
In those 20 years we've hosted over 300 visual arts exhibitions, scores of Free Family Days, lectures and lecture series, workshops and other public events, and we've seen our visitor count grow every year. And it was in 2013 that the Art Museum won the South Carolina Arts Commission's prestigious Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award as the outstanding arts organization in the state.
So what's on tap for our 20th anniversary year? There will be even more fabulous exhibitions and events. Currently on view are Gee's Bend: From Quilts to Prints, a collection of fine art etchings derived from those famous quilts which we first exhibited in 2010; and Stitchin' and Pullin', a collection of illustrations by artist Cozbi Cabrera depicting the Gee's Bend story. The former will be on view through April 23; and Stitchin' and Pullin' will run through April 16th. Gee's Bend curator Matt Arnett and artist Cozbi Cabrera will be visiting the Museum on the weekend of April 16, so please be on the lookout for information about our special plans. A third exhibition designed to complement these two is titled The Fabric of Our Collection. It features works from our permanent collection which reference fabric in terms of medium, subject matter and style. This exhibit runs through April 23.
Later in the year, we'll be presenting Douglas Balentine: Beyond the Horizon, a collection of paintings by a Charleston artist. He takes his inspiration from the scenic beauty of his homeland and his early experiences living in Paris, France, and his art studies in Italy.
And coming this summer are a pair of exhibitions - along with a multi-week lecture series - that promise to delight the "foodie" in all of us. Opening on June 10 is Feast Your Eyes: Celebrating the Food of the South which will feature over 100 works of art, in multiple media, depicting the tradition of Southern food as nourishment, as cultural and artistic expression, and, at times, as an object of obsession. Accompanying this delicious exhibition will be a companion show by renowned local editorial photographer Scott Smallin. To deepen the experience of Feast Your Eyes, the Museum will offer Food for Thought, a series of lectures and food events to explore food topics both local and regional.
We'll also be presenting The South Carolina Arts Commission Turns 50: Spotlight on Fellow Visual Artist Jocelyn Chateauvert. It should be a fascinating exhibit from this jeweler and paper artist, who creates lighting, sculpture and installations from the paper she makes by hand.
Grand Strand Collects
(September 28 through December 14) will be an exhibition of art borrowed from private collections along the Grand Strand. Our first Collects exhibition was presented in 2005 and we're excited to be doing it again some 12 years later for the Museum's 20th Anniversary. In addition to the art that will be on display, visitors will enjoy reading accompanying labels that will tell the story of how the art was acquired.
To complete the celebration, and in recognition of the Museum's permanent collections, we'll take a nostalgic look back at our 20-year history: 20/20 Vision: Selected Works from Our Collection. In this exhibition, a group of 20 Grand Strand celebrities and dedicated Art Museum patrons will get to choose their favorite works of art from the Museum's permanent collection. Accompanying 20/20 Vision will be Ode to the Villa: Imagery of the Art Museum, featuring multiple depictions of our beloved Art Museum facility created over its 20-year history.
It truly will be a year to remember, and a great time to be part of the Art Museum! I look forward to seeing you at all these wonderful events.