The muse in action: Art League shows, shares and teaches. Bravo!

Following the Art League through May is a journey that touches every base.  From a bold exhibit of sculpture, to a fundraiser that blossomed like the Tuileries Garden, to a studio where young and old, resident and visitor can take up the tools and make art – – this band of art practitioners offers up art from arms length to elbow-deep.  We’re lucky they live here.

Now at the Walter Greer Gallery in the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, see “Eclectic,” an exhibit of the works of sculptor Sheri Farbstein.

Eclectic lives up to its name with an uncanny variety of moods, viewpoints, media and styles.  Strolling among the sculpture it’s hard to believe Sheri is one person.  From the decorative Sconce Series, to the impressionistic Dress Series, to a jazz combo you can almost hear in Swing Time, you’d think there was more than one head, heart and pair of hands at work here.

"Printemps" by League honored artist Jo Dye*

Greeting us as we walk into the Walter Greer is a four-foot, terra-cotta woman with flowers, whom Sheri coaxed out of a length of new-made sewer pipe.  Situated at refreshing points around the show are fully set tables of food that turn out to be sculpture – from the table legs to the condiments – Picnic and Asian Fusion.  The show is an eye-opener and a jaw-dropper.

Sheri is also an organizer of a 3-D Guild for sculptors and artists who work in tactile materials.  The Guild encourages artists and exhibitors to present these media more often.  And the resounding success of Eclectic at the Walter Greer proves hands-down that 3-D works in gallery spaces, even when the variety is vast.

In fact, looking on from the walls surrounding Sheri Farbstein’s Eclectic are familiar friends from the League in painting and photography: Donna Varner, Jo Dye, Martha Davis and others.  Regina Mathieson’s original take on the nature of the Lowcountry is hanging here, too.  Amazing that the Walter Greer can present so much and still look like a good party – not crowded, just friendly.

Last Sunday in their 24thannual Art And Flowers fundraiser, the League

Annual Art & Flowers exhibit by Art League*

asked some of its leading artists to present their best work.  And oh, they did.  Flower arrangements were created in the spirit of each painting, each photo, each sculpture.  The floral accompaniments seemed to bring the work even further to life.  This year the theme was “Springtime In Paris.”  Street and Metro maps were festooned on the tables, making many of us feel a tug toward the airport.  But on the other hand, Art And Flowers was every bit of a fine place to be that day.  Irresistible for some.   Yes, the art was for sale, thankfully.  (I have a new painting!)

Art League Academy workshops break the mold

And it was there I learned that teaching is one of the central missions of the Art League of Hilton Head.  In addition to the Gallery, the Art League operates the Art Academy and provides college scholarships.

Visitors are more than welcome to classes at the Art Academy.  Fees are gladly pro-rated according to how often and how long you can take part.  The schedule this spring is so abundant – with 17 classes each week, at every level from “Anyone Can Draw” or “So You Want To Be A Painter,” to “Experimental Printmaking: or “Texture & 3-Dimensional Pizzazz For Oil & Acrylic.”  For beginners, for practicing artists who can’t vacation without it, for anyone in-between, call Judy Pizzuti at 843-842-5738.

Seeing, buying, learning, sharing – Bravo! A Celebration Of The Arts doesn’t miss much.  The Art League Of Hilton Head is one reason why.

[*Photography by Jean-Marie Cote]