The eye and heart of an artist: September’s Art League show goes way beyond the subject.

Flowers.  One thing may have gotten more civilized during our lifetime.  Flowers are abundant now and fairly easy to buy.  Factors ranging from airplanes to fertilizer make it handy to pick up some respectable blooms on the way home from work.

The exhibit coming this week to the Walter Greer Gallery at The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, though, is a lesson in the difference between seeing . . . and really seeing.  The Color Of Life presents photographs by Jean-Marie Côté, and with one look there’s no mistaking that this is how flowers look to an artist with a very special eye.

The Color Of Life is up from September 7 through October 1, and in it Côté does to our everyday view of flowers what a figure skater might do to an NHL goalie.  This show runs rings around our accustomed sense of beauty.

His work seems to unfold inside the camera, at the event of the shutter – – rather than afterward in digital manipulation.  In each photo there is a clear sense that you are taking part in that moment.  Jean-Marie’s methods include waiting for light and nature to play their hand, and knowing when the instant has arrived.

He brings a sense of theatre, too.  Inside Côté’s studio there are hand-built light boxes.  And he seems to prefer working “in front of the lens” with filters, rather than working after the shot, with software.  This is personal.  And it shows.

Take a few moments this September to refresh your sense of wonder over sights you thought you knew.  Visit The Color Of Life in the Walter Greer Gallery at The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina.

And join in if you can, for the opening reception, 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 8.  Jean-Marie will be there the next morning, too, for an artist’s talk, open to the public at 11 a.m. Friday, September 9.  For more information, or to arrange a group visit, just call 843-681-5060 or visit