Calabash art gallery caters to art loving gift givers

CALABASH, N.C. (Oct. 1, 2014)– Cooler temperatures signify the recent change of season, and Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash, N.C. is right in step with Mother Nature. Gallery owner Ginny Lassiter is already honing displays in the 10,000 square-foot gallery to showcase art pieces that help create warm and inviting vignettes, just in time for Fall and the Holidays.

Works by Myrtle Beach artist Ruth Cox, who is also the gallery’s oil painting instructor, are not to be missed. “I love this little Ruth Cox oil,” she says, “because you can really feel the afternoon sunlight as it hits the garden wall. It’s ideal for a cozy little corner; it warms up the space beautifully. Ruth is a master of lighting and shadow.”

Lassiter is also featuring furniture pieces constructed by Loris, S.C. artist Jean-Claude Rossignol from a variety of vintage wood – a bench from old heart pine with nails and handles from an abandoned dairy farm, a wall cabinet from several different woods put together with eighteenth century nails, painted in historical colors and hand-rubbed to a stunning patina.

From Wilmington, N.C. potter Betsy Parker come a trio of stylish table top raku houses. “These are incredibly labor-intensive,” says the artist. “But I love the raku surface and how it reflects light. Pop a candle or battery operated votive inside and there are even more reflections.”

New this year from potters Joe and Tonda Jeffcoat are a series of oyster plates in their signature deep red glaze, as well as teal, cobalt and teadust. Jeweler Barbara Bennett offers a popular collection of sterling silver cuff bracelets. Another gallery favorite is Ed Fitzgerald and his collection of laboriously detailed miniature Old World style paintings. Works by wood turner James “Red” Saunders, at once rustic and sleek, are a striking addition to any home.

Lassiter says, “We love the time leading up to the holidays. Our artists go all out and help us fill the space with new pottery pieces, exquisite blown glass and more. Around Thanksgiving we bring in a big old Christmas tree and fill it with ornaments, beautiful miniature paintings, photographs and objects handmade by the artists.”

A local book section is full of novels, history books, children’s books, poetry, self-help books and more – all written by authors in North and South Carolina.

Sunset River Marketplace is home to works of art by more than 200 artists – all from North and South Carolina. You’ll see virtually every style and genre of art represented in the 10,000 square-foot space. The friendly staff encourages visitors to take their time and enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and mulled cider as they meander through the gallery searching for the perfect piece. If a decision proves too difficult, a gift certificate – which may be redeemed for art, framing or instruction – is often a welcome solution.

Upcoming events include:
Monday, Oct. 6 – Monday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily except Sunday. Brunswick Arts Council Fall Show & Sale. Reception Thursday, Oct. 9, 5 – 7 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 5:30 p.m. Paint & Party, after-hours class where non-artists get to uncork their creativity and paint. This time the project is an easy-to-do abstract acrylic painting of wine bottles and a glass. $35. Reservations required.
Wednesday, Oct. 8 – Saturday, Nov. 21. Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Group exhibition, Mighty Miniatures. Free.
Saturday, Oct. 25, 1 – 5 p.m. Creativity Unleashed, an afternoon of live music, painting, pottery making, readings, jewelry-making demos, refreshments and more.

Sunset River Marketplace is located at 10283 Beach Drive SW (Hwy. 179) in Calabash, N.C. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 910-575-5999 or visit the website: The gallery also utilizes a Facebook page to offer special giveaways and opportunities to its customers.