The Art Museum was conceived by a small but visionary group of local art enthusiasts, among them a group of artists formed in the late 1960s called the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild. Beginning in the spring of 1969, a pattern of art exhibitions was established that continues today. To honor the integral role that the Guild played in the Museum’s establishment, the Museum proudly hosts the Guild’s annual spring juried art exhibition, which is now in its 21st year. A diverse array of media, including ceramics, collage, drawings, graphics, mixed media works in both two and three-dimension, paintings, photography, sculpture, textiles and wood carving, all completed by local artists within the past two years, will be exhibited.
This year’s judge is professional artist Douglas Balentine of Charleston, SC, who recently exhibited at the Art Museum (summer 2017). Balentine has been drawing and painting as long as he can remember. In 1977 and 1978, his family lived in Paris, France, which was a particularly formative experience for nine-year-old Balentine. Among the innumerable stimuli that daily Parisian life offered, exposure to art in the Louvre proved to be of lasting influence. Balentine went on to study art at Parsons School of Design in New York and at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. In the mid-1990s, Balentine moved back to Charleston, where he began to explore the natural and historic beauty of the area through classical principles that had taken root during his studies. The historic southern city and its environs offered a seemingly eternal source of inspiration.