By Dariel Bendin
Calabash, N.C. art gallery Sunset River Marketplace is featuring Feed Your Eclectic Soul through May 31. According to gallery owner and design consultant Ginny Lassiter, the group exhibition is “a showing of custom design ideas, fine crafts and gently loved pieces from the past.”
Lassiter and fellow designer Beth Pethtal of Sunset Beach, N.C. have created a number of vignettes, each including antiques, seating, pillows, art and other pieces.
“We plan to change things around a few times during the show,” Lassiter explained. “We want to demonstrate how to inject your own personal tastes into a room layout and still have a cohesive design.”
Lassiter, graduated from East Carolina University, majoring in art with an emphasis in design. Her taste, which is evident in every aspect of the comfortable gallery, leans toward the eclectic. “I think I’m driven by sentiment,” Lassiter laughs. “I have many, many family pieces that I love, so I have to come up with ways to make everything work together without looking cluttered. I love putting different textures together. I’ll usually try to tie things together with a certain element. Sometimes it’s a color, like black or red. Often it’s a material such as metal.”
Pethtal, who graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and got her Masters at the University of Georgia, is a designer and fabricates a range of soft custom home furnishings with husband, Marvin. She is known for simplicity and crisp, clean designs. “I’m a fabric nut,” she says. “I love searching out patterns that aren’t matchy matchy, but work together.”
Vignettes for the special show are anchored by seating pieces. For one, a neutral chocolate brown chaise lounge is filled with sea-themed pillows, with an abstract painting by Sylvia Messick, a sleek Wes Wagner oak bench serving as a coffee table and a hand-crafted tile-topped table by Shandi Berls. For another an antique daybed has been reupholstered in a retro fabric of red circles with a mix of artisan-crafted and store-bought pillows. A whimsical folk art metal fish bench with a painted wooden seat offers another alternative and is the perfect spot for adorable flip-flop themed pillows. A metal top dry sink adds unusual appeal.
On Wednesday, May 23, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, Lassiter will present a gallery talk titled “Feed Your Own Eclectic Soul.” She will demonstrate her ideas by changing one of the vignettes to achieve an entirely different look and discuss how to incorporate family pieces, unusual art pieces and off-the-shelf store items into your own home décor. There is no charge for the gallery talk and no reservations are required.
Sunset River Marketplace, which celebrates its ten-year anniversary this June, showcases work by approximately 200 North and South Carolina artists, and houses some 10,000 square feet of oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, mixed media, art glass, pottery, sculpture, turned and carved wood and artisan-created jewelry. There are two onsite kilns used by students in the ongoing pottery classes offered by the gallery. A custom framing department is available. There are also classes in oil painting, watercolor, pastel and figure drawing. For more information, call 910-575-5999 or visit the website at www.sunsetrivermarketplace.com. 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. Daily updates and special promotions are listed on the gallery’s Facebook page.
Art credits: Daybed: retro red circle upholstery by Ginny Lassiter; gold fringed pillows by Beth Pethtal; tall red pottery vase by Lantern Hill Pottery. For full grouping: pillows, table runners and cloths by Beth Pethtal; Pottery vase on wall shelf by Brian Evans; Raku clock on wall by Courtney Tomchik; painting by Sylvia Messick; wood-handled pottery bowl bowl by Marty Allran; tall tile-topped table by Shandi Berls; wine goblets by Eunhee Andrews; ceramic tray by Desiree Horton; oak bench by Wes Wagner.