Response to Nature: The Watercolors of P. A. Kessler
May 6th – June 28th (Meet the Artist – 5 – 7 PM on May 23rd)
The Coastal Discovery Museum is proud to announce that our upcoming exhibition, Response to Nature: The Watercolors of P. A. Kessler, will feature a local artist with an international reputation. Even surrounded by the fascinating natural beauty of the Lowcountry, we all too often walk past it without taking the time to slow down and appreciate its magnificence up close. Pam’s work gives us pause to stop and reflect on the beauty of nature that can be discovered in a flower, a nest, or a feather dropped along a path.
Pam’s intrigue with the natural world was inspired by her dad, an avid outdoorsman, who taught her not just to look carefully at living things, but also how to “see” them. As she began to meticulously paint orchids in the 1970s, her fascination with the intricacy of nature and attempting to accurately represent it led her to look at her subjects under magnification – according to Pam, there are no words for how amazing nature is; however she comes as close as anyone to expressing this through her art.
From her focus on orchids, she naturally branched out to explore other elements we see in the natural world. Not only does she accurately capture the inert remains of insects and birds from which life has departed, she also pays tribute to their architectural achievements – the intricate architectural achievements of both birds and wasps.
One of the fascinating aspects of the Pam’s work is its departure from the static images created by historic botanical painters, the additions of ID stakes and other elements of human interaction suggest human interaction, and her images inspire viewers to think about our interaction with nature. Diane McMahon, an accomplished writer has provided a response to several of Pam’s pieces as an opening to encourage visitors to add their thoughts to these poignant images
Pam Kessler is an accomplished artist with a refined sense of draftsmanship, composition, and watercolor technique. Her artistic insight – a far more elusive quality – is what has earned Pam a growing national reputation.
Pam is a member of both The Society of Botanical Artists in England, and the American Society of Botanical Artists. Her work has been featured in major watercolor exhibitions and is well represented in many corporate and private collections, including Dr. Shirley Sherwood’s collection of contemporary Botanical Art and the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation.
Her plants are rendered with a delicacy and grace that faithfully capture their essence. She does not portray beauty in isolation, but as a revelation of interaction between observer and observed. An active response will yield a depth of vision denied the passive observer.
Additional art works and contact information can be found on the artist’s website: http://www.pakessler.com/
“Where Nature Meets Art” – Featuring the Artists of Spring Island
March 1st – April 30th – Opening Reception: Saturday, March 2nd – 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM – Meet the artists 12 – 2 PM each Thursday
The Coastal Discovery Museum is pleased to announce its upcoming temporary exhibition, “Where Nature Meets Art.” Offered by the Artists of Spring Island, this exhibition will provide a glimpse into the beauty of one of our neighboring islands. Spring Island’s focus upon preservation and environmental conservation are complementary to the Coastal Discovery Museum’s recently adopted mission to “inspire people to care for the Lowcountry.” Visit the museum to see the works from some Spring Island artists who have gained an appreciation for our area’s unique culture, heritage, and environment.
Spring Island is celebrating its 29th year, and so is its Arts Program. At its inception in 1990, the developers of Spring Island wanted to ensure the preservation of the cultural history of the Island and the preservation of its stunning environmental beauty. Both are woven into the fabric that is Spring Island.
The Spring Island Arts Program’s mission is to honor and expand the Island’s impact on the culture and artistic legacy of the Lowcountry. This mission is also foundational to the community. The Founders wanted to invite artists to visit the Island, experience its beauty, find rejuvenation, and gain inspiration for their art. The artists in turn leave an original piece of art, created on the Island, to add to Spring Island’s Collection (now totaling nearly 200 works) that may be enjoyed by its Members in perpetuity.
The members of the Artists of Spring Island have varied backgrounds. Some of them are relatively new to creating art, gaining instruction and inspiration from their surroundings and their participation in the program’s workshops and classes. Other artists were more firmly established in the artistic community, either having participated in an art-related career or having received formal training before moving to Spring Island. Regardless of the experience level of the artists, all the Members benefit from the Visiting Artists’ knowledge and craft by participating in workshops and classes. The growth of the Arts Program has brought about specific member driven focus groups in Ceramics, Metalworking, Painting, Photography and Floral.
“Generations” – Celebrating the Palmer Family
January 5th – February 25th, 2019 – Opening Reception 1/17 5-7 PM
The Palmer family’s connection to Hilton Head Island began over fifty years ago and since they have been active in the local art community while also enjoying critical and professional success well outside the geographic confines of the Lowcountry. This exhibition will showcase their spectacular works of art, and share stories of this area’s history and family reminiscences. Jim Palmer and his wife Barbara moved to Hilton Head Island in 1965, initiating this creative family’s long-standing connection to and influence on the community.
According to Addison Palmer, Jim’s son and one of the featured professional artists on exhibit, his family “has been and continues to be very creative. Having a family that is so strong in the visual arts, is unique. Being able to have everyone together to showcase our artwork and to tell our history of being on Hilton Head Island, is a true pleasure for the Palmer family.”
The Palmer family’s artworks, and connection to the area make this exhibition a perfect match for the Coastal Discovery Museum. Natalie Hefter, Vice Present of Programs, explained that the unique part of this exhibition “is sharing many of the family’s stories from the past five decades.” The museum is dedicated to bringing the area’s history, culture, environment, and art alive for our visitors and residents. This exhibition will bring attention to our natural beauty as well as stories of our more recent past. In a recent conversation with Jim Palmer, Hefter says, “he shared many personal reflections about Hilton Head and Lowcountry events and the family’s connection to them. Jim has lots of great stories to share!” A few of the reminiscences included: that the Palmers lived a Honey Horn for a while and Billie Hack hosted a baby shower for his wife Barbara; Jim was quite passionate about and actively fought the proposed BASF project (petrochemical plant planned for Victoria Bluff) in the late 1960s; the Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Islander Magazine’s masthead was Jim’s concept and he also provided artwork for its first cover in December 1966 (and many, many more issues after that); and many, many more.
Daufuskie Artists, Artisans, and Authors
October 5th – December 31st (Opening Reception – 5- 7 PM on 10/25)
Hilton Head Island’s neighbor to the south is Daufuskie Island. The southernmost point of South Carolina, Daufuskie Island is nestled between Mungen Creek, the New River, the Cooper River and Calibogue Sound. No bridge connects the island to the mainland.
Living on Daufuskie has inspired woodworkers, writers, weavers, painters, potters, photographers, rum distillers, indigo dyers, sculptors, and soap makers. Join us at the Coastal Discovery Museum to explore the varied talents of these Daufuskie Island residents.
Tours, talks, gallery walks, and book signings will be planned during this exhibition. Please check www.coastaldiscovery.org for more information.
The Daufuskie Blues studio of artisans Leanne Coulter and Rhonda Davis, is located in the Mary Field School between the 1880s First Union African Baptist Church and the Frances Jones House (now a bed and breakfast with a morning meal cooked by celebrity chef and author Sallie Ann Robinson). Coulter and Davis discovered a mutual love of indigo and specialized dying techniques that add a luscious blue hue to their wares.
Lynell Linke discovered a knack for woodworking and farmwork as she milled lumber and made goat cheese at the Daufuskie Community Farm. Pat Beichler, who started the farm in 2010, will offer her giclee prints.
With scenic beauty at every turn, Daufuskie provides an endless source of subject matter for photographers Dennis Sutcliffe, Holger Opderbeck and Monica Ferguson, who also finds inspiration using oyster shells in her sculptural work.
Mike Loftus built a state-of-the-art shop as a place to hone his craft (and build them as well) and to teach woodworking skills to interested islanders. One of his wooden boats will be a focal point in the museum gallery.
Chase Allen and his Iron Fish Gallery create decorative sea-life inspired pieces that are found in homes all over the world.
John Thompson, Pattii Bschorr, Jan Ross, Sharon Havird, Bill Greenwood, Carol Tait, Erica Veit, and Sally Lesesne paint on canvas and board depicting Lowcountry scenes each with their own unique style and technique.
Sara Deitch, Kate Woodward, and MacKenzie Blankenship work with textiles to create scarves, pillows and other household and personal accessories.
Leather-worker Sierra Smith makes bracelets and Jan Crosby crafts handmade soaps and lotions. A limited number of pieces from Silver Dew Pottery will also be available.
The handiwork of these Daufuskie Island artists and artisans will be complemented by written work by storied author Roger Pinckney XI, Wick Scurry, of Daufuskie Difference and Freeport Marina, and Sallie Ann Robinson and Jenny Hersch with “Daufuskie Island” a new offering from Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series.
EXTRAORDINARY SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATIONS
AN EXHIBITION OF AMAZING IMAGES ON VIEW JULY 16, 2018 – OCTOBER 1, 2018
Featuring scientific illustrations portraying the astonishing diversity of ocean life from colorful mollusks to deep sea fishes to a stout dolphin, the exhibition Opulent Oceans: Extraordinary Scientific Illustrations at the Coastal Discovery Museum explores the integral role illustration has played in undersea exploration and discovery. It features 22 exquisite, large-format reproductions from rare and beautifully illustrated scientific works in the American Museum of Natural History Library’s Rare Book collection.
Opening July 16, 2018 the exhibition was inspired by the book Opulent Oceans: Extraordinary Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History, and is curated by the author, Melanie L.J. Stiassny., Axelrod Research Curator in the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Ichythology, in collaboration with Tom Baione, Harold Boeschenstien Director of the Museum’s Research Library.
The world’s oceans abound with a truly astonishing diversity of life forms. Beginning some 400 years ago, European voyages of discovery began mapping the globe, and knowledge of ocean life flourished as never before. By sketching specimens or collaborating with artists and engravers, explorers documented their discoveries in illustrated books featuring images that communicate the anatomy, life cycles, habits—and sheer beauty—of newfound marine species.
“We really are still in the midst of the great age of ocean discovery and, as an active researcher in the field, I have found it truly inspirational to delve into the past of that discipline,” said Curator Melanie L.J. Stiassny. “This exhibition takes a look back at the lives and contributions of some of those who helped lay the foundations of ocean science and bravely led the way on this continuing journey of discovery.”
In addition to displaying captivating images created in pursuit of scientific knowledge, Opulent Oceans also touches on the work of such pioneering researchers as Charles Darwin, who spent eight years studying barnacles in his home laboratory, work that established his credentials as a taxonomic expert; zoologist Carl Chun, whose German Deep-Sea Expedition of 1898–1899 discovered thousands of new species, some from depths greater than 13,000 feet; and the influential U.S. ichthyologist David Starr Jordan and his 1902 expedition to American Samoa to assess the country’s marine resources.
Examples of reproductions on display in Opulent Oceans include:
● A woodcut of a dolphin based on real-life observation, not fanciful stories, from noted French explorer, physician, and naturalist Pierre Belon’s La nature & diversité des poissons, avec leurs pourtraicts, representez au plus près du naturel (The nature and diversity of fish, with their portraits represented close to nature), published in 1555, and considered the beginning of modern ichthyology.
● An image of acorn barnacles (Megabalanus tintinnabulum) from naturalist Charles Darwin’s four-volume treatise A monograph on the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species (1851–1854). The treatise contains the first classification of any organism based on the evolutionary principle of common descent.
● Illustrations of intricate single-celled marine organisms known as radiolarians by German biologist Ernst Haeckel, who described and illustrated such specimens in the thousands. Many of those images were used to create Report on the Radiolaria collected by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–1876, published in 1887. His beautiful illustrations and his writings championing evolution inspired both artists and scientists.
● A colorful Bahamian land crab illustrated by English naturalist Mark Catesby for his The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama island: …(1729–1747), the first book to illustrate North America’s natural wonders.
● A frightening image of a vampire squid from hell (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) from French zoologist Louis Joubin’s Résultats des Campagnes Scientifiques accomplies sur son yacht par Albert 1er Prince Souverain de Monaco (Results of the scientific expeditions of Albert 1st, Sovereign Prince of Monaco on his yacht) from 1920. Despite its ominous name, the vampire squid is only about six inches long and is the only known octopod that is not a predator.
● An image of the swift shortfin mako shark, one of the 214 shark and ray species illustrated in Systematische Beschreibung der Plagiostomen (Systematic description of the plagiostomes) written by German zoologist Johannes Müller and published in 1841.
Opulent Oceans: Extraordinary Scientific Illustrations is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org).
A Sense of Place – Presented by the Camera Club of Hilton Head
May 2 – June 29, 2018
The Coastal Discovery Museum and the Camera Club of Hilton Head Island co-sponsored the exhibition “A Sense of Place” hosted at the Museum during May and June. Since moving to Honey Horn in 2007, the Museum has had an ongoing relationship with the Camera Club with many of its annual member exhibits presented on site. In addition, CCHHI members have assisted the museum with other history and natural history exhibits over the years. This year, the CDM and CCHHI have created an exhibit that focuses directly on the people, places, and things that make our Lowcountry region unique and beloved by residents and visitors alike.
“A Sense of Place” included over 80 images from 31 different photographers. The entries were juried into the show and images were selected that connected to the mission of the Coastal Discovery Museum, “to inspire people to care for the Lowcountry.” CCHHI members submitted a beautiful collection of images that depict a variety of subject matters including historic buildings and cemeteries, the area’s natural history, Gullah culture, the seafood industry, and our various stunning landscapes.
March 2 – April 29
Hilton Head Island, SC – The Coastal Discovery Museum is pleased to announce its latest temporary exhibition “The Locals: Twelve Artists From One Special Place.” Featuring 12 artists in a variety of mediums, this is a one of a kind show! The exhibition is open from March 2nd through April 29th with an Artists’ Reception planned for 5-7 PM on Thursday, March 8th.
Exhibiting together for the first time, this group of artists may work in various styles, mediums, and scale – but they all have one thing in common, a long-standing affection and connection to our local community. Several of the exhibiting artists have lived locally for close to 40 years, with the most recent arrival coming in the early 2000s. Each of these artists is inspired by the natural beauty, culture, and history of this special place that we call home.
“A whimsical twist with a dreamlike quality,” “bold and expressive,” “a colorful and eclectic community,” and “a sense of place,” are just a few ways that these artists works have been described.
Meet the artists on Thursday afternoons during the exhibition – 12-2 PM.
Pirates, Privateers, and Buccaneers
November 2017 – February 2018
Pirates, Privateers and Buccaneers the South Carolina State Museum’s traveling exhibit will make patrons avast (that’s stop in pirate lingo) and gasp as the world of pirates comes alive in, opening in early November.
The story of Blackbeard, who blockaded Charleston Harbor in 1718 prior to his death in North Carolina can be found in this traveling exhibit, along with the stories of many other pirates.
The exhibit will thrill those who have always been fascinated by these desperadoes of the seas and dispel a number of popular myths about pirates, such as that they made their victims walk the plank, and used phrases such as ‘arrr,’ and ‘matey,’ which are fictions of Hollywood. Find out more about the problem of modern piracy dispelling another popular myth that pirates disappeared a long time ago.
This exhibit was developed by the South Carolina State Museum with research, collaboration, and assistance from the North Carolina Museum of History, the Queen Anne’s Revenge Project of the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, and the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Pirates, Privateers, and Buccaneers of the Carolinas is a part of the South Carolina State Museum’s Traveling Exhibitions Program.
Escape Artists – Presented by Art Beyond Tradition
September – October 2017
Summer Images – Presented by Les Bonnes Artistes
July 1 – August 28 , 2017
“Les Bonnes Artistes”, or The Good Artists, was founded in 2007 by Doris Shay. The name is something that all artists aspire to, to become a really good artist. Her idea was to get a group of women artists together once a month to discuss art, share ideas and techniques, support each other, and improve our art. Soon after, the idea for a group show of their works was discussed and they have been showing at various venues on Hilton Head for the last ten years.
The members of this group of ten has changed little, however a new artist is added whenever needed. This year Barbara Grubba has joined the group and will display her oil paintings that range from the abstract to the realistic. Her work is full of color and surprise, representing her years of travel and study. She is currently also a member of La Petite Gallerie in Bluffton.
In this show, the group wanted it to be a celebration of images, inspired by the summer. Local scenes, flights of fancy, and colorful images celebrate the diversions of summer. “We always want color to be one of the basic expressions of our art” says Joanna Chalson. Other artists in this group show not mentioned, are Annie Coughlin, Jo Dye, Evie Kowtko, Joyce Nagel, Barbara Spencer, Dorothy Steelman, and Emily Wilson.
Featuring Sonja Griffin Evans
May 3 – June 28th, 2017
The American Gullah Collection’ depicted the unsung pioneers of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor and of America. The story behind this culture’s creation is compelling. The Gullahs are descendants of West Africans who were forced to the colony through the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They were brought to South Carolina because of their knowledge about the process of cultivating rice. However, they also possessed other intellectual prowess. West African people brought their culture, art food and music, with many valuable assets that have influenced American culture
The American Gullah Collection communicated the Gullah culture and Lowcountry living with its viewers. Each piece lures viewers into the paintings and leaves them with a desire to learn more about this captivating Pan African American cultural treasure. Sonja Griffin Evans’ American Gullah Collection reflects compassion and redeeming love. It gives a visual example of one’s humanity. It immortalizes the divinity, an expression of the soul. It brings to life, through art, the Gullah story; while instilling in the viewer’s heart a yearning to visit the amazingly beautiful, historical and spiritual destinations which encompasses the Gullah culture.
Where Nature Meets Art
Featuring the artists of Spring Island
March 1st – April 30th 2017
The preservation of the cultural and artistic history of Spring Island is as important as the preservation of its stunning environmental beauty. Both are woven into the fabric of Spring Island, and are foundational to its vibrant Art community.
This exhibition featured works from Spring Island Member Artists in all mediums inspired by the natural beauty and cultural heritage of this Beaufort county island.