Gallery features garden-inspired art show

Sunset River Marketplace art gallery in Calabash, N.C. is featuring Garden Inspirations: Think Outside the Boxwood, now through May 31, owner Ginny Lassiter has announced. The exhibition includes work from 25 of the gallery’s exhibiting artists along with Lassiter’s collection of furniture and other garden pieces.

Lassiter, who is also a creative consultant and designer, says, “I love to repurpose furniture. One of the pieces in the show is a rustic painted potting bench that would also make a wonderful sideboard or bar in the right setting. That’s what this show is about. It’s also an exciting opportunity to bring some of our floral artists and potters to the forefront.”

Clay art plays a major role in Garden Inspirations. A whimsical clay garden glove by A.J. Kessee hangs on the potting bench. Ceramic suns by potters Betsy Parker and Jamie Futera shine both indoors and out. Jane Truesdale and Janice Wyckoff have created clay bird nests to further blur the lines between your house and garden.

On the walls hang garden favorites such as Gloriosa Superba, oil by Celia Wester; Geraniums, watercolor by Janet Dixon; Sunflowers, photography by Louis Aliotta; Red Carnations, oil by the late Ramona Bendin; and Red Petunia, watercolor by Ed Harris. Other works include hand blown art glass pears by Scott Summerfield; metal cattails by Kevin Kuhnel; clay and metal blossoms by Shandi Berls; copper garden crosses by Tony Carr; wood candle votives by James “Red” Saunders; reverse glass window painting by Mary Paulson; hand-painted birdhouses by Maria McLamb; and folk art by Hoyle Wagner. Also showing in the exhibition are potters Cheryl Davis, Marty Allran and Courtney Tomchik ; oil painters Janet Parker, Ruth Cox and Mary E. Smith; and acrylic artist Dann Ward.

The unusual gallery, which showcases artists from the two Carolinas, recently opened its Eclectic Closet, a collection of vintage furniture, antique finds and other unique pieces that used correctly can help personalize a living space.

Since opening in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has become an active supporter of performing, literary and visual arts in the area. The 10,000 square-foot gallery features work by over 200 North and South Carolina artists. Its on-site pottery studio has two kilns and three wheels for use by students. Ongoing oil, pastel and watercolor classes are also provided, in addition to workshops by nationally known artists. A framing department offers full-service, on-site custom frame design.

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW (Hwy 179), Calabash, N.C. Regular hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From January through March the gallery is closed on Mondays. For more information, visit the website (www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com) or “like” the gallery’s Facebook page, which is updated daily. Reach the gallery by telephone at 910.575.5999.